Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Introducing ... Lil' Rock

On October 8, 2006 my youngest daughter found a lost little kitten under the church where she was attending services with her best friend. He was crying, his right eye infected with "pink eye" and he was just about eight weeks old. He wasn't underweight and looked as though he had somehow escaped from a nearby house. When I asked my daughter about the kitten, she said the children next door had come by and told her it was their kitten but that she could have him if she could get him to come out from under the church. Well, as you can see, she managed to get him out and here he is, now six months old ... affectionately known as Lil' Man. He has an uncanny resemblance to our beloved Rocky.

Young Love, Do You Remember the Heartbreaks?

Yesterday, I watched as my son (age 16) once again exhibited a strange behavior. I suspected he and his girlfriend were having problems and before the evening was over he ended up sharing the news. He and his girlfriend come from two different worlds in some ways. Even though they both come from broken marriage families, both her parents live nearby and dote over her. She has most everything teens have now-a-days, cell phones (yes, she has two), her license and a car, and a job. Ryan's father lives in another state, he has not seen him in more than two years (father's neglect), and since I am unable to afford the extra insurance he doesn't yet have his license. He doesn't seem to bothered by it, but deep down I am sure he wants it soon! He has a part time job in the spring officiating lacrosse games as our area doesn't have an older team for high school students. So, as you can see, his girlfriend has had to do more as a girlfriend since his resources are limited.

As he shared what had happened I watched his face turn from the hardened angry young man to a sorrowful one. He cried as he felt his heart was breaking, wanting the pain to stop. It appears that his girlfriend wanted him to get a job if he wanted to go to the prom with her. She told him if he didn't get one by this past Monday, that they would need to take a break and she would go with a guy friend to the dance instead of him. When he asked her why they needed the break, she said she would feel less guilty if they were not a couple when she goes out with the other young man.

Well, my son decided that the break needed to be for more than just a time. This was not the first time drama had entered into the relationship. I'm glad this time he made the decision to make the break and peacefully. Still, you never get used to seeing your children with a broken heart. It was nice to have him share all of this and he even listened as I explained that falling in love and risking getting hurt is all a part of life no matter what your age. I think he realized that I really did know how he was feeling and understood what he was going through.

For now, he will hopefully sink his energy into his school work and finish his SAE project early this time! Young love ... the heartbreak and the recovery!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What do Peter Pan & Great Value have in common?

Aside from the fact that they both make peanut butter, they were both pulled from the grocery shelves this week due to a recall by the FDA. You can read more about my reaction here and the FDA's warning here with detailed information on the recall and the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning. Thank goodness no one I know of including my own children have been affected by the tainted peanut butter!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Update: Protecting Our Teens from Online Scams

On February 11th I wrote about my son's adventure with BMG Music Service. I took the time to visit their site, read their membership terms carefully and then send them a "Feedback" message explaining the situation regarding the "Urgent Messages" my son had been receiving. He is a minor and I requested, since their site does not disclose any mention of age restrictions or requirements for online purchases, to remove him from their system and waive any fees they had outstanding for him. I got a very nice email apology back from their customer service department, and they have granted my requests. For this mom, BMG Music Service has done the honorable thing in this situation. Thank you BMG Music.

As for my son, he has hopefully learned a lesson and early enough in life not to repeat that mistake. Now, if only I could get him to get a haircut ... LOL!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Valentine Surprise ...

from the Man I love!
... sigh ...

A Dozen Red Roses

The Cuddly Polar Bear & Chocolates

The Love Note, He is Definitely a Keeper!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day Surprise!

Today as I sat at my desk working, the warehouse manager rounded the corner behind me and said, "A box came for you today from UPS and I thought you might like to have it up here." I had no clue who he was talking to as there are at least four of us working in that general area and we ship things out everyday and have returns come in once in a while. I thought he was talking to Amy who does returns, so I didn't look until the box was placed in the chair next to me ... oops!

As soon as I saw it I told him with restrained excitement, "Yes, I do want it up here, thank you!" He smiled really big and left without another word ... I sighed just like I did right now as I recall that moment. I know, sentimental, but that's just me. As I opened the box I found a card inside that had the sweetest note and I just blushed :) Inside the box was a dozen red sweetheart roses with baby's breath (vase included), a small white polar bear and a box of chocolates! The flowers are absolutely beautiful and I'll take a photograph of them and post it here tomorrow.

PS for "Mr.D" I love you!

Click here for pictures :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Protecting Our Teens from Online Scams

My son (age 16) received a letter from BMG Music Services for a CD they had sent him in the mail earlier this school year. Apparently he had been online surfing the web while he was at a family members house. BMG's offer looks great and so he proceeded to choose a CD for them to send him. I am not sure if he fully read the About Membership section where it points out that you must choose 1 CD and pay for it before getting the remaining 11 FREE CD's. He is not employed and so I am not sure how he figured he was going to pay for it. We're going to have a chat about the issues he forgot to think through on this one. In the meantime these questions raced through my mind.

Did he read the offer on the front page? "12 CDs for the price 1 nothing more to buy ever!
Did he read the entire section in "About Membership" regarding the offer?
If he knew he would have to pay for this item, how did he think he was going to fund his purchase?
What can we do to protect our teens from companies like this one in the future?

While visiting the site to find a place to send a request for canceling his "account" and request they stop sending "Collection Notices" I read the "About Membership" section and I realized there were no requirements or restrictions for age limitations for memberships or purchases.

Hopefully after our discussion he'll think more carefully about this type of adventure. I think someone :::cough::: will be paying for this one with extra chores. I think talking to both my teens about the things to consider with online purchases would be a good idea. It's probably a good idea to cover mail order scams too :)

For an update on BMG Music's response click here. :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Where have all the "Posties" gone?

In October of 2006, I began a new adventure involving my livejournal postings with an online marketing company called PayPerPost. It's been a wonderful journey, fun and exciting, full of puzzle contests and interesting subjects to post about, and rewards for participation in special events hosted by the staff at PayPerPost. Recently they upgraded their system to enhance the functionality for both advertisers and bloggers, however; what the final impact will be at this point is still a mystery.

Apparently, there seems to be a glitch in the ranking and scores for the bloggers and some issues surrounding the properly utilize and understanding of these newest features. Granted there will be follow up fixes and tweaking until the updates are successful. Understanding that the best laid plan would be to test all updates carefully before releasing them into implementation; the question that comes to mind might be, what was the staff at PayPerPost lead to believe would be the expected issues that could arise that would affect the vast majority of both their advertisers and bloggers in either a positive or negative way?

In my first month at PayPerPost I earned over $300 in additional income, and for this single parent it was wonderful! However, that amount has steadily fallen and with just days left in my cycle of calculating, this month's income might not even top $100. My goal when I started this adventure was to eliminate one of my three jobs, thus freeing up some time for my school studies and my children. How long will PPP be an active part of my quest to earn additional income if it continues to drop due to the inability to "Take This Opportunity?" Remember that these amounts are reflective of the posts from the previous month, as it takes 30 days from the approval of a submitted post until its maturity in order to be paid.

December $311.07 (Posts submitted in Oct - Nov)
January $256.32 (Posts submitted in Nov - Dec)
February $191.81 (Posts submitted in Dec - Jan)
March $ 79.27 (Posts submitted in Jan - Today)

So, as you can see March is going to be a bit of a stinger with the loss of income. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some quality posts out there for $5 each. If I am successful and can take two each day until the 14th of this month, then I should reach nearly $120 for the month. Not anywhere near the projected amount I had set as a goal for myself, but it's more than not being able to post to earn.

I really hope that PayPerPost fixes the issues this new release has caused in order for all of us to get back to posting. Before this release things at PPP were fun, exciting and very "Postie" friendly. If this implementations features continue to exclude its bloggers from earning at some reasonable level as before, PPP may lose many quality bloggers in the making ... thus the question ... "Where have all the "Posties" gone?

For me, I'll ride out this storm of controversy and the frustrating updates. PayPerPost has proven to be loyal to both their advertisers and bloggers so far, and I really don't expect to see that change. To Ted, the staff at PPP and all fellow bloggers, from one who has been through the start up of more than one company to their success, thanks for hanging tough and for listening to our groaning. You're the best!

Update to March's earnings: currently at $84.77 (results produced by nights of college studies as well as minimal opportunities for posting)

from PayPerPost: The company that was responsible for the page ranking working inside PPP has apologized for the "bugs" that caused the mis-matching of opportunities and bloggers. YAY!!! It should be resolved shortly, thanks goodness! Guess there'll be no need to sing any sad songs here ... more like "Happy Days Are Here Again!" LOL!

An intelligent thought provoking post from a bloggers point of view at "Adapt, Adopt and Improve."
Updates on "Adventures in a Lifetime"

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Valentine's Day ... is it just for men to court?

For years women have been of the mind set that men have to do all of the work when it comes to romance. I say "Nay, Nay!" My boyfriend takes the time each day to show me how much he loves me and in many different ways. Don't get me wrong, I love getting surprises on any day and even the occasional bling ;) but it's not a prerequisite to proving his love. Here's a great article at LifeScript.com called The Truth about Men and Romance, check it out!

PS. A special thank you to "Mr.D" I love you!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

A Healing Time ... Rest and Relax

This weekend was supposed to be our adventure to TN to visit my boyfriend's family for their annual Super Bowl game festivities. As fate would have it, work, weather and exhaustion would win out over the choice to drive through the mountains enjoying the beautiful scenery and spend nearly three days full of love, laughter and fun. It had been a long week with the usual drama both at home and at work. When I arrived for dinner with "Mr.D" I was greeted with the warmest embrace imaginable ... sigh ... he gives such great hugs! We scooted off to one of our favorite's and while awaiting dinner we talked about our plans to head out for TN in the morning. We talked about the weather and how that might get in the way on our return trip and it quickly moved to how relaxing it would be to bunker down for the weekend and get some much needed rest. We were both fighting the onset of colds and really needed to rest. So, when we got home we called our families to let them know of our change in plans.

I have to admit that it was great getting to spend the time together without the pressures we meet each day. Imagine no wake up alarms, no work, no schedules to meet and no specific tasks to be carried out. Instead we planned to just kick back, watch movies, snuggle, sleep, eat when we were hungry and enjoy the silent moments together. It was great! On top of the rest, I had the pleasure of watching my man in motion on his drum set, and wow ... is he ever good! Our time was definitely restful and hopefully equally as healing for the body as it was for the heart and soul for both of us. The hardest thing to do was to head out to work Tuesday morning ... I wanted so badly to hit the alarm one more time and snuggle until noon ... or longer ;)

My Disclosure Policy : Welcome to My Blog!

In an effort to maintain the integrity of the posts on my blogs and to provide honest, insightful, educational, and sometimes humorous views and opinions for my readers, I've added a disclosure policy which has been posted for your viewing:

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This policy was originated and is valid from 01 November 2006

This blog is a personal journal written and edited by me. As the author of this blog, there are occasions when some forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation are accepted for my entries.

As a responsible blog writer, every effort is made to present honest assessments of any given advertising content, for providing my opinions on products, services, websites and various other topics or posts which receive compensation. There may be times, when there will be no apparent identification of such compensation for the previously mentioned content, advertising space, post or entry.

Even though I may; as the author of this collection of writings, receive compensation for any of the above, I will give my honest opinion, findings, beliefs, or experiences regarding those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should still be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

To the best of my knowledge, this blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest. Thank you for taking the time to read my disclosure policy and "Happy Reading!"

Revised: January 15, 2008