What’s on My Reading List; The Book of Forgiving

What’s on My Reading List; The Book of Forgiving

The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our WorldThe Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World by Desmond Tutu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Truly beautiful book. The instruction for forgiveness is really illustrated well with fabulously shared stories.

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This quote was a really eye opening to me and changed how I look at things.  Before understanding this I always felt that forgiveness meant letting someone off of the hook.  I like this thought much better . . .

“Forgiveness does not relieve someone of responsibility for what they have done. Forgiveness does not erase accountability. It is not about turning a blind eye or even turning the other cheek. It is not about letting someone off the hook or saying it is okay to do something monstrous. Forgiveness is simply about understanding that every one of us is both inherently good and inherently flawed. Within every hopeless situation and every seemingly hopeless person lies the possibility of transformation.” 

Stop Looking For Balance

Often, people ask me “how do you balance it all”? Work, running, parenting, wife, volunteer . . .

The truth is, I don’t.
The bigger truth is, I would never want to.
I am sure it is the same truth for you.

Balance means everything is equal.
Most of us don’t want equal emphasis on career and family as other things.  These are the big two. An example from the book reviewed below, which illustrates it awesomely, is comparing fitness to your career.  You don’t need to exercise 40 plus hours a week to maintain your desired level of fitness.  Good news right?  Maybe just an hour 3 or 4 times per week.  Your boss definitely wants more from you in your job.  So are fitness and career balanced?  Of course not.

If not balance, then what?  Great question.
You have to know what you want and how important it is to you.
Will it be worth missing a few soccer games?
Is it worth being passed over for a promotion?
When you know what matters most and why, then you know how to cut up the pie.  You know which activities require more time
if you stay focused and true to your purpose,
you won’t be searching
for balance.

Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True SuccessTake the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success by Rory Vaden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What I love most about this book is that it reinforces what we all know and that is that hard work, persistence, and sweat equity is and always will be the key to success. There is no magic pill. There is no 4 hour body. There is only self discipline. I love this quote from the book

“Success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day.”

The reason I love this is because you can replace the word “success” with whatever goal you are striving for.

“Fitness is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day”.
“Financial freedom is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day”.
“Great relationships are never owned; they are only rented – and the rent is due every day”.
“__________ is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day”.

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New Year’s Grateful-utions

We’ve already had our first snow with a little “stick” here in Michigan.  It’s one thing to see a few flurries.  There is new meaning when you wake up and see snow caps on rooftops.

Snow means winter is coming.
Winter coming means Christmas is coming.
Christmas coming means New Years is right around the corner and New Years means . . .
The time of year when we all resolve to be better us’es.  (yep, I made that word up).

As  2014 comes close to an end do yourself a favor.  Before you consider making a list of everything
you need to improve upon in 2015 make a list of everything you are awesome at.

Are there things we could do better?  Sure there are. And, do you know what?
There always will be.
Instead of focusing on all of your shortcomings take the time to be grateful.
Reflect on all of the great things you have,
great things you have done,
greatness you have seen.

Don’t begin the year beating yourself up and making resolutions that may not even be realistic.  Begin the year loving yourself with a personal inventory of all of the goodness around you.
Spend the remainder of 2014 building on your gratitude list.  At the end of each day ask yourself

What made me happy?
What made me laugh?
What am I most proud of?
What did I try for the first time?
What lost treasure did I rediscover?
Who did I help?
Who helped me?

If you want to find happiness in 2015, first find gratitude.

What Kale? Protein Smoothie

Summer time = Breakfast?  No worries, the kids are not even awake until lunch time.
Back to school time = Breakfast?  Our daughter has the weird “B” lunch in the middle of her fourth hour class and our son has the late lunch, 4 1/2 hours after the bus picks him up in the morning. Whatever it is it must contain some protein or they just won’t make it to lunch.

This smoothie tastes so good and with it’s beautiful purple hue they won’t even know the kale is in there.  It’s the perfect way to get them off to school

What Kale? Protein Smoothie
Printable Version


  • 1 banana
  • 1 c fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 1 c vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c skim milk
  • 1 thin slice lime
  • 2 c fresh baby kale
  • 1 c ice


  • place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth
  • add more milk if necessary

How to Detect Email Fraud, Phishing Basics

I would have never thought in a million years that I would be a victim to fraud.  I am not overly

careful, but I am always alert (just ask my son who thought he’d get away with charging $212 on my Visa card).  Last Christmas I was the victim of identity theft.  A clerk at a cell phone store took my information and went to an Apple Store and basically took over my wireless account.  Lesson learned – set up your own phone at home.  Do not let the clerk do it for you in the store.

Going through that process I learned, what I thought at the time, was more than I needed to know about fraud, and specifically about phishing.  Until today, when someone thought I would buy in to their scam.

What is phishing?  Phishing is an attempt to obtain information from you by disguising an email to look like a site you trust.  Trust me, they look real.  There are logos, and links, and terms used that make it look legit, but if you look closer you can catch some details.

Wikipedia has a thorough description and says this about the cost “According to 3rd Microsoft Computing Safer Index Report released in February 2014, the annual worldwide impact of phishing could be as high as $5 billion.”

What to look for?  Is the email addressed to your first and last name?  Companies you do business with will only address it to you.  Not your email address, not Dear Customer, or VIP.  Does the email ask you to click here and enter your password?  No legitimate company you do business with will ask you for your password via email.  Also, look for poor grammar, frequently misspelled words, etc.  The scammers may think they are smart, but many of them don’t use spell check.

How do you protect yourself from phishing?  NEVER click a link on an email.  Instead, go to your web browser and type in the URL (www.——–.com) yourself.

Here is how the second fraud occurrence I experienced played out.  I hope that this helps you protect yourself someday.

I have an item for sale on Craig’s List.
I received an inquiry about the item which asked for my bottom price.
The purchaser said they were interested and stated that they prefer to pay with PayPal.
No problem – yet.
Then, I received this email (check out the red flags).

No customer is going to coach the seller to look for a confirmation email – flag #1.  No purchaser is going to send $1,000 more for asking price for delivery – flag #2.  Paypal will not release the funds until you initiate a Western Union transaction – flag #3.  The final flag is somewhat cut off, but people don’t use agents to purchase from Craig’s List and certainly not one from out of state.

I did receive an email confirmation, and it does look like it’s from PayPal.  The sender is service@paypal.com, it has their logo, and it has some official looking stuff at the bottom.  Still, there are 4 major red flags.

1)  It is addressed to my email address.  PayPal would address it to my first and last name.
2)  It is itemized??? PayPal wouldn’t know what the transaction is.
3) The red print states not to call PayPal because PayPal customer service has no record of the transaction.  I am quite sure that PayPal is aware of all of their transactions.
4)  It wants you to send replies to PayPal@yahoo.com email instead of @paypal.com.  Businesses use their own domain name in their email not yahoo or gmail or hotmail.

Of course I called out the purchaser, but they still think that they can fool me.  Here is the second response.

As you can see,  they are still attempting to get me to Western Union them money.  This is where the story goes from annoying to hilarious.  Again, I called the bogus purchaser out for fraud and now they resort to threats.  If I don’t send them money in the next 3 hours the FBI will visit my home address.  Funny, they still don’t know my name.  The sender is again service@paypal.com.  Check out the grammar and misuse of capitalization in this message.  Even the attorney’s last name is short a capital ‘F’.  And what is none response?  There was none, but I think they meant non-response.  These crooks could be good, if only . . . .

I researched a little more about these type of scams today.  They may not only try to get you to click a phony link through an email.  They may: ask you to call a number and give your password to identify yourself or send you a text message asking you to verify your identity.  Here is a helpful article from Microsoft to learn more
Fraudulent e-mail and Phishing

Note:  PayPal has absolutely no involvement in any wrong doing.  They have a very informative website to help protect yourself against fraud.  They are very secure and I have done business with them for years.  Craig’s List is also at no fault.  They provide a great service to their clients.  They unfortunately were used in this scam.

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