2020 in Review

Well, we’re finally to the last day of 2020, and I think many of us are ready for a fresh start. We may or may not get it, but here’s hoping, at least!

Here’s a quick run-down of what I’ve been up to, on my own and with my family:

January: My husband and I, along with several good friends, successfully completed a week-long NRA training intensive to usher in the new year. I became certified as an instructor of the NRA’s Home Firearm Safety, Basics of Pistol Shooting, CCW, and Personal Protection Outside the Home courses. My husband received his next duty assignment, which was not to the state we originally were told it would be – that actually turned out to be good as we were able to “DiTY” our move (do it ourselves). THAT turned out to be a good plan since, oh, pandemic and military stop movement issues that threw a lot of monkey wrenches in the works when it was time to move.

February: We traded in my beloved Ford F-250 on a Subaru Ascent. Then I started voluntarily self-isolating, since my autoimmune disorder puts me in the high risk category with the virus, and put hardly any miles on the car. Still haven’t, really, including driving it halfway across the country. (I’m still not even to the first oil change yet. Wow.) I did get really wild and take it off on some dirt roads a few times. I even drove up a big woggledy hill (until I chickened out halfway and turned around). It TOTALLY still counts as off-roading. Totally. LOL

March: Started packing, anticipating moving mid-April. And the gods laughed… Continue reading

Everybody Loves a Wonky Altar

I’m not sure if I need more coffee this morning, or maybe should have had a bit less – but reading this article about the 1,800 year old altar to Pan found in a Byzantine church in Israel brought out the mom in me. I picture the situation a little like this:

Other gods and goddesses: “It’s outside the lines and sloppy. The lettering isn’t right. Wow. Some altar. I think your followers got into the wine, bro.”

Heliopolitanus Pan : “Well, he tried. It’s the thought that counts.” slides altar to the side and sends the believer a thank you dove

Hera, very sternly: “HE MADE IT FOR YOU AND USED HIS OWN MONEY. I WILL PERSONALLY STRIKE DOWN THE NEXT GOD OR GODDESS THAT SAYS THE CHILDREN’S CRAFTS ARE NOT THE BEST GIFT EVER.” starts crying Mom tears and inspires someone to create the first refrigerator so Pan can put the wonky altar on it

I mean, aren’t the best gifts to the ones we love the ones that we bought with our own hard-earned allowances and lovingly carved out of Play-Doh with the little plastic knife contraption? A hand carved, slightly wonky altar is way better than the same old, same old rich guy offerings, Pan.

Customer Service – How to Be a Kind Customer, Pt. 1

Since our move, a bunch of companies have started sending me mail again – that I don’t want to receive. This includes catalogs (which cost them quite a bit to print and mail) and even a magazine subscription (which I canceled almost two years ago, and they suddenly started sending again – to the new address I never gave them!). One is even a nonprofit, so each mailing costs them money better used for other things.

Instead of sending an abrupt “remove me” email, I tried to remember that there’s a person behind each computer, and that the bulk of humans have had a kind of crappy year – even those who, like me, had a lot of silver linings and don’t mind staying home and avoiding other humans. LOL

So here’s what I’ve been sending them:

“Good afternoon,

“Please remove me from your mailing list for (mailed item). When I am able, I will access the (company/organization) website directly (to shop/donate). In the interim, I would like to reduce waste of both paper and your company’s financial resources by discontinuing these mailings.

“Thank you,
(my name, plus mailing address and any pertinent info like a customer # or catalog #)”

It’s really not that hard, especially since I type quickly. If you aren’t a speedy typist, that’s okay. Just type it once, copy and paste it in, and then edit the details for each place you’re contacting.

I’ve actually received two very cordial emails from customer service reps within an hour of emailing. It’s my high hope that, in a field where they get lambasted for things or just deal with jerks, my email gave them a sigh of relief – a nice person just needs them to do a little something. Boom, done, handled.

Remember: there. is. another. human. being. behind. that. computer. or. telephone.

New Family Preparedness Book from Morgan Rogue

If you aren’t already familiar with Rogue Preparedness, you’re in for a treat! Well known for her YouTube channel, Morgan also has a steady stream of great information going out via her website and social media channels like Instagram. She has released several eBooks already, and I’m excited to share her brand new release with you – not only because it’s an awesome book, but because I had the pleasure of providing her with some editorial feedback during its writing.

Head on over and get your copy of Family Preparedness 101 – How to Prepare Your Family for Emergencies & Disasters now. For less than the cost of a fancy holiday coffee, you’ll learn all kinds of great information for helping your family get better prepared, especially if you have children or pets. Be sure to check out her freebies, previous books, and online courses as well. There’s so much to learn from Morgan! Enjoy!

Prepare Anywhere: Is Your Family Prepared for Your Death?

If 2020 has raised concerns for you about estate planning, but you’ve worried your family will find the topic off-putting or morbid, the holidays may be the time to address the issue. Whether we’re gathering in person or virtually, this is the perfect time to tell our loved ones how much we love them, and to plan for their (or our) future.

I’m honored to have an article posted today at The Organic Prepper about how this type of prudence and planning by my grandparents made their deaths more about memories and less about legal issues. I hope it is of assistance to you as you examine these topics and wish you strength when you sit down with the appropriate advisors to tackle these very important tasks to streamline your passing and allow your survivors to mourn YOU, not focus on legal and financial entanglements.

Many thanks to Daisy Luther for the opportunity to share my thoughts and my Nana’s story. Click here to read the article now!