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Before yesterdayMain stream


8 February 2016 at 09:13
The body is my protection. 
This layer of skin is a border. 
I'm you, but the purer version of you,
The one who hasn't been affected directly by the misery that seeps out of Earth. The one who injects into you that pint of hope when you get punched too many times by life's stone fist. You might wonder what exactly am I. Well, I'm everything you're not. I'm residing in you, flowing through your blood. Sometimes you hear me, when you think someone has called out your name but you feverishly look around and don't find anyone. Sometimes you feel me when you have that etching suspicion that there is a presence near you. 
I'm pure,
But unfortunately I die and get resurrected again and again.
Those down moments in your life? That's when I've left you. When you are entirely free of my presence.
However, I will finally die when you die.
When you take your last breathe, it will also be mine


11 February 2016 at 17:36

I used to live in Saudi Arabia and when I moved to Egypt, there seemed to be a recurring color (or debatably an absence of color) attached to all my mixed emotions throughout that stage of my life: White.

White walls stared blatantly back at me. Empty, bland, white walls. All the pictures previously hanged, removed. All the memories ripped off. All that's left was vacant shelves above shelves that in bygone days were stacked with books. You wouldn't believe that this had been someones home, someones sanctuary for the past 12 years.

All I could see was white. The white marbled floor that used to reside on it my favorite couch. The white airplane as I stepped onto it. The white clouds hovering below me, building a thick barrier between me and my old life.

As I step off the airplane and into a new start, I pray that this white canvas, this new white page, be filled up with memories and become again, a colorful gleam of hope.

Overthinking and Fear

17 February 2016 at 15:28

 You know what to do, you're just scared to do it. 
This back and forth is just fear.
- Grey's anatomy. 

 While watching Grey's anatomy, I related a lot to this quote. Although it was aimed at a cancer patient who has WAY more life-threatening problems in the show than I do, it still hit a chord. Coincidentally, this is something my mom just told me a few weeks ago while I was stressing over what I'll major in in university and where to apply to and complaining over the stress of upcoming exams. Tiny hiccups that just happened to be taking a toll on my mental health because I tend to greatly overthink. However, my mom set me straight (god bless her) and made me realize I know exactly what I want to do.
I know that I want to write until my fingers hurt. I know that I want to start expanding on my reading selection and start reading books I usually wouldn't give a second glance. I know that I want to become more educated on matters like my religion and politics. I know that I'm passionate about psychology and developing my knowledge of human behavior. I know that if majoring in psychology doesn't work out Ill just switch to something else that also interests me, possibly multimedia journalism. Or better yet, double major. I know exactly what I want to do. I know that there are many many routes I can take in my life and that life is full of opportunities. I should be filled with gratitude that I am able to lead my life and career to wherever I want it to go. 

I'm lucky that I have this freedom however it gives off a strong bittersweet vibe. This freedom is like floating in the middle of a vast ocean without any idea where my destination is.Too many choices make me anxious because I'm absolutely terrified of making the wrong one.

Fear of the future and failure is what's keeping me back. I need to have hope and faith in myself. I am capable of doing anything.

I know I won't disappoint myself. 

Scars in the mind and heart - Mental Pain

3 March 2016 at 17:11
          "You stay quiet while a war happens within you."
Opening Emotions
Painting by  Martin Musox
I hold your heart with my iron fingers and grasp it until blood explodes and trickles down your body, burning your skin as if it's acid.

I light a fire, watching as the flames engulf your heart until all that is left is ashes.

I hammer into your brain multiple thin nails and build a bloodcurdling pain that sounds throughout your body and echoes back from your skin.

I cause you anxiety and stress which leads to you feverishly biting your nails off until you are met with the stump of your finger tip.

 I am your mental pain.

 Why is it so easy to say my leg hurts and so hard to say my heart aches although arguably mental pain hurts much more than physical pain?
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a 'hot mess' or having 'too many issues' are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” 

I joined an expressive writing group where we discussed this topic and many things like this. 
Check the center out here: Inside Out Center

Not One of Them

23 June 2016 at 20:56

Liberal, non-religious homeschooler – it’s almost an oxymoron.

I was not raised in the stereotypical fundamentalist Christian household that seems to be the norm for kids taught at home.  My parents and I went to church up until I was in my mid-teens, but religion was not the focal point in our lives.  My on-again, off-again participation in church youth groups was far more for the opportunity to socialize with others my age than for any spiritual or religious reasons.  Religion was not a reason for my parents’ rules, either – ‘God says that’s bad’ was never their answer to me questioning why I couldn’t do something.

As a result, my childhood and adolescence were pretty normal in terms of what I could do.  I read books, listened to music, and watched TV shows and movies.  Some of these things were popular, some obscure, but all of it was what you’d expect for someone of that age.  The same went for technology – I had an email address at age ten, an iPod nano at eleven, and a Facebook account at twelve; I got my own laptop – unmonitored with no parental controls – at fourteen.  The only milestone I lagged behind on was being able to walk around the neighborhood.  This was a bit more forgivable to me than, say, how some of my friends weren’t allowed to read Harry Potter.  After all, ‘the street that we live off of gets sketchy’ is a bit more of a logical reason for a rule than that ‘God hates Harry Potter’.

When I was a kid, I didn’t notice the differences between me and other homeschooled kids that much.  Sure, there were little things, like that their moms didn’t want them to say words like ‘stupid’, ‘dumb’, and ‘idiot’, but that was minor.  As elementary school kids, my friends and I didn’t really have conversations – we played outside or with toys or did crafts.

I was a sophomore when my mom signed me up for a co-op school where homeschool moms taught classes to the state’s homeschool kids.  It was here that I really began to see what the community was like.  They talked about Christian bands and Christian books I had never heard of.  It often seemed that their only other social outlet was youth group, because it was all they talked about.  Many things that I had taken for granted were forbidden to them.  I remember my home-ec teacher telling a few of us not to discuss SpongeBob because their might be people in the class that weren’t allowed to watch it.  We were all high schoolers.  Another time my friend asked me if I had my own email address.  I was eighteen and she was fifteen.

They also all seemed to congregate in small towns, suburban countrysides – anything except for the city.  There were almost never any activities planned for my city or even the area where I live (the most populated area of the state, with three major cities all bordering each other).  Everything was far away, in small towns in what I now consider to be the middle of nowhere.  I met one other family from my city in my twelve years of being homeschooled.  I don’t recall meeting anybody who lived in a neighborhood exactly similar to or worse than mine.  Of course, this has nothing to do with the whole religious thing, but it was just one more thing that set me apart from the rest of them.

I graduated a year ago.  I started college before I officially graduated high school, but I attended the state homeschool graduation ceremony anyway.  It was held in a church, with prayers before and after.  The parents gave graduation speeches, and in every speech except for mine, the student’s faith, devotion to God, and religiousness were more highly prized and discussed than their academic successes.

Many of them were headed off to Christian colleges scattered around the East Coast.  Many had aspirations of becoming missionaries or working in the church, but I can’t help but wonder how many of them actually wanted these things and how many of them were following their parents’ guidance-slash-orders.

I don’t usually tell people I was home-schooled until they specifically ask where I went to school.  I’m not ashamed of the education I received – I was able to learn at my own pace and explore my interests, something that wouldn’t have been half as possible in any kind of other school – but I don’t want to be lumped in with that community, because I do not fit those stereotypes.  I do not want people assuming that I was raised the way many of my acquaintances and friends were.

I think sometimes people in the homeschool community let that status define every aspect of who they are.  That more than anything, they are Homeschoolers.  That is not me.  I am a research assistant, a biology student.  I am the music I listen to.  I am the street I live off.  I am the TV shows and movies and books that I devour.  And yes, I was taught at home, but I am not a Homeschooler – I do not let that define me.


The Abortion Debate

28 June 2016 at 22:41

Why I don’t talk about abortion.

While many women choose to have abortions for various reasons, I generally steer clear of getting into conversations or debates on the issue. Sometimes my silence is taken as a pro-choice stance, sometimes it is not.

My primary reason for remaining tight-lipped is that I don’t want to hurt the feelings of another woman.  Since it’s none of my business, someone may have had the procedure without informing me.  They may be an incest survivor or a rape survivor, and those actions may have unwittingly caused an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy.  They may have only been a teenager as far as I know.

Whatever happened, a decision to have an abortion may have been a part of an overwhelmingly traumatic past that I know nothing about.  Many women also end up regretting their decision to go through with an abortion.  Therefore, they may be internalizing an unspeakable amount of guilt and grief that I also know nothing about.

I think driving by Planned Parenthood or churches and seeing larger than life photos of sliced up babies doesn’t help the issue.  Maybe a more compassionate thing to do would be to help these women before and after a pregnancy occurs.

I think sometimes I offend people more by not giving my opinion, than I would if I opened my mouth and said the wrong thing.  I do have an opinion on abortion, and those closest to me know what it is.  For me though, that opinion is not something I bring up at dinner parties.




Rantings about Black Lives Matter

18 July 2016 at 16:32

Ever since I learned people disagree with the Black Lives Matter campaign, it’s made me support it even more.  Black lives do matter.  Yes, white lives matter, Asian lives matter, blue lives matter and all lives matter.  The mission of the Black Lives Matter movement is not to move African-Americans into a position of supremacy, but it seems to be taken this way by many.  Blacks have a history of having to fight for things us white people have taken for granted.  Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be African-American?  What it’s like to have people fear you, discriminate against you, hurt you….all because of the color of your skin.  It’s amazing how people can have a favorite black athlete or singer, yet be afraid because a black family moved in next door. It’s almost as if they have to reach a certain level of success in order to get that same level of acceptance.

Black children in our inner-city schools are not there by choice.  They were born into disadvantage.  They grow up in schools that don’t have nearly as many resources as other communities, but obviously not enough is done to change this.  Being born into poverty significantly increases your chance of staying there.

Let’s not use Black Lives Matter as an excuse for division, let’s use it to reflect and act on the unity, equality and acceptance it encourages!




Blogging Fundamentals – Day One

19 July 2016 at 17:45

Day One:  Write an introductory post.

This blog is co-authored by a mother (Dawn) and daughter (Jess).  We thought it would be fun to share our love of writing by starting a blog together.  Here are our answers to four questions taken from Day One of Blogging Fundamentals (Blogging University).

Why are you blogging publicly instead of keeping a diary?

DAWN: I love the idea and opportunity to do a mother/daughter blog and to share insights and opinions from both mine and Jess’s viewpoints.  Occasionally, I do journal privately, but blogging feels more proactive to me.  I look forward to learning more about the insights of other bloggers and hope to become a better writer.

JESS: I do keep a diary as well, actually, but I find that the two things are pretty different.  My diary is just a personal record of things that happened in my life: little things that I want to remember because they were important to me at the time.  This blog is a space where I can share my opinions and experiences with other people, and give and receive feedback.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

DAWN: I enjoy social issues, so I may start there.  I am also going to do some things in the Daily Post Events.  Those will also be my starting points.

JESS:  Honestly, this blog will be pretty diverse.  I always imagine myself writing reviews of music and books, since those are definitely some of my interests.  I like the idea of Daily Post challenges as well, because I can get ideas.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

DAWN: Other bloggers who can offer constructive feedback and those who have blogs about things I am interested in reading.  Speaking as an introvert, the internet is a great way to communicate with others.

JESS:  I don’t have one blogger or community of bloggers in particular that I want to connect with.  I want to connect with a whole range of people, both those who post about similar things and those who don’t.  Blogging seems like a great way to meet all sorts of people.

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what do you hope to accomplish?

DAWN: I would like an increase in visitors and followers, more people to communicate with and I’d also hope for some freelance writing opportunities.

JESS:  I’d like to get more followers.  I know that’s a pretty cliche answer, but at this stage in the blog, it’s really the only defined goal that I have.


Blogging Fundamentals-Day 4

22 July 2016 at 01:25


Day 4 of Blogging Fundamentals has to do with writing a post for our ideal audience, which is you!  We wanted to introduce ourselves a bit more, so here are 7 random things about each of us.


1)  I like to play pool. I have been playing about a year, not on a team, but on our 7 foot table. My husband is on a team and I would like to join him someday.

2)   I am thinking about becoming Buddhist. I really enjoy mindfulness and meditation.  I also like Buddhism’s viewpoints on suffering and taking responsibility for one’s actions. I’ve been to our state’s Zen center a couple of times and am going to continue to explore. Personally, part of what’s holding me back is that I eat meat, and I want someone to go with me

3)   I’m gluten-free. After years of having really nasty symptoms with no end in sight, I decided to try to eliminate  gluten from my diet and it’s worked! I used to be a gluten-free vegetarian for years but my food choices were too limited.

4)   I always wanted to join the Red Hat Society and when I was 50 (last year), I finally did! I don’t get to go to all the time because of scheduling conflicts, but when I do go, I have to admit it’s pretty fun to see people’s reactions to a bunch of loud woman wearing big red hats!

5)   My dream job is being a writer. I wish I could write full-time and get paid for it.  To me writing is an artform.  It’s art, only with words. The best writing advice I ever received was from a friend of mine and was plain and simple..

Me: I want to be a writer.

Friend: So be a writer, then.

6)   As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how to let go of the toxic relationships. It hasn’t always been easy, and it’s a process, but I no longer hold on to orchase people that have been damaging to my psyche. (This could be a future blog post).

7)   I haven’t had to dye my hair yet (it’s brown) because I don’t get too many grays. When I do dye it the first time, I want to go red. I want to be a redhead. I’m just in no rush to have to put up with the maintenance that goes along with that.


1) I’m a biology major (I want to work in forensic science).  Any writing-related major was never an option.  I actually despise writing essays and reports for school.  My love of writing is in a solely non-academic context.

2) I’m an only child.  Having my own space is pretty important to me, and for me, having another person around all the time would have felt weird.  I think it’s easier, not having to share – or guard – my things.

3) I was in chorus for ten years.  I was in two state choirs; when the first one disbanded due to lack of members, I joined the second one, and stayed until I graduated from high school.  I loved being up on stage and performing for people; I never got stage fright.

4) I have purple hair.  My friend and I dyed it Fourth of July weekend, on a night when I didn’t even have hot water.  I’ve wanted to dye my hair since I was fourteen, when I really started getting into the whole ‘alternative’ scene.

5) I was – alright, still am – a huge Harry Potter fan girl.  I read the books in elementary school and fell in love.  Harry Potter inspired my love of writing; I wouldn’t be the same writer I am today without it.  (For the record, my favorite book is Goblet of Fire and my favorite character is Luna Lovegood).

6) I am the epitome of a city person.  I love the hustle and bustle, the convenience of having everything you need on one or two streets, the interesting things to look at while driving.  I don’t think I could ever live in a suburb or a small town; even just working in a rich suburb practically drove me insane.

7) My favorite show is Dexter.  Probably a little cliche for someone who wants to get into forensic science, but oh well; it’s an amazing show.  I even got my parents addicted to it, which I never would have expected.






24 July 2016 at 22:03

Day One of Everyday Writing Inspiration from Blogging University



The voice inside me, longing to be heard, is much more articulate when I take pen to paper.

Many times in conversation when it’s time to give a thought or opinion, my voice shakes, I fidget or bounce my knees up and down, unable to mask the anxiety.

But the pen, oh, the pen, it makes me feel confident and self-assured.  It makes me feel like I know what I’m talking about.  There is no inferiority complex when I write, no shyness, no hesitation to use words I’m quite capable of using.  My voice counts more when I write it down.

In person, at a party, I am a wallflower, just patiently listening to conversation, listening to everyone’s thoughts and ideas, seldom adding my own, feeling as if my words don’t count.  But when I write, I am at ease.  Words flow through me onto paper, many times with little effort.  I feel as if my words count when I write.  My words matter.



I write because I have ideas.  I’ve always had ideas for stories since I was little, and I don’t – can’t – resist the urge to write them down.  I’ve been writing fiction since I was seven – a few novella- and novel-length stories, and many short stories and snippets that often relate back to the longer works.  Writing is a creative outlet for me.

I tried to start a blog before but deleted it because I couldn’t find any inspiration.  Writing anything nonfiction is harder for me and doesn’t come as naturally.  Blog posts are a way to expand my writing horizons, so to speak – it’s like a personal challenge.  I see blogging as something separate from my normal creative fiction writing.  This is an opportunity to share my thoughts with the world – from me directly, not through the words of a character.

You could almost say that I write because I need to – I have to get these ideas out – but I blog because I want to.


City Girl

28 July 2016 at 21:04

Everyday Inspiration, Day Four: A Story in a Single Image

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 8.58.39 PM

Today’s challenge was to write a post based off of a single image.  Here’s a station, bustling with people going about their day, rushing from place to place. 

I love that – the hustle and bustle, thousands of people going about their own business.  I’m a city person; I live in a city now, albeit a smaller one, but I want to move to Boston in a couple of years.  Part of that is because of school – I can get my master’s degree in forensic science there, while I can’t at home – but part of it is just because of the atmosphere.

I haven’t always loved the city – both the one I live in and city life in general.  I used to get annoyed with almost every aspect of living in a city – the traffic, the crowds, the noise.  Looking back, it probably had something to do with being homeschooled; that community was very heavily centered in small towns and suburbs.  I only remember a couple other families that lived in city areas. 

I used to think I wanted to live in the middle of nowhere.  I wanted the peace and quiet, the acres of land surrounding each house.  Either that, or I wanted to live in the kind of rich suburban area with houses that cost three quarters of a million dollars because of their size. 

And then I got a job in that kind of rich suburb.  It was weird to me, driving there every day – down the street where Mercedes and Jaguars and BMWs were more commonplace than anything, past the boutiques that housed clothing that cost more than I made in a month and the restaurants with their twenty-dollar meals.  I had been in affluent areas before, and I didn’t grow up dirt poor – just kinda broke – but this kind of thing, over and over and over again, every day, wasn’t normal to me.   It didn’t feel natural – and it got me wondering, was this really the place I wanted to end up? 

My friend goes to the same college as me, and the semester that I started there, we started going out to lunch in the city.  We went places that I had never been, streets I hadn’t driven on.  We went to hidden gems, hole-in-the-wall places where we got better food for ten dollars or less than we’d ever get at those expensive fancy restaurants.  We drove down city streets blasting music with our windows down – we were those obnoxious city kids – and it was so much fun.  It felt right. 

I can see the beauty in the city now, more than ever.  I never noticed how much art there was.  It’s never boring – it seems there’s always something new to look at whenever I drive down these streets.  I don’t think I’ll ever go back to wanting to live in a small town or suburb – the city is my home, forever and always. 



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Writing for Content Mills

29 July 2016 at 16:48

Well, I’m sort of briefly trying this, with not much luck.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m so discouraged at the extremely low prices.  For instance, I just did a job for $2.00, I posted a positive review about a service I’ve never used to five different websites.  I still haven’t received compensation or the positive review I myself was promised as a writer.    Another job was to do a Google search and post the URL on a separate page, that one paid 0.09 cents.   Another one was to write an article on ‘Brand as Destination’ (Whatever that’s supposed to mean).  Another one was to write a review using British terms, on Zygote Apartments, it was to appear in a travel magazine.  Both of these also paid peanuts.  I want to be a writer, and get paid for it, but the thought of working for far less than minimum wage has so many drawbacks.

Another bad part is bidding on jobs, or doing jobs and having your work rejected.  I know rejection is part of being a writer, but when you’re writing for very little money, yet putting the same amount of work in, it’s frustrating.  I know I’m not trying hard enough at the Mills, but I think it’s partly because I know my writing is worth more than .09 cents or $2.00.  Also, many times it’s just ghostwriting, your own name doesn’t even go on it.

I do have a couple of articles going in local magazines in my area, but I’m doing that for free, because I enjoy writing and it will get my name out there as a writer.



An Open Letter to Jinger Duggar

2 December 2016 at 02:43

Dear Jinge,

Congrats on making it out of the Compound!!  You can finally be your own person and think for yourself!!

Here’s some quick advice from an agnostic.

  1. Read my second sentence (be your own person and think for yourself).
  2. Continue with your passions and consider exploring new ones!
  3. If you don’t want a baby right away, then don’t have a  baby right away….and don’t have a baby to boost ratings.
  4. Realize the decisions in your marriage should be yours and Jeremy’s.  (not JimBob’s).
  5. The public really doesn’t need to know intimate details of your sex life.
  6. Don’t be a submissive wife, be an equal partner in marriage.  Make decisions together, weigh the pros and cons as two adults.
  7. Remember bad people come in all kinds of shapes, colors, sizes and religions.  So do good ones.  Don’t make Christianity a prerequisite for friendship and/or acceptance.
  8. Consider taking a college class.  Laredo has several colleges offering a wide array of interesting courses.  You can still love Jesus and take a college level course.
  9. I know JimBob suggested Jeremy get a SECOND job to support your shopping habit, but you can get a job, too!  There’s plenty of entry level jobs you could do.
  10. Cruise the internet.  There is a site called Tripadvisor that will give you cool ideas for fun things to do in and around Laredo.  Don’t only do what Jeremy wants, do what you want as well – together, as a couple.
  11. You don’t really have to be joyfully available – that’s BS.  Sometimes you’re just not gonna feel like doing it, and you know what…that’s OK!
  12. Your husband shouldn’t be an authority figure.  You are a grown woman.  Communicate together as two married adults.  Not as father and child.
  13. Woman are awesome! There are lots of strong woman in the Bible, take time to research them!
  14. Consider learning Spanish, since Laredo is largely Hispanic.  (I’m sure they will help you!).
  15. Stop gazing at Jeremy the way you do. Just be real.
  16. You don’t have to wear skirts and flip flops all the  time now.  You can throw on a pair of jeans!
  17. We all know you can cook, clean and take care of babies, but there’s so much more to you than that, don’t be afraid to show it!
  18. Everyone wasn’t meant to be barefoot and pregnant all the time.  You can still love your God and enjoy married time without children.  Don’t be afraid to get to know each other better before starting a family (if you want to start one).
  19. Enjoy your new life, being married is quite cool!
  20. Remember a good marriage doesn’t just happen through prayer alone, actions speak louder than words.

Love, Dawn


Losing my religion – saving my sanity

19 February 2017 at 00:26

I couldn’t say it for years, that I wasn’t a religious person.  For so long, I was kind of religious.  I believed in the whole God/Jesus/Holy Trinity story, believed in the power of prayer and thought it was cool that we went to church every Sunday.  I taught my daughter to believe, and would remind her and my husband to say their prayers each night.

My decline, if that’s what you want to call it, happened when I started reading the Bible.  Slowly but surely, I began to doubt and question things.  I felt like a sinner for doing so.  How could I dare question the word of God.  Then I realized it was written by men, not God.  The reasoning was that it was ‘inspired’ by God.  So God inspired them to write it.  That was one of my first doubts.  Does God only inspire some writers,  but not others?  Did he inspire Shakespeare, or James Patterson and his ghostwriters, or J.K. Rowling?  Why is Harry Potter bad, but the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are ok (Ohhhhh, it’s because C.S. Lewis is Christian, oh ok).  Why is all the rape, murder, incest, adultery, and slavery in the Bible all ok?  How could that be the words of an all-loving God?  What about killing all those first born sons?  What about the claims of people living for hundreds and hundreds of years.  And Noah’s Ark, I had trouble with that, and with the book of Job.  It’s like the more I read, the less I believed.

My questions and doubts weren’t instantaneous.  It was more of a thought process and it took a long time.  I didn’t admit it for a long time.

I taught my daughter that babies were a gift from God.  Then when she was 3, we were overjoyed as I announced my second pregnancy to everyone. I was due on my beloved father-in-law’s birthday.   Shortly after my announcement,  I suffered a miscarriage, and had to tell my daughter God made a mistake, and he took the baby back.  More deep-seated questions came from the inner turmoils of my mind.  How could God give me a blessing and then mercilessly take it back, causing me and my husband years of painstaking grief.  (I never did get pregnant again).  Why would he ‘allow’ me to become elated to no end, and then rip it away?  Why let the pregnancy occur in the first place?

I was Lutheran at the time.  The Lutheran church made sense to me.  They accepted others.  No elitists.  Just come to church and you can go ahead and live your life the rest of the week.  They didn’t tell us how to think, or act, or who to like or dislike, how to vote – nothing like that.  That was my ‘normal.’   Then I began homeschooling, and I met a whole slew of fundamentalists.  People who didn’t accept others.  People who didn’t only want to know if you were Christian, but HOW Christian.  They wanted to know what you believed, what your church believed, were you baptized by immersion, and who did you associate with.  This was culture shock to me.  I met people who supposedly loved God and his Word, yet despised others who weren’t ‘like-minded.’  It was ok if they sinned, cause they were saved, but no one else around them better be sinning, cause they’ll be going straight to Hell.  They were going to heaven know-matter-what…cause they were saved.  I began to question these people as well.  Why exactly didn’t they like the LGBT population, or people with tattoos, or Harry Potter fans.  Why did they have trouble associated with non-fundamentalists.  What was this obsessions with all things ‘worldly?’  I began to see how oppressive they (and religion) was.  How they shunned others.  I watched as friendships between them and me/my daughter were no allowed to develop because we were a different brand of Christian.  This also drove me away.  I stopped praying, as I also questioned the popularity contests prayer seems to be associated with.  I also stopped reading the Bible.  Secretly, I was a closet Agnostic.

Then, I got a volunteer job at a church as part of my degree requirements.  As i witnessed an overly unethical Episcopal priest and the hurt she caused others, (including to me), I came out of the closet.   I officially began referring to myself as Agnostic.  Now though, I’m a Buddhist wannabe, and an Atheist.  Although I still have some Lutheran roots, I still accept others, just like they did.





Bursting Bubbles

26 November 2017 at 11:32

My first memory of the ‘Buy Gold Craze’ is from about 1998.  At that time the Y2K fear had everybody in turmoil, either for or against, and all the world’s leading financial forecasters were urging people to buy gold.  If you are too young to really remember the Y2K fears see here.

The theory was that having a little gold on hand was a safe move in case the financial system collapsed due to the Y2K computer bug.

Needless to say, the collapse didn’t happen.

What IS interesting is the fact that had you bought an ounce of gold in 1998 and sold it the day before Thanksgiving, Nov 22nd, 2017, you would have realized a profit of about $998US.

This is more than just a missed financial investment opportunity.  FAR MORE!!!

The Ultimate Trading System

How to Rob The American Public. Legally!

Ever feel like the so-called ‘Elites’ of this world have their hands in your wallet stealing your cash, but you don’t understand exactly how?

It’s really pretty simple, once you understand it.

Every time a bubble/crash scenario becomes a reality, governments rush to print more paper money.  Every time trillions of new dollars are printed, your net value goes down.  I didn’t say net worth, I said net value!  The dollar has lost 97%-98% of its value in the last 100 years. Where did it go? It did not evaporate, it was stolen right in plain sight. A few HUNDRED people own nearly all the wealth while the rest of humanity share the leftovers.  Ted Dunlap, on June 27th, 2017

Let’s say that in 1998 you had $289 in your bank account.  You could have taken that money and bought 1 ounce of gold.  But, like me, you didn’t see the need, and instead, you kept the money and spent it on something that seemed necessary at the time.  If we had bought the gold and kept it, that 1 oz. of gold today would be worth $1,288.98 as I write this.  (Incidentally. if I were ‘worth my weight in gold’, I would be worth $6,315,857.63 in USD)

Furthermore, what we bought with that $289 in1998 is not only long gone, to buy the same item today costs $437!  (see for yourself, you can access the calculator here)

What Does This Mean?

Let’s look at it from a different angle.

Back in 1972, my Uncle built a home costing $50,000.  That same year gold was at a low of $44/oz. so that home could have been built in 1972 for 1,136.36 ounces of gold.  Today that same home might be built for around $295.000.00 allowing for the 490.1% cumulative rate of inflation.   So today you could build the same home at today’s prices for 228.86 ounces of gold.

The same home that in 1972 was worth 1,136 ounces of gold or $50,000 US Dollars would cost $295,000 to build, but today is only worth 228.86 ounces of gold?  And 1,136oz of gold is worth $51,384,000.00

The roots of this disparity lie in the actions of US President Richard Nixon, and his administration.  On August 15th, 1971 Nixon and his administration severed the final link between the US Dollar and gold.  Whereas the dollar had been worth 1/35th of an ounce of gold, it was now essentially based on nothing at all at worst, and debt-based value at best.  Today, a dollar is issued every time someone borrows a dollar from a bank and promises to pay it back.

“Since Nixon killed the gold standard, the unemployment rate has averaged over 6% and we have suffered the three worst recessions since the end of World War II. The unemployment rate averaged 8.5% in 1975, almost 10% in 1982, and has been above 8.8% for more than two years, with little evidence of any improvement ahead.”

“At 3% growth, the U.S. economy is about $8 trillion smaller than it would have been had we continued to experience the average growth rate prior to Nixon severing the link between dollar and gold. That implies that median family income today would be about $70,000, or nearly 50% higher than it is today”  Charles Kadlec, Forbes 8/5/2011

It soon becomes obvious from looking at the charts and graphs that this is not the work of happenstance or coincidence.  This is an orchestrated effort to rob value from the public.  We are sold the illusion that the price of oil has gone up more than 30 times, when in fact, it is the dollar whose value has fallen relative to gold, oil, and all other goods and services over the past 40 years.

 Devaluating the dollar is sanctioned theft plain and simple.

Survival MD

It’s all happening again

The activist post contains a good article with all the relevant charts and links to prove this.  I highly recommend that you follow the above link and read it, as it explains the dangers better than I can.

I don’t know about you, but I made the mistake of following in my Father, and Grandfather’s footsteps; “learn a trade and work hard.”  That philosophy served them both well.  My Grandfather didn’t have an extensive education, but in spite of it, he survived the Great Depression, raised a family, and retired with well over 100k.  My Father only had an 8th-grade education with a GED he completed after he returned from Korea and with a lot of years of hard work accumulated a net worth of well over 100K also.

None of us understood the bigger picture.  When I made my career choices in 1976, the effects of Nixon’s policy had not yet taken effect, and we still believed the promises.  All of which failed to come true.

Today we are on the brink of yet another bubble crash.

Do whatever you need to, but be prepared for this one!

Click Here!




How To Rob the American Public Legally!

Building Trust

27 November 2017 at 09:53

The Hook said; “I will pay you $500 to watch this video!”

So I watched the video even though I didn’t believe the five hundred dollars part, mainly because I was curious I guess.
At the end of the video was a ‘continue’ button which I pressed.
The next page said;
“Watch the second video to get your $500!”

The second video didn’t play, but at the bottom of the page was another continue button, so I pressed it…
Page 3 was a subscription page, where “…for a lifetime subscription fee of “only” $47.00 I could continue on to get my $500…”

Seriously?  Why do people do marketing like this?  And then they think a 2.5 – 3% click-through rate (CTR) is a big deal!  That’s around 3 people in a hundred will actually click on a link offering such a bogus promise, and I venture to say that probably 90% of those who do click are like me; just wanting to see what the catch is.  Because we KNOW there is one!

Online consumers are increasing rapidly.  Which means increasing numbers of those surfing the web are increasingly savvy!  Marketers who do not learn to build trust in themselves and their brand are going to become extinct.  Oh sure PT Barnum, it’s true that there is a ‘…sucker born every minute’, but on today’s internet, reputation is becoming more and more relevant.

The Math

So to do the math, if, as in the above case, your headline is unbelievable, and you then only get your offer page in front of 3 people out of 100 who see it, how many people does that headline have to pass in front of before 1 person actually buys your product?

I’m no expert, but from what I read at most of the reputable sites around the web, most marketing ventures are considered successful if they have a 3-5% CTR.  Of those who do click through, you can expect 1-2% to buy your product.  So let’s say you are marketing a $20 product.  Every 1000 people who passed by your link would equal 20-40 dollars in your pocket.  These figures will vary from site to site, but from what I have seen in the last 11 years of observation, they are fairly representative of the market as a whole.

This is why so many marketers turn to paid advertising.  And why advertising has made sites like google the richest on the planet.  With figures like those above, you will have to get your ‘wonderful opportunity’ in front of literally millions of people!


Yes, there is one.  One that will weed out the get-rich-quick schemers, and those too lazy to be serious.

It’s called building relationships.
A Wise Man once said: “Whoever wants to be first must serve the rest of you….”  That was great advice 2000 years ago, and it still is.

Let me give you 4 current examples:

Chuck Bartok

Chuck B

Chuck has been a great and supportive friend of mine online for the last 10 years.  One seldom meets an individual more supportive and encouraging. Chuck is always focused on your success above his own because he knows that by so doing, his success will take care of itself.

Mark Hultgren of MKWeb


Over the years Mark has been unfailingly helpful, always more concerned with helping than worrying about his own profits.  Mark delivers 100% effort, on time, every time.  Mark has helped me more over the years than he would probably be willing to admit!

Another great and supportive coach and mentor is Greg Viegas.


Greg uses the ultimate in a personal touch, the one-on-one telephone call.  I remember how impressed I was the first time I received an eMail from Greg.  It was the most ingenious and to-the-point marketing eMail I had ever received, and I receive thousands per year!  Imagine my surprise when he sent me his personal cell phone number and offered to work with me and mentor me one-on-one.  I regret to say that I was unable to come through on my end, but Greg definitely did all he could!

Ed Gandia

Ed Gandia.JPG

Ed Gandia is the owner and founder of and his approach proves his willingness to serve others first.  Not only does he provide relevant and timely content free of charge to prove his seriousness, he even takes the time to answer personal eMails.  Ed is another shining example of what is the rapidly emerging face of the new web, thanks to a concerted effort by Google and others to clean up the swamp of spammers and bring relevancy to the internet.

Chuck, Mark,  Greg, and Ed are the real deal, representative of the emerging quality standards that are more and more critical on the internet today!

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Chuck B



Ed Gandia.JPG

Personality Type

29 November 2017 at 18:46

Just learned my personality type…

personality type for OMFM


Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Politics

1 December 2017 at 17:07

It’s all you hear about these days in the ‘news’.  “Donald Trump is a Narcissistic Sociopath!” “Unfit for Public Office!”

Seriously?  Do they really think we are that stupid?

Of course, behind the push to discredit Trump, (who likely is an NPD) is nothing more than a bunch of disgruntled socialists who think victory is worth any cost, and will never admit defeat.  How do you get any more Narcissistic than that?  Sociopaths calling Trump a Sociopath…

But don’t take MY word for it.  PressTV ran an excellent article back in September of this year.  In the article they make it clear that ‘Two infamous narcissists ran for president in 2016’ not just Trump.

Anyone not blinded by party affiliation or rhetoric would have to admit this was true.

Are ALL Presidential Candidates suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

I tend to think they probably are, but I will admit it’s debatable.  What’s harder to deny is the evidence from reputable studies, such as the one performed by a team of psychologists and published online by the journal Psychological Science.

“Recent research and theorizing suggest that narcissism may predict both positive and negative leadership behaviors. We tested this hypothesis with data on the 42 U.S. presidents up to and including George W. Bush, using (a) expert-derived narcissism estimates, (b) independent historical surveys of presidential performance, and (c) largely or entirely objective indicators of presidential performance. Grandiose, but not vulnerable, narcissism was associated with superior overall greatness in an aggregate poll; it was also positively associated with public persuasiveness, crisis management, agenda setting, and allied behaviors, and with several objective indicators of performance, such as winning the popular vote and initiating legislation. Nevertheless, grandiose narcissism was also associated with several negative outcomes, including congressional impeachment resolutions and unethical behaviors. We found that presidents exhibit elevated levels of grandiose narcissism compared with the general population, and that presidents’ grandiose narcissism has been rising over time. Our findings suggest that grandiose narcissism may be a double-edged sword in the leadership domain.”

(You can download a pdf file of the study here.)

Simple logic would suggest that the kind of leadership skills that would propel someone to the top of the very large pile that is American politics, could only be had by the most Narcissistic of individuals.  Ones who never spend any time wondering if they are right or wrong.  As a matter of fact, the study rated 42 US Presidents, 15 of whom had Grandiose Narcissism scores higher than the overall average.

42 narcissistic US Presidents
The Most Narcissistic US Presidents

Both Parties

They come from both parties.  Two authors of the study, SCOTT O. LILIENFELD and ASHLEY L. WATTS went on to collaborate on an op-ed article for the New York Times titled “The Narcissist in Chief.”

“We found that narcissism, specifically “grandiose narcissism” — an amalgam of flamboyance, immodesty and dominance — was associated with greater overall presidential success.”

In an article for The National Review, January 13, 2017 ,  Mona Charen points out that Barack Obama was a Narcissistic Personality Disorder of the highest caliber.

“President Obama had been criticized (even by the New York Times) for enjoying himself on the golf course after ISIS beheaded American James Foley in 2014 (he was photographed with that broad grin). And yet, his coldness persisted.”

When Kayla Mueller a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders was kidnapped by ISIS outside a hospital:

“What followed was the worst nightmare imaginable. For 18 months, she was held in confinement, often solitary. We’ve learned, from the accounts of other hostages who were subsequently released, that she was incredibly brave. When one of her captors told others that she had converted to Islam, she contradicted him. ISIS terrorists denied her sleep and medical care. They shaved her head, repeatedly raped her, and pulled out her fingernails.”

Read more

“Her frantic parents attempted everything they could to secure her release, only to be threatened by the Obama administration with criminal liability for aiding terrorists if they paid ransom.”

“Oh, But Trump is ‘Unfit’ to be President Because of His Narcissism”


America had two choices last election cycle. Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton.  And as Tammy Bruce so clearly states it in her Washington Times op-ed,

“Hillary’s performance is a case-study in malignant narcissism with all the attendant paranoia and disturbing inability to consider other (now dead) human beings at the center of the inquiry.”

“Hillary’s horrid nature was made clear as she paid never a thought to the families of the fallen who watched her repulsive display during and after the hearing, as she waxed sentimentally about her own survival.”

When you learn how to recognize Narcissistic Personality Disorder, It becomes clear thatpretty much ALL politicians on the national level have it to some degree.

Yes I Did

I voted for Trump.  But not because he is a great guy.  My vote was against the candidate who has a string of mysterious deaths following her and her husband around since the 70’s.  Against the candidate who celebrated surviving her hearing about Benghazi where American citizens died because of her.  Against the candidate whose modus operandi comes straight out of ‘Rules for Radicals’.

Since we have what is basically a 2-party system, that meant I had to vote for Trump. They are both Narcissists, but Trump had a better record.

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Narc 1



42 narcissistic US Presidents

Today’s Inspiration

2 December 2017 at 08:05

Someone just sent me this, and I found it very motivational.

“…your days are your life in miniature. as you live your hours, so you create your years. As you live your days, so you craft your life. What you do today is actually creating your future. The words you speak, the thoughts you think, the food you eat and the actions you take are defining your destiny, shaping who you are becoming and what your life will stand for. Small choices lead to giant consequences over time. There’s no such thing as an unimportant day.”

Thank You, RS

The more I ponder these words, the more truth, and wisdom I find.  This is not a new concept to me, rather one I have known intellectually for many years.

I know a lot of things like that.


But that’s not really worth much, is it?  When you know something in your head, but it doesn’t reach to your heart; (i.e.) you can’t apply it to your life, you don’t really know it do you?

So here in the gray of a new dawn, winter’s chill in the air, I realize that this is a new day, after all, and one I need to use to its full advantage…

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