Troy Talks: Health Watch 1

My wife and I have been perusing the motorhomes available in our area on Facebook Marketplace. We wish to take our only child around this vast, panoramic country to provide her with some on-the-spot experiences before she has to take on the world by herself. We all know there are scam artists in this world, people who feel the only way for them to accomplish their own dreams is to step on someone else. Several of these people, for there are many out there, choose to prey on the unwary buyer on Facebook Marketplace.

Finding a 1995 Dolphin Motorhome for sale for two thousand dollars is not necessarily a scam. When it is in the condition of this one, it probably is.

After contacting the email, my wife talked with the woman selling it, a lady in the military, who said that she was away from home for medical, military training purposes. She told my wife over the phone (via email) that her son had died at eighteen in a bike accident, and she was selling the motorhome for two thousand dollars due to the sad feelings she felt toward the passing of her son. We only had to purchase four BestBuy cards and load each with five hundred dollars. Then, eBay would step in, protecting both the buyer and seller from fraud. The seller would then ship us the motorhome, which was in storage in California due to her being away for training. After the motorhome was delivered, eBay would release the money to her.

As my wife and I have been searching for the perfect motorhome for our family for a long time, we did not see the scam. I am sorry to say that we almost believed the woman’s sad story about her son. We didn’t have any knowledge of people scamming others in this fashion and it wasn’t until we went to purchase the BestBuy cards that a clerk mentioned it might be a scam. This got me thinking about the old adage- If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

When we got home, my wife and I, each with our own laptops, dug into the information we already had, as well as look up the relationship with BestBuy cards and eBay, which the woman selling the motorhome assured us was involved. She even gave us a phone number to contact eBay. When I talked with the guy on the phone, who spoke with a thick accent, he assured me it was legal and the safest way to protect both the seller and the buyer. Yet, when I looked up the association of BestBuy cards to eBay, the number to eBay was different from the number the seller gave me, and eBay told me they didn’t have anything to do with purchasing vehicles on Facebook Marketplace through BestBuy cards.

Though my wife and I didn’t actually get taken for two thousand dollars this time, due to a friendly warning and some quick thinking on our part, there are many out there who do fall for this type of scam. Beware of something that might be too good to be true.

Another example of this scam, to provide a sense of comparison, is this 2003 Fleetwood Tioga. As you can see from the picture, it is far too nice to be sold for two thousand dollars.

Seller’s Description- I don’t answer at chat, please contact me by email: (emailaddress@gmail. com) 2003 Fleetwood Tioga 23E- Price $2000. The price is $2000. I always kept it in garage, no rust, no dents, original paint, no accidents and clean title without any liens or encumbrances. Excellent condition. It is non-smoker, non-pets in this car. It was just serviced 3 days ago, new tires, tags up to date, etc.

You can also see the message is eerily similar to the first. If you were to contact them, they would probably tell you a sad story about one of their family members passing away, which is why they are now selling such a magnificent camper for such a low price.

There is no way, unless this person is the kindest person in the world, that this class C camper is for sale for two thousand dollars. The first warning to these scams is the email address. It clearly states that you are not supposed to use email addresses, telephone numbers, or personal information. The second, when and if you do contact the seller, is the seller does not ‘answer to chat’. A third, which sometimes shows up at the bottom of the description, is this statement. “This seller has turned on vacation mode and is currently not accepting orders or receiving messages.” Remember to check out everything. Too many people fall for these simple scams and the world is not better for it. Be wary and be wise. Stay safe.

Moving Out, Moving Forward, Moving Up, and Moving On

Greetings and good morning y’all!  It has certainly been some time since my last post, but like all things in life, there has been a lot of things going on.

For instance, moving is never easy an easy task.  Packing, sorting, cleaning, loading, unloading, unpacking, and setting up.  It’s stressful, time consuming, hard work, expensive, and above all, physically draining.  After living under my parent’s roof for four years, seeing to and helping them around the house because they’re only getting older, they decided they’re ready to live on their own and don’t need my help as much.  I should have expected this, but I was busy, caught up in my own endeavors.  So, when they told me they were moving, that they found a place, nearly everything I was working on, screeched to an unexpected halt.  If it wasn’t for my amazing husband, I might have experienced emotional turmoil in epic proportions because there wasn’t any foresight, only a tight aftermath.

I’m not a religious person, but praying for guidance, strength, and some peace of mind is not beneath me.  I did this everyday until the day we moved into the trailer I now call my home.  A rustic two bedroom, single bathroom mobile home, settled in a quietly quaint mobile home park, managed by a couple, like ourselves.  I personally have several things in common with our landlady, not including her name reflecting that of my late great-grandmother.  As I mentioned, moving is expensive, and we used every penny to make it happen in record time.  We have a couple small debts to pay off, but nothing to lose precious sleep over.  Before finding this place, if it wasn’t for being genuinely exhausted every night, I would have lost sleep, caught between a rock and a hard place just trying to find a place to live.  However, when every thing else fell through, this place became the light at the end of the long, dark, questionable tunnel.  My prayers were answered.

It’s not quite been a week yet since we moved, but I was forced to take a week off from home-school and teaching.  I’ve missed my Chinese students, but my daughter rather enjoyed the full week away.  Unfortunately, now we’re facing Interim Assessments head on our first week back.  We’ll be spending this week and the weekend catching up on missed assignments and such, but she’s a trooper and with me for a mother/learning coach, there’s nothing she can’t successfully accomplish.  This morning, I taught my first class in our new place and it was awesome!  It truly feels great to be back in my online classroom.  I’ve missed my students with their smiling faces and energetic personalities.

We’re still settling in; down to a couple boxes left to unpack of bookshelf dust collectors, a pile of framed photos to hang, five full bookcases of books to reorganize, and a washer to replace a sensor in, but we’re happy.  My parents are happier as well, living as just the two of them- something they have been striving close to 30 years for.  They had to learn to live life separately before they could live life together.  Now they’re embracing their golden years, living their happily ever after.

As for us, hubby and I are also embracing our separate solitude.  Career oriented in our field of English literature and writing.  Creating our heart’s desire, stories and art with added educational attributes.  It’s our world.

Another Year, Another Entertaining Milestone

Hey y’all!

 

The school year is wrapping up.  Next week is our last week and then I’ll be packing our supplies to ship back to headquarters… until next school year come August.  Not only is our school year ending, my daughter is finishing her middle school career.  Next year she enters high school.  It’s the same online platform she’s adjusted to over the last two years, but it’s still high school.  Remember high school?  The beginning of the end.

Last night was performance night for our kids/performers at Kidz in Stepz.  My daughter’s been taking gymnastics classes with them since last year.  The growth I’ve seen in her, comparing this season to last season, leaves me speechless.  Last years showcase theme was “This is Me” and the girls performed their skills to “The Greatest Showman”.  This year it was “Moment of Truth” and the girls performed to “Ways to be Wicked”.  Want to know how ironically cool this is?  If you didn’t already know, “Ways to be Wicked” is the opening scene in Descendants 2, the movie.  My daughter practically lives and breathes Descendants; her favorites are villain kids Mal and Uma.  She has posters, barbie dolls, I made her a bouquet of ‘Descendants’ pen-toppers for Easter, displaying them in a purple, plastic, double-walled travel cup vase I decorated with ‘Descendants’ printouts, and I’m working on my own ‘Descendants’ inspired sketches to make her some t-shirts.  I was going to take a photo of the bouquet to share, but I completely forgot until after she took it apart and filled the cup with water.  I’m currently working on a remedy to change that.

Anyway, while last year’s showcase brought me to tears, watching the kids dance and perform their hearts to the fullest, this year proved to be every bit just as entertaining and tear filled.  The daddy dancers were all such awesome sports, dancing on stage, in the spotlight, with their little hearts of adorable innocence.  Then there was the teacher routine; a show by itself, it was so entertaining.  My face hurts from all the ear to ear smiling I did.  I laughed so much!

The kids were absolutely remarkable, right down to the tiny tots.  Remembering a lot of the faces from last years performance, we went into the new year, and I didn’t see a lot of them.  Not until last night.  I can’t believe how much many of them have grown.  Looking at my daughter’s gymnastics photo from last year and comparing it to her photo this year, her growth stuns me.  I’m filled with mixed emotions.  She’s taller, but she’s still and will always be lean and petite.  She’s progressing physically and in physical stature as a gymnast.  Her confidence level blows the roof when she’s in practice and it shows.  She’s a team supporter, but really, they all are!  They are all team supporters; supporting each other every dance step of the way!

I can’t wait to see next year at Kidz In Stepz!

 

Well, that’s all for now.  Until next time!

Thanks y’all for reading!

“Hurdles To Happy Thoughts”

Hey y’all!  I hope your week went better than mine.  I’m not complaining though because it could have been worse.  I stressed out some, over this and that, but we managed to straighten things out as we went.

The week was full of hurdles; like I’m running, and the hurdles keep coming, keep appearing in front of me.  I fix one thing and something else comes up.  First it was my husband’s disability check.  When it didn’t show up in our account as expected, like it does every month, it stopped us in our financial tracks.  To make the situation a little more worrisome, we had to wait all weekend before we could physically do anything about it.  After that, I spent the week struggling to understand 8th grade mathematics so I could help my daughter with her homework.  I was a struggling math student, in both middle and high school, and you know what, I’m still struggling.  I admit that, but that’s why I sat down with my husband and discussed the problem, to which we decided and agreed, he’s going to begin joining our live Math session with our daughter’s teacher (just like I do every weekday) so he can learn the stuff and help us.  Finally figuring that out, now I’m facing yet another hurdle.  Always, another hurdle.

Like I said, if it’s not one thing, it’s another, and things just keep happening.  The hurdle I’m facing now, I’m forced to wait through a 3-day weekend before I can get in touch with someone to fix paperwork that’s wrong on their end.  Someone messed up somewhere.  However, I am not letting this hurdle stop me from moving on to focus on other project ideas.  I’m focusing instead on my latest narrative, a couple of VIPKid workshops I signed up for, and preparing my classroom for next weekend.

“Feed the areas of your life you want to grow.  Starve the parts that need to go.”  -Bruce Van Horn

I came across this quote on Twitter this morning.  It perfectly sums up my thoughts and feelings during this weekend.

I thought about those I’ve met and known in my past, and how those people judged me.  I let their judgment affect me and I should not have.  While some of them had some good advice, others didn’t, and I took most of it to heart… but not anymore.

I live to help others, because I love to help others.  I wish I had more financial means to help.

The only real way to fix your financial problems is to do something about it; put yourself out there doing what you like to do.  Through homeschooling my daughter, I found a hidden passion for educating, and now I’m teaching Chinese children English in a ‘one-on-one’ online atmosphere.  I can’t wait to book my first class!

Without ‘starving the parts I need to let go‘, meaning those who’ve  led me in the wrong direction, I can’t ‘feed where I want to grow‘– my future.  As a teacher, I’ll be working with 4 and 5-year old Chinese kids, teaching them the English language.  Children are vibrant, energetic, and they love to have fun.  I have to be professional, but I also have to be on their level.  How do I do this without feeling like a dork?

Well, who said being a dork was a bad thing?

I’m facing every hurdle with patience while figuring them out as I go along.  I know there’s nothing I can do for the next three days so I’m going to spend them thinking happy thoughts.  I’m going to focus on being my professionally-dorky self!

Thanks for reading y’all!

Feeling Optimistic

A lot of things have been weighing heavily on my mind.  I won’t go into detailed specifics, because it is personal business, but I have been struggling to figure them out.

I have come the conclusion and now it feels like time is of the essence with the holidays approaching, among other things.  I needed to change things months ago, but it’s not like I wasn’t thinking, struggling to figure out how.  I’m hoping to have found the solution to my problem.  I’ll still keep the blog going, but while achieving other things as well.

When I took on homeschooling my daughter with GCA, I never thought I would find a love for educating in it; but completing four additional years of school to obtain a Bachelors degree in Creative Writing and English, by my choice alone let me add; it reignited my love of writing words to make literary art, and education is the foundation.  I enjoy homeschooling my daughter because I’m in control of the education she is getting.  Unfortunately I can’t educate, help, or tutor anyone in anything outside writing and English.  I do math well enough to help my daughter, same for her other classes.  I once helped someone with a paper, revision suggestions, and I really enjoyed doing it.  As the saying goes, I barely dipped my toe!

I’m afraid to say too much because I’ve only applied, but I would love to land the position none the less.  It would be an answer to my prayers, or as I stated in my cover letter, “consider it a dream of mine”.

Thank you so much for reading with me.  Y’all are awesome!

“Two Days”

I’m sorry I didn’t post for the last two days.  I took a couple ‘personal’ days to deal with ‘personal’ things.  I’m feeling better than the last two days, but I’m on the tail end of it now, and that makes the difference.  Until next month.

The last couple of days, while mother-nature was being harsh on my internal organ, class connect was a breeze.  I’m working with my daughter, one-on-one, at all times, and the difference in her efforts are night and day.  She’s staying on task, and while it doesn’t take much to distract her, it doesn’t take much to pull her attention back either.  Even her attitude is changing towards her school work as her grades improve.  She used to sigh heavily with the start of each class, she would rush through her homework, and who cares about failing grades because she didn’t think she could do any better.  She was giving up.  She felt like I did when I couldn’t grasp grade school math.

Sadly, I figured out why she was giving up.  I found myself mentally putting myself in her position; a spot I’m pretty familiar with.

I didn’t think I would enjoy this position as much as I do.  I didn’t think I could possibly enjoy going back to middle school though I’m not actually in middle school.  Everything they’re teaching is just refreshing my memory, but that’s what’s making it easier to help my daughter.  She needs a lot of reminding.  Unfortunately, where she needs a lot of reminders, she hates being reminded, yet she’s always reminding us of whatever or about whatever is on her mind at the time.

When I was growing up I wanted to be a journalist.  I wanted to work for the newspaper.  Then I forgot about writing for a long time.  I rediscovered my love for writing, went back to school, and decided I want to be a published author.  While I’m writing and working towards publishing my first book, I still never even considered dabbling in Education.  It didn’t cross my mind.  However, I have always been the parent to complain behind closed-doors about how things are done in schools today compared to what school was like in my day–the 90’s.  About two-thirds of the way through completing my undergraduate program for my BA in Arts for Writing and English, I started thinking and then saying I could do a better job with my daughter than the in-school staff could.

As it turns out, I can, I am, and I’m glad.

Okay.  I am because here I am, home-schooling my daughter with some help from certified teachers doing their job–teaching–online.  My job is to do the rest, and I believe that’s how I should be doing it, because my daughter does struggle, but as her mother, I can see where her struggle is and help it.  In-school, teachers can’t see that struggle because they must focus on 30-some students at one time.  Not a fair ratio.

I can because I have the patience with my daughter that I have yet to see a teacher display when instructing her during her in-school years.  I don’t consider my daughter to be ‘special needs’, but I do think she does fall into that spectrum medically, and that’s okay, but not all people can, or know how to handle certain higher levels of defiance in a child.

I’m glad because I can see the difference in her now and I’m relieved.  When she was in-school, the school called me everyday, sometimes two and three times a day.  I can’t count the number of times she served detention, both in-school and after-school.  The school doesn’t call me anymore because she’s no longer getting into trouble.  I’m also glad I’m doing this because to be truthful, she wasn’t safe in school.  Not with students in the schools threatening to cause harm to others, school bus crashes, and children abductors stalking neighborhoods.  It’s scary.

On a better note, the last couple days gave me time to stop and think about why I do what I’m doing.

“Another Test of Patience”

Today has definitely been a doozy, a trying test on my patience.  My daughter’s attitude today, in school, proved that she’s not interested in what a general education has to offer.  I haven’t been able to get her to take school seriously, and I’m struggling to figure out what else I can do, to shine some light on the subject.

I’ve tried relating to her, but do you know where that gets me?  I get the ‘you’re so lame’ attitude.  I’ve tried telling her about my experiences, but she only rolls her eyes at me.  Why do kids have a hard time believing we were ever their age?  I say “When I was your age…” and she’s all *annoyed sigh/full eye-roll combo*.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.  You get it to?  I’ve even tried using her role-models and favorite actors and actresses for examples, but on one hand she doesn’t want to or can’t see passed who they play as characters, and on the other hand, it’s like she believes they were handed that life.  Like their life is automatic or something.

Well, after sitting through two different classes with her where I was in the room, but not necessarily right next to her, she didn’t do so well on a couple of tests.  I told her to write down the questions and the answers on paper, but as usual she didn’t because she hates doing it.  It takes too much time, or more often “I forgot” is always her go to excuse.  I sat next to her during her third class connect.  The funny thing is she took notes and she wrote down the questions to her test and the answers, and she passed on the first try.  (Hmm.  Imagine that, mom was right.)

It’s amazing how much mothers sacrifice for their children, but that’s part of parenthood.  It’s also knowing when to be your child’s friend and when to be their parent.  For the most part, I’m Special Education provider/mother, and her friend, ONLY when she’s acting like a normal, fun-loving teenager I want her to be.  I love watching her dance around her room to music by Dove Cameron, China Anne McClain, Sofia Carson, and Sabrina Carpenter.  I love when I check in on her and she’s making something out of scrap fabric, or when she’s making jewelry like ‘Dizzy’ does in “Descendants 2”.  I also love when she’s really trying in school–writing notes and taking screenshots using her tablet, writing down her test questions as told, and of course, when she’s getting decent to good grades.  I’m not choosy.  I’ll accept ‘C’s’ because ‘C’s’ are showing an effort.

The funny thing about motherhood is that we wouldn’t trade it for the world!

“Work From Home VS Work-From-Home”

I hate Mondays, but I can’t say I hate Mondays because in reality, I don’t hate any day, I just hate the things that can occur during the day.

For instance, through the week, my daughter is in school.  I’m there as well, listening in, keeping my daughter focused on school.  Sometimes the day goes smooth.  She doesn’t act out or act up, she doesn’t run her mouth but listens and does as instructed.  Sometimes she has a really good day.  Other days, like today (which is coincidentally Monday) she doesn’t want to do anything school related.  On days like today, her attitude gets the best of her and she doesn’t want to do any more than sit and listen.  Today she had a quiz to complete in English class, the teacher also instructed her students to locate a tune for tomorrow’s ‘Tune Tuesday’ and create a slide for the song of choice, then submit it to her.  Well, my daughter was all over locating a song, specifically looking up “Ins and Outs” by Sofia Carson, for her presentation slide.  With me supervising, she found the song, used her tablet to take a screenshot of the lyrics, and she was ready to transfer it to paper.  She grabbed a clean sheet of paper, a gel pen, and she went right to copying it out.  Later when it was time to take a quiz also assigned for English, I told her to get her paper and a pen, and get to work.  The quizzes in  school allow for unlimited attempts (except for math–I don’t know why).  She took the quiz five times she said, got an “F”, and she was going to give up.  When I checked in on her work, I didn’t see the quiz questions on paper.  When I asked her where they were, she told me in her quietly timid voice, I didn’t write them down, or I didn’t do it.  Do you see the problem here?  She has no problem copying down the lyrics to her favorite song, but school work is another story. (Sigh)

So, here I am.  I’m finally able to do my work.  I wanted to write this, and I have a story I’m working on rewriting for my manuscript (or work-in-progress).

Working from home is hard; it’s just like having any other kind of job.  I’ve worked retail, ringing up customers for 8-10 hours a day, putting out stock, unloading delivery trucks, and I’ve had other jobs.  I waitress-ed for a small cafe, and I’ve worked as a cook in a couple restaurants.  One of them went out of business, but that had nothing to do with me.  It was a financial problem on the owners end.  Working from home is just like any of that–just cut out the commute–but there is still the stress, time, and effort applied.

Working-from-home doesn’t just mean I can do my work from home, it means I work from home.  I’m a mom, a Learning Coach in School, a writer and blogger, a wife, and a caregiver.

“An Educational Importance”

I found myself in a conversation yesterday with my daughter, while she was in class, on the importance of a general education; on the importance of finishing high school.  I’m present during her class connects so I’m there to help her, or answer questions, but I’m often bending her focus back to her teacher during instruction.  She sort of got aggravated with me when I told her to pay attention, and to take notes.

I allow her to use her tablet to snap photos of the slides per class, rather than manually writing down all the notes on paper.  She came up with the idea and I didn’t see any harm in it, so I don’t understand why she gave me an attitude when I asked her if she was taking photos of the slides, but she did.  I asked her, “would you rather hand-write the notes, or take a snap-shot of them?”  Breathing an overly dramatic sigh, she said “I guess this way.”  Teenagers.

The reason she didn’t want to take picture of the notes is because she doesn’t want those pictures taking up space in the memory.  While pictures are awesome to save and look at, when I let you use your tablet for school stuff, that includes pictures of your teachers slides to reference later for homework.  It’s either that or write them out by hand.

She asked me why I’m so hard on her when it comes to taking notes.  I told her, I wish I had paid more attention to instruction instead of what others were talking about around me.  If I had had online schooling available when I was in middle school, my grades would have been so much better.  I’m more of a self-teach person.  I consider myself self-taught through trial and error.  I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve also conquered.

My daughter loves to draw, she likes to write, and she likes to sing and listen to music.  It took a while to get her to see that ‘jamming out’, or listening to music was fun.  When trying to prove how fun it can be to sing and dance around like no one is watching, all she could see was me acting ‘lame’.  Yeah.  Well, because she sings, and dances, and writes, and draws fashion designs; school can’t possibly teach her anything else, or that’s what she says.  I pointed out that not only does she need a general education just to make it into the real world, her dad and I furthered our education so we could specialize in our specialized interest.  I graduated from high school with a guy who now has his Doctorate in Chemistry.  He’s now a doctor, in Chemistry.  My husband and I both have Bachelor’s degrees in Arts for English.

I explained this to her, but like any teenager, she already ‘knows it all’, or she doesn’t care.  We’ve all been there.  We’ve all been that age.