Blogs, Domains and Links Oh My!

I have had a rough week!  On the suggestion of my SNCC coach Ann Evanston, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade from a free WordPress blog to a hosted blog…right now you’re eyes move up to the address bar and then think ..”But this is still the free one…right”  well yes is it is…things did not go as planned. It has been an extremely frustrating week and nothing drives me crazier than when things don’t go the way they should so rather than (as one colleague on the course said she often felt like doing)  “throw the computer out of the nearest window” I decided to redirect my anger and frustrations by blogging about my experience and perhaps some of you can relate.

So I bought the blog, paid my money, watched the “How To Set It Up” video, making notes along the way and did everything I was told to do in the tutorial. I chose the design, named my blog and went into my domain name and changed the name servers to the ones I was given in the welcome email. I did everything I was supposed to do and then sat back and waited with baited breath for my new blog to become active (they told me it could take from 30 minutes to 48 hours.) This was on Thursday morning

So Friday Morning it still wasn’t up and I was a little concerned that now when I clicked on my domain name I was told Firefox could not find it but I thought perhaps that’s what happens when you change blogs. What do I know? But just in case I filled out a support ticket at customer service to make sure all was well and that it was normal for the link to be broken until the blog became active. I received an update saying they had “put someone on my case’ as it were. Friday night and still no blog and still my link was broken. I sent another ticket to support

I was out of town and came back Monday morning all excited to see my new blog. I was so excited and I clicked on the “go to” to check it out…. When I clicked on my domain name It went to Go Daddy where it was now parked so I had to go in and change the name servers again and knew this would start the whole process over again. Meanwhile no one had responded to my ticket in support.so I sent another ticket asking why no one was responding

Tuesday morning Finally it was there. It was now “ACTIVE!” (Yeah!!!) So with baited breath I clicked on the tab to go to my new blog….Did I see my new and improved feature filled all singing all dancing new and shiny blog?? No! I saw “Oops Firefox cannot find fierceover50.com”  I was about ready to scream (or cry) but then I remembered my brand Fierce Over 50…….. so I screamed.

So finally this morning (Thursday)  I get an email that says “We are happy to say we have updated your ticket and I thought “Yeah..perhaps they have fixed it. I was very excited …I clicked on the link to see what the ticket said and read……………………………………..

Request not found You do not have access to request #2358. It may have been solved or deleted…. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH …Stay tuned to find out what happens next!

What do you do when things don’t do right in the ‘techie” world? How to you deal with those feeling that you have no control over things and you have to constantly wait for someone else to “fix your problems’?

Top 10 Tax Advantages Of A Home Based Business

How To Save On Your Taxes

The tax system was designed with two groups of people in mind. The people who go out to work, pay taxes and get paid what’s left and the people who own their own business, they still go to work but then they buy or pay for whatever they need for the business and only pay taxes and what is left. Do you see the difference? In my opinion EVERYONE should own a business, You can have it out of your home, (I can give you one for free) but  once you have one, you will be blown away on the amount of money you will save on your taxes each and every year!

1. The Home Office Deduction

The Home Office Deduction allows you to deduct some or all of the expenses of your office at home and related expenses. To qualify for this deduction, your home office must be the principal place where your business is done

2. Building-Related Expenses

Repairs and improvements to your home office are completely deductible. For example, painting your home office is an expense that relates directly to doing business out of your home, so it is deductible in full. You can also claim for cleaning and maintenance costs

3. Security

You may deduct the business cost of security devices and monitoring fees as a percentage of the protected area used for business use of the entire protected area (normally the entire home). This is considered an indirect cost of doing business.

4. Insurance

If you own your home and pay home owner’s insurance, you may deduct a percentage of that expense, as with mortgage or rent expenses.

5. Utilities

You can write off utilities such as electrical, gas, and other utilities as business expenses.

6. Transportation

If you work primarily out of your home, you can usually write off the expense of getting to and from your appointments

7. Office supplies

You can usually write off many of your office supplies if you use office supplies in your business (computer, printer, paper and ink etc)

8. Phones and Communications

Additional phone lines besides your home phone that you use for business use, including cell phones used for your business, are tax deductible. Internet service, broadband, high speed cable connections are also deductible

9. Meals and Entertainment

If you take a client or prospective client out to lunch and talk about your business, it is often tax deductible as a cost of doing business. If you are doing business out of town or at your convenience on a business-related task, you can typically deduct the amount of meals.

10. Because You Can

All the tax deductions I have listed above  can be found in the IRS tax code. They are all legal and allowable.  So why wouldn’t you start your own home based business. You can start part time keeping your job as well. You might even discover that you love it AND that you are making more money than your job is paying. Your part time home based business could be the answer to all your prayers. At the very least it WILL be a way to save on your taxes

If you would like to learn how you can start a business out of your home at no cost to you, click here

NB Broker business has a small cost involved. Rep business has no cost involved. Both business’s can generate a substantial income. Choose which one is right for you.

Why Shop Online? …The Other 58 Cents

To read the posts leading up to this one click here

So I told you earlier that 42 cents out of every dollar spent online was spent on travel. So I knew I was in the right online business and it was paying off. I was having a blast working from home and having the time for my family I did not have before.  I was also thrilled that being involved in the travel business afforded me lots of “perks” such as lower rates and upgrades on hotel rooms and rental cars, not forgetting the commissions on all my own travel.

But then I got to thinking….What about the other 58 cents? The money that was spent on the internet that WASN’T spent on travel. You know the 58 cents that was spent on everything else like clothes, electronics, books, music, printer ink, school supplies, office supplies and all the rest. If I was smart, I knew I needed to find a way to benefit from that also.  So I did!  I did my due dilligence and found out how to do it and which company to do it with. Now I am able to profit from the whole dollar spent online…. Do you know just how powerful that is?

Online sales have exploded over the past 10 years.  November 2009 saw more money spent on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday. What does that tell you?  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know the internet isn’t going anywhere and these numbers will double, triple, quadruple over the next 10 years or so. I truly believe I am in the right place this time.

There are 3 types of people……. Those making it happen, those watching it happen and those wondering “what happened?”  Which one are you?

My Top Ten Places To Visit (10 – 6)

As you read this list, please keep in mind these are only the places I have visited. I have not yet been to Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon, Egypt, India, or many other places. As I do, this list may change

10. Sarasota Florida

With some of the finest beaches in the world, Sarasota ranks as one of my favorite place to visit. We have family there so we go a lot. People travel from all over the globe for Florida’s west coast beaches and I live in Florida so you might think that a great beach is not such a big deal but we are talking about white sand. They are just beautiful. But great beaches is not all Sarasota has to offer. If you like the circus then a visit to Ringling Art Museum is a must. For those of you who get a bit freaked out by the clowns, there is the Mote Marine Aquarium, G-Whizz, a hands on museum for the kids, or Sarasota Jungle Gardens. After a busy day  having fun or relaxing at the beach, take a walk around St Armands Circle and browse the high end stores or stop by Hemmingways for a cool drink or watch ice cream being made at Kilwins ice cream shop. Fabulous beaches, fun things to do and a great place to people watch makes Sarasota my number Ten

9. Yorkshire Dales. England

Vast moors with rivers, brooks, waterfalls, limestone walls that never end. Gorgeous little villages with roads almost too narrow for one mini cooper. Cottages with thatched rooves and tiny front doors. Wonderful little pubs with a roaring fire in the hearth serving a great pint of beer and a generous plate of fish & chips. Down to earth folk who will still tip their cap as they see you coming and scenery that will knock your socks off. All of this makes The Yorkshire Dales a “must visit” on your next trip to the UK and ranks number nine on my list

8. Lugano, Switzerland

I spent a year here back in the early 80s and I know I was going to love it from the train ride from Bern. I remember looking out of the window at beautiful green hills, going through a tunnel, entering on the other side amidst nothing but white as far as I could see. A journey I will never forget. The town of Lugano it set on Lake Lugano which is a glacial lake and a border between Switzerland and Italy. The area surrounding Lugano is home to over 186 miles of mountain bike trails. Mt Bre has had a funicular that runs up the mountain since 1912. Monte Brè, (which is Switzerland’s sunniest spot) is also home to the village of Brè which is a fairly intact old village and if you ever visit, make sure to eat a delicious dish called “raclette” a Swiss dish consisting of cheese melted over a fire and then scraped onto bread, gherkins and tiny boiled potatoes. Enjoy a glass of wine and make sure to try their chocolate. You will think you died and went to heaven! For you culture cravers out there, you will find some beautiful 15th and 16th century churches and cathedrals as well as many museums and you can see the Orchestra Della Svizzera Italiana perform at the Palazzo dei Congressi. Beauty, history and great chocolate makes Lugano, Switzerland my number eight

7. Howarth. West Yorkshire, England

“Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold. I had half a mind to spend it by my study fire, instead of wading through heath and mud to Wuthering Heights” A quote from the classic novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. One of three sisters who were raised in Howarth. The other famous sisters of course being Charlotte and Ann. Not forgetting their somewhat rogue brother Branwell.  Besides being famous for their literary daughters, Howarth is a lovely little village . You can get there by one of the few remaining steam trains operating in the UK. This experience alone is well worth the trip. The train runs from Keighley (My hometown) and the setting for the movie “The Railway Children” , to Oxenhope where there is a steam train museum. Howarth is the next to last stop. Main street is a steep cobbled road with quaint little tea shoppes and souvenir stores on either side. .If you are up for it, you can take a walk over the Yorkshire moors to Wuthering Heights and back and then stop at one of the many old fashioned pubs for a pint and a plate of pie and peas.. Literary history and a trip back in time aboard a steam train makes Howarth my number seven place to visit

6.Athens, Greece

One summer in the mid 80s, I decided to visit Athens and stay for a couple of months. I stayed seven years. That is the power of this historic city. Of course it could have also been the fact that the bars were open until 4am every night. Well either way, if you truly want to see the world, the Athens is an absolute must on your itinerary. The city itself is dirty, smoggy, crowded, loud and absolutely wonderful! When you walk around here with the constant bouzouki music in your ears, someone trying to sell you something at every turn, the delicious aroma of Greek coffee mixed with souvlaki turning on the spit, you truly do feel as though you have stepped into another world. Of course I don’t need to mention the Acropolis and the Parthenon, that is a given, but make sure to wander around the Plaka. On a Sunday morning, there is a open market where anyone can sell anything..and I mean anything..one shoe, a used bus ticket, a pebble from the beach or half a fork. The amazing thing is, people actually buy this stuff. It is fun to watch . Afterward take a walk over to the Parliament to watch the changing of the guards. I guarantee you have never seen anything like this.

In the evening you can visit one of the hundreds of tavernas and enjoy a delicious meal and don’t be surprised if as you sit enjoying your wine, some strange lady grabs your hand and pulls you up to dance around the room Greek style. Just go with it and if you are feeling even braver, grab a plate and smash it on the floor. OPA! Athens is number six.

The Children Verses Derek Jeter

OK so I never intended to spend my life working with children. Yes I did the childcare degree in the UK but that was because I wanted to travel.  I thought if I got that degree I could become a nanny which was a great way to travel the world for cheap, and I was right…it was.  And then when I came to the USA and my children were born, I wanted them with me so working as a preschool teacher was a win win…But I NEVER expected it would become my career…But it did…And the funny thing is, I was really good at it. I moved up from being Assistant, to Teacher, to Lead Teacher, to Assistant Director, to Director,  and I really enjoyed it.

But do you know what I did not enjoy, do you know what really really  p##*@ed me off the most?  It was the fact that what I did was seen by society as not  very valuable, I mean I can only draw that conclusion as we here in the USA value things with a dollar amount, and as the dollar amount placed on me was $7 to $9 an hour,  what other conclusion can I draw?

Part of my job as Lead Teacher was to teach children to read. Now I may be a bit naive but I think that this is THE most important job on the planet,  I mean think about it…. If children cannot read, there will be no doctors, no lawyers, no scientist, no teachers or professors, no….., well, you get the picture.

I really don’t understand it,  as a licensed family daycare provider, I saw parents wince when I told them my cost for taking care of their child for a week from 7am to 6pm was $150.00 (this worked out at $3.75 an hour)  And yet these same parents don’t think anything of paying much much more for other services..Here are some examples…..

Piano tuner. $70 an hour

Dog grooming $70 to $90 an hour

Computer hard drive install $199.00

Plumber $150 an hour

So why is anything related to children valued so low?  This speaks to our Public School Teachers also but that is another post. These days many qualifications are required to be a preschool teacher and yet the pay remains low .

But you know what, that is really not what bothers me the most, even though I truly think we should be paying these people much much more.  No,  what bothers me the most is when I open my MSN news and the first thing I see is that Derek Jeter just signed a new contract with the Yankees for…wait for it….$51 million !!!! Yes you read it correct $51 million for 3 years

So based on this, I can only draw the conclusion that this is what we consider valuable…..

Teaching a child to read…………………………………………………………………….. $51 thousand over 3 years

Throwing a ball, catching a ball, hitting a ball, running in a circle………………. $51 million  over 3 years

Seriously, I have to ask..what is wrong with this picture?  Why is it that we place so little value in the care and education of what is obviously our most important “resource” for the future and yet so much on our ‘entertainment”

What needs to be done for this to change? What can WE as individuals do to let society know that this is unacceptable and that we HAVE to invest more money in both early childhood and our Public education system and NOT be making the damaging cuts that are happening right now all over the country.  But more important, how can we, as a society start placing less emphasis on movie stars, rock stars, people in sports and stop idolizing them.

And not being outraged when someone gets paid $5 million per episode for starring in a show about nothing!

Why I Decided To Work From Home (Part 3) Divine Intervention or Just Good Luck?)

(If you haven’t already, read parts one and two before reading this)

About a month after I quit my job, I had still not found my “fantastic work at home opportunity”  I was cleaning out an old drawer when I found an old address book and started to flip through it. When I got to the “Rs” I saw the name of an old friend of mine who because I had moved house a few times, had lost touch with over the years. She and I had been in a business together and I really liked and respected her.. So I though to myself, “let me give her a call” I did. After a couple of rings, a voice said “Hello?.. Roma? I said..It’s Julie How are you?  She was very surprised to hear from me. But was what even more amazing that she was in her empty home and had come back to disconnect and collect the phones. She had moved out of town a few days earlier. If I had called 15 minutes later, The phone would have been disconnected and I might never have got back in touch with her. we exchanged new phone numbers and promised to keep in touch.

I called her a few days later and we caught up on the last 7 or 8 years or so. Then she asked me a strange question..She asked me if I was making all the money I wanted. I laughed out loud. I knew from my time in “one of those things” that this was THE question. Roma…What are you into now? I asked still laughing. But she was not laughing. She was deadly serious. “Travel” she said. suddenly I wasn’t laughing any more either. “Travel?” I repeated. “Online Travel” she said. Well if you have ever heard the English term gobsmacked, That was me. I was gobsmacked.

And the rest they say……………………………is history

Your Baby Can Read

So I was watching TV last week and I saw a commercial that showed a man with a baby and the baby was reading! Yes, reading from flashcards, big words too,…a little baby…reading!  As the baby continued to read the words on the flashcards, I watched with wonderment and awe and thought to myself…………..

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

When are we going to stop pushing our children to stop being children? Failing children in kindergarten was bad enough but now we have to teach our children to read at 6 months?  Do they really think that a child that can read at 6 months is going to be any further ahead than the child who learns to read in Kindergarten? The bottom line is…by the end of  2nd grade, kids who did learn early and kids who did not are usually at the same level.

Both my children learned to read between the ages of 4 and 5 and they both have an extremely high lexile reading levels. They both love to read and and they both have an extensive vocabulary. Perhaps I am nuts but when my kids were babies, they rolled on the floor and laughed and gurgled

More and more we now expect children to “have it all together” before they are even out of diapers. Get them potty trained ASAP, heck there is even a way to train them in one day! Get them on solid food ASAP.  If they are not talking by a certain age, get them to a speech therapist ASAP.

Go online and Google daycare centers, try to find one called something like  The “let’s just let our children play and have fun ” daycare. You won’t find one.  They are all called names that end with “academy” or “college” or they have the term “learning” or “Einstein” in their names.  What is that? Are we turning out better scholars by teaching our children at a very early age? or even starting them in infancy? according to  a recent Time magazine article, studies show, no we are not. In the latest study on the effects of popular videos such as the “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby” series, researchers find that these products may be doing more harm than good. And they may actually delay language development in toddlers

We are pushing and pushing and pushing because we think that the kids will do better in school. I think we are just robbing them of the most important time in their lives. Leave them alone and allow them to learn the natural way, through sights, sounds, touch, play and human interactions. Sure they have to learn to read and do algebra at some time,  but can’t we allow them to be babies and children for as long as possible

Please, let’s just allow an infant to be an infant, to marvel and the sights and sounds, to enjoy this most precious and innocent of times.  NOT be teaching them to read Tolstoy’s War and Peace!

What is YOUR opinion on this?  Do you believe it is a babies best interest to try to teach them to read before they are even one year old? Do you think that in the long term it makes a difference to that child’s education or learning capabilities?