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        Everyday on Facebook people post and tell others “Don’t give up.” They are nice sayings but the pandemic has taken its toll on the world.  Not to mention, violence is cropping up heavily in the United States and a few European countries.  Large numbers of people have lost their jobs and have no idea when they will be employed again.  Many businesses have closed resulting in fewer positions available. Looking for work is not easy.  Many of the positions available are for lower pay because the companies know individuals are desperate.  It is wrong as there is inflation and everyone has the same bills to pay every month.  Employers should really try to think it through and remember what it was like when they might have been struggling.   All you see on the internet are people who can’t go on and are acting out their aggression on other individuals.  Just the other day, a woman was killed over road rage while she was on an anniversary getaway with her husband. I am sure people are telling him ‘don’t give up.’ Life isn’t easy but if we dwell on everything that is wrong, nothing right will ever happen.  There are videos all the time on Facebook about men and occasionally women, leaving their families. The person left behind always tells themselves, “Don’t give up.”  They make a plan and have the determination to make it without their partner.  In the Good Gus series there were never any stories where people gave up.  The point of the series is to remind children if something goes wrong, there is always a solution.  The books are available online at Kindle with a few books on Nook and Waterstones.  “Misplaced Trust” is also online for your reading pleasure at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

The stock market in every country has its ups and downs. In the United States it is currently quite volatile. I have watched stocks soar to unbelievable heights only to drop the following day.  Lately it seems to be taking that route.  Take Game Stop, for example.  They are closing stores as people are not going out and are buying online. Yesterday the stock soared and then this morning is was half it’s value.  It recovered somewhat but not completely.  It appears to be a real game.  The people in the know in the stock market are buying low, selling high, short selling, etc.  Retail would love to come back.  Many countries are complaining about the lockdowns and are even rioting.  People cannot buy food or pay their bills. Yet, there are individuals making tremendous amounts of money in the stock market.  I saw a CEO today on CNBC who said that the stock market is in favor of the stimulus checks because people will make investments directly into the stock market in the hopes of becoming wealthy. Nothing is easy in life and there is no real get rich quick schemes.  Most people unless they pay a substantial amount of money to a financial advisor will become rich by guessing at the stock market.  It’s better to invest in yourself then  s rather listen to a few people who have an agenda to make themselves rich rather than you.  There was no stock market during the Good Gus era.  The books are online at Kindle with a few on Nook and Waterstones.  “Misplaced Trust” is also online for the adults reading enjoyment at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

 All of a sudden I have begun to notice the media, including emails to me, of misconstruing words. It’s a new commonality.  For example, today I received an email that started off, “Now that Trump has been evicted.” Why are people doing this?  The man did leave but he didn’t receive an eviction notice.  Many landlords are trying to evict their tenants for nonpayment. I can understand as they need and want their money, but using threats and pretending not to know the law is blatant misconstruing words for their personal advantage. The laws are clear  but people try to go around them.  Unfortunately,  many of the individuals have been let go, laid off, businesses have closed, and yet they are still trying.  They aren’t misconstruing words, just trying to pay their bills. Many individuals now, at least in the United States, if they never purchased a home, will be able to use a fifteen thousand dollar credit towards their down payment.   This will make a difference for those who are working. I saw a short video of a dad and his daughter.  She was going on a date and the father had already met the young man.  He knew in an instant he was not suitable for his daughter.  He argued with her and sent her to her room.  His wife showed him a video which pointed out that he needed to trust his daughter and let her go.  He had a conversation with her and she left for her date only to return in five minutes.  She quickly saw what her father saw when her date said he was going to get a little sugar that night.  She somehow managed to cover his face in sugar and rushed back to her home.  Her father was right.  The young man was misconstruing words and the dad could clearly see he was a jerk.  In the Good Gus series, everything was plain everyday vocabulary with no underlying or hidden meanings.  The books are online at Kindle with a few on Nook and Waterstones.  “Misplaced Trust” is a plethora of misconstruing words by the characters. It’s easy to spot. The book is available online at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

When we were younger, we all had health classes which taught good hygiene.  Health lessons today don’t seem to have anything to do with good hygiene.  It’s important because without it germs are spread which leads to a variety of illnesses.  For example, an unclean worker at a pizza place in Philadelphia is spreading hepatitis.  It’s not a few cases either. Approximately one hundred fifty-four cases so far and more may surface.  The simple technique of teaching our children at an early age to wash their hands with soap should suffice.  Yet, many parents can’t be bothered or are just too lazy.  If you choose a liquid soap that is appealing to your child, it’s an easier task.  Yet, a young man in Pennsylvania was not taught correctly and now he has spread hepatitis in his city.  There is also a fungus spreading yet with no idea as to how and why.  When the flu season would arrive, many of the schools were very strict about hand washing,   touching railings, touching other children, sharing items, etc.  They were desperately trying to curtail the spread of the flu.  When my son and I came in America in 2014, the flu epidemic was so severe that urgent care facilities couldn’t handle the number of cases and many people ended up in the hospital, along with high bills.  The schools may need to return to teaching good hygiene again.  In the Good Gus series, good hygiene was a must.  Easy to locate online at Kindle and Waterstones, and for hard copies at the UPS Store in Tierrasanta, California.  “Misplaced Trust” is available online at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

Many individuals have buyer’s remorse particularly when purchasing a home.  Often people buy a home not thinking about the upkeep, maintenance, repairs, taxes, and utilities.  If they buy a large home because that was always their heart’s desire, they may find themselves in a very difficult situation.  Most people don’t do the required research when making such a large purchase.  They fall in love with the home and don’t take the time to have inspections for all aspects of the home.  They don’t verify the age of the furnace, appliances,  air conditioning or the water heater.  There are always expenses once you move into a home, but if you are suddenly faced with a failing dishwasher, water heater or need a new furnace, your budget goes out the window quickly.  Many millennials regret their home purchases and are having buyers remorse as they are still saddled with college loan debts.  I am proud to say that my son has no college debt and he has two degrees! The millennials thought that the loans would be paid off quickly.  Then they discover that the jobs weren’t paying enough and keeping out of debt has become  a huge problem for them.  In addition, if they purchased a home, they are finding it difficult to cope with the costs of home maintenance along with all their bills.  In the Good Gus series,   the homeowners and ranchers purchased their land and built their homes.  Mostly they saved and worked together helping each other build homes for a lifetime. Available on Kindle, the series offers the opportunity for the young reader to clearly understand about hard work, being fair, and valuable lessons in listening to their parents.  It’s also comforting for bedtime reading with adventure but no scary parts.  The characters in “Misplaced Trust” rarely have buyers remorse. The book is available at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

children's book, children book, christmas book, christmas storyIt seems every time you turn around someone is making clerical errors.  It occurs in all walks of life and it is often dismissed.  It really shouldn’t be.  The people making clerical errors should be held accountable for their mistakes. Let me give you an example.  Today, in the U.S., I received a bill from an insurance company denying a medical claim.  When I opened the envelope I was flabbergasted.  The bill was for over $10,000.00.  The paperwork, which you really need to be a detective to find the information, claimed my insurance was no longer in effect.  Of course, I immediately called my insurance company who said there had been no lapse in coverage.  After about fifteen minutes, the man in customer service began to figure out that they had billed the wrong person.  However, he was incorrect.  The provider had invoiced the wrong insurance company.  What was so lovely about the personnel at the incorrect company who made the clerical errors was that she never even apologized.  They were wrong, yet, they didn’t accept responsibility for their actions.  It took over thirty minutes to resolve the issue.  Then, if that wasn’t enough for one day, I had paid a bill for my son while he was on holiday.  Not only was it never credited, but a late fee was added.  Once again, clerical errors are in full swing.  Do you ever wonder if they make many of these mistakes so they can charge extra fees?  In the Good Gus series, there were no clerical errors.  In “The Special Gift,”  available on Kindle, and tomorrow at Balboa Park, San Diego, California, which is a Christmas story, both Sheriff Gus and Judge Ross made sure that there were no clerical errors in the paperwork regarding Liam.  You will have to read the story to find out why they were doing paperwork as that is not a usual theme in any of the stories.  “Misplaced Trust” is riddled with clerical errors as an excuse by the characters to steal money.  The book is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

Wherever you go and it doesn’t matter what country, you will always come across a panhandler.  The other day, when my son was at the gas station, a man in a newer vehicle than his, asked him for money.  He refused as he was sure it was a scam.  Once on an old TV show, a man was arrested for being a panhandler.  He begged the police not to call his wife, but they did.  She was in shock when she went to the station.  She assumed her husband was still working on Wall Street as he left home everyday in a suit and tie and returned the same way.  He was paying all the bills so she literally had no clue that he was a panhandler.  He had been laid off or made redundant from his job and couldn’t land another position.  One day, he decided to bring old clothes in his briefcase and changed into looking as if he was poor.  He had been supporting his family for months just be panhandling.  Often you see people on the street who beg for money.  In Ireland, one day, my son and I had taken the bus to Dublin City Center.  I was meeting my illustrator.  When I was finished, I was standing in front of a book store when he decided he would get a sandwich before we returned home.  While he was gone, a panhandler walked up to me and demanded money.  When I refused, she became threatening and said she was going to go get her boyfriend and make me pay.  No one offered any assistance to me.  When she returned with her boyfriend, my son was walking to the book store.  Both of them were treating me badly and demanding I give them my money.  All of a sudden right before my son arrived, he heard what was going on.  He walked up to me, handed me his sandwich and backpack and proceeded to walk towards the beggars.  Once the boyfriend saw him and the look on his face he started to try to drag the girl away.  She kept right on demanding money and being horrible to me.  My son kept walking and then they realized he meant business.  They ran off. In the Good Gus series, there were no individuals who were a panhandler.  The first five books, available on Kindle, can brighten any rainy day this summer.  “Misplaced Trust” had beneficiaries who appeared and acted like a panhandler.  The chapters, according to several individuals, are interesting.  It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

There are many people around the globe who have become a minimalist. In the United States they are selling their large homes and living in an RV, caravan, or a tiny home.  It’s been going on for a few years.  As the cost of utilities rise, children move away from home, and loss of their former higher incomes, people are becoming minimalists.  They are trading and selling everything for a new lifestyle.  Is having less a fad?  I doubt it.  If you watch TV, many of the ads are geared towards buying.  It could be a new home, car, travel, fine jewelry, remodel your home, or even  a surgical procedure or a magic pill to make us look and feel younger.  The advertising firms have convinced us that we are not happy if we don’t have beautiful fine things.  Yet, as a minimalist you can have a quality lifestyle with less.  If you have ever glanced at the tiny home or prefab structures, it may actually dazzle you.  For those that work at home or have a family, it might not be quite so appealing.  Yet a person who chooses to live their lifestyle without the latest and greatest of everything, may actually be happier.  There is less to maintain or pay for.  If you are a slave to your home, vehicle, and lifestyle as an imitation of the rich and famous, are you truly happy?  Wouldn’t life be easier with less bills, no debt, and freedom to do as you wish?  Take a long holiday, visit countries that appeal to you, or simply enjoy your life without so much pressure?   As a consumer society, we have been taught that is the only road to our personal happiness.  If it’s not for you, you can slowly eliminate the clutter in your life, cut back on your possessions,  and simply your schedule.  In the Good Gus series, everyone is a minimalist.  The books, exclusively on Kindle,  are ideal nap reading for your younger children.  If you have thought about becoming a minimalist, Leo Babauto has written a book, “The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life.”  If you have perused it I hope you will consider reading “Misplaced Trust” which is available 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

Everyday we take for granted basic services that are provided to live, work and play. However, when we lose electricity, we suddenly realize how valuable those services are. There are also professional services that individuals attend college or trade schools  in order to become successful.  Yet many people feel that if they know an attorney, accountant, a chef, and even an auto mechanic that if they are in a social setting, they can ask for free advice.  They seem to think that their professional services are valuable but that they, because they are familiar with them or possibly a friend, should receive that assistance for free.  Professions, regardless of what they are, required studies, effort and money to pay for the schooling.  It is really unthinkable that people ask for free advice rather than go to their workplace and pay the rates.  These people have bills and have to earn a living as well.  Recently, an attorney I know did legal work for a woman who is his friend and a minister.  Her work is always complicated and in no way ever easy.  He sent her an invoice, albeit, for about half of what any other attorney would charge.   It was quality work and by no means a cut and dry template where you simply fill in the blanks.  She sent him a check for less that one fourth of the bill and told him that was what his services were worth.  She said, in the note, that she had checked around with other attorneys.  If that was really true, she would have been told the cost was more than double his original invoice.  Needless to say, he no longer considers her his friend.  She blatantly lied because she really didn’t want to pay for the work.  The next time she calls for work she will be refused.  In effect, she cheated him and insulted him telling him that he was worth little or nothing.  The original bill for was three hundred fifty dollars or Euros.  She only paid one hundred.  The staff was furious.  People really should consider that all services have a value and it’s not what the payee feels it is as often they are wrong.  In the Good Gus Series, many of the services were bartered although some were paid in money.  The series is available exclusively on Kindle worldwide.  If you feel your services are not being appreciated, take time for yourself and read “Misplaced Trust” which is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd and Tolino.

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