Today I was shocked to see how many closed stores and businesses  no longer exist because of COVID. I went to two phone stores today and both were closed stores.  The best part is that the GPS on my phone didn’t tell me they were no longer open.  Wednesday I went to a phone store only to find it was a pizza place and the company had moved about five miles away.  It’s really shocking when you pass malls and particularly strip malls to see the number of closed stores.  Businesses are dying because of COVID.  It is not the best situation.  I did read that the flu is almost non existent for this past season.  I suspect it is due to people wearing masks and not crowding each other.  I also saw, as long as we are discussing statistics, that nine hundred forty-nine women have died from the vaccination.  I do not know if that is an accurate number. For example, near me in the states right now, the once huge Sears that was a department store and had an auto service center is now a bowling alley in part and the balance is empty.  Last month I walked into a mall with my son that he said a year ago was always busy.  The number of closed stores was shocking.  Not to mention that their signs were removed and they were never returning. This crisis has truly affected the economy in a terrible way.  In the Good Gus series, there were no closed stores.  As the series progressed, new businesses were moving to Pecos.  The series is online at Kindle with a few books on Nook and Waterstones.  “Misplaced Trust” can easily be found online at these fine websites: 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.

 Many cultures complain about Americans being some of the laziest people on the planet.  However, it is not just the U.S., it’s becoming prevalent in many western countries.  With the advent of fast food, it’s easier than cooking and much faster.  As an observer of people, it becomes shocking that the laziest individuals are also the people who have weight and health issues.  I watched a woman the other day drive into her driveway and then back up and stop her car right near her mailbox.  She then stopped the car and stepped out to collect her mail.  She proceeded back into her car and drove around the corner to her garage and then went into her home.  Serious, it was one of the laziest things I had seen in a while.  It couldn’t have been more than one hundred steps to walk out her front door to collect her mail.   Recently, I observed a man who lived three houses down from a neighbor.  Rather than walk to the neighbor’s house, he fired up his pick-up truck and drove there.  Not only is it a waste of gas, but it is polluting the air and it’s just plain lazy.  Even in car parks anywhere, people try to park as close to the entrance to malls or shops rather than walk.  In many malls and groceries they have four wheeled carts that people drive around to collect their groceries.  It doesn’t seem to occur to any of these individuals that walking might be good for their health.  They seem to choose the laziest way to complete their tasks.  In the Good Gus series, everyone walked except Katie because she was in a wheel chair and it was too difficult to traverse the dusty road.  The series is available on Kindle worldwide.  If you are tired of working with some of the laziest people you have ever met, try to change positions within the company or find other employment.  When you need that reading break, a quick glance at “Misplaced Trust” may just what you are looking for.  It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

There are many individuals who are embarrassed easily. It can be about their appearance, their circumstances, their income or lack thereof, or behavior.  For some people it doesn’t take much to feel embarrassed.  When we were all in school we may have been ashamed of our clothes if the other boys and girls dressed nicer.  There were many families who couldn’t afford new clothing so they wore hand-me-downs.  It could be embarrassing if you received clothes from a girl who always dressed nicely and distinctively if you were the recipient.  The other girls and possibly a few boys would probably make comments.  Even in this day there are many people who rely on the kindness of others.  At Christmas many malls and churches put an ‘Angel Tree’ for anyone who will buy new items for those in need.  In some cases, the requests are from senior citizens.  They really need the extra help.  They may have worked their entire lives, paid all their bills, but just never had quite enough money to retire.  They were probably embarrassed to even ask but since it’s all anonymous they may feel less humiliated.  There is no shame if you do your best. There are people who will always criticize, complain, or say rude words to individuals to see if they can make them react and make them feel embarrassed.  In the Good Gus series,  there was no discussions about sharing clothes or even feeling embarrassed.  The stories are available on Kindle worldwide and books one and two on YouTube at Mae’s Story Time.  If you are feeling embarrassed,don’t let it affect you.  Take a few moments to read a book.  “Misplaced Trust” is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

The shopping season is here.  Everywhere you look there are sales enticing you to buy.  In the states Black Friday is the big day.  Many of my Irish relatives often came to America to enjoy Thanksgiving but more importantly to spend money on all the bargains.  They often came with empty suitcases and returned home with full ones.  With the value of the Euro vs. the U.S, dollar, it was well worth it.  The TV stations started in September with special toys for the holidays.  By the time the parents figure out what is “the” toy of the season it is frequently sold out.  That was the theme of “Jingle All the Way” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.    There are times particularly during the Black Friday sales that people become violent trying to purchase the special items that are popular.  Frankly, with online shops and sales, armchair shopping is much easier.  There is no getting to the store, wrapping or even shipping if necessary.  Unfortunately, it does put a number of small business owners out of business.  There is also the lack of personal touch.  The shopping season brings out the best and worst of everyone.  The kindness is’t always there even though the season makes people feel happy and appreciate life.  Unfortunately, the commercialism of Christmas takes away the appreciation of family and friends.  There have been so many movies about people competing as to what they should purchase each year.  It also tends to make some children and teens greedy and selfish.  If they think their friends are receiving the perfect gift, even if their family can’t afford it, they want it anyways.  Then when they do’t receive it they tend to complain, say the parents don’t love them, and sulk rather than be grateful for what gifts they did receive.  As the shopping season swings into full force remember Good Gus and “Misplaced Trust” are available online and in hardcover.  Gus is available on Kindle, and “Misplaced Trust” is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster,  Scribd and Tolino.

children's book, children book, christmas book, christmas storyIf you subscribe to the Hallmark channel, then you know that they like to have the magic of Christmas twice a year.  Once during the holiday season and a second time in July.  For one week this year, they have Christmas movies everyday.  The old classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a family tradition for many but now there are so many new options available.  The Christmas in July  idea is wonderful.  If for no other reason, it reminds people how nice we all are during the holiday season.  Maybe for only a short period in the summer, the magic of Christmas appears to brighten our days.  If only that magic of Christmas lasted longer than a couple of months.  What I love about Christmas in Ireland is that the decorations are up November first. Then new decorations appear every week.  What is also a part of the magic of Christmas is the entertainment at the malls, the Christmas parade, and the carolers.  It brightens everyone’s day.  In the states, the decorations appear for sale in September, but do not really come to life until mid November.  After Thanksgiving, the malls, cities and towns, along with the shops are in full gear.  What is nice about the magic of Christmas in July is that the movies  are about happiness and joy.  It’s not about the most important toy of the season, what everyone wants, and how much money will be spent.  It’s the true meaning of the holiday without the fanfare.  It also affords families options of traditional movies for Christmas.  Many shops do offer Christmas in July sales, but it’s not a top marketing technique.  The magic of Christmas is very much alive in the “The Special Gift” in the Good Gus series.  It is always a sell out.  So if you are thinking of starting a new tradition for your children or grandchildren, consider the “The Special Gift.”  The series is available exclusively on the website and online at Kindle worldwide.  If you need a little magic of Christmas, enjoy the Christmas in July movies.  Then when it’s time to read, please consider “Misplaced Trust” which is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.



happy-songhappy-exercisehappy-brainRecently there was an article about having a happy brain. It went on to say that there were studies and that the results were relatively important if a person wanted a happy brain.  The first item was listening to upbeat music.  The movie “Despicable Me 2” had a song that became popular around the world.  It was entitled “Happy.” Everyone loved it because it made them feel good inside and positive.  It is frequently played in department stores and malls possibly to inspire shoppers to be happy and make purchases.  There are individuals that have a list of songs that they enjoyed in their youth and currently on their phones and i-pods.  Many individuals listen to music while exercising at the gym which obviously makes the time go faster and more enjoyable.  Another suggestion was to simply smile.  A smile brings out the best in most people and I have often said this in my blogs.  A simple smile can brighten anyone’s day and make a difference for you and them.  The article did stress good sleep and the correct amount for your particular physique.  Some people do not require the full recommended eight hours and others require much more.  Sleep does give your brain time to rest and re-calibrate.  You may have noticed that when you are really tired you do not have a happy brain.   People tend to be irritable and short tempered with a lack of sleep.  Exercise is also a key factor in having a happy brain.  It sends those Endorphins straight to your brain and stimulates positive thoughts. It is probably why after a workout while listening to music people feel happy and much more positive. The study also suggested that a person plan ahead and set up long term goals.  Living in the moment or simply hoping things will  turn around doesn’t inspire anyone.  Sure you may have a great time for a few hours, but then reality sinks in and the same problems you had prior to having fun are still there.  It is important to face difficult situations or sudden changes and figure out the best approach.  It will lead to a happy brain and good thoughts.  The Good Gus Series had many happy individuals, of course, except for Bad Bart.  The books are still available exclusively on Kindle worldwide.  If you find your brain is not happy, consider the distraction of reading “Misplaced Trust” which is also available on Kindle, Nook, Apple and several popular e-book websites.

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