Listen Up People!
So I know a lot of you have been keeping tabs on my updates about working from home. (As well you should be… who doesn’t want to be able to spend more time with family and less time in a cubicle?)
After a lot of research and wading through scam sites… I FOUND IT!
I’ve finally found something that is going to help me create my own business!
You may have seen my posts about the new website I’ve created, Elephant Essentials, but how did I get there? Where did I start?
I found Wealthy Affiliate.
I have heard of SO many scam sites out there that promise you’ll make money, take your money, and laugh at you. I have been seriously TERRIFIED of running into one of those sites. So I’ve pretty much avoided ALL sites that promised to help you make money… Not even joking. Like… all of them. Completely avoided.
But after doing some thorough research, I was seeing almost NOTHING but GOOD REVIEWS about Wealthy Affiliate. Then, once I started their program (FOR FREE, by the way…) and was well on my way to having my own affiliate business started, I realized the amazing deal I was getting.
Check this out…
Wealthy Affiliate offers a completely free membership to start out with their program. With this free membership you get a FREE WEBSITE that they show you HOW to create, a thorough set of video training that takes you through a literal step by step process of earning money promoting something you are passionate about, access to tons of informational/training blogs by other users who have been there forever, and lots and lots of help and tips from the 1,000’s of members on the site.
They give you the option to become a Premium member later on, if you feel that it’s right for you. (For the first month of your FREE membership, you get the option to become a Premium member at a 59% discount on your first month as a Premium member. That’s pretty awesome…)
I’m not even going to lie.. I was SUPER skeptical about this whole thing in the beginning. I didn’t want to get taken for a ride. It just seems every time you hear anything about making money from home, its because someone got scammed or someone became a millionaire… how can it be both?! But I figured as long as it was free to check it out, I’d see what other members were saying about their experience.
Was anyone making money with this site? Were they happy with the help they received so far? What was the general feel of the atmosphere associated with Wealthy Affiliates?
So I asked, I researched, I Googled, I Binged, and I asked some MORE. I’m now a firm believer. These people are SO awesome. Wealthy Affiliate is like it’s own little Facebook for online business entrepreneurs. Seriously! There is constant dialog going on with the live chat, and everyone is so helpful. I haven’t received ONE negative comment after being there for a full month now. (THAT is one difference from Facebook, for sure…)
I got answers to those burning questions… I discovered that they ARE happy with Wealthy Affiliates. They ARE making money. (Though they don’t make any bones about the fact that you have to put in time and effort. It IS NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a school on how to start your own online business!) and the help you receive is off the charts awesome. The atmosphere is as stated previously, like a business world Facebook full of super helpful and kind individuals… all working toward the same goal of making a living without sacrificing their social/family/private life to do so.
You know me… I’m Tabitha. I’m a crazy gypsy girl that skips from one idea to the next when it comes to “what I want to be when I grow up”. (Have I grown up yet? Yikes…)
I would not “sell” you something I knew would hurt you. I am just so excited about this opportunity that I want EVERYONE to check it out and be a part of it!
So do it. Check it out! You don’t HAVE to become a premium member, or even sign up… if you don’t want to. But I really think that after you spend a few minutes considering the benefits that it offers… you’ll at least make an account a poke around for a little bit.
What could it hurt?
Go On… Click right >>> HERE <<< to check it out!
(You know you want to…)
Until next time,
What did I do today? I finally let my crafty side come out! I’ve been wanting to start an old/used furniture refurbishing business for a while now. I don’t know why, but all those Pinterest pictures of people’s fun crafts and creative ideas really got my heart going!
My husband and I have been looking for a shelfy-thingy for quite some time now, but have discovered that just about everything out there is WAY over priced. Even the Cheap-O stuff! So we got discouraged and quit looking. Then yesterday I saw someone on a local Facebook “Online Yard Sale” page selling this little beauty for $25! SCORE!
Met them to pick it up today, ran over to Home Depot for a can of spray paint, a sanding-wedgy-thingy, a clean air masky-thingy (How are you liking all of these technical terms? Yeah, you just wish you were in on the crafty-stuff-&-thingy lingo!) and then I hurried home to get to work! The total for this project came out to $37.12! (MUCH less than you’d spend on something similar, even at TJMaxx!)
I’m considering doing some wood burning accents on it, and changing the knob to something cool I find at World Market.
So, while refurbishing my little bathroom shelfy-thingy today… I learned some things.
1.) It’s harder than it looks… (sanding is a real pain in the butt! Or.. a pain in the back.)
2.) It’s just as fun as I imagined…
3.) Those goggles I DIDN’T buy may have looked silly and cheap, but I sure could have used them.
4.) Everything in the immediate vicinity will become covered in tiny little paint particles… Including the floor. It will then get stuck on your feet, arms, phone case, sunglasses, and yoga pants.
5.) I can’t wait to do it again!
Is it just me, or do my feet now look like elephant skin? (I just can’t seem to escape my niche! www.elephantessentials.com)
So, that’s just about it for my awesome post of the day. Hope you all get to do something fun and crafty this week. It really is relaxing, rejuvenating, fun, and kinda gets your creative juices going! (I’ve got tons of new ideas for online marketing and affiliate work!)
Looking to revamp your life and finally get rid of those extra pounds? Or maybe you are just tired of feeling tired!? Wishing you could wake up in the morning without wishing you were someone else?
I have been there… On all counts!
Check this out…
First things FIRST!
NEWSTART is an acronym.
It stands for:
Trust in God
(Now, this is a long blog… but don’t get overwhelmed or think you won’t get it all. This only encompasses some of the aspects of each letter in the acronym. I’ll give you the link for the NEWSTART lifestyle club website at the end so you can watch the videos, read ALL the info on each letter, get the free 10 day meal plan, and be able to set up a free membership to have access to all of that stuff and tons of other cool things too!)
These are the things that have been proven by scientific study are essential for the ultimate optimal healthy life.
Now, we’ll start from the top.
Nutrition: Most people are really confused about proper nutrition. All the different diets going around tell us some really crazy stuff. One of the ones that I found most amazing was about bread, pasta, potatoes and the like. My mom has told me for YEARS that these things are what need to be cut out of my diet to lose weight. “Bread is not your friend.” She’d always say. I’ve since found out that this is actually completely FALSE information! (Now I get to share that information with her and we can love our ‘enemy’ together!) Well, I guess not completely false, because WHITE bread, WHITE pasta, and a potato loaded with butter, cheese, and sour cream are bad for us. But, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and a potato made in a way that is healthy… actually help us LOSE weight.
This is because they are high in fiber. Our bodies need fiber to function properly. Fiber is like scrub brushes in our body to keep our digestive system clean and functioning well. Whole plant foods are high in fiber! Meats, milk products, and refined foods have no fiber and tend to clog the digestive system, leading to disease. Research has shown that a high fiber diet decreases the risk of many forms of cancer and heart attacks.
Most everyone knows that high cholesterol is bad for you. What most people DON’T know is that the only place we can get bad cholesterol is from animal products. It can’t be found ANYWHERE else. I mean, yes, our bodies produce the proper amount that is needed, but this is cholesterol that isn’t harmful. It is when we eat meat and all other animal related products (eggs, milk, cheese, etc) that our cholesterol levels go up, clog our arteries, and cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and ultimately a heart attack.
Another thing that we are told in this world is to avoid carbs. THIS is also information that has been all tangled up. Not ALL carbs are bad! We are supposed to eat carbs for optimal brain function. Carbohydrates contain the energy for every day optimum work performance. High carb foods are energy foods. However, eliminate the “bad carbs” – table sugar, refined grains like white rice and white flour, desserts, sweetened cereals, and pastries. Oust candies and soft drinks from the diet. Complex carbohydrates – “good carbs” – are the best. Good sources include potatoes, brown rice, whole grain breads and whole grain cereals.
That is just PART of the information on Nutrition and eating properly. I’ll move on to something else to give you a taste of this lifestyle plan.
Next would be…
Exercise: I HATE this word. I really do… it has been my enemy for.. well… EVER! At least the last 10 years of my life. It is hard for me, and I always give up not long after starting some kind of exercise routine. When I came to this school they told me we would be doing a 5K. After asking around, I found out that 5K stands for 5 Kilometers, which equals 3 miles. They said we would be walking, those who wanted to run could. I thought, “Well… I guess I can do that. I mean, one time won’t kill me right?” Then the instructor broke into my thoughts with the words. “Every morning.”
…. excuse me? Every SINGLE morning? Yes, they want us to either walk or job 3 miles every morning before class. This sounded completely IMPOSSIBLE! But let me tell you something… for someone who runs out of breath easily, hates exercise, and always finds a way out of physical labor… it really isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Now, mind you… I don’t ALWAYS do 3 miles exactly. But I try. Walking becomes a really good way to just delve into your thoughts, figure out your emotions, and for me… talk with God. My mom sent me a book called “Prayerwalk” by Janet Holm McHenry, and it has really inspired me to get out and walk! I have MANY issues that I just need someone to listen to. Knowing He is ALWAYS listening, and can actually HELP in any problem area I have is an amazing feeling.
Anyways, the FACTS about walking might help you more then my personal testimony on exercise. haha
Here are some main facts you might find interesting:
*Controls weight – the metabolic rate increases, burning more calories even at rest!
*Increases lung capacity and recharge oxygen supply
*Improves blood pressure, circulation, and strengthen your heart
*Lowers cholesterol and improve blood flow in the arteries – it can even help reverse arteriosclerosis!
*Relieves stress, tension, depression, and improve sleep naturally – without a pill!
*Promotes the body’s ability to get rid of toxic wastes.
*Improves metabolism – stabilizes blood sugar.
*Strengthens the bones and counteract osteoporosis
*Increases physical strength and tone of muscles by improving oxygen utilization.
*Improves posture and decrease back problems
*Prevents the big C word – CANCER
Walking is the ideal exercise. Other good activities include swimming, cycling, gardening, and yard work. One of the special benefits of exercising outside is that you can combine at least three of the health principles: sunlight, fresh air, and exercise.
So there is a little about exercise. Now on to…
Water: This one was always a little tough for me too. I was a soda person. I was lucky to get a couple of glasses of water a week, if that. We all hear about hydration, hydration, hydration… but it is never really explained what dehydration is and what it does to your brain and body. After going through and learning about all the true benefits of water I went out and bought a water bottle I liked. Psychologically, we are 10x more likely to drink out of something we like the look of. It’s just fact. So if you have a hard time getting your water in, that might be a good way. I got mine from REI. I got one of the CAMELBAK water bottles with the straw thingy that you bite on to suck the water out. I think it is cool, and fun to drink out of. I make sure it is full and I carry it around with me EVERYWHERE. If you don’t have your water with you, you won’t drink it… that’s it. You HAVE to make the choice to pick water over other beverages or you are just throwing a healthy choice away.
Your brain is about 80% water. Water keeps you thinking clearly. Water also hydrates your blood itself. When we decide to drink things like soda, tea, coffee, etc. it causes the blood to become sticky and flow poorly. When our blood is properly hydrated, it causes your blood to flow smoothly, help regulate your blood pressure, and promote vascular health. In one study, men who drank five or more glasses of water daily had a 54% less risk of a heart attack than those who drank two or less daily, or who used other beverages.
As far as weight loss goes, water is HUGE!One study showed that people who drank two eight-ounce glasses of water 20 to 30 minutes before meals ate an average of 75 fewer calories at that meal. In another study two eight-ounce glasses of water before meals resulted in a 44% greater weight loss over 12 weeks than in a non-water control group. That is staggering! Reach for water, not coffee, or soda. That is a proven way to curb appetite and lose weight.
Sunlight: Most people honestly don’t think of sunlight as being something that has a big impact on health, but it’s really important! Most people, when talking about sunlight, are usually talking about tanning. Either they love it, or they hate it. We’ve all heard that tons of sun can give you skin cancer… well… check this out.
Ten or 15 minutes in noontime summer sun leads to the production of 10,000 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D, which has proven to decrease the risk for many cancers.
The myth is busted! Sunshine protects against a very deadly form of skin cancer called melanoma. A new study published in the March 2011 European Journal of Cancer discovered that those people who spent four to five hours in the sun each day over weekends were less likely to develop melanoma than those who did not. This is exciting for those who love the sun. (A word of caution here: those who burn easily were at higher risk regardless of the amount of time spent in the sun. So avoid sunburn.) Another piece of good news for sun lovers is that women with high sun exposure had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer. Also, reduced risk of other cancers by sunshine include prostate, colon, lung, ovary, bladder, uterus, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Sunlight also Increases Immunity, Strengthens Bones, Promotes Sense of Well-being.
Temperance: The meaning of the word temperance is avoiding things that are harmful for you, and doing things that are good for you in moderation.
Balance has lost its true meaning: Modern society has become a society of excesses! We try to take something bad and make it good. For example, cigarette filters were added to cigarettes in the 1950s, in response to the first reports that tar in cigarettes was associated with the increased risk of lung cancer. Still, tobacco is a major cause of death in the United States, killing 1200 Americans every day. As far as alcohol, we have found a way to say this is a health benefit – drinking only one or two drinks per day is going to benefit our hearts. Right? Yet, 5000 youth per year lose their lives to binge drinking. In reality, the bad effects to the whole body and on the heart itself counter any benefits it may have to the heart. Alcohol increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, stomach ulcers, and cancer, and causes high blood pressure – a very dangerous condition for the cardiovascular system. One or two drinks can produce spasm of the coronary arteries, decreasing the oxygen supply to the heart. So, the reports of the health benefits of alcohol are really misleading to the public.
Coffee is being highly praised for its anticancer phytochemicals and antioxidants. On the other hand, caffeine is addictive, stresses the nervous system by overworking it, can lead to depression and anxiety with the jitters, and in pregnant mothers increases the risk of miscarriage. A new study shows that 5% of all heart attacks are attributed to caffeine use alone.
Air: An incredible story! During the 1919 flu epidemic, the hospital in Eureka, California, was overflowing with patients. The head doctor called the army, which gave them tents, cots, and blankets. The overflow patients were moved into the tents in which there was no heat, except hot water bottles that were used to keep the feet warm. It was found that no patients in the tents, with the fresh air they were getting, were dying. However, numbers of patients in the hospital were dying. When this was realized, the heat in the hospital was turned down and the windows were raised. The patients had to put on heavy underwear, but their death rate went down. About 20 million Americans suffer from asthma. In severe cases, asthma attacks can be deadly. They kill 5,000 people every year in the United States! Ask anyone with this condition how important air is. The culprit? Air pollution from cars, factories and power plants. More than 159 million Americans – over half the nation’s population – live in areas with bad air. A research study published in 2002 estimated that 30 percent of childhood asthma is due to environmental exposures, costing the nation $2 billion per year. And studies also suggest that air pollution may contribute to the development of asthma in previously healthy people.
Then we have…
Rest: One complete night of sleep deprivation is as impairing in simulated driving tests as a legally intoxicating blood-alcohol level. Most people honestly don’t realize how important a good nights rest is. 7-8 hours is always what is heard as recommended, and yet most people don’t follow it. If we don’t get the proper amount of sleep each night, many of our daily functions are impaired. Our memory is hazy, our temper is short, our decision making skills are clipped, and we are much more likely to make poor choices in the other areas of health due to lack of proper brain function.
One cool fact, is that the two hours before midnight are worth more to your body then ANY of the hours after midnight. So, if you were to go to bed at 10pm, those two hours would be equivalent to four hours after midnight. Most people stay up way to late, and then have a hard time sleeping, and find they are tired when they wake up. This is because the Melatonin our bodies produce to start the sleep cycle were ignored during those few hours before midnight, and our internal clock is off set.
Last but NEVER least is….
Trust In God: A quote from the NEWSTART website says, “By now, you may have come to realize that you need help to improve your health and live in harmony with the NEWSTART principles.
Perhaps you have been trying to improve your lifestyle, but you realize that your efforts to change the habits that may have impaired your health have been fruitless. Have you considered that the power to change may need to come from without rather than within?”
I have found this especially true in my life. I’ve tried MANY different diet plans. Some relatively legit… some not so. None of them worked, obviously. I actually gained MORE weight each time I failed one. I finally realized after a few failed attempts, that I can’t do it. I know that sounds really negative, but it is true. I was always trying to get something accomplished of my own inner strength, and it wasn’t working. These thoughts started to really depress me! Then, (on a completely non-diet related incident) I decided to start going to my mom’s church. I was raised in church, but had never really found religion to be helpful to me. It seemed like a list of rules of things you can’t do. After a near-death experience, I decided to give it another try. Low and behold, when I actually OPENED up my heart and asked God to change me from the inside out… He started to do just that! It is an on going process, but knowing that there is an all-powerful God giving you strength, courage, hope, and power to change is an amazing feeling. I’ve found that without waking up and asking for His help each morning, I really wouldn’t have made it as far as I have today. Even for those people that don’t really believe in God, or may believe there is a God, but don’t think He has much to do with our personal lives… what is there to lose? If God isn’t real, or doesn’t care… then you will have lost nothing by asking for His help. If he IS real, and DOES care… then you may gain a changed life that you may have never had otherwise.
Now, I do want to tell you something that I think is really important. I’ve NEVER, in my entire adult life, been happy with my body. I’ve lost a little weight here and there… but never as much as I have since implementing this lifestyle change, and all pretty much at one time. This is amazing! The best part about it, is that IT ISN’T A DIET. Diets are things that you go through for enough time to lose weight, and then quit once you’ve lost it. Once you go back to your regular lifestyle, you gain it all back… usually with an added bonus. When you change your actual LIFESTYLE… you WONT gain the weight back, because it IS your lifestyle that is keeping it off.
Another thing you may find helpful, is that you don’t have to do it alone. I AM HERE to ask questions of, and there are many groups out there that are supportive and helpful in this same change!
Anyways, all that being said, the website I mentioned earlier is http://www.newstartclub.com
More information on each letter of the NEWSTART acronym is there, along with a video on each one. They have recipes, events, and a section called “My Health” where you put in all of your health information, and it gives you a personal health score. Based on this score, it will tell you your likelihood of developing a lifestyle based disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, etc. I would suggest that you register first, so it will save your score, and you can go in and change it later once your answer to the questions change through lifestyle change! Be sure to answer the questions as painfully honest as you can. You wont get a real health reading if you don’t. (OH! and I almost forgot to tell you, when you go on the website and register and find out your health score, it is going to ask you for your waist size. This doesn’t mean your pant size as most people believe. It is asking for your actual WAIST size. which is higher, around your mid section. We take the measurements at the belly button. so if you have a tape measure, wrap it around your middle and make sure the beginning of the tape is exactly at your belly button, then the number that connects with it after wrapping around you is your waist size!)
So, if you have more questions, need advice, tips, tricks, or just someone to talk to… feel free to message me!
I’ve found RELIABLE information on how to make money from home! Lol
Goodness sakes… Difficult much?
I’ve always thought that any time I heard of someone doing “mystery shopping” (obviously not “from home”), online article writing, and any working from home business, it had to be a lie or a scam. ((In MANY cases it IS a scam… So research mode kicked in!))
But when you think about it…. SOMEONE has to be getting paid to be writing all these “how-to” articles, right? YES, some people do it for fun because they have ridiculous amounts of spare time on their hands…. But most of us don’t.
So excited to get started! And honestly WAY more options than I would have thought. Lol
Oh… You want in on this information?!
I was planning on sitting in the corner with my arms wrapped around my treasure chest and my eyes tightly shut while I while I whined, “Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno!” Like a kid throwing a “sharing” fit…
But, since I happen to love (or at least strongly care for) the people that read this blog, I will share my treasure with you!
After much research and sifting through garbage, scams, and internet nonsense… I came across Cathy Stucker!
She has been mystery shopping for years, she explains it thoroughly, expels the myths and “get-rich-quick” bull hocky, and helps teach you where to go to get started.
Here is her website: http://www.mysteryshoppersmanual.com
Then, after I subscribed to her mystery shopping tips emails (which I highly suggest… And I don’t suggest subscribing to much of anything, EVER!) I got this article emailed to me about other reliable people that explain how to work from home:
Because I have the Kindle app on my phone and iPad, I have bought and downloaded two of the books suggested.
1.) Make Money Online- 97 Real Companies That Pay You To Work In Your Pajamas: by Connie Brentford
2.) The Moonlighters Guide to Online Writing for Immediate Income: by Connie Brentford
They are cheap because they are downloadable books.
I can’t WAIT to get started!!!
I know many friends and family that could benefit from this info, and many other military wives that could as well!
So get out there ladies! Spend the few bucks to read about how to be able to watch your kids/animals and work from home, or even just have a small side job for some extra income.
How often I hear,
Like a screeching in my ear…
“There isn’t time for that right now!”
“I can’t do that, I don’t know how.”
There isn’t time?
You don’t know how?
When did you ever find the time and place, to learn that career you work so well?
From where and when do you think this knowledge so gradually fell?
There isn’t time?
Not right now?
Do you remember, way back when… as a child you did your chores… as quick as a flash?
Do you recall, how you’d bend time and rules… until you had even a moment to play after class?
There isn’t time?
I can’t do that?
When you found the woman, who is now your wife… didn’t it take time to win her affection?
You worried you weren’t good enough, you couldn’t do that… you feared rejection?
There isn’t time…
I’m just so busy…
While your children sit in front of the tube, being raised by socialistic ideals and naughty “children’s” shows…
While the woman you worked so hard to win over… your wife and their mother, dying inside. Completely alone.
Time is infinite. It will always be there.
What is so pressing today, will still be there tomorrow.
Everything must be learned, your excuses are void.
A wise person once told me something very true,
You will always make time, for what’s important to you…
So if your job is more important than your family,
Your alcohol is more important than that big degree,
You’ll come to find you have the moments to spend time and money…
On things that bind you down, rather than set you free.
But in the end you’ll be alone, with no one to hold.
With all the time in the world, and none be sold.
So, borrow time from the future if you must…
But do something today, that will change someone you love.
I have been feeling very down and depressed the last few weeks. Lots of stress with an upcoming move, and the grand realization that I am NOT the best wife there ever was. (Crazy right? Who would have thought….? I know, me neither!) It’s time to put down the pity party, and pick up the AMAZING me that I’ve been beating into the ground with my negative thoughts and unhealthy, destructive self-criticism.
A love letter…. just for me.
I like your hair.
Don’t laugh, it’s true!
Whether it is billowing about in it’s natural state of curly mop, or stylishly sleek and straightened perfectly. It’s a nice head of hair.
You don’t NEED make up. You look good in make up, yes… but you don’t need it. You are gorgeous.
Brown eyes are just as beautiful as green, violate, or icy blue… and your brown eyes are exceptionally deep and honest.
Don’t forget that pale skin used to be the absolute STANDARD of beauty for many, many years in much of the world! (And freckles ad character. Who wants to look like a barbie anyway?)
You don’t need to be tan to wear shorts, nor do you need to be thin. You are NOT fat. You are curvy and sexy… and simply lovely. (You’ve already lost over 60 lbs., and that is nothing to scoff at! You have worked hard and you deserve to feel good about it!)
I know you completed your first Jillian Michaels work out today, and I’m PROUD OF YOU! (I know you had to pause it 6 times to clean up pee and poop accidents with the new puppy… but you handled it quite well and she enjoyed watching you bounce around!)
Your husband loves you, and I do too. You don’t have to be the perfect wife, because you are the only and MOST PERFECT you that you can be! Wifey stuff will come with time, as for now… you are awesome just as you are.
Your determination to please the one you love is admirable, and a good quality to share.
You are funny and kind, thoughtful and sweet, selfless and loving…. but remember… we can be each of these things some of the time, we can not be all of these things all of the time. Take today as a new chance, a new opportunity, a new day!
The BEST part about YOU, is that God made you. He formed you out of NOTHING, but will mold you into SOMETHING until you shine brighter than the stars. He made you, you. Your laugh, your smile, your heart and your mind…. all came from His design.
So be you today…
Because I miss you…
10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America….
I agree with every word!
Imagine you have a brother and he’s an alcoholic. He has his moments, but you keep your distance from him. You don’t mind him for the occasional family gathering or holiday. You still love him. But you don’t want to be around him.
This is how I lovingly describe my current relationship with the United States. The United States is my alcoholic brother. And although I will always love him, I don’t want to be near him at the moment.
I know that’s harsh, but I really feel my home country is not in a good place these days. That’s not a socio-economic statement (although that’s on the decline as well), but rather a cultural one.
I realize it’s going to be impossible to write sentences like the ones above without coming across as a raging prick, so let me try to soften the blow to my American readers with…
View original post 3,258 more words