Friday, March 29, 2013

Internet Trolls, scams and con men BEWARE

We have so many people on the internet these days. Facebook, myspace, google +, ect... Not to mention selling sites, like bonanza Amazon, & eBay to name a few, and we are all connected. Then we have our third party apps, twitter, Hootsuite, Reuters, ect.. We have friends with business pages, friends on personal pages, friends of friends of friends who are connected to more friends. 

In other words, we have become so connected in the internet world, that it seems we have friends all over the world. Don't get me wrong, some of us do, and those are friends we rely on and turn to. It's like they are right next door. But what some of us fail to realize is, we don't know everyone. We might think we do, but have you really done the research? Is the person you may be doing business with really who they say they are? Is there total transparency? 

When I started Gypsy Trading Company, my goal was to subsidize income and sell my antiques from home. I didn't push my business page very often, I stayed focused on building a network, communicating with other sellers, going to podcasts, Talkshoe, uStream, ect... Back when I started, it was during the mass exodus of eBay, when Donahue was taking over and major changes were in the works. The smaller sellers were not doing so well on that platform and so were on the hunt for one, more geared to their needs. We all found landing spots eventually, and continued selling and getting to know one another. 

For some of us, we made friends quickly, and had weekly phone calls, and shared experiences. Exchanging family values, and sharing pictures and so on. For others, it seemed we were a threat to their business in some way.

 One of the things I found on the internet is you can make friends quick and enemy's quicker. Why? Who knows, most of us, are decent, transparent god fearing country loving people. Just trying to make a living. Then we have what we call our trolls, predators, con men, the ones who want to see you fail, no matter the cost. They go to elaborate lengths to suck you into their Super Nova. Did I say that? Super Nova?

 Yes indeed, these parasites suck you and anything close to you in to the point of not being able to breath. They  suck the life out of you if you let them. Praying on your vulnerabilities  a downturn in sales, relationship issues, money troubles. They come up with amazing story's and offer you solace in time of need. They come up with business ideas for you, offer to help, promise you the moon, when in fact they are only out for their own gain. You won't see it coming. It's so sweet and subtle, and your in such a hard spot that these offers seem like a prayer from heaven, when indeed it's coming straight from hell. 

Once you have figured this out, and possibly lost respect in your community, money, and all else, it dawns on you what has happened. It also dawns on you that you are not the only one to have been sucked in by this type of person. 

So here is my advice. Research people. Research your friends, find out if they are who they say they are. Follow up on any "red flags" that may be there, and there always are. If you look for them.  Look for transparency. If your getting conflicting story's, promised things that are clearly not something that can be done. In other words, if it looks to good to be true it usually is.   BE AWARE, and BEWARE. They are out there, a million of them, and most likely right here in your own circles. 

Once you have figured out who they are, delete them, block them, and stay away. Be warned and let your friends know to. There are scams on the internet everyday. All the time. Make sure you know what you are getting into. DO your research, research the company, the business or the person, whoever you come in contact with that makes an offer that is hard to refuse, always do your research on it. 

and remember, there is always 2 sides to every story you come across. Make sure your on the right side. 

I'm out, peace~ 

Friday, March 22, 2013


"Passed away, gone to be with the Lord, expired, departed, went home".

These are all very nice euphemisms for the ‘D-word.’

"It was God’s will. Time will heal. Everything happens for a reason. You’re young so just try again. God needed an angel to tend his garden. At least she's not in pain anymore. At least you have others at home".

Yet, more euphemisms intended to comfort the bereaved. I don’t like death euphemisms. I prefer to tell the truth. My mother died and I don’t like Death for taking her from me. Often, my frankness affronts others.

Death was an abstract entity before her passing 
I knew that Death was a part of life, yet somehow, its potential soiree in my life seemed too comfortably distant for reality. Frankly, I rather feared Death, avoiding discussions about Him. Once in awhile, I would hear a story about a friend’s parent who died and I would think to myself, “One day, mom and dad are going to die. You'll have to face it one day.” But my insulated idealism quickly hurried the reality of Death out the back door.

Naive? Perhaps so, but it is oh so comfortable
Then, Death found me. He knocked on my door, not concerned with justice. Or timing. Without thought to the crime He was about to commit. Death came, and He left me in the carnage. And, instead of minding proper order, He violated every righteous law of nature and took my mother. I tried to fight. I kicked and screamed. I hated Death and begged Him to leave her and take me instead. I negotiated everything I had. To no avail. I lost myself in the war.

I did not even recognize myself in the muddy waters of grief. I was hollowed. Every cell in my body ached for her presence. Like Gretel, I collected crumbs, trying to find my way through the darkest forest I’d ever faced. And before I knew it, the minutes turned to days and days to weeks and weeks to a year now. I’m often not certain how I survived. I’m not certain that I did survive.

What wreckage Death had brought.

But love does not decompose as flesh. Edges from her photographs are worn from too much handling and the colors are fading but my love for her transcends time. At times, I juxtapose scenes from our two worlds, and I imagine the moment when I will see her again. I am not sure what follows this life but I believe that something does.

So while this was not a path of my choice, it is a path I must walk with careful consideration. And as time passes, I have discovered new meanings and insights about her death, and more importantly, her life. She has taught me that love is unconditional, that you cannot sit back and watch injustice; that Death is not to be feared because love is much, much bigger and stronger; that it is okay to dance in the rain; that time is merely perception; that one person can truly change the world; that kindnesses last forever; and that words really can ‘break bones.’
Euphemisms don’t ease the suffering of the bereaved. Telling someone that “God has a plan” or that “They’re in a better place” is often not helpful to many grieving people. Until society starts really talking about Death, using the dreaded d-word, and facing the realization that one day we’ll all deal with it, we won’t get any better at offering compassion, comfort, and camaraderie to those in grief.

Not only loosing my mother in this past year, I have watched my beloved 1st born son from a distance because I cannot be there. This is a death for me also. I grieve everyday for what I and my children have lost. There are days such as yesterday, where the pain is so overwhelming, I want to just make it go away. Anyway I can, but I cannot do that. There is too much left to be done. 
So, in the hope that I can help another, I simply say, “My Mother died and I don’t like it. Nor will I ever accept it. Tell me your grief story and I’ll share your pain.”