Local Appreciation For Our Veterans

Each year, we attend the Veterans Day Parade to show our appreciation for those that have served our country. Today, I was able to create a video displaying the outpouring of appreciation to our Veterans. I could not let the night end without thanking our courageous Veterans again for all that you have done and all that you do.

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Veterans Day: Words of Appreciation

I dedicate this blog post to all members of the military that have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom. Words will never be enough to thank each and every one of you. Thank you to the United States Army, United States Marines, United States Navy, United States Air Force, and the United States Coast Guard. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for protecting us. I admire each and every one of you. I am forever grateful for all that you do and all that you have done. You all are appreciated.

Last Night’s Gym Session: Happy To See Parents Bring Their Children To The Gym

Last night my son and I focused on arms. We began with a warm-up on the treadmill, moved on to various arm workouts, and finished up on the stationary bikes. I was happy to see both mothers and fathers in the gym with their sons and daughters. It was amazing to see children in the gym and enjoying working out with their parents.

Gyms allowing children to accompany their parents is a great idea. This allows families to focus on their health/fitness journeys together; as a team. When parents invest in their child’s health at an early age, they are helping fight childhood obesity. Childhood obesity can cause many health problems. A few examples include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and respiratory problems. Childhood obesity can also cause mental health problems such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and poor self esteem.

My son and I are continuing to enjoy our time together. Last night, I kept asking him if he needed to take a break. Each time, he said no. It’s the mother in me that wants to make sure no harm comes his way. I began to learn to trust his judgement of his limitations. When we began working on our arms, I kept trying to get him to start with the lowest weight, but he knew where he wanted to start. I kept a close eye on him. He didn’t struggle at all. When he felt the weight may be too much to complete his reps, he dialed it down.

I appreciate Planet Fitness for allowing parents to bring their children to the gym. The gentleman that checked us in last night was very nice. He made sure to tell us to feel free to let him know if he could be of any assistance. I began having second thoughts about working out last night when we arrived to so many cars in the parking lot. I must say I’m glad we went in. Last night encouraged me to keep going, to continue encouraging my son to value his health. We’re continuing to have fun while working out, and we’re learning from each other.

Be sure to subscribe to follow our journey. There’s so much more to come. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to read the blog post on our first day of our health journey. https://blacksheepchronicles.com/2019/11/03/we-made-it-through-day-one-of-our-health-journey/

Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Craze: Where Are Our Priorities??

So, the Popeyes chicken sandwich has made a return and people are losing their minds over it. I have not seen the need to wait in ridiculous lines either time the sandwich has been released. While my husband and I were out shopping on Sunday, we witnessed lines of cars extending far down the road past Popeyes. We also witnessed long lines inside the restaurant with customers bunched up on each other, from the counter, to the window. The same was true while driving yesterday.

I never understood the craze behind standing in line, or camping out for hours, just to be the first to purchase the latest shoes or electronics. Now, people are seriously waiting in lines for 45 minutes to over two hours just for a sandwich. For the life of me, I cannot make sense of this. I’ve seen stories on the news where fights are breaking out, people are damaging their cars just to be next in line at the drive thru, and now sadly someone was fatally stabbed.

Is a sandwich really worth all of this? Is this really where we’re placing our importance? So many lives are being affected over a sandwich. It is truly sad that our lives have come to this. Has anyone stopped to think why it’s acceptable to wait in line at a fast food establishment for close to an hour to over two hours for a sandwich? Why is it becoming the norm to fight over purchasing food? Out of all of the food that is available, fights are breaking out over one sandwich?? Lives are being destroyed over a sandwich.

I hope we can get out priorities together sooner than later. Right now, it seems the wrong things are being made a priority. Instead of focusing on our health, economy, and life in general, we’re focusing on a single sandwich. There’s so much more we could and should be making a priority than a single sandwich. Ruining lives should never be a top priority of anyone. What example is being set for the youth that is witnessing this? It’s so sad. It’s time to get our priorities straight!!

We Made It Through Day One Of Our Health Journey

My son and I began our health journey today. We both enjoyed working out. Not too far into our workout, I realized I couldn’t keep up with him. While on the treadmill, I looked over to find him jogging while I was panting like crazy trying to take a brisk walk. It made my heart smile to see him enjoying himself.

This was our first time going to the gym together and my first time returning to the gym in months. We can only improve with time. The best part about the end of our workout was hearing him say “That was fun.” We enjoyed spending time with each other and bonding. I’m looking forward to our next workout session.

Nine Reasons Why I’ll Never Sell On eBay Again

I’ve had the displeasure of selling items on eBay. The entire experience has been a disappointment. My list of reasons as to why I will never sell on eBay again can go on for a while, but I’ve limited it to nine major factors that have put a sour taste in my mouth. If you’re considering selling on eBay, read on before you make your final decision.

1. Fake Accounts.

I’ve experienced multiple “buyers” that have contacted me or placed orders through fake accounts. These “customers” place an order, then ask for the seller to contact them via text to discuss the item. One example of a message I received stated (exact words; not my typos) “Thank you so much for posting this on ebay. This what am really looking for to by for my friend as birthday gift.kindly text me ***-***-**** because I need to talk to you before making the payment now..Shipping to California USA.God Bless U” (I left the actual phone number out here.) Communication is supposed to take place within eBay, so why would I contact a customer from my personal number only via text? When I looked into the buyer, they did not have any feedback from previous transactions. They listed their location as United States, but clicking on their complete profile revealed they were in a completely different country. Another “buyer” placed an order, then contacted me asking how much shipping to Africa would be. My items were clearly listed to be shipped to the United States only. He told me my listing did not state I did not ship internationally. When I looked into his profile, his account stated his location was in the United States, but his actual address was in Africa. This caused my item to be tied up as I had to report the buyer and wait for a resolution. Some of these lovely “buyers” even made it a point to offer more than my asking price or drive up bids.

2. Late Payments.

According to eBay, buyers have two days to pay for the items they purchase. After this time, the seller can report the buyer for nonpayment. This happened multiple times. Once, I reported a buyer after a payment was not made, the buyer was still able to make a payment, then eBay automatically closed the case I opened against the buyer.

3. Limited Listings.

I was only able to list 10 items. I was told I could list 10 items per month. This was not the case. After selling items and trying to list new items, I received a message stating I exceeded the listing amount and I would need to open a business account to list more items.

4. Listings Removed.

Thanks to eBay allowing fake accounts to exist, I had multiple listings removed automatically after receiving an email from eBay stating my listing was removed due to a suspicious buyer account. So, it made more sense to remove my listing instead of just cancelling the fake account before they could affect legit sellers? These messages stated “We had to cancel bids for the buyer, (buyer’s name inserted), because they aren’t registered on eBay. The subject of the email is “Suspicious Buyer.”

5. Offers Retracted.

Here, the seller receives an email stating “A previously entered offer on the following eBay item has been retracted. You can view the retraction and the reason provided by selecting the (history) link from the individual item page.” What happened to being responsible for making the payment after you place an offer??

6. False Claims.

The buyer that I mentioned earlier, that did not submit a payment until they were reported for nonpayment, turned around and stated my item was not as pictured. This claim was made within five minutes of them finally submitting a late payment. I hadn’t even shipped the item yet. How was this possible?

7. “No Returns” Not Honored.

The same buyer discussed in #7 turned around and requested a return for the same item he just paid for and was dishonest about. And yes, this turned into another case being submitted to eBay to be resolved. My listings stated returns were not accepted, but he was able to request a return for an item he just paid for minutes before.

8. Helpless Customer Service.

Contacting customer service was a disappointment. I had to call twice in one day because the original customer service representative was not honest about resolving an account issue. The second representative stated “I don’t know why he said the problem has been resolved. I’m seeing right here that he did not resolve the issue.” With the last claim I submitted regarding the buyer requesting a refund for an item they just paid for, the representative clearly did not read my claim. The response I received was not relevant to the claim that was submitted.

9. Funds Placed On Hold.

The final straw… eBay began holding my funds until my orders were shipped. Recently, my PayPal account was limited. I have funds in my PayPal account that I cannot access until the documents that were requested are reviewed. I’ve been asked for my photo ID, proof of fulfillment, a purchase receipt from my supplier that cannot be more than six months old, and information on my activity.

This has been a very frustrating journey that I wish I never began. It amazes me how much stress the seller goes through while the buyers are free to set up fake accounts and create bogus purchases. This has been another painful lesson learned.

Ready To Start My Health Journey

For quite some time, I’ve planned to start my health journey. There was a time when I faithfully went to the gym and ate healthy meals. As time went on, and I became more busy, I focused less on my health. I felt like I was just too busy to find extra time to go to the gym. I went from eating healthy to eating out more often and becoming less active.

As a mother of four children, I’ve found it harder to get my abdomen back to a point where I am more confident in certain types of clothes. I’m often uncomfortable when I wear clothing that is figure fitting. I’d weather wear loose t-shirts or a sweat shirt and jeans.

Sadly, I’ve had women dismiss my concerns because they felt like I’m “already little” or I “don’t need to lose weight.” I wasn’t allowed to participate in a Biggest Loser challenge on my job because it was believed I didn’t need to lose weight and I would win because I would lose weight quicker. It wasn’t necessary to refuse to let me participate just because I did not weigh as much as everyone else, or because I didn’t “look like” I needed to lose weight. I wasn’t good enough to be a competitor, but I was good enough to track the weigh ins and collect the fees when someone did not meet their goal. I could have been bitter and refused to help, but I was the bigger person, and encouraged everyone along the way.

Now, I’m on a new journey to better myself. I strive to be an example to my family. One of the things my youngest son put on his birthday list was to be able to go to Planet Fitness with me once he turns 13. This was all of the encouragement I needed to put my plans into action. He encouraged me without knowing it. He turned 13 on Tuesday. Because he wants to better his health, I am going to give him all the support he needs.

I purchased the Sweet Sweat waist trimmer and workout enhancer to help me get my abdomen to the point I would like it to be. I’ve seen multiple ads for the Sweet Sweat waist trimmer. I’ve read multiple reviews and watched multiple YouTube videos reviewing the product. I plan to use this in addition to eating right, ensuring proper hydration, and increasing my physical activity, to get to my goal. The most vital component for either of us to be successful is being mentally prepared and motivated to make life changes. I will be documenting the journey of my son and myself. I’m excited of what’s to come for both of us.

Creating And Editing My First YouTube Video Was Harder Than I Ever Imagined

Yesterday, I finally decided to stop putting off creating my first YouTube video unboxing my first ring light. I kept putting it off because I was still getting over being sick and I didn’t want to sound or look sick. I decided to just go for it. In the beginning stages of creating the video, I found myself becoming more stressed and less patient. I was trying too hard to make a perfect video. This was my first time creating a video, yet I wanted it to be perfect. After taking a break, and gathering my thoughts, I realized my first video would not be perfect. This is all new to me, so why was I stressing so much? I started to relax and just enjoy making the video.

While making the video, I had some awkward moments. One of those moments occurred while I was trying to open the tripod. This moment was embarrassing, yet funny to me. Once I finally finished the video (so I thought), I began editing the video. I thought recording the video was the hard part. Editing the video was even worse! Little did I know, I accidentally permanently deleted the middle portion of the video that was recorded earlier in the day. There I was, after midnight, trying to record another section all over again.

I finally finished editing the video this afternoon. I knew the video would not be perfect, and that’s perfectly fine. The important thing to me is although everything in me wanted to give up and just forget about making videos, I fought through my emotions and pride and got the job done. I know with time, and more patience, I will get better. I’m proud of myself for committing to the task. After all, “Practice makes perfect.”

Product Review: Mucinex Fast-Max

I’ve been sick this entire week. I put off taking medication as long as I could. I really don’t like taking medication. I tried to make it by just using cough drops. While the cough drops helped with my sore throat and coughing, it was only temporary.

This morning, I finally decided to take something. Within 45 minutes of taking the Mucinex, I began to feel less congested. Over time, I generally began to feel a little better. The Acetaminophen has helped with the soreness I was experiencing. I’ve been coughing less and I’m not feeling as hot as I was when I woke up this morning.

I’m glad I finally decided to take something, because I’m slowly starting to feel a little better. I should have listened to my body sooner instead of trying to tough it out this long. This is my first time trying this medication. Now that I know how quick it works, I’ll be sure to try it sooner the next time I begin to experience similar symptoms.

Your health is important. Always listen to your body.

Jamaica: In Need Of Another Vacation

My husband and I went on our first vacation without children in July. We visited Montego Bay, Jamaica. The vacation was well overdue and needed. We spent 7 days there.

The scenery in Jamaica is breathtaking. I never felt more at peace. We loved watching the sun set. The food and drinks were amazing.

The resort, Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton, had multiple restaurants on premises. There were different themes daily. There were also a variety of entertainment options each night.

The options for excursions were endless. For the most part, the excursions were a bit of a drive. When booking an excursion, it’s best to plan on being away from the resort for the majority of the day. We enjoyed horseback riding, driving ATVs, visiting Bob Marley’s home and final resting place, and swimming in Luminous Lagoon.

Visiting Jamaica was very therapeutic. We were able to forget about all of our worries back home and just enjoy being in each other’s presence. Visiting Jamaica was also a humbling experience. The residents of Jamaica were so humble and grateful. It was an eye opener to see how the things we take for granted in the United States is appreciated in Jamaica.

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