Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries – ‘Pot Luck’ – #Spying – The Story about House Hunting While Being Watched by D.G. Kaye


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the second post from resident relationship columnist D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies and in this post Debby shares a very disturbing experience when house hunting, and also reminds us to be wary.

Spying beware

Spying – The Story about House Hunting While Being Watched

I recently wrote a post about protecting our privacy while using digital devices. And at the end of that post, I cautioned to be particularly careful when viewing properties while house hunting because I had encountered a weird situation with a spy camera in one of the properties we ‘almost’ purchased. A few people indicated to me they were curious to know what happened. So today, I’m going to share that incident.

We had just sold our big ranch bungalow and weren’t quite sure yet where we wanted to move – buy another single detached home, rent somewhere for awhile until we decided, or perhaps a townhouse bungalow not far from our home, which was part of a condo development, meaning there’d be monthly maintenance fees for care of the properties (also known as HOA fees in the U.S.).

We decided to take a look at the semi-detached bungalow development.

At the time our real estate agent was a friend of ours, her name was Ro. Ro was a go-getter agent, unabashed, and knew her business well. She never held back from what she wanted to say or ask of a client or a potential seller. Ro was a loud and boisterous person and when she spoke, there was no volume control.

Ro drove us over to have a look at the bungalow. It really was a beautiful development for the ‘over 50 crowd’ – a number I was soon approaching but still not comfortable with the idea of moving into a quiet lifestyle. Ro mentioned that many of the residents chose this development because the properties were looked after by the corporation, which left no worries for many of the snowbirds to fly away for the winter knowing their homes would be looked after on the outside. This was appealing to my husband who was getting ready for his first retirement.

Ro fumbled with the lockbox for a bit, then finally we were in. The first thing I noticed in that rather nice layout of a home was its untidyness as dishes were in the sink and lingerie was sprawled out, hanging to dry in the laundry room and beyond. I remarked to Ro how someone could have a showing in their home and keep it in disarray. Ro loved to talk and I’m no sloucher when it comes to conversation, so I shudder to think about all we talked and laughed about during that tour, besides what we later discovered we did talk about.

I know for sure, we freely discussed selling price, possible offer prices, definite changes needed to update to the house, and most likely, shared a couple of snarky comments about some of things we saw that were in bad taste. Then we went down to the games room and bar in the basement.

Ro and I were both thorough gals. We didn’t leave too much unturned when visiting homes. I was a seasoned house shopper and wasn’t shy about opening cupboards and such to check out all the space of nooks and crannies. Then Ro and I walked into the downstairs bathroom. It was fairly dark as we both had trouble finding the newfangled light switch. But we proceeded to walk into the bathroom, guided by the hallway light. Then Ro pulled back the shower curtain and we both screamed in terror.

In the dark, we both instantaneously screamed at the sight of a leg. Ro let go of the curtain and we bolted out still screaming. We were sure there was a dead body in the shower!

Hubby came down to the basement from wherever he was inspecting once he heard our primal screams. The three of us searched for the bathroom light, turned it on, and hubby braved us both and ripped back the shower curtain. It was a prosthetic full leg leaning against a corner of the shower wall. Holy crap!

Oh no!

My heart was still beating at what felt 100 times its pace from the initial horror we’d thought we’d encountered when I shouted “Who the #$#$ does that? Leaving a lone leg stashed in a shower in a dark basement when they’re showing their home? There was plenty more conversation, talk of asking price way too much, and a few nasty remarks made by all three of us before we’d left the home.

Despite the madness we encountered, and the disarray of the home, the house held potential for us and we’d gone back for another two looksees before we’d decided that we should really put an offer on that home. After lots of negotiating on price and terms, including – always, the escape clause – we had one week to get the house inspected, and if we’d found anything we didn’t like from the report, we could bail.

We had the house inspection done a day later, two days before we were scheduled to leave for a week to Las Vegas. We were relieved to know we could go away without worrying about where we were going to live. That was until I got a text message from my real estate lawyer to give her a call on our second day in Vegas.

Back then – ten years ago, a Canadian hardly used their cell phone to make calls while out of country because of the exorbitant phone bill, so I ran over to the pay phone section just adjacent to the casino floor in the Paris hotel to call my lawyer. She wanted to advise us about some of the condo corporation guidelines she’d gone through and wanted to point out some possible additional costs that would come with purchasing the property. Turns out, expensive lawyer did all the necessary homework.

Apparently, there was going to be more involved moving into that development. Besides the purchase price and the stated monthly maintenance fees, it was discovered that when something goes wrong outside any of the homes, the money came from the monthly fees, but if a project was bigger and there weren’t enough funds, every household would be dinged for extra money. That development was due for new roofs at the cost to each homeowner to pay an additional $20,000 as well as an agenda coming due for all new windows. I gulped.

Hub and I discussed the fact that it was impossible to budget for old age not knowing when the corporation would hit us up for more money, and ultimately, we decided to bail. I called Ro and we discussed the days we still had left to back out after the inspection. I told her to make up some excuse we didn’t like about the inspection findings and to break the deal.

Later, after Ro broke the news to the owners, she mentioned that the husband went a bit off the walls in anger about what kind of crazy people we all were, while making idle threats we should watch our backs if we didn’t follow through.

A few days later, we were back home and hubby was outside on the driveway standing on a ladder, replacing a surprisingly broken light bulb over the garage door. I was puttering in my flowerbeds when I noticed a black SUV driving slowly past our house, and driving around the cul de sac to pass by a few more times. After about the 3rd pass, the man stopped his car, rolled down his window and shouted, “You wouldn’t want to be falling off that ladder now, and you should keep your eye out for more broken lights to come.” He continued ranting on about our ‘dirty trick’, putting an offer on his house that we asked to visit three times before putting an offer on, wasting his time and repeated some of the comments I shared with Ro while in his house. He then laughed eerily and loud, and added the ‘leg’ shenanigans in the shower was priceless to him.

I darted into the house and called Ro to let her know what just transpired and asked her to call his agent and to let him know if there was to be one more threatening visit we’d be calling the police.

Nothing more ever came from the man, but needless to say, I remained leery for quite some time whenever a black SUV drove down our street. We ended up buying a single detached home a few weeks later.

The scary man and house adventure taught us a few things. First and foremost, we’d learned that with the advent of digital technology, to never lose our guard with future home purchases and to keep our house comments, questions and price conversations for once outside any home we viewed, and to never forego a house inspection because it affords us time for buyer’s remorse. Buyer beware!

Do you have any house hunting horror stories you’d like to share?

©DGKaye2020

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for Words We Carry

Words We Carry’ is a gem. Kaye writes with a depth of wisdom and understanding and the whole book is relatable because of her insights. She paints a roadmap to show how early memories, others’ opinions and the events throughout our lives create the words about ourselves we carry around. She clearly demonstrates how these shape our thoughts, words and actions and how self-awareness can help us to change the words that do not serve us. ‘Thank you’ dear Kaye, for writing this book.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK –  follow Debby: Goodreads –  Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer –  Twitter: @pokercubsterLinkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye –

 

Thanks for visiting today and I know that Debby would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – February 11th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Dog Texting and Wedding Plans


Welcome to laughter lines with some fun from around the web from Debby Gies and a joke or two to make you smile from Sally.

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK    Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads –  Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s column here on Smorgasbord  D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally.

More on the subject of aging...Wedding Plans

Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, are all excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding and on the way they pass a drugstore. Jacob suggests they go in. Jacob addresses the man behind the counter:

Jacob: “Are you the owner?”
The pharmacist answers, “Yes”.
Jacob: “Do you sell heart medication?”
Pharmacist: “Of course, we do.”
Jacob: “How about medicine for circulation?”
Pharmacist: “All kinds.”
Jacob: “Medicine for rheumatism, scoliosis?”
Pharmacist: “Definitely.”
Jacob: “Medicine for memory problems, arthritis, jaundice?”
Pharmacist: “Yes, a large variety. The works.”
Jacob: “What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson’s disease?”
Pharmacist: “Absolutely.”
Jacob: “You sell wheelchairs and walkers?”
Pharmacist: “All speeds and sizes”
Jacob says to the pharmacist: “We’re about to get married. We’d like to use this store as our Bridal Registry.”

00000

A well organized life….

Two senior ladies met for the first time since graduating from high school. One asked the other, “You were always so organized in school, did you manage to live a well-planned life?”

“Oh yes,” said her friend. “My first marriage was to a millionaire; my second marriage was to an actor; my third marriage was to a preacher; and now I’m married to an undertaker.”

Her friend asked, “What do those marriages have to do with a well-planned life?”

“One for the money, two for the show. Three to get ready and four to go.”

 

Thanks for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. thanks Debby and Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries – ‘Pot Luck’ #Life – Nature’s Hideaway – Pond Party! – Observations by D.G. Kaye


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audiencemine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the first post from resident relationship columnist D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies and in she shares her observations about nature when sat on a bench in a local park.

Nature’s Hideaway – Pond Party! – Observations – Fiction/Nonfiction or Somewhere In Between

Masked me

I’ve been trying to make it a habit to get outside for an hour or so a few days a week for some reading time. Our complex has beautifully manicured parkland with various walking trails and park benches and gazebos. I found myself this lovely secluded spot, able to catch some rays, yet shaded by trees with a slight breeze on the bench, below in the photo. And one particular afternoon while reading in my spot, I found myself distracted by ongoing chatter as the birds seemed very busy on this particularly sizzling hot day. Ringleader was large and in charge. I put down my book and listened for awhile since it was difficult to concentrate with the swarm of birds flying back and forth and from the boisterous chatting and chirping banter.

Pond party

I envisioned this conversation as it continued on, and named the boss Ringleader who appeared be the party organizer and bouncer.

Sitting on a park bench, taking in the beauty of peace and quiet, basking in the beautiful sunshine while reading a book, it appeared the birds, a mere ten feet away, were having a grand old time and taking in the calmness of the blue skies.

No doubts the birds adored their sanctuary – away from the humans, chirping in the trees and enjoying the man-made birdbath some kind gardener had created for them. Ringleader seemed unaffected by the blazing sun and scorching heat as he tirelessly led several groups of birds to indulge in the birdie pond. He’d fly away for a few minutes and return with a new flock who wasted no time splashing down in their private pool. As though their time had expired, Ringleader began squawking, to announce their time was up. Once again he’d lead the flock away, and within minutes, he’d return with a new group of winged friends, landing directly in the grassy bath patch to enjoy their secret garden.

It appeared that some, kind human must have spent time manicuring the vast parkland that surrounds my home, and purposely left the approximate 50 square foot patch of concaved weedy patch as a cooling spot for the numerous birds who frequent the area.

In a moment’s notice, Ringleader is up and out again, and streaming behind him were the various feathered friends who’ve enjoyed their visit and were venturing back off to their homing hangouts, only to be followed with a new crowd upon Ringleader’s return.

While I sat there with sweat beading up on my forehead, I have to admit, I was getting envious of the party of birds having a splash.

©D.G. Kaye 2020

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for Words We Carry

Words We Carry’ is a gem. Kaye writes with a depth of wisdom and understanding and the whole book is relatable because of her insights. She paints a roadmap to show how early memories, others’ opinions and the events throughout our lives create the words about ourselves we carry around. She clearly demonstrates how these shape our thoughts, words and actions and how self-awareness can help us to change the words that do not serve us. ‘Thank you’ dear Kaye, for writing this book.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK –  follow Debby: Goodreads –  Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer –  Twitter: @pokercubsterLinkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye –

 

Thanks for visiting today and I know Debby would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – January 28th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Spiders and Gravestones


Welcome to laughter lines with some fun from around the web from Debby Gies and a joke or two to make you smile from Sally.

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK    BlogD.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads –  Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s column here on Smorgasbord  D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally’s Archives

There are some fascinating things on old tombstones . . .

Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York Born 1903–Died 1942 Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down. It was.

In a Thurmont, Maryland cemetery: Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and no place to go.

On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia: Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102. Only the good die young.

In a London, England cemetery: Here lies Ann Mann, who lived an old maid but died an old Mann. Dec. 8, 1767

In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery: Anna Wallace The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna. Clark Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.

In a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery: Here lies Johnny Yeast. Pardon him for not rising.

In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, cemetery: Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake,
Stepped on the gas instead of the brake.

In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery: Here lays The Kid, We planted him raw. He was quick on the trigger, But slow on the draw.

A lawyer’s epitaph in England: Sir John Strange.
Here lies an honest lawyer, and that is Strange.

John Penny’s epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery: Reader, if cash thou art in want of any, Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny.

In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England: On the 22nd of June, Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune.

Anna Hopewell’s grave in Enosburg Falls,Vermont: Here lies the body of our Anna, Done to death by a banana. It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low, But the skin of the thing that made her go.

On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket, Massachusetts: Under the sod and under the trees, Lies the body of Jonathan Pease. He is not here, there’s only the pod, Pease shelled out and went to God.

In a cemetery in England: Remember man, as you walk by, As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so shall you be, Remember this and follow me.

To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:
To follow you, I’ll not consent, Until I know which way you went.

 

Thanks for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face…Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – January 21st 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Wizards and Squirrels


Welcome to laughter lines with some fun from around the web from Debby Gies and a joke or two to make you smile from Sally.

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK    Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads –  Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s column here on Smorgasbord  D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally.

Squirrels vs Churches

The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrels. After much prayer and consideration, they concluded the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they shouldn’t interfere with God’s divine will.

At the Baptist church, the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a water slide on the baptistery and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and knew instinctively how to swim. Twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.

The Methodist church decided they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creatures. They humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist Church. Two weeks later, the squirrels returned when the Baptists took down their water slide.

The Catholic Church came up with a very creative strategy. They baptized all the squirrels and consecrated them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.

Not much was heard from the Jewish synagogue. They circumcised the first squirrel and haven’t seen one since.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. thanks Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – January 2021 – Online Connections–Vetting on the Internet, Email and Social Media for Scammers and Trolls


Online Connections–Vetting on the Internet, Email and Social Media for Scammers and Trolls

Happy New Year and welcome back to a new year of Realms of Relationships. This is my corner at Smorgasbord Blog Magazine where Sally generously, gives me a featured spot here to share some nuggets of experience on various aspects of communication and relationships we encounter and form through life, where I talk about how I analyze and deal with same issues.

In this first post of the year, I thought I’d talk about how to deal with online scammers and emails, and discuss the importance of vetting people who want to connect with us on social media. Relationship and romantic and business connections, and how to search out the predators who lurk, will be part two on this topic for next month’s post.

Much of the world has at least somewhat of a digital existence since the advent of the internet became an appendage part of our lives these past few decades. Internet has become a whole new entity of itself and some who aren’t so internet savvy have to be extra diligent about who they allow into their circles – even more so – into their lives, digitally.

Now, we all know the many pros about living digitally, but do we know how to recognize the cons?

Social media, email and online dating apps can become threatening when allowing or inviting the wrong type of people into our circles. It’s essential we verify who we are speaking with on the other side of the internet before we allow them into our business.
On the pro side, social media and group apps are a good thing to keep us engaged, and a good means to interact with our peers and family. We can Zoom with friends, family, and for meetings, which of course has been a lifeline for many during this Coronavirus time.

We can instant message our friends and family through apps and texts. And we can make connections with like-minded people globally. And of course, there are numerous apps online for dating. But I caution to be diligent on those apps, and I’ll get to that next issue.

On the con side, in order to make healthy and honest connections in this era of trolls and scammers, we should all be doing our due diligence verifying the people we allow in our circles, making sure they are authentic. Before we make new bonds or meet up with people we’ve met on apps, it’s essential that we do a little background checking. Just as it’s equally important to verify the true source of an email before allowing ourselves to be scammed. And these topics are what I’m going to cover here today.

***

Let’s begin with scam emails and how to detect them – what we need to look for when siphoning out a suspicious email. For example, I’ll share about some usual scammy emails I have personally received over time – scam emails from my bank, my government, Amazon, and Paypal and how I deal with them.

In the past few weeks alone, I’ve been inundated with emails from Amazon, informing me that my account is under investigation and has been closed due to suspicious activity, or requires my attention. The messages all ‘conveniently’ offer me a link so I can log in to my account and check what the ensuing problem is. DON’T! Do not click on that link! In fact, when you receive any kind of such emails NEVER EVER click on the supplied link in the email to sign into your account to investigate. NEVER! This is how the hackers get into your account, you are opening the door for them. Their intent with these emails are , they are hoping you do exactly that, open it!

I’m beyond recognizing these scams because they are so frequent. I just auto delete and don’t even bother going over to Amazon to check anything because I know the ruse. But for those of you who get startled and alarmed by such scary information and feel the need to verify, just GO directly to Amazon URL and log in to your account DIRECTLY FROM AMAZON. You are going to the source direct. If there is any problem with your account, Amazon will be only too happy to leave a notification on your account.

How to recognize scam mail –a huge tell of a scammy email is to look directly within the URL address from the sender. Any reputable company sending email will have no extra gobbledygook attached to the sender name. When you receive email from Amazon it will say something like -“Amazon dot com@support or something of its ilk, but it WILL NOT HAVE any other tails attached to the URL, such as random letters and numbers or names – like this: (taken from one of the numerous scam mails in my junk bin)

Mail sent by Assistant Amazon: We found a suspicious transaction on your payments profile Sun, December 20, 2020 [6894-593980-LBXUJ72G]
Customer Service <norpl-SLQOV8GOcWH2xf1HunY8cuEUX5@AlanLinares.onmicrosoft.com>
Sun 2020-12-20 1:25 PM

Here is the message in the body:

“Amazon Customer Protection.”

In this spot is the box they want me to click on

The payment for your latest order is failed. It appears that some of the billing details associated with your account might have expired or were otherwise changed. Please update your account information by Sun, December 20, 2020 to avoid limitation to access.

Also, look at the bottom of the email signature for telltale weird stuff and unprofessional signature. But your two main flashing warnings are a wonky URL from the sender, and a ‘click this link’ offering embedded in the email. No reputable company or institution will EVER leave an embedded log in link within the email. Check out the signature at the end of the above email:

Thank you for making this a priority.
Detail
Amazon.com, Inc
Headquarters : Seattle, Washington, United States
Order Date : Sun, December 20, 2020

That’s it! Anyone can write that signature!

As most of you reading this are familiar with email correspondence from Amazon, their sender address is from plain old Amazon.ca, or in many of your cases – Amazon.com, no names, letters or nonsense attached to sender name.

This same information applies to any email from any company or institution you do business with. Anywhere! Some companies offer a ‘spoofing’ or ‘phishing’ email address you can forward the scam email to so they can find and get rid of yet another scammer. I try to always forward a scam email to these company’s spoof or phishing address so they can be alerted.

Here’s what Amazon suggests:

To report a phishing or spoofed email or webpage:

1. Open a new email and attach the email you suspect is fake. For suspicious webpages, copy and paste the link into the email body.

Note: If you can’t send the email as an attachment, you can forward it.

2. Send the email to stop-spoofing@amazon.com.

Note: Sending the suspicious email as an attachment is the best way for us to track it.

Paypal also requests we send scam emails to them so they can eliminate yet another scammer. This is their advice:

If you believe you’ve received a phishing email, follow these steps right away: Forward the entire email to spoof@paypal.com. Do not alter the subject line or forward the message as an attachment.

Similarly, most institutions have a number or email you can forward scam emails too. I always do. If we all did, we could eliminate many of these thieves.

All the same information applies to scam banking or government emails. If the URL is wonky and there is a link offered in the email to log in to your account to rectify DO NOT! Always go directly to the website of your account and log in safely. Then do your fellow man a favor and report the scam to the appropriate authorities. In my case, when I received an email from our Canada Revenue Taxation branch urging me to login because they had found money for me, I Googled up the appropriate source to inform of the scam and wound up calling the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Fraud Squad to report it and they thanked me for doing so.

If the government has money for me, I’m already linked with auto deposit from them, and they know my address. Trust me, the government doesn’t take the time to send you a ‘hello’ email, ‘we’re sending you money.’ It’s auto deposited. And if they don’t deposit what’s expected, they’ll forward a letter by mail explaining so.

I use the exact same protocol for scam bank emails alerting me to ‘a problem with my account and because of it, my account has been frozen until rectified.’ These brazen types of scams even come by text on my mobile phone. I find them hilarious considering my bank doesn’t even have my cell phone number. Delete! Delete!

Now, let’s talk about social media apps. Facebook is notorious for its trolls and lonely hearts wanderers. Besides the disinformation and lies Facebook allows on its platform, it also has many trolls instigating and desecrating truth, but many others are stalking some and trying to form romantic relationships. How do I know this? Because I run a few groups on Facebook, including a political one. And I get numerous requests in my notifications from weirdos trying to hit on me! Firstly, I don’t EVER engage with trolls. When I receive rude or ignorant political comments, I click on the commenter’s name, which takes me to their page and I block them. If I deem them threatening, while on their page, I both, block, and report them. If they try any crap in any of my groups I run, I just report and then boot them.

Now, about making friendships and alliances online, that entails a deeper kind of investigating.

Let’s go back to Facebook as an example – I frequently get notifications that ‘so and so’ would like to be my friend. And this is where it’s important to do some checking. Here are some things to ask yourself before adding that ‘new’ friend:

  • Do I know this person?
  • How do I know this person?
  • Do I want them privy to the posts I make on my personal page?

As an author on Facebook I have two pages, a personal page and an author page. I use my author page to share blog posts, writing posts, books, and memes relating to all the things I advocate for and relate to the books and stories I write. On my personal page I post memes about things I believe in, injustices, current events, humor, personal updates, and memes that speak a message, or even things about my sentiments on issues. That’s why it’s called my ‘personal’ page. If you aren’t in line with my posts, then you shouldn’t friend me. And that isn’t just for trolls who will never be invited, but for all friend requests. This is why 99% of my personal posts are set to be viewed by ‘friends’ only. I’m not looking to make waves with others who don’t approve or make judgments, and if I don’t feel you may be able to handle the things I post, I decline invitations.

So how do I vet these requests? I never just accept them, unless I know them. I visit the page of the person who requested the friendship and take a look at what types of things they like to post. I also read their ‘about’ blurb to see what I can learn about them or their opinions. If they are within the realms of my criteria, I’ll accept. If I feel otherwise, I decline. If I feel real curious about that person, I’ll continue on my investigation looking through various other social media accounts of that person.

There’s an old saying, an actual quote by Maya Angelou – “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” We have much to learn from the posts and articles people share. It’s up to us to do our digital search to vet the people we allow into our circles for various reasons:

  • We don’t need a public clashing of personality or beliefs and rude comments left on our posts
  • We should know something about someone before we want to attach our names to their circles. Online reputation is of utmost importance to keep clean, especially if we conduct our business online.
  • Allowing anyone to be our friend on Facebook, allows them to post and comment on our timeline. We don’t want to have to worry about unsavory comments left on our pages.

I hope this article has helped to enlighten you about just a few of the scams going on around cyberworld, and hope I’ve made it clear to NEVER log in to any account directly through an email. Do your diligence on social media apps so you don’t get caught in the web of trolls.

Next month, I’m going to get into Online Dating Apps and what to beware of, how to make a presentable profile and how to vet potential romantic interests.

If you’d like to share any of your own experience with a scam or a troll, let’s discuss!

©DGKaye 2021

 My thanks to Debby for clarifying what can be a minefield when we are active online alongside the scammers.

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for Words We Carry

Words We Carry’ is a gem. Kaye writes with a depth of wisdom and understanding and the whole book is relatable because of her insights. She paints a roadmap to show how early memories, others’ opinions and the events throughout our lives create the words about ourselves we carry around. She clearly demonstrates how these shape our thoughts, words and actions and how self-awareness can help us to change the words that do not serve us. ‘Thank you’ dear Kaye, for writing this book.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK –  follow Debby: Goodreads – : Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – Twitter: @pokercubsterLinkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

 

Thank you for joining us today and Debby would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – January 12th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Waistbands and Walking into a Bar


Welcome to laughter lines with some fun from around the web from Debby Gies and a joke or two to make you smile from Sally.

 

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK    Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads –  Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s 2020 series here on Smorgasbord  D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally.

Walking into a bar has been the subject of many jokes over the years and I will share one or two of my favourites .

A panda walks into a bar, sits down and order a sandwich. He eats the sandwich, pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter dead. As the panda stands up to go, the bartender shouts, “Hey! Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for your sandwich!” The panda yells back at the bartender, “Hey man, I’m a PANDA! Look it up!” The bartender opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for Panda: “A tree dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterized by distinct black and white coloring. Eats shoots and leaves.”

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A cowboy walked into a bar and ordered a whiskey. When the bartender delivered the drink, the cowboy asked, “Where is everybody?” The bartender replied, “They’ve gone to the hanging.” “Hanging? Who are they hanging?” “Brown Paper Pete,” the bartender replied.

“What kind of a name is that?” the cowboy asked. “Well,” said the bartender, “he wears a brown paper hat, brown paper shirt, brown paper trousers and brown paper shoes.”
“Weird guy,” said the cowboy. “What are they hanging him for?”

“Rustling,” said the bartender

00000

This guy walks into a bar and asks the bartender if he can show him something unbelievable, he gets a free beer? The bartender says alright. So the man puts a hamster and two frogs on the bar and all of a sudden the two frogs jump up and start into a Broadway medley.

Well, a man at the end of the bar said, “That’s amazing; I’ll give you $1,000 for the frogs.” The man agreed the guy took off.

The bartender said to him, “You could have gotten more for the frogs.”

The man said, “Frogs are easy to come by, the hamster’s a ventriloquist.”

 

Thanks for dropping by and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face…Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – December 15th 2020 – Reindeer and Wise Words


 Debby Gies has been scouring the web for some funnies to share with us and I am sure you will enjoy. Followed by a joke or two from me.

If you are not already following Debby’s blog here is the link D.G. Writes where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK    BlogD.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads –  Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s 2020 series here on Smorgasbord  D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally.

Words of wisdom

A man had been contemplating the world’s population,
It’s amazing, he told his friend. Every time I breathe in and out someone dies.
Have you tried mouthwash said his friend

*****

‘Every man should have a girl for love, companionship and sympathy,’ said a wise and mature bachelor. ‘Preferably at three different addresses,’ he added

Quick thinking

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: ‘Take only ONE. God is watching.’

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.A child had written a note: ‘Take all you want. God is watching the apples.’

 

Thanks for dropping in today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face..Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – November 12th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Plastic bags and one liners


Firstly, with the results of sleuthing on the Internet are some funnies from Debby Gies followed by some jokes from Sally.

D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

Thanks to Debby for finding these treasures… please give her a round of applause..

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon USAndAmazon UK    BlogD.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads –  Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s series here on Smorgasbord  D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

And now a joke or two from Sally

A few one liners

I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

When chemists die, they barium.

I’m reading a book about antigravity. I just can’t put it down.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the cross eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?

Broken pencils are pointless.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

Velcro… What a rip off!

Don’t worry about old age; it doesn’t last.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face…Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Guest Interviews 2015 – A Funny Thing Happened, #Relationships D.G. Kaye


As I sort through and organise my files here on WordPress which now amount to over 12,000 since 2013, I am discovering gems, such as guest interviews that I would love to share with you again..

This week an early interview with D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies as part of a Sunday interview series ‘A Funny Thing Happened to Me.’ in 2015.

Little did I know as I asked Debby about one of the topics for her non-fiction books, narcissism, that a few years later she would be writing the Relationship Column for us. I have updated the interviews with recent books and reviews and I hope you will enjoy revisiting the posts with me.

71F8zMPwPML._UX250_If you are a regular visitor you will have met Debby before as a contributor writing The Travel Column for two years and now The Realm of Relationships 2020. Debby also co-hosts the Laughter Lines twice a week.

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Thank you Debby for joining us today and perhaps we could start with the increasingly documented personality trait labelled Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is only recently that this disorder has become better known as more and more people realise that at some point in their lives they have been subjected to its negative impact. Perhaps you could describe the sort of behaviour that a narcissist would exhibit?

Hello Sally and readers of this wonderful blog. Thank you so much for inviting me to this new series to share my stories here with so many other talented artists and writers.

A narcissist, in laymen’s terms, sees him/herself as the center of existence. They feel as though their appearance and/or words trump everyone else’s. In my mother’s case, she had created a false persona that she had convinced her own self that she was superior. It was her mission to be the most beautiful one in a room, and craved attention so that focus had to be on her at all times.

Everything she talked about was exaggerated to make sure she could captivate her audience with her stories of grandeur. Her wants and needs came first to anyone else’s, including her children’s. She’d go to any lengths to acquire whatever it was she seeked.

Now, some people like to tell lies and paint pretty pictures of themselves for attention, but a true narcissist, as in my mother’s case, actually believes her own stories because she lived in her own ego.

I learned through the years of studying her, that this was a disease, which commonly wasn’t recognized as such. In the last generation, I don’t believe it was prominently diagnosed.

Do we all have some elements of that behaviour and if so what triggers it becoming a full blown disorder?

I don’t believe we all have the elements of becoming a narcissist, but I do believe there can be circumstances or incidents one encounters in life that propel one to becoming narcissistic. I’m no licenced psychologist, but I have to believe it can also be linked to various (undiagnosed) mental disorders, such as depression, which becomes a catalyst to narcissism, used to overcome some troubling issues. I say this because I think that besides my mother’s strife to be the best in show, I sensed a sadness within her that she was trying to conceal, not just to everyone, but also to herself.

She medicated that inner sadness with booze, pills and gambling, intermittently. She came from a poor family, and in a Scarlett O’Hara sort of way, had used her beauty as a weapon to obtain materialistic things in life.

I don’t believe anyone is born a narcissist. I think that it is the situations one lives through, which have a propensity to steer them in that direction as a means to achieve a status to feel better about themselves; and no matter at who’s expense.

It is obvious, as in your case, that a child would feel powerless in that kind of relationship. But is also true that adults of narcissistic parents can still be under the influence of that negativity especially as the parents age. What would be your advice to someone facing that challenge?

I would have to say the statistics show that many adults are still held under the powers of a narcissistic parent. It’s a major feat to become freed from the power that parents hold over us, mainly from their use of guilt as a means to obtain what they demand.

I was petrified to say the word “no” to my mother, my whole life. I danced to her every whim, and there were plenty of them. Children’s psyches are delicate, and grow from what we know and are used to. If we’re obedient, and not defiant children being raised by a narcissist, the odds are we shall remain under their power for the rest of their lives unless we are lucky enough to take a stand to them. For me, it was always unsettling to be around my mother.

We have to find a way for ourselves to live comfortably and deal with that parent (in my case.) It is very unlikely that person will ever change because they don’t believe they are the one with the problem.

I complied with my mother’s demands all my life and it ate away at me like poison, I took her wraths and tantrums because I felt I had to obey. I was the child, no matter what age I was. It took me decades and barrels of courage to get over the feeling that she had entitlement to anything she demanded from me, as a daughter. With a lot of self-therapy and self-analysis, I tried to reason with her to no avail.

I had to learn the hard way that it wasn’t my job, or in my power to fix her. The sickness wouldn’t allow anything positive I had to offer her, register with her. In the end, it was my own self-sanity I had to save, and painfully after so much emotional torment, at 48 years old, I walked away,

Sometimes you have to learn when you can’t fix a broken soul who doesn’t think it needs repairing.

In the UK there are around 120,000 divorces a year which is one of the highest in the European Union. In the US I understand that is around the 2.5 million mark per year. Whatever the figure that is a huge number of men and women and of course millions of children who are faced with this life changing event. What do you believe are the key issues that partners find so difficult to overcome that leads to this very final dissolution of their relationship and family?

Many times people get married for the wrong reasons, varying from anything such as, for material gain, pregnancy, or just settling for a relationship in order not to be alone, just to name a few. Other times, it could be that people marry too young.

Experience shows us that as we grow older, our wants and likes change as we grow. Sometimes people drift into new directions, leaving a partner behind when they no longer share interests. Also, infidelity is a major cause of break-ups, and I believe the promiscuity begins when one isn’t receiving the shared interest, respect, attention or kindness from their partner. They crave acceptance and to be acknowledged or included as a partner in their marriage, and when they stop receiving, they become vulnerable when they meet someone who feeds that need.

What would be your advice to anyone in a relationship who is facing potentially serious issues about some of the communication points they should be discussing with their partners to help prevent a complete breakdown?

We have to communicate our thoughts and feelings to our partners. We have to open our ears and listen back when they express their feelings to us. We should be supporting their work and passions. This must become a two-way street of reciprocation.

If we feel we are giving our all, and we aren’t being paid any mind or consideration for our own thoughts and feelings, this is a good sign we are not in a loving, supportive relationship. This would be the time to seek some outside therapy to salvage a relationship, before it becomes time to sever it.

Thank you so much Debby for providing such an important insight into one of the most corrosive relationships that we can find ourselves in and also the strategies that might help us overcome the challenges we face. 

Now time for the central theme of the Sunday Show interview.. ‘A funny thing happened to me..’

What are the Odds?

I title this situation with the phrase I’ve countlessly repeated many times throughout my life because I’ve often encountered situations in life where the odds were slim of things happening.

Sometimes it wasn’t always a good situation, but in this instance, I lucked out with favourable odds.

When I was twenty-five, I took a leave of absence from my then position as an executive assistant to the general manager of a downtown hotel chain. I had a fantasy that I wanted to fulfil of travelling through the Greek islands. Part of that trip I rented villa on the island of Mykonos for six weeks.

I travelled alone, as I was fiercely independent and had no trouble meeting people and forging friendships.

While I was waiting for three days in Athens for my booked passage over to Mykonos, I had befriended some interesting people staying at my same hotel. One of these people was a lovely Dutch boy, a few years younger than I, who was backpacking through Europe. Another couple I befriended were from Australia, also backpacking and taking on work around Europe to sustain their travels. They were at the same hotel at the same time as I was, all treating themselves to a few days in a nice hotel instead of the usual youth hostels.

When we all parted to go our separate ways, I had given them my address in Mykonos, and invited them to drop by if they were on the island in the coming weeks, and I offered them a room to rent in the villa for a nominal fee. I thought it would be nice for them, and it would also give me some extra pocket money.

Only a few days had gone by in Mykonos, and I had broken my foot getting off a high step on a bus while going into town for some provisions. Now, that situation alone is a story, which you will find in my book Conflicted Hearts, but nonetheless, my foot was broken, and I wasn’t going to another island to have it casted. I saw a doctor who wrapped it tightly in a tensor bandage, gave me crutches, and told me to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. Walking on crutches on the broken cobblestone roads and struggling to get up the small mountain (and down) on the rickety path to the beach was a feat in itself.

A few days had passed and as I struggled again to get to the beach, and find my rock where I elevated my foot, I laid down my things and began thinking that I should cut my vacation short because it was too hard for me to get around. I was sad and scared about my demise. Tears sprang from eyes in my feelings of defeat. And then moments later, I heard somebody shouting my name.

I was sure it was a call for someone else, as I had yet to make friends with anyone there, except for the jeweller in town who befriended me when I fell off the bus and helped me get to a doctor, then scared the crap out of me. (Again full story in my book.)

I quickly sat up to see where the far away voice was coming from, when I realized God had sent me an angel.

My little Dutch friend had come to visit. He stayed for two weeks. He was so kind and helpful. He prepared meals for me, took me to town and carried my things, and helped me up and down the hilly paths. We shared a great friendship for many years after through letters. And, of course, I never took a dime from him.

Could lightning strike twice? After my Dutch friend left, a mere one day later, the same miracle happened at the beach when my Aussie friends showed up looking for me. They stayed with me for two weeks.

Coincidence? Divine timing? Those who know me well know that I often preach that we meet people; sometimes for reasons, sometimes for a season.

Love your story Debby… Coincidence perhaps, but also down to how well liked you were by those you met that they wanted to see you again…

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for P.S. I Forgive You on Goodreads

Jul 29, 2020 M.J. Mallon rated it Five Stars it was amazing

This is a very personal account of the author’s experiences of coping and coming to terms with the emotions experienced after the death of a narcissistic mother. D. G Kaye’s mother is herself a product of the terrible parenting she experienced as a child. My own mother struggled with many heartbreaking problems as she grew up. She overcame these and was and continues to be a wonderfully caring mother. I have a deep, unbreakable bond with her which I also have with my daughters.

As I continued to read further into this memoir I kept on comparing our circumstances. How sad and damaging such an uncaring, selfish parent is to her children. How can a mother behave in such a way? P.S. I Forgive You is an important read for all of us. This memoir is about letting go, releasing the emotional turmoil which begun in childhood.

It is a compelling read. It courageously deals with the extremes of family relationships. Relationships are complex and difficult even in what I would deem to be ‘normal’ families. There are many who struggle to understand or relate to their son or daughter, sister, brother, wife or husband.

But this memoir takes those problems to a whole new level that no one should have to experience. After such a damaging upbringing, D. G. Kaye has suffered but has learnt to forgive. She lives a happy, fulfilled life. That is a wonderful testament to her strength of character and her can do attitude.

I’d recommend this memoir to us all whatever our circumstances

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US AndAmazon UK – BlogD.G. WritesGoodreads:D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster – Facebook: Debby Gies

Thank you for joining us today and Debby would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.