Camping on the Coast

California Harbor Seal on Beach I spent Memorial Day Weekend camping on the Northern California coast with a group of Venture Crew Scouts. One of whom was my daughter!  Venture Crew is for high school and college age boys and girls and is a little known division of Boy Scouts. One of the things I like about Venture Crew is I get to go along and do things I wouldn’t normally do.

This trip was all about abalone diving.  I wasn’t going to let the kids have all the fun, so I squeezed myself into a rented wetsuit , complete with hood, boots, and gloves. I paddled a kayak out to where the kids were diving so I could keep an eye on them. (Another adult was diving with them and showing them how to find the abalone.)  While keeping one eye on the kids I was able to watch the sea lions and the harbor seals swim around and look for their dinner. I also saw pelicans, sea gulls, cormorants, and curlews.  Later I jumped into the cold water and swam around a bit. I have never been in a wetsuit before and I was impressed by how it kept the cold out, and how buoyant it made me! It was great. I wouldn’t have been able to sink if I wanted to! Did a little snorkeling, and saw a lot of kelp!

The picture is of a harbor seal that was hanging out on the beach. The marine society had posted signs all around telling people to stay away. Most did, but some just had to get up close to take a look. I didn’t seem to bother the seal, but I still kept my distance. My camera has a good zoom so  I was able to take some nice pictures.  The seal blends in with the sand so well I don’t know if I would have seen him if it wasn’t for all the signs!

That evening we all got a lesson in cleaning abalone (be glad I didn’t have my camera then!) and had a wonderful abalone feast for dinner. The kids really enjoyed eating what they had gathered!  My daughter managed to get her limit on abalone so I was able to bring some home and enjoy a second abalone feast.

Did you do anything fun over the holiday?

Saying GoodBye to Paid Posting

I have been with PayPerPost since January, and until recently I could find 5 or 6 opportunities a week to write about. But now, something has changed. It has been 30 days and counting since there have been any opportunities available for me. I think I know why. A few weeks back I accepted an opportunity. The description was a little vague, but I can make most topics work with this blog. It is only after I accept the job that I find out I am supposed to blog about a para-military gun accessory site! There is no way I can make that fit into this blog! So I didn’t write the post and now I am not getting any more offers. So I am saying goodbye to all paid posting services. Goodbye to Smorty, goodbye to Blogvertise, and especially goodbye to PayPerPost. Goodbye to writing posts that no one really wants to read. goodbye to $5 for 30 minutes worth of work. And, hopefully, goodbye to PageRank 0.

Now, I know it wasn’t all that long ago I wrote PR0 and Proud of It. In that post I wrote that I wasn’t going to let Google tell me what I can or can’t do with MY blog. And that is still true. I think what is happening here is I am evolving as a blogger. I am finding that you can’t depend on other people/companies/websites to help you make money or succeed as a blogger. If you do you have to play by their rules. I am not that kind of person. I like to make my own rules. So now I am putting into play what I always knew was true.

This blog is about me and what I want. I just need to decide what that is.

I’d like to hear about your experiences with Paid Posting. Good or Bad.

I Love Contests!

I love Blogging contests, because it is so easy to win prizes. Earlier I blogged about the Hochstadt’s Party Contest. I got lots of entries just for writing a blog post about the contest, and for commenting on the blog. Well, I just found out that I won 3 prizes! Woo Hoo!

I won a One Buck Wiki pages from Max at SiteHoppin. My page is Webmaster-Blog, more about that later!
Plus I won a signed book by Robert G Allan from Leisa Watkins at Dream Act Plan Believe. (The book is in the mail, I can’t wait to read it! And, from Martin Russell at Word of Mouth Marketing I won an account with 10 cards from SendOutCards.com. (I’ll be sending one to you Mom!)

This is the second time in as many months that I have won prizes in blog contests. Last month I won $10, so you know I’ll be posting about more contests as they come up.

Cheers!

The Joy of Long Term Goals

Several years ago I was talking to my Pastor. We were talking about education and I was bemoaning the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to get a college degree. I had married young and had children. I was running a very successful business, I had an active family and social life. “With everything I have going on I could only take a class or two a year.” I said to him. “It would take me 10 years just to get my AA (2 year) degree!

“That is true” he answered,”But ten years are going to go by no matter what. And in 10 years either you will have that college degree or you won’t”.

Well, it only took 6 years, but last night I took my last final and I have now completed all the requirements for an AA degree in Accounting, and an AA in Business Administration!

Why is it, that people, including myself, think that just because something will take a long time, it isn’t worth doing? I do a lot of financial counseling with people and they are always saying things like, “I have so much credit card debt, it will take years to pay off, so why even try?” Or conversely, “It would take forever to save up the money for that vacation, so I’ll just put it on the credit card.” By thinking this way people find themselves 5, 10, 20 years later in the same spot they are now AND, they are missing out on the joy of delayed gratification.

Yes, I said the JOY of delayed gratification. Today everybody seems to want everything right now, and they are willing to take on outstanding amounts of debt to do that. So once the fun of the impulse purchase is over, all you are left with is the stress of trying to pay the debt.

For our 25th wedding anniversary (no I’m not that old, I told you I married young!) my husband and I wanted to take a fabulous vacation. First class all the way. We could have used the credit cards, or taken out a loan to pay for the vacation, after all, we deserved it! Staying together for 25 years isn’t easy! But instead we decided to save up for our vacation.

For 2 years I planned and saved and saved an planned. I had a great time researching where we would go and what we would do. It was exciting to see our savings grow. And it was easy to bypass all those little extras, so the money could go towards our vacation. I had a great time planning the vacation. In some ways, the anticipation was more fun than the actual trip itself!

While I was researching, planning and saving for our vacation, my husband was doing the same for a great camera to take with us. We ended up with a great deal on a fabulous camera.

In the end we spent 2 marvelous weeks in Belize. A country I didn’t even know existed before I started my research. And the best part is, when we came home there were no bills to pay. I don’t even have any credit card bills to remind me of my vacation, all I have are some wonderful photos!

So the next time you think you aren’t going to do something because it will take too long, just remember, the time is going to go by anyway! 10 years from now will you still be bemoaning the fact that you don’t have a college degree, or your credit cards paid off or…?