Surprise birthday party

 

 

A few posts back I wrote about my brother’s fast approaching sixtieth birthday. Well, his birthday is this coming Thursday (30th), but the surprise party was last night.  It took lots of scheming and coercing, (did I tell you my brother is stubborn?) but we did manage to surprise him at his own home.

picture from Pixabay

Thank heavens for Facebook and its event planner feature.  The whole party was arranged, staged and organized by creating the event on Facebook.  With his daughter in Barrie, me in Ottawa, the birthday boy and other friends and family members in Ingleside, social media (FB) came to the rescue, keeping us all connected.  I created the event adding key individuals as cohosts so we could each send out invitations from our own contact lists.  Keeping the party a private event ( an option when creating the event) ensured my brother would not find out as only invited guests could access the details.

      To create a private or public event on Facebook:
  1. Click Events in the left menu of your News Feed.
  2. Click Create Event in the top right.
  3. Click to choose between a private or public event. …
  4. Fill in the event name, details, location and time. …
  5. Click Create.

From the moment the event was created up to the moment of surprise, we were able to communicate as a group.  Except for the birthday boy of course, he was excluded from the group. Jobs such as purchasing the party essentials, organizing the potluck food contributions,  decorating the venue and even distracting the birthday boy (definitely the toughest job) were all delegated on Facebook.

It was the easiest party to organize, ever.  Judging by the turnout of all the guests and the delicious food, it was a great success!

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Breast or bottle feeding

Is it better or easier to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby?  Over the years I don’t think it has ever been disputed that breastfeeding is far healthier, but bottles are certainly very convenient, especially for fathers wanting (or needing) to feed their babies.

The health advantages of breast milk include:

  • contains antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria
  • contains all the essential minerals and vitamins needed in the first 6 months
  • lowers the risk of asthma and allergies in children
  • lowers the chance of diarrhea and ear infections
  • breastfeeding helps moms get back to pre-pregnancy weight faster

When my mother was feeding me and my siblings, (in the late 50’s and early 60’s) breastfeeding was not as popular as it is today.  Why that was I am not sure.  Moms were still predominantly “stay at home” and breastfeeding was (and still is) certainly the more economical way to go.  Maybe because of the larger families and the time commitment involved in breastfeeding.  It would be hard to concentrate on breastfeeding with a few other munchkins running around.  I have heard too that breastfeeding was considered to be an uncultured or low-class practice, an opinion that started in the early 20th century and extended almost to the 21st century.

When I was feeding my own babies (in the 90’s) breastfeeding was the thing to do.  I found it very convenient and relaxing, with no complications.  No sterilizing bottles and no filling bottles in the middle of the night.  I do know several women that had difficulties though, with low milk production or trouble with babies latching on properly.  I always said that was the advantage I had in having large babies; (my first was 10 pounds!) they had no trouble latching on and draining me every feeding.

Today, there appears to be mixed feelings about breastfeeding.  It has been making a comeback due to the increased interest in pursuing healthy, more natural lifestyles.   However, although no one can really dispute the health advantages, some modern women still feel tied down and men feel left out when choosing to breastfeed their babies.

The smart choice (in my opinion) is to do both.  Reap the health benefits for mom and baby, but make it more convenient.  Modern technology has produced very efficient (although the electric ones are costly) breast pumps and bottles with colic reducing nipples shaped like breast nipples so baby does not get confused with different sucking procedures going back and forth.

breastfeeding

I have seen my daughter-in-law pump two 5 ounce bottles in ten minutes, something that would have taken me hours to do by hand years ago.  Below are a few of the newest products out there for breastfeeding moms on the go; they are all greatly admired by this grandma…

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fc1=333333&lc1=0066C0&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

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It’s a small world!

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Source: Advertise and shop around the world!

Another one

Right after I posted about SCAMS I received this email.  I just saw it today because it was filtered into my JUNK file where it belongs…

This is to inform you that after the evaluation and conclusion of our meeting with the board of directors and special representatives from BANK PLC BURKINA FASO on how to disburse and remit your funds to you.
 
BANK PLC and WESTERN UNION have collaborated in other to remit your total fund of $2.5M us dollar, via western union by transferring $8,500 usd to you everyday via western union until we conclude the remittance of your funds.
 
So please confirm your interest by providing the below details to enable us begin the payment of your funds and start to transfer your funds via western union.
 
1 . Your full names
2. Your contact address
3. Your country
4. Your occupation
5. Your contact lines
6. A copy of your id documentary or international passport
7. Personal email address
 
Upon receiving this details, we shall start the transfer of your funds via western union as stated transferring your funds to you in badges of $8,500 usd per day.

Please kindly contact our representative MR GABBERT PARKER with the details for your transfer of your fund.

Sincerely,
Yours Faithfully.
Manager(Operations) MR GABBERT PARKER
Chief Operating Officer, Financing & Portfolio
Money Transfer | International Money Transfer | Western Union
www.westernunion.com

 

Lucky me!

Scams, scams and more scams

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I received two more scams today by email.  The first one was from someone claiming to be “checking my Netflix account”  They (in broken English and poor spelling) wanted me to click on a link to verify my account information with a threat that my family’s access to Netflix would be cut off if I did not follow the instructions.

The second scam was an email from someone claiming to be from Canada Post telling me I had a package that they tried to deliver but no one was home.  Again, they asked me to click on a link to verify my information and find out where to pick up my package.

Both are scams, looking to get information on unsuspecting individuals.  Popular services (such as Netflix and Canada Post) are being targeted because many people use and rely on them.  Clicking on the link provided will introduce a virus into your computer which will track personal information including banking details.

Clicking on the link provided in these scams will introduce a virus into your computer which will track personal information including banking details.  Instead of clicking on the link, delete the suspicious email immediately.

Here are a few clues that should make you suspect an emailed scam:

  • poor grammar and spelling in the content
  • telling you about something you did not order (packages)  Canada Post would never email you if they stop by and no one is home, they leave a notice at your door.
  • offers of refunds or money for nothing or ways to help you save.  If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
  • emails from someone you know that do not make sense, are very vague (i think you might be interested in this)  or contain a link you know nothing about
  • emails asking for information the (fake) sender (eg. CRA, bank etc) would already have on file
  • they are providing a service you did not request.  For example, they are telling you something is wrong with your computer and want you to log in so they can “help you fix the problem”
  • miracle cures of any sort (skin care, weight loss, etc etc) go under the “too good to be true” category
  • reputable companies do NOT ask for updated personal information via email

 

A PREVIOUS POST talked about scams you might encounter when shopping online.  Remember and be aware that perpetrators can find innocent, unsuspecting victims by email, phone, regular mail and even at your front door.  With modern technology, the world is becoming a much smaller place.  Scams, especially ones through email, can and do come from anywhere in the world today.

If you are even the least bit suspicious, google the company represented to see if there are any known scams associated with that company.  Use information available online to educate and protect yourself and others.  For example, I googled Netflix scam, and guess what, a whole list of results turned up.  This particular scam has been going on across Canada for a while now.   Remember, the company is not at fault, they are being used too.  The scammers are relying on these reputable, trusted and popular companies to get your attention.

After you delete the offending email, share the knowledge and warn your friends, family members, and neighbours.  The RCMP has a website for you to report SCAMS  and other fraudulent activity.

Be scam savvy!

Online shopping and scams

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Online shopping is very common today due to its convenience and our hectic schedules.  The problem is, there are lots of companies out there just waiting for busy and unsuspecting people like you and I to fall for their scams.  These are

Companies that offer a “free trial” of a product for just the cost of shipping, often charge you for the full price of the product (megabucks) if you do not cancel within a few days of ordering.  Not a few days from receiving the product and giving it a try, but a few days after ordering, often before you even receive the product to try.  They count on that discrepancy in the time factor, hoping you won’t have time or forget to cancel.  If you do not cancel within the specified time frame, you will not have much luck getting your money back.

Other companies keep renewing your order automatically whether you need more product or not. Again, this should have been spelled out in the fine print of the original offer.  Beware, it can be difficult to cancel the order completely or control when the products are shipped.

I had an incident last week where I had tried to book my son’s drivers test online.  I went through the whole process, prepaid for his test with my visa, then received an email saying it could not be booked online.  I was advised I would be refunded the payment.  Three business days later I received a refund, but was charged ten dollars for a “cancellation fee”

This list contains tips to (hopefully) prevent you from getting scammed when making online purchases:

  • read the fine print of any offer.  The details of the repeated/monthly payments are usually not visible front and center.
  • if an offer seems too good to be true, it generally is
  • consider a prepaid credit card for online purchases; refill it in small increments or just when you order something.   This is easy to do online.  That way the company you are purchasing from does not have your regular credit card number to make unauthorized, often repeated, transactions.
  • keep a close eye on your credit card statement.  This is easy to do these days with online accounts.  This is especially important since companies often have different names for payments on credit cards, making it difficult to keep track of your purchases and payments.
  • set up alerts on your credit card so you know immediately when they are  used.  This can easily be done online as well.  Phone the fraud department of the credit card you use if you do not recognize a transaction.  They are generally pretty good at giving you details of the transaction, but more importantly, will cancel your card if you suspect fraud.
  • do your research before you purchase a product from a company you are unfamiliar with.  Thankfully modern technology has supplied us with access to complaints, scams, and other information about companies.
  • order from companies you know about or have heard about.  Companies like Melaleuca and Rodan & Fields have consultants/team members to purchase from.  That way  you have recourse if something goes wrong with your order or your payment.

 

Online shopping is certainly convenient, but be aware of who you are dealing with.  Let me know of any tips you may have for online shopping safety.

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