Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Check out bartering site SIMBI

Earlier this month inside a Facebook group someone had shared a link to the site Simbi. This sounded interesting, so I clicked it on and have been visiting the site regularly ever since.

To start off with when you sign up through someone you each get Simbi (which is like points) and then when the person makes their first deal there are more Simbi for both of you. To join Simbi you connect and verify through a social media account, either LinkedIn or Facebook. To complete your profile you can connect Google as well to have all three shown as verified on your profile.

Join here - SIMBI

The site uses the term "strength" when you are posting an offer and creating your profile. It will show you at 81% strength and the more information you provide the more strength percentage you get. As far as I know this is only available to the user - no one else can see this. It is just a way to get your page organized and completed and the same with the offers/requests/deals being proposed.

Keep your money

It's no good here. The economy isn’t working for 99% of us, so we’re building a new one. By joining Simbi you’re accepting a new lifestyle, one of symbiotic exchange, abundance, and human capital. Together, our talents are limitless.

This is what is listed at the home page if you are not yet a member. Once you are a member the home page is set up with Recent activity for all and then those that you follow. This is a scrolling through feature where you can see the latest offerings and deals being made plus who has clicked on a deal for their favorites.

Your ID is your first name and initial of your last name. I suggest once you have set up your profile that you have a look around and click on deals. The heart at the top is how you would favorite a deal. When you do this the member has a notification and they can check out your offerings.

You’ve been favorited! Click through to see your admirer’s services

My advice is to dedicate 15 minutes at the site once you have signed up, otherwise the chances of returning are slim and this gives you a head start by seeing what others offer and create your first offer.


There are three categories - Services, Products and Requests.

For products you would add cost of postage and handling within the posting. There are many that post art work and hand made items.

Requests are a way for people to post what they are looking for rather than using the search function and reply to a service offered. The profiles have badges that you can earn and get on the leaderboard. I made it on the leaderboard before my first week was completed.

When looking at a profile or at a specific request or service, you will see the number of reviews they have, their percentage of completion, how many deals, their badges, the number of followers and a blue number that could be 5.0 or below. This is based on the review the person who got your service, made a deal with you or fulfilled your request.

When a deal is completed there is a process of filling out a quick box with stars to rate them on friendliness, reliability and service quality. There is an option to start a conversation before proposing a deal and the option is there to change the drop down menu to decide how long it will take to complete the deal, 7 days, 2 weeks, etc.

There is also a vacation mode so that members are aware that you are not open for business and it indicates how many days left before the vacation is over.

When you create your service there is a title, description, hashtags, photo and how many Simbi it is worth plus if you want a trade services thru Simbi. You indicate how many you can do in a month and what the amount it thru drop down menu.

Simbi also has groups where you can choose which product of yours will be listed inside the group plus products and requests.

Most of the postings are handled virtually online, but there is also a local section. Each profile shows their city and state or city and Country. CA is for Canada. The profile also indicates how long it takes you on average to respond to requests through the inbox. There is a comment wall for each service and request that you can reply to and the relevant reviews (feedback) gets posted there.

The process goes like this:

You favorite a service.

You find a match

You start a conversation

One of you clicks on the button within the inbox message for propose deal

The other person clicks on accept

When the deal is over one of you clicks on button in inbox

The other person is asked to confirm deal has been completed

The box comes up to give reviews/ratings

The ratings (star) are anonymous, but I was at 5.0 and got a rating and my number dropped to 4.9 - so it is quite easy to determine who did the rating.

You get notified when someone signed up under your referral link. There is an icon for your balance -this is broken down into your current balance and what is on hold based on the services, requests or products you have a deal with. It shows plus or minus on how the Simbi goes in or out of your account.

The request section fulfills the helper badge as you are helping someone out and these are fun to do and many people will be doing them at the same time. It could be to join a group, help someone name an item or product, give their social media a review, sew them a blanket.

The ideas are endless and Simbi has helped spark my creativity and given me an incentive to start offering tarot card readings. I have enjoyed earning badges and getting on the Leaderboard.

Simbi is also available in an app and there is a chat window on the app and on the website with a team of about 3 or 4 that will assist you. Each conversation I have started is still there to view.

I was able to extend the completion date on one that required me to send something through the mail and I wanted to make sure it was received before completing the deal. I also cancelled a deal before the due date because of confusion in communications, language barrier and being in another country and the time difference. Another deal I put in request through the chat window because the date had already passed and I submitted the seven page astrology report, but the man was difficult to please so I opted to not get the Simbi and move on.

My favorite experience thus far has been Learning the basics of Boxing. This was a local service that was an hour and loads of fun. We met at a local park and had the session in the parking lot as the grass was very wet.

I have referred nine people so far. If you have skills in any area you can post about it and offer it on Simbi. This includes sharing recipes, doing meal plans, virtual workout plans, Computer assistance, SEO, writing blog posts, gardening, astrology reading, oracle car readings, vegan advice, consultations on any thing you are good at and offering help on a number of things.

Join here - SIMBI

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Birth Mother's Open Letter

I wrote this on Apr 11 '00 (Updated Oct 25 '00) on epinions, which no longer exists and this was found on so I am re-posting it here so I have it online under my name. The son I wrote about found this online and years later contact me via facebook on 8-9-12 and we met on 1-10-16 in Hollywood, California. He met the Birth Dad the day before in Santa Barbara.


I am a parent to two special needs preschoolers. I am also the Birth Mother to a son born 21 years ago. We went our separate ways at the hospital. I did not have a home to bring him HOME to.

I have lovely pictures of me holding him in the nursery. I have a locket with his picture that has been with me always. Not a day goes by that he is not on my mind.

So where does one begin when looking for a child they placed into adoption. I made a goal that once I turned 40 I would start a search. Well this month I turned 40 so this is my first attempt at my search. Getting my thoughts down and gathering the courage and strength to take it a step further.

I had the option of putting a letter in a file for him to read. Should I pour my heart and soul into a letter that would have to be read by an organization and how would I know this letter would get put in a file. If I waited eighteen years to find this out, I could prolong it a little longer.

I had to contact the hospital for the birth records since I had a C-section and in 1994 when pregnant, I was informed the Doctors needed that info to know what way the incision was made. I was like let’s just do another C- section. But with some luck, I did manage to get the records sent to the doctor and the delivery was successful the other way.

At the time of trying to gather the hospital records, I learned that I had the option of putting the letter in the file. But it was to be put in before the 18th birthday and that was approaching in a few months.

I felt that this was not fair to the child I was carrying for me to get caught up in the emotions of my first pregnancy. What if my son (I am using this for better lack of a word, and by no means do I consider myself to be his parent, I am his Birth Mother, he has parents) ended up getting the letter in a few months and then a contact was in the works. Here I would be with a newborn and with so much time lost already I could not handle the pressure to compose a letter in that short amount of time.

So this past year after he turned 21, just a few months later I got a Computer. So about a week later I found a community called Onelist now merged with Egroups. There are many lists there for adoptees, birth parents, siblings, and adoptive parents. We all share stories and search information. That is what I have been reading and hope to post my data there soon and also on an adoption board.

So the steps that need to be taken are, I have a name I gave him for the birth certificate, but he does not have that name and there is a non-id number given by Catholic Charities.

Does he know he was adopted, what type of family history is he aware of when it comes to his Birth Parents. Has he made contact with the agency and applied for the non-id? Does he know I was 18 at the time and just graduated high school. Actually I did not attend the ceremonies due to my pregnancy. Is he in college, and what are his interests? What qualities does he possess of mine? Does he have any special needs? Should he be made aware that Alzheimer’s runs in my family. I have two boys with Autism, should he be contacted due to Research data we are involved in.

Do I count him in the census? When people ask how many kids do I have, can I say three?

These are some of the questions I have and there are many more. The immediate questions to ponder are how do I start? Do I just post and wait? Do I hire someone and pay a fee? Do I sit and wait for the day his future wife will question about family history for the planning of their baby? Would he tell a prospective partner that he is adopted?

Do I send a letter or email when I know the name and town he lives in? What do I say when he asks me Why did you give me up? Do I tell him he was conceived after I got kicked out of the house because I stayed out all night in fear of being beat by a frying pan for getting an F in Spanish and Biology. We arrived at the boyfriend’s house to bring back the family station wagon, after sleeping all night in the car at the grocery store parking lot. I was informed then that my parents had been there and said for me not to come home. So I walked out the door and his mother said follow her and your out too. So he did. We were forced to find a place to stay and found a friend a few years older whose father was out of town. That is when he was conceived. We did not plan it, first time for both of us.

So do you want to know this or are you interested more in knowing how the pregnancy was, did you know I ended up in a foster family going from house to house each weekend because they were part of Marriage Encounter.

Do you know that my water broke and that is when I went to the hospital. Do you want to know about the traumatic experience I encountered with the nurses at the hospital because I was in a town not known for white girls to be in and the nurses harassed me for giving you up.

Maybe I will just tell you that the day you were born was a day in history for this country. Your birthday is the same day that John F. Kennedy died many years earlier. I was brought up in a Republican household and learned later in life about the Kennedy’s. I also watched for the first time while in the Hospital, Miracle on 34th Street.

I left the hospital alone but you were in my heart.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Coming full circle in Life

Some memories keep popping back into my psyche from years ago. At times I can envision the scenario like it just happened, but mostly these experiences have been tucked away for so long.

While doing some research on Pluto in the first house with Virgo rising specific memories came to the forefront of my mind. Last year on the last day of school my 16 year old son got off school campus. The K-9 unit and helicopters were out searching for him. Suddenly today I recalled that I too had police and dogs searching for me when I was 16 years old back in New Jersey. In fact, it was Easter Sunday and I never made it home from roller skating the night before.

My son is a Cancer sun sign, which is also my moon sign. I've been delving into the Crab to get more insights for this sign, especially since my son is nonverbal. Moody seems to be the keyword.

As a teen growing up I prolonged going home until it was curfew. I avoided the home front because that is where the abuse and negativity took place. My Father never wanted me to forget that I had a disabled sister and we could not go on vacation because of that. Any complaints I had about my life and restrictions were met with comparisons to the life my sister was living.

Now my teen son due to communication and behavior issues hurts me in the process of getting his message out. When therapies take place in the home I get pushed and banged around. When he goes to school I cannot wait to get out of the house and away from this environment. I want to stop the therapy and just have a peaceful existence, but I need to toughen up and get this toilet training taken care of so that he can live in this society as independently as possible as he gets older.

My Mother acted like she was so embarrassed to be seen with any of her children, like we were beneath her. My natal chart shows that there was an important female figure in my life, which I view was my paternal Grandmother. She was the one who encouraged me to make something of my life.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Circumstances change your future plans and dreams

A change is on the horizon for my household, which has me thinking of all the changes that have led me to this point in time. My son will be turning eighteen in less than two months. Besides that major life event he is also going back to public school from doing online school for the last six years. We were concerned with bullying and thought since we did not like the Middle School options that he would try a safe alternative of online schooling. I held him back in first grade since he was doing special ed class in Kindergarten and first grade. When he went into general education I felt it was necessary to start at the first grade level.

We liked the routine and ease of independent learning. Some people confuse this with homeschooling, but that is not the case. This is California Virtual Academy. He has teachers with the parents considered the learning coaches. He wants to experience senior year at a brick and mortar school. The following year he will be entering either an autism vocational school or a community college.

I have gotten used to my son being home and helping out around the house and having lunch and watching the mid day news together. But I am also looking forward to having the house to myself during the days. For the last nine years I have been a home health care worker for my younger son Matthew. Basically I am on the clock when he is home.

I was a member of a special education committee through the school district for many years plus I served on the board as Secretary for two terms. The school district was to facilitate these meetings with the parents running the committee, but too many changes led me astray and uninterested in pursuing something further within the district as a parent facilitator or public speaker at venues.

My passion is for astrology, tarot, numerology and feng shui. I love working out and motivating others to challenge themselves. I am also interested in genealogy, writing and public speaking.

My natal chart always mentions poetry, mysticism, philosophy, writing, public speaking and music. I have high energy and prefer physical movement and action. For the past few years I have contemplated taking a year-long course to become a health coach. I will need to learn how to skype and get over that anxiety. I still think it is worthwhile a pursuit with an emphasis on the autism community as well as adding astrology into the mix as it plays such a key role in my motivation and goals.

I can pinpoint circumstances that changed the direction of my life many times. Back in Middle School I desired to work on Wall Street. I grew up in New Jersey and went for a field trip to the NYSE. I wanted to work on the floor and be a runner. A few years later in High School we took a trip to a Court House. We got to speak with the court reporter, which was another dream of mine. I decided I was not the type of person to sit inside a court room all day typing away.

I was not very interested in cheer leading, but did try out in the 8th grade, although I could never do a back bend. I was full of enthusiasm and energy but could not really control it. Eventually I got a baton and learned how to twirl it. I spent a summer creating routines with the intention of trying out for the high school team. When it came time to toss the baton in the air and turn around for some flip the lights distracted me and I dropped the baton. I did not make the team.

The following summer I taught my best friend how to use the baton and twirl so we could try out together. She made it and I did not, so there went our friendship since I saw her as getting my spot and my dream was shattered. If I had made the team either of those years my high school experience would have been so different.

As a result I ventured into roller skating and spent Friday and Saturday nights at the rink plus Sundays after church. I met my first real boyfriend there. A year later I was working after school and weekends at Dunkin Donuts where I met my next boyfriend.

When I got bad report cards I was hit with frying pans and hair brushes. One night after work I was scared to go home with my report card so stayed out all night with the boyfriend. That led to getting kicked out of home and having sex for the first time which resulted in getting pregnant. The nurse at school officially told me the day of the senior prom. I gave him up for adoption since the boyfriend and his family all pushed for it. I was under the impression that we would be getting married after he finished college and have kids. I lived with a foster family during the pregnancy. We parted ways a few months later.

A few years ago he sent me messages through classmates and facebook. We discussed in detail the experience from high school and the adoption process. It felt good to share my feelings from years earlier.

I wrote an essay online in 2000 on the whole experience and met many in the adoption triad. Last summer the birth son found me through Facebook in part due to that essay he read years earlier. He was given our names when he was eleven years old so he knew a lot about me through my online writings.

In the early 90s I was a recreational drug user and spent one weekend getting high with this guy who had previously been a neighbor. After work I roller skated over to his place to drop off a jar of vitamins as I was trying to help him stop his drug use. Instead of turning the situation around I jumped right into it. We ended up getting married that Sunday afternoon. He found some female minister through the yellow pages that practiced out of Beverly Hills so he rented some car service to drive us over there. It was like a scene out of a movie but I was really in it and not just watching it. I honestly thought after that event we would go back to our regular lives like it was a joke.

Later on that night when I went to leave for my own apartment he tried to strangle me, which resulted in the police coming. Turned out I was the lucky one because that was the same weekend that OJ Simpson murdered his ex wife. I was stuck in this crappy situation. He started showing up at my work so I got laid off and found out I was pregnant. He woke me up one night and slapped me over a phone bill so I went to the police the next day to do a citizens arrest. When we got back he was gone so I moved in with a friend to figure out what to do next.

My brother said come to New Jersey. I had left NJ in 1985 so here I was going back in 1994 to escape a madman with a criminal background. I called his parole officer to tell him I was leaving and make sure he did not allow him out of the State. He did the exact opposite and authorized his entry into New Jersey.

What ensued was a very high stressful pregnancy for me, including smoking and drinking. I lucked out that I got a job right away and met a neighbor that turned out to be a good friend for many years. I had to call the Hospital mental health department the day we left the Hospital because I was scared to leave the Hospital with that Man and did not know what to do.

Now that son is turning eighteen. To be continued .....

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Life before kids

Lately some memories have been coming back to the forefront of times long ago before my two sons. I have been married and divorced twice and lived with someone for three years. I took a bus across country when I was 21 and lived in San Diego for 7 months before taking a bus back to New Jersey.

I had some interesting experiences with dating - these were before online dating sites and were in newspapers - exchanging letters with someone in another state and then heading off to meet them.

I recently went through my photo albums and found some pictures from one of those relationships. The other day I was reminded of a guy I spent a summer with who was working in the US from Holland. I spent weekends during two years of high school at the roller skating rink. I kept bumping into one guy from that period of my life over the years - at the Jersey shore in my 20s and then several years later at an airport bar in Los Angeles.

I was an avid Nascar fan for a very long time - I got my first husband and his brother involved and we went to many races. Our honeymoon was at one race.

During high school I lived with my grandparents and also with a foster family. I also had some fun jobs along the way. I am fascinated with astrology - spending hours delving into my chart and reading about the houses.

During high school years I was writing a book and have wanted to write on several topics over the years but have yet to reach that goal.

Moon in Cancer natives have a large potential to be able to get in touch with the feelings and moods of others. Often, they are quite wrapped up in themselves. Their memories of the past are outstanding, especially for all things emotional.

So I will be expanding the topics for this blog to cover my life and write about some fun experiences I have had. My life did not start when I had kids.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Lessons Learned From A Tragedy

We have lived in a duplex for thirteen years with the same people residing behind us. We have the front yard and they have access to the basement and backyard. Ours is the original house and they have the add-on apartment.

Because the utilities are all one location the landlord pays these. Our bathroom is hooked up on one circuit with their bedroom. Our back porch uses their walkway, but we have our own main walkway.

Just a week ago there was a loud boom from there and I was not sure if it was in the area near their front door or the basement below. I ran out front with my flashlight and looked in the back walkway and heard their Niece say something about being blue. Her Uncle who was staying back there during the Holidays was choking.

Evidently he collapsed on the ground so at this point you cannot do the Heimlich maneuver. I have on my refrigerator an Emergency first aid reference guide with diagrams. I yelled out for her to call 911 and then heard her passing on the info from the dispatch to her grandfather, my neighbor.

I let the fire department in the gate and was getting information after awhile from one of them at the gate who was there with the Niece. I knew not to move someone once they are in a position, which he did note and he said they were working on him.

When they wheeled him out one of the paramedics was pumping his chest and there was a bag attached to his mouth. They did get the piece of meat from the burrito he was eating out but his heart gave out and he flatlined an hour later at the Hospital.

From what I learned he was walking out of the kitchen eating and drinking water. According to the Coroner there were no drugs in his system. This was asked as he was a recovering drug addict and on the wait list for a bed at a sober living home. This was my neighbor's son, her oldest and died at age 53.

He had lived for a few years with a girl in the neighborhood and she told the family that he wanted to be cremated. This was news to the family as he had never expressed this and they have a family plot. Currently they are still trying to decide what to do with his body one week later.

I shared this information with my kids Father, who is my ex husband and let him know my wishes have always been to be cremated. My Grandmother, Grandfather and Father were all cremated in New Jersey.

I also showed him where I keep my Life Insurance policies and where the phone number on the folder is to my Brother in New Jersey. As of this date I do not have a will because there needs to be a Special Needs Trust and a Guardian chosen for my two teen sons that are both on the autism spectrum.

It is really important to know what to do in an emergency. I let my son and his Dad know that I need my asthma spray when I am gasping for air, as that clears my airways.

Please watch over people who are walking and eating in your home. Make sure you have emergency instructions and your address listed on your refrigerator. In times that we panic we might not recall our address or it could be someone not familiar with it who is making the call.

Call 911 immediately to get the help instantly and the paramedics will be there faster. Make a plan - buy life insurance, make a will and let others know where these important papers are and let your friends and family members know whether you want to be cremated and where those ashes are to be held or disposed of or where you would like to be buried and what type of funeral, etc.

Take charge now at this early start of a New Year.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Using Google to determine vehicle problems

The other day as I was driving away I heard a ding from the car but due to the sunlight I could not see what light showed up on my dahsboard. I pulled into the gas station down the street near the air and water section to grab the vehicle manual.

There is a page that shows all the icons for the lights appearing on the dashboard. Finally I identified engine, otherwise known as malfunction indicator light. This is part of the OBD - onboard diagnostic system that monitors engine and automatic transmission control systems. It mentioned if the light is on to have the condition checked promptly.

There was also mention that this indicator light could mean poor fuel quality or loose/missing gas cap. The vehicle should be serviced if the light stays on through several of your typical driving cycles. In most situations the vehicle will drive normally and not require towing.

This made me feel better but I was still leery to head onto the freeway and go to the gym. None of the lights had ever come on before and I bought the vehicle at a Ford Dealership three years ago, although it is a Dodge Caravan Sport. I also did not renew my AAA membership since I was no longer needing towing services like my previous minivan.

The manual also listed below this section that the light can flash and that could lead to immediate loss of power. I did not like that message. I remembered the previous day driving through the city streets and feeling like the car might stall, especially when I hit every red light.

This reminded me of my other two minivans that had radiator problems and always needing a tow in the summer time from summer camp. I thought adding a quart of oil would be in order as I had checked a few days earlier and noted to buy some soon. After shelling out almost five dollars at the gas station I realized there is an indicator light for needing oil. I also added one litre of water that I had in my gym bag.

I did not feel comfortable driving the distance to the gym and then grocery shopping so headed to a nearby grocery store to do some shopping. I really wanted to get home to check google to see what I could find. I felt like I learned so much from my research. I now know that you can put the key into the ignition and turn it without powering up the vehicle and turn it off several times before a code will show up in the odometer section. I was shown two codes and then done.

I researched the codes P 1684 and P 0304. There was one site that told me 19 Dodge mechanics were online. I posted my question about the two codes and got a reply with a picture of a mechanic and a message that he could offer assistance and if I was satisfied with response I would pay $36. I closed that up but thought that was a good idea for making income.

P 1684 said that the battery had been disconnected and P 0304 that cylinder #4 was a misfire. The OBD codes. My neighbor was outside and showed me how to clean the battery section with a lemon and then twist off the cable. We did that and put them back on after cleaning before I checked for the codes and the second code was gone but not the code for the battery, but the engine light was no longer staying on.

I am so glad that google and the internet are around to help me deal with everyday issues instead of having to pay a dealer to do something that would take hours to wait and maybe something else would be required.

My teen son knows when we have a problem we go to google.