January 13, 2004

There is so much to talk about that I don't know where to start.  Additionally, nothing I want to talk about has anything to do with anything else I want to talk about, so this is likely to fly all over the place. 

First, after waiting for it to finally get to my city, I got to see "Big Fish" on Sunday.  I was drawn to it from the first trailer I saw (I'm also stalking "The Butterfly Effect," the new Tom Hanks/Coen Brothers movie (I think it was called "Ladykillers") and although I'm going to wait for Netflix to get it, I do want to see "50 First Dates."  Anyway, remember all of those wonderful things that I said about "Peter Pan" a couple of weeks ago?  "Peter Pan" was crap compared to this (and I loved Peter Pan).  "Big Fish" spoke to me on so many levels and I am so grateful that I got to see it.  I don't even really know how to talk about it except to say that it's about experiencing life in a way that is bigger than life.  I felt liberated and inspired and I cried a good bit of the way through it, but in a really, really good way (I hate movies that make me cry).  Just... go see it.  It's precious.  It's strong.  It's... incredible.

Not incredible (for me, anyway), is the new menstrual thing called "Instead."  It's basically a diaphragm (for those of you old enough to remember that birth control device) that catches your menstrual flow, then you dump it out and put in another one.  It holds for 12 hours in lieu of pads or tampons.  I've been restricted to pads since Delena was born 11 years ago because for whatever reason, tampons affix their cottony little selves to my cervix and there is much pain and pressure and unpleasantness when it's time for them to leave.  So I gave this instead thing a try and I'm not sure if my internals are rearranged after carrying six children or if I'm just old or what, but even though I know the thing was in there right, I felt really uncomfortable pressure the whole time it was in.  I think I'm just destined for what my mom used to call "Blue Roses" for the picture that used to be on the box of Kotex.  She'd tell my dad to pick her up a box of Blue Roses.  :)

I was remembering those Blue Roses the other day and how we used to have to wear (you later borns were more blessed than you know) those horrible sanitary belts that would ride up your ass with that garter thingy and not old your pad in any particularly secure way.  Back then, pads were like having a mattress between your legs and would barely roll up onto themselves to wrap and throw away.  They didn't have things like "lock away shields" and "four wall protection," so you invariably spent a year in the bathroom cleaning afterwards or it would look like a murder scene when you left.  After those years of the sanitary belt going up my butt, now I see that we have pads that are "safe to use with thongs."  Go figure.

I never got the thong thing anyway, guessing that it's a boat that sailed while I was long since out to sea.  I've spent way too much time picking my underwear out of my butt to have some butt-flossing apparatus intentionally going up there.  Not to mention that if I were wearing a thong, it wouldn't be much for anyone to look at. I gave up bikini panties about 50 pounds ago because they kept rolling down and driving me crazy.  I think once you hit somewhere over 150 or so, a thong becomes fairly redundant.

Speaking of which, the weight loss is going exceptionally well.  More about that in the NNN column later.

I remember when StayFree first came out with stick on pads.  It was something we couldn't quite wrap our heads around... like bristleless toothbrushes.  Huh?  It was great until we realized the damned things would turn over and the side with the adhesive would be introduced to the Pube Family and ow!!!  (This was before they had wings to anchor them down in place).  I think for me, the biggest advancement was definitely the ultra thin maxis with wings.  Now THERE's a success story.

It appears I have wandered directly into the Subjects Not Normally Discussed, so I'll just grab the tiger by the tail and go for it.

I've been wanting to do what would be likely be labeled The Shit Column for quite some time.  My friend, Coggie, did a shit column and I think I have shit column envy.  You know, the truth of the matter, delicate though it might be, is that having a decent bowel movement is something that is enormously underrated by the young.  In a book called "The Stand" by Stephen King, the main protagonist, Mother Abigail, in her prayer, thanks God for that wonderful bowel movement and says, "You were right about those prunes, Lord. But they sho' do taste nasty."  Each time I read that line, which was about 5 times that I read the book when I was younger, I marveled that a bowel movement would warrant such gratitude.  Of course, at the time, I was a high stressed, externally driven, not plugged in person who suffered for chronic diarrhea which would now be likely diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea.  It never occurred to me that there were people in the world whose, well, mail did not move with quite the efficiency as my own.

But then, that's how self-involved I was back then.  I had a really hard time seeing past the end of my own nose, or butt, as the case might be.  I know that part of my weight loss resistance is the fear that I'll go back to being the person I was when I was thin, making different choices and having different values that don't reflect who I am now.  I'm working on that fear and know it's not valid, but it's still popping up from time to time.  Somehow, to become a bigger person, I had to actually become a bigger person and going back to being a smaller person is scary.

As I've grown older, I've learned the value of things like the product to the right, which is enormously expensive and should only be purchased when on sale, big sale.  This is Nature's Secret "Ultimate Cleanse" by GNC and what it does is give you a dose of a "Multi-Herb" pill that draws lots of toxins out of your body and a "Multi-Fiber" pill that cleans you out really well, so after a few days of taking it, you're all clean and clear and everything works great.  You also drink tons of water with it, so that helps.  Anyway, this is really, really good stuff and if you ever want to clean out really well in a healthy way, it's the way to go.

I just got over one of the worst bouts of constipation I've ever experienced.  It's amazing how incapacitating it can be and what a feeling of illness and general malaise it can give you.  My first husband was chronically constipated, which may be why he was so damned wound up and grumpy all of the time.  Whenever he would smoke pot, he'd always spend at least an hour in the bathroom taking the dump of a lifetime.  I think that's the only time he was ever really relaxed.  Scary.

I spent almost 20 years as a Lamaze Childbirth instructor and for most of that time, I was part of the campaign to end routine enemas for laboring women.  Like Demoral, enemas are detrimental to laboring women, but marvy for nonlaboring humans.  After all that time of enemas being my enemy, they are now my friend (not in that creepy, pervy way, but in that "solve the problem" way).  There is a wonderful feeling of emptiness and completion afterwards without that "to be continued," see you soon situation.

I've never had a professional colonic and I'm not sure I'd want to.  The idea of being turned back on a table, being filled with water and then having all manner of stuff actively sucked out of me isn't a thought I want to entertain.  Of course, who knew I'd ever give thanks for a good bowel movement?

Enough of this shit (this is where you laugh at my pun)! 

As most of you know, I've had a very, very rocky financial situation for quite a while now and as a result, I've been trying to open up as many avenues as possible for money to come in to our family.  It's my firm belief that miracle exist, but I think if you sit back and yell for them to come to you, they'll get tired of always having to trudge to where you're sitting.  You have to make it easy for miracles to find you for them to show up all the time.  You have to create in roads and hang balloons on your mailbox with a sign that says, "Miracle party here!"   You have to go find where the miracles live and make friends with them and show them that they want to hang out with you.  Then, like friends, you can depend on them to be there when you need them (and that suddenly develops into that elusive concept of "faith"). 

You also have to open your eyes and turn on your antennae, tune in and pay attention in a very plugged in and real way to what's going on in your life and why and how situations present themselves.  Once you recognize that there is a flow, a pattern and a progression to things, you can trust that even if you don't always see the pattern, it's there and you can follow your instincts and feel the flow and trust that everything is moving exactly as it should. 

Anyway, all that being said, I want to tell you about something that has happened, not only to share it with you like I do everything else here, but also because it could help some of you as well.  I just have to preface this by saying that I know I'm going to sound really hokey and stupid and infomercial and corny and I would really, really love to have a different way to say all of this, but I don't, so just go with me and remember that it's me saying this and I usually don't buy into anything like this or send e-mails about this kind of thing or pimp this stuff.  This time, it's really, really for real and I know the people involved rather than it just being a friend of a friend of a friend who knew someone.

So listen...

I know  a lot of you are in the same situation as we are where you don't have nearly enough money to fill in the gaps between paydays and don't have time or energy for another job.  Maybe, like me, you've been wanting an easy way to supplement the budget without having to leave the house, pay babysitters or disrupt your schedule.  I've been trying like mad to come up with as many bits and pieces of income as I can to put together something workable for our family's finances.

My friend, Karen, who started EOS with me in 2000 and who I knew for a year or so before that (she lives in NY) sent me a coupon book for Christmas in 2002.  Eric and I LOVE to eat out together and can't afford to do so very often and this one had tons of "buy one get one free" coupons for all kinds of restaurants in our area.  We used the thing like crazy and still do.  It's lying tattered and gasping and begging for death in my purse.  In our darkest days, we could spend less than $5 and go to McDonalds for 2 sandwiches and a shared (unlimited refills) drink.  If things were better, for under $20, we could go to IHOP with Nathan while the kids were at school, use the buy one get one free entree and have a leisurely lunch.  For my birthday, we used the buy one get one free Sizzler entree.  For less than $5, Eric could run out and get us two sundaes from Baskin Robbins to eat while we watch Star Trek together.  Not huge expenditures, but they were little luxuries that helped us bond, not feel quite so destitute and keep us sane.  They were also luxuries we could not have enjoyed without that little green book.  I've thanked Karen about 100 times for it and I silently do every time we use one of those tiny little coupons.  I've never had one rejected. 

So anyway, I'd hear Karen talking in her e-mails about needing to go mail out books or getting her e-bay auction ready, but it was always fringe talk around other things.  Before Christmas this year, she poked me and said, "You know, you really ought to sell these books."  I balked and let her know I'm just not a salesperson by nature and it sounded like too much work and I've got so much going on right now and ... OK, poke me after the holidays.  I swear, I think she poked me 12:01am on January 2nd.    As I promised her, I carefully considered what she was saying and I'm going to ask you to do the same, just in case it might benefit you in one of the two ways that this thing gives benefit.  (and also to remember that it's ME, not someone given to flights of fancy or building castles in the sky and such - OK, I know that sounds funny coming from a Witch who talks to saints and angels and ghosts and goddesses, but go with me on this)

This is the first NATIONAL coupon book to be printed.  My friend, Karen, knows the guy who developed, who was first just doing local coupon books and making enough money that he wondered what would happen with a national book.  He did all of the work to contact the sponsors and work with Steffen Publishers to create this book.  Karen got in quickly and it's still pretty much on the ground floor. 

The thing Karen said that really got me listening beyond polite respect for my friend was when she said, "Katrina, you do know that I make around $2000 a month at this, right?"  That caused my ears to perk up.  So that being how I came to know about it and it being from a person a trust implicitly, let me get down to closer basics.

What happens is that if you buy a book of coupons, you will obviously save money if these are places you frequent.  Additionally, if you don't normally go out because of the expense, this might enable you to do so.  The book pays for itself on the first page alone, which is McDonald's coupons (yum).

So you save for yourself when you buy a book.  That's a good thing.

If you decide to sell the books, you make a minimum of $6 per book you sell and up to a good deal more. The $6 is if you send people right to the publisher to order the book.  If you buy the books in advance and sell them yourself, you make a minimum of $10 per book.  If you order 100 books at a time (believe, me, I'm not there), you make $12 per book.  It goes up from there in bulk, so most people are making $6-12 per book they sell.

That's not all.  If other people you know are interested in selling the books and sign up under your account, you get 20% of all of their sales.  If they get someone to sign up under them, you get 10% of all of THAT person's sales.  It goes on like that for a total of 7 levels.  That way, everyone benefits. 

This sounds like you'd go peddling door to door and you can, especially if you use it for fundraisers and such.  Karen didn't do that.  All she did was offer them in e-bay auctions.  Just from that, she sold over 100 books and over 100 people signed up in her downline.  She gets a percentage of every one of those sales and because Steffen Publishing creates a website where you can track all of your downline sales, Karen just watches her commissions build even if she isn't selling any books at the time.  She doesn't always run the ads, but they are up a good bit of the time.

Her involvement in this, other than giving me a nudge about it, is to set up the e-bay auction, answer any e-mail questions people have and send out the books as they are ordered.  She doesn't have to have face-to-face customer service involvement, she can do it at her own pace and she's making really good money.

I'm going to give this a try to and I wanted to be sure and offer it to you as well, both to buy the coupons if you are interested and to get involved as a distributor if you want to make some extra money.  To be a distributor, you order 5 books for $99 (honestly, we borrowed the money and will pay it back from our profits) and you are automatically registered if that is your choice.  One book is $30 and as I said, you save that on your first page of coupons.  It costs a couple of dollars in shipping expenses. 

I've set up another web site to (believe it or not) explain in more detail without the personable stuff you folks got here.  It's at www.isellcoupons.com

Let me know if you have any questions or anything. 

With that, I need to go remind my kids of what I look like and get a couple of things from the store.

I hope you have a wonderful week.  Nothing in particular is planned, so it should be quiet (but I'm open to whatever presents!)

Take care, everyone,



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