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A survival kit for every day

  • Toothpick: to remind you to pick the good qualities in everyone, including yourself.
  • Rubber band: to remind you to be flexible, life is forever changing.
  • Band-Aid: to remind you to heal hurt feelings, either yours or someone else’s.
  • Eraser: to remind you everyone makes mistakes; we learn by our errors.
  • Heart token: to remind you everyone needs a hug or compliment every day.
  • Mint: to remind you that you are worth a mint to your family and friends.
  • Gum: to remind you to stick with it, with God’s help you can accomplish anything.
  • Soup spoon: to remind you when you are in the soup, you need to recognize it and ask God for help.
  • Pencil: to remind you to list your blessings every day.
  • Tea bag: to remind you to take time to relax daily and go over that list of God’s blessings. This is what makes life worth living every minute, every day.

Staying safe on

Do you use for purchases? You should be aware that Amazon also connects to third party sellers. Most are legitimate sellers, but scammers lurk in the marketplace. These scammers will try to get you to make purchases outside the normal process.

How to protect yourself:
– Only pay for items you are considering through on the website.
– Read reviews. If a seller has tried to scam someone, chances are good its reviews will reflect that.
– If you run into trouble with a third party seller on, make use of the Amazon A-to-Z Guarantee, which guarantees purchases from third party sellers when payment is made on the website.

Happy, safe shopping!!

(excepted from AARP fraud watch network)

System Updates (to do or not to do)??

You get the message on your phone, tablet or computer – your system needs an update. Your response may be “I have too much to do” OR “I don’t know how to do this”. You probably want to rethink your response. With the current state of cyber-transactions, many of the updates sent by your phone carrier or computer software manufacturer are designed to protect your system. The providers of your devices continually monitor the networks and systems and develop security updates to help strengthen the system’s firewall. (A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules). Another reason for updates are to improve performance of your devices.

An anecdotal story:
A friend of mine said his phone was sluggish, sometimes unresponsive and he was frustrated. When I asked when he last updated – his response “I haven’t updated in 8 months. I didn’t think I needed to do updates.” I suggested he put the charger on his phone one evening (soon) and begin the updates that will probably take a few hours. After he downloaded and installed all the updates, he reported his phone performed as it did when it was new. He was thrilled – he did not need a new phone, just needed to keep it up to date.

Here are a few suggestions for you (if you recognize yourself from the description in this article):
•  Stay current with the updates sent by the authorized provider (your software manufacturer, your cell phone provider); if in doubt about origin of the update – check with the provider.
•  If possible backup your system before installing the update. I recommend this especially for the smartphones and tablets. (You should be regularly backing up your computer system; most system software manufacturers provide backup tools. Your security software for your computer probably also has backup tools.) The backup may be used if the installation of the update causes any problems. (These updates are tested before released but every system has its own characteristics, which may cause a glitch in the installation.)
•  Install the update when you have time to allow it to execute without interruption.

Hope this reminder helps you keep your systems working for you – as they are helpful but only when they work!! If you need assistance implementing the recommendations cited, consulting services are available, please contact:

gail tate
funzana, llc
mobile: 630.296.4388


A’s to organizing your space

Want an easy way to create more space? You can organize an area which results in more space. Here are some tips to help you with the task.

Ability to let go is a necessity; if it hasn’t been used in the last six months to a year, is it needed?
Acquire suitable storage containers and filing folders with labels. Be creative and recycle. I often reuse the plastic zippered bags in which bed linens are sold; they are clear and have a pocket for a label.
Assemble the items to be organized; placing similar items into stacks, including stacks for abandoned (old/unused) items.
Appropriately file items into labeled containers or folders. Suggested categories: alphabetical, time/date stamp, subject matter or a combination of these categories.
Avoid clutter by filing items upon receipt; this may require an extra minute or two but it will help keep your space organized.
Annually review your storage plan and revise the system as needed.


D’s to vacation planning

Are you planning a vacation? Whether you are traveling a distance or staying near your home, you want to enjoy yourself. Use these tips to help you plan the vacation and reduce the potential stress.

Determine the destination
– Check rates (air, train, car rental, hotel) – there are a plethora of websites that provide current rates and will help you comparison shop.
– Camping fees – camping guides provide sites, fees by state; camping clubs also offer this information.
Draft the itinerary
– State visitor guides (offered free, request via website or phone call) provide guides to places of interests, maps, special events, eateries and special offers.
– Assemble information, including costs per day per person and create a budget.
Discuss with attendees
– Review the draft itinerary; remember this is a draft so be willing to change the plan based on feedback.
– Encourage everyone to participate so attendees are comfortable with the plan and know their interests are met.
Disseminate the travel packages
– Incorporate the feedback and revise the plan accordingly.
– Provide the necessary travel documentation (tickets, itinerary, budget) and indicate the required documents the attendees must bring (passport, visa, picture identification, …).
Demonstrate how to have a good time
– Capture/record your fun through videos and photos.
Share your experience through social media sites.
Do begin planning your next fun trip.