About rodicamihalis

Life is a continuous, unpredictable adventure! In my opinion, the most useful attitude one may have is faith that the only certain thing in life is CHANGE. That's how hope is born... Just as life itself, this blog follows the ups and downs of real life. This blog was voted by my colleagues on Word Press among THE MOST VERSATILE. The ONLY focus is on providing useful information in an easy, fun to read fashion. Please also visit http://www.thenudetruth.com Where we strip life of lies and reveal the truth. It was designed as a result of a domainer purchasing my LEGAL NAME domain! Bloggers, always BUY your name domains if they are popular blogs or some legal sharlatan will steal your work and make money while you help the world for FREE!

New Year Resolutions in February! Let’s Call Them GOALS!

By now,  in mid-February, most of us have already put on the back burner our New Year’s Resolutions. So… this is a reminder for those who would like to stick with whatever their GOALS have been.

When my daughters were growing up, on the first day of the year, after having a delicious brunch courtesy of the Van Alen Family, we sat down at the kitchen table to brain storm and write down our resolutions for the upcoming year.

I was trying to make this activity fun and we had plenty of bright paper and pens and pictures to help us visualize specific outcomes by drawing them and making collages of our dreams turned into palpable goals and placed on the refrigerator!

During the many parenting workshops I took in my attempt to offer my daughters the best, I learned certain basic rules, which, it was my understanding, were guaranteed to give positive results.

Why did I feel it was so important to have goals?

Once upon a time, when I were a child, growing up in a communist country where the only allowed goals were those imposed by the government,, an elderly, wise woman   asked me:

“If you do not know where  you are  going, how are you going to get there?”

It was a turning point in my thinking and as I guided my children through setting up goals, I HOPED this would become a life-time good habit.

We were guided by a few basic rules.

Here they are:

Children do what they see, not what you say. In other words, deeds speak louder than words. As a result, I, as a mother, had to be a vivid example for my kids.

Rule number two:

It takes small steps to reach a big goal. Take baby steps and be proud of your accomplishments.

Rule number three:

Write down your goals and the small steps you have to take to reach your goal.

Rule Number Four:

Have reasonable goals, to avoid disappointments. Tricky, but possible.

I hope the parenting workshops were correct and  my adult daughters carry on our  tradition to write down goals on the first of the year and changed it in a life-long tradition for their own families.

Personally, I continue to keep the tradition (minus the gourmet brunch) and still make the mistake of wishing for too many changes, aware that I am setting myself up for  failure. However, there is a different  way to look at it:

I ask for a lot and  if I accomplish half,  is still an important accomplishment.

What are your goals for 2018?

Let’s accept our own circumstances but try to overcome them and reach for our personal stars!

Please share what is your opinion and experiences on setting up goals?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitch or Assertive??? WHAT Is The Difference?

This topic is up for debate and I hope the true stories I’m about to share would be food for thought whether one was told IT is a bitch or assertive. The reason is simple: It will cost one MONEY!!!

These two stories have as purpose the goal to alert good, trusting people to WHAT might be the result of being reasonably trusting. The purpose is to PROTECT us, the consumers, NOT to publicly bring up the NAMES of certain companies which wronged us.

However, if you recognize yourself and a situation that happened to you in these stories, Please comment publicly or contact me privately.
Here are the two stories, BOTH of which happened to me this morning!
This WHAT made me think: AM I A BITCH, IMAGINING THE WORST, OR AM I REASONABLY AWARE AND SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE SO, OR LOOSE A LOT OF MONEY IN THE PROCESS OF NEGLIGENT oR UNQUALIFIED STRANGERS THINKING I AM “NICE…” OR STUPID!!!

Story #1

The employee of Pharmacy X, a national chain which I use exclusively, inform me that one my insurance is NOT covering one of My medications and I will have to contact both My doctor and the insurance to get approvals.
My experience in the past, with SAME medication, was that depending on WHAT pharmacy employee was sending the requests to My insurance, the results ranged from being told the medication was NOT covered at all and I had to pay over $340 for a month supply, or… the copay was $45 which of course I BELIEVED and paid! The following month, a competent employee put through my prescription and miraculously the co-pay was $15!
I questioned the fluctuations from over $300 to $45 to $15 and got NO WHERE so, tired, I decided to give up the “fight,” to discover the truth, assuming in the future I was going to pay $15.
Wrong! Today, I was told My medication was NOT covered at all and I will have to call for approvals! I explained to the employee WHAT happened in the past and also that I had TWO insurances covering my meds, did she send the request to BOTH? At that point, she became aggravated that I had the nerve to question her! I asked to speak to a manager and was on hold for 14 minutes, then conveniently disconnected!
The good surprise was that someone called me back to inform me My co- pay WAS $15!!!
I did NOT need special approvals or to pay over $300!
I was grateful and as I was starting to thank the person who called me back, she said abruptly:
“Do you want it for $15 or not?!!!”
“Yes… “I barely had time to confirm as she disconnected me!

Food for thought: Was I right to question the pharmacy employee, given the fact that I was Proven correct and NO fight with the insurance company was necessary, furthermore I was misinformed and ripped Off in the past! Maybe, for others paying $45 instead of $15, ir Even $340 plus is okay, to just be considered “nice” by someone who is negligent and unethical! For me, Every $ counts and Even if I were rich, I would choose to spend money rewarding kind, thoughtful and competent people!
How about you?

Story #2
House appraisal

Last week an interior appraisal of my house was done. Today, I received the written report in the mail and some of the remarks were so far from reality that it made me question if the person who performed the inspection was a professional!
Appraising one’s house is always done for serious reasons. It’s not like we wake up one morning and think: “ I feel like having blueberry pancakes… oh… wait! Having my home appraised sounds like more fun! Let’s pick up a stranger off of the street and have her come in and take pics of the inside of my home!”
By the way, this was A JOKE!
Given the seriousness and possible consequences of a real estate appraisal done by someone incompetent, I called the Pennsylvania Real Estate Appraisers Board to check if the woman sent by the BANK who appraised my home was licensed.

Surprise:
She WAS NOT licensed and was therefore not authorized to perform real estate appraisals under the name and license number of someone else in that Office who was not present in my home or outside! My Bank hired a firm assuming they will use licensed professionals. They didn’t! So… without Namibia the bank, ALL Banks, make sure you contract with licensed appraisers, otherwise, you are hurting your business and clients!

So… do I let this person continue to destroy people’s lives and provide appraisals so far off from reality, people’s home values are completely wrong?

If you wonder why would a correct real estate be so important, please ask again when you want to get a line of credit, mortgage, sell or buy a house!

WHAT do you think I should do? File a complaint with the PA Real Estate Board of appraisals or let this person continue to perform illegal appraisals and because she is incompetent provide the banks the wrong information based on which, decisions are made?
If I file a complaint am I a bitch or assertive and protecting my interests?
Bitch or assertive????
WHAT is your opinion?

Buyer Beware!!! The Amazon Survey and the Reward for Taking It

One would hope I learned my lesson and would never ever even take a 2nd look at any offers of FREE products where I am only asked to pay for shipping and handling ( $4-$6) 

Wrong!!! Today an advertising from the trusted Amazon popped up asking that I answer a 30-second survey and in exchange get a “gift.”

I trust Amazon, I have an account and my site is an Amazon affiliate.  I clicked on the survey and indeed, as promised the questions were easy and unthreatening.  

Do I have an account, how often do I shop with them, would I recommend to a friend! Then, I was congratulated and a list of desirable products was presented to me: skin care ( of course!!!) vitamins, Menly supplements,  and what caught my eye was an elegant purse priced at $99.00 but because I got lucky with the Amazon survey, I had it free just the $6.99 for shipping. 

I remembered my own advise, “if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.” I read several clients’ comments. All excellent. Common sense should tell us not everyone could be happy! 

Hmm… I really liked that purse… As I searhed for a card, I remembered another of the suggestions I made to my readers who were scammed: pay with a card which has a low credit limit so the potential scammer could not charge astronomical amounts without your approval! I followed my own advice and used a gift card with little money on it. 

In a moment of major lucidity BEFORE clicking place order I actually READ the fine print and not just pretended! I was horrified:

It stated this was only a 14 DAY TRIAL to determine if I liked their product and IF I DID NOT call a number stated in this notice before the 14-day deadline to send it back and cancel, a similar product WILL BE MAILED to me every month at the cost of $99.00 until the subscription was cancelled!!!

OMG I almost fell for this scam again!  In all faireness, and as a disclaimer, Amazon probably has no knowledge of this otherwise “legal” deal, since the information is provided in small print!

I erased my card information as fast as I could and decided to share with you the BEAST has many faces!!! This time the “face” was a purse!

Morale of the story:

Read the fine print!

If it looks to good to be true, it probably is!

Please comment and share your stories.

Wishing all wisdom and trusting knowledge is POWER!

Where You Affected By The Equifax Hack? How to find Out!!!

It just occurred to me that even if I am not rich and famous or either, my identity might have been stolen and the most confidential information about me could be used to harm me!

With that fear in mind, I did a Google search: How do I find out if the Equifax hack affected me?
After about a dozen advertisements on how to pay for protection, I came across the article which should have been top!!!
So… don’t waste your time, I wasted it for you! Just go to:
wwww.amp.cnn.com and read: “How to find out if the Equifax hack affected you!”

If you are impatient, and you trust WHAT I read, just go to:
http://www.equifaxsecurity2017 to find out if you may have been affected by the hack!
To find out, you will be asked for the last six digits of your social security and your last name. Based on this information you will be informed instantly IF you may or may not have been affected by the hack!

Shockingly, in my case the answer was I may have been affected by the hack and was offered one year of free monitoring by signing up at http://www.trustedID.com, which is an Equifax company.
Before the transaction was completed, I was asked to agree to their terms and agree to give them access to my already stolen information!

I signed up because at this point, why not!
Does this prevent me to join some class action lawsuit in the future? May be, but there are so many wrong things with this picture that a potential lawsuit would only be a small problem!
Anyway, I hope this information helps people.
Please share if you have comments, experiences anything that will educate us and teach us how to protect ourselves.

Summer Recipe: Zucchini Lasagnia

Zucchini is an understated vegetable. Easy to grow and it takes the taste of the ingredients we use in addition to it. In other words it Could be very taste or tasteless.
This year I was lucky and the two zucchini plants did really well. There are so many zucchini recipes online and all seem delicious. The recipe bellow is flexible depending on WHAT you have available and how much you are willing to complicate yourself.

Ingredients:
3-4 zucchini depending on size. You need enough to cut them in thin, long slices for bottom and top. Basically shaped as much as the lasagna pasta. We replace the pasta with the stripes of zucchini.

Filling:
Riccota cheese
2 eggs at room temperature well beaten
Fresh chopped basil, chopped fresh garlic
1 cup of parmesan cheese.
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix well the above ingredients. Set aside.

In square baking dish, well oiled, place a layer of zucchini stripes.
On top I put some Presto tomato garlic sausage sauce and on top I poured the ricotta cheese mixture.
I topped with another layer of zucchini Stripes and tomato sauce.

Of course you could use fresh tomatoes and come to think if it, mix in some bits of well done bacon.

Bake at 350 degrees F about 60 minutes. The Center of the dish must be sturdy.
Let cool in oven about 30 minutes and serve. Make sure if it doesn’t burn!
Enjoy!

A SCAM IS A SCAM, IS A SCAM!!!

I must admit the minds of crooks, scammers, hackers, thieves, call them as you wish, is amazingly inventive and it takes imagination to protect ourselves from the EVER evolving art of scamming!

I decided to share this “observation” with everyone, because recently I had an AHA!!! moment that there is a PATTERN which could be applied to any products or companies. It is NOT about the names of products or companies which could, and ARE CHANGED as soon as the consumers discover them.

What is the KEY to discover a scam before you loose money?

If you get ANY FREE offers which ONLY require you to pay $3.95 or $4.99 or EVEN ONE PENNY by using your credit or debit card, think twice before giving away your card information.
All the scammer wants is your card’s information. Once they have it, before you realize what is happening, they could max out your card!

THE PATTERN TO AVOID:

Recently, I noticed after ending transactions with reputable, safe and secure institutions, such as my bank, a “SURVEY” is offered, as if from the institution I just did business with, and as if the institution OFFERS it. As a “thank you,” I am offered a FREE product for answering three questions.
The best and safest is to CLOSE the WINDOW and NOT click on OK!!!

However, if you are curious, as I am, and you click on ok and answer the three questions, and as a reward you are offered a few FREE products, of which you could choose one or two and only pay for shipping, think TWICE before you give out your credit or debit card information thinking you will only be charged for the shipping! Chances are you might be charged for much more. Of course, some “free offers” might be legitimate. It is up to us to make a choice and take a risk.

Could we have the best of both worlds?
What do I mean by it? If I feel the free product is something I really, really could not live without and I want it so much, I’m willing to risk, there is a way to avoid being totally scammed…

How to risk without risking being scammed?

Buy a PREPAID CARD with a very low limit. Of course, the lower the limit, the smaller the risk!

This is a perfect illustration of the proverb:
Better safe than sorry!

Enjoy your hard earned money and please share with us your experiences and tips!

The Death and Rebirth of a BLOG!!! FATAL ERROR!The Nude Truth IS Up and Running!

Do you know the Romanian proverb, “Buturuga mică răstoarnă carul mare?” ( A small tree branch, in the middle of the road, will tip over a big carriage!) I’m sure there is a better translation of this wise saying, but the point of it is that a small rock, pot hole, whatever undesirable Object placed on a road, has the power to tip over and damage any vehicle which drives over it!

Applied to life: an insignificant mistake, could and would affect negatively large enterprises, our lives and work.

This is an example of how a well-intentioned app by Word Press had a “bug” and how it affected users’ blogs negatively!
Thank God the problem was solved, but here is the price I paid not in money but anxiety and sadness that work of seven years just went down the tubes in a matter of a month!

Hopefully it didn’t and the thousands who were helped by the posts on The Nude Truth, will search for it again!

Here is WHAT happened:

At the end of May I noticed I was unable to log into my blog and either write new posts or check the comments or stats. Each time I was getting a message of FATAL ERROR!!!
For a while I didn’t make much of it, but when I realized the visitors and all the readers were getting the same FATAL error message, I became alarmed!
Unfortunately, Alex, my IT Angel who takes care of the technical part of The Nude Truth, was in Europe with his family. In other words, I was totally lost without his help!
As soon as Alex came back and checked out WHAT happened, the mystery of FATAL ERROR was solved! He learned that many blogs were affected because a Word Press application, added with all good intentions to improve users’ blogs’ performance, had a “bug,” which resulted in getting the FATAL ERROR message and inability to either access the blogs or write new posts!

I’m sharing this story for a few reason:
1. To give an example of how easy it is to ruin someone’s work of 7 years.

For instance, the readership in February was 2,332 people from 124 countries. The most readers per day was 444 people, an average of 83 people a day.
In June, because of the “fatal error” message and inability to access the site, there were 4 readers and in July there was one reader! I e wonder how this person managed to get on the site!

2. The Nude Truth is not a commercial enterprise but a small FREE personal contribution to share with the world experiences and knowledge which judging by the over 1,600 comments, helped people avoid scams and improve their daily lives.
Alex, my IT friend, the wiz who fixed fatal errors, is also doing this work free. Our reward is one of the heart!
I feel sorry for blogs which depend financially on traffic to their sites and how such a small error in the design of an app could affect one’s life and work!

3. Fortunately, I didn’t stop thinking for the last two months and have a wealth of information to share with you in future posts.

For instance, one of the topics I have been working on is the “WAR on Narcotics!”

There are two sides to each coin and many angles to a story! In the next weeks, expect posts which will bring a new light on this topic and true stories about how this is handled in real life, not television!

Meanwhile, I’d appreciate any shares about how it was for you, as a reader, to be unable to access the information you needed.

For instance the information about SCAMS and skin care products, your credit cards charged for auto-shippments you never authorized and the advice The Nude Truth articles in the # BUYER BEWARE! articles provides?

I continue to be grateful to Word Press for the fine platform that it provides for millions of writers and bloggers and hope no more fatal errors!

Thank you for being you and God bless!

Shady Pop-Ups on The Nude Truth!!!

Good morning everybody, just a short note to alert you that there is a POP-UP, a woman’s voice accompanied by music, “congratulating” the visitor to the site for winning a PRIZE but must fill in a SURVEY!!!!

Please DO NOT click on this pop-up or any pop-ups as The NUDE TRUTH is NOT conducting any surveys or offering prizes.

ALL legitimate communications are done via POSTS and not pop-ups asking its readers to take surveys in exchange for compensation or prizes.

I am taking this opportunity to remind you that in general, it is not advisable to click on any pop-ups or take surveys and give out personal information under any circumstances.

Thank you again for subscribing and reading our articles.

Our mission is to provide you with practical information to make your daily lives easier or better and at the same time to strip life of LIES and reveal THE TRUTH!

Thank you for making this mission possible by sharing your related experiences, commenting, liking and sharing our posts.

As always, please feel free to ask or share.

Have a peaceful weekend! 

Easter Memories from Communist România!

Once upon a time, there was communism in România, a small country in Eastern Europe… For most, it was so insignificant, they called Bucharest, The capital of România, Budapest, which is the capital of Hungary, the neighboring country.
România and Hungary did have one thing in common: Communism!!!

Today, as I get ready to visit with my friends, waves of memories flooded my now peaceful mind.
For millions celebrating Easter was one of the forbidden apples!!!
As a child and young woman I was instructed by my parents to never, ever admit to any of the Easter traditions, not even the Bunny and the eggs! Come to think of it… I have no recollaction of a bunny or egg hunts to delight us, the children who believed in miracles!
WHAT I do recall, was how the colored Shell of eggs was carefully wrapped and thrown away in some public trash can, so that if “they” looked through our garbage, no evidence of criminal activities could be found!

The climax of Easter excitment, which for me lasted until 1981 when I defected from then communist România, was the mid- night celebration at churches allover my homeland! Hundreds of people, their candles like magical stars lighting the dark, mysterious sky…
Our eyes lift to the Heavens, trusting the denied Son of God was real! Faith!!! Many people had Faith but I was confused:
Did He really die and then He came back? Is He really the son of God? Did he really choose to come back in a hateful, undeserving world?
How about our sins? Could He absolve us of all the Evil we did if we believe in Him?

In those times, when I was a child and later a young woman, such thoughts never crossed my mind! Until I was in college I didn’t know WHAT was the book called Bible!
WHAT, as million other youth knew, was the pure practical aspect of this forbidden celebration. Here is WHAT I did know:

Don’t tell people you celebrate Easter! Just family and close friends.
The celebration for me consisted more in the geathering of so many people around a Church, at mid- night, the secret around not disclosing to anyone that I went to Church ! On top of the my list of cons and pros was the feast we, Romanians, faithful or not, indulged in after the mid-night service.

Here is my favorite tradition:

Two people choose a colored egg. There is a technique to picking one with a hard shell, which resists the hard tapping with the other person’s egg.
After both people choose the egg they believed would be the uncracked winner, we held our egg in our hand and say:

“HRISTOS A ÎNVIAT!!! (Christ is risen!)

As we say this, we tap the other person’s egg with the intention to crack ITS Shell!
The other person says:

“Adevărat, a înviat!” (Indeed, He has risen!)

Of course the hardest egg shell is declared the winnet!!!
After we geathered a good amount of shell- cracked eggs, the reward was peeling and eating the “defeated” eggs:)

Memories… like pearls hidden in cracks of our minds!

Hmm… this topic about Faith, God and the son of God … I Could write about it forever in the hope a miracle happens and I stop questioning!
Meanwhile, Nextweek I will make and post my egg salad recipe!
While I am still confused about WHAT is really important at Easter time, I am not confused about the delicious food which comes along with it!
As I continue to struggle, question and be deeply concerned about the Evil everywhere in our world, I force myself to have Faith… to believe!
Meanwhile I, we, could do the best we Could in our small world, in our daily lives!

As I continue to take small steps on the road of Faith, and sometimes I fall, I DO get up and continue to hope the path I walk tips the balance in favor of Good!

If you, like me, are confused and uncertain, please continue to take small, good steps. At least we walk in the right direction…

Happy Easter!
Rodica M.
I

The Art and Science of Writing…A Hit or Miss Affair!

Writing, as anyone who is involved in this fascinating combination of art and science knows, is an unpredictable process to say the least! Our relationship with the process of writing, however is unique for each of us… or is it?

Many times, at inconvenient times, thoughts travel through my mind at the speed of lightening. I quickly turn the light on in the middle of the night and commit to them to paper, in a note- book, the old fashion way. These thoughts once on paper take a different life of their own… I cannot deny their existance, I have a responsibility!

Many times in the light of the morning they turn out to be totally useless! However, in the darkness of the night they sparkled! In that moment I was convinced of their potential value and uniqueness. I felt an urge, I felt under some sort of moral obligation to catch the thoughts, not let them leave the space of my bedroom and force them to paper forever!
Why would that be? In a strange way, now that I think of the process… I violate the freedom of my own thoughts to wonder as they pleased! On the other hand, they already mine, in My mind… or were they “send” by a Higher- Power to my mind, and if so, I had a responsibility! They became my thoughts, not just fleeting thoughts!

Just as not all artists paint the same picture, not all writers experience the same creative processes. Frankly, that would be very boring of all readers and admirers of art!
I could only guess other’s creative processes but describe mine. After many years of asking myself why I write I concluded that deep rooted inside my heart there is a desire and idealistic hope that a that specific thought might change or help someone in this troubled world and maybe I am just the conduit!

Is this a general trait of most writers?

Do all writers feel an irresistable urge to catch the true meaning of the thoughts visiting our minds at inconvenient times of day or night? Do we all hope some kind of life changing idea would be doomed to darkness if we don’t bring it to light?

Hmm… these thoughts just paraded through my mind and without asking for permission, I am committing them to paper for us to debate.
Officially they became intellectual property!
Please share with us WHAT is your relationship with the thoughts which visit your mind? Do you ” catch” them or let them go?
Rodica