Too Trusting = Easy Prey

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Con artists are real and I had the misfortune to meet one in the flesh recently. I didn’t see it coming. That’s exactly how they do it too. It’s a long story, but one I will be using in my writing when I start my novel. This part will be based on a true story! And OMG is it a page-turner!!!

But let me pay forward what I have learned from my experience and how you can prevent being duped like me.

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Step 1: Don’t talk to strangers. (This one I struggle with since I’m an extrovert and love to chat with anyone about just about anything. I find it makes life more fun but BEWARE! This can be your undoing.)

Step 2: When you meet a stranger that seems decent and kind, don’t feel bad for asking questions that verify a story or place or time. Call them on their crap. If they are the real deal then this is just a “getting to know you better” step, but if they have something to hide you will make them uncomfortable and probably send them running, which is a good thing.

Step 3: Google them! Seems simple enough, but do it right away…don’t wait. Google everyone you know or meet just to be sure they are on the up & up. I did a Google search and nothing came up so I figured this person being 65 years old was just not online and wasn’t a wanted person so it seemed logical that nothing was there. Don’t stop with Google though! No, keep going deeper. Court records in the state they reside, county property records, spell the name several different ways. I found a serious rap sheet that had me thanking my lucky stars I am alive and haven’t lost anything more than my dignity. My family will tease the shit out of me until the day I die now, and it’s totally deserved!

Step 4: Don’t trust people right off the bat. Seems jaded, but people need to earn your trust. I have that whole thing backwards so no judgment here if you need to work on that like me.

Step 5: When on vacation in a tropical location when your defenses are down is when you are your most vulnerable. You get duped by the magic of a sea breeze and the beautiful waves. Keep your guard up around new people you meet. Not everyone is who they say they are. You only know yourself and those in your life that have proved themselves trustworthy. Question everything and everyone that comes your way. You’ll be glad you did!

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I know that 99% of people are decent and honest and not on the take, but that 1% of psychopaths with a devious nature are sure hard to spot. Better to be safe than sorry and practice these steps to protect yourself from being caught in their web of lies.

Sending all the best to you and yours!  ~Tillie

PS. look for my amazing book Christmas 2017! You’ll want to put it on your wish list!XOXO

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Read This

These cold, rainy days are perfect for getting caught up on your reading list. I seem to gather books wherever I go and end up waiting until autumn and winter to read them. But I read them quickly, one after another, so I am always in another world or learning something new. I read everything, too; cookbooks, biographies, fiction, non-fiction, craft books, smut, comics, old and new.

I want to share three books that are worth putting on your reading list.

First, is a novel by Jason Skipper, a local man who teaches at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. It’s call Hustle. I read it in one day, but it was so good that I may just re-read it. It’s about family and how every generation has its personal struggles, but it shows that love is the healer of all wounds.

The second book I think is worth a read this winter is Falling Into Place by Hattie Kauffman. Hattie was the first Native American journalist to report on national news channels. She’s a member of the Nez Perce tribe of Idaho. This book is her memoir with a focus on God’s love and how she overcame addiction. I had the honor of meeting her in Tacoma a few years ago at the Pierce County Prayer Breakfast held at the Tacoma Dome. She was the keynote speaker. It was a wonderful speech that moved me to tears and laughter and gave me hope that all things are possible with a little faith.

My third and final recommendation for a book you can’t put down is In the Company of Mules by Jody Foss. Not only have I met the author and believe she is one of the coolest and truest women of the earth but she loves mules like me! I enjoyed reading this memoir of her two-month-long mule ride from Sandpoint, Idaho to Newport, Oregon all by herself. Jody paints a picture with words and you feel like you are right beside her taking in the beauty of the trail. She also met many interesting and kind people on her 600 mile journey through small towns of the Pacific Northwest. There are nuggets of wisdom from old-timers and personal accounts of a time when settlers and Indians co-existed. This is a story of a woman brave enough to strike out on her own and tough enough to see it through to the destination, but it’s the journey that is life-changing.

Spend some time with these authors and I promise you, it’ll be time well spent!