Money Matters

Growing up, my parents did not discuss money with their children. They saw themselves as responsible for their five children, to be certain. They worked hard to ensure that they met their obligations to us, for sure. But, they did not have conversations with us about how money was earned, budgeted, or dispersed.

We understand why parents do this. Most parents want their children to be children. They want their children to grow up without the anxiety of knowing how the adult world operates. But, by doing this, parents fail their children. We miss out on providing their children with the most important education piece of their lives. The education about how money matters.

After all, not everyone will need to understand the complexity of the pythagorean theorem or how to play the violin. But, everyone needs to know how to manage their money and plan for their financial future. The lessons we teach our children about money will help improve their chances of success and happiness in the world. Here are a few lessons that are helpful for our children to learn…

The Importance of Money

In my opinion, the first and most crucial lesson our children need about money is its importance. We must educate our children that MONEY IS IMPORTANT because it is required in order to live in this world. But, we must also inform them that MONEY IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD.

There is a crucial balance in this lesson. We want children to learn that they must work hard to achieve their goals. But, we must also help them learn that simply earning money is not the goal itself. We need to teach them balance. We need them to learn that ambition can become greed.

What’s more, we must teach them that not everyone has had the same education about money as they have. We must teach them that others will value their money more than they value them. We must educate them to be generous but not someone else’s ATM.

The Importance of Budgeting

Children are insatiable. They want everything and they want it now. We must teach them to balance their immediate desires for things with the needs that they will need in the future.

There are several ways we can teach them about budgeting. Some parents provide children with some money that they must then budget. But, without teaching them the valuable lesson of earning money, they do not learn the importance of working for what they have.

Another difficulty of this lesson is that we do not really know what our future needs are. We assume that things will always be as they now are. But, there is just no guarantee of that. Children have that same difficulty. To them, the idea of growing up is not equated with the idea of growing old. They do not envision themselves as older and incapable of earning money. Truth be told, there are some adults who fail to grasp this concept. For that reason, many fail to plan for things like retirement or disability. But, giving a child some education on this will increase their likelihood of successful long-term planning.

The Importance of Charity

Finally, an important lesson that we are failing to teach our children is the need for charity in the world.

While I do think that it is crucial to teach children that others should not use them (I’m thinking gold-digging significant others), I nonetheless believe that for our planet to improve we must push for a spirit of charity in our children. One way that you can do this is by forcing your children to filter through their clothes and toys for the purpose of giving items away. An important component is to resist letting them sell items. As they get older, teach children to give their time to a cause and finally teach them to set aside a percentage of their income to give to charity.

By inculcating children on the importance of budgeting, charity, and money, we can further enhance their education to create the type of society that this world needs and deserves.


Movie Review: Desierto

“Desierto” is a horror/action movie starring my favorite Mexican actor, Gael Garcia Bernal. It also features Jeffrey Dean Morgan as antagonist/bad guy/monster. Garcia Bernal plays a man trying to get back to his son who is living in California. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays a man embittered by conservative rhetoric on immigration who sees himself as the person protecting the US-Mexico border.

The movie features a small group of people crossing the border. The coyotes (slang name given to human traffickers) who are paid to transport these people have a problem with the vehicle. They force their people to walk through the desert (i.e. Desierto) and that is when the real horror begins.

The movie focuses on the action of Morgan hunting migrants. The anxiety of whether or not Garcia Bernal will die carries the movie quite well. Despite the lack of dialogue, the movie is quite good and extremely horrifying. The scariest part of the story is the mind of Morgan. The rhetoric that demonizes immigrants serves to infect the minds of people who listen to it. Overall, I recommend the movie.

Do you like horror movies featuring real life monsters (i.e. murderers) or invented monsters?

Are You An Entrepreneur?

There are people who believe that it would be luxurious to never have to work. They dream of spending days free of responsibilities.

Then there is a different type of person. They recognize that their key to happiness is not to be free from obligation. Instead, their happiness is derived from creation, nurturing, and growth. This is the person who wants to see a vision come to fruition.

This is the entrepreneur!

But beyond being the person who takes on the financial risks and legal responsibilities of starting and running a business, entrepreneurs are people who have a vision for a different future. But, bringing a vision to fruition can be taxing and time-consuming. It requires understanding several things about yourself and your business. If you want to become an entrepreneur, there are five things you need to consider.

Ideas Matter

An entrepreneur without ideas is not an entrepreneur. After all, before you can start a business, you must have an idea of the type of business you wish to have. If you are interested in being an entrepreneur but you are not clear on the type of business you want, use the following list to help you get started:

  • What am I good at? (To have a business, you must have a basis of understanding in the business, ergo, you must have some competence in the area of business.)
  • What do I enjoy doing? (It is not enough to be good at something, you have to enjoy doing it.)
  • How much time will I need to take this concept from idea to executable concept?
  • Who do I know in this field that can serve as a mentor? (Remember, questions are going to come up that you will need to ask someone.)

The idea you have does not have to be revolutionary. You can take a simple idea and turn it into a very successful business. But you have to start developing your idea.

Execution Matters

Entrepreneurship requires starting with a big concept and making it a reality. It means not stopping until you have achieved your desired outcome. Many people get overwhelmed by this. I know I did. At the end of 2020, my husband and I created a retail CBD and smoke shop. When we first got into the building we rented, I was overwhelmed. The space was previously leased by a head shop and the entire space was painted in black!

We renovated it using the colors white and lavender (Party Hat by Behr.) Have you ever tried to paint over black? It was not easy. It took significant time and money. We had no choice but to do the work, one paint stroke at a time. If we had failed at this critical point then we would have not gotten it off the ground. We would not have been able to open the doors on December 12th; so we hustled until the work was done and then celebrated with a grand opening party.

But, that was not the only challenge we encountered. From the moment we conceived the idea, it was a series of moments where execution was critical. Have the concept? Decide on a name for your business. Have a name? Secure the website. Have a website? Decide on marketing ideas.

It keeps going and going. The execution never stops.

Money Matters

A sad reality of entrepreneurship is that money does matter. The old adage that states that you “need money to make money” is an old adage for a reason. You will need to have some seed money to start the business you endeavor. Here are some places where money will need to be spent as you start your business:

  • Business formation (registering your business with your state, trademarking a logo, etc.);
  • Business marketing (purchasing a domain, doing your own website or hiring someone to do your website, preparing and creating signage, flyers, loyalty cards, etc.)
  • Business basics (leasing or buying a location, purchasing products, hiring employees, basic hardware, and point of sale software); and,
  • Business management (employee training, bookkeeping services, and general tax issues.)

There are a large number of places where you can spend money on your business. But, by determining what things you can and do enjoy doing, you may be able to save yourself some money.

Planning Matters

You will notice that in this article, planning comes after execution. But, this is the only time that it will. Planning is what helps you take your idea to full concept. Planning will help you ensure you have a roadmap for your idea’s success. It will help you create reasonable timelines and it will help you budget correctly. In fact, planning is the piece that ties all of the others together.

While it is true that not everyone is great at planning, there are some things that you can do to help you in the planning phase.

Time Matters

Of all of the things that you need as an entrepreneur, the most important is time. After all, you cannot start and grow a business unless you are willing to put time into your business. You must nurture your business every step of the way.

An important caveat, you should not be the only one working your business. For example, if your entrepreneurial concept is a restaurant, you cannot be chef, waiter, dishwasher, and front of house all at once.

If you try to be the jack of all trades, you will end up being the master of none. But, if you select one piece of the business that you can do exceptionally well and hire others to do the other things, you can success. For that reason, I recommend that you devote your time to the things that you a)enjoy and are good at, and b) will help you level up your business. The other things should be delegated.

What words of advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

Captured moment

The mahogany squirrel stood still. It’s back flat against the cream colored shed in which it hoped to blend.

The Blue jay saw the woman with one eye as he cracked open a birdseed.

“Damn it’s cold.” She said out loud.

She saw both Bluejay and squirrel nod in agreement.

We are all the same thing. She posited.

A perfect moment to capture, she thought to herself and began to fumble for her iPhone.

“Bitch, just be.” The voices of blue jay and squirrel reverberated in her head.

Just be. And they all went their ways.

In Dog We Trust

I once read a meme that said, “I question people who do not like dogs. But, I always trust dogs when they don’t like a person.”

In our country pets, specifically dogs, are given elevated status. I did not understand why people felt this way. Then, I became a dog parent. In a short period of time, I acquired three mutts- Baxter, Chewbacca, and Shaggy.


Chewbacca or Chewie was our first puppy. My husband and stepson had been talking about a dog for a couple of years before we got him. But, once we decided to obtain a dog, the boys were on a mad dash to find the right one. We met Chewie during a trip to PETCO. Unbeknownst to me, they hosted shelters on Saturdays to encourage pet adoption.

The minute my husband saw Chewie, he knew. “Go fill out the paperwork because I will not put him down.” My husband said. Within an hour, eight week old Chewie was on our way to our home. Immediately, he endeared himself to us.

Chewie is the most emotionally needy of my pups. He whines if I do not pay enough attention to him. And, if I am on my phone and he is sitting next to me, he will swat my hand. It’s as if he means to say, “Pay attention to me. I am more important than that silly box.” He reminds me that the world is not in my phone or computer.

In sum, Chewie has proven that he is incredibly smart and emotionally attuned to all the people and pups that live in our home.


Baxter is the youngest and smallest of our brood. Like Chewie, he was about eight weeks old when we got him. We have been the only family he knows. He is a seven pound blonde terrier. As his hair grows out from the latest haircut his look evolves from little gentleman to old man/mad scientist. I cannot help but laugh just looking at him.

He is independent, stubborn, and completely cute. Baxter has perfected his side-eyed look. You can practically feel his tiny glare upon you when he does it. When I get the side-eye, I know what he wants; a scratch behind the ear or a gentle belly rub.

Baxter wants to be touching me. But, he does not necessarily want me touching him. As I sit here writing this essay, Baxter is curled up next to my outer left left. He just takes what he wants. He does not whine like Chewie. Instead, he asserts himself whenever he requires attention.


We got Shaggy second. He is our middle dog-son. He was fully grown by the time that we adopted him. My son and I met him out front of a Orange Leaf yogurt store. The same rescue shelter, Four Paws, was hosting a dog event there. As soon as we got into the store, my son said, “Mama, he needs to come home with us.”

Shaggy is a mystery to us. What kind of life did he lead before he came to us? Did he suffer? This may sound like a weird thing to ask about a dog. But, Shaggy behaves in ways that make us wonder about his life prior to our home.

Shaggy is a gentleman dog. He waits until you invite him outside. He does not start eating until given permission. The other two will begin running towards a bowl the minute I put it down. But, Shaggy only comes forward when released.

Shaggy has been a bit of a wild card too. He likes to bully the other pups occasionally. He can also be gruff with children. He growls if you pet him too long or you get too close to his face. Still his good qualities outweigh the bad. He wants to be loved but gets scared when he receives attention.

The pack

Over the course of my dog-owning life, I have become incredibly connected to my three pups. I am the person that primarily feeds and walks them. As a result, I have become their alpha. It’s funny, before I owned dogs, I assumed that an alpha met the “strongest” person in a group. But, the truth I have learned is that an alpha is the person or pup that protects and provides for others. I have learned that leadership is about protecting the group’s best interest and providing for all the opportunity to be fed- physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have learned this from dogs.

They have also taught me other things. They have taught me that you cannot give in to pack mentality. You see, the three of them can be big bullies.

The minute I have a snack they become little mafia bosses. They will sit and stare at me in stony silence.

“Feed me.” Growls Shaggy. “How ‘bout you pass me one of them snacks.” Says Chewie. “I don’t want a lot. Just enough to wet my beak.” Says Baxter. He’s a Coppola fan.

But, I must resist the cuteness and Godfather references. I must be the strong one that says. “No, chocolate is bad for you but oh so good for me.”

What value lessons have you learned from pet ownership?