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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rene Syler Oprah Video: Why She Had Her Breasts Removed

by Paula Neal Mooney

"Why I Cut Off My Breasts"

That was the intriguing title of an Oprah show about Rene Syler, a CBS "The Early Show" co-anchor -- who I didn't even know was fired without warning Dec. 1.

Looks like those steps were ordered by the Lord, however.

Rene Syler had her CBS finale on Dec. 22 then underwent a bilateral mastectomy Jan. 9, followed by reconstructive breast surgery. Her final operation was March 8.

But the so-called controversial thing about 44-year-old Rene's case was that she didn't have cancer...yet.

"Only God can judge me..."
Watching the video of Rene Syler on Oprah, at first I was as judgmental as Job's friends over Rene's decision to have her breasts removed as a preemptive measure to cancer.

If only she trusted God more and didn't live with the fear of getting cancer, I thought to myself.

But learning more about how Rene Syler suffered for five years through cancer scares, abnormal mammograms, painful biopsies and lumpectomies -- mostly in the same breast that left her with mostly chest wall on her left side -- I grew more compassionate.

Both Rene Syler's mother and father had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she knew she could be next.

How dare I judge Rene, I realized, remembering that I wanted plastic surgery for reasons of vanity, not because of threats to my life.

Rene Syler's mastectomy
Oprah's show followed Rene Syler -- as she wanted them to -- throughout the night before her surgery to right before she went under the knife -- crying and asking her husband if she was doing the right thing.

"You're in good hands," her husband said. "You're in God's hands."

Rene Syler's New Book, New Breasts
Rene Syler chronicles her mastectomy in her new book, Good-Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting, which includes the chapter, "Double Whammy, or How to Lose Your Breasts and Your Job in Five Short Weeks."

Ultimately, Rene Syler did an amazing thing and gave the ultimate sacrifice, giving up her breasts to be blessed with a longer life -- time to be a wife and mother to her two children.

I'm glad Rene is happy now. She beamed: "I have teenage breasts now!"

Oprah used the back of her hand to test how perky Rene's new breast implants are. And oh wonderful of wonderful of goals for a woman: Rene Syler says she never has to wear a bra any longer.

But most wonderfully, Rene feels healthy and born anew.

Interested in reading more stories like this? Or do you like writing and want to start a blog? Have a blog and want to start making money with it? Click here and enter your email address to invite Paula into your email inbox every other day or so to learn more tips...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

No-Complaining Bracelet Rules: Are you sticking to them?

by Paula Neal Mooney

The other day Oprah featured this ingenious no-complaint bracelet viral idea begun by Pastor Will Bowen of Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, Missouri.

The hope is to get people to catch themselves complaining and switch modes into something more grateful. I'm all for it!

In fact, I just hit their site at A Complaint-Free World and ordered seven of them.

The no-complaining bracelets are free, but I gave a $6 donation, which I hope will cover the postage. I plan to give more. I just love sites that use PayPal so I don't even have to grab my wallet...

I'd love to have 700 no-complaining bracelets so I could give them away to nearly everyone I know -- since many people seem to think that complaining is some sort of right of passage, bonding ritual, or just the thing to do.

If only they knew how much they were blocking their blessings...

The Bible has so much to say about how vitally important our words are. It's not just talk -- when others complain about the rainy weather, their fat thighs or stupid husband they are literally causing bad things to come to themselves.

Pollyanna Purebred
It's a fun challenge daily for me to counteract the negative stuff people say.

"Our kids only have a few minutes to eat their lunch," one mom at school said.

"They'll live," I shot back.

"Why are our kids always the last to come out?" another offers.

"Thank God the sun is shining!" I'll smile.

And on and on it goes...

I mean really -- we're blessed women with food on our tables, healthy kids and roofs over our heads. Don't they realize there are mothers in Bangladesh somewhere with a whole lot more to complain about?

But I'm not complaining, I'm praying...

I know my sunny-ness annoys some folks, but I really only want the best for them. Joyce Meyer speaks of the dark presence she felt coming towards her in her house when she unleashed a litany of complaints one day after her husband Dave left the house.

She quickly changed her tune and started thanking the Lord for everything He has provided. The evilness abated -- Joyce actually felt it leaving her.

No wonder Kenneth Che-Tew Eng experiences so much racism in his daily life. I can only imagine the stuff that comes out of his mouth!

I won't complain
Of course, I know there are people who have a lot of problems and have experienced unheard-of tragedy in their lives.

I can't help but want to give them an out and room to spit in the face of God (at least that means they still believe in Him) and complain and rant. Especially people who've lost loved ones to tragic circumstances and the like.

But even the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People saw fit to bring goodness out of bad. I have more compassion for these folks, and fervently hope that God shows them how He indeed causes "all things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose."

The complaint-free bracelet rules...
So, here are the rules once you get your purple no-complaining bracelet on your wrist:

  1. "If you catch yourself complaining, you take [the bracelet] and you move it to the other wrist," Will says. "The idea is to ultimately keep it [on the same wrist] for 21 days." Will chose this length of time, he says, because scientists believe it takes that long to form a new habit.

  2. No gossiping, either! (Yikes -- I pray I can overcome this part.)

  3. If you see someone wearing the no-complaint bracelet and they start complaining and you point that fact out to them, you've gotta switch your own no-complaint bracelet to your other wrist and start the 21 days over -- because you've just complained about their complaining!

  4. Pay attention to how you're speaking. If you blithely say, "Oh, my leg hurts," that might just be a statement of fact. But if you're droning on about the pain in your calf, that's probably a complaint.

  5. If you want to know the difference between a comment and a complaint, Pastor Will says to pay attention to your feelings about the issue.

I'm so happy that these no-complaint bracelets have gotten so popular.

Pastor Will says that 1.3 million people in 80 countries have already requested the purple no-complaint bracelets.

"This is our gift to the world," he says. "We're not out to raise money. We want to raise consciousness."

And count Oprah's makeup artist Reggie as #1,300,001.

Op sure enough called the funny Reggie on down during a televised break in the show and plopped one on his wrist.

I'm eager to get mine in the mail, but I'm being patient. The wait time was around five weeks for the tiny church to get them in the mail -- probably more so since the Oprah appearance.

I plan to sport a pretty purple no-complaint bracelet on my wrist this summer, no doubt as trendy and important as the LiveStrong yellow bracelets that Lance Armstrong made popular.

And God-willing just as beneficial...

Let me know when you get your no-complaint bracelet on your wrist, and we'll compare notes on how we're all doing. No complaints.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

LeBron James' new house has barbershop, casino, bowling alley...but no basketball court?

by Paula Neal Mooney

Today the Bob Dyer of the Akron-Beacon Journal got his "King James builds a castle of a home" piece smack dab on the front page of my local paper.

And it's no wonder: Even though us Ohioans are used to LeBron James -- some see him about town, others have pics crowding their bureaus of LeBron's days playing for St. Vincent-St. Mary -- or "St. V" as they call it around these parts -- we still are hungry for all things LeBron James.

LeBron James' new house is an object of fascination.

It first started in 2003, as Dyer notes, when LeBron James bought a home in beautiful Bath Township for $2.1 million. I remember the day I sat in a conference room at the Akron-Beacon Journal downtown as a woman announced that LeBron was having that house razed to the ground, saying she knew where it was located.

Within seconds, a reporter quietly tipped out of the room to follow up on her tip, and all of us reader panel participants chuckled.

A home befitting a king...
Indeed LeBron James' new home sounds like royalty. At 35,440 square feet, Dyer notes that it's only 10,000 square feet smaller than our local Best Buy. That really gives you some perspective.

Yet it doesn't look gaudy, or as selfish as some monstrosity that LeBron could've built from his balling bucks. Funny, LeBron James' home plans have yet to list a basketball court, but a nice, sleek or Boston Garden-type parquet floor must be in the works. Where else would King James practice when away from the Quicken Loans Arena -- better known as The Q.

It's going to have a barbershop on the lower floor right next to the bowling alley. A garage large enough to fit six cars -- I wonder if that includes the silver Hummer LeBron first received that had me rubber-necking at every HumVee that pranced by me? No, I think he got rid of that one...

LeBron's head
Maybe the most self-aggrandizing feature of Lebron's new manse will be this bas-relief (I had to look it up: A sculpture in which the figures project slightly from the background) limestone sculpture of James' head on an outer wall.

LeBron James' chiseled (literally) features will sport his trademark headband akin to a circular laurel wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves encircling Apollo's crown in Greek mythology.

Indeed, the ancient Greece wreaths were awarded to athletic victors, and this new home of LeBron's definitely spells a long journey from the two-bedroom, subsidized-housing flat at Spring Hill Apartments LeBron shared with his mama just a half decade ago...

Keep out
That seems to be the message to the rude visitors who've already begun gawking at LeBron James' new house, even though it won't be finished until 2008. Fine by me, I'll wait till I'm personally invited.

Maybe then I can finally get to the bottom of the local rumor I'm trying to substantiate: Does LeBron James have any familial connection with Cindy George? Subscribe to Paula Mooney to find out when I do, and read Bob Dyer's article here...

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Get Blog Readers by Posting Your Income, Predicting Hot Stories and More...

by Paula Neal Mooney

I didn't post that much this weekend, but my blog traffic increased enormously.

After a quick Google Analytics analysis of my stats, I've derived the following about some of my most popular posts this weekend.

Hopefully they can help you increase your blog traffic, too:

1 - Post your blog income

Even if you've only made 5 bucks online, post it and tell us how! Many people are interested in turning blogging into their full-time careers, and are hungry to learn about ways to make money.

I know that's why my I've made $4,375.75 online! Here's how you can too... post was pretty popular.

2 - Champion a cause
Ironically, my most popular post by far over the last week was Shaquanda Cotton Needs You..., an issue close to my heart. I didn't care if I lost every single one of my readers after writing that one; I just knew it was a story that needed to be passed along. Don't pander to your readers, write from your gut...

3 - Predict Hot Stories
Okay, the only way I know how to write today about the stories that many people will search for tomorrow is to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. That's what I did when I corresponded with Cindy George, and eventually wrote a post called The Cindy George Appeal: It Ain’t Just a Hoped-For Retrial.

Blessedly, as Jill Miller Zimon let me know, Cindy George was freed from jail recently, and that caused a spike this past weekend in my post about her.

I'm praying Shaquanda Cotton will be freed as well, Lord willing.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Did Rosalind Gardner rob my dad out of 47 bucks?


I just came back from Chicago -- today is Monday, November 24, 2008 -- and I still couldn't stay away from my blogs, like a forlorned lover.

Anyway, I feel severely impressed to update this post with a sort-of apology to Rosalind Gardner.

For 20 months after I wrote this original post, I'm still benefiting from the lesson I learned from reading Rosalind's book -- like "build a theme park, not a mall," when Ms. Gardner foresaw all those years ago that niche websites would rule.

And every 90 days, think of starting a new website. I've got a hankering to start another website -- and her words come back to me.

So while I still think 47 bucks may be a bit steep, I'm being blessed by the lessons learned therein, so I do recommend her book if you've got the money.

Forgive me, Rosalind. Carry forth and sell online!

by Paula Neal Mooney

Though I'm away from my Ohio Valley and here in Chicago, I can barely stay away from my blog. It calls me like a forlorned lover...

In between cleaning the grime out of my eldery father's grout, I've been helping him with his blog a bit, and checking out this Super Affiliates Handbook that he plunked down 47 bucks for.

Oh boy, I thought at first.

Here goes another one of those get-rich-quick-with-the-annoying-bright-splash-page kind of folks robbing people of their hardly-earned credit.

But I took time absorbing Rosalind Gardner and her claims in 'The Super Affiliate Handbook' that she made $436,797 in one year selling other people's stuff online last night and was able to learn some good tips.

I skimmed past pages of introductory fluff that left me saying:

"Just tell me how you made the $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People's Stuff Online!"

Eventually, Rosalind delivered the goods (mostly) and inspired me, teaching me that:

* It's good to try a bunch of different affiliate programs (Commission Junction and others) and keep track monthly of your earnings to know who's paying the best.

* Keep a variety of these programs going, so you won't put all your eggs in one basket.

* Strive to get a 50% kickback off the products that you refer to other people. For example, if you lead a ton of customers to buy a product, work with the affiliate program managers to give you a better slice of the money you're making for them.

* Affiliates actually steal your affiliate pay! They do this by right-clicking on your affiliate link of a product they'd like to purchase, and before they buy it, they take off your affiliate ID and enter their own so they'll get a discount! (She includes a redirect method to prevent this stealing, so when I try it and ensure it works, I'll let you know. Please sign-up for daily updates to my blog so you can prevent your affiliate money from being taken.

* That yeah, my product blog might be a good start, but I really need to get off my duff and get my site with the domain name I've purchased up and running.

Of course, there's tons more info in Rosalind's nearly 300-page book that I need to absorb. In the meantime, take a gander at Rosalind's site and let me know what you think.

I'm really juiced about implementing her strategies, because I know for a fact that affiliate marketing DOES pay, 'cause my earnings are growing and growing.

And Gardner's book was just the impetus I needed to jump-start my earnings even more to do things I plan to do this summer, like spend more time taking care of my daddy and learning good stuff from him.

And as Rosalind Gardner also teaching in The Super Affliliate Handbook, don't let your readers leave your site without at least grabbing their email address. So please sign up to find out how much money I make thru this venture. Hopefully it'll help you too, if you're interested in making money off the products and services you write about anyway.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

How Fast is Google Crawling Your Blog?

by Paula Neal Mooney

The other day I was so excited to write about Google's new AdSense Referrals Betaprogram because I caught it right when it was announced to the public.

I published the post, pinged it on Google's blog search ping search, then searched for it thru Google Blog Search.

Nothing at first.

Pretty soon after, I received an email for my Google Alert set up on http://paulamooney.blogspot.com -- letting me know that Google had indexed my blog page.

I re-checked a Google blog search on "Adsense Referrals Beta" and there was my blog post. It made it in at the number two position for relevance, right under Darren Rowse, Mr. ProBlogger.net himself.

How did I get Google to pick up my info so fast? Besides the aforementioned publishing and pinging, I relate this to two other factors:

1 - Having a sitemap listed in Google Webmaster Tools for my blog

Visit Google Webmaster Tools if you haven't already, click on the Google Webmaster Tools (including sitemaps) link and then "Add Site".

Follow the instructions to verify your blog site and add a sitemap. Now, I must admit, it took me FOREVER to figure out how to get my blog verified properly.

Only when I read Hakuna Matata's instructions -- gee think that's his real name? -- did I finally get http://paulamooney.blogspot.com to show up with a litte '1' under the sitemap page.

My other blog address listing, http://www.paulamooney.blogspot.com is also verified and with the '1' under sitemap, but it contains errors. Only when I followed Hakuna Matata's instructions on adding my atom.xml feed as my sitemap, did I have success.

2 - Achieving a normal (instead of slower) crawl rate for Googlebot

After you've set up your blog on Google Websmaster Tools, check and see what your crawl rate is by locating the "Diagnostic" tab then clicking the Crawl Rate link on the left-hand side.

Initially, my blog was set to the dreaded Slower rate: "A slower crawl will reduce Googlebot's traffic on your server, but we may not be able to crawl your site as often."

Some time after figuring out how to get my blog properly verified and a good sitemap attached, I went back and found out I was given the option to have it crawl at the Normal, recommended crawl rate.

From what I've read, updating your blog often will help flip your crawl rate into normal mode if it's slower, along with the sitemap and verification steps described above.

This is one reason I'm posting this puppy on my dad's nice and fast and lovely computer while I'm off on a vacation-of-sorts. I love having my normal crawl rate!

Hope yours is at least normal now too...

Now, does anyone out there know what you have to do to get a fast crawl rate option? Sign up to my blog so you won't miss the answer when I'm fast-crawling!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

AdSense Referrals Beta: Sign-Up to Pick Your Google Ads

by Paula Neal Mooney

How many times has a goofy Google Adsense ad popped up that you knew no one would click on? The new Google Adsense Referrals Beta program is seeking to eliminate ads that don't fit your blog.

Sign-up to join the new Google Adsense Referral Beta program here.

If you're accepted into the new Google Adsense Referrals Beta program, you'll be able to "search for products that match up directly with your site's content," the Google InSide Adsense blog says today.

"And you can customize your referral units to match the look and feel of your site, making it easier than ever to find a referral ad that fits in seamlessly with your site's design and content," they continue about the new Google Adsense Referrals Beta program.

"As with our current Google referrals, you'll generate earnings when your visitors click through to an advertiser's site and complete an action defined by your advertisers, such as a sale or sign-up," goes the the new Google Adsense Referrals Beta program desription.

"Because these actions are often more involved than a simple click or impression, advertisers pay more for these referrals, which can translate into higher earnings for your site."

Let's hope so!

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The Secret on The View Video: Anybody Got It?

By Paula Neal Mooney

Did anyone catch what the ladies of The View said about The Secret?

Us east-coast-time viewers were pre-empted by President Bush’s speech today.

My TiVo was poised to play their views of The Secret when W cut in.

Googling "The Secret on The View" has gotten me little, as has going to The View’s website. No secret there.

Anyhoo, this all comes in God’s perfect timing as it were, since The Secret has been on my mind since I first saw it on Oprah.

You may remember when I asked my readers, “Is The Secret Anti-Christian?” and got a boatload of good responses from The Secret supporters and detractors.

I still haven’t seen the DVD, nor watched The Secret fully online. Therefore when this reviewer for this sponsored post ordered a $75 review on my blog about The Official Secret Seminar, my first knee-jerk instinct was to turn it down.

Instead, I accepted it, wearily wondering to myself: Am I selling my soul for $48.75?

But I watched and prayed, watched and prayed for the Lord to speak to me, as He always does. The other day I was in Barnes & Noble and – oh miracle of miracles! – my young children entertained themselves for so long listening to Kidz Bop music and the like, that I was able to read nearly the entire The Secret book.

Leery at first, I soon was grinning like an idiot as the biblical truths therein really resonated with me:

• To act as if we already have the blessing we’ve prayed for…
• To give, and it shall be given unto us…
• To enter into God’s gates with thanksgiving…
• Speak in the positive -- call those things that be not as if they already are…

I decided to put a couple of The Secret tips into practice. I had a $97.42 Amex bill due, that I didn’t know how I was going to pay. (Note, that $4,375.75 I’ve earned online has already paid plenty-o-bills.)

Normally, I would carry the bill around open in my purse as a reminder that, “This need to be paid!” This time, as The Secret teaches, I prepared and acted as if I already had the money to pay it.

For me, instead of placing my faith in fear, it became a demonstration of putting “feet to my faith” in Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, and showing Him that I trusted Him to take care of it.

I wrote out the check, put it in the envelope and sealed it up. Stuck a stamp on it. Then calling on my tither’s rights, I stuck the bill in my Bible and rested it on Malachi 3:10:

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."

Lo and behold, that same day my husband transferred more money into my account unexpectedly and sooner than normal. I hadn’t told him anything about the bill due.

So my bill was paid. Maybe I was too harsh on The Secret to begin with, but I’m still keeping my eyes open for what God wants to do with its popularity.

I mulled over buying The Secret DVD in Barnes & Noble. "Give me a sign," I prayed again to the Lord, acting as a modern-day Gideon. I look up directly at a sign that read, "Try it before you buy it."

God, you are good, I chuckled beneath my breath. But in calling around to my local video stores, I found out that neither Hollywood Video nor Blockbuster even carried The Secret. So maybe the real secret is their money-making distribution deal...

I’m a mature enough Christian to know that the Lord is not the magic genie depicted in some The Secret promos, but I also know that He uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.

Whatever The Secret teachers are teaching, may they also stress the all-important John 3:16 and mightily uphold John 14:6:

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

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Paula Neal Mooney