Category: Random

Never Give Up

Never Give Up

How often have you heard the saying “never give up”? But isn’t there a time when one should rather say “change direction”?

There’s a dream I’ve had for many, many years, and that is to have an online business. The reason? So I’m not stuck in one place. It would mean I could travel around. So this is my story and why, rather than “never give up” I’ve chosen to “change direction.”

Sure, travel is a bit stunted right now, but I do see a day when I’ll be able to head back overseas to hang out with my girls and grandies. And wouldn’t it be just fab to be able to take my work with me? That’s always been the plan.

I’m not sure when I started my first online business, I think it was around the mid 2000’s, but I remember that website building was extremely clunky, nothing like the beautiful sleek sites we have today.

To let you in on a little secret, here’s one of my very first websites. www.paintingwithpastels. It’s a rather large site and, of course, doesn’t have the ability to be mobile responsive. (We didn’t have smartphones back then). The program I built this one is now completely obsolete, although I still do have it on an old computer.

It’s on the ‘to do’ list to bring it up into the modern age, BUT it’s a marathon job, and I’m not sure if I have the patience. Mmmm, maybe I should as it still does work and I still sell the occasional item. Oh, and if you did go through and take a peek, you’ll see it’s under a different name – that’s what we were taught back in the day. But you will see some of my paintings there which can be corroborated by friends who know they still hang in my home.

Over Coffee (this blog) isn’t designed as a money-making site (although if you want, you can always click through any ad that’s showing at the bottom, don’t have to buy – just clicking gives me a couple of cents).

Getting back to the heading – never give up, which the cartoon below has sat on my desktop for YEARS!!

never give up


Confession Time

I have given up.

Not on the dream, but more on the product that I’ve offered. I’m not sure why perhaps not passionate enough about the subject, or could see that it wasn’t working. And that’s where the “change direction” comes from.

Hence I made a new cartoon.

different path

My online business has morphed from website building in the early days which flopped completely – hey, we didn’t have social media, and I was competing with the ‘big boys’ who had money to advertise. I built my sites of which some are still active and bring in a few pennies each month without me doing anything. I wrote books and still sell them on Amazon, again, not a huge moneymaker. Ghostwriting was good – I’ve had a few clients with that, but – it still ties me to here, so it’s not conducive to the dream, and I don’t do it anymore.

I tried my hand at virtual coaching (for people going vegan/plant-based). Even paid big bucks for a business mentor, to no avail. Spent about 18 months and many dollars with absolutely zero takers on that idea. The money ran out and so did the will to do it. But there are always ups to any downs and I created the resource website Gold Card Vegan which, although doesn’t earn me anything, I’m proud of as it offers great information.

At the beginning of the latest round of lockdowns, a friend suggested that I build websites for small businesses. In her business, she is constantly coming across people who don’t have a website. Here’s an unashamed plug for her:

Voila, a gap she could see me filling.

Geez, I’m 70 next year – BUT it’s never too late to try again 🤪 and reboot that dream

Fee O'Shea

You see, building websites, doing graphic designs, writing content for social media, blogs, and newsletters are all fun things for me….. can’t you tell? Look at the graphics so far on here – SUCH FUN!

So at the start of lockdown (round 2), I morphed my White Rockit website into a simple, modern, snazzy wee business website telling you what I can offer.

Now comes the marketing of the said business. This time I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve.

  • I know where the best place is to be seen (for free).
  • I have my Pipi friend in my corner cheering me on.
  • I love doing this shit!

Not about to give up on my dream just yet. It’s been there for such a long time, moving and morphing, poking at me to keep going, and it’s so close I can almost touch it. I’m not going to give up my day job, but we’ll give this one a crack and see.

Damn it!!! I can make this happen.

fee figures

ps: That ad is coming up …








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Ask For Help

Ask For Help

Somebody is always willing to help when you need it. All you need to do is ask.

Growing up, there was a saying my father would often come out with and that was “Just ask.” He would usually quantify the statement with “after all, what’s the worst that can happen? The person can say ‘no’.”

I took that saying, lived by it and taught it to my children.

Recently I did some DIY and used my power drill. Yes, I have a power drill – I don’t have a tool belt, but I’d like one! Somehow I got the drill bit locked into the drill, and for the life of me, I couldn’t get the darn thing out – it was stuck fast. No matter what I did, that bit was not going to budge, and I didn’t have the strength, nor the inclination, to put pressure on it.

My neighbour, who I would have turned to in this scenario, was away, and so, as I was heading to the grocery store anyway, I decided to take it into Mitre 10 and see if one of the staff could help fix it for me.

In I go to Mitre 10 with the drill in hand. The staff I saw at the desks were busy, so I wandered around the store looking for someone in an orange shirt who wasn’t doing anything.

Do you think I could find one?

When you want a staff member, they usually are either already with someone else or on a break and just not there. The reverse applies when you don’t need assistance.

So I’m walking around looking down all the aisles looking for someone… anyone… please… Next minute I spotted a very tall young man standing next to the nuts and bolts, arms full of ‘stuff’ and deep in deliberation about which to choose.

I thought to myself, ‘well, here’s likely lad, I wonder if he’ll be able to help’.

Without any thought of my personal safety or that I was going to look foolish, I turned into the aisle and approached the guy with a big smile and an “Excuse me.”

As soon as he looked up, I asked if he could please help me. He had a puzzled look on his face, but I explained that I live alone, can’t find a staff member, and all I need is to get the bit unstuck from my drill.

Immediately he put all his things down, said he was happy to give it a try, took the drill and, I kid you not, within about 10 seconds, he had the bit and drill apart.

power drill

Here was one case where I asked for help and received it easily and effortlessly.

I now have my drill back in working order and immediately put it to good use, creating my little birdseed tray (screwed the cup to the saucer).

birdseed container

Many of us, especially men, seem to have a problem asking for help and yet, it is the greatest gift you can give anyone.

You see, when you ask for help, it gives the other person a sense of value. You must know how rewarding it is to be able to help a friend or even a stranger.

Remember, the next time you need any sort of assistance – Just Ask.

fee figures








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The Hidden Costs of Petrol

The Hidden Costs of Petrol

Now more than ever, people are using coupons and discounts wherever they can as the cost of petrol increases beyond reasonability

What are the hidden costs of petrol? As we all know, the base price at the pump is loaded with taxes of different sorts. And there is the cost to the environment. Trouble is petrol affects people in different ways.

One of the taxes is the Petroleum or Engine Fuel Monitoring Levy (PEFML), which on July 1st 2021, went down from .61c to .59c per litre. Not that it’s made a jot bit of difference at the pump!

It is now 9th August, and petrol prices are higher than I’ve ever seen them. Ten years ago, we had one of the lowest pre-tax fuel costs in the OECD, and now we have the second-highest.

I don’t have a problem with having a fuel tax (even more than one!). Sadly though, once again, those at the bottom of the economic pile are the ones suffering.

I talked with a friend the other day who said he wouldn’t have a problem if petrol doubled in price. He argued that it would force people to use public transport, bike, or get e-bikes/cars. Here’s where I believe this argument fails.

Most of us cannot afford e-cars or e-bikes at the current prices. The excellent incentives that the government has come out with to encourage the purchase of e-cars still makes the price totally outside the realms of reality for the majority.

Public transport is terrific if you’re going to destinations that are on the bus route. The irony was that my friend and I met in a café far removed from any public transport stops, meaning I had to travel by my petrol car! Most of New Zealand is abysmal when it comes to buses and trains. As a kid, I can remember the passenger trains hurtling beside the road as they navigated the Karangahake Gorge. There was a criss-cross of tracks all over the country, and now there are just remnants of grass-covered rails. Or, as in the case of the Gorge, they have been turned into bike trails.

If the cost of petrol keeps going up, it may just become like cigarettes. Crime associated with tobacco is on the rise. The black market is doing a brisk trade, and perhaps it will begin to include gasoline as well????

I don’t know what the answer is. I do know that making the ‘peasants’ pay has been the way of the elite for centuries. Perhaps keeping the plebs occupied just finding ways to live will keep them too busy to wonder what the upper echelon folk are up to.

Fee Figures








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My Top 3 Bits of Useless Information

My Top 3 Bits of Useless Information

One of the joys of the internet is that in times of boredom, you can mindlessly scroll through and get some outstanding useless bits of information. Here are my top 3.

I’m diverting off from my usual quick reads to fill your head with a bit of ‘out of the square’ history.


   No doubt you’ve heard about the witches of Salem. Well, according to some, they supposedly conspired with the devil. The story goes that in 1692 a couple of young girls (related to a minister) began having violent fits, including uncontrollable screaming. The doctor diagnosed that the girls had been bewitched. Guess what happened next. More girls began exhibiting similar symptoms. And so began the witch hunt.

More than 200 were accused, 19 were executed by hanging, one poor chap was pressed to death, and at least a further five died in jail.

witches of salem

The sad part is that science explains the bewitching as probably caused by the fungus ergot (found in rye, wheat etc.). Toxicologists say this can cause symptoms such as delusions, vomiting and muscle spasms.

2    Queen Elizabeth 1 was thought to be a man. I’m on the fence about this one, but here’s what I dug up.

When the young princess was ten years old, she was sent away from London to the town of Bisley to escape the Bubonic Plague. Unfortunately, she supposedly got sick anyway and died. Apparently, Elizabeth’s nurse panicked a bit because Henry VIII was on his way to visit his daughter. No-done wanted to get on the wrong side of that dude!!!

So she came up with a plan to find a local girl who had a resemblance to Elizabeth and show her to the King.

Didn’t go quite as she thought because there were no girls. But, aha! An effeminate lad with red hair looked pretty darn close, so the switch was made.

Some historians believe this to be true mainly because of a variety of facts.

  • Elizabeth never married.
  • The letters she wrote before and after being in Bisley were vastly different.
  • She always wore wigs.
  • Only very carefully selected doctors could see her.
  • It was understood that she would never bear children.
  • Elizabeth made it clear she was not to have an autopsy after her death.
  • And finally, in the 1800s a skeleton of a young girl wearing typical upper-class clothing was found in Bisley.

Queen Elizabeth I

I am erring on the side of disbelief because I’m sure someone would have leaked the secret (they usually do). Also, according to the Queen’s laundress, Elizabeth menstruated normally.

3    I’m sure you’ve heard of the Illuminati. Yes, it was a real society of intellectual thinkers around more than two centuries ago in Germany. They supposedly orchestrated the French Revolution along with other uprisings.

It was founded in Bavaria by Adam Weishaupt in 1776. He was a professor who had a bit of a falling out with the Jesuit priests who held power in those days. Weishaupt was all about promoting enlightenment as well as moral progress. However, by 1785 the Illuminati were then really over stepping the line and so were outlawed and dissolved by Prince Karl Theodor. Sure, it could have continued underground, but there is no real evidence of this, which brings me to the modern version. So many people are accused of being part of the Illuminati. From the Pope to the Queen and Presidents to those running Silicon Valley. In other words, if you’re wealthy and powerful, you must be part of this secret society. But is that right?

Well, in 1965, a group of people founded the Discordian movement. A couple of schoolmates Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley, self-printed a book called Principia Discordia. It promoted the theory that chaos is as necessary as order. Thus Discordianism became popular through the 60s and 70s with the two guys actively trying to cause mischief. Enter the American writer Robert Wilson and his mate Robert Shea. These two decided to write a novel, throw all the great conspiracy theories into the plot, and call it Illuminatus. They had so much fun with this they turned it into a trilogy.


Wilson and Shea used this prank to spread chaos and misinformation about the Illuminati through writing letters to the mainstream press and the letters section of popular magazines. They also wrote letters from imaginary readers, either believing or not believing that the Illuminati existed.

Even though the trilogy conspiracy theories are imaginary, they are blended with enough truth to make them seem plausible.

This is a book on my must-read list; I just haven’t found one yet.

And as an aside.

The book was made into a marathon 8-hour stage play in Liverpool, launching the careers of Bill Nighy and Jim Broadbent.

The original idea of the Discordian movement was about creating chaos to begin dialogue and discovery. Therefore, it’s not down to a shadowy elite whether you choose to believe in the Illuminati conspiracy theory (or any theories) or not; it’s up to you.

fee figures








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Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Selling Ice Cream!

Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Selling Ice Cream!

I didn’t mean to get you all upset with the title of this post telling you that Ben & Jerry’s are going to stop selling ice cream – that would be disastrous. But they are going to in a selected area.

The arm of the law has got its fingers everywhere. When a government is suing a company because it chooses not to sell its products in a specific place – isn’t this a little 2-faced from the said government?

Here’s what’s happened.

Do you know the ice cream Ben & Jerry’s? Darn good!!!

ben & jerrys

Now, B&J’s is owned by Unilever (since 2000); however, the decision to remove the ice cream from certain places was made by Ben and Jerry and the independent board of directors, which was set up to (among other things) protect and defend B&J’s brand equity and integrity.

The furore came when B&J announced that it planned to stop selling ice cream in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. Wow – that got the heckles up, and the Israeli government quickly got into action, launching a legal attack.

Israeli PM Naftali Bennet said the move was “morally wrong” and would prove to be “financially wrong”. And the Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the move a

“disgraceful capitulation to anti-Semitism and the BDS movement”.

Ah, then here comes the long arm of Israel.

Israel’s ambassador to the US asked 35 US governors to enforce state laws that make it a crime to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement (The BDS movement calls for a complete boycott of Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.).

Meanwhile, Republican senator James Langford of Oklahoma, called on his state to block the sale of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, claiming the company’s new policy violates Oklahoma’s anti-BDS law.

Some grocery chains in Israel have pulled the ice cream off their shelves or are putting them to the bottom of the freezer. (I’d still find it!!!). They seem to think that boycotting is a waste of time.

Avi Kaner, Co-owner of Morton Williams Supermarkets, said:

“Even the most liberal-minded person who believes in a two-state solution knows that ultimately there will be territorial exchanges and swaps. It is not up to Ben & Jerry’s to dictate what the borders should be.”

So it’s okay for a government to boycott, bomb, be heavy-handed with apartheid type laws and dish out the racial injustices? But when a company chooses not to sell its products in certain areas, god forbid that this is seen as morally wrong!

Ben & Jerry’s have said that continuing to sell ice cream in the settlement would be “inconsistent with our values” they also said the decision reflected the concerns of “fans and trusted partners”.

Who are Ben and Jerry? Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are both Jews who have a track record of campaigning on social issues such as LGBTQ rights and climate change and now the blatant apartheid in Israel.

Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Selling Ice Cream!

I applaud any company that stands up for its ethics even in the face of financial loss and government harassment.








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About Me

About Me

Thanks for dropping by, my name is Fee O’Shea. I’m a mother and grandma, an author and an Improver. I’ve got a resource website to help peeps go plant-based, I’ve scribbled six books centred around veganism, and have helped others write and publish their own stories.
But this blog is for my thoughts, my rants, raves, reviews and things that have grabbed my attention. From politics to social media to beauty, health and the environment. Fee’s Ramblings Over Coffee is written to bring you a smile or get you thinking. Enjoy.



Don't be shy, please contact me if you have any questions or what you'd like me to write about.

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