Saturday, May 14, 2005

Dead Birds And Other Things

Our 4-year-old came running into the house yesterday, totally hyped up...

"Mom! Dad! Look what I found!"

Nestled in the palms of his two small hands was a dead morning dove he had found in the flower garden. What was unusual about the bird - no broken neck (so we assume it didn't fly into anything) - no outward signs of sores or abrasions (we assume it didn't fly into traffic) - no unusual markings, moltings or anything else.

In fact, other than being stone cold stiff and dead, on first appearance it looked peacefully asleep and in perfect health.

Since we haven't sprayed any dangerous chemicals, even that possibility was out - maybe?

As the editor for the local Healthy Families bi-monthly newsletter in our area, I'm often more "in the loop" than most regarding health news and information in our region. What many people don't realize is that dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and the mosquitoes in an area. Over 130 species of birds are known to have been infected with West Nile virus, though not all infected birds will die.

The Center For Disease Control (CDC) seeks everyone's help for their communities by reporting dead birds as one measure to monitor and track the spread of West Nile Virus.

"By reporting dead birds to state and local health departments, you can play an important role in monitoring West Nile virus. State and local agencies have different policies for collecting and testing birds, so check the Links to State and Local Government Sites page to find information about reporting dead birds in your area. Click here for more info about reporting dead birds and dealing with bird carcasses."

Speaking of West Nile Virus, did you know 777 cases were reported last year in California alone (23 deaths)?

Sidenote: According to a CNN report, West Nile virus first arrived in 1999 in New York. Last year there were 2,470 cases and 88 deaths. The highest number of U.S. cases came in 2003, when 9,682 people were infected and 264 died.

Mosquitoes are reported to be the culprit spreading this virus (and more).

Needless to say, large and powerful companies are already gearing up for sales of their repellents this year ...and DEET is still on the list of the CDCs top repellents. When I was a Purchasing Agent for one Ministry in Canada, DEET was a banned substance on my list of approved repellents (although it was readily available for public use ...just not for use by government workers in the field - go figure).

Sidenote: DEET was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1946 and has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as an approved active ingredient since 1957.

Personally, I don't like slapping any chemicals on my skin. I know too well the damage toxins can do and how quickly they can be absorbed by the skin. This year, the CDC has finally broadened their list of approved repellents to include one more chemical (picaridin) and now, a natural alternative (oil of lemon eucalyptus).

Here's something I prefer, which may surprise a few people: Purifying Mist

But that's a room deodorizer, you say?

Yes, it sure is. In fact it's quite effective as both a room deodorizer AND an odor eliminator, and yet it also has a main ingredient that I've found can be quite effective as a mosquito repellent: grapefruit seed extract.

Go ahead --- take a bottle on your next camping trip and test it out.

In my humble opinion, it's a far safer alternative to smearing chemicals all over the skin.

Until next time... Have a super weekend!


Yuko from Japan said...

Hi Karen,
While I was looking for info about work-at-home mom, I came across your diary. I am an English learner and need info for debating. Would you let me know the articles mentioning god points and especially bad points if any. If there is no articles, would you tell me a little about good and bad points?

kmyers said...

Hi Yuko, thanks for dropping in!

I'm assuming you want good points and bad points about working at home ...particularly when it comes to being a work-at-home mom.

Wow! I could write a book on both.

I'll try to keep my answer as brief as possible and just cover the highlights.

In a nutshell, here are the BAD points.

1. Don't Get Scammed: If you don't know what you are doing and haven't done your research, you could end up working very hard only to LOSE money instead of MAKE money. My advice - do your due diligence and be sure to ask plenty of questions before committing to a home based opportunity or business offer. Even freelancers (like me) have to make sure there are contracts in place with their clients. I recommend collecting a large deposit and getting paid for work in progress as part of the agreement.

2. For Most People It Can Take A LOT Of Time Before You See Significant Profits: For some people, the money can come in super FAST, depending on what they choose to do to work at home... however, for most, it happens very slow, especially if you don't have the experience you need to succeed in a BIG way, nor the guidance and/or coaching to help you get into profit fast. My Advice - don't quit your day-job until your home business income is at least double what you are earning from your job.

3. Be Absolutely Sure You Really Want It BAD Enough: Like anything else, building up an income from home can and will have stumbling blocks along the way. It will take strong commitment on your part to stick with what you are building in order to realize and enjoy the rewards that can follow. If you don't want it bad enough, you can ...and probably will... fail to succeed. The sad part is, many will give up just before the success hits and they walk away from what could have been a fortune.

4. It Takes A Lot Of Self-Discipline: One of my biggest pet peeves about working from home is all the interruptions and many distractions that can often derail you and put you waaaaay behind in your business. Sure, it's easy to go watch that great movie on TV instead of doing the work to build your business. If you let these distractions take over too many times, you can quickly lose everything you have built (or never get anywhere with it in the first place). Treat it like a hobby and you can expect a hobby income. Treat it like a business, and you can earn far more than you might even imagine right now.

5. It Takes Courage: One thing is certain... if you plan to work full time from home and build a primary income doing it, you most probably will have to grow... meaning, there may be things you don't like to do that will have to be done in order to experience any success at all. Ask yourself seriously, do you have what it takes? Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone? It may be necessary to do so.

6. Protect Your Investment: There are financial considerations that you need to make when working from home that are outside the realm of a traditional job. For example, taxes care ...patents (if needed) copyrights (if needed) ...and more. You will want to seek advice from experts to make sure you are protecting your investment as you grow. If you choose a solid Network Marketing opportunity as your home business, much of this won't be a problem for you since the company is responsible for a great deal of it. Still, you will have to consider taxes, investments (when you start earning those larger checks) and health care, since this will be your responsibility, not theirs.

Now... the good points...

1. The freedom to choose WHEN you want to work. For instance, some of my best writing happens late at night or very early in the morning when most of the world is sleeping. I couldn't choose those hours of work in a traditional job. Also --- I decide when I'm going to take my vacations and time off. I don't have to ask a boss for permission.

2. I get to see my little boy grow up. This is absolutely priceless!!! I can't even begin to tell you how terrible I would feel if I were forced to drop him off at a daycare or a babysitter and not see the special moments as he develops from infancy into a young man. I'm the luckiest mom alive!

3. I get to choose who I want to work with. Granted, in the beginning this wasn't always the case. I had to take on every writing job I could to build up my portfolio and earn my reputation. Now, I get to decide if I really want to work with someone --- or not. In a traditional job, you may be forced to work with co-workers that you might not ever want to say to hello to on the street.

4. I get to see my BIG dreams come true. In a traditional job, I'd constantly be trading hours for dollars. There are certain things I dreamed about that I knew would be out of the question if I stayed in a traditional job. I could never have earned enough to have them (or do them). In my home business, I seldom take on clients that pay me piecework anymore. Instead, the bulk of my income includes residual earnings, which means my income is constantly growing with each new project or job (plus my husband and I have a wonderful Network Marketing business that keeps growing this way, too). I no longer "wish" things were different. I'm making it happen ...and it really is a wonderful thing. You can't imagine how great it feels unless you experience it for yourself.

5. No long commutes, no rush hour traffic, no lining up for lunch, no having to dress a certain way ...all these things I no longer have to do --- now I finally have FREEDOM. I go out for a drive when I want to... or I'll go for a bike ride when I feel like it. I get to dress in what's comfortable, not stylish. I get to enjoy lunch from a well stocked pantry whenever I'm feeling hungry. I have total FREEDOM to be me ...every single day. And that's a wonderful thing, indeed.

6. Thanks to technology, I can now work where ever I want. With a wireless laptop and Internet access, I could go virtually anywhere in the world and still earn a generous income ...even take on a new client or two if I wanted to. Imagine the flexibility in that! On a nice warm day, I could even work on my business from my deck overlooking my flower garden. You wouldn't believe how calming that can be. It's beautiful!

There's more... so much more.

I'll try to come back in a few days with links to some articles for you.

Meanwhile, thanks again for dropping in and letting me share the Bad and the Good.

Good luck with your debate!

See you soon!

Yuko from Japan said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks you very much for the valuable information. In your reply, there are many points that I coundl't find by myself and those helped me a lot at debating.
I hope your work keeps going well and take care! Lastly, thank you very much again!

kmyers said...

You are very welcome Yuko.

It was a pleasure to meet you online and I wish you much success with your debate.

Keep me posted on your results... I'd love to hear all about it!

Warmest wishes...
- Karen