Friday, February 20, 2009

a writing job?

yesterday i found an ad on craigslist looking for a full-time writer. three two things about the ad are significant. #1 - it was a legitimate job posting! many (if not most) of the job ads in lynchburg are bogus postings. #2 - it said "full-time". that's right. someone here actually has more than just one piddly article that they would like to have written. they are looking for a full-time employee! #3 - it's a writing job. okay, that would be my dream job. i love to write, and if i can get paid to do it all the time, i just don't know what i'll do with myself!!! and i'm surprised that my dream job exists in my town, in this economy!

okay, so i applied for the job. sent them my "very best cover letter" and my resume. now i've applied for a LOT of jobs over the past several months, and Very few have responded at all. that's a little discouraging. but still, i need to work, so i keep sending out resumes. i was more than a bit concerned that it was Not a legitimate job. but i had to take the chance, and apply anyway.

well, i opened my email this morning, and lo and behold, i had a response! the man apologized for taking so long to get back to me (which was less than 12 hours, most of which were overnight). my email had gone into his spam folder and he had "accidentally" discovered it there. (thank you GOD!) he asked me for a writing sample and gave me four topics to choose from. he also asked that i turn it around in two hours or less.

so the article has been written. it falls in the 500-600 word prescribed length. i did it in less than two hours. and now, i'm waiting for a response from him. Please, oh please, PICK ME!

so, while we're waiting, here it is. i'm afraid to ask you what you think. but feel free to tell me anyway!


Why go Dairy Free

I must admit, when I first heard the words “dairy free” my thought was “why would anyone want to eliminate dairy from their diet?” The commercials on TV tell me that five servings of dairy a day will help me lose weight. So, are there really valid reasons that would cause a person to eliminate an entire food group?

After doing a bit of research, I discovered that the answer to my questions is a resounding, “yes!” And the primary reasons are health-related.

When you spend a moment thinking about milk and its purpose, it doesn’t take long to realize that milk was created to be consumed by babies. Its purpose is to give babies the nutrition they need to grow. It is created by mammals to feed their young, and no other mammals drink milk beyond infancy.

Cow’s milk is made to turn a baby calf into a 300-pound cow in six months! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to pack on that kind of weight quite so fast! Our stomachs don’t have the digestive enzymes that are necessary for processing dairy through our systems.

But what about all of the “benefits” of dairy in our diets? What about getting enough calcium to prevent osteoporosis and help our bones grow strong? Again, cow’s milk was designed for cows. Our bodies have a difficult time absorbing the calcium in dairy products, not just because it’s cow’s milk, but also because our dairy products are so processed that the amount of calcium is significantly reduced. More efficient sources of calcium include (surprise!) beans, spinach, and leafy-green vegetables!

You probably don’t think about milk containing sugar. It’s certainly not what I want when I’m craving sugar! But a 1992 report in the New England Journal of Medicine verified that proteins in cows' milk can damage the production of insulin. That means that some forms of diabetes can be linked directly to the consumption of dairy products.

While I’m telling you about medical studies related to eating or drinking dairy, I must mention that the Harvard School of Public Health in 2000 reported that men who consumed two and a half servings of dairy products a day had a third greater risk of getting prostate cancer. Yes, that says cancer. There have also been studies that show that the animal fats found in dairy products are linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. I’m quite certain that men don’t want any extra risks for prostate cancer, and I’d certainly like to keep my breasts!

So if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why the media keeps telling us that dairy is good for us. Well, it’s simple really. It’s because the US Department of Agriculture is the government entity responsible for both promoting agricultural products and providing us with dietary advice. If that’s not a conflict of interests, I don’t know what it!

So after I studied the facts about dairy food, I came to the conclusion that they were never meant to be part of my diet. That is probably why, once I cut them out, all sorts of wonderful things started happening to me. I found that I had so much more energy. My skin became clearer. Those pounds I couldn’t quite get rid of disappeared (no reason for them to stick around if there’s no more ice cream, right?!). And I know that I’m doing my body a favor by treating it to a dairy-free lifestyle!

Friday, February 13, 2009


so i was in walmart on wednesday night, waiting for the pharmacy to (slowly) fill a prescription that doesn't even have to be counted (it's a bubble pack that they just have to slap a label on). they said the wait was 45 minutes to an hour. apparently they had a "guest" pharmacist filling in and that was causing the delays.

anyway, that's not the story here. the story is that while i was waiting, there was a very Large display of valentine's day cards right across from the pharmacy. well, since i actually Have a valentine this year, i decided it would be fun to find a card with just the right sentiment in it. it was as crowded at the card rack as the pharmacy was slow. probably we were ALL waiting on prescriptions. so i had to exercise a bit more patience to get to the cards i actually wanted to view (not the kid cards, though those can be quite fun in a very simple, nostalgic way. and not the for my husband or for my wife cards. you know why). i finally got my turn at the "love" cards and started picking up the ones that were well designed first. (it's a graphic designer's curse. we can't help ourselves.) the cards with good design had less-than-adequate sentiments inside, however, so i was not impressed. of course, i was not at hallmark, who claims to have the perfect card for every occasion, so i guess it was my own fault. anyway, (you can guess where this is going) i started looking at the cards that, in my opinion, were not quite so visually pleasing (who comes up with these ideas?) and while they contained more appropriate sentiments, i just Cannot bring myself to purchase a less-than-perfect card. (especially since they cost ~$4.99 these days.)

and then, i got a brilliant idea, which i executed last night. (executed...definitely the right word if you're going with definition #1.) i got out a whole pile of colored paper and blank cards and colored envelopes. i found pink and white tissue paper. i found silver ribbon and red raffia. i found my box of gel pens and fun-shaped scissors for making all sorts of interesting edges. i had tape and glue. the only thing i think i may have missed was the paper doilies. it was like being back in elementary school again, decorating my "valentine mailbox" for my classmates to put valentines in. there was always a decorating contest. i usually won first place.

it was fabulous! the cutting and snipping and placing and rearranging. the taping and gluing and tying. the playing with paper of all colors and weights and textures. i am so happy with the final result! i may not win first place for decorating this time, but i know i've won my robert's heart, and That is the best thing of all!

happy valentine's day! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

six weeks with robert

full moons seem to bring out the (dead) skunks, just in case you wondered. i think i counted eight of them...

i dyed my hair last friday. someone asked me why. the best answer i could come up with was, "it's february." simple.

so saturday was a most amazing day. robert and i drove up to chambersburg, pa. and met up with tim, heidi, seth, lindsay, jay and celeste. then all eight of us drove up to carlisle. i'm sure you are wondering what kind of event could happen to bring all of us friends together. well, wonder no more, it was over the rhine. robert and i did not pre-purchase our tickets, so while we were not able to sit with the rest of the gang, we weren't too disappointed because we got to sit in the front row. =D

robert was the only one of us who had yet to experience otr. there just aren't words to describe the music and the experience. i cannot even begin to try. all i can say was it was a wonderful night. there is nothing better than music you love with people you love. a wonderful group of friends whom i've loved for a long time, and robert, whom i've just recently come to love.

road trips are a wonderful way to get to know someone. its fun passing the miles talking and laughing and listening to your special someone's music, even when it is not your favorite music. that's part of getting to know someone. of course, there are some miles passed in comfortable silence, with a gentle touch or holding hands. it's nice to be with someone who wants to know you. it's nice to have someone you want to know.

i filed my taxes and washed and vacuumed my car today. i feel like i got a lot done. and that's about it, for now.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


norman has come to visit me for a few days and it's been nice having him around. he got to meet my robert last night, and that was really special for me! my nieces also got to meet him on skype. they couldn't see just how handsome he was over the computer!

so norman is looking for a job (just like me) down here in my neck of the woods. i'll be happy if that works out for him and his family. i'll enjoy having them close by.

my back is feeling better...i am really relieved about that. i've taken it easy today, just making sure i don't overdo it and end up worse off than i started. it's been so helpful having people around to bring me ice packs and make sure stubborn cali doesn't try to do something she shouldn't!

okay, that's it for now. no deep thoughts tonight...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

duke and back again

reva and i, with my brother norman as our driver, went down to duke again today. she had one last test, and another appointment with the neurologist. the news was a confirmation of the a.l.s. diagnosis, with some advice about things to make her more comfortable through the course of this disease. it was a lot for her to swallow. she is still in quite a bit of denial. when she asked the doctor how long she likely had left to live, he hesitantly told her, "probably about six months". he says that she has had the disease for years, and it is already in advanced stages.

i feel like a schmuck talking about my aches and pains when she is facing the final months of her life here on earth, but as i told another friend earlier this week, someone else's difficulties do not diminish the importance of our own difficulties. it can help us put hardship into perspective, but it is still hardship. so my difficulty is my back, again, and still. it has been hurting more and more over the past six weeks. and the pain medicine is working less and less effectively. i've taken a lot more of it, and have had to switch to something stronger. most of the time i do okay. i know when to stop and rest. i have lots of people helping me and taking care of me and looking out for my well-being (thanks to all of know who you are!). they bring me ice packs, and medicine, and something to drink. i need to find a job with health insurance, so i can go back and see my doctor and decide if surgery needs to happen sooner rather than later. but i've done back surgery before, and i can definitely do it again, when the time comes. that doesn't scare me.

my brother norman is here at my home, visiting for a week or so. it's nice having him here. he was so helpful volunteering to drive to duke today! it is a 3 hour drive one way and there is no way that my back could have made that drive. he is looking for a job in this area, and if he gets one, then his family will be even closer by! that would be wonderful!

robert is fitting into my life and my circle of friends so comfortably! i am so enjoying getting to know him. we have wonderful times together, and very open, honest communication. i think we are setting a strong foundation, based on Christ, for our relationship. i'm so thankful that God sent him to me to be part of my life!

so there are many things going on. good things to be thankful for, and difficult things to petition God for mercy. his mercies are new every morning. great is his faithfulness!

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