Category: Lifestyle

How Technology Has Changed My Life

How Technology Has Changed My Life

Although I like technology, I have to say that it hasn’t completely changed my life for the better. It definitely has its pros and cons so in my world here they are:

Pros of Technology

As my son started driving, I am grateful he quietly texts me about his safe arrival and his friends need never know.
Thanks to the invention of a facsimile, I can receive a duplicate image of virtually any document in a flash. I can still remember the day my father came home excited about the invention. Who would have guessed we’d actually own one?

I can find information with a lot less effort and it is usually more thorough than what I would find at my local library.

I am able to work from the comfort of my home without a commute. I can also shop as well, but I am not sure my husband finds that a benefit.

I can socialize without seeing anyone. This is great for those bad hair day mornings. It allows me to keep in touch with friends who live faraway too.

Cons in My Life

Technology seems to make people stupid and shifts the blame. Try standing in line at a store when the computers are down. Worse yet ,have you ever disputed something that is listed in a company’s computer? People think if it is in the computer, it is correct. Unfortunately, computers are only as accurate as the people who enter information and humans make mistakes.

Now let’s talk about phone calls and voice messaging hold systems. Isn’t it refreshing when someone actually picks up the phone? My finger gets tired punching in a million numbers so that I finally get connected to the correct department of a company only to have to leave a message anyway.

Technology has made me lazier. I do not get up to turn on the television or virtually anything in my entertainment center.

Technology has made everyone multi-task even more. I find it scary that people use computers and cell phones while they drive. Our cars have become portable offices and I know it has adversely affected everyone’s driving.

Then there is the issue of trying to find a table at popular restaurants during lunch time when they offer free WiFi. Perhaps, some of you are even among the sitters who hog the one table with an outlet between eleven and three while nursing a cup of coffee.

Look for me. I’m the one balancing a tray of lunch and wandering aimlessly trying to find a seat. I’ve got nothing against using WiFi for extended periods of time at local establishments, but I still think restaurants should limit it during peak hours.

Then there are my children; two adorable boys who spend countless hours socializing through their electronic games.

On the whole, despite all those cons, I have to admit I feel lost on those days I misplace my cell phone or just can’t get the Internet to work.…

Keeping A Healthy Lifestyle During Tough Times

Keeping A Healthy Lifestyle During Tough Times

First of all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am an American citizen of Nigerian descent. Before I came to this country, I didn’t understand too much about nutrition. Food was food. Since we generally lived off of the farm my family owned and ate very little prepackaged foods, I never worried that the food I was eating was ‘unnatural’ in any way.

When fruits or vegetables were planted in the ground, they grew, and that was all there was to it to me. We used no unnatural pesticides and the seeds were all natural, not reeingineered in any way. This was simply not an issue to me back then.

After I came to this country, and was forced to eat prepackaged foods, I began to notice a change in my health for the worse. I never suspected that it might be the kinds of foods I was eating that was leading to these problems. As a matter of fact, it took me years to finally begin questioning just how and where the food I was eating was obtained. That’s when I began reading labels.

I’m sure you can guess that I began to notice unnatural ingredients and additives in my food that did not belong there at all. What were dyglicerides doing in my ice cream,anyway. What were they? One question gave rise to another until I realized that most of the food I was eating wasn’t ‘real’ at all. Those potatoes I was eating out of a bag were not just plain old potatoes. It seemed like it took a college degree in chemistry and nutrition just to make sense of it all. I began to do some serious thinking.

Over the course of time, I began to change the way I ate. I would actually buy potatoes and cut them up and fry them, instead of buying ready made, frozen potatoes. I began using honey in my tea, instead of granulated sugar. I also increased my intake of fruits and vegetables. But, as I grew, my knowledge about these things grew as well. I discovered that not only were the potatoes I was buying (just an example) genetically modified, but that harmful chemicals and pesticides were used while growing them. And then there was the meat…

I had to make a change. I discovered Whole Foods Market, where I now work years after that happened. Yes, it was more expensive, but what was I willing to risk when it came to my health? It’s not like I ate like I was a rich man, or anything, anyway. I ate a basic diet of meat and vegetables, legumes, and of course desert to top it off. The beans and the rice I got at Whole foods weren’t that much more expensive than the kind I found in conventional stores.

The more I became used to shopping at all natural and organic stores, the more I found that I could afford to shop there, afterall. True, the red meat was expensive for my tastes, but how often did I eat red meat anyway? Mabe twice a week, and we weren’t talking Beef Wellington here, just enough to put in my red beens and rice! Besides, my complextion was clearing so nicely, I simply had to keep this up.

Keep in mind that I was working a lowere level construction job at the time. I just practised a little frugality, that’s all. I began to think: What if I owned a house in this country, and land to plant and raise my own food and maybe even meat? That would be so much cheaper! I could do it if I was serious enough about it, but that would have to come later…

What I am saying here is that it is possible to eat a well balanced, all natural and/or organic diet even on a low budget. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but doesn’t it seem as if the additives in those prepackaged foods seem to be included in the price of the product.

You pay for the additives! There are many organic canned products, for instance, that are actually cheaper than the conventional canned products. Sometimes much cheaper! What does that tell you?

In summary, I think that it’s all about the fram of mind that you have. If you are thinking that you can’t afford to shop in all natural stores like Whole Foods, think again. Sure, some items seem to be well overpriced, but how many of those items do you need all the time? It seems to me that with a little planning and clear thinking, and a change in lifestyle, just about anybody can afford to shop all natural.

Those who care seriously about their health will do so. Like I said, imagine if you had your own land to produce food on. In time, one could practically eat for free, with only their own labors to pay for it! With this troubled, worldwide, economy, it’s very important to think about.…

My Day: A Day In The Life Of A Horse Trainer In Northern Illinois

My Day: A Day In The Life Of A Horse Trainer In Northern Illinois

I am the caretaker and trainer at a small, private stable in northern Illinois. There are only six horses on the property, two in active training, two in maintenance work, one pregnant mare, and then my horse.

My day starts at 6:30 when I wake up, pull on a ridiculous amount of winter gear, and head outside to feed, turnout horses, and clean stalls. It only takes 30 minutes if I set up feed the night before, so I head inside to warm back up, feed myself, and peruse the internet.

I allow a few hours for the horses to finish their breakfast before I start putting them to work. When it’s really cold (below 0ยบ), the horses don’t get a true workout; they’ll get groomed and perhaps some basic ground-manner training before I turn them back out. I’ll then hobble back inside and wait for the painful return of feeling to my toes as they begin to thaw.

When temps are above zero, I ride! I usually ride Carl* first. He is in dressage training and is getting more and more fun as he progresses. Bob* is next. Bob is a huge, 4 year old who has only a few rides so far. He has “baby brain” syndrome and most days has very little attention span. He’s only bucked me off once.

Lucy* and Pedro* are fully trained (dressage) and are easy rides – just groom, hop on, put them through their paces, pat them, and throw them back outside. I save my own horse, Mosely, for last; she’s obviously my favorite. She’s not great at anything, but she gets the job done.

After I groom and carry on a one-sided conversation with her (“I wish your tail would grow faster. Don’t you poop in the aisle; I just swept! I should let your bridle path grow out over the winter and then pull your whole mane this summer, don’t you think?”), I head into the indoor arena (wish it was heated…) and do a bit of training with her – anything from jumping, dressage, western – whatever floats my boat that day.

I end the day with feeding again, bringing in horses from the paddocks, and checking waters once more. Other tasks that happen on any given day are: dragging the arena, repairing fences, repairing winter blankets, trimming hooves, and hitching up the truck and trailer and going out on a trail ride. All women should learn to haul a trailer! It’s a liberating experience.

After I’m done in the barn, I head in to finally be thoroughly warm again. Most nights are spent reading articles about horse care and training, talking to horse friends, or watching TV.

*Horses with an asterisk have had their names changed to protect their identities. Not all horses want to be associated with the person who talks to them all day.…

Life As A Freelance Writer

Life As A Freelance Writer

Life as a freelance writer can be very unpredictable.

Some days I’m writing copy for clients who need web content. Other days I’m interviewing an up-and-coming YouTube star for an article I’m writing for Yahoo. I’ve always loved writing so pursuing a career as a writer was natural for me. The first article that I ever published was at the local fair where I wrote about how I met President Clinton when I was 10-years-old. I can still remember receiving a ribbon for my entry.

I kept up with the writing through High School and had my first monthly column during my gap year abroad in Israel. My Dad was the editor of our synagogue’s newsletter so I pitched the idea to him. He liked it and I began writing about my experiences for the congregation back home. When I returned, people told me how much they enjoyed my articles. This helped me realize that I was on the right track and enrolled myself in community college and took my first journalism course. I was writing for the college newspaper within a week.

This continued through college after transferring to Central Washington University to complete my BA in Journalism. During my final year at Central, I began my freelance career. It started slow enough but once I got the hang of things, I started to see my articles published at various websites across the web. I still didn’t feel like a real writer yet so when I moved to Hawaii to work on my MA in Communication at Hawaii Pacific University, I got myself in contact with a news website called Civil Beat and interned with them for three months.

The practical experience I gained there improved my writing greatly so I pushed myself to write more. The amount of articles I’ve had published has skyrocketed since school now that I’m able to fully devote myself to writing. One of my favorite articles to write was a guest blog post about my trip to Australia last May for the travel website A Dangerous Business.

There are some weeks where I make no money while there are others that I am swimming in money. It’s taken some time to recognize which clients pay well and which don’t but now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, I’m starting to see things work out.

That being said, I’m still living with my parents until I can build up my bank account to buy myself a car and eventually relocate once I have the financial backing to do so without having to worry about ending up on the street after a month.

Writing is my passion and even though it takes a lot of effort to succeed as a freelance writer, I know that it’s what I really want to do with my life. There are many who tell me that I’ll never make it as a writer despite never reading any of my works. Naysayers who don’t understand what it’s like to be a writer will never appreciate the kind of work it takes to succeed in this career.

Don’t let people who don’t understand what it means to be a writer stop you from following your dreams. They are just jealous that you have figured out how to follow your passions without being held back by the normal rules of society that state that one has to have a boss in order to make money.

I am my own boss and have no problem working directly with clients; thank you kindly.…