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Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day, May 25, 2020

What a sadder-than-most Memorial Day here in 2020, as we consider the US Armed Forces' lives lost serving our country over the past 244 years. Atop that, currently we are facing a disease more deadly and faster acting that some of the big wars we have engaged in, with 98,129 reported US deaths from the Covid-19 pandemic as of twenty minutes ago (as I write this), found at Wikipedia. The worldwide number is 349,286. These aren't just numbers. These are human souls we have lost. These are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents, and other relations and friends.

A collage of all their faces would bring me to tears. In fact, just writing this has me crying.

Shaking my head at how many lives we could have saved if we had only implemented certain commonsense precautions much, much earlier, like closing our borders and wearing masks and social distancing and proper handwashing, learning what to do and what not to do from the loosely related 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. Plus what about Obama's playbook left behind? We could still learn so much from the way other countries have handled this novel coronavirus, like South Korea.

I applaud so many state officials here in the US for their brave and proactive and efficient and early efforts to control this pandemic, especially NY Governor Andrew Cuomo for his leadership and his fast action to save the people of New York. But his actions also helped to save the people of the United States. Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for all you do, for all you continue to do.

We must wear masks and practice social distancing and proper handwashing to protect not only ourselves but our family, our friends, our fellow Americans, our worldwide community. This isn't about personal freedoms or selfishness, folks. This is about love for others.

For all those fighting this horrific disease in the front lines, what would we do without you? I shudder to imagine ... You are truly heroic warriors.

For everyone else, stay home. Stay safe. Be well.

Love your neighbor as thyself.

God bless us all.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Coronavirus, aka Covid-19, Cannot Live on Copper for Four Hours: Would Copper Supplements Fight This Off?

Again, I am no medical professional or some scientist either. But the fact that the virus cannot live on copper for four hours seems remarkable to me. The air seems to make it go away in three. To date, these are the two fastest "surfaces" to get rid of Covid-19. Per livescience.com, they state:
This study was originally published in the preprint database medRxiv on March 11,  and now a revised version was published March 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Granted this is a "novel" virus, as it appears to be new to humans, to differentiate it from all the other forms of coronaviruses (from my layperson's understanding). So we have a lot to learn. What is scary is that some people with the virus (confirmed by one of those rare tests out there in the US) have no symptoms. So we can't watch for symptoms before we isolate.

We must assume we all are infected and act responsibly, for us and everyone else.

And our human body needs copper, a trace mineral. Per MedicalNewsToday.com:
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is around 900 micrograms (mcg) a day for adolescents and adults. The upper limit for adults aged 19 years and above is 10,000 mcg, or 10 milligrams (mg) a day. An intake above this level could be toxic. Both copper deficiency and copper toxicity are rare in the United States (U.S).
Dave Asprey's Bulletproof formulation of Zinc and Copper Dietary Supplement acknowledges his research that confirms zinc (great for sore throats, BTW, noted as a Covid-19 symptom too) with the addition of copper helps its assimilation in the body.

Per https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins-and-minerals.htm

  • Zinc helps blood clot, is essential for taste and smell [also noted as a Covid-19 symptom], and bolsters the immune response.
  • Copper helps form several enzymes, one of which assists with iron metabolism and the creation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. [Emphasis and personal note added with bold font.]

So, as a layperson with no medical or scientific training other than a curious mind, why can't copper fight Covid-19? Why wait for some supposed chemical cure months/years down the road when we can supplement now?

Granted, beware of any copper toxicity. Again per the helpguide.org site above noted, it is stated:
Words to the wise
Trace minerals interact with one another, sometimes in ways that can trigger imbalances. Too much of one can cause or contribute to a deficiency of another. Here are some examples:
  • A minor overload of manganese can exacerbate iron deficiency. Having too little can also cause problems.
  • When the body has too little iodine, thyroid hormone production slows, causing sluggishness and weight gain as well as other health concerns. The problem worsens if the body also has too little selenium.
The difference between “just enough” and “too much” of the trace minerals is often tiny. Generally, food is a safe source of trace minerals, but if you take supplements, it’s important to make sure you’re not exceeding safe levels. [Emphasis added with underlining.]
But my personal plan in the meantime is (and I am not affiliated with any brands noted herein, nor am I benefiting monetarily from these personal endorsements):

  1. I am taking an additional 10,000 to 15,000 mg of liposomal Vitamin C daily as preventative measures [per Shanghai's recent success with both intravenous and oral Vitamin C treatments]. See https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=228745. However, just because I am asymptomatic, that doesn't mean I don't already have Covid-19. Just ask Rand Paul. Therefore, I guess you could call this my prevention/treatment plan.
  2. I'm taking Bulletproof's zinc and copper formulation daily, one capsule, 15 mg zinc and 2 mg copper.
  3. That is on top of my daily Nutrience morning/evening powdered multivitamin/mineral supplement, which contains 100% of all recommended vitamins and the major minerals (except for calcium, as it seems the body can only assimilate 500 mg at a time, so it takes more than an a.m./p.m. structure; thus I dose again at lunchtime). Nutrience specifically contains 90 mg of Vitamin C and 11 mg zinc, with no noted copper reference that I found. Which makes sense if deemed a trace mineral and should be in our daily diet.
  4. I am blessed to be able to work from home. I am in the DFW area of Texas. I have stopped running errands, even to the grocery store, opting for online deliveries these last couple weeks. And looks like that trend will continue for months. I'll be eating from my pantry more. Note to self: Start my car weekly to keep the battery juiced up.
  5. I'm also taking various Ancestral Supplements offerings: Grassfed Beef Liver, Beef Brain, Bone Marrow. Mostly for bone health and extra brain support for the detail-oriented freelance work that I do. But, since the liver is a major detox organ in our body, I'm wondering if this is part of my ongoing defense against Covid-19 too. I'm not even taking the full dose (6 capsules a day) on any of these, yet I first started with Bone Marrow probably three months ago. Just food for thought here.

I hope this helps someone out there.

We're all affected by this, even without being infected by this.

God bless us all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Prayers for All

Many thanks to the first responders, the nurses, the doctors, the orderlies who are dealing with this pandemic virus face-to-face.

My thanks goes out to all of you brave and valiant and dedicated folks.

To those with the virus, hang tough. I'm no doctor or medical professional in any way, but I think some of the old wives' tales may help us here:

The government of Shanghai officially recommends high doses of intravenous (and oral) Vitamin C for CoVid-19. See https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/shanghai-government-officially-recommends-vitamin-c-covid-19.2

I pray for all of us worldwide. May God bless us all.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Freelancers Who Pay Estimated Taxes to the IRS, Here's a Tip For You

NOTE: Let me state up front that I am a sole proprietor. So I'm working from that experience. Regardless, for all business types, consult your accountant or financial advisor or attorney.

If you are a freelancer who pays quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS, we all pretty well remember the dates associated with those four IRS quarters (not to be confused with what accountants may deem as the standard quarters of any calendar year, BTW).

These IRS quarters are usually on (or after in some years) the fifteenth day of April, June, September, and January of the following calendar year. See IRS Form 1040-ES for each tax year to confirm.

Per the IRS.gov website (found at https://www.irs.gov/faqs/estimated-tax/individuals/individuals-2), a chart is provided of actual deadlines for 2020 estimated taxes. Although "2020" is not specifically stated, in the footnote at the bottom, it notes "Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 25-Nov-2019." And I've checked my 2020 calendar to confirm all these dates fall on weekdays (no weekends).

When to Pay Estimated Tax


Payment Period Due Date
January 1 – March 31 April 15
April 1 – May 31 June 15
June 1 – August 31 September 15
September 1 – December 31 January 15* of the following year. *See January payment in Chapter 2 of Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax

But did you know that you can make multiple payments toward each of the four quarterly deadlines?

Per the IRS.gov website again (found at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/estimated-taxes), here's an excerpt relevant to this discussion, but you should particularly read the part I've bolded therein:

When To Pay Estimated Taxes

For estimated tax purposes, the year is divided into four payment periods. You may send estimated tax payments with Form 1040-ES by mail, or you can pay online, by phone or from your mobile device using the IRS2Go app. Visit IRS.gov/payments to view all the options. For additional information, refer to Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.
Using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is the easiest way for individuals as well as businesses to pay federal taxes. Make ALL of your federal tax payments including federal tax deposits (FTDs), installment agreement and estimated tax payments using EFTPS. If it’s easier to pay your estimated taxes weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. you can, as long as you’ve paid enough in by the end of the quarter. Using EFTPS, you can access a history of your payments, so you know how much and when you made your estimated tax payments. [Emphasis added.]
Granted, I would like to hold on to my money as long as possible to cover any surprise expenses that may come. However, I have to balance that mind-set with the reality of paying a huge (IMO) chunk of money to the IRS quarterly to avoid paying an even bigger wad come income tax time.

Obviously I'll make those four IRS deadlines for quarterly payments/income tax payments. But for the other eight months of the year? Yeah. I think I will make a monthly payment. Both my bank and my online payment system give me monthly earnings calculations, so it's easy to then apply my 15.3% in self-employment taxes (adding in a guesstimate to cover actual income taxes), to arrive at a relevant monthly figure that I owe the IRS. I'll tweak each month accordingly, especially around those four tax-time months.

Now if you are making the big bucks, this may not work for you. Especially when you can earn some major interest on your own money in the meantime. I get that. Then wait to the last minute to fork over that IRS payment. But me? I'm making pennies on my dollars that sit in plain old checking and savings accounts. So better for me to send that money earlier to the IRS rather than maybe spend it on splurges at the grocery store. In my financial world, if it's in my checking account, my net balance (taking into account the pending bills to be paid), seems like free money to me. Knowing this about me, I can't let that tax money end up in my checking account. :)

Just remember. Freelancers, whether poor or rich, need a financial plan. If yours is to avoid credit card debt or to set up an emergency fund with six months' worth of living expenses therein, you must figure that out for yourself, based on your particular circumstances.

Help stop the worry by starting an emergency fund, paying in estimated taxes more often, even meditating and deep breathing and voicing your gratitude and exercising and sunbathing and forest bathing and reading and journaling and writing and whatever else adds more joy to your life.

Overall, be kind to yourself and others. Amen.

Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)


WE, THE PEOPLE, Are the Living Breathing Constitution: Get Out to Vote

NOTE: This blog is not the proper place for political discussions, and that is not my intent with this post. All such political-leaning comments, in my sole discretion, will be deleted.

That said, the main point of this post is simply this:

Get out and vote, people, in the primaries as well as your local and state elections leading up to the Tuesday, November 3, 2020, presidential election.

Everybody's vote counts. Don't listen to those who say, "But my vote cancels out yours, so let's not bother."

It matters because we matter. Our individual voices matter. Remember to: 

Proudly exercise your right to vote.

I know I will. Join me?

God bless America.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Copyediting Tip: The Problem with Pronouns

The problem with pronouns is when you have two or more males (or two or more females) in a conversation and drop in "he." If Tom, Bill, and Brian are all talking, and you have several lines of tagless dialogue, can you, the reader, be certain if "he" is Tom or Bill or Brian?

Avoid any reader confusion in instances like this by changing any dubious "he" references to the person's name instead.

It's all about clarity, folks.

Keep on writing.

Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Copyediting Tip: 17CMS 5.91 on Coordinate and Cumulative Adjectives

I'm a copy editor, working with prolific Indie authors who have a great grasp of the written word. Love my job; it's fun, not work. While I may be the grammar and spelling police, I do more than just that because it all comes down to communication that works, that gets the correct idea across. My head is so cluttered with rules and their manifold exceptions, but my main goal when copyediting is to not confuse the reader.

Today's tip is about 17CMS 5.91, Coordinate Adjectives.

Coordinate adjectives take a comma. Example: "the red, white, and blue flag." The test is if "and" could replace the commas. Example: "the red and white and blue flag."

However, cumulative adjectives do not take a comma. While 17CMS 5.91 does not include this extra information, I've found this added explanation to be helpful:
Cumulative adjectives differ from the "same kind" (coordinate) adjectives where serial commas are used. These cumulative adjectives follow a certain order: Number + Opinion + Size + Age + Shape + Color +Origin/Nationality + Material + Purpose (which all identify/modify one particular noun inserted herein at the end). Note that some sources switch the Size + Age to be Age + Size. Just FYI. An example using all noted categories is: “Three perfect petite newborn cupped yellow French organic homeopathic roses lay on the table.” Of course, you would rarely use all the various types of cumulative adjectives in the same sentence; it’s cumbersome.  Also note that the coordinate adjectives are just one kind of cumulative adjective used over and over. My flag example above uses three color adjectives, turning cumulative adjectives of the same category into coordinate adjectives.
This is fascinating to me. Granted, the editing part comes after the creating part. I find myself, when in author mode, intent on getting my thoughts down before they expire. Then, when review time comes, my copyediting self comes into play.

Whether you implement these 17CMS rules or not in your first draft, hopefully you have a great copy editor to catch these for you.

Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)