Monday, March 16, 2020

COVID-19: How it's transmitted; what I'm doing about it.

There is so much misinformation regarding the transmission of COVID-19 that I decided to share what I've found on reliable sites and what I am doing about it.

The main route of transmission for COVID-19

Like the flu, COVID-19 is spread primarily via respiratory droplets—little blobs of liquid released as someone coughs, sneezes, or talks. Viruses contained in these droplets can infect other people via the eyes, nose, or mouth—either when they land directly on somebody’s face or when they’re transferred there by people touching their face with contaminated hands.
Because respiratory droplets are too heavy to remain suspended in the air, direct person-to-person transmission normally only happens when people are in close contact—within about six feet of each other, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It could also occur in a medical setting, if someone has to handle respiratory secretions such as saliva or mucus from an infected person. 
 (Taken from The Scientist Magazine, Article: How COVID-19 Is Spread by Catherine Offord, see link to this article at the end of this post)

Close-range aerosol transmission

Underlying the CDC and WHO statements about transmission is this: Inhalation of particles near the source may be an important mode of transmission.
(Taken from CIDRAP Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, COMMENTARY: COVID-19 transmission messages should hinge on science, by Lisa Brosseau, ScD, see link to this article at the end of this post.
**NOTE: both the articles where these snippets come from are worth reading.


According to the CDC wearing a surgical mask is not that helpful.

Yet, is that correct? Can a mask help?

Let's look at how these masks work. A surgical mask prevents the wearer from sending forth spittle (when speaking), sprays from sneezing and coughing, and stops the wearer from directly touching their nose and mouth area - instead the wearer is touching the mask.

People NOT wearing a mask are exposed to spittle, sprays from sneezing and coughing, and will touch their face without knowing it.

Right there it seems to me the mask is certainly a helpful tool in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.


I'm an esthetician, I provide manicures, pedicures, waxing services, and facials. I work alone, I have no staff. I see one client at a time with one hour between each booking for cleaning and preparation duties.

I will now be wearing surgical masks at work, and following all the necessary protocol for my safety and that of my clients.

I'm on top of my sanitation and disinfection practices using Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide products to clean implements and wipe surfaces. I only use hospital grade disinfectants in my studio.

When a client arrives they will now be directed to a client-specific sink to wash their hands.

Because of my sanitization and disinfection practices it will be business as usual as I exceed even the most stringent requirements in this area.

Anything the client touches is wiped - and everything I handle is wiped as well. You can't get more thorough then what I do. I've always been about going the distance when it comes to sanitizing and disinfecting my studio. My clients know this and trust I will continue to follow my cleaning protocols.

Should it come to a point where health officials shut down the beauty industry I will comply. Until then, I hope to continue providing quality services to my clients in a safe environment.


As with my studio I take cleaning and hygiene serious in my home. When at home I am now keeping to myself, not entertaining, nor going out. The less exposure to others the better.

For outings that take me to public places (public transportation, grocery stores) I now wear the N95V respiratory mask for added protection against inhalation and airborne spores. I now use latex gloves when on the bus for holding railings and pressing the door bars, as well as for pushing grocery carts and the like... if I need to touch it I have gloves on. (I've always worn gloves on the bus, but now have stepped it up to latex gloves and face masks.)

To avoid cross-contamination I remove my gloves when I've finished the task they were put on for and discard them.


Pay attention to what your hands are doing - what are you touching? 
Remember, your nose and mouth are the portals for this virus - protect them.

Links worth checking out:

University of Minnesota CIDRAP (Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy)
COMMENTARY: COVID-19 transmission messages should hinge on science

The Scientist: How COVID-19 is Spread

Be well and stay safe,

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Your blog is NOT SECURE - find out why.

Hello fellow bloggers - this is a community service post to encourage you to SECURE your blog.

I've made a short (2:49) video for you to see where you need to make this change on your blog.


I'm talking about the HTTP setting - which is NOT SECURE, and many bloggers are in this category.

In the Blogger Settings, under Basic, you will see the option to change the HTTPS setting from No to Yes.

Yes is necessary to activate HTTPS to have a safe website/blog for your visitors.

All websites need to use encryption to ensure secure transfer of information – sensitive or not.

Thanks for taking a look, and for upgrading your blogs.


For more info on HTTPS visit this PAGE.

RED WHEELBARROW - WEP August 2019 Challenge


When she bought me I wondered if it was purely because the price tag was greatly reduced.

I had been left out in the rain, in the yard of the co-op, for what seemed like weeks. It had only been a few days, over a holiday weekend, but the damage was done.

Howie, the boss’s son was at fault, but hey, he was just a kid, that’s what his mom always said coming to his defence; and the boss always shrugged as he shook his head in disappointment. 

I wasn’t the only one being forgotten, but on this day, I was the only one being scrutinized. The woman grabbed my handles and moved me back and forth. She kicked my tire, and sighed. 

“John,” she said to the man standing off to one side trying to avoid me as I was jostled from side to side, “the tire looks flat already. Do you think it has a hole?”

“Nah, it just needs air.”

Well, I was relieved to know that all that was standing between me and a new home was some air. If I could breathe I think I would have taken in a long breath and slowly exhaled. But all I could do was stand there now that she had let go of me and watch as she slowly made her way around me eyeing the visible rust. 

“The rust won’t be a problem, it’ll get rustier with what we’re doing,” she said to the fellow that still seemed weary of getting in my way. If I had feelings I think I might not have liked him very much, he seemed rather indifferent – not sure if it was toward me, or toward her. And, feelings or not, I liked her.

Once in the back of their truck I bounced about as we made our way somewhere; somewhere other than where Howie would be and that could only be good.

Their yard needed work, and I could see right away what my job would be after my tire got air – I would be hauling loads of old bricks from what was once a chimney to what looked like a garden.

The bricks chipped away at my beautiful red finish leaving even more bare metal exposed to the elements. Yes, I was left outside; now that I belonged to someone I knew that would be my fate.

Finally, the last brick was placed around the newly planted flowerbed and I was given my first long cold rinse. Ah, how I loved feeling clean. But what did I look like, I wondered, how badly had I been damaged? I had felt the dents, the scratches, and even the harsh bangs as I was put through my paces. That was my job, so who was I to complain. But I did wonder, why paint me and make me look so good only to take it all away?

The sun beat down on me and I dried up to a point where the remaining paint started to flake. Next came a rough brushing followed by suction. Not sure what was going on, but I loved all the attention. I was being cared for and I liked that feeling. 

Days passed while I was left in the blazing sun. 

Alas, a day came when I was wheeled into a shed, it was dark, and if I dare say, a little dank and musty. I really wanted to be outside – oh the irony; you see, I had gotten used to the weather and its company. 

Something tickled me, all over, it was cool, slightly sticky. I felt fresh, new, as if I was young again, right out of the factory. Wonderful feeling indeed.

A few more days passed before I was wheeled outside and placed right in the centre of the flowerbed. I was covered in a cloth, heavy rocks were added, next came dirt. I wondered what was going on – where would I be taking this load?

The cloth was trimmed, flowers were added and positioned. How strange that such care was taken with this load. I was confused.

Suddenly, I heard her exclaim, “John, it looks amazing, that wheelbarrow worked hard helping us make this garden look so beautiful. It’s the perfect centrepiece.” 

Word Count 710

I decided to participate in this writing challenge - I got the idea from DG Hudson, a blogger I follow - she posted for the last one and I really enjoyed reading her piece The Jewel Box of Mystery.

 WRITE...EDIT...PUBLISH is the website hosting these challenges.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed The Centrepiece.


Please SECURE your blog.

I have posted a short (2:49) video on how to easily correct this issue

Or, go to Settings, click on Basics - change HTTPS Redirect from No to Yes.
Your blog will be secure after that.

All websites need to use encryption to ensure secure transfer of information – 
sensitive or not.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What's on your Book List - Episode 4

For previous episodes click on their respective links:

Welcome to Episode 4 of What's on your Book List.

I'm a avid reader. Or, more to the point I'm an avid listener of audiobooks.

Note: In this post I am listing the book title first, in caps, followed by the author's name and whether it's fiction (F), or non-fiction (NF).

I do not write reviews - too many other places are doing that so feel free to google any of these titles for more info on them. 

Also, if I don't enjoy a book, I move on to the next one on my book shelf - I haven't the time to waste on poorly written, or boring books. 

What you see here are books I've read and thoroughly enjoyed.

Here is the list of books I've listened to (and/or read) from June 17 - August 21.


DAVID AND GOLIATH, Malcolm Gladwell (NF)
Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, Elizabeth Strout (F)

Ted Bundy: The Shocking Inside Story

THE SMART ONE, Jennifer Close (F)

THE ROOSTER BAR, John Grisham (F)

Andy Carpenter Series

OUTFOXED, David Rosenfelt (F)
Andy Carpenter Series

THE HAPPINESS EQUATION, Neil Pasricha (NF)  *yes, listened to it again!
Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything

FIRE AND FURY, Michael Wolff (NF)
Inside the Trump White House

A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

THE BOY ON THE PORCH, Sharon Creech (F)

COLLARED, David Rosenfelt (F)
Andy Carpenter Series

WRONGFUL DEATH, Lynda La Plante (F)
Anna Travis Series

TWO GRAVES, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (F)
Pendergast Series

NOTORIOUS, Allison Brennan (F)
Max Revere Series

SILENCED, Allison Brennan (F)
Lucy Kincaid Series

THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (F)

SILENT SCREAM, Lynda La Plante (F)
Anna Travis Series

BLOOD LINE, Lynda La Plante (F)
Anna Travis Series

BLIND FURY, Lynda La Plante (F)
Anna Travis Series

BACKLASH, Lynda La Plante (F)
Anna Travis Series

THE WINTER PEOPLE, Jennifer McMahon (F)

Jack Reacher Series

MAKE ME, Lee Child (F)
Jack Reacher Series

SNATCHED, Karin Slaughter (F)
Will Trent Series

GRAIN BRAIN, David Perlmutter, MD (NF) *listened again!
The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Cars, and Sugar - Your Brains Silent Killers

CRIMINAL, Karin Slaughter (F)
Will Trent Series

BUSTED, Karin Slaughter (F)
Will Trent Series

Agatha Raisin Mystery

THE OUTSIDER, Stephen King (F)

PLEASE DON'T TELL, Elizabeth Adler (F)

THE VISITORS, Catherine Burns (F)

WHEAT BELLY, William Davis, MD (NF) *listen again to this awesome book!
Lose the Wheat, Lost the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

THE BROKEN ROAD, Richard Paul Evans (F)
The Broken Road Series

LAST TO KNOW, Elizabeth Adler (F)

There you have it, my reading (aka listening) list from June 17 to August 21.

You'll see I do revisit books, particularly those pertaining to LCHF (low carb high fat). It's an area of interest and one I feel needs more exposure. 
Visit GUT INSTINCT - my LCHF blog, for my complete reading list.

How's your list looking?

Sunday, July 08, 2018

What the heck is a Limited Edition Collector Story Card?

You've heard of Collector Cards, right? Pokémon cards?
Maybe called Trading Cards... Sports Cards...
Ring any bells?

Well, this is MY version of that concept... 

The Limited Edition Collector Story Card.

I write Flash Fiction - but not just any old Flash Fiction - you know, Flash Fiction which needs to meet the not less than 500, not more than 1000 word count, needs to have a character arc, needs to have a beginning, middle and end - no, I'm not talking about that kind of Flash Fiction.

I do something a little different - I write Photo Prompt Timed Flash Fiction, yeah, yeah, I know it's a mouthful, but hey I've never been known to nibble.

What all that wordage means is this... more words, hahahaha - here's what I do...
I love writing these mini tales - some complete, some not; characters can be anything from human to insect, to vines, to viruses - oh yes, I have a virus doing a little storytelling. 

Over at TAKE FIVE I will be featuring, from time to time, one of my stories. I will also be featuring the next Story Card - out very soon.

Now, I hear some wheels turning - questions brewing - and one is, "How do I get my hands on one of these Story Cards?" The curiosity factor is high on this one, so I'll cut to the chase and say - for now, the only way to get one of these cards is...

- Be given one by the author (ME)
- Find one at various locations (oh yes, they will find their way all over the place... I have my ways!)
- Ask for one, provide mailing info and let's see if your luck holds.

These cards are LIMITED - only 100 per story run.
Half of each run is personally signed by the author (ME) (geez, I do get around, eh!!)

The first Story Card, 21 - Keeper of the Marsh Trees, is now up, drop by - take a look, and a read.

COOL, right!

Come on, admit it - you think it's a cool idea and wished you'd thought of it first. 

HA - too bad, too sad - got here first! Hehehehehe, wee bit of a smile crawling up the right side of my face as I think about how excited I was when I thought it up!

I'm even more excited to see it come to fruition - so happy, so stoked.

Join me on this fun little adventure! Let's see where it goes. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

What's on your Book List - Episode 3

For previous episodes click on their respective links:

Welcome to Episode 3 of What's on your Book List.

I'm a avid reader. Or, more to the point I'm an avid listener of audiobooks.

Note: In this post I am listing the book title first, in caps, followed by the author's name and whether it's fiction (F), or non-fiction (NF).

I do not write reviews - too many other places are doing that so feel free to google any of these titles for more info on them. 

Also, if I don't enjoy a book, I move on to the next one on my book shelf - I haven't the time to waste on poorly written, or boring books. 

What you see here are books I've read and thoroughly enjoyed.

Here is the list of books I've listened to (and/or read) from May 1 - June 14.

THE LAST ORIGINAL WIFE - Dorothea Benton Frank (F)

STARGIRL (Book 1) - Jerry Spinelli (F)

LOW PRESSURE - Sandra Brown (F)

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME - Ta-Nehisi Coates (Autobiography)

THE ACCOMPLISED GUEST (Stories) - Ann Beattie (F)

BROTOPIA - Emily Chang  (NF)
Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley

A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

THE SIXTH EXTINCTION - Elizabeth Kolbert (NF)
An Unnatural History

THE NORTH WATER - Ian McGuire  ((F)

THE NEW JIM CROW - Michelle Alexander  (NF)

FAHRENHEIT 451 - Ray Bradbury  (F)

THE WIFE BETWEEN US - Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen  (F)

THE CHILD FINDER - Rene Denfeld  (F)

ZERO TO ONE - Peter Thiel  (NF)
Notes on Startups, or How to Build a Future

Want Nothing + Do Everything = Have Everything

There you have it - my reading list covering May 1 - June 14.
Some books, like ZERO TO ONE, made my "Must Buy" list. Others, Like BROTOPIA got a second listen.

Read them, enjoy them, then move on to the next good read.

How's your list looking? 

Share titles in the comments if you feel like it. I'm always open to reading a book that comes with a strong recommendation.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

What's On Your Book List - Episode 2

If you missed Episode 1 click on the link to go there. Great authors and books await.
This link will give you more info on the audiobook app I use, called Overdrive.

I am a huge reader - or more accurately - a huge listener of audiobooks.

I listen to between 4 and 6 books a week. That's right - A WEEK!

So, without further ado - here are the titles of the books I have listened to during the last two weeks (April 16-30):

These are my recommended reads - for story info/reviews visit Goodreads.

EMMA FLINT - Little Deaths

Inspired by a true story. A great audiobook, the narration was very enjoyable. As a single parent I found myself getting very frustrated with the main characters, a useless mother and her pathetic husband. That said, I was curious enough to want to find out what happened to the two children in this story. Overall, I did enjoy this book. And, whether I like it or not, parents, like those portrayed in the novel, definitely do exist.

LAUREN WOLK - Beyond the Bright Sea

There was something about the cover and title that made me read "more" and I'm glad I did. This was a very interesting read. Written as a fiction, but full of historical non-fiction facts. I ended up learning something about the leper colonies in the USA. Quite interesting.

JEFFREY KLUGER - The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in Your Family, in Your Office, in Your Bed - in Your World (Non-Fiction)

This is a book everyone should read - not only to recognize what's going on in other people's mind, but to take a hard look at our own personality - it's never too late to take stock.

JERRY SPINELLI - The Warden's Daughter

Believable characters, interesting plot - from start to finish this was a great audiobook. Lots of wonderful personalities woven in the story.

LAURA DAVE - Hello, Sunshine

Suspenseful and entertaining, compelling and funny. I was taken with the storyline and characters. Try living an authentic life at a time when one has little public privacy. Yup, that's why I'm not on Facebook!


This was such a delightful read - loved the two couples, loved the heart and soul you could feel in the written word. As these characters bonded you could really feel their emotions.

J M BARRIE - Peter Pan (for the umpteenth time - love his storytelling skills)

This is research reading - I've read Peter Pan more times than I can count. If you've never read it (on what planet do you live) then get with it!

NEIL GAIMAN - Trigger Warning

This is a collection of short fiction stories - read by the author. Some I really liked, others I confess I did fast forward. I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman so I wanted to give his short stories a perusal - overall worth picking up.

NANCY MACLEAN - Democracy in Chains (Non-Fiction)

A great read - in fact - a MUST READ for anyone with a mind of their own. I listened to it twice - yeah, it was so necessary. I needed to fully grasp the influence US politics have on all of us. (I'm Canadian.)

PEARL S. BUCK - The Good Earth

A book many have read - quite frankly I think I read it long ago, but I so thoroughly enjoyed it this time.

Please note - I am providing recommendations only, not reviews. My intention is to share books I've enjoyed. As for reviews there are lots of sites which do just that. Goodreads offers book reviews and information about the books - check out your local library as well.