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The opposite of positivity

I am going to quote the opening lines of an AHA video I like.  "It started off as a perfectly normal day ... ".

And then it went to crap.

Errands done in just over 2 hours (go team!) back home and unloading groceries when I get a pretty nasty phone call.  That kinda immature ranting crap is something I should be able to deflect, but I can't.  I just tears my good mood and heart to shreds.  And it's hard to recover from because the first instinct is to lash out at others around me... my kids.  And it's not their fault my good mood is gone and I'm feeling sad and irritated.

So lesson reminders for today:

People who say they are going to change or work to become better people usually don't.  It's a panacea said in the moment.  That need to assert themselves or rain on the happy sunny days of others is something they just can't restrain.  They've always been this way and no conversation otherwise is really going to change that.Some folks are just …

The last mile is not the worst mile

The past 2 races I started to think about which mile is the worst of the race.  Is the first mile? The last mile? One in the middle?

I've settled on a mile in the middle.

A few weeks ago I did the Runner's Alley Redhook 5K.  I think the 2nd mile was the worst, at least it felt that way.  I am so thankful for the additional unofficial water stop after the first mile.

Last year I took the entire season off.  My mom had become ill and it was terminal cancer.  I posted a bit about it last year.  We spent several months driving out of state to visit as much as we could before she passed away.  And then I spent a few months catching up on all the paperwork that didn't happen last summer.  It was an overwhelming time, and I was not racewalking, walking or training all season.

I had a late training start for this year.  I'm determined to finish the Seacoast Road Race Series again, and might do an extra race or two.  My part-time business work schedule has exploded into more th…

Hitting a wall

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Teaching CPR and First Aid is not a steady business.  I'm either super busy or listening to crickets.  Some months are fairly even with course registrations and scheduled on-site classes.  I've had some  pretty quiet months with almost no one calling, but usually my schedule isn't too crazy-busy.

Until now.  Last month my phone and inbox literally started overflowing.

In May I taught 26 classes, 13 of those were scheduled on-site courses.  As of June 17th I will have taught 21 classes, traveling on-site to 6 of them.  I still have 2 hospital courses towards the end of June.  8 of those June classes were just this past week.  And yesterday I had 2 emails asking to schedule courses before June 26th.

Last night in class suddenly my brain felt like I had hit a wall.  I've hit teaching exhaustion.  I felt like I hit a brick wall.


I'm not great at saying to no to scheduling classes, if I can fit it on my calendar I'll usually schedule it.  My last scheduled class in…

The unofficial and appreciated water stop

Last week I racewalked in the Runner's Alley Redhook 5K.  This race supports the Krempels Center and people recovering from a brain injury.  It's always a great race.

It's a 5K with 2 water stops.  Last weekend there were 3 water stops.

Between the 2 official water stops was a third one organized by the unionized employees of Westinghouse who are currently locked out of work by their employer.

I only know what was posted on WMUR's website.  On the bystander side it looks the union wanted to renew their existing contract and the employer wanted to lower their health benefits.  I'm sure there is more to it than that, but there are not a lot of articles explaining their stalemate.

Westinghouse has a facility at the Pease Tradeport where the race was held.  The union set up tables and handed water out to all the runners and walkers.  These are folks who aren't working right now and aren't getting paid.  But they brought water and cups to help out the race.  I k…

Using essential oils to repel ticks

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I feel like I have been discussing ticks with someone at least once or twice a day for almost 2 weeks.

I'm not a fan of bugs or ticks, so not something I would normally introduce into a conversation. But the ticks have been plentiful lately, and I've been seeing some Facebook posts on creative ways to remove them.

First I want to say there are really only 2 safe ways to remove a tick. Tweezers or a tick spoon. I have a whole post on tick removal on my Coastal CPR blog.  Read the post, it explains how other methods can increase your exposure to tick-borne illnesses.

The safest thing is to prevent getting ticks. So the conversation of insect repellent comes next. There are a lot of great insect repellents and some contain ingredients we might not want on our skin. I've been enjoying and learning about essential oils for a while and have made my own insect repellent. It's been working pretty well so far and I'm getting a lot of requests for the recipe. I mostly use …

The not Mount Shannon hike

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Friday Thing 3 attended 2 APEX programs at Hidden Valley. It's an hour drive so I decided to stay and do a little hiking. It was overcast in the morning so I did not set out until lunchtime.

The plan was to hike the red trail to meet the blue trail to the top of Mt. Shannon which is a small mountain on the camp property. I would then take the yellow trail back. This is the map I used.  I found a lot of red trail markers, but they were not the red trail.


I started down what I thought was the red trail, until the trail markers disappeared. I saw 1 blue marker, and no others. There was a nice snowmobile trail so I followed that. That lead me up to a nice field by a road. When I got to the road I saw the field was posted 'No Trespassing', so I couldn't return that way. So I followed the road to the next road, and eventually to the entrance to the camp. This is where I met up with Tucker and his owner.


Tucker seemed to want to lead me back to the camp, and his owner was ve…

The solar charger that doesn't.

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*Update below*

Almost a month ago I bought the World's Most Powerful Hand-Held Solar Charger online.  At least this is what they called it on their website.

A few weeks later it arrives.  The only directions with it were a small piece of paper that said to plug it in to charge it fully, drain the battery, charge it fully, and then drain it, and then it would be ready to use.  No other directions were provided.  No mention of solar charging.  This should have been a hint that I obviously missed.

The cord that came with it was loose and wobbly when connected, so I used my own cable and followed the directions.  I drained it by using it to charge my own phone.  As a battery pack it charged really well.  It had a flashlight which did not work.  I emailed the website, outdoorshiking.com about this, but never received a reply.

After charging/draining, I set it in the sun.

And waited.

And waited.

It never charged.

I took it on our trip to D.C..  The charger sat in the hotel window for 3…