Monday, November 15, 2010

Have you had your heating system checked lately?

I don't get a chance to watch the news on TV every day, but I caught a bit this morning which I thought would be a good story to share.  There have been 2 fires in 2 days here in New Hampshire, both possibly caused by woodstoves.  (see 2 fires in 2 days brings woodstove warnings.)

Have you had your heating system inspected or cleaned?  It doesn't matter if you heat with wood, oil, propane or natural gas.  You should have your heating system cleaned, serviced or inspected annually.  Have your chimney checked around the same time.  It's not just the furnace or stove that need to be checked; when heating with wood products you can have a buildup of creosote in your chimney flue.

Hazards you want to be careful of include:
  • A buildup of creosote can get too hot or be ignited by embers causing a chimney fire.  
  • Improper installation of a stovepipe can cause a fire to walls and ceilings
  • Make sure your heating appliance is properly vented to the outside so no fumes, smoke or gases enter your home.
Many fire departments will inspect your woodstove or heating appliance.  Give them a call.  If they don't offer that service they may be able to refer you to someone who does.  A call only takes a few minutes out of your day.  A house fire will take away much more than that.

Stay safe!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Safety Tips


I recently wrote a quick guest post for Multiples and More on Halloween Safety. And then today realized I should have posted these on my own blog!

Halloween 2010 Safety Tips

Before Halloween
  • Plan out your costumes. Make sure everything fits and if you're in a colder climate make sure it will fit over a warm coat.
  • Make sure part of their costume is reflective. Streetlights aren't always bright and not every place has them. If you're in a town without sidewalks reflective striping is a must.
  • Incorporate glow sticks, glow necklaces or glow bracelets as part of their costumes.
  • Pick up some fun Halloween themed flashlights.  Not only does it help the kids find their way, it helps you spot them if they get a little too far ahead of you.
  • Plan out where you are trick or treating.  Stick to your neighborhood or neighborhoods you know well.  This is not about where the candy is, but where it is safe.  If your state has an online sex offender registry check it.  In NH you can find it at http://www4.egov.nh.gov/nsor/search.aspx.  Check where sidewalks and cross walks are.  Plan your trip in a loop or several small loops so you can end up back where you started.
  • Check the trick or treat times for your town.  If you have younger children plan to go out at the start when it might not be as dark.
  • If you would be alone with several young children recruit a friend, family member or mother's helper to come with you.  Or partner up with a neighbor who has children and trick or treat as a group.
  • Make sure you have buckets or bags to hold candy and a flashlight for each child.
  • If you will be alone with several children think of what types of costumes might allow them to be connected together.  If you have a small group of cowboys or cowgirls have a section of rope for everyone to hold.  If you have princes and princesses then a magic ribbon or sash that everyone needs to hold might help keep the group together.
Halloween Day
  • Have an early filling meal shortly before going out.  This way the kids won't want to eat their candy right away.
  • Have good footwear.  Both for you and your children.  They might be running across grass or dirt.  If one falls and the rest don't your group can get separated.
  • Keep it reasonable.  If the kids seem distracted or too excited cut it short.  This is exciting for them, which can make it hard for them to remember what is expected of them.  Short and fun is better than drawn out and stressful.
  • Review safety rules with the kids. Everyone needs to stay together as a group. Have a safety meeting spot if anyone thinks they have been separated from the group. Do not visit houses that do not have the outside light on. 
  • Photograph the kids together when you leave the house. It will help you remember what everyone is wearing.
  • Before and after each house you visit do a head count. 
  • Walk up to the door at each house with the kids, don't stand at the curb.
  • Sort candy when you get home.  Remove anything that is open or that you don't want the kids to have.
Some towns have alternative Halloween celebrations that you can use to replace trick or treating.  One year when my older girls were little I took them to a Trick or Treat at college dorm.  They had activities for the kids and trick or treating on marked floors.  Some towns have a structured Halloween activity.  Check with your local Recreation Department or School to see what is happening in your town.

Have a safe & happy Halloween!
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Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 Guidelines have been released!


The new 2010 CPR Guidelines have been released! I'm still sorting through them but here's the quick list of the changes for layperson rescuers:

Adults
  • Determine unresponsiveness and check breathing quickly
  • Send someone to call for help
  • Start compressions.  No breathing first!  Push at least 2 inches on the chest at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
  • Ratio is 30 compressions and then 2 breaths
  • Use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) as soon as one is available.
Change is the removal of look, listen & feel and the 2 rescue breaths before cycles of compressions begin.

Children
  • Determine unresponsiveness and check breathing quickly
  • Send someone to call for help
  • Start compressions.  No breathing first!  Push at least 1/3 the depth of the chest or 2 inches at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
  • Ratio is 30 compressions and then 2 breaths
  • Use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) as soon as one is available.
Changes:
Removal of look, listen & feel and the 2 rescue breaths before cycles of compressions begin.
Pushing more deeply on the chest.
Using an AED as soon as it is available (still checking if I'm reading that correctly)


Infant
  • Determine unresponsiveness and check breathing quickly
  • Send someone to call for help
  • Start compressions.  No breathing first!  Push at least 1/3 the depth of the chest or 1 1/2 inches at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
  • Ratio is 30 compressions and then 2 breaths
  • Use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) as soon as one is available.
Changes:
Removal of look, listen & feel and the 2 rescue breaths before cycles of compressions begin.
Pushing more deeply on the chest.
Using an AED for an infant is new. Pediatric pads should be used, but if they are not available adult pads can be used.

The new emphasis is on Chest Compressions First. The idea is to start chest compressions as quickly as possible. In situations where the rescuer is not sure they can provide breaths Hands Only or Continuous Chest Compression can be used.

There will be a lot more information forthcoming, this is just a quick update on the guidelines that were released this morning. Good news for anyone who recently purchased an AED - you do not need to reprogram it! But there is some additional information on AED's that I will be posting once I've had a chance to digest it all.

Want to read the full summary? Link here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Home Escape Plan

When your smoke alarm sounds do you know what to do?  Do your children know what to do?

For Fire Prevention Week 2010 the National Fire Protection Association has created 2 really nice placements or posters for young children to learn and practice escape plans.  There is a poster for boys and a poster for girls

The steps are easy to learn and great to practice with your kids!
  1. The smoke detector sounds.  Even if you don't see smoke go outside
  2. Go to your meeting place.  This is a safe location you can choose outside.  Have your children help you pick your meeting place.
  3. Wait at your meeting place for your family to join you.
That's it!  Easy Peasy.  But Fire Prevention Week isn't the only time of year for practicing Home Escape Plans.  Practice them several times a year with your children so that they know what to do in an emergency.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Fire Prevention Week 2010!


This year's Fire Prevention Week Theme is "Smoke Alarms:  a sound you can live with".  This is an important reminder on what we need to do, and teach our children to do, when the smoke alarm goes off.

Does your home have working smoke detectors?  Have you checked them regularly?

Do your children know what to do if the alarm goes off?

Do you have a Fire Drill or Fire Safety plan at your workplace?

These are all important things to do and practice.  To help you out with these the National Fire Protection Association has a very good website with tips, tools and information you can download to help you with your Fire Safety plan.

Today I'm going to provide you with this link to a fun Smoke Detector Inspection Checklist you can use at your home.  As you test your smoke detectors, involve your children. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The countdown begins....

Guidelines 2010 will be released in just a few weeks!

What are Guidelines 2010? They are changes in how we will perform and teach CPR.

Twice a year the International Liason Committee on Resuscitation or ILCOR meets regularly to review scientific studies done on CPR. When there is enough information that suggest that changes should be made they release new guidelines on how we should perform CPR.

October 18th is the date the new Guidelines will be released this year.

What does this mean if you just took a CPR class?

You are still certified in CPR If you have recently taken a class or are planning on taking one before October 18th. Despite releasing the new guidelines on that day, CPR instructors will not have the new training materials until next winter or spring at the earliest. However most of us will be incorporating the new guidelines into our classes until the training materials are available.

How do you find out what the changes will be? You can visit this blog for updates or the American Heart Association website.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Video (or computer) based training versus learning it the old fashioned way

I'll admit it. I'm a geek. Seriously.

I belong to several multiple online groups, where I learn and interact with some great people on topics from work-life balance, work-home balance, business network and yes... CPR and First Aid. Indeed, I have online conversations with people about how we teach CPR. Sounds geeky, but I do learn a lot from these groups!

There has been a discussion topic that we keep coming back to; online training. Are DVD's and websites replacing the instructor as the best way to learn CPR?

Recently a member of one group posted a link to an article in Resuscitation
Volume 81, Issue 8, August 2010, Pages 1004-1009
titled Comparison of instructor-led automated external defibrillation training and three alternative DVD-based training methods.

On the edge of your seat wondering the final result of the comparison?

Their initial premise was:
Self-directed BLS-training, using a personal training manikin with video has been shown to be as effective as instructor-led training. This has not previously been investigated for AED-training.

Their conclusion was:
DVD-based AED-training without scenario is not recommended. Scenario training is a useful addition, but instructor-facilitated training remains the best method.

Yes, instructor facilitated training remains the best way to learn how to use an AED in CPR. There are many websites offering CPR programs with no hands-on component that will allow you to print your card at the end of the online test. But the best way to learn a practical skill is to do it the old-fashioned way, hands-on practice with an instructor.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The bracelet that speaks for you when you can't

Last spring I wrote a post Do you work out with ID? based on an accident that occurred earlier that month. A bicyclist was found unresponsive on the side of the road. CPR was successfully performed, but he remained unresponsive at the hospital. He had no ID on him and fortunately an article in the paper led to someone identifying him before he tragically passed away.

This local story started me on a quest that I had been meaning to do for a while. I will state unequivocally that I am not an athlete. But I walk around town quite a bit - usually pushing at least one child in a stroller. I never take my wallet with me, usually just my cell phone, house keys, water, sippy cup(s) (that's for the kids) and a small diaper bag. That's enough stuff to be pushing around town without adding my wallet or purse. I never carry ID. And in a town with no sidewalks and no level shoulder on most roads that means cars have to move around me or I have to jump in a ditch with a stroller. Obviously I should be carrying some sort of emergency ID.

I had heard of one brand, but when I looked them up online I found it was a tag. Something I'd have to clip or wear on a chain or something. Good idea, but not something I would probably remember to do. I'm the kind of person who wears no jewelry save for my wedding band - I don't even wear a watch. I'm looking for simple and easy. I was also looking for something that could double as a medical alert. I don't have any medical concerns, but as a First Aid instructor I do cover medical jewelry and ways to let emergency responders know important information about you.

So I was really excited when I found Road ID. Road ID is a bracelet with a custom made metal plate on it. You can have almost anything reasonable printed on it. It comes in 2 different materials, a variety of colors and sizes AND they offer additional bands for a reasonable price. You can just move the tag from bracelet to bracelet. They also have an interactive version with a website, 800# and pin for additional information that you might not want printed on the plate. In addition to the bracelet they have an anklet, shoe ID, shoe pouch, reflective shoe laces and a bunch of other safety gear. At first glance you'd think these were all for athletes, but really this is designed for anyone who is out and about and doesn't always carry an ID with them.

So I ordered one and I love it!  The picture is of one of the roads I walk on and you can see my purple Road ID on my wrist, and the very top of my daughter's head in front of the stroller bonnet.

In fact, I was so impressed with the information on their website that I've become an affiliate with Road ID and I'm now offering their products through my website.

What do I like about my Road ID? I had mine engraved with my name, town, home phone number, my husband's name and his cell phone number. I could have added other relatives or medical information. The webbing band of the Road ID Sport is water safe. I can swim in it, get splashed in it and do my normal household routines while wearing it. It is comfortable, seriously, I don't realize I have it on most of the time. It doesn't look clunky or like what you think an ID or Medical ID would look like. Looks nice enough my kids want one of their own.

So while I try to keep business promotion out of my blog, here's a deal I want to share. The first 20 people who order from Road ID before September 22nd can use code ThanksGail827165 and receive $1 off their order. Or if you're local shoot me an email, I have some coupons as well. All the Road ID links in this post go to my site. If you use the link on my website I will receive credit for any purchases you make. They also have reflective shoe laces, bracelets, ankles and clip on flashing lights which are giving me some creative ideas for Halloween.

So if you're looking for a comfortable medical ID or you are normally out and about with any ID on you this is a comfortable and easy way to let others know who you are if you are injured or unable to speak for yourself.

Disclaimer: I purchased my Road ID on my own. I paid the full $19.99 price (what a deal!) and I was not asked to provide any public feedback on my purchase. I'm really happy with it and think it's a great product.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hurricane Preparedness 2010

I am always amazed at science and how technology improves how we live and react to things around us. Meteorology is one of them. 100 years ago our ancestors knew a storm was coming when the weather began to turn. Today we know the forecast 10 days ahead of time. Hurricane Season is typically considered early June to late November, with a peak in the Atlantic between August and October.

Hurricane Earl is working its way towards the Eastern coastline. Here in NH it looks like we’ll just get the outer fringes of the storm. Despite really good science and technology, it is still a guess and the prediction of the storm’s path is just that, a prediction. Which is a fancier word than educated guess.

But what it does give us is time to adequately prepare for the storm. Advanced warnings mean that we can shop, stock up and avoid last minute craziness at the market or home improvement store. It is recommended that you have a 3 day store of supplies on hand when preparing for a hurricane. While we each had different definitions of ‘staples’, here is a quick list of items to have at home:
  • Food. Preferably non-perishable. Which means things that don’t necessarily need refrigeration in case you lose power. If you rely on electricity to cook then stock up on food that you don’t need to heat or prepare to eat. This can include ready-to-eat canned or packaged fruits, veggies & meat and granola bars or snacks. If you use infant formula make sure you have plenty on hand.
  • Water. You should have at least 1 gallon of water per person per day in your home. Half of this is for drinking, the other half is for cleaning food & washing.
  • First Aid kit. You never know when you’ll need a bandage or more.
  • Medication. If you or someone in your family needs daily or weekly medication make sure you pack that. Emergency medications such as an Asthma inhaler or Epi-Pen should be easy to locate if needed.
  • Paper products. Disposable plates, silverware, cups to eat with – if you don’t have running water (If you have a well and lose power your lose your water) you can’t wash dishes.
  • Emergency supplies. Flashlight, battery operated radio, extra batteries, hand-operated can opener, utility knife, tape, plastic sheeting, small tool kit, fire extinguisher, toilet paper, personal hygiene items, trash bags.
  • Clothes & bedding. Rain clothes, dry clothes, sleeping bags.
  • Documents. Put important documents like insurance policies and medical cards in a sealable plastic bag so they won’t be damaged if they get wet.
  • Supplies for infants and young children. Formula, diapers and things to keep young children entertained.
  • Supplies for pets. Pet food, leash, travel crate. Call around… does your city or town have a shelter that accepts pets?
If you need to evacuate to an emergency shelter what would you want to bring with you? Take 10 minutes, make a list and pack it so you’re ready to go if you need to.

If the authorities or safety department in your community recommends evacuation please do so. An evacuation recommendation is made for your safety.

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather some quick guidelines. Many of these items you may already have in your home. Take a minute to do a quick inventory to see how many you can locate, plan to do so before Earl arrives so that you’re not unprepared.

For more information you can visit the National Hurricane Survival Initiative.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to School 2010

School is starting this week for my children, 3 kids at 2 different schools and only 1 still at home. September will be an interesting month as we adjust to the new routines.

We've had a crazy, lazy, day-tripping, long list of things-not-done kinda summer. On the last list was my desire to keep up to date with the blog. But we made some fun summer memories and I'll post about some of our interesting road trips around the Seacoast soon.

Today's post is a really belated back to school list. When we think of back to school we think of school supplies and school clothes. Sports gear and hopefully sports physicals. Last summer I posted a really good safety back to school checklist. I'm not going repost it, but here is a brief list of some back to school safety tips:

  • If your child uses an inhaler or epi pen - do you have one to give to the school nurse that won't expire in the next few months? Make sure you have one that has a VALID expiration date to carry you through the school year.

  • Have you discussed with your child what to do if the bus drops them off and you're not home? Do you have a neighbor or friend that you can call if you're stuck in traffic somewhere?

  • Have you had sports physicals for your children if they will play sports this year? Do you have all the info you need to fill out the myriad health history forms that will be coming your way soon?

  • Have you checked sizes on last years sports equipment? If it doesn't fit right it won't protect them correctly. Make sure you check for good size and fit and purchase/obtain/borrow the correct sized gear for your kids.

  • I'm sure there are dozens or more things that my brief list will get you thinking about. What would you add to my list?


    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Success

    I couldn't wait for success, so I just went right ahead without it - Jonathan Winters

    This morning I had what was probably the most productive business planning and introspection ever. And I was at the beach.

    Seriously.

    My oldest wanted a beach day with a friend (well friends, but scheduling didn't work out) without her younger siblings tagging along. So off we went this morning. While the girls used their boogie boards in the surf and had fun I was reading and listing to podcasts on my ipod. Having time to read and listen is RARE for me. So RARE I'm capitalizing it because, well,.... it just never seems to happen. I finally finished Corporate Mom Dropouts by Lucinda Cross and listened to some Mom Biz Coach audio blogs by Lara Galloway. And it just seemed that every section of the book, or the 3 or 4 audio blogs that I listened to just affirmed or got me thinking about what I am currently working on or where I am at with my business right now. What really made all this stand out was that I wasn't picking what section to read or which blog to listen to, I was just picking up where I had left off last and reading/listening in order.

    The quote at the top of the post was mentioned in one of the interviews in Corporate Mom Dropouts and really illustrated the day for me. I'm not perfect and neither is my business. I do the best that I can and strive to improve as I go along. I've learned a lot and made quite a few mistakes along the way. I don't expect perfection or success to happen over night. So tonight I'm writing down all the great ideas that moved through my head while I nurse the killer sunburn I got while focusing on my business instead of my sunscreen. I might not be successful at 100% sunscreen coverage, but I think I'm on the right track for being successful with my business.

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    Celebrate Independence Day Safely

    Many of us celebrate July 4th the same way ... BBQ's with family, watching the fireworks and going to parades. Depending upon your plans, a little planning ahead can keep it safe for everyone.

    • If you're using the BBQ make sure little kids and pets don't run around the grill.
    • Headed to a parade or ceremony? Take a picture of everyone in a group on your digital camera or phone when you first arrive. If anyone, especially a child, gets separated from the group you will have a picture to share and will remember what they were wearing.
    • Choose a spot to watch the fireworks that you're not too close so young children will not be as frightened by the noise.
    • Using fireworks or planning an outdoor fire? Make sure to have a garden hose or bucket of water handy for emergencies.

    You can read a more detailed article I wrote on Fireworks Safety at Examiner.com.

    Have a safe Independence Day!Search Amazon.com for forth of july

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Review: Down Broadway

    Over a month ago I was given the opportunity to review a DVD on baseball and softball tips for players. The timing seemed great at the time since my oldest had just started to play softball. But, like most parents new to some sports, I had no idea how much time I was about to spend driving to and from practices and games! So this review is a little late getting written up and posted.

    Disclaimer: I was asked to review this product by a company I had done a previous review for. I was not compensated for this review and received 2 DVD's in the mail to watch and write about.

    The DVD is Down Broadway: Pitching and Catching Techniques for the Modern Player. It is made by Bobby Woods Productions, Bobby Woods is a former professional baseball player who provides baseball and softball instructional programs. This DVD is the second in a series for parents and coaches.

    I had my daughter watch it first. I probably should have watched it with her because her reviews included comments like 'it was okay', and not a lot of other detail. This disc is primarily for baseball players and after reviewing it a few times I can see her perspective. It is more geared for the coaches or the parent who is helping their child. This DVD covered how to do basic throws, pitching, and catching. The catching portion is not general catching; it is for the person catching at home plate, not for outfielders or base players.

    What I liked:
  • Each position and action was broken down in each of its individual components. Like how to stand, move your feet and balance when throwing a pitch. Or where your non-glove hand should be positioned when catching.

  • Each position and action was demonstrated multiple times and included separate instruction for both right-handed and left-handed players.

  • Several different types of pitches were shown and really explained in detail. As a new parent to the sport this really helped me to understand why specific hand holds create the different types of pitches.

  • The DVD uses different aged players so kids and parents are seeing the positions played by their peers or players the same age as their kids.


  • What I wasn't as thrilled with:
  • I was hoping softball was included on this disc and it wasn't. I did receive a second DVD on hitting which I haven't watched yet, but I'm hoping includes softball players. (Stay tuned, that review will be later this week!)


  • This video is part 2 in a Series. Part 1 is Mom, can you teach me how to hit? and according to the Bobby Woods Productions website, Part 3 The Glove is currently in production. The picture on the website shows a softball player so I'm hoping the next DVD covers softball a little bit more.

    Interested in the DVD's? Each DVD has a preview clip on the Bobby Woods Productions website. You can rent the DVD for 5 days on the website or purchase it online. I'm guessing the rental is a link to watch it online. A neat feature I noticed is that if you want to buy the DVD after renting it your rental fee is discounted from the $19.99 purchase price.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Selecting the right sunscreen

    Summer is finally here and you’re planning a great day outside enjoying it. It doesn’t matter if it is an afternoon lunch on the deck with friends, a family day at the beach or just chilling in your back yard. You need to protect your skin from the sun.

    Why do we need to use sunscreen? Prolonged exposure to the sun exposes our skin to UltraViolet (UV) rays or radiation. These can cause sunburn, premature skin aging, skin spots, melanoma and skin cancer. Sunscreen creates a barrier to prevent the UV rays from reaching and damaging our skin.

    But not all sunscreens are created equal, nor does the price or marvelous packaging equate to the quality of the product. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a sunscreen:

    * SPF – this is the Sun Protection Factor. The higher the number the longer the amount of time you can theoretically spend in the sun. However this length of time is approximate. So a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 means you could stay out in the sun 20 times longer without incurring sun damage (sunburn) than you could if you were outside without a sunscreen. However keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different. If you have fair skin that time frame may be shorter than someone who does not sunburn as quickly.
    * You must apply sunscreen at least 15-30 minutes BEFORE going out in the sun for it to work effectively
    * You need to reapply sunscreen frequently, every few hours. If you’re really active or in the water you’ll need to reapply more frequently.
    * How safe is the sunscreen for your skin? If you have allergies or sensitive skin you need to be more careful in your selection of the products you use.

    A good site to check for safe sunscreen products is the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide. This site lists product ingredients you should look for and those to avoid.

    And if you do get a sunburn? Cool the burn with cool or cold, but not ice cold water for up to 30 minutes. Avoid putting lotions, salves, ointments or creams on the burn for at least a day to allow your skin to breathe and heal.

    Monday, May 31, 2010

    Family Fun at Fisher Cat Stadium


    Through a fundraiser my husband participated in we received tickets to a Fisher Cats game Memorial Day weekend. In addition to the game we also received a tour of the stadium before the game. The picture above was taken from one of the decks next to the box seats.

    All the kids had a great time! We received a full tour, including the press box and behind the dugouts. The kids were able to go on the field during the singing of the National Anthem and they had activities between each inning. One staff member was dressed as the Tooth Fairy and had a little 'helper' who helped her clean the bases before the game. The small playground we had seen at a game last year was replaced by a play area behind the bleacher sets that had 3 different inflated activities for the kids - a slide, bouncy house and batting cage. Each inflatable activity had a staff member monitoring it and access to the area was limited. We went later in the game and had to wait our turn to enter since the area was full. The safety part of me would gladly wait rather than have the kids jumping all over each other in an overcrowded area.

    The staff and employees at the stadium were pleasant and really are an asset to the game! Despite long lines at some of the food vendors everyone was nice and not rushed. Clean up crews were in constant motion keeping the stadium clean. For each activity that involved kids on the field the staff stayed with them and made sure no child left the field without a parent to pick them up at the gate.

    The only constructive criticism - the new bouncy house play area was located on the deck behind the right outfield bleacher seats. This was the only smoking area in the stadium and occasionally I could smell smoke while waiting for two of my children who were in the bouncy house. I'm not sure what happened to the traditional playground that used to be behind the center of the stadium.

    When I was looking up the directions before we left I discovered that I could reserve a parking spot right next to the stadium for only $10! That's how much the private lot next door charges and half the cost of what we paid to another private lot when we went last summer. You can reserve your spot on a first come/first served basis the day of the game until 3pm. Very much worth it to not have to walk little kids down the street after an evening game.

    Taking four kids ranging from 3 to almost 12 is always a bit of a challenge, but there was enough going on to keep everyone occupied and interested. I had no problem walking my 3 year old up and down the stadium when she really didn't want to sit in her seat. The fireworks show afterward was a perfect ending to a great evening at the ballpark. I am already looking forward to taking the family to another game.

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    Guilt

    Tonight I did something I said I would never do. I dropped my daughter off at her softball game and didn't stay to watch. I feel horrible. I don't always hang out during practice, but throughout soccer, basketball and softball my husband or I have always stayed and watched the game. Tonight he is working and I don't have anyone to watch the little kids. So I dropped her off and told her I'd be back before it was over. I know a lot of other parents do this, but I've tried so hard to be there for all of their games and activities.

    With a large age range of kids it can be hard. Taking 3 non-softball playing kids to their oldest siblings game just isn't their idea of fun. At one game my 3 year old starting yelling she wanted to go home barely into the second inning. At the last game I brought the whole gang thinking we would tailgate in the minivan along the outfield fence. That didn't turn out as bucolic as I had hoped. Tonight it's an away game and the parking is not next to the field. It's really hot and the mosquitos are out in full force. It's not like the fall when we just wear long layers to keep the bugs at bay, it is hot and a little muggy out. I weighed the options of bring unhappy younger siblings soaked in insect repellent - meaning showers and a much later bedtime vs. dropping her off and going back to pick her up. And dropping her off seemed the better option for my sanity level. How do parents of preschoolers attend sports with older kids? Have you ever done the drop and bolt at your child's sports games?

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    What do you want in a First Aid kit?

    I recently did a survey on First Aid kits. I've begun selling CPR and First Aid supplies on my website. My goal is to offer products that are reasonably priced and user friendly. So far I've found a lot of really, really expensive (embarrassingly expensive) first aid kits; and some that don't have sticker shock. Since my background is EMS I know what I need in my kit, but not everyone does. To get a better sense of what potential customers might want in a first aid kit I did a simple 1 question survey .... What would you look for/at when buying a first aid kit?

    I made a list of different reasons for purchasing one kit over another and added a comment box to get any additional info that someone might want to share. The results didn't completely surprise me and will help me to offer products people are looking for at the price they want to pay.

    25 people took the survey, the results are:
    72% contents
    52% price
    48% size of the kit
    48% easy to understand (packaged in pouches labeled for situation - cuts, burns, etc.)
    44% ease of refilling contents
    28% durability (i.e.... can it survive soccer season outdoors)
    28% a small first aid book
    16% location to purchase: online vs. local store (note to self: I should have made this 2 questions since I don't know what someone would prefer)
    8% non-traditional contents (flashlight, emergency radio)
    0% more gizmos than you'd ever need
    0% electronics that tell you what to do
    8% all of the above

    What am I going to do with this info? I'm continuing my research into different brands and suppliers of First Aid kits. Currently I am offering First Aid kits from Genuine First Aid. So far they have the most reasonable prices that I've seen. I'll be posting a review of the kits I just ordered soon.

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    False CPR certification

    I saw a link to a news story today .... Firefighter accused of giving false CPR certifications. While it makes me sad in a way I'm not surprised. Occasionally I am asked to do group BLS CPR recert 'session' during employee's lunch hours (so maybe a 30-45 min 'class'). I use the quotes because it really isn't a class, or a session and during an employee's lunch break it just can't easily be done.

    When you take a CPR or First Aid class it should include hands-on practical skills. In my courses you have to practice and perform all the skills; and for Healthcare Providers you must take and pass the AHA written exam. My goal is to make sure each person in my class can perform the skills as if it was myself or a member of my family you could be saving.

    How long or how quickly can you learn or recertify in CPR? For Healthcare Providers who are experienced in CPR a renewal session can move very quickly. But you need enough time for each person to demonstrate all of the skills and take the required written test. One person could do it in 30-45 minutes - if they are fully prepared to test; but in a group setting it can take longer.

    Be wary of instructors who can promise certification in just mere minutes or with minimal practice time. The American Heart Association, along with other certification agencies such as the American Red Cross and the American Safety & Health Institute, all use repetitive skills practice in their courses. This is because through studies they've determined that hands on skills practice is the best way to learn or renew a skill.

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    Registering that AED ...

    NH Revised Statutes Annotated
    Section 153-A:32

    153-A:32 Automated External Defibrillator Registry. – There shall be established in the department of safety a registry for all automated external defibrillators in the state. The department is authorized to release information from the registry to first responders in an emergency through the enhanced 911 system. Registration shall include the address and precise location of the automated external defibrillator.
    Source. 2002, 156:2, eff. July 14, 2002.

    Section 153-A:33

    153-A:33 Registration Required. –
    I. The owner of an automated external defibrillator shall register with the department of safety under RSA 153-A:32 within 30 days of acquisition.
    II. Manufacturers or distributors shall provide written notice to purchasers of the requirement to register automated external defibrillators with the department.
    III. The provisions of paragraphs I and II shall not apply to owners who purchase an automated external defibrillator for use in a private residence.
    Source. 2002, 156:2, eff. July 14, 2002.


    If you own or purchase an AED in New Hampshire you are required to register your AED. Whomever sells you the AED should inform you of this. The State of New Hampshire has a form to make registration quick and easy.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Guest blog post for Living My MoMent

    So this week I'm excited that not only am I participating in the Living My MoMent Blogoversary by offering a First Aid kit in her huge giveaway; I'm also guest blogging! You can read my post on Baby's 1st First Aid Kit.

    There are a lot of really good blogs and web platforms for mom business to promote themselves on. Since I only teach locally I typically don't participate in many of these blog parties and giveaways. But I am happy to be supporting Abbey in her Blogoversary.... I listed my business and blog with her site just mere weeks after it first launched. She has a supportive blog and is really looking to help Moms and Dads get the word out on their work from home businesses.

    So take a minute and go visit Living My MoMent, check out my guest post, peruse all the great MoM and Dad business listed there and check out the awesome blogoversary prizes! Who knows.... you might just win something! (hint, hint.... I'm donating a First Aid Kit!)

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Back to the Legalese of the AED

    Continuing in my series on the legal aspects of selling, purchasing or owning an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) today I'm citing two RSA's:

    Automated External Defibrillator

    Section 153-A:28

    153-A:28 Intent. –
    I. The use of automated external defibrillators addresses an important public health problem in New Hampshire. It is the intent of the legislature to encourage the use and availability of automated external defibrillators, along with training in the use of automated external defibrillators, for the purpose of saving the lives of people in cardiac arrest.
    II. Further, the legislature strongly encourages dissemination of educational information regarding automated external defibrillators and encourages that access to these lifesaving devices be made widely available to businesses, schools, fire and police departments, and other public and private organizations throughout the state.
    Source. 2000, 302:4, eff. June 21, 2000. 2002, 156:5, eff. July 14, 2002.

    Pretty clear common sense. The State of New Hampshire encourages the use and availability of AED's. They also encourage training and information on them.


    Section 153-A:29

    153-A:29 Definitions. – For purposes of this subdivision, "automated external defibrillator" means a medical device which combines a heart monitor and defibrillator and:
    I. Has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration;
    II. Is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation;
    III. Is capable of determining whether defibrillation should be performed; and
    IV. Automatically charges and requests delivery of an electrical impulse to an individual's heart, upon determination that defibrillation should be performed.
    Source. 2000, 302:4, eff. June 21, 2000. 2002, 156:5, eff. July 14, 2002.

    RSA 153-A:29 basically defines what an AED is. It monitors the hearts electrical rhythm, analyzes and determines the hearts rhythm, and determines if the patient as a heart rhythm that would benefit from a shock.

    A question that has come up in classes lately is how exactly the AED works. I think I've blogged about this before, but basically the AED analyzes the heart's electrical rhythm. During Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) the heart's electrical system is misfiring and the heart just quivers. The AED shocks the heart, not to start it, but to stop it. That allows the heart to begin beating with a normal electrical rhythm. Kind of like hard rebooting your computer.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Reprioritizing

    So I admit, my blogging has been hit or miss lately. With the final arrival of Spring in New Hampshire (and of course mud....) I haven't wanted to be sitting in front of a computer as much. Which led to some soul-searching and re-evaluating of priorities. It took a week to come to the BIG DECISION which was I am scaling back from my other blog. Yes... if you didn't know it I had a second blog all about shopping and saving on the Seacoast. But it was really time-consuming. I loved doing it, but it was based on my hobby of comparing prices between local stores. As much as I enjoyed it, the time involved was taking my away from my primary business... which is teaching CPR & First Aid, which began cutting into family and home time. I work from home, like a lot of other moms do, so that I'm available when my kids need me. On a beautiful sunny day I don't want to be telling the kids we can't go out to play because mommy is too busy working on her blog.

    So I did some soul searching and decided that while I'm not completely shutting down the other blog, I'm scaling back on a big scale. My priorities are family, home and business. Anything else is just for fun, especially when it's not meeting my top 3 priorities. So over the next week you can hopefully expect a lot more on CPR & First Aid blogging as well as my intermittent odd things that come up when working from home with kids.

    And if you notice the colorful fun button on my right sidebar - it's the official 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party button. I wasn't fast enough to get in on offering a prize, but check it out. There are hundreds... yes I do mean hundreds! of prizes to be won. Thousands of blogs are participating of which I am just a humble one. Check it out, visit some of the awesome participating blogs and who knows... maybe you'll just win something cool and fabulous!

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    The legalities of AED's in NH part 2



    Today's post is Part 2 in a series on the Legalese of owning or acquiring an AED in New Hampshire. Today's post is on:




    CHAPTER 153-A
    EMERGENCY MEDICAL AND TRAUMA SERVICES
    Automated External Defibrillator

    Section 153-A:30
    153-A:30 Training. – Every person, association, corporation or other organization that acquires an automated external defibrillator shall require anticipated responders expected to use the automated external defibrillator to receive training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator use. This section shall not limit the use of the automated external defibrillator to the anticipated responder nor shall this section limit the provisions of RSA 153-A:31.

    Source. 2000, 302:4, eff. June 21, 2000. 2002, 156:5, eff. July 14, 2002. 2008, 207:2, eff. Aug. 15, 2008.

    So simply put, if your organization purchases an AED they must provide CPR and AED training. However use of the AED is not limited to only those who have taken the training.

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    the Legalese on the AED in New Hampshire


    So this weekend I've embarked on a research project. During classes there are always questions about liability and Good Samaritan Laws. So after a little digging in the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated I thought I'd share a new AED law every few days. So today's post is on (drum roll please) .....

    CHAPTER 153-A
    EMERGENCY MEDICAL AND TRAUMA SERVICES
    Automated External Defibrillator

    Section 153-A:31
    153-A:31 Liability Limited. – Any person who, in good faith and without compensation, renders emergency care by the use of an automated external defibrillator shall not be liable for civil damages for any acts or omissions unless the acts or omissions were grossly negligent or willful and wanton. Any person, association, corporation or other organization that acquires and maintains an automated external defibrillator for emergency care shall not be liable for civil damages other than for gross negligence or willful and wanton acts or omissions. This section shall not limit civil liability protection provided by any other law.

    Source. 2000, 302:4, eff. June 21, 2000. 2002, 156:5, eff. July 14, 2002.

    So what does this mean? It means you can't be held liable for using an AED as long as you follow the directions and/or voice prompts on the machine. You cannot be held liable if your business or organization has AED's on location.

    However you ARE liable if you have an AED and you don't use it when someone is in Cardiac Arrest. Or if you bought an AED for your business, but never had it checked regularly and when it was needed the batteries were dead, or the pads were expired.

    There are a lot more laws on AED's. The gist on this one is please don't be afraid to use an AED when someone collapses and is not breathing. There is more legal risk to you if you don't use an AED when one is available.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Do you work out with ID?


    Earlier this month an injured bicyclist was found on the side of the road. He was critically injured. Bystanders called 911, CPR was performed, he was resuscitated and transported to the local hospital. For over a day he was in the hospital and no one knew who he was. It took an article in the local paper to have someone come and identify who he was. Unfortunately his injuries proved to be fatal and he passed away a few days later.

    Now that the weather is getting warmer many of us are outside enjoying it and getting some great exercise. This week alone I know I've been out with the kids walking around town. While I usually remember to bring my cell phone with me, one thing I never think to take with me is identification. It doesn't matter if you're a runner, bicyclist or walker; most of us don't think to take identification when we go out to exercise.

    There are several companies who make medical and identification bands, jewelry or tags for runners and cyclists. There are bracelets that you can fill in, you can subscribe to or that have USB to detail all your contact and emergency information.

    Please carry, wear or attach some form of ID when you exercise. It's a small thing that can make a big difference in an emergency.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday 3/3/10



    2 very large sailboats were knocked off their supports during last Thursday's wind storm.

    How long is a CPR class?

    I am often asked how long a CPR class is. Typically they can run anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. It depends on the size of the class and the material covered. My classes due to run the full length of time because I like to provide a lot of hands on time and I want to make sure everyone's questions are answered. Some instructors or training sites may list their classes as only 2 hours. My guess is that they have much smaller classes or a lot more CPR equipment than I have.

    No matter what the length of the course. A good CPR class should have the following components:

    • Hands on practice. Just watching a demonstration of a skill is not the same as learning it. Each participant in the class should have hands on practice time.

    • Questions and answers. If you have a question the instructor should answer it. Keep in mind that while instructors do go through training to teach CPR, we aren't perfect and we don't know the answer to every question that could possibly be asked. Personally I like a good question that stumps me. It gives me something to research after the class and helps me to be a good instructor.

    • Time. This might sound odd, but I'm referring to is hands on practice time. The instructor should not rush you through the skills, the idea is that you practice and LEARN, not feel rushed to practice once or twice and then you're done.

    • Equipment in good working order. You can't learn how to do chest compressions or how to breathe into the mannequin if it doesn't work.

    • Enough equipment for the group. The courses are set up to have equipment shared. Usually up to 3 people can share 1 mannequin. However each participant should have their own barrier device - those are not meant to be shared. If the instructor wants 4 or more participants per mannequin then there will not be enough hands on practice time to learn the skills.

    • Evaluation. Most CPR programs have a course evaluation at the end. Don't worry about anyone's feelings here, be honest. This helps the instructor to improve if improvements are needed and gives them feedback if they're doing a good job.


    No matter what the length of the course you should leave the class feeling confident that you can perform the skills of CPR if the need arose. If you don't then make sure you put that on the evaluation form or contact the training center or agency that offered the course.

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

    Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless cause that is a byproduct of burning fuel. That fuel can be propane, gas, gasoline, wood or kerosene. Many of us have appliances or heat sources that burn this fuel, but because they are installed they are properly vented to the outside so as to not fill our homes with this deadly gas. Sadly every so often I see a story of someone who died from carbon monoxide. It is a tragedy that could have been avoided. There were two stories in the news this past week, 2 people lost their lives in a fire caused by using a propane heater indoors and 1 family was saved because one family member recognized their symptoms as possible carbon monoxide poisoning and contacted their fire department.

    During power outages DO NOT use an outdoor appliance in your home to generate power or heat. Generators, grills (gas and charcoal) and propane heaters are not meant to be used indoors.

    After storms or heavy snowfall make sure the area around your appliance vents is clear of obstruction.

    Make sure all appliances that use fuel are properly installed and properly vented.

    You can read more on my Examiner article or visit the EPA website.

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Vacation snacking

    One of my goals has been to slowly improve what we eat. It's a combination of not wanting to eat a lot of overly processed (or sugary) foods and trying to be more sustainable at home. The kids (and I, of course!) love to snack. So I was excited to try some new recipes that I received in my WAHM-Articles newsletter. The favorite so far has been Cheerios Bars.

    4 (okay 5, but I skipped one) simple ingredients; 1/2C honey, 1/2C sugar, 1/2C peanut butter and 3.5-4C Cheerios. The recipe called for peanuts, but I don't often have them at home so I upped the amount of Cheerios, it called for 3C. Heat honey & sugar until mixed and bubbling. Remove from heat & mix in peanut butter. Add cheerios & press into a greased 13x9 pan & let cool before cutting.

    Clean up is WAY easier than when making Rice Krispie treats!

    The kids love them and I do because: 1. I made them myself. 2. the ingredients are (mostly) natural and on hand. 3. I can pronounce all the ingredients. 4. I made them myself.

    Posting a recipe is not something I have normally have ever done, but February is National Heart Month and March is National Nutrition Month. So after making and snacking on these fun bars this morning I thought I'd post my heart healthy snack for all to share.

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Market Mommy Blog Party

    This is a departure from my normal, laid back, whine about something blog when I feel like it, kind of blog post. Today starts another week long Market Mommy Blog Party!



    I've never blogged about someone else's blog (or maybe my shallow mind can't remember), but Market Mommy Blog Parties ROCK! Why do the rock? Because I always seem to win something! :D.

    So click on the Market Mommy Blog Party links I have peppered this post with (say that 5 times fast!) check out all the cool prizes that can be found through member's Etsy shops and read the rules to enter. The rules changed a bit for this party, so read them carefully! This time around we're not commenting on the main Market Mommy Blog Party Post, instead add your comments on the posts for the prizes you would like to be entered to win. Each day new prizes are posted so check back each day this week.

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Happy Valentine's Day



    Last night my 9 year old made these wonderful Valentine's brownies to take to her school party today. She saw the picture in the Betty Crocker calendar and immediately wanted to make them. It was lot of fun and she did all the decorating all by herself.

    When we think of Valentine's Day we think of all sorts of chocolates and treats, some can be heart-healthy, a lot aren't. What are some of the things you might do to make a recipe more heart-healthy?

    We often substitute applesauce for eggs or oil in a recipe. You can substitute low fat milk (plus a little healthy oil) for whole milk, etc. There is a wonderful list of heart healthy substitutions on the American Heart Association's website.

    There are some good tips and plans for leading a more heart healthy life at Go Red For Women, Better U and My Life Check. These sites also have tools that you can use to see what your heart health risks are.

    So think of your heart this Valentine's Day and treat it with a yummy heart healthy treat!

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Sunshine Blog Award



    Wow! I feel so honored to receive a Sunshine Award from Heather Price of Free Skin Care Help! I've never received a blog award before.

    It's actually making me feel rather guilty. I've been so busy preoccupied scattered lately that I've really been neglecting this blog as well as my regular Examiner column.

    I guess that is the challenge sometimes when trying to do a lot of things from home with the kids helping out, sometimes it just doesn't all get done.

    But I can safely write that many of the disasters distractions of January have been resolved and this award is a good reminder to help me get back on track!

    So thank you so much Heather! I am honored that you I am one of your 12 chosen recipients that you feel have mentored or assisted you in some way.

    I'm posting the Award rules. I will admit up front that I won't be able to do my 12 nominees right away, but will get to it soon!

    Sunshine Blog Award

    Here are the rules:
    • Put the Logo on your sidebar, or within a post.
    •Pass the award onto 12 Bloggers
    •Link the nominees within your post.
    •Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
    •Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday 2/3/10



    Okay, I'm a day late. But this was too cute to wait until next week. This is of a service dog being taught how to perform CPR.

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    The new cookie on the block....

    One of the many mom hats that I wear is that of Girl Scout Leader. So it should be of no surprise that my daughters' and their troop are selling Girl Scout Cookies! Each year the Girl Scouts adjust the cookie lineup and this year the Girl Scout Councils that offer cookies from the Little Brownie Bakers are offering a new cookie.....

    Thank You Berry Munch

    This is a cranberry cookie which contains dried cranberries. The cookie had a slightly nutty or oatmeal like hint to it, but the ingredient list does not contain nuts or oatmeal. While I'm located in the Girl Scouts of the Green & White Mountains Council, I had the opportunity to receive a complimentary box from the Girl Scouts of Nassau County.

    Since I think reviews of food items are really very subjective, I brought the cookies to my troop meeting in early January. I figured just because I liked the cookie, it did not mean that everyone else would. So how did everyone like them?

    The grownups liked the cookie. We agreed it tasted good and was not too sweet. It wasn't our favorite, like Thin Mints or Samoas, which meant that chances are good that one person won't eat the entire box in one sitting. But we did like the cookie. I personally think that they taste very good with tea or cocoa.

    The girls didn't like the cookie so much. They thought it didn't have enough flavor like a Tagalong, Lemon Chalet Creme or a Samoa. Out of the six girls who came to the meeting only one had more than one cookie. So this definitely was not one of the girls favorites.

    As far as the rest of the cookie line up there is one other change... The Dulce de Leche cookie has been updated. It is a little smaller and does not have the carmel icing on top. I really like the new version as I thought last year's cookie was way too sugary-sweet for my taste. This update has more flavor and is not as sweet.

    Girl Scouts throughout NH and VT are taking orders for Girl Scout cookies. Mid-February the cookies will arrive and our famous Cookie Booth Sales will take place until mid-March.

    Girl Scouting allows girls of all ages to learn and try new activities in a supportive environment. Activities are girl-planned and girl-led. The annual Cookie Sale allows Girl Scout Councils and Troops to provide programming and activities for the girls. For my troop it has afforded us the opportunity for camping, field trips and to purchase supplies for our different troop activities.

    I'd like to thank the Girl Scouts of Nassau County for the opportunity to review the cookie for them. You can find the Nassau County Girl Scouts on Twitter and of course can follow my odd tweets there as well.

    Saturday, January 23, 2010

    Not the brightest bulb in the prank call business

    Last night I got a prank phone call. I haven't had one in years. This was on my business phone from some man who wanted to talk about scheduling a CPR class. At first I thought it was a legitimate call, but when he talked about his own mannequin and then made a few poorly worded racial comments I politely hung up on him.

    I am by nature a really sarcastic person who finds humor in things that other people don't. I've worked as a part-time dispatcher in law enforcement for over 20 years, it takes more than this to upset me. I don't find his call funny, but what I'm laughing at is that this wasn't made by some teenage clueless kid. This was from someone whose driver's license states that he is a grown up in the year 2010 - the age of caller ID. Yup, my highly intelligent prank caller tried to prank me with some borderline adult themed call from his cell phone which promptly displayed on my phone. Any other recipient of this call would probably call and report him to the police.

    But since I have a warped sense of humor, I'm blogging about it. Yes Mr. Clueless at 603-XXX-7246 in Dover, NH - I'm blogging about your pathetic attempt to give yourself a thrill at someone else's expense. Again THIS IS 2010, I have caller ID on my TV for goodness sake! Grow up.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    A really nice email

    Today I was going to write about my kids, but then I received this email which I thought was much more important to share:

    Hi, Gail,

    Just thought you'd find this interesting...

    I took your CPR and FA classes in Sept....and in October my husband's life was saved by a bystander who knew CPR (I, of course, wasn't thinking straight, and it never occurred to me that it was a CPR-type situation). The bystander did CPR for about 7 minutes until the ambulance arrived. The EMTs shocked him twice before getting him on the ambulance. It was his heart. He's now fine!

    You who are and train lifesaving techniques are truly appreciated!!

    MS


    This is why I teach CPR and I love to hear that it is used successfully! I am so thankful that her husband is fine and feel honored that several months later she sent this wonderful email.

    Take care,

    Gail

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Help for Haiti

    There are many organizations raising money and supplies to help the victims of earthquake in Haiti. But keep in mind that while the work of many to help is good, the coordination and shipment of all these supplies can be difficult or overwhelming. I watched a brief interview with former President Clinton on TV the other night and he said something that made a lot of sense. He said if you want to help out, please donate to the Red Cross. They can purchase & ship supplies, they can mobilize aid. By focusing donations on one organization that is one large group that can make a large impact rather than having many smaller groups all trying to ship smaller supplies that will have a smaller impact.

    Please don't interpret this to not support other very worthwhile organizations. But the quickest and largest impact can be made by pooling resources to one large group that has the skills and training in disaster services.

    I know times are tight for many of us, believe me... I do know. But any donation helps. Consider donating your time or talents to an organization that supports the work of the Red Cross. It is the collection of many small donations that makes for a strong support network that can fund needed supplies and aid.

    Saturday, January 9, 2010

    Skiing

    This may sound odd, but we live in NH and we don't ski. There are many beautiful places to go skiing, but yet we don't ski. So today I thought I'd try to change that.

    On my other blog I posted that January is Learn a Snow Sport Month. As part of this many ski locations are offering fabulous deals. Today, 1/9/10, was Winter Trails Day. So I thought I'd take advantage of the free rentals and free skiing to take the kids. Oh, did I mention I was taking 4 kids, ages 2 to 11, by myself?

    It actually went somewhat well. It could have been worse. I rented a Pulk - a special cross-country sled - for my youngest to ride in. The rest of us had skis. I got a lot of exercise trying to get 3 kids into the skis and froze my hands in the process. In hindsight I should have bundled my 2 year old into the sled last, not first. By the time we were all set she had been in sled for a while and just lost patience with it ... especially when we had to wait our turn for our ski lesson. When I had a chance to really get skiing she was upset and kept pulling her hat off. It was too cold for her to go hatless so at that point she & I were done. My son was having fun, but couldn't go very fast or he'd fall over and his older sisters were a bit ahead of him, so I rounded him up and the little kids and I got to camp out in the car.

    The girls loved it though. They were out on the trails for a lot longer than I thought they would be. My biggest regret about the whole outing was I never got a picture of the kids on the skis.