Showing posts from 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 en…

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 …

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:

Determine unresponsiveness and check breathing quicklySend someone to call for helpStart 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 breathsUse 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.

Determine unresponsiveness and check breathing quicklySend someone to call for helpStart 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 breathsUse an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) as soon as one is available. Changes:
Removal of look, listen & feel and the 2 rescue bre…

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!
The smoke detector sounds.  Even if you don't see smoke go outsideGo to your meeting place.  This is a safe location you can choose outside.  Have your children help you pick your meeting place.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.

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. 

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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…

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 ins…

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. …

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 hurrica…

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 th…


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.


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 …

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

Have a safe Independence Day!Search for forth of july

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 lik…

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 …

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 th…


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 a…

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 p…

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 demons…

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 defibril…

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!)

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, 200…


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…

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:

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.

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) .....

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 li…

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…

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.…

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 i…

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…

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.

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 he…

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 …

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.

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…

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 …

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!!


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,


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 kn…


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 less…