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Showing posts from 2011

How long do you keep your tree up after Christmas?

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I was reading a post on one of my fav blogs, Masshole Mommy this morning and she wrote that she had a friend who once kept a tree up until April.  April is a very nice name of some of my friends and my brother's really nice girlfriend.  But April is not a good month to still have up a Christmas Tree.  It got me thinking about my last post, Please water your tree, that had the cool video of 2 flaming Christmas trees.  I'm obviously a sucker for videos of things on fire, because I have another video of a flaming tree plus a room and contents fire at the end of this post.  But the last video I posted show the differences between how quickly a dry tree went up in flames versus one that had been watered.  The thought of someone leaving their tree up until practically Spring really got me thinking about the fire hazards and the potential for danger. Even a freshly cut tree will dry out at some point.  And at some point it will not drink as much water out of the stand and will just k…

Please water your Christmas Tree

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?

Please water your Christmas Tree, make sure you are using safe UL approved lights and don't anything flammable near the tree.

From the National Fire Protection Association
This NFPA / UL video demonstrates the flammability of a dry Christmas tree vs. a tree that has been watered regularly.

Facts & figures
Between 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 240 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 13 deaths, 27 injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage annually.Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they occur, they are likely to be serious. On average, one of every 18 reported fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in death.A heat source too close to the Christmas tree started one of every five (20%) of these fires.Eighteen percent of home Christmas tree structure fires were intentionally set. Half of the intention…

To realize the value, an email chain letter.

We all get a lot of chain letters in our email.  And despite their dire warnings of what will happen or not happen if I don't forward them ... I delete them.  But yesterday I received this one.  I'm not forwarding it via email to fill someone else's inbox, but I liked the message decided this was a good place to share it.

Venting or what goes into planning and holding a CPR class

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I don't vent that often, or at least I try not to.  But I thought this would be an educational way to explain my need to vent today.



What is missing from this picture?  I'll give you the answer at the end of the post.

When I teach a CPR class there are a lot of things that go into it.  I don't just show up and have it all magically work.  Well, if I do it right that is all that you see.  But let me explain what happens underneath all the magic.
First I have to coordinate a date and location.  This means matching my calendar to my husband's calendar and then to the locations calendar to make sure the room or building is available and there is someone to watch my children.  Once that is organized I have to post the class on my website and either advertise the course or fill out an online form or a combination of both.  For the class in the picture I had to fill out an online form and the organization took care of registrations. 
I then double check my supplies and order…

Ingredients I can pronounce

I always prided myself on being able to spell and pronounce difficult looking words.

But have you ever looked at the ingredients list on the packages, boxes and cans in your kitchen cupboard?  There are words I am just lost to try to pronounce correctly.

So a while back I decided to try cooking more things from scratch.  This has been a challenge.  While I really like to cook, I don't always have oodles of time to do it. 

Over the past few months I've been trying new ways to make pancakes rather than using the popular mix that you can cook hundreds of other recipes with.  You know the one - it's in a yellow box.  Believe me, I LOVE the stuff.  But I wanted to try to see what I could recreate without it.  Anyway, the kids were not too thrilled with the pancakes I was making.

Until.....

Last night my husband wanted a meat pie.  I make the one from the yellow box.  Hmmmm.... no yellow box in the house.  But I thought I saw a recipe for 'homemade biscuit mix'.  Other …

How to NOT keep your house warm when you have no power

Last weekend's #snowtober storm really wreaked havoc with power lines. The wet heavy snow on trees that still had leaves made for some really heavy branches that took down a lot of utility lines. For my family this was the first big storm that we didn't lose power. But I have a lot of friends who, days later, are still in the dark with no electricity and no heat.

I debated posting suggestions for what to do in the aftermath of a storm a few days ago. But then realized that if you don't have power, I don't think you'd be reading my blog. I think checking out the electric company's website on your smartphone would be what most folks would be doing.

In the aftermath of the storm there have been several Carbon Monoxide emergencies. Last winter I wrote Have you had your heating system inspected lately? Today I thought I'd give you a list of ways to NOT heat your home when you do not have power.  Keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive nor do I claim…

Even Supermoms need to take care of themselves

A few weeks ago I posted one of the newer videos on the Go Red for Women website. "Just a little heart attack". Coincidentally I had recently finished an article on self-care for supermoms which will appear in the Fall 2011 issue of Applaud for Women.

Parents are especially guilty of putting the needs of their families before their own. But statistically Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Even if we have annual exams and all the tests that go with it, are you leading a heart healthy lifestyle so that you will be there for your family? It is not selfish, but rather self-preservation. Taking care of yourself and your health means you can participate fully in family and community activities. Start small, take a few minutes each day for some exercise, watch what you eat, and do an activity that you enjoy. Your mental and physical health depends on it. Even Supermoms and Superdads need to take care of themselve…

Just a little heart attack

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Hurricanes, Earthquakes and Zombies.

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This past Monday morning I watched the news on TV. This is not something I usually have time for or will try to compete with the kids to watch the only TV in the house. But I did and I learned that the Northeast is the path of a hurricane. This is news. Usually here in NH we just get the aftermath after the hurricane is downgraded to a tropical storm or even less severe. A few hours later I found out there was an earthquake a few hundred miles south of us.

So as I'm thinking about Hurricanes and Earthquakes I began to think about Zombies. Yup, Zombies.



What do Zombies have to do with Earthquakes and Hurricanes?

The folks at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention put together a really neat guide on how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Remember a while back the world was supposed to end or we were going to be overrun by zombies? Well the folks at the CDC wanted to make sure we were prepared and created a really good guide on how we could do that. Coincidentally the…

DNR orders

I had several good questions about DNR aka Do Not Resuscitate orders in some classes a few months ago, and recently there has been a very interesting legal discussion on them in one of the Instructors Forums I belong to.

A DNR order is a legal document signed by a patient's physician that states that in the event of a life-ending situation, life-saving measures should not be initiated. This means that CPR is not started. However if someone is choking, and is conscious, you can provide an abdominal or chest thrust to relieve choking. You should not start CPR if the foreign body airway obstruction cannot be removed. You can read the NH Definition of DNR here.

How do you know if a person has a DNR? In a medical care facility this will be in the patients chart and paperwork. The nursing and care staff should be familiar with does and does not have a DNR order. In an out-of-hospital setting check to see the patient is wearing a state-issued DNR bracelet or if the family has a co…

Does it matter whose name is on my card?

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I've been following an interesting discussion on an instructors forum I am on. It is one of those conversations that started out as one thing, and is slowly morphing into several different topics.

But one of the conversations that came out of it was the staff at one agency somewhat bashing the credentials of another ... and that's not cool.


There are many really good CPR and First Aid programs out there. While I teach for the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI); there is also the American Red Cross (ARC), Emergency Care & Safety Institute (ECSI), American CPR and probably a few I'm not familiar with.

There are also a lot of not so good programs out there, I'm not even going to try to look them up to list them here.

How do you tell a good program from a not-so-good program?
A good program has a hands-on skills component to the class. A good program can have traditional classroom courses as well as blended program…

Help send the Newington Odyssey of the Mind Team to the Nationals

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So yes, I haven't posted in a while.  A really, really, really long while.  But I've been working on setting up some new courses and offerings which will be announced shortly.  But in the interim I've become very involved in fundraising for our little school and our Odyssey of the Mind team.

From their website:
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.

What makes our Odyssey of the Mind team unique? This is their first year participating in the Odyssey of the Mind program. We have not only a very talented group…