Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How long do you keep your tree up after Christmas?

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 keep getting drier and drier and drier.  No one wants a house fire (well, maybe some people do), but most of us want to keep our dwellings and the really nice gifts we got for each other safe.  Epiphany is January 6, 2012.  That seems like a good time to think about taking down your once live but now dead tree if you haven't already done so.

Oh, and Masshole Mommy is where I got that AMAZING Pink Lemonade Margarita recipe for my neighbors party this past summer.

As promised ... Another flaming tree from the NFPA YouTube Channel

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Please water your Christmas Tree

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 intentional Christmas tree fires occurred in January and may have been related to disposal.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

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.

To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby.

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:


The origin of this letter is unknown,
But it brings good luck to everyone who passes it on.


Hold on tight to the ones you love!

Do not keep this letter.

Send it to friends & family to whom you wish good
. And don't forget the one who sent it to you! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Venting or what goes into planning and holding a CPR class

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 (and pay) for more books, mannequin lungs, one-way valves, barrier sheets, wallet cards, CPR cards and any other needed supplies.

For most classes I then receive course registrations via email or phone or online.  I send each person an email course confirmation.

All of my equipment is stored in my basement on some nice shelves my husband made for me.  The day of the class I check my equipment, make sure I have enough supplies in my bags and then I have to carry it all upstairs.  It takes 3-4 trips depending upon the class and what is needed.  It is then another 3-4 trips to load it into my van.

I then drive to the location of the class.  In the picture above the class was at a camp.  Which means I didn't have the luxury of using my dolly or the wheels on one of my equipment bags.  I had to carry it all to the building, get the key out of the lock box in the dark, and then carry it all in.  Once inside I then set it all up so it looks nice like the picture.  Not seen in the picture is the table with all the infant mannequins set up on it. 

So have you noticed what is missing from the picture?  What is missing is ... the students.  Yup, NO ONE showed up for the class.  Since I am addicted to Kindle books on my droid I read for a while, then packed it all into the bags. I then carried it all back to my van.  Drove it all home.  Carried it all into the house and then carried it all downstairs and then put it all back on the nice shelves that my husband had made for me.

So this is my vent.  If you sign up for a class and can't attend please do the instructor the courtesy of calling or emailing to let them know you can't attend. Even short notice "I'm sick!" calls are very much appreciated to save me or another instructor a lot of work and heavy lifting to make the class magically run smoothly. Thanks! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

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.


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 than struggling for 20 minutes calculating how to reduce the size of the mix (I didn't need almost 13 cups of the stuff), I made the pie.

It was awesome!  Everyone liked it, NO leftovers.  :)

I had enough of the homemade mix to make pancakes this morning.  Better than the stuff from the box.

So while it is a challenge, this has renewed my goal to cook more from scratch with ingredients I can pronounce.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

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 to have any personal experience with any of these.

  • Heating your house with a generator running in a closed space (like a garage) is NOT a good idea.
  • Heating your house with your gas oven that you use to cook with is NOT a good idea.
  • Heating your house with a fire in a fireplace that you haven't used in perhaps a decade or two is NOT a good idea.  Get it professionally cleaned & inspected and then you can use it.
  • Heating your house with gas appliances that are not vented to the outside is NOT a good idea.
I'm sure there are more interesting ways to keep warm that are not the safest ideas.  Feel free to comment and add to my list of ways to NOT keep warm.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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 themselves.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hurricanes, Earthquakes and Zombies.

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.

Get A Kit,    Make A Plan, Be Prepared. emergency.cdc.gov

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 their zombie apocalypse emergency preparedness guide is also a great good guide for how to prepare for a hurricane or earthquake.

Rather than paraphrase the CDC website here are the links to specific emergency preparedness information now that we're in hurricane season and could potentially feel some earthquake aftershocks.

Hurricane Preparedness
Natural Disasters & Severe Weather
Zombie Apocalypse

Thursday, August 18, 2011

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 copy of the order.

It varies from state to state, but here in NH where I am located a patient with a terminal condition can receive a DNR bracelet through their physician. It is a state issued bracelet that looks like a hospital bracelet. The NH law on DNR bracelets can be found on the State of NH Website

If you are a Good Samaritan who sees someone collapse and they have a DNR bracelet you do not need to start CPR. HOWEVER - if you're not sure and/or you don't see one. START CPR. These bracelets are more easily recognized by EMS providers.

If you have a loved one at home who has a DNR and you call 911. Please make sure you have a copy of the order to share with EMS providers when they arrive. Tell 911 there is a DNR order as they will relay that to the responding ambulance. That helps them to be prepared and have a treatment plan in place when they arrive.

If you're not in NH take a look at your state's laws and rules on DNR orders and how they may apply to you.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Does it matter whose name is on my card?

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 programs that encompass both online learning and skills sessions with an instructor. A good indication a program is in the not-so-good category is when the website promises the course is short and you can print off your card from their website once you pay them.

What's the difference between the different good programs?
We all teach roughly the same skills. Good CPR programs follow ILCOR 2010 Guidelines. Good First Aid programs follow the 2010 consensus for First Aid co-written by the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross. The training materials, length of class and how the class is taught will vary between the different organizations. However if your class includes hands-on skills practice you can be comfortable know that you are taking a good course.

If you need certification for work or as a licensing requirement check what is required. Some employers or licensing agencies may require you to hold a card from a specific organization. You should check into that before registering for a course so that you make sure you are taking the correct course for your workplace of license.

Monday, April 18, 2011

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

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 of six 5th graders on the team, the team is the ENTIRE 5th grade. Yes, that's correct. We only have six 5th grade students in our small K-6 school.

 Newington Odyssey of the Mind Team (Seacoastonline picture)

Because this is something new we never expected to travel to a National competition, let alone win first place in the state level competition. 

The challenge now is for the students and parents to raise the money for the team and chaperones to attend.  We're fortunate that we can drive, but with gasoline prices hovering just below $4/gal in NH it's anyone's guess what the price will be by the end of May when we make the drive to the University of Maryland.  Fundraising in a very small school in a small town is challenging, as there is only a small number of families you can ask for support.

This is why I'm posting today.  We can use your help. 

One of the fundraising efforts is a raffle.  If you would like to purchase a raffle ticket they are $1/ea or 6/$5.  Prizes you can choose from include:
  1. $50 Texas Roadhouse Gift Card
  2. Percy Jackson: boxed set of books - $25 value
  3. Lia Sophia jewelry - $200 Value
  4. Emergency First Aid Kit - $25 Value
  5. G. Willkers! Gift Basket - $75 Value
  6. Mr. Bubbles Gold carwash certificates - $50 value
  7. American Express Gift Card - $25. Value
  8. Portrait sitting and 8x10 photo - $100 value
  9. American Girl Books - $42 value
  10. $50 coupon towards Spanish or French immersion camp (1 week day camp)
  11. Certificate for 2 rounds golf: Breakfast Hill course - $100 value
Leave a comment below if you'd like to purchase a raffle ticket or email me at info (at) coastalcpr (dot) com.

Or you can just make a donation.  Any amount will help!  Just use the handy donate button at the bottom of this post.   

Thank you in advance for your help!