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.