Showing posts from 2012


There are some events or situations that no one can really explain why they happen.  The senseless shooting in Newtown, CT is one of them.

I'm having a really hard time comprehending what happened.  I'm struggling with it because I have children.  These beautiful children in this picture are the same ages as my son and youngest daughter.  I have yet to explain to them what happened and I know I need to do so soon as it will most likely be discussed in their school.  I am extremely thankful that we had a snow day today so I have more time to think on how to approach this.  Although I have been out teaching for most of the day so I have to figure out a way to ease into this conversation.

How do I explain this to them when I still cannot understand it myself?

A good friend is a parent educator.  She has posted some brief advice on her Facebook Page at  Another good friend shared this link:…

Positive lesson from a horrible experience

Last month my Visa debit card was hacked.

It was a week of ... oh I so want to type the word but I don't swear, at least not usually.  But you can insert the word that you think is coming out of my mouth.

I won't go into details, but all is now resolved and I have my money back.  But that is not the horrible part of the whole situation.

The horrible part was the lack of communication with my banking institution.  There was only one person everyone said I had to speak to, the person who pretty much never returned any of the messages I left (many of which were how to fill out their forms!).  I would have to call and complain to customer service to get a return call.  After 2 days of leaving messages I finally reached this person on day 3 - to find out that my fraud report hadn't even been looked at.  I was stressed, and freaking out.  This began at 8am on Monday and by Friday I had reached my breaking point.  I was so frustrated I thought I would cry.  Long story short - I h…

Random acts of kindness

All this month I've been seeing friends posting what they are thankful for this month.  This morning as my children's CCD program began the kids were sharing what they were thankful for this month.  I realized I'm thankful for random acts of kindness.

I didn't realize how true that thought would be until a few hours later.

I bet you're wondering why there is a picture of a set of keys with a CPR barrier on the dashboard of my van.  What do my studio keys have to do with this post?  They tie in with why I'm thankful for random acts of kindness.

This afternoon I arrived early for my CPR for New & Expecting Parents class.  I managed to snag a really close and prime parking spot in downtown Dover.  It was a good afternoon, until I reached in my bag for my studio keys.  And they weren't there.  [you can mentally insert ominous music and images of me beginning to panic...]

Over the next hour I managed to:
Dump my purse and search it.Search under the seats of …

The no-pattern fleece hat

A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to teach something different. I taught 2 sewing classes at the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains Older Girl conference. I had a quite a few requests for the patterns for what we made. The second project was an online pattern for an over-sized tote bag. The first project was a fleece hat. We made 2 - one to keep and one to donate. There isn't a pattern for this hat, so here are the directions. I'll try to add pictures of each step at a later time, but for now here's a pic of the same pattern but with added ears I did for my son's Halloween costume.

1. Measure your head, or the head of the person you are making the hat for.
2. Cut a rectangle out of fleece. It should be 18" high and the width should be the head measurement plus 1". For little kid hats cut only 16" high. The height is measured up the selvage, the width is across, so the measurement of your head is the stretchy part of the flee…

What is online certification?

I received this comment on my posting of the video of the 2010 Guidelines on my Coastal CPR & First Aid Blog:

The term “accreditation” is an often-misunderstood term in the CPR industry. No organization exists that provides a national endorsement or accreditation to any CPR course provider. The American Heart Association cannot approve, endorse, or give accreditation for CPR training for any other organization. Each first aid certification provider is free to construct their own curriculum, standards, and teaching methods based on the ECC/ILCOR guidelines. American Academy of CPR & First Aid, Inc, courses strictly follow the ECC/ILCOR guidelines.

So at first I'm irritated, but then again I get A LOT of spam on the blog. Since I moderate the blog I decided that in the interest of fairness I would post the comment, but added the following reply.

Thanks Gold Price, but consider this…. 

The American Heart Association, American Safety & Health Institute, American Red Cross, …

Hands Only CPR works

I realized today I had posted this on the Coastal CPR & First Aid Blog but I forgotten to repost it here.  This is a great story and what the article linked below fails to mention is that multiple bystanders assisted and helped save this man's life.

Last month several runners collapsed during the Market Square Day 10K. One suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

You can read the story in the Portsmouth Herald

In July's CPR by Donation class one of the participants in the class mentioned that she was there. She didn’t assist with CPR, and not because she didn’t want to. She said that there were so many people there already helping him it just made sense to stand back and wait to see if she was indeed needed. She said bystanders started Hands-Only CPR right away and that after the Portsmouth Fire Department used their defibrillator the runner was conscious when placed in the ambulance. Last I had heard from other sources is that he is recovering well.

This is great news…

Cruiser behind a sign

I know it's not Wordless Wednesday.  Nor I have I been particularly stellar about posting an interesting picture every Wednesday. But I saw this on a friend's FB wall and just wanted to share. :)  Happy Friday!

I won't bail on you

I had the pleasure of picking up a last minute class this weekend.  Not last minute because someone or an organization forgot they needed certification until they were all expired.  No, this was last-minute because the instructor they scheduled the class with called and canceled on them just days before the class was supposed to be held.

It kinda got me thinking.... who schedules a class with a group and then cancels on them because they don't have anyone to teach the class?

Since I started my business I have only canceled a class twice, both times were due to snowstorms.  I rescheduled as quickly as possible.  The only other reason I would cancel would be if I were so ill I couldn't do the course.  But I would never schedule a course on a day or time that I couldn't be there to teach the class.

But I suppose in larger organizations this may be more common.  But as I thought of that I thought of one of the larger training organization I've become affiliated with, a…

TMI - please just stick to the facts

I was thinking this morning about TMI (too much information, in case well, you didn't know what it meant, but maybe that is tmi?).

I was wondering when people call their local PD, or 911, why they feel the need to start telling all this information that isn't completely relevant to a total stranger on the phone.  And then I started thinking about some of the blogs I read, and my twitter feed, and realized maybe it's the anonymity of it all.  Perhaps we like sharing things with someone, or an audience, that we can't actually see.

Lately I've been trying to simplify my life.  Things can be so complicated sometimes.  And a bit of my simplifying is thinking about how wordy I can be sometimes, and trying to say more with less.

But back to this mornings random thoughts, which were prompted by a dispatching shift yesterday and got me thinking about several of my previous shifts.  Thankfully I'm a per diem, so I don't have to think about this stuff every day.

My co…

One of the Best. Books. Ever

I have never compiled a list of my favorite books, but just finished one that I will call One of the Best. Books. Ever. 

I have never laughed inappropriately so hard in my life.  In fact today I bumped into someone in the library who also just finished it and her daughter confirmed that she also laughed inappropriately while reading it.

This books is AWESOME!  But seriously, my raving about its awesomeness is not necessarily going to explain why this is one of the Best. Books. Ever.  So I shall explain.  It's a sort of biography/memoir of the odd interesting life of Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess

For anyone who actually reads my blog who doesn't actually know me (although I'm not sure if anyone who doesn't know me actually reads this blog), I work part time as an emergency dispatcher.  I have on occasion said that when I'm at work it's like getting paid to be entertained.  I've also said that there is no way I could ever make up the kinds of stuff we end …

Things happen for a reason and that's how I diagnosed duck itch

Ever have one of those why do things happen they way they do kind of conversations with yourself?  Like, if you hadn't gotten stuck in that traffic jam you would have been at the store too early and missed the unannounced 50% off sale that started 2 minutes after you walked in the store?  Okay, that only happened to me once.  But this was one of those kind of days.

I'm visiting my mom, who lives in apartment at my sister's.  So we're kind of visiting everyone.  Except my sister and 3 of her boys are at camp all day.  We had a rip roaring thunderstorm with hail blow through that afternoon.  My mom doesn't like to drive in bad weather, so I offered to drive my niece to her doctor’s appointment.  She was having some sort of allergic reaction to bug bites.

The doctor seemed stumped, was calling for referrals, and was joking about crazy bugs in NH.  Um... hello? we don't have crazy bugs in NH.  I'm visiting in CT.  We all have the same bugs.  But then suddenly i…

Just how long is a First Aid CPR AED course?

Every now and then I get a call from someone who seems surprised by how long a class is.  Today was no exception. 

A CPR AED course is about 3 hours long.  It can run shorter if everyone is renewing their card or if it is a small group.  Since I teach both AHA and ASHI I find the full course is about 2.5-3 hours long.  Renewal courses that I offer through the ASHI program can be as short as 2 hours.

A First Aid or Pediatric First Aid course is also about 3 hours long.  Sometimes I plan on 3 1/2 hours for a class if I know the group is large or if it is a first class for most of the group.  The AHA video has a lot of information on it and I just can't make it play any faster than it is supposed to.  With the ASHI program I do a mix of video, lecture and scenario-based practice.  But still, it takes time.  Even if everyone is renewing their cards there are key topics I am required to cover and have participants practice.

So you can guess that a First Aid CPR AED course, covering bot…


In just over a week we'll be trapped for the weekend.  It will be fun.  Why will we be trapped and why do I have a picture of the Blue Angels flying over my head?

It's the Boston Portsmouth Air Show  aka the Pease Air Show on Saturday and Sunday.  I live in Newington, a very small town next to Pease that only has 2 roads in and out of town.  One is shut down while the planes are flying.  The other, the highway, becomes a parking lot as people try to drive to and from the air show and with the planes flying over the highway.  They do test flights Friday afternoon, so we are basically trapped in town from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon.  Newington doesn't have much in the village so if we run out of anything we're out of it until Monday.  It also means I don't teach or work anywhere all weekend since, well, we're basically trapped.

I took the picture standing next to my house. With my then Blackberry. That's my neighbors house in the edge of the pic…

Wordless Wednesday 6.6.12

A little CPR ambulance humor

My first race!

If you've been following (or liking - I'm still not sure how to incorporate that into a good sentence) my Facebook page you probably saw my posts on my first road race.  Yes I entered a race!  And yes, I both finished and survived to write about it.

If you know me you know I am NOT a runner.  But I do like to walk.  While I'm reasonably healthy, I should be in better shape and I definitely need to lose some weight.  I'm not exactly the poster child for Heart Health in my classes.  I have a pretty healthy diet, but exercise was definitely lacking.  So this year I decided to try competitive walking.  Why competitive walking?  Because if I don't have a goal I've publicly committed to, I know I'll let other things in my life (kids, classes, work, housework, reading....) distract me and keep me from my goals.

So last Saturday I walked in the Children's Museum of New Hampshire 5K.  It was a lot harder than I anticipated.  I had walked the course once last yea…

Customer service

A few weeks ago I was told in an email that I didn't know the difference between customer service provided by a service provider and customer service provided by a store clerk.  It wasn't suggested in a nice manner so it's something I've been mulling off and on for a few weeks.  I knew I would blog about it, but wanted to make sure I wasn't reacting to the tone of the email.

I guess for me there really isn't a difference.

As a service provider (my courses) I do my best to meet the needs of my clients.  I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to receive positive reviews on the evaluation forms I use at the end of my classes. 

I also greatly appreciate anyone who provides a good service for me.  It doesn't matter to me if you are a clerk in a store, the person bagging my groceries, the customer service associate on the phone or someone I've hired to perform a job or task.  I'm quick to thank them for a good job.  If I get one of those store sur…

The class you sign up for should cover what it advertises

A few weeks ago I was invited to have a table at an employee health & wellness fair.  I got to meet a lot of really nice people.  Many of whom were parents of infants and young children.  I was able to teach several in what to do if their infant or child was choking.  All in all I had a great morning and am so happy to have been able to teach everyone who was interested in practicing or watching.

But one thing did make me sad.  One of the new moms said she had taken a local course just a month or so beforehand that was offered by a different AHA Training Center than mine.  It was advertised as Adult, Child & Infant CPR and with a new baby at home she really wanted to learn Infant CPR.  She said the instructor covered Adult CPR AED in great detail, but then rushed them through Child and Infant CPR AED, barely covering it.  She said she felt unsure and  less than confident that she would know what to do in an emergency at home.  That made me both sad and angry.  People sign up f…

One step at a time

My blogging skills have been lacking lately.  Not because I have nothing to say... if you know me you know I'm just full of things I could easily discuss.  I've been busy writing for others, stressing over the move of my domain to a new web host, converting to a Word Press site and a myriad of family things have just kept me plain old busy.  I've also become addicted to Kindle books which I read on my laptop or droid.  Not the most productive of addictions.  My class schedule is starting to fill up a bit too which is a good thing.

But today I finally did something I said I was going to do and have been meaning to do.  I'm taking a step in the right direction .... literally.

I registered for a 5K road race.

Now before you think ... "dang, she's a runner?"  The answer is No.  I am not a runner.  I registered as a competitive walker. 

I walk a lot around town, I like to walk.  I need to be in better shape and what better way to do it?  How can I teach First …

Yes, I peel their faces off

In every class I watch the participants fiddle with the ears or jaws of my mannequins.  That's where the faces attach to the mannequin body.  I think people like to fiddle with them because I don't actually stretch the faces over the pegs.  Mostly because on the adult mannequins they don't stay on the pegs, and on the infant mannequins it just ends up tearing them.

But everyone loves to fiddle.  Sometimes they even start to peel them back.  So I'll fill you in on something.

All the instructors peel the faces off their mannequins after every class.

Yup, we do!  Sounds gross I know. But that's so that we can clean them very well.  The mannequins are cleaned after every class.  It's not just because we want you to have clean equipment to practice on (we do!), we have all each made a substantial investment in our training equipment.  Keeping it clean helps it to last longer. Some brands of mannequins the faces don't peel off, on some their whole heads come off!…

Keeping warm when running in the cold

I wear a lot of hats.  If you read my bio (on the right side of this blog next to my pic) you'll notice I have a family, small business and I mentioned that I volunteer.  In addition to Girl Scouts I'm also active with our local School Supporters and that includes helping organize our largest fundraiser of the year, a 5 mile road race.

My favorite hat is the one I wear this time of year when it's really cold.  Its a real hat, not a figurative one, its the one my mom made for me.  I think if your mom makes you a hat your should wear it.  But while I really like my hat, it's not actually what this post is about. 

I'm writing about my running hat,... sort of.  I'll state up front I'm not a runner. I help organize a race, but I don't run.  Someday .... yeah right.  I'm shooting for competitive walker.  Anyway when the temps get really cold outside and I wake up to single digits on the outdoor thermometer I start thinking about cold weather tips.  This m…