Monday, June 27, 2011

Travel Tuesday! 6/28/11

Someone said to me not very long ago, "You're like Where's Waldo but it's Where's Kris"

I am currently in Durham North Carolina. I love the South, especially the Carolina's and I wanted to go to South Carolina but that license, which I thought would be faster, was taking longer. To get my North Carolina license it took 3 days on line. I got here several weeks ago and am already planning out the next location, to South Carolina. Preferably the coast. I would love to spend some time in Charleston and Savannah, which is very close as well.

My unwritten plan is SC then Cali then Hawaii then Colorado and then........ who knows.

I was planning to get away for some long weekends but ran into car trouble. Blog to come on that. Lol.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Childhood Obesity is still rising, Vegetable Gardens are dying and Media is thriving

I was in line to check out at the hospital cafeteria the other day and I overheard a child, of at least the age of 10, ask his mother "what's zucchini?". I saw the child, overweight, holding a plate full of pizza and wondered "does he know what vegetables are?". The whole thing reminded me of the brief excerpt I saw of this show.

I think there are several areas where we are lacking. To start, I think the home garden is dying. Very few people garden anymore. It's a lost art and even fewer children are being exposed to a vegetable garden. I know that many communities ban vegetable gardens all together. Such a shame. Why not promote it in a designated area with a designated responsible person? If you're worried about the maintenance of it.

Then, of course, there is the home itself. If parents don't know it or practice it themselves then the children won't either.

We are on the heels of a change to the food pyramid, yet again. It seems like it changed only a few years ago. The agriculture of America as a business has a lot of influence on government including nutritional recommendations. So any changes are difficult to occur but slowly and surely they are. Maybe you're even asking, "Is it really necessary? Who cares about the food pyramid?". Well, yes, it really is necessary if children aren't aware of what vegetables are. I think it's going to take alot more than just changing the concept of the food pyramid.

It takes more than just removing soda machines from schools to affect a change in children's eating habits and preventing type 2 diabetes. Many schools are revamping their entire cafeteria menu. I remember lunch in school. In elementary school it was a brown bag and your parents ordered your milk by the semester. You got in line for milk and then sat down to your meal. Then when I went to public high school the cafeteria had pizza and fries and candy/snacks/vending. I saw some vegetables. They were usually overcooked, soggy, limp and soaked in but I don't recall ever seeing a salad except maybe a side salad with iceburg lettuce and carrot slivers.

In this day and age, indoor activities are growing like wildfire and outdoor activities are just the same. It seems like parents must battle the latest gaming system to get their kids out and about. The Media in general, computers, tv, game systems........ are far and away the number 1 activities of children above any physical activities. Here's an article from NPR Pediatricians Recommend a Media Diet for Kids to Fight Obesity.

If I had the place to garden I would and I fully intend on having a vegetable garden when I settle somewhere. Do you garden? Do you know many people who do? Ask a child about vegetables or where some of their favorite foods come from and see what your answers are. Do you know of any schools that have a garden? I know many children don't like vegetables but does that mean we have to promote that among them? There's no reason they can't have the knowledge and exposure.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Massachusetts Man Fired After Revealing His Wife Has Cancer - ABC News

Massachusetts Man Fired After Revealing His Wife Has Cancer - ABC News

There is a sad new phenomenon occurring across the US among businesses.

In this state of affairs when people live in fear of losing their job, seeing many friends and coworkers losing their jobs, people are worried and job security is practically none existent in most fields. It's bad enough that citizens are worried about job security when their loved ones are well BUT.........

now when they are not well also!

The following news piece was about a man fired from his job as an accountant for a Real Estate management company after 13 years and a recent raise. His wife was diagnosed with lung cancer and he requested a change in hours, so he could take his wife to appointments and treatments and work evenings and weekends to make up for it. His job claimed they were planning to fire him anyway, then following his dismissal they posted a listing for his job.

Apparently this is happening at an alarmingly increasing rate. Smaller companies of less than 50 employees are not covered under the The Family and Medical Leave Act. So there is nothing an ex employee can do about being fired by them. I have heard of this happening to women on maternity leave also. I personally think it's just proof that every single person is really just a $. Hopefully you are worth more to the company than you cost them! Shame on you Haynes Management of Wellesley Hills, Mass.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy First day of Summer Everyone

The distant hum and buzz of a lawnmower.

Perhaps the lapping of waves against the surf as they crash.

Water splashing as children frolic, be it pool or shore.

The squawk of the crows and the friendly chirp of the finches fading in and out as they travel about the neighboring yards.

The clicking and electrical chirp of the crickets and the other audibly present insect companions of the heat.

Maybe a canine awakens from a temperature induced slumber to stretch and quench his thirst as his entire body suddenly lengthens to double it's size.

A welcome breeze kicks up laundry on the clothes line nearby rustling a gentle sigh as they toss to and fro.

While the wind chimes announce their song of idle time sitting and relishing the seasons beginning.

(Just a little something I found from a while back) Travel Tuesdays will start again next week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Back and a few Summer Safety tips

After a long hiatus I am back. Hope everyone has been well. Blogs to come soon. Hoping everyone is having a great Summer!

Summer can be so much fun but what's even more fun is getting to do it again, which doesn't happen when your dead or injured.

If you know me then you know I am all about having fun and I will push the limits. One thing I have learned over the years and as a trauma nurse, that safety always comes first. Let's face it, it's simply no longer fun when someone gets hurts. It's also the number one way to get restrictions and limits to a once fun activity. Why do you think everything has a disclaimer. Someone out there acted foolishly and got injured or killed.

Keep in mind that with Summer and all of it's freedom's come many unsafe situations. So take a moment before all of your activities to stop and think have we covered all the safety steps before ............

We all say "stay safe" but what exactly do you mean?

A helmet is required when operating or riding anything on wheels or when the surface below your footing has increased potential for falling ie. snow and ice. When I say required I mean to protect yourself from traumatic brain injury. Regardless of your laws and how silly you might feel and even more so if you are not experienced then you should be wearing one. Also don't go beyond the recommended capacity of a vehicle so not everyone is securely seated. That includes golf carts, which are frequently used for transport at vacation spots.

Wearing a seatbelt whether you are going down the street to the gas station or a few blocks away to the ice cream store while on vacation.

Your judgement and reaction time is greatly reduced when intoxicated or even buzzed. Drink responsibly and no other substances while operating anything mechanized, lighting fireworks or grills or any water activities.

Lawn mower safety can easily be taken for granted since it's something you've probably done for years but mower accidents happen all the time. Always be cautious of children around outdoor lawn equipment.

Fireworks. What can I say? They are dangerous! Obey your local laws. They are ignited with fire, so always keep water near by for any fires and nondischarged fireworks. Only adults should be lighting them and only one at a time. They should only be lit in a clearing large enough that homes, vehicles and people can be double the distance of which it is known to reach. The area of lighting should be clear by everyone except the lightee and the lightee should be as clear as possible and immediately following lighting.

Water safety tips! Keep pool gates locked when not in use or at the least child safety locked. Wear life jackets during water sports. Never do water sports if you can't swim. Water is fun and one of my favorite activities but it is also inherently dangerous. When a child goes missing check the water first. Always keep supervision when children are swimming. Always obey life guard's rules. Never dive into a pool unless approved for dive/swim training by a coach. The minimum recommended for diving is 9 feet. That is not a widely accepted number and many pools may not be that depth. I will never forget the day a girl dove head first while warming up for a swim meet, nor will I ever forget every single spinal cord patient I have seen after a diving accident.

Children are small and hard to see when they are playing in their own yard/driveway. I have heard of backing into your parking space to prevent hitting a child when pulling out but they are still at risk when you are actively parking. Hence always be aware of children playing when parking or leaving a parking spots or driveway, whether you back in or pull straight in.

Be mindful of open windows, window locks/latches being open or loose to fall down on a child easily, or long hanging strings from blinds that toddlers can get their head caught in.

Hydrate in the heat and be aware of heat warnings.

Use caution when igniting a grill. Maintain your grill and check for leaks of gas or fuel.

Wear spf of at least 15. Nothing's worse than not being able to go out until the sun goes down and an Emergency room visit for a sunburn. Nowadays that's almost a no brainer but not long ago people wore butter and baby oil outside and no spf, literally cooking their skin!

When an insect stings, don't remove the stinger. Often times the stinger gets left behind without releasing the venom. Apply ice.

For Jellyfish stings apply vinegar.

Being safe doesn't mean you can't have fun. It actually means you can have fun again.

Sadly in the time I wrote this and posted it many accidents and fatalities have already occurred. One story in Pa about a 1 year old who drowned in a family pool. Be safe!