I just watched the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’. Powerful and moving.

You know, in looking back at my life, most days I feel there isn’t much I’ve done right. Many wrong decisions, paths not taken (or the wrong one) and many people I hurt along the way.

But the best decision I ever made, back when I was 21, was to give up meat–then poultry and seafood. And now, for years, dairy too.


It was not easy back in those days being a vegetarian, not fashionable or cool. There was never anything on the menu and people were very intolerant of my continual pestering of wait staff or at family meals.

But it was important to me. My turning point came in college, after taking animal industry classes–it was then that I knew I could no longer be a participant in the animal industry. There were many reasons and I won’t bore you with them here.

Now today, my 21 year old instinct seems to have proven correct. And I’m glad that I followed my heart despite ridicule  (which I still sometimes face) and the continued need to justify my choice. Now I can tell anyone to watch this documentary and they can see why I did it!

There isn’t a lot I have to be proud of, or much that I feel that I have contributed as a human being, but these staggering statistics make me glad and grateful that in this one choice at least, I can feel I picked the right path.



Stayin’ Alive!

One part of my job that is really different from the normal routine, and is actually enjoyable, is teaching CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation). This is one of links in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) “chain of survival”. This includes use of the AED (automated external defibrillator).

While I teach: right place, right time–with more and more people hearing about CPR and actually taking classes, it actually may become more likely to save a life in the field. And I certainly seem to be teaching classes almost weekly now. While I have only had two CPR saves in my 18 years as an emergency medical technician, my hope is that with lay people learning CPR, there will be more saves as we keep educating.

With all the advances on the ambulance, with Advanced Cardiac Life Support, better CPR techniques and then the care received in specialized hospitals, patients are walking out of these facilities more frequently and leading normal lives. And it is my great joy to teach classes–especially to lay people.

Most people who come to my classes have had some class in the past–sometimes 20 years ago. But much has changed. Students are often surprised by how things have changed, but are always willing to listen and learn. In the old days a teacher could pretty much wing a class and teach based on their own knowledge. But now, AHA is fairly strict and everything is video based.

This is understandable, with all the liability now, and wanting to create a uniform program taught the same way for everyone. Of course every teacher brings their own personality to the class, and this is where I hope I excel.

Classes can vary in their own personalities also, coming from church groups, teachers, bus drivers, factory workers to stay at home moms. The groups may vary in ages from teens to elderly people. This can make teaching a bunch sometimes challenging. Some groups are happy to be there and do so willingly and some are being made by work. So it’s my job to make it fun for everyone.

The AHA video is really pretty decent given the content, but it is, after all, a CPR video! I try to spruce it up by stopping frequently with my own interjections, stories and allowing students to participate in discussions. My classes are very interactive, so the students won’t fall asleep. There is huge redundancy also which can become monotonous and boring, just like the compression metronome, so getting them up and moving every so often is critical.

When I’m testing them, I make each scenario personal to them, trying to make them laugh. I also make each class a teaching moment for other things like cardiac disease, obesity, the 911 system, the EMS protocol system for cardiac arrest, DNR’s (Do Not Resuscitate) and such. So it makes for very interesting discussions. While they are there to learn about CPR, I hope they come away with a lot more.

We also talk about the realistic part of what may happen in a cardiac arrest. The messy part that isn’t mentioned on the video, so they can really be prepared for real life. And we talk a lot about children and infants, because that’s the CPR no-one ever wants to do. I try to instill in them a sense of confidence and calmness. All this while trying to have some fun. Part of that fun is that they learn that the compressions are done to the beat of the old song from the movie “Saturday Night Fever”–Stayin’ Alive. They love that part and I actually sing it! Some of them do too.

Finally we also learn about how to help adults, children and infants who are choking. Now this is truly a life saving tool! I have saved my own daughter’s life by doing abdominal thrusts. Everyone should know how to do this properly! You never know when you may be called upon to do it: at a restaurant, a neighbor’s house, a movie theater, your family member! It’s simple and works!

So when my students complete this class, I’m hoping they leave with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Many hope they will never have to perform CPR on anyone, but know if they had to, they could. And with this new skill, they can be out in the world knowing they may actually save someone’s life.

Consider taking a class if you haven’t already–or renewing that old card of yours! Remember: it’s all different now. You never know who’s life you might save! Altogether now: Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive…Ah Ah Ah Ah….Stayin’ Alive!

Award: The Versatile Blogger Award!


I have been happily awarded this lovely award. Here are the rules…

The rules of this award are as follows:

1.  Display the award certificate on your website.
2.  Announce your win with a post and include a link to whoever presented your award.
3.  Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.  Create a post linking to them and drop them a comment to tip them off.
4.  Post 7 interesting facts about yourself.

I was awarded this award by–Thanks so much! It’s a lovely website. Please check it out. Lovely artwork.

The following are 15 deserving bloggers:

1. Great photography and writing!

2. Photoblog… very creative.

3. Alice: ( -Personal pictures with heartfelt captions.

4. Mary Strong-Spaid – ( photography and poems.

5. saltypalette -( Amazing photos and captions.

6. seedbud – ( many photos and stories of leaves and twigs!

7. jenfbs – ( getting started with photos and stories.

8. sufey (@SufeySuryananadi) -( Just fun!

9. Clyde – ( poetry and a thoughtful fan.

10. Umesh Sharma -( Fabulous traveling photos.

11. aleafinspringtime – ( photos and sensitive writing.

12. A Nature Mom-( Such a sweet blog, so fun.

13. yerpirate -( I love this blog…to see the heart of man.

14. Crazy Irishman – ( great poetic guy!

15. kayleebakes -( More wonderful photos and captions.

I don’t know if the following facts will be interesting, but…….

1. I use henna to color my hair.

2. I ran the 1982 Boston marathon and I even qualified for it.

3. When I was 6 years old and in camp, I would sit with this giant bull pine tree and talk to it and hug it and water it. I’m still a tree hugger today.

4. I talk to myself. I think it comes from growing up an only child.

5. My belly button is pierced.

6. I’ve been married three times and dated more than I’d like to admit, but I’m single now.

7. Most days I feel like my little dog is my best friend.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

I am so delighted that I have been nominated by  Kaylee’s World ( for this most wonderful award. She said great things about me (especially one of my poems that I thoroughly enjoyed writing!)

Rules of this award are as follows:

1. Link back to the blogger that awarded you.

2.  Nominate 15 other bloggers.

3. Share 7 facts about yourself.

I’m still new at this, so the 15 blogger part is always a challenge, but I will try. This time I will put their  links, so hopefully you can visit their blogs also. And will follow Kaylee’s lead and say a little something about each one.

1. Poetry Curator: Always insightful. Lovely poems: old and new.

2. Novice Journal: Great photos. Heartfelt and simplistic.

3. For The Love of Clouds and Living Things: Amazing Photos; Participant in a post a day 2012

4. Jump For Joy! Photo Project: I just thought this was the coolest idea!

5. The Mind of Eboni Sade: I am bedazzled by the photos on this blog.

6. Javier GM Photography: Lovely photos even though I can’t understand the language 🙂

7. Leaf and Twig: Nature photos and poetry combined…my favorite.

8. Marta’s Adventure In the Big City: She’s bold, fun, young and creative.

9. My Meandering Trail: A wonderful way to share adventure on the Appalachian Trail! I lived near there!

10. Nature’s Gift In Photo: Great photos. Lot’s of nature ones too.

11. VFCH: More photography from Spain. Love to experience other countries.

12. sarah monagle, pondering it all: Musing, poetry, essays…just like me.

13. Ishita Sitwala: Interesting photography.

14. feistyredgirl: Ponderous writing.

15. Northern Narratives: Photos I can relate to.

Seven facts about me…hmmm…do we have to keep coming up with new ones!? 🙂

1.  I’m adopted and have an adopted daughter.

2. I have had 2 cardiac arrest saves while working in emergency medical services.

3. I was an medical examiner…I saw dead people.

4. I am gluten free and a vegan…have been a vegetarian for 35 yrs (did I say that before?).

5. My third grade teacher called me a chatterbox.

6. I got ‘most inclined to argue’ and ‘class clown’ in HS for my yearbook.

7. I’m going to an EMS conference tomorrow and will blog while I’m there!

Thanks again for this fun! Peace!