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  • Are You Watching The Eclipse?


    Here is a great article from the KGW TV station out of Oregon City, Oregon, about the dangers of viewing the Total Eclipse, with the naked eye.

    OREGON CITY, Ore. -- An Oregon City man is warning people to be extra careful on the day of the eclipse.

    “It’s going to be over real quick and it’s not worth taking a chance,” said Lou Tomososki.

    Tomososki and a friend viewed a partial eclipse outside Marshall High School back in 1962.

    “The sun at that time, at 3:30 p.m., was in the one o’clock position,” said Tomososki. “I said to Roger, ‘If you stare at it long enough the brightness goes away.’”

    What seemed like a silly dare at the time turned into one of the biggest mistakes of their lives. By nightfall, both Tomososki and his buddy were having vision problems.

    “It doesn’t get any worse and it doesn’t get any better,” said Tomososki.

    Both Tomososki and his friend, now 70 years old, have vision problems to this day.

    “You know how the news people blur a license plate out,” said Tomososki. “That’s what I have on the right eye, about the size of a pea, I can’t see around that.”

    A doctor later told Tomososki his retina was burned during the partial eclipse. An eye expert told KGW you do not want to look at the sun without protection for even an instant during the total eclipse.

    “I think anytime is too much,” said Dr. Brandon Lujan of the Casey Eye Institute. “Anytime looking can do damage.”

    Tomososki is living proof of that. He is excited about the eclipse on Aug. 21, but he will not be looking towards the sky.

    “I’m going to go out and enjoy it,” he said. “But I’ll stand and watch

    I purchased, and sold eye glass eclipse viewers at my local flea market. I am glad to say that I did indeed sell out of them, but I sure wish I had purchased more. I had no idea there would be a shortage of them, and I would sure be glad to ensure that everyone had safe eye protection.

    Yes, it could also be construed as a great money making venture, but I was more concerned with obtaining pairs of glasses for my family and friends. I only charged $1 for the extra pairs that I had purchased, but see now on sites like Ebay, they are going for up to $20 a set! Wow. I could have gotten rich! Haha.

    All kidding aside, please be sure to wear safety approved eclipse viewing glasses. Or use the old cardboard method and construct your own viewing device, using instructions that can be easily obtained online, on sites like You Tube.

    Make sure you have appropriate ISO approved viewing glasses and make sure there are no scratches or holes in them. Just keep them in the cellophane wrapper, until you are ready to view, and you should be fine.

    Use extra care, to not stare at the sun for long periods. Just glance occasionally, until the eclipse is over. Enjoy the view. Many of us will not be around for the next one. These are once in a lifetime experiences, and should be treated as such.

    So find yourself a good place to park, grab a good pair of viewers, and look up!

    But be safe!!!

  • Back To School!

    Can you believe it is that time of year already?! Where does the summer go?

    As always, now is a good time to review some back to school safety tips. We all want our children to arrive and leave their school safely.

    The National Safety Council has offered these good tips, which I will share here with you today:

    • Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:

      • Don't double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles
      • Don't load or unload children across the street from the school
      • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

      Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

      According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they're walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

      • Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic
      • In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection
      • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign
      • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas
      • Don't honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way
      • Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians
      • Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

      Sharing the Road with School Buses

      If you're driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

      • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
      • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
      • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
      • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

      Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

      On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

      • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
      • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
      • If you're turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
      • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
      • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
      • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
      • Check side mirrors before opening your door


      By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.

  • Protect Our Children

    We teach about self protection for women, and for ourselves, but we also are reminded that we need to teach our children how to protect themselves too.

    As an adult, we cannot be with our children 24 hours a day, so we must empower and train them to defend themselves against the dangers in our society today.

    Here is a great article that I found on the Madison Wisconsin Police community pages, that I thought I would share with you here.

    Teach your Children Protective Behaviors Help Us, Help You, Help Them


    Concept of Safe/Unsafe.

    We all have the right to feel safe all the time. Discuss what feeling "safe" feels like. How does your body help warn you that you may be in a scary or unsafe situation? (Your stomach feels "funny," your knees shake, your heart beats hard or fast.) Teach children to trust instincts and say or do whatever they must to take care of themselves. Stress that adventurousness and risk-taking is okay, within the concept of safety. Teach children that we all have a responsibility for other people to feel safe with us also.


    Nothing is so awful we can't talk with someone about it. Who are your "safe" people? (Trusted others?) Who could you ask for help with any problem? We all need to know at least four people, besides the people we live with, we could ask for help if we have a problem we can't solve ourselves.

    Persistence Expectation.

    If the first person you ask for help doesn't believe you or can't help you - keep asking until someone helps you solve the problem and you feel safe again.


    To maintain control and protect privacy, no one should be allowed to blurt out personal experiences in a group. Learn the "protective interrupting" skill if you are working with a group. Stay in the one step removed problem-solving mode (ex. "Today we're talking about what could someone do if ..." or "what would you say if someone told you ..." or "a friend of mine needs to know ...")


    Discuss strategies and techniques for staying safe in various potentially unsafe or abusive situations. Use scenarios and ask, "Even if... (this) happened, what could you do to stay safe?" and "Suppose... (this) happened, what could you do to stay safe?" questions. This process develops the ability to see more than one solution to a problem and explore suggested alternatives for safety factors.

    A wide variety of topics and issues can be covered using these themes, strategies and ideas, from enticement prevention to the safety issues for childcare "sitters" or runaways.

    Ideas Reinforced:

    Saying No.

    It's important to reinforce empowered responses to help build problem-solving skills and self-esteem, and to develop assertive behavior. Encourage children to take what control they can; remind them to use their network; and let them know that it's always okay to say "NO" in any potentially unsafe situation. Acknowledge that saying no isn't always easy and the possibility exists that saying no might not work. Sometimes a person may feel that it's not safe to say no. Remind them to take the next step and ask themselves what else they could do even if they weren't able to say no.

    Never the Child's Fault.

    Reinforce that child abuse is never the child's fault. Remind the child that it will be up to the child to ask a trusted adult for help with any problem they can't solve. Reassure that it was good for them to tell about the problem.


    Explore the concept of secrets. Secrets should be fun. (Like a birthday or Christmas present that everyone will feel good about.) Such comments as, "If you tell anyone 'our' secret, no one will love us anymore" and, "If you tell about this, they'll send me away" or "If you say anything, I'll tell them you're lying" are threats, not secrets, and it's okay to tell someone you trust about that.

    Based on Madison Metropolitan School District's Student Anti-victimization Education (S.A.V.E.) Protective Behaviors Program.

  • Summer Pet Tips

    So, I find myself in the kitty rescue transport business lately. It all started when a friend of mine, who lives in Virginia, had posted on face book that she wanted to save a bunch of cats from a high kill shelter here by me in SC.

    I made the mistake of replying that I happen to be going by that way, since I was taking vacation up north. Thus the journey began. Never volunteer once. You will always get sucked into it again and again! Hahaha. It is okay though. I saved 14 little kitties on my first trip, to NJ. 12 more made their way to MD, and I just took the mother load of 29 kitties of all sizes and shapes to Virginia.

    Of course, I figured that was it......but oh no, I just received the emergency call today, that more are in jeopardy and need a ride to Virginia again. Yep, of course I said yes!

    My whole point of this, is that these little guys are not taken care of very well, at this awful, awful shelter. North Carolina has some of the worst shelters in the country. Most are high kill shelters, meaning the animals taken there will barely have a chance of surviving the day, let alone a week. Thus, their adoption rate is very low.

    So the shelter has no interest in feeding the animals in their care properly, or providing good medications. I have picked up these poor scared, and sick little guys and just hoped that they even survive the trip to the rescue or foster, let alone survive afterward. It is really awful.

    Anyhow, spay and neuter is my first and foremost solution the the immediate problem at hand. Next is to stop all the over breeding. Oh heck, there are plenty of dogs and cats around, we certainly do not need to breed any.

    Adopt, adopt, adopt!!! There are so many needy little guys around that would love to come to your home and just be loved. Do you need any barn cats? You can adopt a few that have already been neutered, so there will be little expense to you.

    Keep your pets well hydrated in this awful heat. Feed them wet food, to give them even more moisture. If you must keep your animal outside, make sure they have plenty of shade, and shelter from rain and snow. Put plenty of wood shavings, or straw in their bedding area, for them to stay cool, or warm.

    Well, I will be off in the morning to take my next load of charges to Virginia. I am transporting a beautiful male named Arthur, who is here visiting with me now. Then I will pick up a mom and her newborn babies, plus 3 crates of newly pulled rescue kitties from another awful high kill shelter. There is never an end to the ready supply of cats and dogs next on the kill list.

    You can help by donating to your local humane society, or rescue groups in your area. Just ask around or go on face book. You will see many people in your neighborhood that need all the help they can get to save these little guys.

    If you don't have extra cash to give, you can clip cat food coupons for them, help a foster with some of the animal care, like walking dogs, petting scared animals, or cleaning cages. Do you have any old rags, towels, fleecy blankets you can spare. All these little things can help.

    All right. I am off and running. Thanks for your time and have a great and safe day. I will be traveling with my stun gun flashlight in my car door, key chain pepper spray on my purse and my side arm in my holster. I am ready for anything here!

  • Stay Cool!

    I don't know where you live, but here in South Carolina, it has been brutally hot! I spend most of my day outside during the summer months, selling at Flea Markets, or maintaining my yard, and I can tell you, it is not fun.

    I am originally from the Western New York area, so living and working in this heat sure took some getting used to.  I learned many things on my own, like to slow down and certainly to drink plenty of water, but I also found a lot of helpful information, while I was doing some research on the topic. Let me share with you here what I found.

    Try staying cooler, by wearing light weight, lighter colored and loose fitting clothing. Now is not the time for those tight fitting jeans or denim shorts!

    Get your outdoor work done in the early morning or late evening hours, if possible. Of course, if you are out there after 5 o'clock, the mosquitos will attack you, so be prepared to smell like a can of bug spray! Work slower and take plenty of breaks.

    Find as many indoor activities, where there is plenty of air conditioning, that you can during the day. Go to a restaurant, or perhaps the library. Just enjoy a bit of cold air to cool off your body for a few minutes.

    Do not forget that sunscreen! Even if you are under a shaded area, you will still be receiving a significant amount of UV rays on your skin. Make sure you reapply it often if your are sweating. You can still get a sunburn when you are not under the direct sunlight. Especially if you are near a pool, or light colored ground, like sand or cement, where the light is reflected back up to you.

    Never leave your pets, children or elderly in a car, even if the windows are rolled down. The heat is much hotter in vehicle than the outside temperatures. Add the fact that your car is sitting on a hot asphalt parking lot and you have a recipe for disaster. Pets, small children and the elderly are more susceptible to heat stroke, than most healthy adults.

    Eat light meals and drink plenty of water. Sports drinks are a good replacement for fluids, since they have added salt and minerals that you lose from sweating.

    Don't forget your pet will need plenty of extra water also. Feed them some canned food, for extra moisture and hydration during the summer months. And please, do not forget about your dogs paws. Do not walk your dog on the hot cement or asphalt during the summer months. It  only takes a few minutes and it can burn their feet.

    And lastly, watch for weather and heat updates on your local radio and television stations. Check on your elderly neighbors to be sure they are well hydrated and their air conditioning is working properly. See if they might need a hand with some of those out door chores that need to get done, like mowing the lawn.

    Stay safe and keep cool!




  • Happy July Fourth!

    I found this wonderful video on facebook that I thought I would share with you all. It really gives the true meaning of this day, with a great historical narrative. Who knew?! We all just sing along and feel patriotic. This fairly short video explains it all.

  • Independence Day

    Happy Independence Day! As most of us all roll into a long weekend of fireworks, picnics and vacations, let us remember why we have this time off, and why we are celebrating.

    Your countrymen fought for the freedoms we enjoy today. If we had lost that fight way back in the 1700's, we would still be under British rule, and living under a monarchy.  Frankly, our country has fallen back into the mindset of a single ruler, but if we keep in touch with our congressmen and senators, we can continue to live under the checks and balances that this country was built on.

    Let's not make the mistake of assuming that we will always live with the freedoms that our forefathers fought for, or under the document that our pioneering leaders wrote up and signed for us. If we want to live under that constitutions rule, we must uphold our leaders today, to abide by that famous document. It is a constant battle, and we must hold them accountable to maintain the checks and balances that our system was based on.

    I hope you have a wonderful and safe weekend. Watch a great fireworks display and celebrate your independence and the right to be able to assemble and enjoy those gatherings.

    Don't forget to remain vigilant. Pay attention to your surroundings. Watch your belongings and your children. Let's make this a safe and happy weekend.

  • Texting and Driving

    Yes, I know. We all get sick of hearing "Don't text and drive", but then why are there so many drivers still doing it? Why are so many people, especially young people involved in fatal crashes, that involved texting and driving?

    This not only applies to sending text messages, but reading face book and watching videos, as well.

    According to the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety, 16 to 17 year old teens are 3 times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash. Over the past 5 years, more than 1500 people have perished in a crash, involving inexperienced teen drivers, during the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, better known as the "100 Deadliest Days."

    Remind your teens, and yourself, to stay alert and avoid texting and driving, so we can prevent deaths.

    Here in SC, 73 people between the ages of 15 and 19, died from a crash that involved texting and driving. The number of teens involved in a fatal driving accident, increased 10 percent over last year.

    The top reasons for teen accidents is distractions. Talk to your teen about the dangers of any type of distractions, like talking to others in the car, texting, reading maps, watching videos and talking on the telephone.

    Also, make sure you and your teen buckle up. 60 percent of teens involved in a crash, were not buckled in.

    Speeding is another factor in fatal crashes among teens. 30 percent of driving accidents resulting in death, were caused by excessive speed.

    Set family rules. Talk to your teen about driving safely. Take away the keys if they will not comply. Better to have a gumpy teen on your hands, than one wrapped around a telephone pole!

    Drive safe every one on this upcoming holiday weekend. Enjoy the fireworks displays celebrating our freedoms

  • Have You Ever Fallen Asleep At The Wheel?

    We have all felt sleepy while driving. It doesn't matter if you are on a long journey to visit Grandma for the holidays, or a 15 minute trip to work. There are times when we just do not get enough rest, and when we get behind the wheel, it can quickly become tiresome and we get drowsy.

    Hundreds of people are injured or perish from falling asleep at the wheel. You can purchase a simple Nap Alarm to keep you awake. This little device hangs off over your ear and sounds a loud beep, when your head starts to nod forward, waking you and keeping you alert.

    There are so many new gadgets and gizmos on our cars now to help prevent accidents and keep us safe. There is no reason to help protect yourself, as much as possible too. Don't leave it all up to the auto engineers for your safety.

  • Use Surprise!

    Surprise is your best defense when you are confronted with a would be attacker. If you simply pulled out a gun, or a can of pepper spray, your attacker can see it coming and set up his own defense against it.

    You can carry covert looking items in your pocket or purse, like a Knife Comb. Take it out of your pocket like an ordinary comb and keep it in your hand. Then if you need to, you can surprise your enemy, by quickly pulling off the comb end and the handle now becomes a secret weapon in your hand.

    You can achieve the same results with Pepper Sprays disguised in a Lipstick Holder, a Cell Phone Stun Gun, which looks and feels like an ordinary cell phone, but carries 12 million volts of electric shock. There are hundreds of items on the market today to keep your self defense options varied.

    Carry covert items everywhere. Put one in your car, on your boat, in your purse. Keep a variety of items in your house. Why not throw a Comb Knife in your bathroom drawer? You never know when you may be surprised by an attacker or burglar. You don't need to feel insecure, and I am certainly not trying to be an alarmist, but you do need to be prepared at all times.

    These are bad times we are living in now. No longer are the days when you could leave your doors unlocked, or windows open at night. Burglars have become bolder and bolder in their attempts to rob you blind. They have become more violent, and feel no remorse at harming you, in order to steal your things.

    Do all you can to protect yourself and your loved ones from harm. Surprise your attacker, before he surprises you!

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