Thursday, May 26, 2016
Not too long ago, I had a fire in my oven and I didn't know what to do. My daughter and I threw flour, cornmeal and potting soil on it. OK, not too bright, but at the time we just could not think straight.
Kitchen fire is not an uncommon incident. After all, it is a place where electrical appliances and gas stoves are used on a regular basis. And no matter how expensive your stoves are, it can start a fire just the same. That doesn't mean though that you need to quit using your kitchen to avoid such disaster. Some preventive measures can make it work for you and it doesn't need a lot of money to do so.
Get organized. Flammable materials must be placed away from fire. Dishtowels, boxes and paper bags shouldn't be near the stove or cooking area. Don't use your oven as storage for flammable materials even if you rarely turn it on. Accidents can happen anytime and kitchen fire can easily burn down the whole house.
When cooking, don't leave it unattended. Oil can light up, pots and pans can malfunction and flammable materials can find its way near the fire. Also, handles of pans and pots must not be left dangling towards the edge of the stove to avoid catching up unnecessary materials like your hair or clothing. Incidentally, avoid using loose fitting clothing that can easily catch fire. It is not only dangerous for your home but more so for you.
Your stove, oven, toaster, blender and other kitchen appliances must be plugged in a safe area, meaning it should be located away from the sink. Wet electrical cords can start a kitchen fire.
Following directions is also a good precautionary measure especially when using an appliance for the first time or using a cooking gadget that you're unfamiliar with. Follow instructions at all times especially when fire, electricity, oil and grease are involved. Also, keep your kitchen tools clean. Oven tops, stove and toasters must be free from crumbs, scraps and other items that can start a fire.
Since accidents can happen even though you've done the necessary preventive measures, have a fire extinguisher placed near the kitchen and every household member must know how to use it. In case electrical fire breaks out, don't try to put it off with water for that will only electrocute you. Keep baking soda handy as it is a natural fire extinguisher for grease fire.
In case the kitchen gets too hot and fire cannot be extinguished anymore, get out at once. Call for professional help for the cleanup operation later on.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Being a parent is life changing and though the rewards are absolute, the challenges are forever changing. Today our family structure typically involves both parents working and with extracurricular activities, lessons and camps, time has become a commodity even our children have precious little of.
While the majority of parents are involved in their children's education, they have little time to participate in the actual day to day structure of it. They see teachers and the school system as one part of their child's day that they don't need to worry about. They can simply trust the professionals to do their job. However, it's actually because of the busyness of our lives that parents need to become more involved in their child's school by volunteering on a semi regular basis.
It needn't be every day or even every week. With email and school web pages, you can sign up and be added to volunteer lists and be available when the time works best for you. It can be as much or as little as you like. The key is being available to help when you can.
Seeing Your Child Through A Different Lens
When we take the time to visit our child's class during a regular day, we have the opportunity to see for ourselves the many challenges and issues faced by teachers and students today. It's here in the trenches where we can see just what is needed and where we can step in and help. By observing, participating and asking where we can be most useful, our children can reap the rewards of an extra pair of hands and a little bit of extra time from another caring adult.
Having the chance to see your child interact can give you a heads up to situations you were not aware of. Children often behave very differently in school than they do at home and it can be a very illuminating experience. Teachers are professionals. Spending the time observing their teaching styles and the manner in which they engage children, can give you an understanding on how to teach your own child at home in life situations.
Being in the classroom also shows your child that you value their education and are making the time to keep it a high priority in your family's life. The younger children may be excited at your interaction in their classes and although the older children may not be thrilled with your presence, chances are they will appreciate your commitment to them and their education.
Helping Our Communities
Volunteering also provides support to the community. School funding is often a struggle and administrators are constantly fighting for more value with limited resources. Volunteers can help provide the support that schools could not possibly afford.
A parent volunteer willing to spend a few hours a week helping out is a welcome support to an increasingly overwhelming school system. Most classrooms are overcrowded and a volunteer can give some individualized attention to students that may be struggling. It can be anything from help with reading and homework assignments to field trips and administration duties.
Parent volunteers have become a necessary staple in our educational systems. With a few hours a month, you can support your community and show your commitment to your children's education. You are supporting the teachers by allowing them to focus on teaching and providing the best learning experience for your children.
Most importantly though, you are leading by example and pitching in where your are needed. You are being present in their lives not only at home but away from home as well. Your time is all the investment you need to make a difference.
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Catch a star by Tamika Catchings
I had not heard of Tamika Catchings even though I live in Indianapolis. I am not a sports fan. It is inspirational what this young woman has done and overcame. She shows that if you want something bad enough and are willing to work hard for it, it is possible. As she said in the book, "God took my mess and made it into a miracle." She had to overcome obstacles such as a hearing problem, low self-esteem, bullying and struggling to find her place. In the book she talks about relationships in her life. She states that family don't choose you, you are born into it. Your brothers and sisters can invite you into their lives or not. They can live in ways that make you important to them or not. They can choose you or not. She had the support of her family which helped her and of course, the love of God. She suffered injuries and still pushed on.
This is a very powerful book from a powerful woman. Pick up a copy today and travel along with Tamika as she grows into the woman she is today.
I received a complimentary copy for this review.