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Thursday, January 29, 2015

How to Save a Life -- Maybe Yours

I nearly died recently -- from eating a banana.

I was eating a banana as I tried to set up my new digital DVR. All of a sudden I was unable to breathe. I hurried to the kitchen, thinking I would be able to cough the banana into the sink. I tried, but nothing happened.

I pounded on the counter, hoping to attract the attention of my daughter, who was in her bedroom getting ready to leave. She heard me gagging and ran in to see what was going on, thinking at first that one of our dogs was choking. She immediately put her arms around my chest and did the Heimlich maneuver, which dislodged the piece of banana. All I could do was say 'thank you.'

We both were badly shaken by the experience. I don't know whether I would have been able to dislodge the food on my own or not. I doubt it. I know there is a technique for people to use on themselves, but I'm not sure I could have done it properly. Failing that, I would have called 9-1-1 and hoped the paramedics would arrive in time.

I have never been so close to death before, and it is not a pleasant experience. So please, learn the Heimlich maneuver, and make sure others in your business, organization and household do, too. Information is available at the following links:

I like these two links more than links provided by various medical organizations because the information is presented in easy-to-understand steps, with illustrations. Please familiarize yourself with the Heimlich maneuver. You never know when you could be called upon to save a life.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Using Art to Help Others

A few months ago, I set up a Web site to offer some of my best photographs for sale. My hope is to use this site to raise funds for some of my favorite non-profit organizations.

I have donated my photographic talents to animal shelters and wolf rescue organizations in
New Mexico in the past. With this new venture, 50 percent of net proceeds from the sale of my photographs will be donated to the charity of the buyer's choice, from the following list:  David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (runs a nursery for orphaned elephants in Kenya and prepares them to return to the wild); Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue; Memphis Area Golden Retriever Rescue; or Road Runner Food Bank of New Mexico..

I am proud of the photos on the site, and I really hope that my blog readers will help me spread the word about this page:

Photos are available in a variety of sizes and materials, including metal and canvas, and as greeting cards. Prints may be ordered either with or without frames. Subject matter includes landscapes, sunsets, ,wildlife, transportation and several other fields.

So please check out this site and help spread the word. All purchases come with a money-back guarantee.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gently Greeting a New Year

Today is Jan. 1, the start of a new year.

My day began quietly, with me waking up between 5 and 5:30 a.m. The sky outside was dark and overcast, with no sign of the rising sun. I fed my dogs and let them outside, although they didn't want to stay out for very long.

I went back to bed for a few minutes, then got up, retrieved the newspaper and made a cup of hot tea. Then it was time to walk the dogs. They have long hair, but their coats are not very thick, so I anticipated a short walk.

The dogs, however, had other ideas. They thoroughly enjoyed their walk, and we continued on for 2 miles. As we walked, I realized that we were the first creatures to walk along some of the roads and paths.
On others, I saw tracks of rabbits, jack rabbits and a coyote. The only sounds I heard, aside from the crunching of my boots on snow, were the calls of sand hill cranes and the cawing of crows.

Despite the 19-degree temperature, I didn't feel cold. The wind was calm and my part of the world was quiet and clean. As we neared home, a coyote crossed the road ahead of us but didn't seem to notice us. Thankfully, my dogs didn't see it as it slipped among the desert plants on an undeveloped lot.

This is my favorite way to start a new day and a new year -- quietly and gently, with glimpses of the animals that share this corner of the planet with me.

I wish you all a wonderful, peaceful, happy 2015.