Hello! I am late posting for Valentine's Day - anything else for that matter! I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day. Who doesn't love a holiday that includes chocolate!? A great excuse to indulge a little. Now that we are rounding out February it has finally warmed up a bit and Spring is on the way. My bulbs are all up and some are even blooming!
I got a little time this weekend to start cleaning up my yard. I have so much to do that I didn't make a dent, but it was great to get out and get started. I also made a big bunch of pancakes to eat this week. I don't think the recipe is worth sharing but they are pretty good. The recipe was for a quinoa johnnycake that called for cooked quinoa to be mixed into a pancake batter. I didn't have quinoa so I used cooked millet. They are dense and I think a little too much work for the result. So no recipe share! But here is my photo.....with blueberries in the batter and topped with a little almond butter and maple syrup. They are based on a recipe from Andrew Weil's True Foods Kitchen, so if you are near one of the restaurants, you might get to try the real thing....
The news has been sad this last week. The school shootings are just horrific. I can't even imagine how terrifying it is to be in one of these active shooter situations. I am scared of guns. I have only shot a gun once and it made me so nervous. Years ago I went to a friend's ranch in Uvalde, Tx. Everyone there, including the kids, were comfortable with guns, had taken classes for safe gun handling, etc., except for me. In the Navy I took Small Arms Familiarization class but we never had to shoot. I am a novice for sure. So my friend had rigged up a big-kid playground. The house sat high above this river bank, with a clear view from the porch. He set up propane tanks down on the river bank and then you could shoot them with a rifle from way up at the porch. It makes a huge fireball, which was really thrilling and completely safe. So I tried it. I actually hit the target on the first try, and it was pretty exciting. But ultimately, not for me. I haven't shot again since. (The picture below is what the riverbank looked like.....just much closer than we were from the house!)
I have a healthy respect for guns. They are everywhere and it seems these days, anyone can get one that wants one. In light of what seems to be a recurring tragedy, I thought I would share some important information I learned while working at MD Anderson. The University of Texas has their own police force that provides security services for all their campuses. They taught a class on what to do if you are in an active shooter situation. I think of it all the time. Here is what I learned.
First, be aware of your surroundings and always know where the exits are. They remind you on an airplane but pay attention to building layouts and exits just in case. In the class the actions were all related to the word OUT, which makes them easy to remember.
- GET OUT: If you hear what sounds like gun fire and you can get away from it, run away from the sound. Get out of the area as quickly as possible Do that first.
- CALL OUT: Call 911 as soon as you can. Get to safety first but call and give as much information as you can. You have to get help on the way.
- KEEP OUT: Try to find a way to keep the shooter out of the area you are in. Lock doors. Barricade doors with furniture.
- HIDE OUT: If you can't get out, find a place to hide. Turn off lights. Be quiet. Get behind anything that might protect you.
- SPREAD OUT: Do not huddle together with other people. This one is counterintuitive as you want the comfort of being with others. If you are in a big group, a shooter doesn't have to be a good shot or even to aim. It's easy to hit a big group of people, harder to hit an individual person. So spread out to make a hard target.
- TAKE OUT: This one is like those brave men on the 9-11 flight to PA. Take out the shooter. Doing this one is risky, but if you can take the shooter out, do so. I can't say how to do this but if there is a chance, take it.
So this is all very scary, but I think of these steps anytime I hear of an active shooter situation. Prepare what you would do. Remember and have a plan. Know where exits are. Be aware of people around you, things that seem suspicious. We should not be afraid all the time, but be prepared. Remember, as they say, if you see something, say something. These troubled people that are shooting all give signs that something is not right. We need to catch them before they have an arsenal and head to some target. It seems like these days we have many things that are a call to action. Sexual harassment. Mental health issues. Homelessness. Troubled teens. Hunger or food insecurity. So many issues. If we all just do a little bit, it will add up to a lot.
Be safe! XOXO