Monday, May 11, 2009

My Nephew, Infant Self-Rescue Swim Instructor

Rec department offers children self-rescue lessons. this article appeared in the Sunday May 10th 2009 Edition of "The Independent" news paper, Massilon Ohio


The Independent
Rich Thompson, of Massillon, a certified ISR instructor, works with Caden Lill, 11 months old, of Massillon, teaching him to roll over and float on his back after falling into the water face down. This is Caden’s fourth week of lessons at the Massillon Recreation Center.
MASSILLON, OH — .It only takes seconds for the water to turn deadly.
Massillon resident Quanae Hewitt, a pool owner, wants to make sure her 101⁄2-month-old son has the skills to survive.
“We have an above ground pool and we enjoy being around water. It took one less worry away from us,” Hewitt said.
Hewitt’s son is enrolled in the Massillon Recreation Department’s new Aquatic Self-Rescue for Infants class, which features the Infant Swimming Resource, a swimming and self-rescue instruction method for children between six months and 6 years old.
“I wanted him to take a class and not only to teach him to enjoy the water but also so that he respects it. I wanted to give him a time where he could go out and have fun and use his skills to save his life,” Hewitt said.
The idea for Infant Swimming Resource was hatched in 1966 by Dr. Harvey Barnett. As an 18-year-old lifeguard, Barnett witnessed the tragic death of a neighbor’s child and vowed to do something about it. To date, there have been 788 documented cases of children using the technique to save themselves.
Hewitt said her son has progressed rapidly over the last several weeks.
“It was kind of hard on me at first, seeing him immersed in water and he was crying,” Hewitt said. “It’s amazing how much they learn in 10 minutes.”
The self-rescue method teaches infants to hold their breath under water, turn onto their backs and float unassisted. Children over a year old are taught the swim-float-swim sequence in which they learn how to hold their breath underwater, swim with their head down, roll onto their back to float, breathe and roll back over to continue swimming.

Children learn the self-rescue technique when they are fully clothed because most water accidents happen when children are clothed.
“These are not swim lessons. We are teaching kids how to rescue themselves,” class instructor Rich Thompson said. “I taught my daughter at 8 months old how to float on her back and she has been taught how to roll over and back and float indefinitely. ... We are teaching kids that the water is a fun place to be but we need to be giving them the skills to make them safe.”
To become a certified instructor, Thompson completed an intensive, five-week training program last year. Nationally, there are more than 180,000 instructors trained in the Infant Swimming Resource technique.
“I got interested because I have a 3 year old and a 16 month old and I have two pools on either side of me and that made me nervous,” Thompson said. “It’s something that I do that I think is important for the community.”
Appointments for the 15-minute classes are available from 7 to 10 a.m. and 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the recreation center. Classes run three to four weeks for children under 1 and four to six weeks for children over 1.
There is a $105 registration fee, plus $65 for Massillon Recreation Center members, $70 for Massillon residents and taxpayers and $75 for non-residents. To sign-up, contact Thompson at 330-834-1596 or For more information on Infant Swimming Resource, visit
Hewitt added she would recommended the class to anyone who has small children.
“It’s a great class. It’s an investment, but you can’t put a price on your child,” she said

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Orchid Vase

I am not very good at daily writing, but I wanted to show everyone a vase I made. But I suppose starting at the beginning is a good idea.... Sometimes when working with the clay, I don't always know where it is going to lead me, and I could make anything from a baby to an elf, or fairy, or a piece of jewelry... this time I had a vase in mind, for a wedding gift. So I had to find out just what color orchids the bride carried in her bouquet, and then I mixed those colors in polymer clay. I searched for really good photos of orchids on the internet, so I could get the details just as I had in mind.
These photos give you a fair idea how it all started. I think the largest of the orchids was no more than an inch across. the "white" parts are actually premo pearl and fimo white mixed together, and I don't measure anything so I don't know what proportion to what. I like the way premo pearl and white look together so I use that pretty often in other things, so it's okay to have some left over. the pink also has pearl in it, to give it that cymbidium sparkle. After I finished making the orchids, I mixed up a bunch of different colors of green; using green premo, premo pearly green, some yellow, some gold fimo, some black, some brown, and I am sure I am forgetting something, but since I have CRS it doesn't matter to me right now. so here are a couple pictures that show the greens laid out and ready to become leaves.
I got busy making leaves and applying them to an extremely plain glass vase, & sticking in a crystal or pearl here & there. CRS in full swing now, because I forgot to take pictures of any of the leaves or the application of them while I worked from that point to nearly the end! I baked it in my tiny toaster size clay oven, burnt two petals, because it just barely fit in that small oven at all! so it was a tad bit too close to the heating element. no worries, I took off the burnies, and put fresh clay in place, and used my heat gun to "bake" that repair work in place. If I hadn't mentioned it, no one would have ever known!! LOL!! I really had a good time making this vase, and I only spilled crystals into my laptop keyboard once!! Since my last blog about fixing my laptop screen, I did order and replace the keyboard on here too, so spilling is no small problem. I don't want to take this thing apart ever again!! In a couple of these photos, you can see my laptop thru the acrylic sheet I use as a work surface... anyway, no harm came this time, so I have moved the beads and crystals off the laptop so I don't have more problems. I really enjoy having a computer that works!! and now for the last pictures of the finished orchid vase.
these show the many shades of green & you can spot a crystal or a pearl here or there. I enjoyed making this and hope that you enjoy seeing it too. As of Friday April 3rd 2009, it belongs to my nephew Ryan and his bride Heather, May they use it in good health!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Life Intervened

This isn't what I had planned when I signed up to make a blog, but life intervened, and the screen on my laptop went black!!! AAAAAAAAaaaaa!! What to do? what to do?? There is no money for a new computer, and I really didn't want to lose all my files & photographs of my kids and my creations, so it was initially diagnosed as the inverter cable(???) being bad, so I was prepared to pay 185 bucks to have some guy in a little cubby-like store "conveniently located" in the front lobby part of walmart. Once he got the part in, I took this in, and when I went back to pick up what I thought would be repaired, he told me the bad news that it was not just the inverter cable, but the entire screen needed to be replaced!!! at the small cost of $287 for the screen and another $75per hour+ to install it!!! AAAAAAAaaaaa!! I have had this laptop since April 2005, and although I have tried really hard to be careful with it, it has been a desk and a craft table as well as my connection to the outside world. After over two months without my laptop or access to my photo programs, old files etc, I was going a little crazy... SO, I FINALLY DID IT!! I replaced the screen in my laptop last evening, unscrewing and screwing took the most of the time to do it! I did it all by myself!! and now that I can see what's on my screen again, (whoever you are) you get to see into my little world.
Some of you know me, & know that I make things with polymer clay... Fimo & Premo...primarily elves and fairies and such... I use a lot of beads, stones and crystals and many beads, stones and crystals have been (accidentally) dumped into this keyboard. Keyboards do not like having seed beads or crystals or stones dumped into them, and mine has revolted, or is revolting, however you want to look at it... the number *8 is missing completely, so I have to touch the little dot where the key used to be! the left shift key is also missing and I had to retrain myself to use the right shift key, and often times I skip using it altogether, typing only in lowercase. The space bar works when it wants to, as do the U-I-O keys. The U is actually super-glued in place. I used a white pen today to repaint the letters on some of the worn keys... lovely eh?

Anyway, since I was able to replace the screen myself, I saved over $150 bucks buying a new screen off of Ebay and being brave enough to install it myself. So, I have been brave again & ordered a new keyboard for this poor abused Inspiron! Hopefully by next Monday, I will have all the keys I need to type a little better than I do currently. Even with new keys, better typing isn't likely, LOL!!
Taking the bottom off to replace the keyboard will involve a lot more things no one is supposed to touch, but I think it will also allow me to get to the beads that went down inside the holes where the lid latches shut...LOL!! and I can get all the dust out too! And it won't cost me big $$$ parts + 75$ per hour (or any portion thereof ) to have the PC Doctor do it. It took me about one minute to install the screen, seriously! Turning those teeny tiny screws is what took the longest time (about 25-30 minutes total), but this time next week I will be turning screws again and fixing this messed up keyboard and it will be almost like having a brand new laptop. I am thrilled I braved the screen!! and I encourage anyone whose laptop screen 'goes black' to try it!
I can get to my photos now, so I can show you all some of the things I have made lately. I have been claying away in an effort to keep from going completely insane... I am only partially there! (I will save the insanity stories for another day) I know there are some pictures from way back in December, but it has been that long since I could access the photo program files! So, I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you see anything you like! UHMmmm, if I can figure out how to post more pictures... let me know if you see anything you like!! eventually I will figure out how to put a link to flckr on here too.