Volunteer to Wrap Gifts!

Our gift wrapping booth is opening at the Capitola Mall this FRIDAY!  If you like to wrap gifts, please consider taking a 4 hour shift with us!

We will be sharing our space this year with Project Purr, Santa Cruz Animal Welfare Coalition, and Santa Cruz County Animal Services for their Home for the Holidays adoption drive – so if you volunteer on the right day, you might get to hang out with some adorable critters.

To volunteer, please call Lindsay at 831-462-2881 x14!

P.S. – If you think your days might be a little brighter with the pitter-patter of furry little paws, consider adopting an animal.  Check out the websites above to view some of the adoptable animals in Santa Cruz County…  or come check out Home for the Holidays at the Capitola Mall December 2, 9, 13, 16, and 20th.

I have two adopted cats at home (shamless promotion of my own cats), Spike and Xander.  They do things like this:


There’s not much that’s cuter than that.

As always, make sure that you can take care of a pet before you adopt… but I assure you, there is nothing more rewarding than a “thank you” from a cat (or dog, i suspect).

Turkey Bombs and other Thanksgiving mishaps…

Ever wonder what can happen if you don’t cook your Turkey correctly?  It might turn out dry… it’s true.  Also, this might happen:

Did you know that Thanksgiving is statistically the day that sees the most home fires in the US?  Of course, we’re not all deep frying our turkeys… but most of us are cooking with fire.  Here are some fire safety tips to make your season bright (in a good way).

Since Thanksgiving usually involves preparing lots of food, cooking safety should be a priority. Unfortunately, cooking fires are more likely to occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year according to the National Fire Protection Association. In fact, each year more than 4,000 fires occur on this holiday.

The Red Cross offers the following tips to prevent home fires this Thanksgiving:

  • Monitor your cooking at all times. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of Thanksgiving Day home fires.
  • Keep potholders and food wrappers at least three feet away from heat sources while cooking.
  • Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves when cooking.
  • Make sure all stoves, ovens and ranges have been turned off when you leave the kitchen.
  • Set timers to keep track of turkeys and other food items that require extended cooking times.
  • Turn handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.
  • Follow all manufacturer guidelines regarding the appropriate use of appliances.
  • After guests leave, designate a responsible adult to walk around the home, making sure that all candles and smoking materials are extinguished.

Finally, it’s important for every household to make sure to have working smoke alarms. In a recent study commissioned by the Red Cross and National Fire Protection Association, 37% of respondents admitted to disabling a smoke alarm when it went off unexpectedly. The Red Cross encourages people to install smoke alarms on every level of their house and outside sleeping areas and to test the batteries once a month.

Even with the best preparation and precautions, accidents can happen. Cooking-related burns are a common hazard of the Thanksgiving holiday. For a superficial burn, cool the area by running it under cold water until the heat eases and then loosely cover the burn with a sterile dressing to help prevent infection. A critical burn requires medical attention.

Choking is another threat to a happy holiday dinner. Common causes of choking include talking while eating; eating too fast; and trying to swallow large pieces of poorly chewed food. If you feel as if food may be caught in your throat, never leave the room—stay where others can see you and help if your airway becomes blocked.

To help someone who is choking, remember “FIVE-and-FIVE Can Keep Them Alive.” First, ask the person if they are able to breathe and if you can help. Once you know the person is unable to cough, speak or breathe, have someone call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.

Lean the person forward and give FIVE sharp back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. If the obstruction isn’t dislodged, stand behind the person and give FIVE quick, upward thrusts into the abdomen. Repeat back blows and abdominal thrusts as necessary. If you are alone, you can perform abdominal thrusts on yourself, just as you would on someone else. Thrusts can also be administered by leaning over and pressing your abdomen firmly against an object such as the back of a chair.

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