Be Prepared

It pays to be prepared. Little things can make a big difference in how you handle an emergency.

I remember when Seattle had some pretty deep snowfalls. The weight of the snow and ice brought down tree limbs, resulting in power outages for two weeks or longer. The snow took our electricity, but because it wasn’t a city-wide outage, we got our power restored in six hours. As I lit my candles and made sure my natural gas stove was burning, I wondered how people with only electric appliances were doing.

Be Prepared

The first step to being prepared is to check the weather history of your area and see what weather emergencies are the most common. In Seattle, we don’t worry about hurricanes, but we do have high winds in the spring and fall that topples trees, sometimes an entire forest area at a time. In my area, the trees fall to the north, so I took down large Douglas Fir trees on my south side and planted some “people friendly” trees that won’t destroy my home or cars when they fall.

Prepare alternate sources of heat, light, water, and money.
  • Heat: have a pellet stove, wood burning, or natural gas stove that will keep your house warm. Avoid what happened a few years ago in Texas where the windmills froze, killing some people without electricity.
  • Light: flashlights are nice, but batteries don’t last forever, so keep some candles in a box, along with some matches or a lighter.
  • Water: in case of flooding, clean drinking water is a must.
  • Money: when the cash registers won’t take your credit cards for lack of electricity, cash is always accepted. Keep a reasonable amount on hand, to buy food or medicines.

Forest fires are on the rampage because the federal forests are not being managed like they used to. If the underbrush is not cut (making tinder) and mature trees not harvested like we used to do, then it sets up a situation where the forests burn so hot it is almost impossible to put them out. If you live in an area where this might happen, make sure you have fireproof shingles and siding and cut away trees from the house. Hot fires send sparks airborne, so that a strong wind carries the fire miles ahead of the actual burn. Also fix a “bug-out bag” so that you can leave instantly if you have to. Know your escape routes before you have to drive.

Think ahead.

Don’t be like the man who prepared for a hurricane by buying a large amount of steaks to put in his freezer so that he’d have enough to eat. After he got them home, he realized he wouldn’t have any electricity to keep the freezer going. So, he set up his barbecue and invited all his neighbors over for a steak dinner.

One of my books, Stolen Secrets, is set during an unexpected pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm that we had some years ago in Seattle. Another book, Turnagain Love, is set on a small island, where the heroine discovers she doesn’t have any water or electricity or a way to get off the island. Another survival book, The Toughest Man in the Territory, is set in Wyoming near Yellowstone Park.

Nancy Radke Christmas

A FREE gift for you!

Avalanche Puppy is FREE in the Kindle Store Dec 9, 10, and 11.

Avalanche Puppy

 

Christmas Romance and Holiday Luv

The Christmas season is a time when calories don’t count and corny is in and wearing bright reds and greens that make you look awful is fun. Of course, it is also a great time to cozy in and read some Christmas romance and soak up the holiday cheer with characters who fall in love under the mistletoe.

In that spirit my boxed set Holiday Luv Bundle will be FREE through Dec 12. After that you can still get it free in Kindle Unlimited.

Christmas Romance

If you are ready for a holiday romance binge, check out these other multi-author sets available now for 99¢ or free with Kindle Unlimited:

Holiday Hearts

Never Enough Christmas – Holiday Hearts

Love Will Find a Way

Love Will Find a Way – Christmas

And if you follow the Irresistible series, you can get our latest Christmas romance set here:

Christmas Romance

Irresistible – Unexpected Christmas Gifts

Now go make some hot chocolate, grab your favorite Christmas cookies, and curl up in your favorite chair with your e-reader as you escape into some holiday love. Not enough Christmas romance for you? Click here to see all our bargain bundles.

 

Early Childhood Education — The home is a far better teacher than public schools

Investigators discovered that kids who were sent to public pre-schools for early childhood education learned early, but didn’t advance like kids who had been taught at home before they entered school. The kids taught at home kept accelerating past the ones who had been put into public classes where there were many kids. The one on one teaching with a loving parent outshone the public school, where it mainly turned into babysitting, or worse.

If you have a child in today’s government schools, you are fortunate if your child’s teacher finds time to teach phonics “on the side.” The reading materials currently furnished by the schools do actual physical harm that can be observed in brain scans, handicapping the child for life. The government’s own data show that less than a third of its child victims are proficient in any core subject.

The answer to this is:

Don’t wait for the schools. Any teaching done at home is better than what the schools are doing. Teach your child to read and do math before they enter school. It does NOT have to be done regularly or often. A young child soaks up learning at an amazing rate. Start math at age 3, reading at age 4.

Use objects: blocks or sticks or marbles or rocks to teach counting and basic math. “If you have four oranges and give two oranges to your teddy bear, how many oranges will you have left?” Then switch to using an abacus. There are online programs showing you how to use them, starting at age 4. After a while, a four-year-old can visualize the abacus and do complex problems in his head. If you wait until they are older, they can’t do this. For math from K-college, go to Khan academy, free, and includes other sciences.

For reading, go to www.raisingupgiants.wixsite.com/free  Start this program at age four and expect huge gains from little effort on your part. It contains four videos plus a small reader. Watch video #1 if you are fearful or doubt you can teach. Otherwise start with video #2. And if you can, at all possible, keep your child out of most public schools. You won’t see any of our leaders sending their kids to them.

I have a free romance novella centered about reading, called Christmas on Cougar Mountain. Another novella, this one about a teacher, Zsuzsa’s Christmas Wish, is free this weekend.

Early Childhood Education

Zsuzsa's Christmas Wish

 

Too Busy To Take a Vacation? Think Again by Taylor Lee

Can you buy a ticket to a better mood? Hop a flight to a healthier heart? The travel industry would say yes—and increasingly, so does science. And so do I. My guy and I just returned from four weeks in Grand Junction, Colorado. If you haven’t been there, add it to your must-visit list. Breathtaking mountain cliffs, red rock canyons, the hub of  Colorado’s wine country, beautiful golf courses nestled in canyons (check out my photo below)… and peaches!  I promise you once you eat a Palisade peach, you’ll never be satisfied with grocery store peaches again.

Vacation

Back to the benefits of vacations. For decades, researchers have been probing the benefits of vacations. Almost across the board, they’ve found evidence that vacations can positively impact everything from blood pressure to energy levels. But you do need to take those days off, a challenge for many Americans. “We’re one of the only advanced economies that does not guarantee paid leave,” says Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, and director of the Better Life Lab at the think tank New America. One in four Americans has no access to paid vacation, and those who do often don’t use it, she says. See her reasons below confirming why and how vacations positively affect our health.

Seven health benefits of taking a vacation

Studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and mental health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. If you still need a little convincing, here is a list of some of the additional benefits of taking time away from work.

  1. Improved physical health Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women, the New York Times reported, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
  2. Improved mental health Neuroscientists have found that chronic exposure to stress can alter your brain structure and bring on anxiety and depression. When you take a vacation, feelings of calm arise and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn’t if it were still under pressure.
  3. Greater well-being According to a Gallup study, people who “always make time for regular trips” had a 68.4 score on the Gallup-Heathway’s Well-Being Index, in comparison to a 51.4 Well-Being score for less frequent travelers. One study found that three days after vacation, subjects’ physical complaints, quality of sleep, and mood had improved compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacation.
  4. Increased mental motivation Many who return from vacation are more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can make it difficult to achieve certain tasks and cause memory problems. Taking time off can be like getting a tune-up for the brain, improving your mental health and cognition.
  5. Improved family relationships Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong. A study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
  6. Decreased burnout Employees who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts. Another way to manage burnout is through the Oxygen Mask Rule: “Secure your masks before assisting others.” In other words, address your mental, physical and spiritual needs before committing to responsibilities benefitting others outside of your immediate family.
  7. Boosted happiness Research shows planning a vacation can boost your happiness. Some people experience an elevated mood up to eight weeks before the trip. The bottom line is, take a vacation if you can. When you take time away from the stresses of work and daily life, it can improve our physical and mental health, motivation, relationships, job performance and perspective. A vacation can help you feel refreshed and more prepared to handle whatever comes when you return.

As you plan your next vacation, be sure and add these great books to your “must take-along”.

EXPOSED

Exposed

FREE September 26-27

  • A renegade police officer infiltrates a dangerous cartel intending to take down its leader.•Little does she know that the handsome Drug Lord is a special operative hotshot heading up a mission two years in the making.

    •Learning who the outrageous woman is, the undercover commander does the only thing he can to protect the mission, and her. He claims her for his own.

And add to your must-read list our Author’s Billboard sensation:
Unforgettable Loyalty: Craving and Devotion

Unforgettable Loyalty

Is there anything more important in a relationship than loyalty from the one you love…

My book in the set is:

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Knockin On Heaven's Door

She’s a go-it-alone detective. He’s a psychiatrist and FBI profiler. A serial killer brings them together. In more ways than one.

Deacon Walsh has more degrees than any one man should. A former Special Ops physician, psychiatrist, and now FBI profiler, the stunning black agent has spent a year tracking the serial killer of four Colorado girls. When the trail goes cold, a brutal murder of an Albuquerque girl with all the marks of his victims convinces Deacon his killer is responsible.

Unfortunately, in addition to being brilliant, Deacon is also charming. And to Tyra’s dismay, as accomplished a lover as he is an agent.