Monthly Archives: January 2016

KN, p. 163 “Snow Shoveling & Heart Attacks”



Snow shoveling and heart attacks. It seems like every winter we hear stories of otherwise seemingly healthy men, pitching over in the snow. Just a few days ago, I read about an off-duty cop (only in his 40s) dying while helping his neighbors dig out around their house.




Good guy on and off the job helping somebody in need, with a tragic ending to the story. And he wasn’t the only one. More than 30 people nationwide are reported to have died after shoveling snow last year.



Why does that happen? And what can you do to prevent it from happening to you?


First, let’s talk about the ‘why.’


It’s not just about the physical exertion of lifting the wet, heavy, sticky snow that Storm Jonas delivered this past weekend to most of the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. The air is colder than we are used to breathing, and the cold air causes blood vessels to constrict. Also (and news to me) cold air can cause clotting, which could lead to a blockage. So anybody with a known or unknown risk for high blood pressure is immediately placing more stress on the body before he/she ever lifts the first shovel full of snow.


We tend to shovel snow without warming up and without cooling down – both actions placing more stress on the heart. Lots of arm action also increases blood pressure. Combine all those typical factors together, and anybody that is at-risk already, may be in trouble out in the snow.




How do we keep from keeling over?


  • Warm up for about five minutes with stretches and side bends/turns.
  • If it’s really cold wear a scarf around your mouth so that the cold air gets filtered and stays a little warmer.
  • Use a smaller shovel or lift smaller amounts of snow.
  • Breathe in and completely out while you shovel. Shallow breaths don’t help here.
  • If you feel tired, stop. Pay a neighborhood kid to finish the job.
  • Work for no more than 30 minutes at a time, then take a break.
  • If you’re breathing hard, stop.
  • When you’re finished, cool down and walk around upright for a few minutes before going inside. (The body doesn’t like the shock of going back and forth quickly between extreme temperatures.)



Make sure that you take care of yourself, so that you can enjoy life on the golf course after the snow melts.



*Photos by Patti Phillips, taken in North Carolina and Texas.



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KN, p. 162 “Fan Favorites of 2015”



Kerrian’s Notebook readership was up again in 2015! Double wahoo!! More than ever, it seems as if readers and professional writers that follow the Notebook most enjoy learning about the nuts and bolts of crime as well as the crime fighters that take care of the bad guys.


The Top Ten favorites from 2015 are listed in reverse order. Click on the title to read that post.

Did your fave post of the year make the list? Let us know in the comment section below.


  1. Irish Brown Bread (p. 139)   Tasty, easy, and taste-tested by us.


  1. Murder at the Conference (p. 154)   Nefarious? Why, yes!


  1. Could you be a detective? (p. 134)   Do you have what it takes?


  1. Could you be a sniper? (p. 135)   It’s harder than just being a crack shot.


  1. What does the TSA really do? (p. 137)  It’s more than baggage handling.


  1. Is that a body under the deck? (p. 148)  The snakes were bummed that their own post (About the snakes..) didn’t make the Top Ten, but promised to keep the slithering to a minimum when they saw they had a mention in this post that did make the cut.


  1. Who are the Texas Rangers? (p. 144)  Many, many thanks to the Johnsons for their valuable insights, and years of service to the great State of Texas.


  1. What does a Texas Ranger do? (p. 145)  Soooooo much!


  1. What poisons were in Agatha Christie’s books? (p. 133)  Christie is a perennial favorite of mystery readers around the world and the poisons she used to dispatch many of the victims in her books were well researched.


  1. How to Become a Texas Ranger” (p. 146) Apparently, there are either a LOT of people that are curious about the qualifications for becoming a Texas Ranger, or there will be a ton of books with Rangers as the featured characters published in the future. This post was read by more people than any other Top Ten Kerrian’s Notebook post in previous years.


To all the Kerrian’s Notebook readers all over the globe:


Your comments, reactions and enthusiastic participation through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, emails and on the site itself, mean the world.

Many thanks for continuing to follow us as we travel around the country doing research, collecting odd stories and sharing weird facts about fires, EMS scenes, crime, and the people charged with helping the community when bad things happen.


Kerrian’s Notebook fans are the best on the planet!


*Photo taken by Patti Phillips at the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, Texas.






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KN, p. 161 “Kerrian’s 2016 Resolutions”



How many of you make resolutions every January and then completely drop the ball in less than a month? You promise yourself that you will lose 10 pounds, join a gym, stop texting so much, stop complaining about the boss and just change jobs…but for whatever reason, something always gets in the way.


I feel your pain. I did so badly on my 2014 resolutions that I didn’t make any at all for 2015. Not a one. This year, I’m feelin’ lucky. I’m more driven. I’m gonna get it done. After last year, Sheila’s laughing a lot while I write this and she says I’m on my own.


Here’s the 2014 list and how I did in 2015:


1. Play more golf.

It rained more than ever and I didn’t want to slog through the mud, so it was actually less golf.


2. Watch more football.

Didn’t happen. I had to do some needed work on the roof, the deck, the ramp, and a couple of windows and it seemed like the only sunny days were also football days.


3. Tell the Post Office not to deliver any fruitcake packages.

They did anyway. The mail gal laughed every time she dropped one off. 26 last season.


4. Take a test drive in a Ferrari 458 Italia.

Never got a chance. It rained on the day we scheduled and then the rain date was rained out.


5. Keep visiting the new Irish pub.

That I did. Great place.


6. Work with Habitat for Humanity on the houses lost during Sandy.

We were stalled by the insurance people and only worked on a few. Sadly, there were lots of lawsuits involved and many of the homeowners were not allowed to get back into the houses while the legal games continued.


7. Clean out the attic. Maybe. I may need nudging for this one.

Mostly done and then we inherited some plates and Christmas decorations and some furniture, so the attic is full again.


8. Break 90 on the golf course.

Didn’t play enough. I’ll save playing in the rain for the Scotland trips.


9. Clean out the attic. Sheila made me write it twice.

It was her relatives that gave us the extra stuff.


10. Get a book recommendation at www.nightstandbookreviews.com

Yup, we both did that.   🙂


2016 will be different. I acknowledge that some of my goals were too lofty and depended on the actions of other people and/or Mother Nature herself.  So, here’s what I’m thinking. I will list only things over which I have control.


Yeah, I know that was a dumb statement, but it sounded good in my head. 😉


Here’s the can-do list for 2016:


  1. Take more naps. They’re good for you.


  1. Donate the 18 fruitcakes to my pals at the Post Office. Regifting is like recycling, right?


  1. Buy a bigger umbrella to keep me dry.


  1. Get a guy in to dig a trench to channel the water around the property, so that I can stop the flooding around the foundation and take more naps.


  1. Plant a pink dogwood to improve the front view. Very calming when the view is relaxing.


  1. Figure out a way to continue the 10,000 step program inside while it’s raining outside. Maybe I’ll walk a lap inside each room, add up all the steps and repeat the laps a few times a day.


  1. Take out my photos of the golf course to remind me of what it looks like on a sunny day. Dreaming and reminiscing is good for the blood pressure.


  1. Practice putting on the rug. It’s bound to stop raining some day, and part of my short game will be ready when the golf course is no longer covered with mud and puddles.


  1. Read more books recommended by the gal at www.nightstandbookreviews.com She’s never steered us wrong.


  1. Thank all the Kerrian’s Notebook followers!!! The readership keeps on growing every year and that makes us both smile. Smiling is always good for the soul!


Happy 2016 everyone! Spread a little kindness, smile more, and make 2016 a great one.    🙂






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