Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Reasons to Shop at a Farmers Market

Freshly picked, in season produce is at its peak in flavor and nutrition.
Food tastes better, produce ripens in the field instead of in cold storage containers.

Support your local farmers and economy.
You can help new and smaller farmers be successful and save farmland in your area.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

It's a great way to get your kids involved.
Let them pick out something new to try, then they can help prepare a meal and add variety to your diet by buying and trying something in season.

Supporting your local farmers market strengthens your community.

Meet your local farmers, learn about foods grown in your area and catch up with friends and neighbors while stocking up with local goods. 

Friday, July 31, 2015


There is something so satisfying about a handful of brightly colored sharpened pencils along with a crisp piece of paper and Coloring for Adults is the next new hot hobby.   In addition to providing an outlet for your creative instincts, coloring can be a calming (almost meditative) activity that allows your mind to be focused on the NOW and be in the moment.

An added bonus is the fact that coloring is an inexpensive hobby - no pricy supplies or equipment to buy.  Colored pencils can be found at all office supply or big box stores for less than ten dollars and adult coloring books can be purchased at most book stores.  Coloring pages are also available online and can be downloaded for free.
Access for people
If you or someone you're caring for has limited mobility, ease of entry and exit is a big deal in a car. Life will be easier for seniors if they can get into and out of the car by themselves with ease.

Avoid low-slung cars and mile-high trucks or SUVs. Instead, minivans and crossovers offer good ease of access.

Minivans, such as a Honda Odyssey, don't require a huge step up to get into the vehicle, and their seats are at hip level for many adults, which means they're easy to lower yourself into and get out of.

Access for stuff
Caring for someone else often means traveling with a lot of stuff. Make things easy on yourself by using a car that can handle a walker or wheelchair and makes loading and unloading easy

Also consider how high the cargo (truck) load floor is, particularly if the person you're caring for has heavy equipment that needs to be transported. On some cars you have to lift very high (above your hips or waist) to get items into the trunk area. If you're dealing with a heavy wheelchair, that will take a toll on your back.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pet Theft Prevention Tips

Most dog owners consider their four-legged friend a part of the family, so the thought of the family pet getting stolen is unimaginable. With pet theft consistently on the rise, dog owners need to practice caution when it comes to their pooch. To help keep dogs safe, the American Kennel Club (AKC®) offers tips for protecting your pet from theft.

  • Keep your dog close. Keeping your dog on-leash and close to you during walks will reduce the likelihood of him wandering off and catching the attention of thieves.
  • Never leave your dog unattended in your yard. When your dog is outside by himself in the yard, especially if it’s visible from the street, your dog becomes an easy target.
  • Be cautious with information about your dog. If strangers approach you to admire your dog when you’re out on walks, be careful with how much information you give. Don’t reveal how much your dog cost or details about where you live.
  • Don’t tie your dog outside a store. Leaving your dog tied outside of a store can be a recipe for disaster. If you need to go shopping, go to dog-friendly stores or leave your dog at home.
  • Protect your dog with microchip identification – Collars and tags can be removed so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip. Keep contact information current with your microchip recovery service provider so you can always be found should your dog be recovered. For more information, enroll your pet in a 24-hour recovery service and sign-up at
For more pet theft prevention and recovery tips, visit

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Keep Tax and Financial Records Safe

Keep Tax and Financial Records Safe in Case of a   
                                Natural Disaster
Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and other natural disasters are more common in the summer and fall. The IRS encourages you to take a few simple steps to protect your tax and financial records in case a disaster strikes.

The IRS has five tips from to help you protect your important records:

Document Valuables.  Take pictures or videotape the contents of your home. These may help you prove the value of your lost items for insurance claims and casualty loss deductions. Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster and Theft firesLoss Workbook, can help you determine your loss if a disaster strikes.

Update Emergency Plans.  Review your emergency plans every year. You may need to update them each time your personal situation changes.

Get Copies of Tax Returns or Transcripts. Request for Copy of Tax Return, to replace lost or destroyed tax returns. If you just need information from your return, you can order a transcript online.

Backup Records Electronically.  Keep an extra set of electronic records in a safe place away from where you store the originals. You can use an external hard drive, CD or DVD to store the most important records. You can take these with you to keep your copies safe. Count on the IRS.  The IRS has a Disaster Hotline to help people with tax issues after a disaster. Call the IRS at 1-866-562-5227 to speak with a specialist trained to handle disaster-related tax issues.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Caregiver Stress

Dealing with Caregiver Stress
                                     Susan E. Thompson, MSW, LCSW
                                     Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

Stress is a very real consequence of the ongoing responsibilities of caregivers on top of their own personal life's demands.  The term "hidden patients" refers to those folks that have taken on the tasks of caregiving for their loved ones - in various capacities. Sometimes it involves actually living with the patient - other times it is caring for the patient’s needs by periodic visits or remotely coordinating support for them.

The stress can be emotional, physical and financial. It can lead to burnout if not dealt with properly.  Caregiver stress can manifest itself in various symptoms:
               -Feeling Trapped, Anxious or Depressed
               -Feeling Exhausted and Overwhelmed
               -Feeling Helpless/Weary and easily Agitated
               -Guilt -for Feeling what you are Feeling

It is so important - and yet often difficult to get or accept help for ourselves and our loved ones. First, you must recognize there is a problem.  Second, you must be willing to do something different.  Consider trying the following:

Set realistic goals for yourself.

Set priorities - daily, weekly, etc.

Avoid being a perfectionist. (A guaranteed recipe for frustration.)

Learn to say "No" to invites, to activities that only serve to stress you further.

Allow others to help you - if you have someone to whom you can delegate a task - give them something specific to do for example, sit with loved one for a few hours one day while you take a break.

Utilize community services where available for: day respite programs, meal delivery or medical appointment transportation for your loved one.

Consider hiring an individual or service to help with those tasks that would help YOU the most. Have them help with:

   Sitting with Patient - companion services
   Transportation to medical appointments
   Paying bills
   Light housekeeping/laundry assistance

-Plan something fun/enjoyable for yourself at least weekly so that you have something to look forward to. Go out to a movie or have dinner with a friend.

-Stay in touch with someone you can talk to - friend, therapist or neighbor.

Remember.... Taking care of you is not selfish it enables you to continue to be available to help care for those you love.

                                                                                   Printed with permission


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Emergency Planning for Pets

§  Know where to go with your pets if you must leave your home unexpectedly.  Keep a list of pet friendly hotels, if you are unable to stay in your home.
§  Know that your pet is up to date on vaccines. Make sure your pet is protected against diseases that he might be exposed to in a shelter or boarding facility.
§  Know  your pet’s favorite items.  Bring a favorite toy or bed with familiar scents these can reduce anxiety.  Bring drinking water and food for at least a 4 day stay for Kitty or Fido.
§  Know that your pet has been micro-chipped and/or wears an identification collar. This is a simple way for people to contact you if your pet has been found. Most shelters have scanning wands that can read a microchip that contain your pet’s identification.
A Final Tip, take a picture of yourself or family member with your pet and email it to yourself. This photo can help to document ownership if you are separated from your pet (as if a furry of face licking and tail wagging isn’t enough).