Monthly Archives: April 2010

Caring For The Elderly – Ease Into Care Giving

Caring for the Elderly may be your lot if your parents don’t pass away young.  At some point, you are going to begin helping them with the everyday affairs of life.

Your involvement may escalate as they grow older and have more needs.  You may find yourself a full-fledged caregiver for one or both of your parents if they reach a time that they cannot live independently.

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However, as they age, you may have to step in and make a few minor changes in their living environment so they will feel safe and comfortable.  It’s wonderful to see parents grow old together and still have the opportunity to live in their own home.

1.  If at all possible, create their living space on one level.  Stairs can be difficult to climb as well as a hazard for an elderly person.   It may even require a bit of remodeling to make sure the kitchen, living area, bedroom and bath are on the same level.  A laundry room must also be provided on the same floor.

2.  Reorganize drawers and cupboards so your parents will be able to find what they need easily.  Placing dishes, linens, and important appliances at eye level will eliminated the need for them to stand on a stool to reach them.

3.  Services like shopping, house cleaning, simple repairs can be handled by outside services that are set up for helping the elderly.  However, if they cost a bit more than your folks can afford, you may be the one taking on these responsibilities. Set up a schedule for these needs to be handled that will be convenient for you both of you.

4.  If your parents can be responsible to take their medications correctly, by all means let them do it.  However, if they need to be monitored, medications can be given by home health care professional who will drop in once a day to administer them.

5.  If necessary, put grab bars in the bathtub, and other places where your folks may need additional support.  Also, make sure they have enough light so they will have plenty of visibility.

With a little planning, you can help your folks keep their independence in their own home.  This will allow you to slowly ease into care giving before extensive care is needed in the future.

Til Later,

Kathy

Insightful Nana

P.S.  My mom just turned 90 and is needing full time care.  I’m grateful to have 3 sisters that share in the care giving responsibilities.

Wheat Storage – Dry Beans and Rice Storage

Now is the time to invest your wheat storage and other long term dry food storage such as dry beans and rice.  These dry foods are the basics for emergency food storage.
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The prices were sky high about a year ago, but the cost of dry foods are relatively low at this time.

A five gallon bucket of wheat (45 lbs.) is running $12.00 to $14.00 a bucket in comparison to $22.00 to $25.00 last year.  A  50 lb. bag of wheat costs around $12.98 rather than last year’s price tag of $25.00 to $30.00.

Pinto beans have dropped in price also.  A year ago I paid $25.00 for a 20 lb. bag and recently I paid $13.00 for a 25 lb. bag on sale.

Rice is was up last year to $18.00 for a 20 lb. bag.  Today, I paid $7.98 for a 20 lb. bag that is on sale.

Why stock up on dried long term foodstuffs?

Long Term Food Storage Shelf Life

Wheat:  The shelf life for properly storing wheat is…. well forever.  They found wheat in Egyptian pyramids that was around 2000 years old and it was still good.  It’s best stored in a temperature of under 72 degrees in a dry place.  It should be protected from freezing.

Pinto Beans:  Along with pintos, storing red beans and navy beans have a shelf life of 20 to 30 years.  As with storing wheat… it should be placed in a tight container and stored in temperatures not above 72 degrees and not below freezing.

Rice:  White rice, if stored properly and under 72 degrees will keep from 8 to 10 years.

Nutrition:

Wheat and beans can be sprouted.  It gives these foods additional nutritional value on top of what you get when they are prepared in traditional ways.

Bartering:

If times really get tough… and I’m certainly not predicting anything here…. you can use these dry foods to trade and barter for other items that you may need.

So… stock up your basic food storage and be prepared… long term.  It’s my understanding that prices will increase this year because of a number of factors… weather, and shortages.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  I just opened a can of wheat kernels that I’ve had for over 35 years.  Just perfect.

P.P.S.  We’ll  be talking in detail about how to prepare these dry foods for long term food storage.  Just wanted to give you a heads up on prices.

Spring Gardening Information – Gardening Advice

Spring is on it’s way and warm weather days are tucked in between cold days.  When the sun is out and it’s warm…it’s a good time to get out and do a bit of cleaning up.  A little spring gardening information is in order.

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1.  It’s a perfect time to for a general, over all clean up.  Rake up the general debris of branches, leaves and other litter that may have blown into your yard during the winter months.  Don’t worry about turning the soil just now…  just focus on the larger picture.

2.  The task of pruning shrubs and sheering hedges can be attended to now.  This will leave way for the new green foliage to appear in a few weeks.

A bit of gardening advice here.  Don’t prune flowering shrubs now…. or they will not bloom.  Allow them to bloom this season and then trim them back after the flowers have subsided.  The flower buds are formed during the winter so cutting them back now is not wise.

3.  Now is the time to add Preen weed control to your flower beds. The fact that you may have snow, or rain during the week after your application… will give the Preen a chance to dissolve into the soil.  Putting Preen on your beds now prevent weeds from sprouting early and bearing seeds before you have a chance to get out and turn the soil.

4.  If you have been burning wood in a fire place or stove, perhaps it’s time to clean up and re-stack the wood pile.  You won’t be using much wood from now on.  (It’s also a good time to clean out your fireplace or wood burning stove if your don’t plan to use it again until next fall.)

5. After your general spring garden clean up, it’s a good time too apply your first application of lawn fertilizer.  You may want to discuss the type of fertilizer you need for your particular lawn with your nurseryman.   They generally have folks who can give you responsible gardening advice.

Take advantage of the few spring storms that will still be coming your way to help your lawn fertilizer dissolve into the soil and give your lawn roots the nutrients they need.

There you go… that will keep you busy for a few weeks.  I love getting out and getting a bit of fresh air after being cooped up in my house all winter.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  If you happen to live in an area that is blessed with mild weather all winter long…ignore the above message… and spend your time counting your blessings.

Printable Mother’s Day Cards – Mother’s Day Cards to Color

Here are a couple of printable Mother’s Day Cards you can print in a snap. These unique cards are designed for your kids to attach their small school photos. Of course… they can color the card… or there is a pre-colored card available for them to just cut and give. I suggest the cards be printed matte photo paper or card stock.

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I just read that Mother’s Day is one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States. The occasion is now celebrated not so much with flags as with gifts, cards, hugs, thank yous and other tokens of affection.

I’m pretty easy when it comes to Mother’s day. In fact this year, the mothers in our family will be sharing the day with my grandson Wyatt. He will celebrate his 14th birthday. We will also be celebrating Easter with the belated Easter Egg hunt… since the weather played havoc on April 3rd.

So… all in all… we plan to have a fine day. Hope you will too.

Black and White Cards

Pre Colored Cards

Enjoy!

Til Later,

Kathy
Insightful Nana

P.S. How are you going to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Does your family take the lead… or do you?

Fresh Asparagus – Easy Asparagus Recipe

dinner-mealFresh asparagus is a favorite at our house.  I remember the days when my son, Brad, went asparagus hunting in the fields behind our home.  As soon as the spring warm weather hit…he was on the lookout for asparagus.  He would roam the fields, among the tall grasses and look for asparagus spears that were peeking their heads above ground.  When the asparagus was just right, he would fill a sack with the spears and bring them home to be cooked and savored.

Those days are long gone now… and  the fields, of grasses and asparagus, have been replaced by homes.   Now I’m forced to purchase my asparagus from the store.   However, in the spring,  my local grocery store has plenty of fresh asparagus on hand and it’s been surprisingly tender.  So….when the season is in full swing… I load up.

I happened to be at my daughter Katie’s home several weeks ago and she was just taking fresh asparagus out of the oven.  I usually steam my asparagus… so seeing it come out of the oven was a surprise.  It was so tender and good that I want to share this easy asparagus recipe with you.

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The ingredients are:  Fresh tender asparagus (any amount you like.)  Olive Oil. (I happen to have Light Olive Oil on hand but use your preference.)  Sea Salt.  (I use a course sea salt… but use what you prefer.)  Fresh grated Parmeson cheese.  (If you don’t grate your own… grab a package of grated Parmeson cheese at the store.  I pick mine up at Costco.   That’s all of the ingredients you will need.

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Cover a cookie sheet or baking sheet with aluminum foil.

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Cut off the ends of your asparagus.

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Wash your asparagus spears.

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Spread the asparagus across the baking sheet so each spear is exposed.  Don’t stack.

add-oil

Drizzle Olive oil over the asparagus.  Don’t worry about getting too much on the asparagus… they need to be covered.  I drizzle oil and then turn the spears so they are covered well.  (Olive oil is good for what ails ya.)

add-salt

Sprinkle the asparagus with sea salt.  (Remember… sea salt is strong so you don’t need much.  I went a bit over board…so don’t follow my lead by what you see in this photo.  Cut back a bit.)

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Pop the the pan under the broiler.  I timed my for 2 1/2 minutes.  You may want to check yours before the time is up.  I would’nt go much past 2 1/2 minutes if your spears are thin and tender.

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Pull out the pan and sprinkle on your cheese.  Pop it back under the broiler for 15 sec.  Check… to see if cheese is melted.  If not…. pop it back in for a couple of seconds more.

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That’s it… an easy asparagus recipe for you.  Fresh asparagus is just the ticket for Easter dinner.

Hope you enjoy this fresh asparagus recipe as much as my family does.   As soon as I place the pan on top the stove… some one snags a spear.  Smack those hands!

Til Later,

Kathy

Insightful Nana

P.S.  I put fresh asparagus and about a tablespoon of water  in a plastic bag and tie up the end.  Pop it into the microwave for about 2 minutes and it comes out just right.  You don’t want to over cook it… leave it a bit firm.

P.P.S.  Also, I cut the raw asparagus into 1″ to 1/12″  chunks and cook them in the bag… using the method above. (I only cook them 1 min.)  When they come out of the microwave, I run the bag under cold water… cooling the fresh asparagus quickly.   (Just remember not to over cook it.)   I pop open the bag, drain the liquid and dry the asparagus with a paper towel.  Put the chunks into a clean zip lock bag and store in the fridge.  It’s a perfect addition to a fresh green salad.  Hmmmm Good!

Just another easy asparagus recipe.