Saturday, February 28, 2015

Enjoy Plan B When Weekend Weather Creates Havoc

What a great weekend we had planned! A good friend completed her nursing program and we finally had the time to go over the mountains to Sacramento for a celebration. I drove into Reno to bring Mary home for pet-sitting. Instead of sunshine on the way home, this is what we encountered.

The dark clouds looked so ominous!

The forecast for lots of snow ended the plans to drive over Donner Summit. 

Instead, we incorporated Plan B for our weekend. We’re going to cook and bake some of the yummy items we’ve encountered in the blogs we love to read. 

The snow could not decide if it wanted to cover our yard or not.

Cinnamon rolls, ravioli, cookies, and freezable mashed potatoes are high on today’s list.  I’m glad we made a backup activity to ease the disappointment of a cancelled trip. 

What do you do when your carefully planned events are postponed?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Traveling Tuesdays: Five Best and Worst States for Senior Health

Do you plan to move after retirement?

Are you planning on moving in your Golden Years? The following ten states, rated best and worst for senior health, may affect your decision!

Best in the Nation

1.Minnesota is the best state for seniors 65 and older. A higher number of seniors participate in dental care. Nearly 70% of Minnesota seniors report they are able-bodied.

2. Hawaii has happy seniors, which increases their life. The low number of smokers and overweight citizens adds to the state’s healthy history.

3. New Hampshire offers quality nursing homes that give good care to residents. Over 90% of residents ages 65 – 74 participate in recommended screening like colonoscopies and mammograms.  

4. Vermont seniors aged 65 and over report very good or excellent health. Healthy people are happy, which lowers mortality rate. Fewer seniors smoke in Vermont.

5. Massachusetts has high participation rates in health screenings and dental visits for seniors which promotes good health. Physical activity is very high.

Worst in the Country

5. Arkansas has one out of every four adults 60 and older facing hunger on a constant basis. Without proper nutrition, the body cannot fight disease.

 4. Oklahoma senior citizens have a low record of physical activity and the most hip fractures in the US.  Hip fractures result in long-term care and consequent depression.

3. Kentucky reports the most inactive seniors in the nation. Illnesses like bacterial pneumonia are ignored until they require hospitalization.

2. Louisiana has the highest number of obese senior citizens in the U.S., leading to diseases like stroke and diabetes.

1. Mississippi’s senior health is worst of all, starting with the most cognitive difficulties and highest percentage of senior poverty. Unhappiness, hunger, and lack of health care are the result.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Life Just Got Easier

Storms arrive during any season causing havoc!
 The wind brought down several trees last week. One of the tall birch trees along the driveway was uprooted. Fortunately, it fell against the juniper bushes and held there, instead of blocking our way out.

Moving the tree was a bigger project than I could handle by myself. I contacted one tree cutter in the area, but his price was too high ($700!) just to cut it in half to move it to a safer location. 
This peach tree was snapped from 100 mph winds in 2014.

On the way home from the store I stopped to ask a person who was cutting up downed trees what he’d charge to cut the tree in half for me. He said I’d have to ask his boss, who was in another part of the area.

I had groceries in the car, so told him thank you and I would get back to them.  Less than 10 minutes after I got home, the doorbell rang. “I was told you needed a tree moved to a safer location” said the man at the door. I walked him down, showed him the tree, and explained I just needed it cut in half so it was safely on the ground. I intended to cut it up for next year’s firewood at my leisure. “No problem!” he declared. “How much will it cost?” I asked.

I have to plan for every little or big expense. Safety outweighs penny pinching when push comes to shove. I knew I would be able to juggle things to cover it.

He gave me what I refer to as the MAN look. It’s present in every male species, I’m sure, and sends the message about a task being so easy to do for a man that there is no need to offer payment because that’s what they were born to do. He waved off the question.

The tree was out of the way and the big pieces cut up in less than 10 minutes. The two of them even cut it to the right size for my classic Sweet Home Stove Works wood stove, which takes 12-inch logs comfortably rather than the standard 16-inch lengths.  
The tree that fell was this tall.The juniper bushes held it up.

Pitching in and helping others is something I’ve done all my life. I wanted to express my thanks, happiness and surprise for this kindness to me! What good things have happened lately that make this a Thankful Thursday for you? 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day 2015 to my Readers and Friends

Taj Mahal taken by Dennis Jarvis of Halifax Canada

 Happy Valentine's Day to my fans, family, and friends! Kindness and love keep the world balanced and sane. Think about the beauty demonstrated by artists around the world in architecture, a casually draped throw with a clever gift bag in the foreground, and the changes in weather from day to day. Then celebrate the inspiration by taking a picture of your own and sharing it.

Valentine's Day gift bag for 2015 loaded with good wishes from me!

Bloggers love taking pictures! I gave my daughter her gift and then snatched the bag away so I could memorialize it for  eternity. How are you spending your special Saturday?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Farming Feeds the World

While at the store today, I heard a young girl ask her mom about where the produce came from. I loved the response because it was very informative.
Green and yellow peppers are raised in many continents.

A container of strawberries listed their growing site as Oregon. A smaller container of blueberries arrived from Washington. Navel oranges came from California, tangerines from Mexico, and grapefruit was brought in from Florida.

Whole coconuts were brought in from Hawaii, while some of the bananas were grown in South America. She told her daughter the Haas avocados were a product from Peru. 

These pumpkins were raised on a small farm in Fernley NV

Perhaps a trip to the grocery store is a trick to teaching kids about geography and how important it is to support effective farming around the world. Food does not come from the store. It comes from dedicated, hardworking people that recognize farming feeds the world.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Experience Delight in a Colorful Fun Run

Fun Runs are delightful events that include competitive long distance runners and small groups of walkers that talk each other through the traditional 5K course.  You’ll see babies laughing with glee as they ride in their strollers powered by family and friends.

Adding color to the adventure is a popular event. Certain areas feature cannons that shoot brilliant dye. Motivating music keeps feet moving and spirits rising. Dancing along the way and begging to have dye tossed in your direction is part of the fun. Participants receive a packet of dye so they can participate in massive color throws.

There are two fantastic fun runs I know of that combine color with the journey. The Color Run hosted over 300 events in more than 50 countries during 2014! Nicknamed “Happiest 5 K Planet”, it is gearing up for the 2015 season with enthusiasm and style.
Run or Dye, known as “The World’s Most Colorful 5K”, is along the same lines. I wiped out my leg shortly before the 2014 event in Reno and was unable to participate. I took Mary over to the starting point and saw her off. In keeping with the decorative theme, she started out wearing white jeans, the race t-shirt, and added a cute pink tutu for effect. She certainly looked different at the end!
What happened to the pristine person that started the race?

Unlike most 5Ks, this is an untimed event that everyone is encouraged to join. Wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, wagons, strollers, and even a skateboard providing a rest for one enthusiast’s leg – whatever helped was okay to use. 

If you’ve been searching for a reason to build up your walking skills, this is it! Look for an event in your neck of the woods. Get friends and family to register and attend the event with you. You’ll find out why this type of activity continues to increase in popularity.