When Five Bedrooms Become Two

When Five Bedrooms Become Two

 There comes a time in every parent’s life when their adult children leave the nest. You may begin to look at those newly-empty rooms as a sign that it’s time to downsize into a smaller home that will meet your new lifestyle. Swapping your large family home for a smaller one will free up money and allow you to travel, enjoy life, and leave your worries behind.

 Where to begin?

Your first step is to determine your ideal location. Are you a shopper and like the idea of being near retail establishments? Do you enjoy being outdoors? Choose your location based on proximity to your priorities.

 Making the move

If there is one thing that’s universally true about the process, it’s that you’ll find you have a lot of stuff and a lot of stuff that you don’t need. Somehow, you either have to fit all that stuff into your new home or pick and choose what stays and what goes. When you’re downsizing, you’ll be forced to do the latter. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all at once and you don’t have to do it alone.

 US News recently posted an article on how to declutter quickly before a move. Their suggestions include:

  • Start early; putting things off will only add stress down the road
  • Start small; start in the kids’ former bedrooms, and send their personal mementos to them
  • Be prepared; have plenty of packing material on hand, a paper shredder, a recycling bin, and a box for trash
  • Donate what you don’t need; this is the perfect time to lighten your load while doing good for others

 

                 (As written by Marie Villeza for www.withseniorsinmind.org/blog/)

BEST GEAR FOR TOOTH CARE

(What the experts recommend for healthy teeth after 50)

 

  • Whitening Products: Toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide can whiten teeth over time. Whitening strips apply a thin layer of a peroxide-based gel that also has a whitening effect over time.  Some mouthwashes also include hydrogen peroxide; a 2013 study found that using them for 12 weeks achieved results similar to two weeks of using a whitening gel. While the American Dental Assoc says all these products are safe if used properly, speak with your dentist before starting before starting a whitening program at home.  Baking soda also has been proven effective in removing stains.

 

  • Manual Toothbrush:  Three months is the maximum life of a toothbrush, so if your predates the Fourth of July, it’s replacement time.  The most important aspect of the perfect toothbrush: soft or extra soft bristles, says Jessica Hilburg, associate dean at the NYU College of Dentistry.  “Medium and hard bristles can be too abrasive and hurt the gums, and won’t remove plaque as well as a softer bristle.” And choose a brush with multilevel or angled bristles.  A review found those shapes substantially outperformed flat-trimmed bristles for overall plaque removal.

 

  • Electric Toothbrush:  Score one for technology:  A review of clinical studies by the Cochrane Oral Health Group shows that over the long haul, electric toothbrushes reduce plaque 21 percent more than manual brushes.  Look for a powered brush with a round, oscillating head. One study found that it produced significantly greater reductions in both gingivitis and plaque compared to one with a vibrating head.  And look for a brush that features both a two-minute timer and a pressure indicator.

 

  • Mouthwash:  If you’re looking for an antimicrobial mouthwash to help counter bad breath, look for the active ingredients chlorhexidine, chlorine dixide and cetylpyridinium chloride, and essential oils like eucalyptol, menthol, thymol and methyl salicylate.  To fight plaque and gingivitis, keep an eye out for the active ingredients cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine. Added fluoride will give you extra ammunition for fighting cavities.

 

  • Toothpaste:  If you’re dealing with gingivitis and bleeding gums, look for a toothpaste with stannous fluoride, says Tiffany Delaney, a registered dental hygienist in New York.  If sensitive teeth are your problem, studies have shown that incorporating toothpaste or mouthwash that contains potassium nitrate into your routine can significantly decrease sensitivity.  Delaney recommends against trendy charcoal toothpastes, which are too abrasive, and “natural” toothpastes that don’t remove plaque as effectively.

 

  • Floss:  In addition to adding more plastic into the environment, those little floss sticks don’t wrap around teeth as well as the traditional floss you roll around your finger.  “The best type of floss to use is a thicker, more rigid floss rather than a slick, thin floss. Thinner floss may be easier to slip between teeth, but it does not grab hold of the sticky plaque and food debris like a thicker floss will,” says Hilburg.  While she recommends actual floss over water flossers, the latter has plenty of fans.

(written by Kimberly Rae Miller for AARP Bulletin, October 2018)

Sugar Coated Pecans

Sugar Coated Pecans

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound pecan halves
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Grease one baking sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2018 Allrecipes.com
Printed From Allrecipes.com 12/3/2018

21 Quotes of Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Thanksgiving is not all about turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. The name of the holiday conveys what the day is supposed to be about. Given that our overly-schedule lives often make it difficult to spend time reflecting on simple pleasures, here are some quotes on thanks, thanksgiving, and gratitude to help get your Thanksgiving holiday off to a good start.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Praise God even when you don’t understand what He is doing.” Henry Jacobsen

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” Jeff Miller

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” John F. Kennedy

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey

 

             FROM ALL OF US AT INNOVATIVE BUILDING & DESIGN,

                               RICK, HELEN, MICHELE,

                                    ROB, KEVIN, ANDY & DEAN

The Benefits Of Laughter For Your Brain And Body

  1. Laughter releases feel-good endorphins into your system, which actually decreases pain and significantly increases pain thresholds.
  2. Laughter can help protect your heartby increasing blood flow and improving the function of blood vessels.
  3. Laughter relaxes your whole bodyfor up to 45 minutes after a good laugh.
  4. Laughterlowers blood pressure and stress levels.
  5. Laughter can increase intimacy and improve relationships.
  6. Laughter can reduceanxietystress, and depression.
  7. Laughter increases the number of T-cells in your body and boosts your immune system.

 

 

How To Use Laughter To Improve Your Mental Health

 

The use of humor has proven effective in formal therapies for serious mental conditions. Other therapeutic practices incorporating laughter have popped up over the last decade, like laughter yoga. You can include laughter in your daily mental health routine to help ward off depression and stay balanced or just spontaneously whenever your mood needs a lift.

 

Some ways to do that are:

 

Keep an eye out for the silly side of life.

Try to intentionally notice the silly, unexpected, or funny stuff in your daily life. Savor it, think about it and commit it to memory for when you need a laugh in the future. The most recent time I can remember laughing really hard – I mean tears-rolling-down-my-cheeks-hard – was when my son and I were plunging a stopped up toilet. Who knew those circumstances could be a side splitter?

Reframe unpleasant situations with humor.

Try to see the humor in an otherwise unpleasant or embarrassing situation. So, you knocked over your wine glass with an overly demonstrative hand gesture on a first-date dinner (which I totally would do.) Well, at least you made an impression! Or, maybe you farted in yoga class. Oops. You’re not the first one to ever do that and isn’t it just a little bit funny?

Tickle yourself.

Unfortunately, you can’t physically tickle yourself. Research shows that your brain needs tension and surprise for tickling to work — which you obviously don’t have when you try to do it yourself. Laughter is also almost impossible to control consciously. It’s very hard to laugh on command. You can, however, tickle your own funny bone by watching your favorite funny movies, videos, or television shows.

For the Love of Napping

More and more researchers are coming to an important conclusion about our sleep patterns: napping, it turns out, may be in our DNA.

That’s good news for many of us who are already dedicated nappers. Dividing sleep in a day’s cycle is called bi-phasal sleeping, and it makes sense when you think about it. No other mammals try to get all of their required sleep in one extended period, and then stay awake continuously for the second part of the day. Our most logical assumptions about ancient humans suggest that rest periods needed to be divided, even staggered, for the safety of the family group or tribe. Even today, in modern hunter-gatherer societies, there is usually time set aside in the middle of the day for rest. Before the advent of industrialization and the contemporary workday, this mid-day rest period was standard, and it is still maintained in some cultures. In fact, the word siesta derives from the Latin sexta, designating the sixth hour of the day, or noon, which was—and still is in many places—set aside for the day’s largest meal followed by a period of rest of which napping has frequently been an important part.

The typical sleepiness most of us feel after lunch has often been attributed to the meal itself. It was assumed that eating slowed people down and made them feel lethargic. Yet research shows that those who do not eat around noon, or else eat small meals at midday, still tend to have a dip in energy in the early afternoon, usually between 2:00 and 4:00PM. New evidence indicates that this lull is natural and part of our circadian rhythms—the pattern that our days take according to our awakeness and productivity versus our need for rest and recovery.

And recovery is important. Sleep science, including studies of napping, has brought new awareness to just how critical sleep is to our bodily and mental health. While many of us can easily get on board with a good night’s sleep, it can prove more difficult to admit the importance of a nap. In our society today, there is still a stigma of laziness attached to nappers. It should be acknowledged that this is likely what almost every human would do if afforded the luxury of sitting still in the early afternoon. Even as we age and we have time to give into our body’s sleep rhythms, many of us feel guilty about napping.

With the many benefits of napping, there are nevertheless some cautions we should be aware of, as well as instructions on how to nap most effectively.
Napping may be counter-productive if it interferes with nighttime sleeping, either falling asleep or staying asleep. If you find yourself unusually tired or uncharacteristically fatigued, there may be larger issues for a doctor to address. Importantly, one study has linked napping with increased risk of heart failure in people already at risk.

Most experts recommend that we nap in the early afternoon, sometime around 2:00 to 3:00 PM. However, this depends also on how long one has already been awake. Early risers can adjust accordingly, and vice versa. We should always take into consideration at what time we naturally tend to feel sleepier. Moreover, naps should be 10 minutes to around 40 minutes long, with 20–30 minutes designated as the perfect amount for most people. Anything longer can result in what is called sleep inertia, which is that grogginess we experience after a nap that can seemingly last for the rest of the afternoon. Though some grogginess is expected upon waking from a nap, we should be clear-headed and alert within a few minutes to a half hour after waking.

There are a number of things that can be done in order to facilitate falling asleep quickly and waking up easily within the designated time. Making a regular time for a nap in your schedule helps the body establish a recognizable rhythm. Finding a comfortable, cool, and darkened space may help you to relax. A mental relaxation exercise or 5-minute meditation may quiet the mind, allowing your body to relax into sleep. Resources including audio recordings are abundantly available online and in libraries and bookstores. Setting a timer lets you know when it’s time to get up. From there, it may be a matter of conditioning yourself, which may take practice.

So, go ahead and nap! And know you are in good company. Some of the greatest minds in history were nappers. Leonardo da Vinci took multiple naps a day to make up for less sleep at night. Albert Einstein, by contrast, slept 10 hours a night and took a daily nap. Though embarrassed by his need for naps, Thomas Edison did so every day, and John F. Kennedy took his lunch in bed followed by a nap every day. Others who jealously guarded their daily naps include Napoleon, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, and John D. Rockefeller.

 

(as written on www.americanseniormagazine.com)

 

If everyone knew the benefits of napping, perhaps attitudes would change.

Here is a list of just a few positive effects of napping:

  • Napping restores alertness, which increases performance, mental agility, and reduces mistakes and confusion.
  • Napping after learning something new increases the chance that you will be able to remember it up to five times, according to German scientists. During sleep, our brains have a chance to build new neuro pathways, which forge memory.
  • Napping can balance hormones and blood sugar while reducing food cravings, especially for sweets.
  • Napping can reduce stress. The health benefits of stress reduction, as more and more science supports, are incalculable. Cortisol levels drop, the heart and lungs regulate, inflammation decreases, and so on.
  • One study has shown that nappers have a decreased coronary mortality rate than those who did not nap.

 

DEBT AFTER DEATH

(Know what you owe—and what you don’t)

 

Almost everyone dies owing at least some debt.  Sometimes it’s only last month’s ordinary bills plus final medical expenses.  But there can be shocking surprises for survivors—debts unknown to the children and even to the spouse of the deceased.  Heirs might discover large credit card balances, undisclosed home equity loans or gambling debts.

Creditors are entitled to payment, from the money and property (the “estate”) that your loved one left behind.  But what if he or she didn’t leave enough to get everyone repaid? Can the creditors come after you?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  With loans secured by property, such as mortgages, an heir has to keep up the monthly payments or else sell the property to cover the debt.  Unsecured loans, such as credit card debt and student loans, are another matter. Your liability depends very much on the nature of the bill, the type of property and your state’s laws.  But here’s what I can say, generally.

  • Some money is protected.  At death, unsecured creditors cannot collect from life insurance payments, pay-on-death bank or brokerage accounts, jointly held property that passes directly to the surviving owner, or retirement plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs that have named beneficiaries, says IRA expert Ed Slott of IRAhelp.com.  they’re safe—but only if they were handled right. By “right”, I mean that the deceased filled out a beneficiary form for each account, naming the people who were to inherit. If this step was skipped, the funds will be paid into the estate, where they can be used to satisfy the creditors.
  • Your signature matters.  If you signed a joint application for a credit card, you owe the balance, even if you didn’t know how high it had grown.  If you were merely an “authorized user,” however, most states don’t require you to pay. (Note that authorized users shouldn’t use the card after the owner dies if the estate is broke.  Such spending could be considered fraud.) Spouses are generally not liable for any separate debts their mate incurred before the wedding or, in most cases, after.

 

Rules in community property states, such as Texas or California, are different.  Your community property can generally be tapped to pay a spouse’s debts. But creditors can’t take your separate property.  In any state, you’ll still owe any private debt you cosigned with the deceased, such as a student loan. Some private student lenders will forgive the loan, but most won’t.  

  • You have to pay the doctor.  Final medical bills are usually considered a spouse’s responsibility.  If your mate entered a hospital, the admission papers you signed probably included a payment agreement.  When there’s no money, however, and the survivor has very little income, health providers might write off the account.  
  • Get tough.  Don’t be talked into making a few payments on bills you do not owe.  Creditors might claim that you willingly assumed the debt. Tell them, “No, no, never.”  You know your rights.

 

(written by Jane Bryant Quinn, a Personal Finance Expert, for AARP Bulletin, September 2018)

How to Keep the Car Keys

When it comes to staying safe on the road, this is a good time to be an older driver.

Today’s older drivers are involved in fewer crashes per mile traveled than those in prior generations.

This positive trend comes as the number of drivers who are 70 and older is increasing.  One reason for fewer fatalities: Vehicles are safer than ever. “Side airbags have been standard on the majority of new vehicles since the 2008 model year, and we are seeing the benefits of improved side-impact protection in the crash data, especially for older drivers,” says Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research.  “Today’s older drivers are walking away from crashes that might have killed their grandparents.”

READ THE WARNING SIGNS…So how do you know if it’s time to give up the driving….?

  1. Do you frequently have difficulty reading street signs and seeing street markings?
  2. Does driving leave you feeling anxious and stressed?
  3. Have friends or family members expressed concern regarding your driving, or said they don’t feel safe with you behind the wheel?
  4. Do you have difficulty with certain physical requirements of driving?  For example, do you have trouble looking over your shoulder when changing lanes?
  5. Are you currently taking medication that causes drowsiness or otherwise impedes your ability to drive?

(by Warren Clarke for September 2018, AARP.org/Bulletin)

Honey-Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup

 

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

Directions

  1. Lay chicken thighs into the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker.
  2. Whisk soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, and basil together in a bowl; pour over the chicken.
  3. Cook on Low for 6 hours.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2018 Allrecipes.com
Printed From Allrecipes.com 10/29/2018

HOW TO START CARVING OUT YOUR UNIQUE LEGACY By Cheryl Harbour

Life, like a chunk of granite, only takes shape when you — the artist of your life — decide what to make of it. With many experiences and milestones already collected in your past, the New Year is a good time to take stock and see what shape your life and your legacy are taking.

Some people view their legacy as something material – a house they built by hand or a building they designed, a book they wrote, a major gift they gave or financial security they’ve achieved for their family. For others, it’s accumulative: a long career at a business or university or in a specific field of endeavor where they will be remembered for changing the status quo. For still others, it’s more personal and emotional – managing a family thru life’s ups and downs or collecting wisdom and knowledge to be shared with future generations

A survey conducted by 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair explored how different people view “immortality.” Respondents were asked, “Which would you like most to be named after you?” Choices included a grandchild, a street in your hometown, and a pew in your church, a national holiday, or a rest stop along a highway. (Admittedly, not the only or even the best choices.) The most popular response – by far — was a “grandchild.”

A legacy doesn’t just have to happen to you. You have choices about that, too, if you don’t wait too long to begin shaping it and defining it.

Here are some suggestions collected from experts about how to take stock of what matters most in your life and how to make sure others see it the same way.

 

To think through what makes you unique, try one of these exercises:

  1. Write the title and introduction of your (hypothetical) autobiography.
  2. Start a running list of your preferences in all categories you can think of: food, entertainment, politics, activities, friends, charitable causes. The list forms a composite profile of what makes you YOU.
  3. Write a new resume – but not just about the professional you. Include all the “roles” you’ve managed and mastered in your life.
  4. Prepare the eulogy you’d like to be delivered in celebration of your life.
  5. Interview yourself. Find an interview with a celebrity you think hits some important topics and ask yourself the same questions.
  6. When you’re clear about how you’d like your life to be interpreted, write it down. A letter to your children or best friend. A brief summary of your life story, complete with your life philosophy or lessons you’ve learned. Even your own obituary. This exercise serves a double purpose. Putting your legacy in writing and giving it to someone you trust, improves the likelihood that others will see you in that light, too.