Happy Teeth

Keep your pet’s chompers healthy and strong with this vet-backed advice.

BRUSH DAILY

Brushing for about one to two minutes a day can prevent many types of dental disease.  Try doing it at night, as a sleepy pet might be more cooperative.  To get your pet comfortable, spend a week on each of the following steps, offering a treat after each session:  

Week One, let him smell and taste toothpaste made for pets.  

Week Two, apply a dab to his teeth.

Week Three, let him lick it off a pet toothbrush

Week Four, brush the front of his teeth, focusing on the gumline.  This area tends to collect the most tartar—and luckily is easy to reach.

HAVE A BACKUP PLAN

If your pet is among the many who resist brushing, try wiping his teeth with gauze, a washcloth, a cotton swab (cats love swabs dipped in tuna juice), or a pet dental wipe.  If he won’t go for that either, ask your vet to prescribe kibble that can help prevent tartar buildup.  Or try dental chews, which work by scraping away plaque and tartar.

BEWARE THE CHEW TOY

Antlers, hooves, bones, ice cubes, tennis balls, and hard yak cheese can damage teeth, so keep those off-limits.  To test whether something is safe for your pet’s teeth, see if it can snap in half or bend easily.  If it can, it’s likely OK.  Though rawhide is usually fine for teeth, some dogs can have trouble digesting it, so talk to your vet.  For a list of vet-accepted chews and treats for cats and dogs, go to vohc.org.  No matter which chew you choose, always supervise pets at treat time. 

(by June DeMelo for Real Simple, August 2020)

Relating

With Tiny Tweaks and Minimal Planning, you can turn Ordinary Activities into Awesome Ones!

  1.  Soak up nature…after dark.   Bring a flashlight—but for emergencies only.  Instead, notice your night vision kick in.  As you stare at a tree, your eyes will adjust and you’ll soon be able to pick out 10 leaves, then 100.  Now look up at the moon.  Walking toward it is how you’ll see best—it acts as a spotlight, illuminating details:  small stones, gnarled roots, branches stretching to the stars.  As you gaze up, find the Big Dipper.  The middle star in the handle?  Look closer:  It’s actually two, side by side.  Finally, as long as you don’t live in bear country, tiptoe with the wind at your face (so wildlife won’t smell you) and you may surprise a deer or a rabbit.
  2. Throw a barbecue with no grill.     A “campfire” cookout, which trades a backyard grill for a firepit, makes an outdoor meal more special.  Roasting precooked bratwurst or hot dogs on a stick is easy, but you can cook just about anything if you use a grate.  The trick is to cook over embers, not roaring flames.  My crew loves pizza, so I prep one in the kitchen, toss it together outside, then place it in a cast-iron skillet over the fire.  Eat your meal on picnic blankets. And for dessert, of course, let everyone make their own s’mores.  Sometimes, for fun, we substitute sandwich cookies for graham crackers.
  3. Revel in cherry season…with a DIY delight.     Friends love my easy recipe for maraschino cherries, which are totally worthy of your ice cream sundae!  Buy a pound of deep red cherries. Remove the pits but leave the stems.  Mix 1 ½ cups of water, a cup of pomegranate juice, a cup of sugar, the juice of three lemons, the peel from an orange, a pinch of salt and a star anise.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.  Drop in the cherries and simmer for 10 minutes.  Put a whole mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for three days so the syrup soaks in.  Voila! A sweet treat that lasts about two weeks! 

(from Real Simple, August 2020)

Make Produce Last and Last

(Things Cooks Know)
Whether you have a bounty from your victory garden or went wild at the farmers market, these fuss-free strategies will help your bumper crop keep well into Fall.


Whip Up Refrigerator and Freezer Jams…… Best for:  Berries, Stonefruit and Pears

Keep:  Refrigerate for 3 to 4 weeks;  freeze for up to 6 months

Use:  Stir into yogurt, slather onto toast, or spread between cake layers

Place 3 cups washed, chopped fruit or mashed berries in a wide saucepan.  Add 1 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Let sit until sugar starts to dissolve, about 20 minutes.  Bring to a rapid boil over high, stirring often.  Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, for 8 to 12 minutes.  “It’s ready when the volume in the pan has reduced by at least a third and the jam looks glossy,” says Marisa McClellan, author of The Food in Jars Kitchen.  Pour into clean containers, let cool, and refrigerate or freeze.


Quick-Pick Veggies……Best for: Cucumbers, Asparagus, Carrots, Green Beans, Cauliflower, Zucchini and Jalapenos.

Keep:  Refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

Use:  Eat as a snack, top burgers or sandwiches or serve on a cheese board

Wash 1 pound vegetables and cut into 1-to-2-inch pieces.  Place in large mason jars or other lidded, heatproof containers.  Add 1 teaspoon peppercorns.  “You can also add fresh or dried herbs for extra flavor,” McClellan says.  Combine 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, stirring to help salt dissolve.  Pour over vegetables in jars and let cool.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before eating. 


Freeze Herbs in Oil……..Best for:  Hardy herbs, like rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme

Keep:  Freeze for up to 6 months

Use:  Melt 1 or 2 cubes directly in a skillet to add more flavor to sautéed meat or veggies, or thaw in a pot for a soup starter.

Remove stems and gently tear or chop leaves.  “This will slightly bruise the herbs and help release their natural oils,” says Aimee Wimbush-Bourque, a cookbook author and the creator of the blog Simple Bites.  Fill the compartments of an ice cube tray about halfway with herbs—one type or a combination—and cover with olive oil.  Wrap the tray so it’s airtight and freeze.  Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or other storage container. 


Oven-Dry Tomatoes….. Best For:  cherry or plum tomatoes

Keep:  Refrigerate for up to 1 week; freeze for up to 6 months

Use:  Chop and fold into grain salads or pasta dishes, or layer onto sandwiches

Halve the tomatoes (as many as you want!) and place, cut sides up, in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 250 degrees F until tomatoes are slightly wrinkled and jammy, 2 to 3 hours.  If you have an air fryer, you can do this in 30 to 45 minutes:  “All you need is a bit of oil, salt, and a few dried herbs,” says Urvashi Pitre, author of Air Fryer Revolution.   “Cut the tomatoes in half, mix with the seasonings, and cook untili they reach your desired texture.”  Pack the tomatoes into small containers, cover with olive oil, and refrigerate or freeze.

(by Jenna Helwig for Real Simple, August 2020)

“Real Heroes Bring Raincoats”

The summer was hot and I was lame, fuddled by the unceasing pain in my knee.

“Swim,” said the doctor.  It will bring you relief in the weeks before your knee surgery.”

Swimming in our above-ground pool is only a concept—two strokes north, two strokes south.  That day, the ladder was disassembled and my swimsuit was in the wash, so I wore a huge T-shirt over my underwear.  With awkward goodwill, my very tall son Dan provided me with a knee stand into the pool before he left for work.  I swam two strokes north and two strokes south.  Then I saw the knuckled fists of thunderclouds to the west.  That’s when I realized I couldn’t get out of the pool.

Even if I had been able to roll over the side, I was as likely to dash my brains out on the paving stones as I was to land upright. 

Still, I tried, and the pain was as grim as anything I’d felt since childbirth.  No one was due back for seven hours. Lightning snapped.

Now, people don’t always want to help, but everyone wants to see a fire. So I repeatedly yelled “Fire!” until along came an old man from a few houses down, about 80 years old and the size of an elf.  He offered to pull me out, but I said that would surely kill us both.  “Should I call the fire department?” he asked.  I paused.

Four firefighters lived in my neighborhood, three of them strapping men 15 years my junior.  Would it be better if my rescuers were ophthalmologists in their 50s? I pictured my ophthalmologist in my well-refracted mind’s eye.  Yes, it would be much better.  Firefighters coming upon me in my T-shirt and tattiest undergarments would give the lie to the old axiom that no one ever died of embarrassment. 

My neighbor ran to the garage and brought a large fishing net, then a snow shovel.  Things were not looking up.  He located my cellphone, and I called the fire department.  A true emergency was free, but mere assistance would cost $100.  The firefighters got into the pool and determined they’d use a tarp to hoist me out.  I begged my elderly neighbor to get my polka-dot raincoat, then I pleaded with the universe for an epix weather event that would displace the sight of me in my underwear.  The universe said whatever, and the bill was just $48.00.  Apparently prime entertainment still commands a price.

(by Jacquelyn Mitchard in Real Simple, August 2020)

CHERRY BERRY BREAKFAST CUSTARD

CHERRY BERRY BREAKFAST CUSTARD

5 Tbsp. sugar, divided

3 large eggs

¾ cup whole milk

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus more for baking dish

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp kosher salt

2 cups frozen mixed berries  (from a 10-oz package)

1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries  (from a 10-oz package)

 

oven to 350 F.  Generously coat a 2-quart baking dish with butter and dust with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Process eggs, milk, melted butter and remaining 4 tablespoons sugar in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Add flour and salt and pulse until well combined, about 15 pulses.

Spoon batter into prepared baking dish.  Arrange berries and cherries over batter.  Bake until custard is puffed and just set in center, about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven; let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

(September 2020, Real Simple)

Look Out for Yourself!

Are you at risk of losing your sight? Here’s a closer look at the real dangers!

If you’ve been diagnosed with the early stage of an eye disease count yourself lucky. Why? Because
there are several million Americans out there who have one of the leading causes of
blindness—glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease—and don’t know it.
By getting yearly dilated eye exams, you allow your doctor to catch an eye disease early enough to begin
effective treatment.
But what if you skip your annual dilated exam, for whatever reason? Here’s how four common eye
diseases play out if you do get an annual exam—and if you don’t:
GLAUCOMA
More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half know it. The disease damages the eye’s
optic nerve, which collects visual information from the retina and transmits it to the brain. At the
beginning, one eye may lose more of its peripheral vision, but the loss may be hard to notice. “The
other eye will compensate to cover up the problem,” says Yvonne Ou, MD, associate professor in
ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco.
 IF YOU TAKE ACTION: A comprehensive dilated-eye exam is the best way to detect glaucoma.
Every adult over age 50 should get this test every year; but if you have a family history of
glaucoma, you may need one sooner or more often. “If we catch glaucoma early, it’s a very
treatable disease,” says Ou. The treatment goal is to reduce eye pressure, and that can be done
via medicated eye drops or a laser procedure called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT).
 IF YOU DON’T: Glaucoma is extremely aggressive when it’s diagnosed late or not at all. “When
glaucoma is diagnosed late, the optic nerve is already damaged, and a damaged nerve is more
vulnerable, so later-stage disease progression can be more difficult to control,” says Ou. Later-
stage glaucoma attacks central vision and can cause irreversible blindness.
 Risk of impairment from glaucoma: 10% Risk of Blindness: 5%

AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD)
The biggest risk factor for AMD is, well, your age. This progressive disease causes damage to the
macula, the part of your eye responsible for fine central vision—critical for facial recognition, driving or
close-up work, says Mary E Aronow, MD, Opthalmologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston. “It’s a
leading cause of vision loss in people over age 50,” she says. There are two types of macular
degeneration: dry (involving a thinning of the macular, or center of the retina) and wet (when abnormal
blood vessels grow under the retina, leak and cause scarring). Dry accounts for the majority of
diagnoses.
 IF YOU TAKE ACTION: “For dry AMD, we emphasize optimization of lifestyle,” says Aronow. Quit
smoking, exercise regularly, control blood pressure and cholesterol levels, wear UV-blocking
sunglasses, and eat a healthy diet, particularly fish and antioxidant-rich green leafy vegetables
like spinach and kale. If your disease is already intermediate or advanced, you’ll start taking the
dietary supplement AREDS 2, which contains a specific mix of nutrients (vitamins E and C,
copper, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin) that have been shown in randomized clinical trials
conducted by the National Eye Institute to slow SMD progression.

For wet AMD, treatment is with what are called anti-VEGF drugs, which help to stop bleeding
and leaking from blood vessels in the eye. These medications are injected directly into your eye,
something that sounds absolutely horrible, but don’t panic: “The injections can be performed
very comfortably; the thought of it is much worse than the reality,” says Aronow.
 IF YOU DON’T: As things advance, you may notice distortion in your vision—for example,
straight lines can look wavy, says Aronow. Blurring in your central vision may develop. There is
no cure for the disease, and without treatment it will continue to progress until you are legally
blind.
 Risk of early AMD progressing to advanced (wet) disease: 15%

(Written by Jessica Migala for AARP, The Magazine)

The ABCs of RVs

Advice for first-time renters

As the U.S. Deals with ongoing effects from the pandemic, couples and families are realizing they can hit
the road while social distancing by renting an RV. But if you’ve never traveled in an RV before, expect a
distinctive experience. Jeremy Puglisi, coauthor of See You at the Campground and cohost of The RV
Atlas podcast, offers tips:
Size matters.
Class A vehicles are large and luxurious. For most, you don’t need a special license. Class C RV’s are the
next-biggest options; the front end typically looks like the cab of a van or pickup truck. Class B vehicles
(often called camper vans) are the smallest; beds and seating can be tight, but these RV’s are easier to
drive and park, and get better fuel economy.

Consider the connections.
Private campgrounds are most likely to have water, electric and sewer hookups. Campgrounds with
showers and restrooms eliminate the need to hook up your RV’s water and sanitation system.

To tow or not to tow?
Travel trailers are generally more affordable, and some can still be spacious, especially fifth-wheel
trailers, which require a truck with a special towing hitch. You can also detach your truck for simple
transportation after you reach your destination. On the downside, however, you’ll be giving up interior
space while towing; no passengers are allowed in a trailer in motion.

Learn the Lingo
When reserving a campsite, get the pull-through kind, if you can. This costs a little extra but means you
won’t need to back that beast of a vehicle into a spot. Plus, paved sites tend to be level, requiring fewer
vehicle adjustments to ensure a stable, comfortable experience.

Mind the neighbors.
If you plan to park in a neighborhood (say, to visit family without staying in their house), make sure you
check on local rules. Also, without a commercial electrical hookup, you’ll need to use a generator or run
a power cord from the house. Electricity from a standard outlet may not power your air-conditioning.

(as written in AARP The Magazine)

Carol Burnett

The Queen of Comedy on sorrow and laughter, her
mama and Osama

What cabin fever?
My heart goes out to people who are ill or lost their job—it’s just mind-boggling. So I can’t complain.
I’m safe. I’ve got my husband, a home, and food on the table. We do crossword puzzles and play
Scrabble and watch old movies. But I miss seeing my kids, my grandchildren nd my friends, and when all
this is over, I just want to throw a great big hugging party.

Define ‘tough’
Some people say I had a tough childhood. It wasn’t that tough. We were poor, but I was never hungry.
My mama and dad were alcoholics, and they were divorced. But I had my grandmother, and she raised
me. We had one room; I slept on the couch until I was 21; Nanny was on the Murphy bed. She was
funny! She used to look under the bed every night. I’d say, “What are you looking for, Nanny?” She’d
say, “Randolph Scott.”

Here I come! Eventually….
Growing up in Los Angeles, we’d fly kites, roller skate and play Jungle Girl. I taught myself the Tarzan
yell when I was about 9. I was also editor of my high school paper. My intent was to go to UCLA and
major in journalism, but we didn’t have the money. Tuition was $43. One morning I got a letter. Inside
was a $50 bill. I don’t know, to this day, who sent that.

Patience, patience!
When I went to New York, I was auditioning for something and I thought I had it. But another girl got it.
Instead of being discouraged, I thought, It’s her turn. It’s not my turn. My turn will come. It saved me
from being disappointed.

Paying forward
If someone had told me 52 years ago that our little show (The Carol Burnett Show) would be viable
today, I would have said, “You’re crazy!” But it has held up because we were never that topical—we just
went for the laugh.

Choose happiness
My daughter Carrie got into drugs. In that situation, don’t be their best friend. When we got her into a
third rehab, oh, she hated my guts! You have to love them enough to let them hate you. She got sober
before her 18 th birthday, and we had a good 20 years—we were joined at the hip for a while there.
Carrie died of cancer at 38. But in the hospital she said, “Every day I wake up and decide, today I’m
going to love my life.” And that was her mantra.

Divine Inspiration
Before the pandemic, I did shows where the audience ask questions. About 10 years ago, in Texas, a
lady said, “If you could be a member of the opposite sex for 24 hours, who would you be and what
would you do?” And I said a little prayer: Ok, God. Whatever comes out of my mouth is going to be
your fault. And out tumbled, “I’d be Osama bin Laden and I’d kill myself.” The audience went nuts.

Don’t forget to laugh
I’ve lost a lot of people—Tim Conway and Lyle Waggoner and Ken Berry in just the past couple of years.
You learn to cope and also to live in the now. And you have to laugh.

Written by Alanna Nash for AARP The Magazine

THE PROMISE OF AMERICA

If we choose, we can turn this hard moment into opportunity

We’ve been through a lot recently, bringing out some of the worst and the best in our country. We’ve
seen the American people come together to battle the deadly coronavirus pandemic and exercise their
constitutional right to peacefully protest. We’ve also seen our nation torn apart by social and racial
injustice and the response to it.
Millions of people have lost their jobs and seen their savings depleted. And vast numbers of older
people — have died, often in nursing homes, from the coronavirus. It is painful times like these that test
the very foundation of our democracy and challenge our American ideals.
As the leader of an organization that empowers people to live better as they age, and as the mother of a
son and daughter—both millennials—I am disheartened by much of what I have witnessed. Who can
doubt we are a nation in need of healing, both physically and spiritually? I don’t want to see us devolve
into a society in which people can’t get the health care they need simply because they are old, or in
which young people simply live in fear. Racism and ageism have no place in our society. We’re better
than that.
AARP has stood against discrimination in all its forms since our founding over 60 years ago. Guided by
the promise of our founder, Dr Ethel Percy Andrus—“What we do, we do for all”—we have always
fought to build a more equitable society because we know that discrimination of any kind eats away at
our society from the inside, threatening and damaging our democracy.
We have deep divisions in our country. And we all need to come together to heal these divisions. The
pandemic has given us the time and space to think about who we are, what’s important and what kind
of country we want to be. This is an opportunity for a new beginning, and as older Americans, we have
a unique role to plan in shaping that new beginning.
As AARP members, many of us are old enough to remember the struggle to pass the Civil Rights Act of
1964. We lived through the riots of 1968, and we’ve witnessed how Medicare and Medicaid have
improved the health and life of people as they get older. If there was ever a time for us to draw upon
the lessons we’ve learned from these experiences and others in order to bring our society together, it is
now.
The late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan once said: “What people want is very simple. They want an
America as good as its promise.” Ronald Reagan put it another way. He said that “good citizenship and
defending democracy means living up to the ideals and values that make this country great.”
During these difficult times, let us use our voices and resources to continue the fight for what is right.
Let us all unite to create a society that values hope over hate, faith over fear, and compassion over
confrontation. Let us dedicate ourselves to creating a country where every person has the opportunity
to live a life of dignity, good health, economic opportunity and purpose—regardless of race, income or
age. When we do that, we will not only usher in a new beginning but we will also create an America as
good as its promise.

(by Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO, AARP Bulletin, July/August 2020)

THE PROMISE OF AMERICA

If we choose, we can turn this hard moment into opportunity

We’ve been through a lot recently, bringing out some of the worst and the best in our country.  We’ve seen the American people come together to battle the deadly coronavirus pandemic and exercise their constitutional right to peacefully protest.  We’ve also seen our nation torn apart by social and racial injustice and the response to it.

Millions of people have lost their jobs and seen their savings depleted.  And vast numbers of older people — have died, often in nursing homes, from the coronavirus.  It is painful times like these that test the very foundation of our democracy and challenge our American ideals.

As the leader of an organization that empowers people to live better as they age, and as the mother of a son and daughter—both millennials—I am disheartened by much of what I have witnessed.  Who can doubt we are a nation in need of healing, both physically and spiritually?  I don’t want to see us devolve into a society in which people can’t get the health care they need simply because they are old, or in which young people simply live in fear.  Racism and ageism have no place in our society.  We’re better than that.

AARP has stood against discrimination in all its forms since our founding over 60 years ago. Guided by the promise of our founder, Dr Ethel Percy Andrus—“What we do, we do for all”—we have always fought to build a more equitable society because we know that discrimination of any kind eats away at our society from the inside, threatening and damaging our democracy.

We have deep divisions in our country.  And we all need to come together to heal these divisions.  The pandemic has given us the time and space to think about who we are, what’s important and what kind of country we want to be.  This is an opportunity for a new beginning, and as older Americans, we have a unique role to plan in shaping that new beginning. 

As AARP members, many of us are old enough to remember the struggle to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  We lived through the riots of 1968, and we’ve witnessed how Medicare and Medicaid have improved the health and life of people as they get older.  If there was ever a time for us to draw upon the lessons we’ve learned from these experiences and others in order to bring our society together, it is now. 

The late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan once said:  “What people want is very simple.  They want an America as good as its promise.”  Ronald Reagan put it another way.  He said that “good citizenship and defending democracy means living up to the ideals and values that make this country great.”

During these difficult times, let us use our voices and resources to continue the fight for what is right.  Let us all unite to create a society that values hope over hate, faith over fear, and compassion over confrontation.  Let us dedicate ourselves to creating a country where every person has the opportunity to live a life of dignity, good health, economic opportunity and purpose—regardless of race, income or age.  When we do that, we will not only usher in a new beginning but we will also create an America as good as its promise.

(by Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO, AARP Bulletin, July/August 2020)