Welcome to 2015
January 14, 2015
Ideas for Kids-at-Heart
Did you know that BBC Radio has a ton of stuff online that's both educational and entertaining for kids? My favorite is Charles Dickens' classic tale, "A Christmas Carol." Sit back with your eyes closed and listen to an actor read the story. You'll also enjoy the illustrations from the 1843 first edition. BBC Radio
Are You Sticking to Your 2015 Resolutions?
One of my New Year's resolutions was to write my first newsletter. I'm glad you signed up to hear from me. Apart from writing an actual letter, e-mail seems like the easiest way to stay in touch.
This year I am putting the focus on developing one new habit a month. I think by June I should figure out which habit that is.
I want to share an article that has many other good ideas for making resolutions and finding support so you stick to them. This article by Dann Albright outlines places on the internet that can provide support. Relying on internet support could be a good thing for housebound caregivers, but apart from that, it's just heartening to know that the world gets smaller every day. Whatever we are facing at the moment, someone else has faced it, too. Support Groups Online
What's Up With Our Family
Staying in touch with friends and family is very important to all of us. As busy as everyone is, that gets harder and harder. For the last dozen years my family has rented a house big enough for 26 people. This year we found a place at Lake Gaston, just over the Virginia border with North Carolina. There's a zen-like peacefulness in this time-lapse video, made by Elliott and Jonathan. Lake Gaston
The holidays weren't quite as peaceful as the video suggests, but that's normal when everyone gets together. The tradeoff is that there are a lot of good stories (which I, of course, wrote down) and many laughs.
The advantage of renting vs. trying to cram into one person's house and adjacent hotels is that we can concentrate on being together, not on overloading whomever might host such an event. This year the kids organized scavenger hunts, made paper chains to decorate the tree, and baked cookies. I overheard one of my granddaughters say that when they have children, they want to continue the tradition. Another math-whiz granddaughter said that by that time, they will need two houses!
Here are some websites we've used to find rentals large enough for our big group. vrbo and homeandaway
Do You Know About Telemeres?
Jill Helms, Professor of Surgery and stem-cell researcher, gave an inspiring talk at a Stanford alumni event. She was describing the work by Stanford researchers on telemeres. Why is it that prolonged stress takes such a toll on caregivers' health? The answer could be in the caps that protect the ends of DNA strands: telemeres. Professor Helms said that in young people, DNA strands have long telemeres, but as we age, they get shorter.
Telemeres are the "timekeepers of biologic aging." That simply means how old your body thinks it is. Stress, smoking, and obesity shorten the telemeres. That's when damage to the DNA begins to occur.
I will be doing an in-depth article on my caregiver blog, but right now I am wading through some papers having to do with the connection between caregiver stress and telemeres. Stay tuned.
Please Drop by My Booklaunch Website
If you've read my novel, thank you. If your friends haven't read it, I hope you will share this link. Booklaunch Website Be well, and stay in touch.