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Inspiration and Ideas for Summer Gardening and Home Improvement

With longer days and shorter nights come warm weather opportunities to make home and garden improvements. Become inspired to start working on projects, both indoors and out, with these new seasonal books.

Caring for Cacti

There’s much more to your little green plants than just keeping them alive, according to “Happy Cactus: Cacti, Succulents, and More.” Unearth the secrets of different cacti and succulents with profiles of more than 50 popular varieties — from the cute, flowering pincushion cactus to the wacky prickly pear. Discover what makes your plant unique and find out where to put it, when to water it, what to feed it, what to look out for, and how to encourage its distinctive traits, from flower stalks to fast growth.

Simplify Your Life

Living simply can mean living better, according to “Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism.” Using, flow charts, icons and other graphics, the book demonstrates how to apply minimalism to your home, wardrobe, decor, cooking, cleaning and finances, to give you more time, space, money, clarity and overall enjoyment of your experiences.

Understanding Tools

Are you a DIYer or aspire to be one? Get a better handle on tools with “The Tool Book: A Tool Lover’s Guide to Over 200 Hand Tools.” This visual guide highlights how to use, understand and properly care for over 200 hand tools, and includes a foreword by Nick Offerman, host of NBC’s “Making It.” Discover why each tool is perfect for the job, through step-by-step illustrations and scientific explanations, and why it deserves a prominent spot in your shed, workshop, studio or makerspace.

Gardening Indoors

Learn where to place houseplants for the best effect in your home and how to properly care for them, with the trusted advice, creative inspiration, strong visual aesthetic and step-by-step detail found in “Practical Houseplant Book.” Two-hundred plant profiles provide information and care instructions for a variety of plants, including ferns, orchids and succulents, while a dozen photographic projects offer ideas for using plants to decorate your home or greenhouse — from eye-catching terrariums to a living succulent wall. With information on plant care, propagation, pests and diseases, pruning, and problem-solving, this is a useful guide for any indoor gardener.

Growing Food

Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned grower, “Grow Something Different to Eat: Weird and wonderful heirloom fruits and vegetables for your garden,” can give you confidence to grow, cook and preserve some unusually tasty crops. Learn to grow unique fruits, vegetables and grains, such as orange eggplants, quinoa, chia, and white strawberries. All plants can be started indoors and kept as houseplants, or grown outdoors in the garden.

This summer, discover creative ideas for improving your indoor and outdoor spaces with gardening, DIY projects, and more. (StatePoint)

Medication Safety Tips for Children and Adults

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can save lives and help people of all ages manage certain conditions. When used correctly and under the guidance of a physician, medications are largely safe. It’s when medicines are used off-label, shared or taken in error that reactions and injury can occur. The American Academy of Pediatrics and their Healthy Children Organization warns that more than 7,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms every year for problems related to medication errors. Children are not the only ones in danger. Adults can make mistakes with their medications as well. For example, seniors who may be managing several different types of medications can inadvertently cause dangerous drug interactions by mixing the wrong pills. Pharmacists work diligently to help prevent medication errors. However, the general public can also do their part. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy offer these medication safety tips.

• When a new medication is prescribed, ask the doctor to explain more about it, including its intended purpose and any common side effects to be expected.

• Make sure your doctor knows about all the medications you are taking, including non-prescription products, herbal remedies, dietary supplements, and vitamins. Some medications do not mix with seemingly innocent ingredients. Keep a running list of any medicines you take so you can easily and accurately share this information with your physician. • Question anything that you do not understand. Check the prescription for dosing information. For refills, make sure the refill information conforms to the original prescription strength.

• Fill all prescriptions at the same pharmacy and develop a rapport with the pharmacist so that potential drug interactions will be flagged. Pharmacists are well versed in medications and may be able to inform you as to the safety or risk involved in taking an over-the-counter product at the same time that you are on a prescription.

• Many pills look the same. If you are confused and taking multiple medications, keep medications in the original packaging and double-check the labels before taking any medications.

• Use the right dosing tools. A spoon from the kitchen is not accurate for measuring out a teaspoon of medication. • If you take multiple medications, use a pillbox to keep pills organized. The box makes it easier to manage medications and serves as a reminder if you have or have not taken a medication on a given day.

• Store medications as instructed on the label. The bathroom medicine cabinet may not be an ideal place to store medications, as bathrooms get damp, and that can compromise the integrity of the pills. Also, bathroom cabinets are readily accessible by all, including kids. It’s better to store drugs out of sight and reach of children. Keep dangerous medications locked away.

• Routinely discard expired or unneeded medications. Medicine take-back programs for disposal are a good way to remove medicines from the home and reduce the chance that others may accidentally take the medicine.

• Consult with a doctor before beginning or ending medication. Medicines play important roles in personal health. When used correctly, medications are assets, but caution should always be taken to ensure safe usage and storage of any medications.

Simple Ways to Save on Household Expenditures

There are many simple ways for homeowners to reduce monthly expenditures and realize savings, and the easiest place to start is with your monthly energy bill. Here are a few changes you can make that can have a lasting impact on your wallet and the planet.

· Cool your house with a ceiling or electric fan and open the windows at night. Ceiling fans cost about 1 cent per two hours of use, compared to 67 cents to a dollar for central air. Use your AC only when necessary and be sure to turn it off when you’re going to be away from home for long periods of time.

· Invest in a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature in your house, saving you energy while you’re away or sleeping.

· Use insulation with a high R-value. Experts and professionals often use a stone wool product called Roxul ComfortBatt, which can be used to top up the insulation in your attic. Topping up insulation to a depth of 16 inches or an R-value of 50 will help to keep your house cool in the warm weather and take the stress off your air conditioning unit.

· Check the tightness of your refrigerator seal by closing the door on a piece of paper. If it’s held in place, the seal is still good. If not, it’s time to replace the seal or fix the door’s alignment.

· Only do laundry or dishes when you have full loads. If you have smaller loads, make sure to use the correct settings. If you only have a couple of items, wait it out or wash them by hand.

Also consider low-cost DIY projects such as caulking around windows, adding weatherstripping to doors, installing low-flow shower heads, putting aerators on faucets, and switching to energy-efficient LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs for even greater impact. TF167271

Make a Lunch Kids Will Devour

Children can be picky eaters, making it challenging for parents to find foods their kids will consume. Family dinners are challenging enough, but lunches kids will love can be even more difficult to come by.

Parents can prepare lunches kids are certain to devour by thinking outside of the traditional lunch box. Using some creativity and building off of kids’ favorite foods is the key.

Make it miniature

Mini versions of kids’ favorite foods can be entertaining and entice children to try things they normally wouldn’t. If it’s fun-sized, it can be swallowed in one bite. Think about mini sandwiches cut into fun shapes with a cookie cutter. Or use little condiment cups to hold chicken salad, soup or yogurt.

Offer variety

Give kids a bit of a buffet inside of their lunches. This way, if something isn’t tickling their taste buds, they still have other healthy options at the ready. This technique also ensures that kids will not get hungry after skipping meals. Lunch buffets do not have to be complicated. Include half of a sandwich, a piece of fruit or an applesauce cup, some trail mix, and a granola bar. Look for complex carbohydrates and protein so that little bellies will feel full.

Go with what works

If a child really enjoyed the previous night’s dinner, offer up a repeat for lunch the next day. Some schools have a microwave where hot foods can be reheated. If that’s not available, invest in a thermos or a durable, insulated container that can keep the foods at a comfortable temperature. Lunchtime at school occurs not too far into the day, and it’s feasible that food can still be warm if heated right before leaving the house.

Sneak in some nutrition

If kids are bound to eat the same thing over and over again, mix it up in subtle ways. Add a slice of tomato to a plain cheese sandwich and serve it on whole-wheat bread for added nutrition. Blend cauliflower into mac-and-cheese so it’s barely noticeable. Add flavor to lunch meats with a piece of bacon. Bake up nutritious cereal bars on your own that pack a nutritious punch and could have pureed fruit as the base.

Breakfast for lunch

Most kids go ga-ga over breakfast foods. Use that to your advantage, sending them in with egg-bacon-cheese bagel sandwiches, or some cereal to which they can add milk bought from the cafeteria. Thin pancakes can be rolled and stuffed with fruit in a crêpe style that makes for a tempting treat.

Rely on school lunch

School lunches shouldn’t be dismissed. When the pantry and refrigerator simply aren’t offering up the right inspiration, let children try something provided by their schools. They may like the menu, and that will save you time and effort in the morning. Plus, many school lunches are designed to be nutritionally balanced.

Picky eaters frequently make meal creation challenging. However, with some ingenuity, kids’ lunches can be enjoyed and savored.


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Featured Healthy Living Links – Local Resources

If you missed our recent Special Edition, the Medical & Health directoryhave no fear! We offer digital files of our special sections for view online, found at: https://www.franklinshopper.com/digital-editions/special-editions

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We are happy to share some hand-picked local resources, we are proud to partner with and highly recommend! Click any of the names/links to find more information.

*Denture Center Inc.
*Visiting Angels
*John L. Grove Medical Center
*PinnacleHealth Women’s Cancer Center
*PinnacleHealth Cardiovascular Institute


Have you visited one of these local businesses? Leave your review in the Comment section below!

Beat Couch Potato Curse + Local Highlight

Diet and exercise make great bedfellows for men and women looking to live a healthier lifestyle. A combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise makes it easier for men and women to maintain a healthy weight while lowering their risk of various ailments, including heart disease and diabetes.

A heightened awareness of what makes for a healthy and unhealthy diet coupled with the increased availability of healthy foods has helped many people smoothly transition to a healthier diet. But many people still struggle to find time to exercise every day. Commitments to work and family can make it difficult to squeeze in regular workouts, and the call of the couch is often more appealing than a trip to the gym at the end of a long day juggling both personal and professional obligations. But exercise is integral to a healthy lifestyle, so it’s important that men and women take steps to incorporate exercise into their daily routines.

* Figure out when you’re free. Finding free time is perhaps the biggest hurdle adults must clear when attempting to exercise more. Track your daily schedule for a week or two, making note of down times during the day when you might be able to squeeze in 30 to 60 minutes of exercise. If you notice you’re spending your lunch hours catching up on personal emails or surfing the Internet, then consider joining a gym near your office and turning those lunch hours into workouts. If your mornings are not dominated by getting the kids ready for school, then wake up a half hour earlier each morning to squeeze in some time on the treadmill. You likely have some down time with regard to your daily schedule, and identifying such time is the first step toward making better use of it.

* Make it a team effort. Daily exercise is not just good for adults; it’s great for kids, too. Parents looking to fit more physical activity into their daily routines should consider involving their children, many of whom are dealing with a fitness crisis of their own. According to a 2014 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the last three decades, putting youngsters at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, bone and joint problems, and sleep apnea. Parents can make daily exercise a family affair, which increases the time they spend with their children while ensuring their kids stay fit as well. Men and women without families also can make daily exercise a team effort by working out with a friend or significant other. The buddy system often proves motivational, encouraging men and women to exercise even on those days when the couch is calling.

* Make exercise more interesting. Many workout routines fall by the wayside because they simply do not engage men and women no matter how motivated they are to lose weight. An hour on the treadmill can seem like an eternity to certain men and women, who can benefit by choosing workout routines that are less monotonous. For example, Zumba is a combination of dance and aerobic exercise that is growing in popularity. In lieu of spending an hour on the treadmill or elliptical machine, Zumba participants get an equally if not exceedingly challenging cardiovascular workout that many find more fun than traditional aerobic exercise thanks to its incorporation of dance. For those without such happy feet, bring a tablet along to the gym and catch up on your favorite television shows or a good book during your cardiovascular routines. The more interesting you find your workout routine, the more likely you are to find time for that routine every day.

* Choose an accessible routine. When planning your workout, make it as accessible as possible. While sports like kayaking and mountain bike racing make for great exercise, such activities are not readily accessible to many working professionals with busy schedules. Join a gym that’s only a short drive from home, or purchase some gym equipment you can set up in your own home. The more accessible a workout routine is, the more likely you are to embrace that routine.

The call of the couch can be difficult to ignore. But the side effects of a sedentary lifestyle can be grave, so men and women sneakers2should work to find ways to include exercise in their daily routines.   (LS148392)


***Local Highlight***

Healthy feet and proper foot support can not only improve your workout but your overall daily health and wellness! Choose a quality provider like local Podiatrist – Kevin L. Curlis, DPM

“Whether you’re suffering from a mild sprain or chronic heel pain, I am committed to helping you return to a pain-free, active life.” ( -Kevin L. Curlis DPM)

2014 Year in Review Now Available in Print & Online

The 2014 Year In Review features a timeline of local businesses. Did you know Robert T. Henry Pharmacy in Shippensburg has been in business for 139 years? Wow!!

Pick up your 2014 Year In Review to recap top stories & events in Franklin & Washington Counties. Or read online – https://www.franklinshopper.com/speced-download/year.in.review.2014.pdf


Source: Facebook

Top 5 Indoor Plants

Winter is when we often spend a lot more time indoors, so it’s important to keep your home fresh and cozy! Air quality is one aspect of our home interior that can often get overlooked but has a big impact on our overall health and well being. One step you can take towards clearing the air in your home, is to introduce at least one plant from of our top 5 recommended indoor plants – proven to have improve your air quality!

When it comes to plants, I don’t necessarily have a green thumb. That’s why I opt for easy care, low maintenance. Not only is it nice to bring a little bit of the outdoors – inside – but the added health benefits of cleaner air is an obvious bonus! 🙂 The list I’ve compiled includes plants that are both easy to care for as well as improve home air quality.

*Aloe Vera

->Sun loving plant, besides air filtration, this plant also offers a soothing gel inside its leaves that can help soothe cuts and burns

*Spider Plant

->Low maintenance, very easy care; Lots of foliage and occasional tiny white blooms

*Snake Plant

->Low light, humid environments; Widely known for air filtration benefits

*Bamboo Palm

->Thrives in shade; Produces small flowers and berries

*Peace Lily

-> A top indoor plant on N.A.S.A.’s report for removing common VOC’s; Prefers shade

N.A.S.A. first compiled a list of “Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement” back in 1989. You can still view the original report thru their site at: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930073077.pdf


Do you have a green thumb or an indoor gardening tip to share? Leave a Comment below

Perfect Turkey How-To

Cooking a turkey is no simple task but with our helpful cooking tips, you’re on your way to roasting the perfect holiday turkey!

*1-1 1/2 lbs per person: While leftovers can be good, don’t overdue it. Remember you’ll often have your plate full of hearty side dishes and leave some room for pie too.

*Make sure you add enough *spice*: Under-seasoning is a common and easily avoidable mistake!

*Consider brining: A simple brine starts with water and salt. Extra herbs and flavoring are optional. Brining lean meat like turkey can help prevent meat from drying out. Soak turkey in brine for up to 24 hours before cooking.

*To stuff or not to stuff? Some like cornbread stuffing, others like rice “dressing” and some like none at all. To make a wet dressing without stuffing the bird, save time and hassle by simply topping your dressing with warmed broth.

*Rest cooked turkey before carving: Rest a large bird for at least 15 minutes before carving.

  • Share your top turkey cooking tips in the Comment section below!

  • Stress Free Thanksgiving Tips

    Less stress means more time for what matters – spending time with family and friends and reflecting on what we’re thankful for! Follow our top tips for making your holiday season less stressful!

    *Plan a potluck – If you’re cooking the turkey, ask guests to bring a side or dessert. When everyone contributes it can lead to a more meaningful meal and a fun way to share favorite family recipes.

    *Choose make-ahead recipes to save time & stress the day of! If you’re hosting, you can even set the table the day ahead to help save time.

    *Switch up the traditional menu – try brunch! You can still have turkey too – turkey bacon, turkey sausage or how about a nice turkey tenderloin alongside quiche!

    *Opt. for eating out – Skip the mess and cleanup all together by dining out this Thanksgiving!

    *Donate your time to charity – Celebrate the holidays by giving back. Consider donating your time or goods to local charities in need.