"Come for a day and stay for a lifetime…"(R)

Travel Tips That Give Jet Lag the Boot

by Carla Griffin on July 22, 2021

The jet-setting season is fast upon us with baby boomers, and retirees heading off to far-off places, to explore the world or take a domestic excursion. Traveling is an exciting way to experience life beyond our own backyards, and meet new people, but can also be draining especially when we transition between time zones, and disrupt our normal rhythm. Train, plane, or automobile, active adults can learn to outsmart jet lag, and take advantage of every adventurous moment with travel-friendly tips worth packing their bags for.

Travel guide writer Rick Steve’s is most known for his popular European travel television series that takes viewers behind the scenes to explore the roads less traveled through the eyes of a local. One of his most useful tips when traveling abroad is setting your clock to wherever your destination may be and get moving! Fresh air, and exercise is the best way to combat jet lag and travel fatigue. Make it a point to drop your things off at the hotel, and lace up your walking shoes. Keeping up with the current time zone will help to regulate your internal clock, and give you more time to soak in your surroundings.

Maintaining your normal diet is key to keeping your digestion humming, and your energy up. Most airlines allow you to take your own foods on the plane as long as there are no liquids, for an ideal alternative to in-flight meals. Think cut up veggies, hydrating fruits, and hearty salads made with whole grains, and roasted veggies. Depending on where your travels take you, purchasing ingredients at local markets and preparing your own foods is a great way to experience new cuisine, and be in control of what goes into your dishes. Phone apps are available for those on special diets such as celiac or vegetarian with resources for local restaurants options.

Pack a small first aid kit for unexpected emergencies, and fill any prescriptions before you leave. Let your doctor know when, and where you’ll be traveling and bring an extra written script with you in case a refill is needed when you’re away. Most European pharmacies are equipped to provide common medications if you know what you need. To save luggage space, and the headache of airline restrictions, consider purchasing toiletries such as toothpaste, and shampoo when you reach your destination.

Plan for wellness, plenty of rest, and an extra memory card to capture every highlight of your trip. Make the hardest part of your excursion deciding where to book your next adventure.

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Greenhouses Grow in Demand as Gardening Takes Off

by Carla Griffin on July 18, 2021

Greenhouse in back garden with open windows

As more homeowners sheltered during the pandemic, they explored outside activities, with gardening growing into a favorite pastime for many. To grow gardeners’ newfound love for plants and gardens, greenhouses are popping up in more backyards.

Greenhouse manufacturers are reporting surging website traffic and demand over the past year.

Bunny Williams, who maintains an interior design practice in Manhattan, told The Wall Street Journal that the greenhouse has become a place of solace for her and her husband during the pandemic. They use their greenhouse to care for a variety of plants, such as orchids, succulents, passion flowers, and geraniums.

The greenhouses can be as elaborate as homeowners desire, from luxurious 25-by-50-foot metal-framed glass enclosures costing thousands of dollars to pop-up units of a few hundred dollars that homeowners purchase online.

But greenhouses are bringing their users more purpose than just plantings. They also double as places to entertain or even to work from.

“Greenhouses have a different smell, temperature, light, and humidity than that of being outside,” Kathryn Herman, a landscape designer who built a greenhouse on her property in Fairfield, Conn., told The Wall Street Journal. Herman spent about $324,000 to build her home’s greenhouse. “When you step into one, you are in a totally different environment, which makes them magical.”

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Social security spouse benefits are eligible to you if you are widowed, divorced, or even still married. However, there are a few things you should know when claiming social security irrespective of the category you fall into.

Widowed Spouses Benefits

You can claim your spouse’s social security, as early as 60 years, upon his/her death, if you have been married for more than 9 months. However, keep in mind; you cannot claim your benefit, as well as, your spouse’s. You are applicable to claim only the larger the benefit. The surviving spouse is also eligible to receive a lump sum, upon the death of the spouse, if living in the same house. If you wait till 70 to collect on social security, you can use it as life insurance. Remember, if you claim, your spouse’s social security, before full retirement age, you stand to lose a significant amount of money. However, if you wait till full retirement age, you can get 100% of your spouse’s benefit amount.

Ex-Spouses Benefits

If you are divorced, the maximum you can claim from your spouse’s social security is 50% of what your ex-spouse would get at full retirement age. You will not be able to collect your ex-spouse’s social security if you are remarried. Your marriage to your ex-spouse should have lasted for more than 10 years, and your spouse has to be 62 or over. You will be eligible for your ex-spouse’s benefits even if your ex-spouse has not filed for these benefits. Keep in mind; you have more benefits if you wait to claim these benefits after full retirement age. If your ex-spouse is younger than you, you can always collect your benefits and then collect theirs once you become eligible.

Current Spouse Benefits

If you are still married, you can collect your social security, and collect 50% of your spouse’s benefits calculated at full retirement age. If you earn more or less than your spouse, you will automatically be eligible to get the higher spousal benefit. If your spouse has reached full retirement age, you can claim his/her benefits and claim yours once you reach full retirement age. This way you get a higher benefit. Remember, if both of you take your benefits before full retirement age; you will both stand to lose a significant amount from your benefits.

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Best BBQ Sauce Recipes to Try This Summer

by Carla Griffin on July 13, 2021

BBQ sauce is a sauce that you can enjoy with any type of meat, including chicken, pork, beef, and ribs.

There are many different variations of BBQ sauce, varying from BBQ sauces that have vinegar flavors to BBQ sauces that have a tomato base or a mustard base. There is generally a type of BBQ sauce that could suit anyone’s tastes.

Here are the ten most popular BBQ sauces available:

  1. Big Daddy’s Carolina Style BBQ sauce is a vinegar and mustard-based sauce, which is different from the normal BBQ sauce that you find in the southwest which has a ketchup and molasses base. The combination of sweet and tangy flavors that you get from Big Daddy’s Carolina Style BBQ sauce brings out the absolute best in grilled and smoked pork and chicken.
  2. St. Louis BBQ sauce is a bit thinner and has a more tangy flavor than most BBQ sauces. This BBQ sauce has many different influences that play a part in its taste, and it can be made in a few different ways to your liking. This sauce has many of the elements that make up a proper St. Louis BBQ.
  3. The classic BBQ rib sauce is something that is always associated with the taste of great ribs, and great ribs just wouldn’t taste the same without a classic BBQ rib sauce to accompany it. The classic BBQ rib sauce has that smoky flavor combined with a touch of heat and that deep flavor that ties it all together.
  4. The Kansas City rib sauce is a tomato-based sauce that gives you a traditional combination of a nice sweet flavor with a little kick of heat in a dark and thick tomato sauce. You can adjust the heat of this sauce to your liking by changing the amount of cayenne added to it.
  5. The Memphis BBQ sauce is a sauce that combines sweetness and vinegar and a little bit of heat all into one sauce. Traditionally, Memphis Barbecue is typically served without a sauce, but since rules are made to be broken, many Memphis BBQ restaurants have sauces available, either on the side or by special order.
  6. The best odds pulled pork sauce is a sauce that is added to the pork after it has been smoked and pulled. It is best to cook it slowly with the pork in a big pan so that it brings out the best flavors possible from the sauce. This BBQ sauce has a vinegar base with a bit of heat as well, and it works perfectly with the pork.
  7. The Piedmont BBQ sauce is of the thinner, vinegar-based variety, but it contains lots of flavors. This sauce is normally used when eating pork because it has a rich tangy flavor to it that works so well, but to put it simply this is a great sauce that could be used for just about everything.
  8. The mustard BBQ sauce is a sauce that works well with anything, but it was made especially for smoked pork. It adds great flavor to it and the mustard adds a bit of heat that really brings out the best flavors from the food.
  9. The North Carolina BBQ chicken sauce is a vinegar-based sauce that also has a tangy flavor combined with a little bit of sweetness. This sauce really enhances the smokiness of the chicken, and it finishes off a BBQ chicken perfectly.
  10. Jack Daniel’s rib glaze is a glaze that you will need to add to your food toward the end of its cooking, and you want to make it so that the sauce will stick to the surface of the ribs without burning. To do this you need to keep the temperature low and cook it slowly until you see when it is stuck to the food. With the long simmer, all of the alcohol will evaporate from the sauce and it will leave behind a brilliant glaze that has a small whiskey flavor to it.

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Staying Busy during Retirement

July 10, 2021

All those days of working 7 days a week and doing so almost the whole day are now behind you. The time you spent working and being busy is now considered as your “free” time. But, instead of sitting back and relaxing, you find yourself bored to death. What will you do with your newfound […]

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Factors to Consider before becoming a Dog Owner

July 5, 2021

  The benefits of owning a dog, for seniors, have been documented for decades. Dogs help relieve stress, prevent depression, alleviate boredom and provide the companionship needed during the later years. There is nothing more rewarding than hugging a dog and getting a wag of the tail and a kiss of welcome. But, if you […]

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How To Create a Hummingbird Hangout in Your Garden

July 2, 2021

Hummingbirds have long been considered a symbol of joy and happiness and are said to bring good luck and positive energy to those who encounter them. So why not keep the good vibes going by creating a hummingbird hangout in your garden that can ensure these beautiful creatures return year after year? “Adding a hummingbird-friendly […]

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The Perks of Traveling After Retirement

June 26, 2021

Have you ever watched a travel program in a country such as India or Japan, and found yourself amazed that such places exist beyond the comfort of your own hometown? Most of us have yet to visit many of the landmarks within the U.S. let alone the wonders that lie abroad. Many wait until retirement […]

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The New American Status Symbol: A Backyard That’s Basically a Fancy Living Room

June 21, 2021

The backyard has become a status symbol and the ultimate family room for many well-to-do Americans. One person spent $550,000 on his outdoor space and he included Vegas-level lighting, a pizza oven, infrared heaters, and water features – a pool, waterfall, slide, and hot tub and grotto. Before the pandemic, exterior decorating was on the […]

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Home Decorating Tips for Seniors

June 18, 2021

Decorating your home, whether it is in an active adult community or an assisted living facility can be interesting and fun. You would be having many artifacts and mementos and collectibles that have seen for many years. These things are precious and you just can’t throw them away. Here are a few ideas on how you can […]

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