Microgreens contain more nutrients than mature vegetables and can be used to add color, texture, and flavor to a variety of dishes. Some of the simplest microgreens to grow are broccoli, cabbage, collards, mustard, and radish. Here’s how to do it.
1. Cover the bottom of a seed-starting tray with about two to three inches of damp potting soil.
2. Scatter the seeds over the soil in an even layer, then cover them with a bit more damp soil.
3. Mist the surface using a spray bottle, and repeat this once or twice a day to keep the soil damp but not soaked.
4. Place the container on a sunny windowsill once the sprouts appear, and continue to mist the plants daily.
5. Harvest the microgreens when they’re about one to three inches tall (after one to three weeks) using scissors to cut them at soil level.
Rinse your microgreens and use them in salads, sandwiches, or as a garnish. They can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week.
4 benefits of companion planting
Companion planting is based on the theory that certain plants can improve each other’s health and yields when grown together. Here are some other advantages to this gardening practice.
1. It allows you to make the most of the space in a small garden because you can pair sprawling and upright plants or sow fast-growing crops alongside slower ones.
2. It enriches the soil because certain plants absorb or release nutrients, which creates better growing conditions for nearby species. Plus, it helps the soil retain moisture.
3. It provides plants with natural support, either in the form of shade or by allowing tall plants, like sunflowers and corn, to act as a trellis for vining crops like cucumbers.
4. It minimizes the amount of open areas where weeds can grow, and mixing various plants makes it harder for pests and diseases to devastate a single species.
If you want to try companion planting in your garden, consider pairing basil with tomatoes, marigolds with squash, mint with lettuce, or spinach with radishes.
4 ways to cope with empty nest syndrome
Even if you want your children to be independent, it’s normal to experience feelings of sadness and loss when they leave home for the first time. Here are a few strategies to help you adjust to this change.
1. Focus on your community
You’ll always be a parent, but the responsibility of raising your kids is no longer central to your life. Consider directing your energy toward volunteering or caring for your community in some other way.
2. Reconnect with your partner
It’s common to put romance on the back burner when you have kids, but now you can give your relationship the attention it deserves. This is also an ideal opportunity to strengthen other important connections in your life such as with friends or siblings.
3. Explore your interests
Are there hobbies you gave up when you had kids or were always too busy to try? Filling your time with activities you enjoy is a great means of self-care and will help reinforce your identity as more than just a parent.
4. Take on a new challenge
Since raising kids has been one of your primary goals for years, you might be looking for a new project. From tackling home renovations to writing a memoir or training for a marathon, there are plenty of ways to keep busy.
Finally, remember to give yourself time to adjust to this new chapter in your life, and don’t hesitate to reach out to a friend, family member, or mental health professional for support.
8 ways to get your kids interested in nature
Time spent enjoying the natural world comes with a number of benefits, from improving both physical and mental health to boosting curiosity, creativity, and concentration. Here are some ways you can help your kids cultivate an appreciation for the great outdoors, no matter where you live.
1. Transform part of your yard into a butterfly garden with mud puddles and plenty of pollinator-friendly plants.
2. Lie in the grass and try to spot squirrels in the trees, birds in the sky, and shapes in the clouds.
3. Put together a nature-themed scavenger hunt for your next hike or stroll through the park.
4. Make pine cone bird feeders, try mimicking bird calls you hear, and keep binoculars on hand for birdwatching.
5. Visit the nearest dark-sky site or set up a telescope in your window, so you can stargaze from home.
6. Roll over a log or rock to discover what bugs, lizards, and other critters live beneath it.
7. Grow herbs and vegetables in your backyard, on your balcony, or in small pots on your windowsill.
8. Collect acorns and rocks to use in crafts, and press leaves and flowers in a scrapbook.
Finally, consider organizing a family outing to a botanical garden, national park, aquarium, or wildlife sanctuary where you can learn more about the natural world together.
An explorer’s toolkit
Here are a few tools to help your kids learn more about their environment:
• Magnifying glass
• Butterfly net
• Bug observation box
• Dip net and pail
• Garden fork and trowel
Dog body language: 3 emotions that are easy to recognize
Though dogs communicate with whines, barks, and growls, they more frequently rely on body language to express their emotions and intentions. Deciphering your pooch’s postures, facial expressions, and other physical gestures is a key part of communicating with them. Here’s how to recognize three basic emotions in your pup.
When dogs want to play, they raise their tail and lower their front end by bending their forelegs. They also erect their ears and open their mouth in the shape of a smile. This behavior may be accompanied by an excited barking and playful advances and retreats.
Thunderstorms, strange places, and a variety of other situations can frighten dogs. They tend to express this emotion by placing their tail between their hind legs and flattening their ears. They may also curl back the corners of their mouth and pucker their muzzle. Additionally, a scared canine’s hackles may be raised.
Dogs may become aggressive if an intruder ventures into their territory. Indications that they may act aggressively include raised hackles, a tail that’s straight and pointed backward, and legs that are straight and rigid. In addition, they may bend their ears forward and show their teeth.
If you pay close attention, you’ll realize your dog is communicating with you all the time using a variety of signals. By learning what your pooch is saying, you’ll develop a closer bond and be better able to predict their behavior.
Canine calming signals
When faced with a stressful or uncomfortable situation, dogs adopt a variety of behaviors to calm themselves or comfort someone else. These calming signals may include yawning, shaking, blinking, nose licking, sniffing the ground, lying down, or lifting a leg.
Seniors’ residences: An impressive range of services to come home to
If you’re thinking about moving to a seniors’ residence, you should know that different types of facilities offer varying services. Therefore, it’s best to consider the state of your health as well as your interests, budget, and degree of autonomy when choosing a place to live. Here’s an overview of the main services offered by various seniors’ residences.
Whether you’re independent, semi-independent or require daily care, seniors’ residences can offer you assistance maintaining your health, well-being, and appearance. These include services related to:
• Bathing and showering
• Getting dressed
• Hairdressing (cutting, styling, etc.)
• Distribution of medication
• Changing bandages
• Oral hygiene (natural teeth or dentures)
• Manicures and pedicures (with or without nail polish)
• Mobility support (moving around, transfers, getting up from and going to bed, etc.)
• Follow-ups with health professionals (pharmacist, doctor, nurse, etc.)
• Animal therapy
Your well-being is important, and you should have quality care. Let yourself be treated to the assistance you deserve, delivered by people who have your best interests at heart.
Sports and recreation
There are numerous benefits to keeping your body and mind active as you get older. That’s why seniors’ residences offer a wide range of stimulating activities. Depending on the facility, these may include:
• Arts and crafts (knitting, sewing, crafts, etc.)
• Clubs (walking, reading, etc.)
• Group classes (yoga, aerobics, etc.)
• Fitness training (weight machines, stationary bikes, free weights, etc.)
• Games (board, card, video, etc.)
• Freestyle swimming or aqua fitness classes
• Bocce ball or pétanque
With so many activities to enjoy, you’ll hardly notice the time pass. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to broaden your horizons and develop new passions.
Eating well is essential if you want to keep up your energy and stay healthy. However, many seniors neglect their diet, and some are even at the risk of malnutrition. If you can’t prepare your own meals, or if you simply don’t have the energy to cook or do the dishes, moving into a seniors’ residence can eliminate the need to perform these tasks.
You can easily enjoy the pleasures of healthy eating by relying on a seniors’ residence to prepare you fresh and varied meals. Depending on the facility, you may have access to:
• Buffet-style meals
• À la carte dining
• Daily meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) offered individually or as a package
Additionally, some establishments can provide delicious meals that suit your dietary requirements. This can be important if you have food allergies, diabetes, or a special diet prescribed by your doctor.
Everyday tasks can be strenuous or simply tedious. Imagine having someone to take care of these chores for you:
• Changing the bedding
• Disinfecting the bathroom
• Cleaning mirrors and windows
• Washing and folding clothes
• Cleaning floors
• Emptying garbage cans
If you’d like to say ‘‘goodbye’’ to doing housework, you’ll be happy to know housekeeping is a key service offered by many seniors’ residences.
Contact the facilities in your area to find out more, or reach out to a local senior housing consultant. This professional can help you determine your needs and preferences so that you can target the places best suited for you.
Other services and benefits
The seniors’ residence you choose should provide a warm and safe living environment where you can fully enjoy your retirement years. It should have qualified personnel on-site at all times, carefully maintained common areas, an efficient fire protection system, and rigorous procedures in place in case of an emergency. It should also have banking and mail services and an on-site convenience store, if possible. Give yourself the quality of life you deserve.
Kids Corner: How to make your own slime
What’s squishy, squelchy, and super fun to play with? Slime, of course! Here’s a recipe so you can make your own at home. Just be sure to ask a grown-up for help.
• 1/4 teaspoon borax powder
• 1/2 cup hot water
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 cup school glue
• Food coloring
• Glitter and/or sequins (optional)
1. In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of school glue. Stir until the mixture is uniform.
2. Add the food coloring as well as any glitter or sequins you want to use. Stir thoroughly.
3. In a bowl or measuring cup, add the borax to the 1/2 cup of hot water to make liquid borax. Mix thoroughly. (A few particles floating in the mixture are OK.)
4. Slowly add the liquid borax to the bowl with the glue mixture. Stir continuously. The slime will start to form almost immediately. Once it’s well-combined, mix it with your hands. Lots of kneading will help you create the perfect slime.
5. After you’re done playing with it, store your slime in an airtight container.
If you get slime stuck on your clothes or hair, use vinegar to instantly dissolve it.