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National Crayon Day

Today is a day to celebrate the crayon, Crayola crayon being the most famous name.  No matter your age, coloring a page with crayons can be very soothing and nostalgic.

Here is a brief history of the Crayola crayon for you.

In 1864, the Binney and Smith company began in Peekskill, NY. The company started with a pigment for foundries and cast iron stoves called “lampblack.” They used waxed marking crayons for the cartons. 

You’ll find the company next in Pennsylvania where it works with teachers to come up with a dustless chalk to be used on slate boards in schools.  The Crayola division began in the company. 

You can flash to 1903 when the first box of Crayola crayons hits the market.  Much research was done in order to create something safe for children to use.  

The first box was made up of eight crayons.  The colors were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, and black.  Each crayon was wrapped in paper and labeled with the color.

Over the years the boxes changed.  In 1949, the box grew to hold 48 colors placed in a box with “stadium seating.” Later In 1958 the classic 64-color box was introduced with a built-in sharpener. Finally in 1993, ninety-six colors were packaged into what they called the Big Box.

Consequently, Crayola crayons are in most school classrooms today.  There are other brands but Crayola is still among the best and most favored of crayons.

Here are a few fascinating crayon facts for you:

  • Mrs. Alice Binney is credited with the Crayola name.  (“Craie” means chalk in French and “ola” is short for “oleagineux” which means oily.)
  • Involving the public, the company has changed crayon names over the years. 
  • Crayola has many products now including markers and pencils.
  • In 1984, the company became a subsidiary of Hallmark.
  • You can visit two museums called The Crayola Experience.  These are designed for children.  They are located in Easton, PA and Orlando, FL.


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National Nutrition Month

Private Home Health Care noticed that another highlight in March is National Nutrition Month.  This is one of our favorite topics!

The theme for this year is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.

Your healthy lifestyle includes food of course but also exercise and rest.  Three important parts of your life in order to be healthy.


  • You should eat lots of  fruits and vegetables.
  • Cook using whole grains like brown rice, barley, bulgur quinoa and farro. You’ll find many recipes online for these grains.
  • Use whole wheat flour and replace white bread and bagels with whole wheat bread and bagels.
  • Your meat intake should be limited and should include lean meats. 

If this feels overwhelming to you, choose one or two things on the list to change.


Activity – at least 5 hours of activity a week. 

  • You could walk around your neighborhood, in a mall or in your house.  
  • Weight training is healthy for you too.  You can use light weights, 2, 3 or 5 pounds and do them standing or from a chair.

Whatever your age there is always some exercise that can help. 


The sleep you need depends on your age.  Babies and young children need the most sleep.  It changes in the middle and teen years with a bit less sleep needed.  

According to the Mayo Clinic, adults need at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night.  As you age you may find you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.  If this starts to cause you to feel overly tired, get in touch with your medical professional.

Private Home Health Care hopes that you can set some nutrition and exercise goals for yourself.  It is never too late and any changes can make a healthier you.


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Council on Aging Agencies

We at Private Home Health Care would like to discuss the Council on Aging (COA) agencies. The mission of the agencies is to enhance the quality of life for seniors, and to promote respect and good will in the community.

Oftentimes as you age you become more sedentary. It’s easy to withdraw from other people and keep more to yourself.  

Activities are very enriching and in addition, you can sign up for transportation.  Do you need groceries or a ride to an event at the center?  You can sign up and make an appointment for a ride.  

You can often get delicious lunches at a great cost.  Sign up for a variety of exercise classes geared towards the elderly. Attend a meeting with local police who share knowledge and information to improve your quality of life.

In addition, if you golf there there are usually opportunities to join a league. Are you a dancer? Try line dancing or ballroom dancing. Do you love movies?  Check out the movie times offered and sign up. The activities are a perfect way for you to stay connected to others.

Have you recently lost a friend or a spouse?  There are usually support groups who meet at the COA location.  Do you like to travel?  Look for trips closer to home or out in the wider world. 

Council on Aging agencies truly are a place that is full of options for you when you find yourself a bit older and when you are looking for fun or interesting things to do.  The offerings are wide ranging and a fantastic way to meet old or new friends.  

You are bound to find something with all they have to offer! 

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National Chia Seed Day

Tomorrow is National Chia Seed Day.  Have you ever had chia seeds?  Did you know they can be black or white?

Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanic as a part of the mint family.  These tiny but powerful small seeds have been around since the Aztec and Mayan people.   

Can you guess why chia seeds have been around for such a long time?

If you guessed because they are highly nutritious you are correct!

Tiny chia seeds are hearty in fiber, protein and omega-3.  Furthermore, they have antioxidants and nutrients to help your bones.  Things like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Don’t forget the potassium!  It is actually amazing all the nutrients in these seeds.

You can find chia seeds in any grocery store.  You can use them for breakfast on avocado toast, overnight oatmeal or even in a muffin.  There are recipes for rolls, breads, cookies and all different kinds of puddings available.

Chia seeds are easy to eat and digest.  You may be surprised to learn that they don’t carry a distinct flavor and they blend very well in recipes.

Private Home Health Care would like to share an easy chia pudding recipe for 4 people.  We hope you try it and enjoy the pudding and all the nutrients you gain from the tiny chia seeds.

Pudding Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup plain low-fat (2%) Greek yogurt 
  • 2 tbsp plus 4 teaspoons of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup chia seeds

Topping:  1 pint strawberries (hulled and chopped); ¼ cup sliced almonds


  1. In a medium bowl gently whisk almond milk, greek yogurt, 1 tbsp maple syrup and vanilla.
  2. Whisk in the chia seeds and let stand for 30 minutes. Stir to distribute the seeds, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next day, toss the berries with the 4 tsp maple syrup.  Mix in the almonds.
  4. Spoon the pudding into 4 bowls or glasses.  Mound the berry mixture on top.
  5. Enjoy!

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Certified Nurses Day

We Celebrate Certified Nurses Day annually on March 19. This day recognizes nurses who contribute to better patient outcomes through national board certification in their specialty. A certified nurse is considered to be a clinical expert, who demonstrates a level of knowledge validated by the credentialing boards. The complexity of the medical field is ever-growing and nurses strive for professional excellence and superior patient care in their desire to become certified in one or more of these areas. 

Why Get Certified?

  • Certified Nurses are recognized and respected by their peers, patients, and supervisors.
  • The nursing certificate validates the nurse’s mastery of skills, knowledge, and abilities.
  • The higher the nurse’s education level, the better prepared they are to address even the most complex nursing situations.
  • Certification helps nurses extend their knowledge and expertise. Moreover, helping them stay up to date with the latest developments in their specialty.
  • This helps them build confidence in their professional skills and increases their credibility.
  • Certified Nurses have access to more job opportunities, higher pay and better opportunities.
  • Nursing certification demonstrates the nurses’ commitment to career development and dedication to patient care. Specifically, because it is a voluntary process, seeking specialty certification is often viewed as a reinforcement of the RN’s devotion to the field.
Owner of Private Home Health Care & Certified Nurse, Mary Demakes.

Certified Nurses, Unsung Heroes, Above & Beyond

There are more than 3.8 million nurses in America today. During a typical shift, nurses will walk between 4-5 miles. They have an intimate view of our lives as they sometimes provide care in the most difficult of times. Working with people who with illness and pain is not an easy task. However, they tend to be comforting and patient with people they treat. Seeing unsightly injuries and terminal patients, nurses tend to be upbeat and caring. Not to mention the stress, added hours, and fear of the unknown nurses faced during the Covid19 pandemic. Yet, overworked and understaffed, there they were, doing everything they could to help. Unlike other frontline workers, the gratitude we show these heroes can be slighted. Certified nurses, go above and beyond to voluntarily get certified and master their craft.

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Happy Spring!

Today at 5:24pm (EDT) it is officially the start of spring called the Vernal Equinox.

If you live in the Northeast US you may have been surprised this morning to think that spring was almost upon us.  The temperature this morning was actually in the 20’s!  

Temperatures in the 20’s are not warm!  Fast forward to the afternoon and it has warmed up considerably so maybe there is something to the seasons changing now.

What exactly is the Vernal Equinox?

The Vernal Equinox is when the amount of day and night are almost exactly equal.  You can look for about 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness today.  Today the sun rose at 7:25am and it will set at approximately 7:32am.

The great thing about the beginning of spring is that each day you will notice more daylight incrementally.  This continues until the summer solstice on June 21 (at 10:58am EDT).

Astronomical times or Meteorological times?

You may already know that the times listed for the beginning of the seasons above are actually astronomical times.  These dates and times are based on the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun.

On the other hand, if you are thinking about seasons starting on the 1st of the month (March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1) these are meteorological times.  

You can chalk this up to meteorologists and climate scientists wanting an easy way to keep track of weather and weather patterns each year.

Private Home Health Care knows that we could still get a snow storm in the Vernal Equinox but for today let’s celebrate this new season.


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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Who was St. Patrick?

Reading a bit about the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick you discover some interesting facts of what is believed to have been his early life.  

To start with, St. Patrick was actually born in Britain!  At age 16 he was taken prisoner from his family’s estate and brought to Ireland.  The Irish kept him in Ireland for six years.  During his captivity he did work as a shepherd and consequently became a devout Christian.  

Once he returned to Britain he heard an angel tell him that he should return to Ireland as a missionary.  Because of this vision he spent 15 years studying in order to become a priest.

You may be surprised to learn that St. Patrick did return to Ireland.  His mission was to minister and support the Christians in Ireland while likewise converting others to Christianity.

In order to help support the Irish people St. Patrick incorporated existing traditions and rituals into his ministries.  He could have come and tried to change the rituals but because he was accepting of native Irish beliefs he had success with his conversions.

Additionally, St. Patrick is responsible for creating the Celtic cross.  You may be familiar with this, especially if you are Catholic.  

The Celtic cross has a superimposed sun on it due to the fact that the sun was a potent symbol in Ireland.  Adding the sun made the cross more natural for the Irish.

You probably know that the Catholic Church has canonized many saints over the years.  St. Patrick lived so long ago that it was before the time canonizations began. Consequently, St. Patrick is not a saint of the Church but he is considered the patron saint of Ireland.

We will leave you with this Irish saying:

May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live. 

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Tomorrow is a National Day for a cultivated plant that has been around for centuries.  You will find much discussion on where these nutritious plants came from but does it really matter?

It’s all about artichokes and artichoke hearts!  You might wonder if artichokes are from the vegetable family?  Fruit maybe?  Would you be surprised if I said it was a thistle?

A delicious and healthful thistle.   Back in 1905 when they became popular in the United States it didn’t matter.  People interested because they were fascinated by their look and gourmet flavor.

Today you and I recognize the health benefits that artichokes provide.  Artichokes are low in fat and rich in fiber.  In one medium artichoke you can get 23-28% of your daily fiber needed.  You won’t find many calories either with about 60 in that same artichoke.

Likewise, you get protein and good vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Vitamins include vitamins C and K.  Minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and iron are plentiful too.

Online, you will find that there are many studies on additional benefits from eating artichokes and artichoke hearts.  Artichokes may help with:

Cholesterol – lowering LDL counts

Blood Pressure – regulating blood pressure

Liver Health – improving liver health

Digestive Health – promoting “friendly gut bacteria”

Basically, all artichokes are grown in California.  They are a perennial plant that lives for 5-10 years.

Private Home Health Care hopes you try an artichoke, fresh and steamed or from a jar on a salad or other dish.  Artichokes are are another food to add to your healthy diet.


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Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is home to Brain Injury Awareness Month in the U.S.. These injuries comprise fall-related damage to the brain, forceful impact to the head, or penetration by sharp objects. At least 2.8 million people in the U.S. sustain traumatic brain injuries per year. Most people are at a loss of how to be around these injured people, which is part of the reason why Brain Injury Awareness month was created. In fact, professional sports organizations have dedicated a lot of time and money looking into making their respective games safer. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has been a pressing issue in contact sports.

Brain Injury studies have become far more common in the sports world.

Brain Injury; CTE In Athletics

One issue that continues to cast a shadow over athletic events is the fallout from the intense play that can lead to short-term and long-term head injuries for many athletes. For instance, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE is a degenerative brain disease being linked physical sporting events. CTE is commonly found in athletes, military veterans, and others be linked to repeated head injuries and blows to the head. Obviously, contact sports like football, rugby and hockey come to mind when thinking of head injuries. Nevertheless, with repeated use of the head in soccer and elbows in basketball have seen problems with injuries to the head. How Sports Concussions and CTE can Impact an Athlete’s Mental Health – NextStep Solutions ( This link dives into the problem in sports and provides more information.

The brain is the most complex part of the human body.

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World Glaucoma Week

Have you heard of glaucoma?  Do you know that it is one of the leading causes of blindness across the world, including in the United States?

The goal for this week in March is to raise your awareness and to let people know that early detection is key.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is caused by damage to a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve.  You may not have many symptoms or you could begin to notice changes in your vision. You often have higher pressure in your eye, but there are cases with normal pressure as well.

Are you at risk for Glaucoma?

  • Are you over the age of 60?
  • Do you have a family history of glaucoma?
  • Are you an African American over the age of 40 

How can you help prevent glaucoma?

There is really no way you can prevent getting glaucoma.  You can however get checked regularly by an eye doctor so that you have an early detection. Early diagnosis is very important to help manage and slow down the disease.

What treatments are available for Glaucoma?

You could have a combination of treatments or one of the following options:

  • Prescription eye drops
  • Oral Medicines
  • Laser Surgery
  • Surgery to help drain fluid from the eye

Private Home Health Care encourages annual eye exams for those at risk and every two years as a good general guide for others.  You can make an appointment with an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.

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