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Pocono Family The Pocono Mountains' Magazines

M A G A Z I N E

• March/April 2021 •

Complimentary


LEADING SHOT Photo taken by David Trainer

2 | Pocono Family Magazine March/April 2021


Trust is the foundation of all relationships. When it comes to health care, trust means everything. Trust takes time, inspires confidence, instills hope, and goes deeper than words. You’ve trusted St. Luke’s to care for you and your family through all of life’s moments for almost 150 years. We promise to keep earning your trust for generations to come. The care you trust. Now more than ever.

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March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 3


POCONO MAGAZINES

Pocono Magazines, LLC PUBLISHING

Pocono Living Magazine© & Pocono Family Magazine© 1929 North 5th Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360 570-424-1000 pmags@ptd.net www.poconomagazines.com PUBLISHER/EDITOR Larry R. Sebring larry@poconomagazines.com ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES larry@poconomagazines.com MAGAZINE & WEB DESIGN Smart Blonde Creative Food & Wine Editor Jamie Bowman

PHOTOGRAPHY & ART Veronica Murray Andrei Protsouk David Sandt Lisa Newberry James Chesnick Barbara Hornstra Marlana Holsten Matt Siptroth William McKee Barbara Lewis Linda Zak Nancy Tully Maritza McFaline Vinzon Lee CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Roseanne Bottone Kimberly Blaker Marty Wilson Suzanne McCool John C. Moore Jim Werkheiser

Jamie Bowman Kathy Dubin-Uhler Amy Leiser Amanda Kuhn William M. Williams Janet Mishkin

Allison Mowatt ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS Kristen Sebring Linda Spalluto

PROUD MEMBERS OF

Pocono Living Magazine and Pocono Family Magazine, two regional publications filled with articles, features and photography exploring and capturing the real Pocono Mountains living experience. Our publications can be found at many locations throughout the Pocono Mountains region, and are available by subscription.

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The information published in this magazine is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. The publication’s providers do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information and shall not be held liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, by or from the information.© 2016 Pocono Magazines. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the expressed written permission of the publisher.


WHAT’S INSID

WHAT’S INSIDE HEALTH 6 10 12

14

FAMILY 14 18

20

24

20

30

34

36 38

24

40

• Encourage Learning • Digital Habits in 2021

PET

• Welcoming a Kitten

FOOD

• Dishes to Support Immune System

OUTDOOR

• Plan an Anglers Adventure

HOUSEHOLD

• Safe Winter Driving

EDUCATION

• Ace the Spring Semester • College Entry Exams

TRAVEL

• Pandemic Travel Trends

FINANCIAL 42

44

46

46

• What Makes Us Laugh • Hobbies to Keep Happy & Healthy • Improve Mental Health

50

• Financial Outcome in 2021

HOME

• Upgrade Your Home

55+

• Age with Style

COMMUNITY

• In & Around the Poconos March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 5


"Laughing is so beneficial to health that laughter therapy has even become an alternative approach to treating depression, stress, and other mood disorders."

6 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Health


What Makes Us Laugh? T H E H I S TO RY OF LAU GH TER & S C I EN C E B E H I N D I T S M ED I C I N A L EF F ECTS By: Kimberly Blaker

W

hether you guffaw, chuckle, chortle, cackle, roar, howl, or giggle, the ability to laugh is shared by all people around the world. Humans even share this ability with apes and other primates! Charles Darwin and many other researchers have recorded observations of laughing in various primate species during play and especially when being tickled. These findings suggest the ability to laugh goes back millions of years to a shared ancestor. Tickling may not be what makes you laugh – but everyone has something that tickles their funny bone. Although the jokes people tell have shifted and developed throughout history, laughter's positive benefits are unaltered.

and fewer symptoms when laughing. He prescribed himself regular laughter by watching Candid Camera and Marx Brothers movies and lived another 25 years. He worked with the California University Hospital to more formally study the health effects of laughter.

HOW DO LAUGH TE R & H UM OR AFFECT OUR H E A LTH?

 

Laughter may really be the best medicine. Scientific research has backed up the positive effects a good laugh can have on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Laughing is so beneficial to health that laughter therapy has even become an alternative approach to treating depression, stress, and other mood disorders. Evidence from numerous studies finds laughter to be an effective method in cognitive-behavioral therapy because of its effects.

    

Gelotology is the term used to describe the study of laughter. This field was developed in the late 1960s and examines the physiological and psychological effects of humor. One of the founders was William F. Fry, who would watch comedic movies while drawing blood samples. The results showed that laughter increased the activity of immune system cells. Norman Cousins was a big proponent of laughter as medicine. At the age of 50, he was struck with a disease with a low recovery rate. But he noticed that he experienced less pain

Just a few of the recorded benefits of laughter on mental, physical, and emotional health include:   

Increased endorphin levels Increased production of immune cells and antibodies Decreased levels of stress-causing hormones like cortisol and epinephrine Improved memory A refreshing mental break that helps replenish mental resources Strengthened social bonds Increased intake of oxygen, which stimulates organs Reduced Muscle tension Ability to better handle scary or stressful situations

As our understanding of the benefits of laughter has grown, people have started to incorporate laughter for other aspects of health, too. A physician from India, Madan Kataria, created laughter yoga which combines breathing, movement, and laughter to promote mental and physical health. A study examined the effect of this method on older adult women experiencing depression in comparison to a control group that used exercise therapy. Those who completed laughter yoga reported significantly higher life satisfaction and improvements in their depression compared to the control group. The study found laughter yoga to be as effective as exercise programs. March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 7


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor is a non-profit organization started by a group of psychologists who promote the use of humor to support improved health and well-being. They have an extensive research library that shares academic research related to the benefits of humor and laughter.

is based on the recognition to observe or create incongruities in a social setting, and as humans’ cognitive abilities and language has developed, so has humor. Play-fighting may be one of the earliest forms of humor due to the mix of playfulness with fighting behavior.

Counselor and stand up comedian, Richard Granirer, of Stand Up for Mental Health, uses stand up comedy to educate the public about mental health and reduce the stigma around it. He also teaches those with mental health issues or disorders to utilize their struggles to create comedy, which gives them a sense of control and self-worth.

In 2008, a group of British historians hunted down the oldest recorded joke - a fart joke in Sumeria in 1900 B.C. It was inscribed on a tablet and translates to: "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial. . ." "A young woman did not fart in her husband's lap." Although the words used may change, jokes at their core tend to make light of similar ideas like fart jokes or toilet-related humor.

HOW HAS HUM OR C HANGED OVER TI M E? Humor as a source of laughter has been around as long as humans have been able to communicate. According to Robert R. Provine, a laughter expert, "The necessary stimulus for laughter is not a joke, but another person." Laughter seems to have evolved as an essential part of social interaction, even if it does not happen face-to-face. The current thought is that humor 8 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

Top 10 oldest jokes from history, discovered by researchers led by humor expert Dr. Paul McDonald, reinforce the idea that at their heart, jokes have not changed too much over time. Humor has always dealt with "taboos," witty retorts, pointing out ironies, making light of difficulties, or come at someone's expense. The format of jokes may change, and the details may shift to reflect the times, but the basic elements remain the same.


Throughout history, humor has developed to reflect the times as people used laughter to connect. What people find funny varies based on individual and shared experiences. Humor generally reflects current events and stages of life and can be a way to relate to others. Shared humor relies on shared context and understanding of content. So people may not be able to appreciate jokes that have a more specific connection to a particular group. Some types of humor may be more global and relate to the basic human experience. In contrast, others have a more narrow audience that can appreciate them. Jokes and humorous content have also been shared in a variety of different ways, depending on the technology available. Humor can be shared in any way that people communicate. Jokes have been shared through every medium imaginable - carved on tablets, written in newspapers, sent in letters, graffitied on walls, or told by entertainers like court jesters and stand-up comedians. The rise of technology has also led to alternative ways of sharing humor. In the 1950s, Charley Douglass, a sound engineer for CBS, created laugh tracks to make a shared experience of laughter for people watching at home. Today, humor can be shared far and wide through the internet and social media in the form of memes or videos. Humor and laughter are universal and vital parts of a happy and healthy life. Keep your spirits up by finding ways to keep laughing. Though each person's sense of humor may be a little different, you just have to seek out what you find funny or enjoyable. Especially when you are feeling down, it is even more important to try to find something to laugh at to lighten your load. Socialize with people who make you laugh for a boost. Sign up for a daily joke or comic strip. Follow your favorite comedian. Keep a running list of books, songs, tv shows, or movies that make you laugh. Or start a 'funny file' for emergencies with cards and pictures that bring a smile to your face. Even if you don't feel like laughing, try forcing a few chuckles - the more ridiculous, the better. You'll likely find yourself genuinely laughing before you know it!

About the writer Kimberly Blaker is a parenting and lifestyle freelance writer. She also writes a blog, The Young Gma's Guide to Parenting at www.theyounggma.com

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March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine ©

| 9


Hobbies to Keep Your Body & Mind HEALTHY & HAPPY

As the pandemic continues to restrict many of the places you are able or inclined to go, finding ways to stay active is important for keeping the body and mind healthy and happy. Here are some ideas for new hobbies to try.

• Learn a language: Bonjour! ¡Hola! With an array of online

language classes and tutorials available at your fingertips, learning a new language is more accessible than ever. Start now while you fantasize about a post-pandemic vacation overseas.

• Play an instrument: Learning to play an instrument is not

only a great distraction for the current moment, it can provide you with years of joy as your skill develops. Consider starting your musical journey on a Casiotone keyboard. By connecting the keyboard to the free Chordana Play app, you can easily learn to play your favorite songs from downloaded MIDI files. Once

10 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

you’ve mastered the instrument, the portability of the keyboard will come in handy, whether you play solo or join a band.

• Become a home chef: From sushi to soufflé to dumplings,

there are likely a range of dishes you have never attempted making at home. Tackle your culinary bucket list, one-by-one.

• Go hiking: There is no better hobby for staying fit and

communing with nature than hiking, which works every muscle of the body, boosts cardiovascular health and even improves mood and mental well-being. Track your hike using a wearable tech tool geared for outdoor enthusiasts, such as a watch from the Casio’s Pro Trek line. Quad Sensor technology packs all the measurements you need into one compact hiking watch, including a compass, altitude/barometer and temperature measurements, along with an accelerometer that


Now!

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Pocono Living Magazine

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"Discovering new hobbies and pursuits you love can nurture the body, mind and soul."

tracks step count. Calorie calculations use both step count and altitude information to take upgrades and downgrades into consideration, and data is recorded by the Pro Trek connected app.

• Volunteer: At a time when many people are struggling,

consider volunteering your time to serve those in need. There are plenty of safe, socially distant volunteer opportunities, from delivering meals to the homebound, to video conferencing with socially isolated seniors to helping boost adult literacy via remote tutoring. Amid the ongoing pandemic, staying busy and positive may take creativity. However, discovering new hobbies and pursuits you love can nurture the body, mind and soul. Courtesy StatePoint

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images

IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Sleep

with better

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For some, the holidays may be the happiest season of all, but for others the hectic pace and endless to-do lists can take a real toll on their mental health. This year, the impact is heightened by a global health pandemic. According to a survey from Mattress Firm, more than 60 million Americans say COVID-19 has worsened their quality of their sleep, and those losing sleep are often seeing their mental well-being and healthy habits worsen. Nearly half of respondents said COVID-19 has increased their worries and prevented them from falling or staying asleep at night, with 41% reported their poor sleep has a negative impact on their daily lives.


"It's no surprise that when our minds are full or our hearts are heavy, our mental health tends to suffer," said Dr. Sujay Kansagra, a sleep health expert for Mattress Firm. "What many people don't realize is that mental health struggles also affect sleep, and adequate rest is a key component of maintaining and improving your mental health." If stress and worry are preventing you from getting a good night of sleep, try these ideas from Kansagra to help improve your mental state and ease your body into rest.

THINK POSITIVELY.

Every night before going to bed, list three good things from your day. They don't have to be amazing things, just three positive aspects of your day. For example, acknowledge you had a good virtual catch-up with a colleague or enjoyed a new recipe or workout class. Listing your positive experiences at night can help you maintain a positive frame of mind as you unwind for the day. Create a to-do list. This technique is for those who mentally work through their list of pending responsibilities before bed. In a fast-paced world, sometimes lying in bed is the first time you have to actually think about what's on your list. By creating a list of tasks (or even writing down your worries), you can prevent yourself from thinking about them excessively before bed and throughout the night.

TRY PROGRESSIVE RELAXATION.

This involves taking slow, deep breaths and slowly tensing the muscles in your body for a few seconds then relaxing them. Start at your feet and work your way up the body. This technique can help you relax and decompress after a long day.

APPEAL TO YOUR SENSES.

Being mindful of how your senses react to various stimuli can play a role in your ability to drift off to sleep. Some people need silence; others benefit from ambient sound. Certain scents can be soothing and make good choices for essential oil diffusers, such as lavender oil. Also be conscious of the touches that affect your sleep, like the support from your mattress, the softness of your sheets or the temperature of the room. Whether it's your family, your health or general stress that's keeping you up, find time in your day to give yourself some grace. Your mental health is extremely important and should not be overlooked, so if you're feeling a little worn down, ensure you're getting the quality sleep you need to tackle the day and week ahead. Find more tips for better sleep at MattressFirm.com.

WHAT KEEPS YOU

awake?

If you're like many Americans, outside influences and worries may affect your sleep. Pinpointing what's keeping you awake, such as these common sleep disruptors reported in a Mattress Firm survey, can help you address your concerns so you can rest more easily.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.

Especially if you're working from home or tackling a lot of seasonal tasks, it's easy to keep yourself busy up until the minute you fall into bed. However, your mind may still be whirling from all that activity. Build in a few minutes before bed each night to let your mind rest, whether it's spending a few minutes with a good book, practicing meditation or sipping on a cup of sleepy-time tea.

1. Money or Paying Bills (49%) 2. My or My Family's Health (48%) 3. State of Country & the Economy (39%) 4. My Kids & Their Health or Education (32%) 5. Missing Social Interaction (31%)

Courtesy Family Features March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 13


Family

USE THE POWER OF PLAY TO ENGAGE KIDS AND

ENCOURAGE LEARNING You love spending time at home with your kids, but you might not have anticipated just how much time this would be at the start of the pandemic. Now that cold weather is sweeping the nation, families will be at home and indoors even more. Fortunately, the magic of imaginative play not only keeps kids busy, but it helps them develop critical skills that will serve them well throughout life.

14 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021


Photo courtesy of BrandPoint

March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 15


Photo courtesy of Pixabay

"Creative play nurtures budding imaginations and helps young brains develop in healthy ways."

Active imaginative play has proven to be beneficial for kids, according to Scholastic, including skills development such as: 

Language skills: kids tell their own stories and play pretend

 Creativity: children create new worlds and scenarios  Social skills: children learn to play together or with adults  Self-regulation skills: managing their emotions alone or in relation to others  Problem-solving skills and resiliency: discovering their own solutions  Understanding and empathy: putting themselves in the shoes of other people, animals, etc. Creative play nurtures budding imaginations and helps young brains develop in healthy, age-appropriate ways. As kids spend more time at home and in some cases away from preschools, classes and playdates, this is even more critical to fill in for lost learning opportunities. To inspire creative and dramatic play in your home any time of year, consider these fun ideas: 16 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

Choose tech toys that promote hands-on creativity Kids are accustomed to having technology in their daily lives, so offering a low-tech toy strikes the perfect balance between sparking interest and encouraging hands-on, imaginative play. The BRIO Smart Tech Sound Action Tunnel Circle Set lets kids create their own world using a childhood favorite: trains. Kids can reinforce their fine motor skills by building train tracks, while the set's 'record-and-play' function allows children to record their own sounds and integrate them into the play experience. The free Smart Tech Sound app also offers a simple remote control option for young hands, plus there are many options to expand your set for customized playing.

Stock a play clothes bin with a variety of items Encourage your child's sense of dramatic play by keeping a dedicated bin stocked with dress-up clothing. Fill it with old clothes, unused accessories, and former Halloween costumes and other fantasy wear. You'll be amazed by their transformations and what new and inventive ways they use the


items. Ask open-ended questions such as, "Where do you live?" and "How do you feel?" to reinforce your child's creative spirit. You might even capture some pretty awesome pictures and videos to document this unique year.

Make mystery prop boxes with themed items Kids love a good mystery and adore surprises, so use that emotional pull to your advantage by introducing a special "mystery" play box filled with themed goodies to inspire. For example, the box might include baby items such as bottles, rattles and blankets, for when kids want to play family. Or, fill it with safe medical supplies such as play bandages, thermometers and containers for aspiring front-line workers. Change out weekly or at the frequency of your choosing to always keep young minds guessing while fueling their creative tank.

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Integrate favorite characters into imaginative play Introducing your child's favorite characters into play time can help to keep them engaged, especially when they can include them in their own storytelling. One example is the BRIO Disney Mickey and Friends: Mickey Mouse Record & Play Station, which allows children to craft their own travel story for Mickey as he rides around the wooden tracks. Using the 'record-andplay' function, kids can bring Mickey to life using their own voice and imagination to decide what he's up to while on the road!

Upcycle and craft cardboard creations Many families are getting more deliveries right to their home and with that comes plentiful cardboard boxes. Recycling is always a great idea, but before you do so, consider upcycling opportunities for your kids. With some basic crafting supplies and a touch of imagination, a large cardboard box can be transformed into a treehouse, restaurant, island hut and more. Medium and small boxes can be turned into cars, doll houses and beds for toys. With each delivery comes a new opportunity to create, and when children are done playing, you can still recycle the cardboard to support the environment. The power of play has never been more important. By embracing each day and fostering new experiences through imaginative play, you'll provide your kids with a much-needed escape with ample benefits. Courtesy BrandPoint

• 60 acre lake with 300 campsites • Paved roads • Electric, water and cable TV hook-ups; 100 campsites have sewer hook-ups • 8 heated bathouses, store, laundry and propane • Boating, boat rentals and fishing (no fishing license required)

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March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine ©

| 17


How Your Family Can Adopt Healthier

Digital Habits in 2021 As we head into 2021, adults and kids alike may still be enjoying the excitement of digital devices received as gifts over the holidays. However, the new year is always a great time for a reset, so alongside those new devices, consider adopting some new digital habits. Here are some great ideas for helping your family build healthier relationships with their digital devices: 18 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

• Get healthy: Not all screen time is wasted time. You

can use your device in positive, productive ways that help your family work toward improved physical health. For example, a steps counter might encourage your family to move more or even take up running, while a yoga app can help guide your family through quick routines you can practice from the comfort of home.

"The new year is always a great time for a reset, so alongside those new devices, consider adopting some new digital habits."

• Get smart:

Likewise, the members of your family can use their devices to exercise their minds. Encourage everyone to let their smartphones and tablets double function as e-readers, and to download apps that teach new skills and build knowledge. You can even try setting a goal as a family, such as learning a new language using the same app.


SHOP NEW. SHOP VINTAGE .

Photo Courtesy of: c) nd3000 / iStock via Getty Images Plus

SHOP LOCAL .

• Schedule digital downtime: Too much screen time is associated with poor quality sleep, increased anxiety and a range of other physical and mental health concerns, so be sure each day includes digital downtime. This is especially important if your family is working and learning from home right now. Make the most of these screen-free blocks by engaging in active play, moving, getting fresh air or spending quality time together.

• Get assistance: Making sure every member of the

family is using their device only in safe and healthy ways is easier said than done, however, a parental guidance app can help. Using OurPact for example, the most comprehensive parental control app, you can remotely establish automated schedules for when internet, apps and the device itself are unavailable. Features include URL whitelisting and blacklisting, daily screen time allowances and iMessage/SMS blocking, helping ensure device usage passes your approval.

It’s not just a day of shopping here in the Pocono Mountains—it’s an experience. Wander our historic streets. Explore our art galleries. Find unique local goods. And stop for a bite at one of our top-rated neighborhood restaurants along the way. Discover all of our shopping and sights now at PoconoMountains.com.

For better overall health and wellness, make 2021 the year your family adopts great digital habits.

Courtesy of StatePoint March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine ©

| 19


Pet

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

"Fostering a kitten can be a fun and exciting time, but it may also come with a learning curve."

20 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021


Expert Tips FOR WELCOMING A KITTEN

F

ostering kittens and cats has risen in popularity during these unprecedented times, and many pet lovers are becoming fosters to help overcrowded animal shelters. Fostering a kitten can be a fun and exciting time, but it may also come with a learning curve. Among the 43% of respondents to a Royal Canin survey, who have fostered a pet, 6 in 10 have "foster failed" and permanently adopted the pet they were fostering. Most pet owners who responded also agree the first year of pet ownership is the most important, but 64% believe it is the most difficult, as well. Whether you're fostering or adopting a kitten, learn how to give your kitten proper care during her first weeks and months with you with this advice from the experts at Royal Canin.

Arriving Home The new sights, sounds and smells in your home, and the separation from her mother, may make your kitten feel stressed. Keeping the environment calm and quiet can ease the transition.

March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 21


Photo courtesy of Pixabay

When you arrive home, put the cat carrier in the room you've prepared for the kitten with the kitten still inside, allowing her to get acclimated before opening the door. Then allow the kitten to explore a closed-off area. Resist the urge to cuddle your kitten right away. As your kitten gains confidence in its new surroundings, she will want to explore more. Make sure the environment is prepared with electrical wires and outlets covered; windows, balconies and stairs secured; and small or sharp objects put away so she can safely explore with your supervision. If there are possible hazards, a designated room with windows and plenty of social contact for the first few weeks may be better.

Creating a Safe Place Kittens can tire easily. After a little exploration time, give your kitten access to a bed in a cozy, quiet place with access to water, 22 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

food and a litter box. Turning out the light helps establish sleep patterns, but on the first night you might want to leave a night light on to help with the adjustment. Provide somewhere quiet to eat. This should be somewhere your kitten feels secure, away from where you and any other pets eat. Cats don't like to eat too near their litter boxes and should always have fresh water available. As kittens grow rapidly, their digestive and immune systems develop slowly and they have specific nutritional needs that are different from adult cats. Any sudden changes in your kitten's diet can cause digestive trouble, so for the first few days, keep the same feeding routine as the previous caretaker. You can slowly switch to a different routine, if you choose, and transition to kitten food suitable for the appropriate growth stage. For example, Royal Canin Kitten formulas are tailormade with optimal vitamins and minerals to support healthy development.


Creekside

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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Ongoing Care Your kitten should see a veterinarian as soon as possible. In addition to a general health check, your vet can help you create a vaccination schedule and give advice on deworming, nutrition and more. Always use a carrier to transport your kitten safely while in the car and into the vet's office. Gradually introducing your kitten to new experiences can help with socialization. New sounds can startle a kitten, so be ready to offer plenty of reassurance. You may also need to introduce new terrain like stairs or unfamiliar surfaces. Gentle play and careful handling can help your kitten become more comfortable with being touched. Learn more about proper cat nutrition and how to create a welcoming home at royalcanin.com.

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Courtesy of Family Features March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 23


Food

If feeding your family wholesome meals is a daily goal, keep in mind you can serve up tasty foods that also feed your immune system by including ingredients like mushrooms. With their earthy flavor, mushrooms - like many other fruits and vegetables - can also play a positive role in supporting a healthy immune system. Studies at Oregon State University concluded there are a variety of micronutrients important for supporting a healthy immune system. Consider that three of these nutrients (vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins) can be found in mushrooms, meaning these family-friendly recipes for Roasted Chicken Thighs and Veggies with Mushroom Orzo Risotto; Grilled Portobello Gyros with Yogurt Dill Sauce; Creamy Spinach, Mushroom and Lasagna Soup; and Asian Barbecue Sesame Salmon with Noodles and Veggies can help you add allimportant nutrients to your family's menu. Find more ways to add mushrooms to family meals at mushroomcouncil.com. 24 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021


with Yogurt Dill Sauce Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of "Zen and Spice" Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 25 minutes Servings: 4

• 4 portobello mushrooms • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika • 2 yellow bell peppers, sliced Yogurt Dill Sauce:

• 1 English cucumber, grated • 1 cup whole-milk • Greek yogurt • 1/2 cup sour cream • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 1/2 small lemon, juice only • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill • 4 pita breads or naan • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced • 1/2 head green lettuce • crumbled feta cheese (optional) Remove stems from mushrooms and brush caps with wet towel. Using spoon, carefully scrape out gills. Slice mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces and place in medium bowl with olive oil, oregano and smoked paprika.

Photo courtesy of Family Features

Preheat indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and peppers; grill, tossing occasionally, until tender, 5-7 minutes. To make yogurt dill sauce: Squeeze grated cucumber in clean towel to remove excess liquid. Add to large bowl with yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and dill. Stir to combine. To serve, place mushrooms and peppers in middle of pita bread. Top with tomatoes, onion, lettuce, feta, if desired, and big dollop of yogurt dill sauce. March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 25


Photo courtesy of Family Features

Chicken:

• 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs • salt, to taste • pepper, to taste • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter • 16 ounces crimini mushrooms, quartered • 3 zucchini, sliced in half moons • 3 large carrots, thinly sliced • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed • and roughly chopped • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Photo courtesy of Family Features

Orzo:

• 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • 1 small yellow onion, diced • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 16 ounces crimini mushrooms, • • • •

finely chopped 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1/3 cup white wine 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Heat large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and mushrooms soften, 4-5 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of "Zen and Spice" Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 40 minutes Servings: 4

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 medium onion, small diced • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced • 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes • 2 tablespoons tomato paste • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar • 1 tablespoon dried basil • 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon oregano • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper • 1 bay leaf • 3 cups vegetable broth • 6 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces 1/2 cup heavy cream

• • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping

Add marinara, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, basil, salt, oregano, pepper, bay leaf and broth. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer. Add lasagna noodles and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf. Stir in heavy cream and spinach until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Divide between bowls and top with dollop of ricotta and sprinkle of mozzarella.

with Mushroom Orzo Risotto

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of "Zen and Spice" Cook time: 50 minutes Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes To make chicken: Preheat oven to 450 F. Pat chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Sear chicken until browned, 4-5 minutes on each side. In large bowl, toss mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, garlic and rosemary. On large baking sheet, spread vegetables. Nestle chicken into vegetables. Drizzle with butter and juices from pan. Bake 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. To make orzo: In small pot over medium-low heat, warm broth.

Servings: 4

Using skillet from chicken, add butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, 3-4 minutes. Add orzo and black pepper. Stir and cook 2 minutes. Add white wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute. Add warm broth to orzo 2/3 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth, waiting until last batch is absorbed before adding more. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan. Serve in individual bowls with chicken and roasted vegetables atop mushroom orzo risotto. March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 27


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• 1/2 cup soy sauce • 2 tablespoons brown sugar • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (optional) • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce • 2 tablespoons water • 2 teaspoons cornstarch • 1 1/2 pounds salmon (4 filets) • 12 ounces stir-fry (pad thai) rice noodles • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced • 1 cup sugar snap peas • 1 large broccoli head, cut into bite-size florets • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish • sesame seeds, for garnish

Courtesy Family Features


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Preheat oven to 400 F. In small saucepan, whisk soy sauce; brown sugar; rice vinegar; garlic; ginger; chili garlic sauce, if desired; sesame oil; and barbecue sauce. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to simmer. In small bowl, whisk water and cornstarch. Pour into pan and cook on low, whisking often, until sauce thickens, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Pour 3 tablespoons sauce into small bowl. Brush salmon filets with reserved sauce and place on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until salmon is flaky. Discard small bowl sauce if any remains. Cook stir-fry noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil. Add mushrooms, snap peas and broccoli. Cook, stirring often, until veggies are tender-crisp, 7-8 minutes. Add noodles and remaining sauce from pan; toss to combine. To serve, divide noodles, veggies and salmon between plates. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

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Outdoor

30 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021


PLAN AN ANGLER'S ADVENTURE

Like a Pro

Fishing is a treasured pastime for Americans from coast to coast, but the experience can be as individual as the person reeling them in. A successful angling excursion begins with thoughtful planning and all the right gear.

If you're new to the sport, gearing up for your first fishing season may feel equally exciting and overwhelming. On the other hand, a seasoned pro can always benefit from periodically taking stock of tackle, gear and other equipment to increase the thrill of a great catch.

A leading boat maker like Alumacraft gives you ample selection with more than 80 models focused on fishing and hunting. The brand, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, puts careful attention into the performance of each vessel while continually introducing innovations like a rigging system, called Alumatrac, that allows a host of custom accessories to be attached to the inner side of a boat's gunwales. A lighter, stronger all-aluminum transom, made for today's larger, more powerful outboard motors, can help enhance your fishing experience.

LICENSE & REGISTRATION

ADVANCE INTEL

With just a few exceptions, fishing requires a license. Thanks to the internet, a fishing license is easy to come by, even if you're not a resident of the place where you'll be dropping a line. Pay close attention to the different types of licenses offered so you're not vulnerable to fines or penalties. It's a good idea to store your permit in a waterproof container in a cubby on your boat or in your tackle box.

If you're traveling to a place where you don't know the locals, online research and area fishing reports can help you pinpoint the best places to find your favorite catch. For those new to the sport, or if you're branching out to target new species, be sure to do some research and learn from gaming experts about the best tricks for targeting the fish you prefer.

TACKLE & GEAR

BOAT Unless you're planning to fish strictly from the shoreline or a bridge, you'll probably need a boat to reach the best fishing waters. Boat styles vary depending on the species you're angling for and the body of water you'll use to drop a line, and dozens of features and options let you customize your experience.

Some elements of a fishing excursion are obvious, like rods and reels, but also be sure your gear includes a well-stocked first aid kit, sunscreen, sunglasses to reduce glare from the water, snacks and water to keep you safely hydrated. Bring plenty of extra line and tackle so you don't have to call a day short if you snag a favorite lure. Depending on the manufacturer, fishing-specific

"Fishing is a treasured pastime for Americans from coast to coast, but the experience can be as individual as the person reeling them in." March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 31


THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE

THE MOUNTAINS FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Celebrate the holidays surrounded by great company and even better cuisine in the Pocono Mountains. From romantic dinners by candlelight to farm-to-table experiences, our local chefs are serving up something for every palate. Visit PoconoMountains.com to see all of our mouth-watering dining options and make your reservation.

boats like the Alumacraft multi-species or crossover boats are designed with built-in lockable rod storage and integrated dual aerated, LED-lit livewells for organizing your gear and keeping your catch safe. Spend more time planning your next fishing adventure at alumacraft.com.

CHOOSE A BOAT STYLE FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE Not all boats are created equal, so knowing how and where you plan to use your boat will help you determine which boat style you need. Consider these options from the experts at Alumacraft: 32 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021


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Hunting

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Fishing

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Bay: Versatile bay boats offer equally smooth rides and easy

Camping

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Household

Poison Prevention Tips for Parents of Small Children By: Roseanne Bottone As students venture out into the public arena to return to school, we are concerned about their potential exposure to COVID-19. Dangers of another type lurk at home. The following information about preventing poisoning can be lifesaving for small children. “Because it takes only a split second for a child to be poisoned, we want everyone to remember the theme ‘Children Act Fast… So Do Poisons.’ Most exposures that occur in the home can be prevented or substantially reduced through proper and safe storage, use and supervision of all household products,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. 34 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

Poison centers handle an average of one poison exposure every 14 seconds! Prepare your home properly to keep a tragedy from happening. Visit poisonhelp.hrsa.gov and click on the link to “What Can You Do?”

Are you storing these items out of reach of children?  cosmetics and personal care products  cleaning substances

(e.g., dishwasher and laundry pods, liquids)

 pain medicine/fever-reducers  plants  diaper care, acne preparations, antiseptics  cough and cold preparations  pesticides (e.g., Ant bait)


 vitamins  gastrointestinal preparations  antimicrobials  arts, crafts and office supplies  antihistamines  hormones and hormone antagonists

(diabetes medications, contraceptives)

 hydrocarbons (lamp oil, kerosene, gasoline, lighter fluid)  foreign bodies (toys, coins, thermometers)  cigarettes (nicotine is very poisonous) The National Capital Poison Center recommends buying small quantities of these items, discarding expired or unwanted materials, and always keeping these household items out of the reach of children. Visit www.poison.org for details. The EPA suggests these measures to protect your loved ones: 1. Read the product label first and follow the directions to the letter www.epa.gov/pesticides/label/index.html.

2. Use the safest possible cleaning products. Look for

the Design For the Environment (DfE) label on products (www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/formulat/label.htm)

3. Never leave products unattended when you are using them. 4. Re-close products if interrupted during application (e.g., phone call, doorbell, etc.).

5. Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.

6. Never transfer pesticides to other containers; children may associate certain containers with food or drink.

Your poison center can give you other first-aid advice and may save you from a visit to the emergency room. To help you get started in making your home safer, the EPA offers a free checklist called “Poison-proof Your Home: One Room at a Time: Pesticide Poison Prevention Checklist.” Visit nepis.epa.gov and enter the title in the search box to print your copy today.

“Because it takes only a split second for a child to be poisoned." The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services encourages

you to post this poison help information in a prominent place, or program their help number directly into your phone (1-800-222-1222). If you are not sure, Make the call anyway! Remember, if the poisoning victim is unconscious or has trouble breathing, call 9-1-1 first.

Post this somewhere prominent

1. Call Poison Help (1-800-222-1222), to connect to your local poison center. Call if someone may have been poisoned – even if you are not sure. 2. Stay calm – most poisoning emergencies can be resolved quickly. 3. Call 9-1-1 if the person is unconscious or has trouble breathing.

7. Remove children, pets, and toys before applying pesticides (inside or outside the home). Follow label directions to

determine when children and pets can re-enter the area that has been treated.

In the event of an accidental over-exposure to one of these items, the Health Resources & Services Administration recommends you take these initial steps:

 If the person inhaled poison, get to fresh air right away.  If the person has poison on the skin, take off any clothing the poison touched. Rinse skin with running water for 15 to 20 minutes.

 If the person has poison in the eyes, rinse eyes with running water for 15 to 20 minutes.

Source: US Dept. of Health & Human Services

Roseanne Bottone is a regulatory compliance training instructor, former Peace Corps Volunteer, cancer survivor, grandmother, MBA, and freelance writer. She travels the country teaching business people about environmental and transportation safety regulations, and is a newspaper columnist. She’s a homeowner in East Stroudsburg and lives with her daughter, grandchildren, two cats and a Rottweiler.

March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 35


Education

Ace the Spring Semester W I T H T H E F O L LO W I N G TO O L S & S T RAT E G I E S

36 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021


Maintaining a passion for school can be tough during the spring semester, particularly during an unusual academic year. Here is a round-up of tools and strategies to help motivate students and facilitate their success:

• Outside counsel

Now is a great time for students to meet with their academic advisor or counselor. Doing so can expand a student’s knowledge of current and future opportunities and serve as a temperature check on their progress toward degree completion. Plus, talking to someone invested in one’s success can provide the push needed to keep up the good work.

• Advance calculations

To solve the most challenging equations and embrace the actual theory of mathematical concepts, it’s important to be equipped with an easy-to-use graphing calculator possessing all the latest functions. Boasting an advanced Computer Algebra System (CAS), Casio’s fx-CG500 is good example of a reasonably-priced next-generation graphing calculator helping students enrolled in advanced math and science courses. Clear visuals are especially important for distance-learning, and this model’s high-resolution, color, touchscreen LCD conveys a Natural Textbook display. Drag-and-drop functionality enables students to quickly and intuitively pull information from one representation into another. Meanwhile, split-screen functionality allows simultaneous viewing of functions and graphs.

• Mobile hotspot

A mobile hotspot can be a lifesaver, making remote-learners impervious to internet outages or bandwidth demands from other household members or roommates, helping ensure that they never miss a lesson or pop quiz.

Photo Courtesy of (c) kzenon / iStock via Getty Images Plus

• Eliminate a common headache

Students writing term papers can easily get bogged down in the tiring logistics of creating a bibliography. And while this task is necessary, it’s unlikely to further a student’s knowledge of a subject. Fortunately, there are apps available that automatically create bibliography entries in the style of a student’s needs when they scan a book’s barcode. Simplifying this task will free up much needed time and energy for students to research and actually write their papers. With the right tools and mindset, every student can have a strong spring semester. Courtesy of StatePoint March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 37


5 Tips to Ace College Entry Exams Because most colleges and universities require applicants to submit ACT or SAT results as part of admissions consideration, prepping for the test itself can be a critical component of that process. While it can oftentimes be hard to deal with the anxiety that comes with a rigorous test meant to show your mastery of certain subjects and concepts, such as reading and mathematics, consider these test prep tips to help boost your score while simultaneously lowering stress.

Register Early To allow yourself as much flexibility as possible, taking college entrance exams during your junior year of high school is encouraged. If you don't get an ideal score, you can refine your approach and retake the exam with a better idea of what to expect. 38 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

Take a Practice Test Any test prep plan should start with a practice SAT or ACT exam. Taking practice tests under realistic conditions can help you gain a better understanding of the content of the test, improve your time management and help combat test anxiety. You can use your practice test as a baseline to set goals and focus the rest of your prep on areas you would like to improve before the real thing.

Sign Up for a Prep Course If you find studying on your own difficult or not as successful as you'd hoped, a prep course can put you through the paces and hold you accountable. Complete with homework and in-class


Photo Courtesy of Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

practice, prep classes can range from small groups to larger classes taught by test experts. Some school districts even offer after-school programs dedicated to ACT or SAT prep.

Gather Supplies To help reduce test day stress, gather everything you'll need the night before. Check the list of banned items - cellphones aren't permitted - to make sure you don't accidentally bring something you're not allowed to have. Ensure your bag is packed with your admission ticket, valid photo identification, several sharpened pencils with erasers, an approved calculator (with fresh batteries) and a watch, if allowed.

Get a Good Night's Sleep & Eat Breakfast While it can be tempting to stay up late the night before the test to cram, you're likely to perform better with a full night's sleep. Sleep is important for retention, and eating a balanced breakfast before heading out the door can aid in your ability to focus. To make your morning easier, prep breakfast before bed to keep an early morning from starting even earlier. Remember, the college admissions process involves more than just test scores. Visit eLivingtoday.com for more education tips and information. Courtesy of Family Features & eLivingtoday.com March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 39


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Travel

Pandemic Travel Trends That May Stick Around COVID-19 has challenged families in different ways, and many had to cancel or reschedule trips during the pandemic due to travel restrictions, which meant missing out on quality time with loved ones and the mental health and self-care benefits of going on vacation. Although 61% of families had a trip canceled due to the pandemic in 2020, travel is still top of mind as 82% of families already have travel plans in mind for 2021, according to the 2021 Vrbo Trend Report. The report, which includes vacation rental marketplace data as well as survey data from family travelers, also revealed some travel habits that arose during the pandemic are likely to remain popular this year. "Let's face it, the pandemic makes it tough to predict what travel will look like in 2021," said Melanie Fish, Vrbo's travel expert. "That's why we combined search and demand trends 40 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

with a first-of-its-kind traveler survey of U.S. families. The combination gives us the most accurate picture possible of the plans families are making." Consider these pandemic-era trends as you make your vacation plans moving forward:

Staying in the Driver's Seat With travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines in place throughout much of 2020, many families opted to avoid flying and visiting crowded places by instead jumping in the car to hit the open road. This trend is likely to continue in 2021 with 59% of families saying they are more likely to drive instead of fly on their next trip. A change of scenery can be refreshing and motivating after staring at the same four walls in your home, so consider taking a road trip and exploring a new destination, even if it's just down the road from home.


Mixing Work and Play Many people were forced to adapt to working from home or facilitating e-learning for their children due to COVID-19. While turning homes into makeshift offices or classrooms wasn't an easy task for many families, the schedule flexibility provided by the remote setup allowed for the rise of the "flexcation" - mixing vacation time with virtual work and school. In fact, 1 in 3 families surveyed said they were able to travel because they were working from home, and 52% of those who took a flexcation during the pandemic found the experience refreshing with 67% saying they would do it again.

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Seeking Wide Open Spaces Many travelers gravitate toward vacationing in peaceful and picturesque destinations, and the open sky, fresh air and scenic views may be even more appealing amid the pandemic. According to the report, 61% of U.S. families said they are more likely to visit an outdoorsy destination than an urban one and 54% are more likely to head to a national park than an amusement park. Find more ideas for planning your next vacation - or flexcation along with the full Trend Report at vrbo.com. Courtesy of Family Features

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Financial

TIto OwnPSYour Financial Outcome in

2021

42 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

Photo Courtesy of (c) Digital Vision. / iStock via Getty Images Plus

“If you are nearing your retirement years, the events of this past year may have been especially concerning."

2020 was more than just a health crisis, it had ripple effects on nearly every aspect of our lives, including our long-term financial plans. Research from Lincoln Financial Group shows that personal finance concerns have intensified over the past year. Nearly half of Americans say they are preparing for the 2020 election’s impact on their investments and retirement accounts, and a vast majority have expressed a need for financial education to help them be better prepared for the future. As uncertainty continues amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Americans’ hopes of a comfortable retirement are at risk. “If you are nearing your retirement years, the events of this past year may have been especially concerning, and if you are rethinking your retirement plans altogether in light of 2020, you’re not alone,” says John Kennedy, head of Retirement Solutions Distribution at Lincoln Financial Group. “The good news is that with some smart steps and proper planning, you can


set yourself up to feel more in control of your finances in the year ahead and for years to come.” Kennedy offers the following tips to pandemic-proof and own your financial outcome in 2021:

1. Talk with a financial professional. If you’re not already, consider talking to a financial professional about your goals, roadblocks and concerns, especially given today’s circumstances. Lincoln’s research shows that nearly a third of Americans agree that now is a good time to talk with one. They are well-positioned to help you consider a broad range of solutions that best address your individual needs and situation.

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2. Protect your income. Your advisor may suggest diversifying your portfolio to include an annuity, which is a financial product that can provide you with protected income in retirement. Solutions like an annuity can help you feel better prepared to navigate volatility, protect the retirement savings you’ve worked hard for, as well as provide a legacy for loved ones. “With annuities, you have options for both protected growth and income that can help you feel more secure that you can maintain your lifestyle in a down market,” added Kennedy.

3. Stay the course. New research shows that an unpredictable market concerns more people than actual investment losses. But while market twists and turns may take you for a ride, it’s important to resist the temptation to jump off altogether. By proofing your portfolio to weather market ups and downs, you can guard against market losses, while keeping your money invested for growth. For more resources and tips, visit www.lfg.com. As you look ahead to a new year, it can be empowering to shift focus onto matters within your control. Proper financial planning, along with strategies that offer protection and opportunities for growth, can help you feel more secure as you work toward your investment goals. Courtesy of StatePoint

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Home

Upgrade Your Home, Downgrade Energy Usage The best home upgrades not only make spaces more livable and energy-efficient but are also cost-effective. Making energyefficient improvements is a savvy way to save money on utility bills, curb energy usage and add to the house's value. Consider a variety of home improvement projects, both big and small, that can reduce the financial burden of maintaining your home throughout the year and improve energy efficiency.

Add Insulation A cost-effective way to save on heating and cooling bills is adding a layer of insulation in the attic where heat loss is typically greatest due to hot air rising. While many newer homes are adequately insulated, those that are several decades old (or older) may benefit from an upgrade in not only the attic 44 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

but other common problem areas where air can escape such as basements, crawl spaces, fireplaces and ductwork. Seal Doors and Windows Windows and doors are common culprits for energy loss. While a complete replacement of doors and windows can be pricey, adding exterior caulk and weather stripping to fill in gaps where air can escape around these openings can make a noticeable difference for a fraction of the cost and make it cheaper to heat and cool your home.

Install Skylights Skylights are a cost-effective option for transforming any room in the home with natural light while also delivering energysaving benefits. For example, Sun Tunnel Skylights from Velux can be installed in as little as 90 minutes and funnel natural


light from the roof through the attic and into the room below with an aesthetic that resembles recessed lighting. Customizable with six diffuser film styles to complement interior design, the skylights can make a home more energy-efficient by reducing reliance on artificial lighting. An optional daylight controller makes it easy for homeowners to adjust natural light entering a room, and a solar nightlight provides a moon-like guiding light at night. Installed with the solar nightlight, the skylights qualify for a 26% federal tax credit on solar property.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

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A programmable thermostat is an efficient way to control the climate inside your home, and those with smart technology take programming to a whole new level. Today's smart thermostats not only let homeowners control temperatures from their smart devices while on-the-go but can also learn daily habits and adjust the temperature accordingly with no other manual adjustments necessary. In addition, some utility companies offer incentives like money back at the end of the year for installing a smart thermostat because the energy savings are so substantial.

bu

Replace Appliances Because appliances like refrigerators and ovens, among others, are major energy users, investing in more efficient models provides both cost and energy savings. Additionally, homes more than 15 years old could benefit from updates to the air conditioner or heater as systems 15-20 years old or older may be candidates for replacement as they're inefficient by today's standards.

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In comparison to running your air conditioner consistently, the cost of running a ceiling fan (or several) is significantly less. Particularly on days that may not require cooling the entire house completely, fans can provide a gentle breeze and circulate air in the spaces you use most often. Simply adjust the switch to the counterclockwise position to ensure it's pushing air downward during warmer months. For more information and home improvement ideas, visit whyskylights.com/livelighter. Courtesy of Family Features

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55+

46 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021


Age with Style & Grace Aging may be inevitable, but with advancement in research and technology, there are plenty of ways you can slow, or even reverse, the hands of time to stay healthy and promote longevity. Consider these ideas from Longevity Labs+, a company dedicated to cutting-edge aging research and the makers of spermidineLIFE, a first-of-its kind, clinically studied supplement containing natural spermidine, which renews cells and can reverse the signs of aging:

† Protect Your Skin Not only does your skin protect vital internal organs, it's an essential barrier to intruders like bacteria and other infectioncausing microbes. The skin is also the body's greatest tool in managing hydration levels and providing critical cues to your nervous system about things like temperature and pain. With such a big role in your overall health and well-being, the skin often shows the first signs of aging. Wrinkles and age spots are often indicators of a person's true age. However, you can reduce the visible impacts of aging on the skin with daily care. Regularly moisturizing helps keep skin supple, and diligent sunscreen application year-around can protect your skin from damaging sun rays. Some compounds and nutrient plans can help nurture youthful skin. It's also important to closely monitor your skin for changes, especially changes to moles or other spots that may be signs of skin cancer, which is generally treatable when caught and managed early. In addition, collagen peptides and a spermidinerich diet can be key in ensuring healthy skin into your later years.

† Maintain Clean & Healthy Cells You may not realize it, but as each day passes, your body's cells age, die and accumulate toxic matter, which disrupts cellular function and causes a myriad of age-related diseases such as dementia and cardiovascular disease as well as decreases immune function. However, a compound naturally produced by the body and found in nature called spermidine can clean cells of toxic matter so they can operate with renewed youth and efficiency. Spermidine triggers a cellular renewal process called autophagy, which allows cells to shed layers of waste and regenerate instead of slowing down and dying off. As the body ages, natural levels of spermidine decline, cellular regeneration slows and signs of aging are accelerated. Spermidine is a key to anti-aging and is believed to help reduce the onset of neurodegenerative and age-related diseases. You can boost spermidine levels by eating certain foods that are high in spermidine, like lentils, soybeans, mushrooms, aged cheese, pears, broccoli, peas and cauliflower. However, few people eat enough spermidine-rich foods to maintain optimal levels in their later years. Taking a supplement like award-winning spermidineLIFE* can support cellular renewal and help cells stay young and healthy. The first and only clinically studied spermidine supplement in the world, it includes spermidine naturally extracted from European nonGMO wheat germ along with carefully selected vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.

† Manage Physical Health As you grow older, your metabolism slows, making it easier to hold onto extra weight. Excess pounds are associated with numerous health risks, in addition to slowing you down overall.

"Aging may be inevitable, but with advancement in research and technology, there are plenty of ways you can slow, or even reverse, the hands of time to stay healthy and promote longevity." March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 47


Photo courtesy of Family Features

Maintain a more youthful body and mobility by consuming a well-rounded, nutritious, whole-food diet and committing to regular exercise, which can help not only banish extra calories but also keep your muscle tone strong, your balance steady and your posture straight. Just as important as what you do to protect your health as you age is what you don't do. That means limiting alcohol, quitting smoking and avoiding the temptation to indulge in high-fat and sugary foods.

† Support Mind Matters Worry lines aren't just wrinkles that come with age; they can be a sign of persistent angst. From stress to lack of sleep to slips in memory, there are plenty of reasons to focus on your mental health as you advance in years. Getting enough rest can play a big role in your physical health as well as your mental wellness. Too little sleep prevents your body from reenergizing itself fully and can affect your cognition and mood. Worry and stress can also cause you to feel your years. Information is key, and smart devices such as 48 | Pocono Family Magazine © March/April 2021

heart rate and sleep trackers can provide you with the necessary information to find what helps and what hurts healthy circadian rhythms and deep, regenerative sleep. Growing forgetful as you age is also common to an extent, but memory problems can be exacerbated by stress, lack of sleep and other factors. You can also keep your mind sharp by playing games, doing puzzles, reading and maintaining an active and engaging social life with others. Even during this pandemic, phone and video calls can help engage your mental state through important social activity.


Eat Away Your Age

This tasty recipe features three of the top 10 spermidine-rich foods: broccoli, mushrooms and aged cheese. It also keeps well, so you can prepare it for a casual brunch then reheat for an easy breakfast the next day.

Longevity Breakfast Bake Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Servings: 8 • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 pound uncured, organic bacon • 1 pound sliced, organic white mushrooms • 1 pound organic broccoli • 1/2 cup water • 2 cups grated aged cheddar cheese • 14 organic eggs • 1-2 teaspoons garlic salt • fresh ground black pepper, to taste In skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. While skillet is warming, chop bacon into small pieces. Cook bacon until crispy. Transfer bacon to plate covered with paper towel to absorb excess grease. Drain most grease from skillet, reserving some to saute mushrooms. Saute mushrooms until translucent. Cut broccoli into thick, bite-sized pieces; cover and microwave 4 minutes with water to soften. Heat oven to 350 F.

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In bottom of baking pan or cast-iron skillet, spread broccoli and mushrooms evenly. Add crispy bacon bits and cheddar cheese. Pour eggs into pan and carefully stir until ingredients are evenly mixed. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until top of casserole starts to brown. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Courtesy of Family Features

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March/April 2021 Pocono Family Magazine © | 49


Community

Sugar Shack Scramble

Saturday, March 6 & 7, 2021, 09:00am - 12:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center Join us for a hike through the woods out to the “Two Saps” Sugar Shack and enjoy hot cocoa and pancakes with fresh maple syrup! Sign up for a 9am or 9:30am start time. Spaces are limited! peec.org

Maple Sugaring Public Day

Photo courtesy of John Galarza

Must sign up in advance Saturday, March 6, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Kettle Creek This will be our 44th year of Maple Sugaring but due to COVID-19 it will be a little different. We will be limiting the number of people on site and following all COVID-19 safety protocols including masks at all times. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes. The day will feature a tour of the Sugarbush including stops to learn about Native American and early pioneer methods of making maple syrup , our evaporator process and methods of identifying and tapping a maple tree. Cost: $6/adult and $4/children under 12; all members of the EE Center and all tree sponsors attend free of charge. Please note only cash and check are accepted. Please dress to be outside and walking on potentially icy/snow covered trails. Registration is required no later than the Thursday before the program. Please call (570) 629-3061 for more information or to register. mcconservation.org

Ecozone Discovery Room!

Sunday, March 07, 2021, 01:00pm - 04:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center

In & Around the Poconos Red Cross Blood Drive

Wednesday, March 3, 10:00am - 3:00pm Kettle Creek We are proud to be hosting another blood drive from 10am to 3pm. Call Barbara at MCCD at 570-629-3060 for more information. To register or learn more about American Red Cross blood drives, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. mcconservation.org

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Climb into a bald eagle’s nest, crawl into a bat cave, explore a beaver lodge, and dig in a fossil pit! Explore this indoor discovery room and enjoy hands-on exhibits on natural history, sustainability and the local environment. No registration required. *Limited to 15 people at a time* peec.org

Maple Sugaring Public Day

Must sign up in advance Saturday, March 13, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Kettle Creek This will be our 44th year of Maple Sugaring but due to COVID-19 it will be a little different. We will be limiting the number of people on site and following all COVID-19 safety protocols including masks at all times. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes. The day will feature a


Ecozone Discovery Room! tour of the Sugarbush including stops to learn about Native American and early pioneer methods of making maple syrup , our evaporator process and methods of identifying and tapping a maple tree. Cost: $6/adult and $4/children under 12; all members of the EE Center and all tree sponsors attend free of charge. Please note only cash and check are accepted. Please dress to be outside and walking on potentially icy/ snow covered trails. Registration is required no later than the Thursday before the program. Please call (570) 629-3061 for more information or to register. mcconservation.org

Salamanders, Frogs, and More!

Saturday, March 20, 2021, 01:00pm - 03:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center Amphibians are stirring in the woods! Join us as we explore nearby breeding pools for salamanders, frogs, and egg masses. We’ll provide nets and collection jars for gentle, up-close study. Wear boots and clothes that can get muddy or wet. peec.org

Bridge the Gap: Woodcock Walk

Saturday, March 20, 2021, 06:30pm - 08:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center Join us for a walk to see the mysterious woodcock and its spectacular springtime mating display. Bring a flashlight for better searching! Ages 10+ please. peec.org *Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation.*

Camp Hidden Falls Tour

Sunday, March 21, 2021, 01:00pm - 04:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center Camp Hidden Falls is an old Girl Scout Camp that was acquired by the NPS in 2018. Come with us as we explore the property and see how many waterfalls we can find. peec.org

Salamanders, Frogs, and More!

Sunday, March 28, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center Amphibians are stirring in the woods! Join us as we explore nearby breeding pools for salamanders, frogs, and egg masses. We’ll provide nets and collection jars for gentle, up-close study. Wear boots and clothes that can get muddy or wet. peec.org

Sunday, March 28, 2021, 01:00pm - 04:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center Climb into a bald eagle’s nest, crawl into a bat cave, explore a beaver lodge, and dig in a fossil pit! Explore this indoor discovery room and enjoy hands-on exhibits on natural history, sustainability and the local environment. No registration required. *Limited to 15 people at a time* peec.org

Bridge the Gap: Bike the McDade

Saturday, April 17, 2021, 01:00pm - 04:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center Join us for a bike ride along the McDade Trail! We will provide all equipment and transportation. Please bring a water bottle and wear sturdy footwear. We will have extra water and snacks available. peec.org *Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation.* Call for details.

Bridge the Gap: Spring Peeper Search Saturday, April 17, 2021, 07:30pm - 09:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center

These tiny tree frogs have thawed out and are active again in our forested wetlands. Listen to the impressive choir made by these vocal amphibians as we carefully catch, study, and release them. Bring a flashlight for better searching! *Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation.* peec.org

Waterfall Tour

Sunday, April 18, 2021, 09:00am - 12:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center The Delaware Water Gap has quite a few waterfalls within the park that all flow into the Delaware River. Join us for the morning as we check out some of the larger and well known falls in the park. Spaces are limited so call early! peec.org

Earth Day Festival

Saturday, April 24, 2021, 11:00am - 04:00pm Pocono Environmental Education Center Help us celebrate the Earth! There will be hands-on learning stations, interpretive hikes, conservation exhibits, crafts, food, music, and much more! Pre-registration is NOT required. peec.org

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PARTING SHOT Photo courtesy of Jeanne Hall

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Don’t ignore chest pain.

Nancy - Stroudsburg, Pa.

Listen to your heart. Chest pain could be serious. If you need emergency heart surgery like Nancy did, there’s only one hospital in the region equipped to deliver lifesaving care – Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono. When it comes to the heart, you want the best. LVH–Pocono is a partner you can trust. Learn more at LVHN.org/PoconoHeart

r heart. If you have an annual checkup scheduled

Profile for LARRY SEBRING

Pocono Family Magazine March/April 2021