May 2018   •   Licensed/Bonded/ROC #178018    •   (480) 491-3077
In This Issue:

Aging In Place / The Benefits of Hugs & Smiles
How to Improve the Efficiency of Your Refrigerator / Strawberry Spinach Salad

Read on, enjoy, and share with your friends and family.
The term “aging in place” is a smart way to say that you want to live in your home for as long as possible. Most homes are not designed to help facilitate long term independence when they were built. So when it is time to remodel, make sure you add features to help increase safety and comfort for all ages. It will be a wise investment.
Visitable Home
A visitable home has at least one no-threshold entry. Whether one is in a stroller, walker, or wheelchair, a home should be accessible to all. The main floor should have a master bedroom and universally designed bathroom with a no threshold shower. Having dual master bedrooms are becoming popular even with the “middle aged” who want a good night’s sleep, or need to care for parents, or to provide for a guest or caretaker.

Open Floor Plans
An open floor plan provides greater access to natural light, and unblocked views of others. Hallways need to be at least 36“ wide (48” is ideal), and doorways 32” wide (36” if a person in a wheelchair has to turn to get in the room). A 5-foot by 5-foot space is the minimum amount of clearance needed for turning and maneuvering in a wheelchair. This is important for the kitchen and dining area, but is also important in the bedroom, bathroom, and living area.

Hand Rails & Grab Bars 
These are essential safety equipment to prevent falls. Bathroom floors can quickly become slippery, so grab bars should always be placed next to toilets and in bathtubs and showers. There are dual purpose towel bars that work are designed to be sturdy enough to be a grab bar as well. Elderly homeowners can also benefit from a handrail in the hallway. Hands like to grab lever door handles and faucets too!
Back Friendly Design
Working in the kitchen can be hard on the back. Include an appliance garage on the counter for ease of accessibility of the bulky gadgets you use most. Have a walk-in pantry so you can easily find and retrieve items. Consider having a raised dishwasher (and a raised washer & dryer) and pull out shelves in lower cabinets. The lower cabinets need a toe kick of at least 9” high and 6” deep for accommodate a wheelchair footrest—that will also make the bottom of the cabinet closer to reach as well.

These are a few features to keep in mind. A Certified Aging in Place Specialist can help include all that you would like so you can “age in place” in your home.

" For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future ."
Jeremiah 29:11
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Making Happy Hormones!

People strive to be happy often making great effort in their careers pursuing it, not realizing how easy it can be to generate that feeling internally. We are made to be social, and are rewarded with happy hormones when we give to others, or take the time to be grateful for what we have been given. There are great health benefits to loving oneself better and looking for ways to bless others.
If you type into a search engine, “smiling makes you…” the results immediately give insight into why a simple smile is so contagious. The benefits include: “smiling makes you live longer”, “smiling makes you look younger,” and even, “smiling makes you more attractive!” But there is one health benefit at the root of a smile, and that is happiness. We feel happy when we bring a smile to others, and a smile is something we can give even to strangers. As people respond, we feel significant or important, and serotonin, a happy hormone is released. It is an easy way to make the world a little brighter.
Not only does smiling release serotonin, the neurotransmitter connected to happiness, but  studies  show that positive emotions can lower a stress-induced heart rate when you smile, even if you don’t feel like smiling. This means that by reducing your stress-symptoms with a smile, you’re also reducing the negative health effects that go along with stress, like high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue and a decreased immune system response.
Did you know giving a gift can help people have an increase in their oxytocin levels, another happy hormone? There is something you can give for free, a hug! And the best part, you’ll probably experience receiving one simultaneously. How long do they say it needs to be to have health benefits? Twenty seconds. Ask permission to give a hug, and if it is the first time, explain it will be at least 20 seconds long. Hopefully you will feel the person relax into it, so oxytocin will release. Oxytocin lowers stress hormones which helps to reduce heart disease. We need hugs throughout the day, so make it a mission to find someone who looks like they are lonely or depressed and could use a hug!

Laughter is a happy hormone releaser of endorphins that may take a little effort to induce. Endorphins help alleviate pain, stress, anxiety and depression. You may not have comedic talent, but you can find a funny video and share it. Other ways of releasing endorphins are thru dark chocolate, spicy foods, or a whiff of vanilla.

So be positive, grateful, laugh at things that don’t go as planned, smile at others, give hugs. Celebrate friendships, birthdays and anniversaries and make others feel important and special and realize how important and special YOU are! Even the gift of time given to others goes a long way in helping yourself and others feel good whether it be a note, a call, or getting together. Include volunteering to give those in need, it will give you a “helper’s high,”

A happy heart makes the face cheerful...
Proverbs 15:13

We had not remodeled before, and thought we did not know what to expect. We decided to test the waters by starting with a more outdoors type of project, a back patio remodel. We found ourselves amazed! The Cook carpenters who worked on our patio remodel worked so steadily, were quiet, respectful, and clearly knew what they were doing. You could see they took pride in their work. We realized through the process that we didn’t expect such a great experience! Even their trades people worked in a timely and effective manner.
We are so glad we hired Cook Remodeling, they have spoiled us. We will be calling them soon to remodel our bathrooms and kitchen. We don’t want anyone else working on our home.
George & Christy T., patio remodel, Chandler
On-time, On-budget Wow results for 39 years.
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Your most important indoor appliance can use almost as much electricity as your air conditioner, and that can become costly. Considering it’s on 24/7, it’s important to conserve energy—and money—by increasing its efficiency. Reduce your carbon footprint and increase your bank balance with these simple tips – keep these in mind when you’re ready for a kitchen remodel, or that man cave:

Keep it cool.  Allow ample airflow around your refrigerator. Clear the top and sides for better ventilation of the heat produced by refrigeration. Pulling it an inch or two forward from against a wall can reduce energy consumption by as much as 40 percent.
Keep it clean.  Dirty, dusty condenser coils mean your refrigerator’s compressor has to work harder to cool, and that costs you money in both energy use and a shorter unit lifespan. Once or twice a year, clean the coils behind and under your fridge. An inexpensive soft-bristled brush or narrow vacuum attachment makes it easy to clear away any grimy buildup, to improve the performance of your fridge, and to save up to 15 percent of your refrigerator’s electricity use.
Keep it mostly full.  The freezer, that is. The less room for air, the less cooling your compressor has to do. Follow the 2/3 full rule. Leave the inside top and walls free so the thermostat can operate properly, but pack the rest of the space with frozen foods and fillers to maintain the cold. If you don’t have enough space, consider an additional freezer unit with custom cabinets to create the perfect workspace.
Keep it at the right temperature.  The most safe—and efficient—refrigerator setting is between 35 and 38 degrees F. Otherwise you may waste energy or risk food quality. For the freezer, place the thermometer between two frozen items, then look for an optimum temp of 0 to 3 degrees F.
Keep it current.  If your refrigerator is 12-plus years old, it may be time to say goodbye. Newer models are designed for better efficiency, so despite the initial costs, you’ll recoup great savings over time. Make sure you get one that big enough for your needs so your household is only running one efficient refrigerator. Adding a new fridge can be the perfect time to upgrade cabinets and countertops to create a whole new look!

God is indeed my Saviour, I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord, for He has been my Saviour.
Isaiah 12:2
I flew my parents out to be with us for Mother’s day weekend. I wanted to prepare Mom her favorite, turkey, and thought it fitting to make it a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Besides, I had not ever cooked a Thanksgiving feast for her and wanted to show off my culinary skills I learned from watching her.
She is a great cook, which was a little intimidating, so I had everything planned out. I had all my ingredients, recipes, and even time schedule of when I would start what. The first task was to get the frozen turkey thawing in the kitchen sink while I make the pumpkin pie. I made my Mom a cup of tea and told her to relax and visit with me while I do the work. As I was making the pie crust, I noticed she kept staring at the sink, so I asked her, "What are you thinking?" She said,
Why do you have the dish drain inverted over the turkey?
I told her,  That is what you always did, so that is what I always do.
She laughed, and explained,  That is because we had a cat!
At first I was taken aback, but then laughed too, and took the stainless steel cage off the bird. We did not have a cat.

If you would like to have an easy garden too, email Janet for more information!
Strawberry Spinach Salad
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • 6 ounces strawberries (1 1/2 cups), hulled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cups almonds (1 1/2 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled
Whisk together oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach, strawberries, almonds, sesame seeds, and feta. Gently toss until spinach is evenly coated with dressing. Serve immediately.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:22

With the growth in popularity of online forums like Houzz (40 million users) and Pinterest (150 million) rather than trying to predict what are up and coming home remodeling design trends for 2018 that designers themselves are seeing, it is more effective to mine data from these sites for what is gaining in popularity .....