THE LEGAL NAVIGATOR SEPTEMBER 2018
FROM THE DESK OF
FIRSTDAYOF SCHOOL What Nervous Parents Should Know
I hope your September is off to a good start. This month, I would like to say a few words about Medicaid benefits. As you might know already, Medicaid Benefits can be used to help pay for home health care, assisted living, or nursing home care. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information out there. Many folks believe that they have to lose all of their assets in order to qualify. Typically, this is heard from family and friends because many will go through the same ordeal. Well, I have good news to share with you. Even when someone is in a crisis, has high health care costs, and has no planning in place, there are still methods available to protect one half or more of their assets from being spent down. In addition, if someone is in good health and is planning ahead, then even more could be protected by appropriate planning. If you have questions about any of these techniques or know someone who may find this to be useful, please pass our newsletter along. See you next month!
Children are constantly reaching new milestones. Whether a child is preparing for their first dance, earning their driver’s license, or heading off to college, success in navigating these events is often determined by the kinds of experiences parents share with their children when they are young. One of the earliest milestones a child encounters is the first day of kindergarten, a sometimes overwhelming event that many parents struggle to navigate. The good news is that parents who have already endured the struggle can offer advice to assuage the fears of newer parents. Teach Them the Basics Everyone knows that the primary purpose of school is to educate, but there are some basic things you should consider teaching your child before their first day. One mother recently wrote to USA Today encouraging fellow parents to teach their kids the ABCs, numbers, and a handful of useful vocabulary words. Additionally, kindergarten teachers encourage parents to make sure their kids know the basic elements of hygiene. One common example is knowing how to use the restroom by themselves. Teaching your child how to properly flush the toilet and wash their hands before they enter the classroom will help ease any fear of going to the bathroom alone, and it will also benefit their teacher. Finally, be sure your child knows how to open all their lunch containers. Children often don’t have a lot of time to eat, so ensuring that your child can open their containers and start devouring their lunch as soon as possible is good practice.
- Mike Bryan
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It’s Okay to Be Emotional
prepared. You might feel excited for them to experience this new milestone. Or, you might feel nostalgic thinking about how quickly they have grown up. Any or all of these emotions are perfectly normal, but remember this: That small hand you struggle to let go of at the start of the day will be the same one waving excitedly at you at the end of it.
Perhaps even more important than teaching the basics is being an advocate for your child. Being an advocate can mean things like giving your child’s teacher pertinent information on allergies, learning styles, or educational accommodations; meeting with administration and the school nurse to establish professional relationships; asking questions about unfamiliar processes; and knowing your child’s educational rights. Every child has a right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), so if your child needs extra time on tests or additional materials to help understand content, communicate with your local Parent Training and Information Center to find an advocate who can assist you with these types of accommodations. Another key way to get involved in your child’s education is to volunteer in the classroom when you can. This can help you stay involved in your child’s education and forge a bond with your child’s educators.
With all of these changes, one of the most important things to remember is that it is okay for you to be emotional. Whether you are sending your first, third, or eighth kid off to school, the situation is bound to stir up deeper emotions. You might feel stressed because you aren’t sure that they are fully
Autumn Steps for a Better Spring Garden
With fall just ahead, it’s a good time to think about your spring garden. For a beautiful garden next year, begin preparing this fall. Here are a few ways to get a head start! Planting Bulbs If you want beautiful flowers in April, you should start planting bulbs now. Many flower bulbs need to be in the ground before winter settles in; this helps activate the bulbs’ biochemical process that allows them to bloom. Getting the bulbs into the ground before it freezes allows their roots to grow deep enough to protect them from the biting winter weather. Among the flower bulbs you should plant soon are tulips, daffodils, irises, and hyacinths. Chicken Wire After you’ve planted your bulbs, there’s a risk that uninvited guests will dig them up. There are a few ways you can ensure that your bulbs remain undisturbed throughout the fall. One way is to place chicken wire over your bulbs after they’ve been planted. This
keeps rodents from digging them up and allows the plants to grow through the gaps in the wire. Keep Your Garden Tidy Once you’ve harvested your best fruits and vegetables, go back through and harvest the rest, even if you don’t plan to eat them. Make sure your garden is clear of old vegetables, fallen leaves, and weeds. Leaving decaying plants in or on top of the ground can spread diseases into the soil and attract unwanted pests to your garden. Healthy Soil Pulling up weeds and all of your vegetables can help keep the earth free from rotting plants, but there are other steps you can take to ensure that your soil stays full of nutrients. Pick up a kit to test the pH levels of your soil. Most gardens thrive in soil with a pH of 6.5. Add compost to your soil supply now to give it time to break down during the winter months.
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Why You Need to Incorporate Ghee Into Your Cooking
Butter makes it better, but ghee makes it grand.
In the kitchen, ghee is exceptionally versatile in all kinds of dishes. It has a high smoke point at 485 degrees (ordinary butter has a smoke point of 350 degrees), making it perfect for sautéing and frying. It makes an ideal replacement for vegetable and canola oil in recipes. You can even use it in place of coconut oil. You can find ghee at most grocery stores, though it’s most readily available at specialty grocers. You can also make it right at home. All you need is a pound of high-quality butter (organic, grass-fed is best) and a saucepan. Bring the butter to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and let it simmer. The butter should foam and bubble, and then the foam should disappear. Continue simmering the butter until it foams a second time. This means it’s done!
For hundreds of years, cooks throughout the Middle East and India have known about the magic of ghee. They cook with it, spread it over bread, and use it as a sauce. Ghee is a type of clarified butter. The butter is simmered for a longer period of time than standard clarified butter in order to render out as much water as possible. Then the remaining milk solids are strained away. The resulting ghee has a rich, nutty flavor. Even better, ghee is shelf-stable, doesn’t need refrigeration, and can last a long time — though once you start using it, it’s unlikely to sit around for very long. While ghee hasn’t quite entered the mainstream yet, it’s on the verge of becoming a kitchen staple in the U.S. The reasons why are simple: It’s delicious and better for you than regular butter. In fact, for a food that’s almost entirely fat — ghee is 99.5 percent fat, and 60 percent of that is saturated fat — it boasts quite a few health benefits. Ghee is packed with healthy fat to help your body utilize fat-soluble vitamins and minerals more effectively. It’s also a great source of vitamins A, E, and K2. And ghee is a source of HDL cholesterol, often called the “good” cholesterol.
The butter will be a golden color, and brown milk solids will sink to the bottom of the pan. Pour it through a fine wire-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a heatproof and airtight container.
Take a Break!
GRILLED HAM AND CHEESE
8 slices of bread (Pullman works best) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
8 ounces ham, thinly sliced
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1. Butter each slice of bread on the outsides and sprinkle with Parmesan. 2. Layer ham and cheese evenly on top of 4 slices of bread. 3. Spread apricot preserves and mustard across the other
4 slices. Press sandwiches together. 4. In a cast-iron skillet or large
sauté pan over medium heat, grill sandwiches until golden, about 3 minutes per side.
FOOTBALL TOUCHDOWN QUARTERBACK AUTUMN
EQUINOX LABORDAY BARBECUE SEPTEMBER
HARVEST APPLE STUDENTS HOMECOMING
5. Cut in half and serve.
Inspired by Food &Wine magazine
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Mike PAGE 1 How Parents Can HelpTheir Kindergartner Succeed PAGE 1 Get a Head Start on Next Spring’s Garden PAGE 2 Start Using Ghee in Your Cooking PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Inside-Out Grilled Ham and Cheese PAGE 3 Have You Heard About Mauritius? PAGE 4
Just over 1,000 miles off the southeastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean lies the small island of Mauritius. The island is often overlooked by the rest of the world. Most people are more likely to have heard of the island’s most famous extinct occupant, the dodo bird, than the island itself. This is shocking when you discover howmuch fun there is to be had in this tropical wonderland. Adventure Awaits Taste the Memories MARVELOUS MAURITIUS A Secret Island of Adventure
plenty of opportunities to learn about the island’s layered past. You can visit one of the historical rummeries or explore Mauritius’ two UNESCOWorld Heritage Sites. You can also check out Aapravasi Ghat, the Immigration Depot, and Le Mourne Brabant. Despite its amazing vacation potential, Mauritius is all but unheard of to people in the United States. This means travelers can find amazing five-star resorts at unbeatable prices! With this in mind, isn’t it time you got to know the island of Mauritius?
Looking for fun in the sun? Start your trip to Mauritius with a hike up the lush Lion Mountain, or take time to snap a photo of the Seven Coloured Earths, where volcanic soil has created sand dunes of seven distinct colors. And what’s a trip to an island without the beach? Beautiful coral reefs surround Mauritius, keeping sharks away from the pristine beaches. Island guests and locals can fearlessly scuba dive around the brilliant reefs, swim with dolphins, kite surf, and find lots of other ways to enjoy the warm ocean waters.
A day spent playing on an island is always better with great food. Influenced by its French, Creole, Indian, and Chinese heritage, Mauritius offers a vast menu of delicious dishes to try, from curry to dim sum. And the rich soil and bountiful ocean provide more than enough fresh fruit and seafood to go around. Walk Through History
More than a tropical escape, Mauritius is an island full of history and culture, so there are
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