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Many, many years ago families in my immediate family and community would not dream of cremating their deceased loved ones and refuse to discuss the concept. There was the thought that the deceased might be able to feel the heat from the fire while being cremated. A foolish thought I guess. But, that was my sentiment also. Today it seems more of my family members, as well as several people in my immediate community and other places choose cremation over traditional burials because it is less expensive and saves dwindling land space.
My son and family members suggested that I remove my stubborn self and grant the wishes of those who expressed the desire to be cremated after their death. One of my sister’s who is a medical doctor has a strong desire to be cremated and has requested that her ashes be place in an urn between our parents grave. “No trouble out of you”, she admonished me.
My son says that he’d rather be cremated and placed in an urn than decay in a hole in the ground. Both relatives like the idea of direct cremation and burial rather than have family pay embalming expense. Of course, they still want to have a funeral service before cremation or a memorial service afterwards
I know that should I be alive at my son’s and sister’s deaths,even though it will pain me, I will honor their wishes, feelings and beliefs. Think about it, would you like to be cremated or buried?
Talk with you about this subject on my next blog.

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Funeral services

I believe that what one does not understand helps to create fear.
Cremation has been one of my fears. Now I must explore Cremation process and accessories, only because my only son said to me,”Mom, I wish to be Cremated when I die, because I see no sense in taking up space in the ground that could be used for something more productive.”
“Oh No!” was my reply. Fear gripped me , the thought of my only son being burned was overwhelming. Later, I received a call from one of my sisters,a surgeon. she said, “Sis I know you do not approve of Cremation for your family members, but I want to be cremated when I pass. I want my ashes buried between our parents. Please do not give my husband grief about my decision.” I replied, “I promise, I will honor your wishes, no grief.” I have thought long and hard about those conversations between my son, sister and me, and decided to lay my fears aside and research the Cremation process. Look to read my findings soon, and please don’t judge me, I am only human.

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Funeral Merchandise

Within the last five weeks three of my neighbors and a personal friend passed away. As I grieve their deaths, I feel the urgency to provide information on the types of merchandise one can purchase through the funeral home. For a fee, the family can be provided a Casket (or alternative container); Outer burial container; Acknowledgement cards; Register Book; Prayer Cards; Memorial Folders; Burial clothing; Family flowers, Cremation, Cremation Urn and an Air Tray. The family pays for any of the following if selected: Certified Death Certificates, Clergy, Musician, Paid Notices, Professional Escorts, Custody care of the remains, Programs cemetery plot, and opening and closing of grave/overtime.

The family must also pay for automotive equipment: Transfer of remains to the funeral home:Hearse to the Cemetery or Crematory; Use of limousine services, Sedan, Use of utility vehicle and repass pick up/Delivery.

Maybe I have left something out, but not much. I have required the services of a Funeral Home many,many times in different States and have found each Funeral Staff to be professional,and their equipment, Goods and Services to be outstanding. Because of their graciousness, I have been able to let my loved -one’s and friends go, graciously.

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Dehydration is Dangerous

Have you ever been dehydrated? Do you know that dehydration can lead to death? If you do to believe me do the research. A dehydrated person can have loose stools, very dark urine, start vomiting, become dizzy, confused, have heart palpitations, etc. Another way to determine if you are dehydrated is to pinch the back of your hand with two fingers, if the skin stands up in one, two, or three folds you will know without a doubt that you need to drink water. If you become weak and can hardly stand or walk and feel faint, call your primary care doctor or have someone take you to the hospital or an Urgent Care facility. Please drink plenty of water and keep yours body hydrated.
Don’t forget, do the research and take care of your health.

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Watch your Cholesterol

On my most recent visit to the doctor, both of us were very pleased that my Cholesterol was lower than it had been the past three years. As you may already know, Cholesterol is a fatlike substance found in every cell of the body. It serves a good purpose. the body needs it to produce hormones, it is part of our skin tissue and it aids in transporting fatty acid in the body. I am not a health or nutrition expert, but I am a Home Economist and according to my studies, one consumes dietary cholesterol when foods of animal origin are eaten. Liver and egg yolk are especially high in dietary cholesterol. Plant foods do not contain dietary cholesterol. Blood cholesterol comes from saturated fats. If there is too much cholesterol in the blood one increases the risk of having cancer and/or a heart attack. So keep away from excess fats that are found in such foods as fried foods, baked goods, butter, margarine, dairy products, cheeses and creamy salad dressing. Cook with olive oil, canola , corn, soybean oils… No solid oils.

Talk with yo u again soon. In the meantime, eat well and stay healthy.

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Life After the Death of a Spouse

On December 25, 2012, I lost the love of my life, my husband. Nothing has been the same since his death. For 56 years,this devoted family man, and loving and spiritual leader was “the man of the house”. He was an ideal husband to me, an ideal father to our two children and the perfect grandfather to our grand-daughter. We followed his leadership because he knew where he was carrying us and how we would get there. He was a man who always had a plan, but believed in family decision-making where appropriate. For over a year I have struggled to live without him. I have learned how to adequately handle family business, engage contractors for house repairs and lawn care and get my car serviced. Doing these things are much easier for me now because I learned to depend upon God and His guidance. My children, family,ministers, friends and neighbors were and still are very supportive, and I love and appreciate them for all of their acts of kindness. But, I needed to get my life back, and through prayer I am gradually getting it back. If you should lose a loved one, the gaping hole you feel in your heart after their leaving will eventually start to heal, and trusting God really helps.

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Funeral Facilities, Equipment and Staff

If one selects a funeral that may require embalming, such as a funeral with viewing,  one has to pay for the embalming. If one request that the loved one not be embalmed, most times the request is honored. If embalming is necessary the funeral director will explain the reason to the family.  Embalming cost may start at  $$595.00 .

 The cost of funeral home  facilities and equipment is based on services selected.
Some choices include:  Use of facilities & staff for: viewing/visitation; funeral ceremony; and memorial service. Use of equipment and staff for: gravesite service and for church service. Price ranges for these services are between $950.00 and $1400.00 Then there is the cost of transportation. Transfer of remains from body location to local funeral home or from  airport to  a funeral home of church may range between $150.00-$250.00 depending upon the distance. The cost of the hearse to cemetery may  range between $180.00 to $350.000, again depending upon the distance. Longer the traveling distance the higer the cost. The  use of limosine(s) f service  may range  between  $300.00 to $350.00 each , depending on the distance. The service/utility truck also incurs cost, approximately $95.00-$125.00. Repast pick up/deluxe depends on distance traveled for pick -up and delivey, number of vehicles , number of drives, mileage  and length of time limos and staff are needed.    Next week I wll talk about  Funeral


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Funeral goods and services

If you missed me I have been greiving the loss of my husband and a few cousins. Now I am back and wish to share with you some informaton on funeral goods and services.
Charges for sevices depend on what one selects. Professional services incude services of the Funeral Director and staff, embalming (not required by some state laws) or other preparations of the body. Prices vary, therefore compare the charges among local funeral home. In my case nharges ranged between $995.00-$2395, so shop around.
My next subject will on charges on the facility.

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Selecting Children Books

Children’s Books

How often have you attempted to buy a book for a child and you were not sure as to what kind of book to buy?
Let me help you solve that mystery. Examine the book with the following questions in mind. Will the book help the child separate reality from fantasy, build vocabulary, nourish relationships, foster reading and encourage language and listening? Mystery solved. Remember that books are wonderful learning tools and should be introduced to children at a very early age, before birth really. Then they will more likely enjoy reading all of their lives and will enjoy reading in school. Some other tips: Be sure the book you select is age-appropriate. one year olds like short, simple books with big pictures, with objects and rhymes; Two year olds like simple stories they can relate to. Three year olds like books with longer stories that inspire their imagination, and realistic stories that are full of adventure.

Think on these things as you shop for children books. Happy shopping.

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Toys for Preschoolers

Toys for Baby and Toddler

Recently, I was thumbing through a catalog filled with Christmas toys. I thought about the amount of money parents, relatives and friends will spend on toys for preschoolers during the up-coming holiday season. In fact, I thought about the amount of money I will spend on toys for some of the preschoolers in my life. When buying holiday toys for preschoolers (three to four years old) there are a few rules I try to follow. First the toys must be age appropriate; and as much as possible promote intellectual, social and motor skills. The toys must also have safety features to include, but not limited to the following: Dolls and stuffed toys must be made of nonflammable, flame retardant or flame resistant materials. Dolls and stuffed toys must be made from washable and hygienic materials, clean when purchased and easy to keep clean. The toys must not have long cords or strings. This will prevent the child from wrapping the cord around his/her neck and choking to death. The painted toys must be labeled nontoxic. As you know, children love to put play things in their mouths, nontoxic ones prevents poisoning. The law bans new toys with sharp edges or points intended for children under age eight. Therefore, I will not buy a preschooler a toy with sharp edges or points. I will also buy unbreakable toys. Toys made of glass or brittle plastic are easily broken and the most unsafe. I might even buy a tricycle or bicycle for my preschoolers, but the seats must be adjustable; pedals must have skid-resistant surfaces and they must have reflectors at least two inches in diameter. Electrical toys are out!!! Think of each toy you plan to buy for your favorite preschoolers and purchase only those that are age-appropriate and safe. Happy shopping.

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