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					                                      Home & Family Ideas
                                      Matanuska-Susitna/Copper River Valley District Cooperative Extension Service
                                          809 S. Chugach, Suite 2, Palmer, Alaska 99645       907/745-3360

     September 2007                                                                            Upcoming Activities

Study Time                                                                                     Strong Women Program
                                                                                               Not ready to go to the gym but know that you need to
Fall is here. The weather has turned cooler, school                                            strengthen your muscles? Meet with other women on
has started, and students often have assignments to                                            Tuesdays and Thursdays to learn exercises to increase
practice the skills they are learning in the classroom.                                        balance and strength.
Students may be able to use spare time to complete                                             Wear loose fitting, flexible clothing and shoes.
some tasks while in school. Some assignments are                                               New classes begin September 25, 2007 and will continue
designed to be done at home.                                                                   for 8 weeks. An organizational meeting will be held
Students generally benefit when the parents are                                                September 14 at noon.
involved in the homework process. Parental                                                     The group will meet at the Cooperative Extension Office,
involvement can include providing a suitable space for                                         809 S. Chugach, Suite 2 Palmer.
doing homework, acting as a resource by explaining
how to look up information or find a word in the                                               Cost: $5 per 8 wk session.
dictionary, and being a role model by doing                                                    Call 745-3360 for more information.
“homework” of their own.
Kids need a quiet, comfortable, well-lit place for study                                       Preserving Your Harvest?
without distractions. Turn off the television. Have the
                                                                                               Check for up-to-date processing times and
necessary “tools” to work on the assignments—
pencils, paper, dictionary, access to a computer.                                              temperatures when doing food preservation. For
Healthful snacks should be on hand, since hungry kids                                          current information call the extension office:
have trouble concentrating.                                                                       In the Mat-Su                           745-3360
                                                                                                  From Copper River Valley         1-888-822-8830
Be available to help, but only to help. A good role for
parents is to help bat around ideas for projects or to
ask questions about how to solve a problem. Parents                                            Dial Gauge Testing
make good assistants when it is time to drill on                                               Dial Gauges for pressure canners need to be checked
vocabulary words, listen to rehearsal presentations,                                           annually for accuracy. Bring your gauge to the
quiz students on chapter review questions, or                                                  extension office for this free service.
proofread that paper for history.                                                              809 S. Chugach, Suite 2, Palmer.
Demonstrating good study habits may mean sitting
down to read the paper or a book, work on household
accounts, or finish a task brought home from the                                               Alaska’s Cooperative
office. Then expecting your child to finish homework                                           Extension Service
before doing fun tasks is also important. Jane Schorer                                              Visit Extension’s redesigned
Meisner adds, in Handling Kids’ Homework, “Behind                                                            website at
every successful student is a parent who says, ‘Yes, if                                     
your homework is finished.’”
                                        District Home Economist
                                        Cooperative Extension Service
                                        University of Alaska Fairbanks

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service programs are available to all, without regard to race, color, age, sex, creed, national origin, or disability and
in accordance with all applicable federal laws. Provided in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Peter Pinney, Interim Director, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska Fairbanks. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is an
affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution.
Spending Smart                                                    have you included it in your inventory of assets? Most
                                                                  people should update that at least every two years.
        Summer Insurance Checkup                                  How much are you paying for that coverage? Using
                                                                  the Internet, do some comparison shopping. Try a site
Summer is here. While many people are thinking                    like You'll find lots of good
about barbecues, water sports, and outdoor activities,            information including free insurance quotes. If you
financial experts suggest thinking about your                     have special items like musical instruments, art,
insurance coverage to make sure you’re protected in               antiques, expensive jewelry, etc., you may need an
case something goes wrong.                                        additional rider on your policy or you may need a
                                                                  separate personal articles policy. By carefully reading
Just as in driving, when planning your finances you               your homeowners policy, you can see what's covered.
have to learn to be defensive. Sound investments and              And keep in mind, if you are at risk for either flood or
adequate savings won't protect you if you get sued.               earthquake, you'll need additional coverage beyond
And while the mere word "insurance" makes some                    the standard homeowners policy.
people cringe, it might not seem so bad if you can find
ways to protect your family and residence and save                Other tips:
money at the same time. Take some time this summer                   • Ask about discounts for smoke detectors, fire
to evaluate if your homeowners or renters insurance                  extinguishers, deadbolts, and alarm systems.
meets your needs. Homeowners and renter’s                            • Consider reducing your premiums by raising your
insurance covers both damage to your property and                    deductible to $1,000 and self-insuring for the first
your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and          $1,000. (You're supposed to have that emergency
property damage you or members of your family                        fund in place anyway, right?)
cause to other people. This includes damage caused                   • Check out the ratings of your insurance company
by household pets.                                                   at A.M. Best ( Preferably your
                                                                     company should rate an A or A+. A financially
Guess what claim caused insurance companies to pay                   strong company is much more likely to be able to
out more than $300 million in 2005 alone? Dog bites.                 pay your claims if the need arises.
In 2005, 15 percent of all liability claims on                       • Make sure you update your policy if you re-model
homeowner policies were for dog-bite injuries, 4.7                   your home.
million of them, and half the victims were kids.                     • Don't leave your home office uninsured (you may
Shocking, isn't it? Even if there's no Fido in your life,            need additional coverage).
think about the folks who've lost property in fires,
floods, tornados, you name it. None of us is immune.              Need more help? Call the National Insurance
Homeowners insurance protects your biggest                        Consumer Helpline at 800-942-4242.
investment (your house) and all the contents in it. It
also provides some liability coverage in case you are             If you rent your home, you should be covered by
sued. Because disasters happen when we least                      renters insurance. The building owner's property
expect them, you need to do something today to                    coverage will not pay to replace your apartment's
prepare.                                                          contents. You never can tell when an upstairs
                                                                  neighbor may leave the water running or trip over one
Where to start? Take an inventory the contents of your            of your kids' roller skates.
home, preferably on videotape. Then put that tape in
your safe deposit box or a flame-resistant home safe.             Source: Stevens, S., 6/7/07, Dog Bites, Swimming Pools,
Contact me if you’d like more information about                             and Car Crashes,; Insurance
household inventories. Next, take a closer look at your                     Information Institute, Homeowners Insurance
policy. Does it provide for 100% guaranteed                                 Information, retrieved 6/29/07 from
replacement value for your house and possessions? Is              
there an inflation clause? Be careful not to over-insure
by including the cost of the land. Is there "loss of use"         Written by Bischoff, Marilyn, School of Family &
coverage that pays for expenses while you can't live in           Consumer Sciences, College of Agricultural & Life
your house? What are the limits on items such as                  Sciences, The Communicator, July ‘07
computers, cameras, jewelry, or guns? If you've                   Email:
accumulated more "stuff" over the past few years,
               Matanuska-Susitna/Copper River Valley District Extension Home Economics Newsletter
Healthy living                                                  Eating Right

 Best Ways to Clean Kitchen Sponges                                         Make Time for Breakfast
A recent USDA Agricultural Research Service news                Eating breakfast promotes proper growth and
report discusses scientific tests of methods for cleaning       maximizes school performance, too. That's because it's
kitchen sponges to reduce the risk from harmful                 usually easier for breakfast-eaters to meet their daily
microbes that may be present. Sponges were soaked at
                                                                nutritional needs. Breakfast is often a victim of the
room temperature for 48 hours in a solution made from
ground beef and lab growth medium to attain a high level        early morning rush. Try these ideas to make time in
of microbes (20 million per sponge) to simulate a very          the morning for breakfast.
dirty sponge. Each sponge was then treated in one of
five ways commonly used in household kitchens (shown                • Finish homework and pack school bags at night.
in the table).                                                      • Decide what everyone will wear the next day,
                                                                      before going to bed. Locate lost shoes for the
Treatment           Effect on           Effect on yeast               next day, too.
                    Bacteria            and Molds                   • Get up 15 minutes earlier.
Soaked in a 10      37 to 87 %          37 to 93 %                  • Give up morning television and computer games.
percent chlorine    killed              killed                      • Have healthy foods on hand. Shop for breakfast
bleach solution                                                       foods with your kids, taking into account
for three minutes                                                     personal preferences.
Soaked in lemon     37 to 87 %          37 to 93 %
juice for one       killed              killed                  Breakfast doesn't have to be an elaborate or sit-down
minute                                                          ordeal. A good breakfast should include whole grains,
Soaked in           37 to 87 %          37 to 93 %              fruit and some protein. Try these fun ideas:
deionized water     killed              killed
for one minute                                                  1. Split a whole wheat bagel. Layer each half with
Heated in a         99.9999% killed 99.9999% killed             peanut butter and raisins. Drink a glass of milk.
microwave for
one minute                                                      2. Warm up leftover pizza; serve with fruit juice.
Placed in a         99.9998% killed 99.9999% killed
dishwasher                                                      3. Combine a soft pretzel, string cheese, and fresh
operating with a                                                fruit.
drying cycle
                                                                4. Pair up a container of yogurt, half a bagel, and fruit
The scientists concluded that microwave heating and
dishwashing with a drying cycle were the most effective
methods for inactivating bacteria, yeasts and molds on
                                                                5. Microwave a frozen pancake, spread with peanut
sponges. They note that these simple and convenient             butter, top with sliced bananas, and roll it up.
treatments can help ensure that contaminated sponges
do not spread food borne pathogens around household             6. Layer one or two slices of turkey breast and one
kitchens.                                                       slice of cheese on a tortilla. Serve with fruit juice or a
Source: Durham, S. “Best Ways to Clean Kitchen                  piece of fruit.
          Sponges,” USDA Agricultural Research Service
          News and Events, April 23, 2007,
        7. Concoct a breakfast parfait with layers of fruit
                                                                yogurt, sliced fresh fruit, and crunchy cereal.
Written by McCurdy, Sandra, School of Family & Consumer
Sciences, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, The          8. Swirl applesauce and raisins into a packet of hot
Communicator, July ‘07                                          oatmeal. Serve with a cup of milk.

              Matanuska-Susitna/Copper River Valley District Extension Home Economics Newsletter
                                                        International Polar Year – Blueberry Treasure

Contents:                                                Those wild Alaska blueberries stored in your freezer
                                                         are packed full of powerful antioxidants. Adding
Upcoming Activities                    page 1            blueberries to whole grain muffins or pancakes is a
                                                         wonderful breakfast treat. For another great taste, try a
Raising Kids                                            Blueberry Almond Smoothie
Study Time                             page 1
                                                        ¼ cup sliced almonds
Spending Smart                                          2 cups fat-free milk
 Summer Insurance Check Up             page 2           2 containers (6 oz each) fat-free blueberry yogurt
                                                        1 package (16 oz) frozen blueberries
Eating Right                                            1-2 Tbsp honey (optional)
 Make Time for Breakfast                page 3          ½ - 1 tsp almond extract, or to taste
                                                        In small non-stick skillet over low heat, place almonds.
Healthy Living                                          Stir with wooden spoon until almonds are golden and
Clean Kitchen Sponges                  page 3           fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside. In blender,
                                                        purée remaining ingredients until smooth. Serve in
                                                        individual glasses sprinkled with toasted almonds.
                                                        Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 178 calories, 4 g total fat
                                                        (,1 g saturated fat), 29 g carbohydrates, 9 g protein, 4 g
                                                        dietary fiber, 93 mg sodium.

Cooperative Extension Service                                                        PRSRT   STD
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                       U.S. Postage Paid
PO Box 756180                                                                        Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6180                                                             Permit No. 2

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            Matanuska-Susitna/Copper River Valley District Extension Home Economics Newsletter

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