Crone Energy: Mary Higgins Clark

After reading the intriguing memoir “Kitchen Privileges” by Mary Higgins Clark, I was inspired by this prolific writer who overcame the odds and exhaustion of single motherhood (as a widow) and still made time to rise at 5am each morning to work on her writing, before getting her five children off to school, and heading off to her job.

Considering Mrs. Clark’s wide success in spite of her challenges and the fact that since age 63 she has published over 50 books, it seemed appropriate to choose her as a role model of crone energy.

Mrs. Clark's “books are world-wide bestsellers. In the U.S. alone, her books have sold over 80 million copies” (, 2009). Although her specialty is suspense novels, she started out with short stories and has written a biographical novel “Mount Vernon Love Story” and co-authored three books with her daughter and fellow writer Carol Higgins Clark.

At age 81, Mrs. Clark has just published another novel in April of this year called “Just Take My Heart”. A dedicated woman with an unmatched determination to write, Mrs. Clark is definitely a role model for any writer.

About Mary Higgins Clark. (2009). Retrieved from: ttp://

Photo Reference:
Coggins, M. (2009). MaryHigginsClark.jpg. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from:

All content © Village Memorial. 2009-2010.

Senior Meal Programs & Food Safety Tips

Seniors must be conscious of their budgets as many are on fixed incomes. Seniors must be thoughtful of their nutritional needs and be aware of local community meal programs available to them. Being cautious to prevent consuming unsafe foods can also keep seniors healthy.

Meal Programs
Each local Area Agency on Aging, can provide information about meals (group or home delivered) available to seniors in the area. Three different types of meal programs available are:

1. Congregate Meals (low cost, hot, nutritious meals offered in a group setting)
2. Home-Delivered Meals (for those who are disabled or home-bound ages 60+, prepared meal delivered directly to one’s home)
3. Meals-on-Wheels (church or other local volunteers deliver hot, nutritious meals)

Food Safety
If one has vision impairments, unsafe foods can also be a risk as one may not notice the food is contaminated or moldy. I once had an older relative who was unaware she needed glasses. She had a fridge full of mold and a pantry full of weevils, and was still eating these items.

Some tips to avoid eating food past expiration:
• Write expiration dates on food packages in the fridge with a permanent black marker.
• Clean out the fridge after each shopping trip (get rid of items past expiration.)
• If you cook a large meal and divide it into several meals, write the date cooked on the storage container. Then freeze extra portions within a few days of cooking.

Organic foods are wonderful to buy when one can afford them. They are healthier “some studies suggest that organic produce has more nutrients than its conventional counterparts, probably because the soil is left in better condition after repeated plantings; and healthier because you avoid ingesting any harmful pesticide residues left on conventional produce” (, 2009).

However, there is a list of safe non-organic foods for the budget conscious senior (as published by, 2009):
1. Onions
2. Avocados
3. Sweet corn
4. Pineapples
5. Mangoes
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet Peas
8. Kiwis
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplants
11. Papayas
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomatoes
15. Sweet Potatoes

The Clean 15: Foods You Don't Have to Buy Organic. (2009). Retrieved from:

All content © Village Memorial. 2009-2010.

Arranging Care with Community Calendars

When families and friends share responsibilities for the care of loved ones, coordinating schedules, errands and tasks can become cumbersome. Simply trying to figure out who is taking grandma/mom/dad/uncle to the doctor, to the pharmacy, or shopping, can amount to hours spent of the phone arranging and planning. Lotsa Helping Hands has developed a free website to help alleviate such issues. allows one to act as a coordinator and build a community of family and friends who may all share access to one calendar. Each member of the calendar can access it privately on his or her own computer. Once logged in, a member can see which appointments and errands are on the calendar, which events another person has already signed up for, and which events are open so he or she may sign up for openings that work within his or her own schedule. The calendar even sends out email reminders so no one forgets their assignment.

Calendar events listed can be as specific as necessary to be certain everyone is clear about what exactly is needed. “For example, the request to receive weekday dinners would specify the desired days and times, dietary restrictions, and delivery instructions. Or if a family requires transportation, they can easily specify pick-up and drop-off times, locations with direct links to Google Maps for directions, and appointment durations” (, 2009).

Private message boards are also open for members to share “photo galleries" and "resource sections for sharing relevant web links and documents” (, 2009).

How it works. (2009). Lotsa Helping Hands. Retrieved from:

All content © 2009.