TOM SMITH, DIRECTOR
816 4th Street
Three Rivers, MI  49093

269-858-8305​
FAMILY  ACTIVITIES
JULY/AUGUST 2019 GRANGE NEWS

It’s hard to believe, but State Session is only about 4 months away. So how are you doing on entries for all the contests in the various departments? Your efforts and participation is what it’s all about, so don’t let yourself or the Grange down.

Our State Session is in Adrian this year, and our Family Activities/Community Service is for an organization that assists the homeless in Lenawee County. Last year, we did the Mitten Tree for Kalamazoo, and we are expanding a little on that. My sources in Adrian tells me that they can use mittens, gloves, scarves, hats or
socks. We had super support in 2018 and I am sure we can do just as well or even better in 2019. An questions, just call me.

​I wanted to remind you again of the Family Activities report form that will be coming your way soon, if not already. Please take the time to fill it out, and send it in. I’m awarding a special gift to the Grange with the most outstanding report. I have out-of-state judges lined up so they have no knowledge or bias our Grange. There’s still time to do a couple more things before sending the report in, so please push and prod to see that your Grange could be the winner. All Granges submitting reports will be recognized with a certificate. Report forms are due by September 10th.

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Spring, Summer and Fall! That means all that good fresh Michigan produce to choose from and enjoy.

​Here are some tips I gleaned from a pamphlet from the USDA which should interest all of us:

​They recommend washing fruits and veggies before eating, we all know that, but here’s the tips that can help prevent an illness or worse.
  • Begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
  • Cut away any damaged or bruised areas. Produce that looks rotten should be discarded.
  • All produce should be thoroughly washed before eating. Wash under running water just before eating, cutting or cooking.
  • Many pre-cut bagged produce items are prewashed. If the package says that the contests have been prewashed, we can use it without further washing, just be sure to look it over for bruising or damage.
  • Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first.
  • Washing fruits and veggies with a soap or detergent is not recommended.
  • Scrub firm produce such as melons and cucumbers with a clean produce brush.
  • Drying produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel may further reduce bacteria that might be present.
  • On a separate note, with highly perishable berries, one method for helping them to stay fresh longer is to soak them in a vinegar bath. And don’t worry, they won’t taste like vinegar. This reportedly helps destroy bacteria and mold spores. Cared for this way, strawberries can last up to two weeks and raspberries a good week.
​Here’s what you need to do:
Make a solution of 3 cups water to 1 cup white vinegar. Place the berries in a bowl and cover with the water/vinegar solution. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse the berries. Place on paper towel to dry. To store, line a container with paper towel and place the berries in the container. This will absorb any more
moisture.
MAY/JUNE 2019 GRANGE NEWS

Is it really Spring? What a wild and crazy winter season we’ve had, here’s hoping the rest of the year is a little more moderate.

I wanted to announce some changes in our department. In the not so distant future, you will be getting your annual report form for the Family Activities Department. Please take the time to read and go over this with your member and be sure to send it in. Every Grange (Subordinate and Pomona) who report will receive a certificate for their efforts during the year. A special award will be given to the Grange with the most outstanding work for the year. It’s acceptable to just check yes or no, but a small explanation of your work would make for better clarity for the judges. I’m really hoping for at the very least to have 75% of our Granges reporting. We can do it, if you do it!!

​For years, this was the Women’s Activities Department, and has now evolved into Family Activities, and I would like to encourage every Grange to work a little harder in promoting the family aspect of not only the department, but our Grange as a whole. The Grange is sort of unique in that all ages and genders all come to the same meetings and activities. This is great, but we have to strive to make sure there is something to interest the varied make-up of our Order. Plan outings that would interest all. Go as a group to a local zoo and have a picnic. Go as a group to a concert or sporting event and sit together. Put together a potluck favorites cookbook that centers around those tasty treats that are a special favorite at your own local Grange. Put a float in a local parade with all ages on board. The ideas are unlimited as is our potential for growth, if we choose to.

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For the last few months I have been taking a class called “Brain Training” here in Three Rivers and have really had a good time as well as learning a lot more about myself and others. It’s a 90 minute class, once a month but I wanted to share just a little with you to maybe help when dealing with others.

Benefits of an Optimistic Attitude
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines optimism as a tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation. An optimist is “one who usually expects a favorable outcome.”

Benefits of Optimism
Recent research has shown that optimistic people have better memories. Some of the many benefits of optimism include:
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Decreased likelihood of depression
  • Better overall health, including reduced blood pressure, better circulation, and a healthier immune system
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Greater likelihood of achieving goals and dreams
  • Reduction in time needed to recover from setbacks. A longer life
  • Increased sense of life satisfaction
  • Greater likelihood of having healthy relationships. People enjoy being around optimists and are more likely to socialize with them than others who are pessimistic.
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Nurturing Optimism
There are many ways to Nurture optimism, below are some examples. Add your own at the bottom of the list and review it on a regular basis.
  • Limit the time you spend with pessimists.
  • Incorporate more humor and laughter into your daily life
  • Look for the positive
  • Focus on what you an change and let go what you cannot.
  • Do things for others. Volunteer
  • Develop friendships with those who are optimistic. Optimism is CONTAGIOUS.
  • Look at the mistakes you make as opportunities to grow.
  • Look for the best in every situation.
  • Try to solve problems rather than just complain about them (or creating them)
  • Adopt positive language, saying you can’t do something is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. On the other hand, saying that you will be able to do something may result in success!
  • Celebrate each day and all that is has to offer.