The 20-20-20 Rule


The end of the year and holiday season can be a strenuous for many of us.  Between getting finances in order, Christmas gifts, and record-keeping related to such things, we tend to give our eyes a real work out at this time of year, especially.

Looking back and forth between the computer screen and a stack of papers can definitely take its toll on your eyes, can’t it?

Feeling increased eye fatigue, in the midst of such process, led this post’s writer, recently, to do a bit of research into how to avoid eye strain and fatigue.

The most helpful advice came from staff at North Dakota Vision Services, who suggested the “20-20-20 Rule.”

Let’s elaborate: For every 20 minutes spent working on the computer, stop and spend 20 seconds staring at something 20 feet away.

This simple, easy to remember strategy can really save on your eyes!  

When you think about it, 20 seconds is not a long time to interrupt your work.  In the long run, it is well worth it.  It can even lead to longer endurance at a task.  You might even use that 20 seconds to simultaneously re-collect your thoughts or even say a little prayer.

Another trick that was pointed out is somehow propping one’s paperwork up to an even height with the screen, either using a paper stand or a clip attached to the computer monitor.  For those of us whose eyes do not focus quickly, this can be especially helpful to avoid losing one’s place.

An article from Mayo Clinic on eyestrain offers some other helpful tips.

Whatever steps you find most helpful, your eyes will thank you for taking simple precautions to protect them!


Twelve Days of Christmas

Re-posted from 2016 Scoop

12daysDon’t forget—Christmas isn’t over yet!  In fact, we’re still within ‘the twelve days.’

During the 271 years between 1558 and 1829, Catholics were not allowed to practice their religion in England, so someone wrote a song with double meanings.  It was meant to teach catechism but is still sung as an English Christmas carol.

What follows are the meanings:

My True Love = Jesus Christ, because Christ, who loves us in spite of our faults, was born Christmas Day.

The Partridge = Jesus, because the partridge would give his life to protect his nest.

Two Turtle Doves = Old & New Testaments

Three French Hens = faith, hope and charity

Four Calling Birds = 4 Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

Five Golden Rings  = 5 books of the Old Testament describing sin and the love of God sending us the Savior

Six Geese a-laying = 6 days of creation

Seven Swans a-swimming = gifts of the Holy Spirit

Eight Maids a-milking = the Beatitudes

Nine Ladies Dancing = 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit

Ten Lords a-leaping = the 10 Commandments

Eleven Pipers Piping = stand for the 11 faithful apostles

Twelve Drummers Drumming = the 12 points of belief in the Apostles Creed.

(from Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals by Ann Ball)

~Article by Betty Canavan

News from St. Anne’s

We have a couple of announcements to share with you at this busy time of year.  

St. Anne’s is celebrating 75 years of care for the elderly and disabled in eastern North Dakota this year!  As we mark this milestone, we invite you to join us for our 2nd annual Christmas Pageant.
We will be offering two showings: Monday, December 16 at 2 p.m. ~ and ~ 7 p.m.
You are welcome to join us for coffee and Christmas cookies afterward.

Also, you might be interested in our new discount cards!  They’re only $15.
What if you could get great deals and discounts every day of the coming year?
Actually, you can!! We’re selling discount cards, so you can get discounts at 15 local establishments all year round!
(a perfect idea for a Christmas stocking stuffer) Order yours today!
‘St. Anne’s Discount Cards’ will feature:

  • Arby’s
  • North End Dairy Queen
  • Mamma Maria’s
  • Office Depot
  • Ruffing It
  • Dogmahal
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Tim Shea’s Nursery
  • Dakota Dry Cleaners
  • Sonic Drive in
  • Burger Time
  • Taco John’s
  • Popolino’s Pizza
  • Thirty-One Products – Miranda
  • For Heaven’s Cakes

Order yours today!


Popcorn Stringing

Sunday afternoon, we invited residents to gather for popcorn stringing.  With the help of a couple of volunteers and eleven residents, we now have a table full of popcorn ready to decorate a Christmas tree at St. Anne’s.  While working, we got to enjoy Christmas music as one of our residents had a CD player and Christy Lane Christmas CD.  This added a nice touch to the fun afternoon.  Everyone seemed to have a great time.  Some had never strung popcorn before.

The Christmas tree was a German tradition which became popular in our country in the 1800s.  It was common to put fruit on the trees in Germany.  In America, cranberries were in season in November, just on time to be put on Christmas trees in December.  In the early days, people even dyed their popcorn to make it into a colorful garland on their trees.

In simpler times with less money available, popcorn was an affordable way of helping make Christmastime more festive.

Not only was popcorn inexpensive and available, it also had cultural roots in the Americas: Aztecs would use it for decoration and ornamenting of dancing apparel for festivities.

In modern times, there have even been records marked regarding strings of popcorn.  In 2014, there was a string 1,049 feet and ten inches long made in the United Kingdom with help from over 350 people.

One tip we should have known ahead of time (before we did this project) is that it is easier to string day-old popcorn as it is less apt to break.

In case you’d like to try a fun, inexpensive addition to your Christmas tree this year, let’s describe how we did it:

Cut pieces of sewing thread into 3-foot long strings.  Knot each one at an end.  You’ll need one string for each participant.  Thread the needle on the other end and set to work.


  • Be careful to avoid the hull/kernel area as it is hard. Hold onto the end of your thread when putting the needle through so the thread does not come off the needle.
  • You don’t need to double the thread; this does not work too well. One suggestion is even to use dental floss instead of thread.


World Diabetes Day – November 14

Here at St. Anne’s, diabetes is something we are frequently addressing; it comes up in our care conferences and other discussions because a good number of our residents have to deal with this ailment every single day.

Although you probably have some familiarity with this condition, we’ll share some interesting facts about diabetes that you may not have known:

An instance of diabetes was first recorded in Egyptian writings around 1500 BC.

Diabetes comes from a Greek word meaning “flowing through” (referring to increased urination).  This term may have first been used around 100 AD.

Today in our country, over 30 million people are afflicted with the disease; a quarter of them are not even aware that they have it.  In recent years, with increasing rates of obesity, the number of people with this condition has increased greatly.  Unfortunately, people of various minority ethnicities are at higher risk of developing type II diabetes.  People who are older, who have a family history, who smoke, and who are overweight are also more likely to be diagnosed. About 7% of pregnancies are plagued with gestational diabetes.  Diabetes costs over $300 billion a year.

Having diabetes makes a person’s likelihood of acquiring heart disease or having a stroke double.  It is also leading cause of kidney disease, limb amputation, and blindness in adults.

The word ‘insulin’ comes from the Latin insula (island) since the Islets of Langerhans (in the pancreas) secrete it.

New Carpet!

If you were around St. Anne’s earlier in the week, you probably noticed things were a bit disheveled.  

The end result, however, was well-worth it!

After a number of years, St. Anne’s has new carpeting in the main hall area near the front office and dining room.  The mat/rug in the entry way was also replaced.

The man working on its installation finished putting the base boards on last night.

We appreciate a fresh new look and beneficial updates to our first floor level!

It’s Baking Time Again!!!

We’re getting ready for our ‘Autumn Extravaganza,” and need your help!

Along with our spaghetti dinner, silent auction, and craft sale, we also have a bake sale.  

If this fall weather has put you in the baking mood, we’d gladly be the recipients of some goodies (to put on our sale in a few weeks).

If you’re “achin’ to do some bakin'” and you’d like to share, please let us know.

Saints Cosmas & Damien

Saints Cosmas and Damian
By Jean Bourdichon, Gallica Digital Library

Today is the memorial of Saints Cosmas and Damien.  For this occasion, we’ll share an article in this month’s St. Anne’s Broadcaster which recognized them as our “Saints of the Month.”  It was written by Kathy Lieberg.

Cosmas & Damien were twins, born during the third century in Arabia. The major shrines for them are at the Convent of the Poor Clares in Madrid, Spain, the Basilica of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Rome and in Bitonto, Bari, Italy. There is virtually nothing known about their lives. It was after their deaths that miraculous things began to happen. It is known that they were both doctors and are thus patron saints of physicians, surgeons and pharmacists.

In Brazil, they are known as protectors of children. September 27 (which used to be their feast day) is commemorated, especially in Rio de Janeiro, by giving children bags of candy with the saints’ effigy printed on them. In Utica, NY there is a yearly celebration which takes place at St. Anthony’s Parish with a two-day festival including several busloads from Canada.

There is an interesting Orthodox icon depicting these saints as vested laymen holding medicine boxes. They are often shown holding a spoon with which to dispense medicine. The handle of the spoon is normally shaped like a cross to indicate the importance spiritual as well as physical healing and that all cures come from God!

Source: Wikipedia


Between this last Friday and today, residents, staff/sisters, and volunteers husked, “de-haired,” and bagged about 1900 ears of sweet corn.

We are very grateful, first of all, to the Wald family for growing and harvesting all this corn for us! It has been an annual tradition for many years; we appreciate their kindness.

We also want to thank all of the great volunteers who came in to help us! Your hard work and capable hands were a huge asset in “getting the job done.”

Thank you, too, to our staff and residents who were so helpful.

Our residents will be able, thanks to all of you, to enjoy delicious, locally grown sweet corn all year through.

PS: Did you know that, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website, corn provides your body with needed fiber, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese?  It also contains antioxidants and other things that help you to have healthy eyes.  However, diabetics need to keep in mind its high carbohydrate content.

Update on our Plum Trees

It’s been a while since we updated you on our little plum trees…Their journey began about two years ago when pits were saved from plums from a relatives land near Fisher, MN.

Now, they range in height from 3′ 1″ to 3′ 11″, soon to be four, we hope. These four trees are an exciting addition to the lawn on the south side of St. Anne’s.