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.

It’s St. Anne’s Week, and We’re Having a Ball!

As we honor our patron saint (whose feast day is on Friday) and celebrate our Home, residents and staff alike are enjoying dressing up in themed apparel. Each day’s activities, too, correlate with the theme of the day.

So far, we’ve had “Dress Up Day,” “Sports Day,” and “Western Day.”

“Colorful Sock Day,” “Hat Day,” “Wear Your St. Anne’s Shirt Day,” and “Patriotic Day” are yet to come!

When’s the Right to Move Into Assisted Living/Basic Care?

Guest Post by Kay Carter

Moving into an assisted living or basic care facility is often a big and emotional decision. After all, many individuals prize their independence and are hesitant to relinquish a routine that may have worked well for many years. However, there may come a time when a choice needs to be made. But when is that time? Here are a few signs that it may be the right time to move into assisted living.

Declining Health  

For seniors across the country, declining health can be a major challenge to overcome. That is why one of the benefits of moving into an assisted living or basic care facility is that you will have support for dealing with a chronic illness. If you or your loved one’s health has gotten considerably worse, it may be time to move into a place that can monitor and provide the attention you need to continue to thrive.

Decreased Socialization 

With age, many individuals find that they don’t have the same levels of socialization that they did in the past. Whether due to the death of a spouse, far-flung family members, or a lack of activities out of the home, isolation and depression can be very real challenges. Fortunately, moving into an assisted living or basic care facility can help naturally and organically increase opportunities for social interaction. This, in turn, could improve emotional and mental health for the long-term. 

Challenges with House Maintenance   

Maintaining a tidy and well kept home may have been a top priority in younger days. However, according to House Method, one sign that it may be the right time to move into assisted living is if it’s getting too difficult to do things around the house. Tasks such as vacuuming, lawn care, and paying bills on time are essential to your independence. If you’re having trouble doing day-to-day tasks, can’t keep up with maintenance of your home, and don’t have a family member or caregiver to help, assisted living or basic care may be a great solution.

Financial Strain 

In many cases, families or individuals will choose to have at-home care before looking into an assisted living or basic care facility. However, high levels of at-home care can quickly add up, making an assisted living or basic care facility a wiser financial choice. If this is the case, it may be the smartest move for you and your loved ones to look into the potential for assisted living or basic care. 

Aversion to Cooking 

Eating healthy foods is an important part of staying well, whether you’re dealing with longer-term illnesses or simply looking to live out your years in the best shape you can. However, if you find it difficult to make food for yourself to the point that you’re skipping meals, it may be time to look into assisted living. This makes the tasks of daily life—such as eating well—simpler and far more convenient. 

Assisted living or basic care facilities are designed to make life as pleasurable, comfortable, and stress-free as possible. If you’re experiencing any of the above signs, it may be time to look into your assisted living or basic care options.

St. Anne’s Week—Just around the Corner!

July 21-27, we will again celebrate our patron saint, St. Anne. We don’t know a lot about this holy woman, but she was the mother of Mary (and Jesus’ grandmother). Below is a poem about her.)

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We honor her especially on her feast day, July 26. Residents and staff are encouraged to join in the fun of the week, which will include the following dress up days:
Sunday, July 21 ~ Dress-up Day
Monday, July 22 ~ Sports Day
Tuesday, July 23 ~ Western Day
Wednesday, July 24 ~ Colorful Sock Day
Thursday, July 25 ~ Hat Day
Friday, July 26 ~ St. Anne’s Shirt Day
Saturday, July 27 ~ Patriotic Day
We’ll have special activities that go along with the days’ themes.