Twitter is turning out to be a great resource of information . Over the next couple of days, I’ll be bringing you more links and tips of interest to all of us Sandwich Generation caregivers of elderly parents as well as grandparents, from the last couple of weeks. If you’d like to start on Twitter yourself, I’d love to have you join me at .

Grandmother Wren’s site has some fun ideas for grandparents and grandkids for today, Groundhog’s Day . .

The Lord God is our light and protector.

Simple Dollar has a great article reinforcing what we, as caregivers , do on a daily basis. “There is no material item on earth that can compare to being cared for by others – and caring for them, too, in a mutually healthy relationship.” I especially appreciated that he wasn’t just talking about married couples. He gave two excellent examples of the relationships that can develop between caregivers and those they care for, even when not family members.

Another delicious Simple Dollar article – Crock Pot cooking with five ingredients or less ! – The recipes sound yummy and make for easy dinners when short on time due to caregiving duties. 🙂  I passed them on to the expert, my mom, and she totally concurred. I’m looking forward to trying out the chili as well as the shredded beef. He puts the shredded beef on sandwiches, but I’m going to give them a try on tacos and burritos. My mouth is watering already.

Encouragement – You are my hope, O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth.

Nicheprof found an interesting article with 15 sites you can use to search out people and backgrounds . This would be an excellent research resource if you or your elderly parent would like to look up an old friend or coworker.  How about that high school classmate or someone you once served with in the military decades ago?

Do you use Delicious to keep track of your bookmarks? I do and, after a bit of a learning curve, have learned to love it. This past weekend, I read that a similar bookmarking service, Magnolia, had a major crash and people were unable to access their bookmarks for a prolonged period of time. Needless to say, that made me wonder about the security of my bookmarks at Delicious. I decided to figure out if I could back them up on my computer and if so, how to do that. This was not as easy to find as it sounds. Thanks toSearchguru, however, I discovered that you simply go to Delicious, select your settings, select EXPORT, and save the file with an easy-to-recognize name on your computer.  It is saved as an HTML file. Hopefully, Delicious will never experience a major problem but if it does and you have backed up regularly, you will be able to stay relaxed and calm, knowing that the majority of your valuable information is safe on your computer.

And while we’re on the subject of backups , don’t forget to make sure all your updates are current for your operating system, internet browser, and all anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Then make sure you’ve recently run a virus and spyware check, back up your computer documents, and run the defragment program. You might also think about doing a regular decluttering of documents on your computer. Hopefully all this tender loving care for your computer will serve to keep it running well so you can spend your time in much better ways than yelling at a crashed computer 🙂 .

If you use Gmail , check your spam folder. Per TwitterTips, Google had an issue that may have caused good email to go astray into the spam folder in error. I don’t use Google, preferring Outlook along with email from my ISP. But no matter what you use, I would encourage you to check your spam folder at least weekly. I’m always amazed at the good email that lands there, even if I’ve “whitelisted” it :). It’s the price we pay for using email without too many spam hassles, I guess.

Ending today’s updates with a very sweet link, NerdNews alerted me to a Newsweek article on a very special volunteer group of photographers. Their organization is called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep . Their volunteers go into hospitals to gently minister to families whose new baby was stillborn or died shortly after birth. They take sensitive, precious photographs of the baby and the parents and give the family something special to bring home with them. “Parents who may be skeptical early on embrace the images as an irreplaceable gift once they’ve left the hospital and gone home without their babies. ‘We can’t change what’s happening to these people, says Puc, ‘but we can change the way they heal for the rest of their lives.’" You can find the entire article at . I have to tell you, I’m crying as I type this. What a blessed gift this must be to those families! Also, if you are interested in volunteering, there is training provided. The article provides contact information for the group as well as other valuable information on this subject.

Nursing home and assisted care facility research is probably not on your top 10 favorite things to do. Unfortunately, health problems in elderly relatives can pop up when least expected and usually at the worst possible moment. One way to make things a little bit easier is to do some pre-prep work before you actually need it. Then, if the worst occurs, you don’t have to start from scratch. One way of doing that is bookmarking the various resource sites that could be useful to you if the time for deeper research is necessary. Here are two links I found through Mr. Eldercare on Twitter to help you in that quest.

Medicare has an easy to use website that lets you compare every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. You can locate them by city, state, zip code, county, or by their name.

When my dad was put into hospice, he had a bad reaction to medication. For a short time, we thought we would have to move him into a nursing home. I had no clue what they were like, or how good or bad they were. I would have greatly appreciated this resource at that time.

I plugged in a couple of zip codes where there are nursing homes I am familiar with. The scores seemed pretty much on target to me, however this is just a beginning point. Once you have this information, it is still crucial that you or someone you trust visit the site personally and check it out carefully. One other caveat, I noticed one nursing home I am familiar with was NOT on this list. I presume it is not a medicare or medicaid-certified nursing home, though it is a very nice faith-based facility. So do realize there may be other options available than what you will find on this list.

In fact, USA Today has an interesting and informative article that discusses pros and cons to this chart along with more details and extra charts including one listing the best and the worst options. It would be a good article to bookmark but also to print out and save for future reference, in case it is removed from the site.

One step we have taken to help you with this project is to start a list of bookmarks using the social bookmarking site, Delicious. You will find the most recent bookmarks listed at the top of the far right column of this page. Each time I add a link to an article, the link should also be added to Delicious, making it easier for each of us to find important resources in the future. I moved the news headlines down below the Delicious bookmarks. Let me know how you feel about the change – love it or hate it. You can leave a comment below, or send an email to .

Happy Harvest Time! Autumn is truly here in much of the U.S. Yesterday I went out in the early morning and it was around 70 degrees. Today, it was definitely in the 60s! And I’m loving it! I love the whole harvest season and now that we are into October I’m seeing more and more decorations going up. So far it’s mostly scarecrows and hay bales which are all my favorites so I’m a happy camper!

A friend sent me the sweet story that has been circulating in emails and blogs for years. As far as I’ve been able to tell, the author is unknown (if anyone does know the author, please let me know). It’s such a great story to read and enjoy and even better if you can ever use it to share the gospel with others. I love to read it to my grandchildren.

The Inspiring Pumpkin…
A lady had recently been baptized. One of her co-workers asked her what it was like to be a Christian. She was caught off guard and didn’t know how to answer; but when she looked up, saw a jack-o’-lantern on the desk and answered:

“It’s like being a pumpkin.”
The coworker asked her to explain that one.
“Well, God picks you from the patch and brings you in and washes off all the dirt on the outside that you got from being around all the other pumpkins. Then he cuts off the top and takes all the yucky stuff out from inside.He removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.

Then he carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all to see.

It is our choice to either stay outside and rot  on the vine or    come inside and be something new and bright.”

Isn’t that great?! In trying to research who the author was, I discovered a great site with several other cute Halloween ideas for you to share with your grandkids. It’s at  and there you will find a variety of Halloween Alternative Resources – a pumpkin prayer activity, a craft, two stories, and a poem which were sent in by Diane Bracher. If you want to explore their site further, they have a wide variety of other craft ideas for general purposes as well as many for holidays. Some require a fee while others are free although I know they’d appreciate a donation. I’ve added them to my Delicious bookmarks and am looking forward to trying some of their projects with my grandkids this fall.

One other cute resource for having fun during the harvest holiday season while keeping our eyes and the eyes of our grandchildren firmly planted on Jesus is found at . There you will find a cute poem, Pumpkins & Jesus. The writer (also unknown) has taken the letters for the word Pumpkins to spell out the gospel message for kids. I’ve enjoyed visiting Annie’s website many times over the years and highly recommend it. You can also find many other Christian-based Halloween and autumn ideas and projects there at .

Have a bushel of fun with all of these fun “harvest” goodies!