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December 2022

Below is the digital version of our December 2022 Newsletter. We have also included the articles in this blog for universal text access.


Accessible Articles below:



BECKY'S CORNER - A note from our Director

“As the year comes to a close, it is a time for reflection – a time to release old thoughts and beliefs and forgive old hurts. Whatever has happened in the past year, the New Year brings fresh beginnings. Exciting new experiences and relationships await. Let us be thankful for the blessings of the past and the promise of the future.” ― Peggy Toney Horton
Welcome to December! Everyone around me seems to be saying ‘where has this year gone?’. Why does time seem to fly by so quickly? Perhaps we need to “slow down and reflect on the blessings of the past and the promise of the future” as Peggy Horton says above. Here at Harbor Supported Living Services we have had many blessings this past year despite the continuation of the pandemic and all of the accompanying challenges– the need to protect each other from illness, continuing staff shortages, adjusting to the lifestyles we now are living. Let's take a look back at the year and all of the things we have all worked together to create and sustain for our Harbor community.
We hosted a modified Holiday Gathering last December which everyone enjoyed. It included soups made by Facilitators and Staff to share with all attendees while they also decorated cookies, took photo booth pictures, and watched “Elf” the movie. Twice this year people attended activities at Achieve Tahoe where they enjoyed Winter activities like skiing and Summer activities like kayaking and water tubing. Jonathan Smith, Facilitator, takes the lead on organizing these trips and renting a home for people to stay in. Thank you, Jon!! In April, Kathy Bell hosted a virtual ‘Crafternoon’ that was enjoyed by all that participated. Harbor also offered Person Centered Thinking Training twice this year in April and October. Joe Donofrio, CHOICESS Executive Director, is a gifted trainer and we look forward to even more people being trained to think outside the proverbial box. We were able to camp in Big Sur at Fernwood River Resort for the Labor Day weekend and enjoyed everything about that trip except maybe the extreme heat. In October we had a movie night and Halloween party in the office parking lot and watched the movie Hocus Pocus 2. We had a great show of costumes and everyone was a winner but a few received prizes for best costumes based on votes by all attendees. Also had an excursion to Lemos Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay for a day of fun and pumpkins. Birthdays are celebrated every month in the person’s chosen style from beach bonfires and bbq’s to restaurant celebrations that mark another trip around the sun for each of the people receiving support services, as well as, acknowledging birthdays for each of the staff in the newsletter every month.
As we look back at these blessings and activities we can all smile and look towards the future with brightness and light. As Judy Garland said, “Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, a little more loving, and have a little more empathy, and maybe, next year at this time we’d like each other a little more.” Although I feel confident that we like each other very much it could never hurt to be more gentle, loving and empathetic in our lives and relationships.
“Slow down. Find peace in little moments. Learn what you love, fill your life with it, and watch yourself come alive.” — Sonya Matejko
This mantra above about slowing down is always a worthwhile reminder for all of us. Brene Brown also teaches us that “It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.” Let’s rest and play as much as possible to end this year and carry on that practice throughout 2023. We look forward to seeing many of you at the Holiday Gathering on Dec 13, 2022 where we will once again come together to celebrate our caring for each other and to look forward to another year of love and hope and blessings. We hope that December is filled with love, laughter and little stress for all of you. Enjoy every moment.

Happy Days to Each and every one of you,
Becky

SPOTLIGHTS FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE

Chris K.

We are happy to put the spotlight on Mr. Chris Kelly this month. Chris is always so polite, sweet, and considerate. Among some of his many talents are playing monopoly, telling jokes, and dancing! It's also appreciated how he always participates in events, such as the talent show at our yearly camping trip. He has a large positive presence anywhere he goes!

Chris is awesome!! Whether he is out and about or at home he is always ready to be doing something fun. He loves his friends, family and God to the depths of his soul. If you come up with a plan he will offer to help you accomplish it. Chris is genuine, caring, and kind.

He is such a gentleman and is always willing to help out where needed. He is up for whatever activities are going on and enjoys new experiences. Chris has experienced a great deal of loss within his family of late but his faith and his strong family ties have seen him through each of these losses. He cherishes his mom (as we all do) and enjoys spending time with her. It is a pleasure to spend time with him.

Chris is one of my most favorite people whom I call my friend. He is kind, silly and has a host of what I call Chris-isms that are his truest self.. a good one: my life is like a corporation.. in what way chris?? Well the president is Jon, the Vice President is my lead. And all the other staff make up all the other important people that make it all work.. but then people are just like a revolving door. Some come and some go.

Chris is charismatic and always has something bright to say. It made me so happy when my name finally stuck with him, and now he always greets me in the same way that it clicked for him to remember my name. He lights up the room when he walks in, and I am grateful to know him.

We pray that we will continue to cherish our time and experiences with Chris for a very long time into the future.

Holly

Holly is an energetic, caring, and loving person that shows these qualities through her work. When Holly comes on shift she is ready with ideas of things to do, stays active with the people she supports and goes above and beyond.

When I started, Holly was very friendly, warm and welcoming. She answered all my questions and showed me some good strategies working with Ali. I enjoy working with her and Gilbert. Holly is an awesome teammate and human being, Harbor is lucky to have her :)

I have known Holly for seven years now. She used to babysit my daughter when my daughter was younger. And now that she is older, my daughter loves her very much and looks up to her. Holly is an amazing person and has an awesome free spirit. She loves her job very much and loves the people she supports. She also loves her animals very much and also is an amazing artist. In her free time she likes listening to music and going to the beach, hiking and searching for rocks. She’s one of the most amazing people I’ve met in life and is very kind and generous and likes to help in any way she can. She is also an amazing best friend. She was there for me when I needed help during a serious health crisis in my life. When I first opened my eyes at the hospital, and she was standing there next to the bed with my daughter reading to me, I had no idea where I was. She is an amazing coworker and best friend.

I work with Holly and I love how organized but also a little all over the place she is sometimes because she knows what she is doing. There is a system that only she can teach. I appreciate her caring and lovable aura and wouldn’t trade her for anything. She is appreciated everyday all day for the things that she has done and continues to do for our Harbor family.

Holly is a ray of sunshine on Ali's team. She is compassionate, a go-getter and always working on ways to improve the space. I admire that Holly is always open to helping out and going above and beyond. She has great relationships with the people she supports. I am happy to work with her.

Everyone can agree that Holly has ALOT of energy and is very close with the people she supports and the teams she works with. Congratulations, Holly, on being spotlighted for your skills, talents and abilities!!


Sweet Soul Nourishment - Are you getting enough Fiber?

Written by Mary Smith

Have you noticed that the American diet is typically centered around meat and starchy/processed/ refined grains, but light on fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains? Most of us are not consuming adequate amounts of fiber rich foods, which creates whole-body issues that impact our health. Gut health, immunity, metabolism and cardiovascular health are extremely reliant on the nourishment and nutritional diversity of fiber rich foods. I want to take a deep dive with you to look at what fiber is, how it functions in the body, how much you should be getting per day, and easy steps to increase fiber in your diet today.

What is Fiber? Fiber is simply the part of plant foods that is not broken down by the human digestive tract. It is composed of long strands of sugar molecules that stay intact throughout the digestive process. Fiber serves as a critical aid in blood sugar regulation, bowel movements, a healthy microbiome and more. You may have wondered about the difference between insoluble and soluble fiber. Most plant foods contain both soluble and insoluble fibers, just in different amounts. Let’s cover this! Soluble fiber creates a gel- like substance when mixed with water and acts as a sponge that helps collect and remove things that the body doesn’t need; excess hormones, cholesterol, toxins, and waste. Soluble fiber is our ally in improving digestion, reducing blood cholesterol and regulating blood sugar, which can reduce the risk of diabetes. Insoluble fiber forms up the bulk of stool and attracts water, which makes it easier to pass. Insoluble fiber is important for bowel health and regularity. Think of fiber as the broom of the digestive tract that helps push and remove all unwanted substances through and out of the body.

The Optimal Fiber Dose - Health and nutrition experts recommend for women to consume at least 25g of fiber per day, and men 30-38g per day. If you know that you’re not consuming close to this amount, it’s important to take a look at how to incorporate fiber into each meal. Whether you are adding more fiber rich foods or introducing a fiber supplement, be sure that you increase slowly and overtime to avoid gas, bloating and stomach upset — this is common for people who’s systems are not quite used to fiber rich foods. It is also important to increase water intake to ensure you are supporting movement of the fibers through your digestive tract.

Fiber Rich Foods - Keep in mind that processed and refined foods, such as highly processed bread products are not a quality source of fiber. These foods are stripped on the fiber rich germ and bran removed to extend shelf life. Best practice is to consume fresh, whole foods such as; fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes
Some fiber-rich plant foods include:
  • Buckwheat

  • Sprouted Wheat

  • Quinoa

  • Steel Cut Oats

  • Beans

  • Legumes

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Root Vegetables

  • Apples

  • Pears

  • Apricots

  • Dates

  • Figs

  • Avocado

  • Ground Flax

  • Chia Seeds

Fiber Supplements - If you find yourself struggling to meet your daily need for fiber, thoughtfully sourced fiber supplements are an option. Although they aren’t a replacement for nutrient dense foods, they can be supportive in filling the gap and ensure you are meeting your daily needs. I suggest looking for high-quality powder with minimal additives. If you can’t pronounce something or it has unnecessary additives, move on to the next! Look for a product that has a one or a blend of ingredients from fiber rich plant-based sources (flax, chia seed, oats, apple, acacia, ancient grains, psyllium husk). Garden of Life Raw Organic Fiber is a great and affordable product that you can find in the health food store or on Amazon.

I hope you find this information helpful to live a more vibrant and nourished life. May you be inspired to increase your nutrient diversity and try new foods! As always, please reach out if you have any questions or are seeking guidance.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Birthdays

Avery - 12/30

Harborversaries

Avery - 2 years
Reem Amer - 1 year
Anjali Maziarz - 1 year
Becky Midkiff - 1 year


FOLLOW OUR CALENDAR

We have a calendar on our website with current event details. Save it to your bookmarks & reference throughout the month!


SEND US YOUR PHOTOS!

We would love to feature your photos in our upcoming newsletters. Please send any photos via e-mail to newsletter@harborsls.org


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