Worried About Your Eyes After the Eclipse? Here’s What You Should Know

You were warned about looking at the solar eclipse without protection, but you did it anyway. Eye specialists are ready to help.

Despite all the warnings about looking at the eclipse without safety glasses, some may have been tempted to defy scientific advice and steal a peek. Don’t feel bad — even the president of the United States did it.

But staring at the sun for even a short time without the right protection could have damaged your retinas permanently or caused a specific type of blindness called solar retinopathy, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

You were warned

There was plenty of advice in the run-up to the eclipse about the dangers of looking at it directly. As The Times reported on Monday, humans cannot see infrared light coming from the sun, but it can cause damage that won’t heal. And there are no pain receptors in the retina, so you would not have even felt the damage occurring.

The damage is not literally a burn — but the light stimulation on the eye induces chemical changes that are damaging, said Dr. Stanley Chang, a professor of ophthalmology at Columbia University.


Source: Worried About Your Eyes After the Eclipse? Here’s What You Should Know

Don’t Get Burned by Solar Eclipse Scams

With sky-high anticipation over the upcoming solar eclipse on Aug. 21, there are plenty of opportunities to get burned — visually and financially. According to NASA, the only safe way to watch it is with special solar-viewing glasses (also called eclipse glasses) or handheld filters. Available for as little as $2 each for paper-frame models that resemble movie theater 3-D glasses, these are not sunglasses but have lenses with specially designed filters to safely watch the first total eclipse from …

Source: Don’t Get Burned by Solar Eclipse Scams

Butter Cows and Local Fairs

I recently saw a Facebook post that announced that Laura Ingalls Wilder was going to be featured along side of the Butter Cow this year at the Iowa State Fair.  My first reaction was, “Of course!  Why not?” But after a few moments of reflection, I realized that most people in the world would react with, “Wait, what?  What is a butter cow and what does Laura have to do with it?”  Some may even wonder who Laura is.

A Butter Cow on Display
Photo courtesy of Evan Bayh https://www.flickr.com/photos/evanbayh/218524223

A little bit of background for the non-midwesterners that are reading this post.  The Butter Cow is an annual attraction at the Iowa State Fair, where a sculpture of a cow made of Iowa butter is put on display.  You can read more about it by clicking the link above.


The Laura Ingalls Wilder connection is because she and her family briefly lived in Iowa for a time, and her sister attended the school for the blind there as well.  In honor of her 150th birthday, she will be temporarily immortalized in 100% Cream Butter.

As a former Iowan myself, I find these things not only interesting, but totally normal, however, my fair going experience did not include a trip to the state fair as a child.  We had our own local fair that I grew up going to every year.  The National Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo, IA.  Of course that fair is all about the cows, or at least it used to be.  Check out there history here.  It started in the early 1900’s, but by the time I used to go, for me it was all about the carnival rides and the food stands.  Although I admit I did like to check all the exhibits too, even though I never entered anything.

What I love about fairs and festivals is how they are so different, depending on their location.  We used to have the Annual Cucumber Festival in Evansdale, IA, but I think it changed names to Evansdale Community Days, which lasts for 3 days will all kinds of events.

Now that I live in South Texas, we have quite a few fairs and festivals that take place around the Valley.  There is Palmfest, Borderfest, Citrus Fiesta, and of course the RGV Livestock Show.

Now matter where you are this summer, or this coming winter, be sure to check out all your local fairs and festivals.  You will be glad you did.

Some U.S. FairsSome Canadian Fairs
Wisconson State FairCoaticook Valley Fair
Indiana State FairSaint-Hyacinthe Agri-food Fair
Minnesota State FairStanstead County Agricultural and Horticultural Exposition
Michigan State Fair

Please click on the ‘Leave a Comment’ button at the top of this post and share some of your favorite memories of the fairs and festivals you have attended!

Technology and the Senior Citizen

As our business here has been increasing our internet presence, I have been thinking more and more about how our residents use their technology.  I found it interesting to note that there is quite a large range of usage within our community, from not at all, up to daily dependence on it.

According to the Brookings Institute, seniors spend most of their time online communicating with friends, shopping, and searching for health information.  Nearly seventy-one percent of those who use the internet go online almost every day. Many of the internet using seniors believe that “people without internet access are at a real disadvantage because of all the information they might be missing,” Most of them think that “the internet makes it much easier to find information today than in the past.” In a research study at Loughborough University, older adults reported that being online gave them more social support. They also reported feeling more mentally alert, challenged, useful, and younger.

Only 27% of senior adults use social media (46% of online seniors) even though online connections may enhance their social interactions and reduce isolation. Also, 81% of those seniors who report using social media say they socialize with others on a daily or near-daily basis (compared to 71% of those who are online but do not use social networking sites and 63% of seniors who are not online at all).

Here at Twin Lakes, we have tried to create more opportunities for social media interactions with our residents through our Facebook page, Youtube Videos, and this website with its blog posts and community forum page that invites users to participate.

Last November, a documentary called “Cyber Seniors” aired on a PBS channel that explored the interactions of seniors and technology.  The trailer is below:

If you would like to watch the whole thing, click the link below

Cyber Seniors on PBS

Blast from the Past

As this winter season is quickly moving along, I thought it would be fun to look back at earlier years here at Twin Lakes.  Virginia Sibert left us quite a collection of photographs of the years she and her husband Jim were here in the park.  Here are some of the earliest she had, 1988 and 1989.


 The first column shows some guys laying cement on lot 23, with Jason’s dad being the one working from under the trailer.  The second column show some residents having a hot dog roast on the bank of the lake that no longer exists.