Tips for Avoiding Homesickness

The following 4-H Youth Development article originally printed in the 2018 Summer edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

kids at camp

Handling Homesickness

Going away for a night or even away at camp for a few nights can be a lot of fun. But for some kids, it can be really hard to be away from home. Here are some things you can do that will help you stay and enjoy all the fun.

  • Bring a little part of home with you: For an overnight stay, it may be helpful to bring something from home. Think about your favorite toy or wear your favorite pajamas. You may also want to take a picture of your family that you can look at from time to time.
  • Stay busy: when you are busy having fun, you have less time to think about being home. If you are at an overnight sleepover, play games, dance, and enjoy the time with your friends. If you are at an overnight camp, think about all of the activities that you have to choose from and perhaps even try something new!
  • Talk to someone: For some kids, just letting someone else know that you are feeling a little homesick can help you feel better. Whether it is a friend or a counselor, he or she may have some other ideas to help you have fun and not think about being away from home.
  • Practice: It may seem silly, but it may be helpful to practice being away from home. This may mean staying at a friend’s house for a few hours before trying to stay for an overnight visit. Maybe try checking out a day camp before going to an overnight camp.

If you sometimes feel a little homesick, remember that it is okay and that there are ways to lesson that feeling. A lot of kids feel homesick, and even some adults!

oc kids at camp

Source: Nicole Peritore, Extension Specialist for Family Health, University of Kentucky. Edited by Lauren Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.


Summer Vacation Planning Tips

The following Family & Consumer Sciences article originally printed in the 2018 Summer edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

family vacation tips

Planning for Summer Vacation

It’s time to start thinking about summer. This season is a great time to relax and spend time with family. One of the best ways to spend time with your family is during summer vacations, but planning for those can be expensive and time-consuming.

To begin planning for a summer vacation, it is important to make a budget. This will help you decide where to go, where to stay and how to get there. A budget can also provide you with a spending guideline for once you reach your destination. Remember to account for credit and debit card purchases as well as cash expenditures. Decide on a reasonable budget number and stick with it. Keep track of all your transactions by saving receipts.

Once you have your budget, it is essential to start researching and planning. The internet is a great place to find information on any destination. You will be able to find attractions, hotels, air travel, maps, etc. When booking hotels and making plans, be sure to only use reliable websites.

summer vacation tips

You can also enlist a travel agent to help you plan a trip. Travel agents are professionals who help consumers find the best prices and places. Here are a couple of reasons travel agents are useful.

  • Planning. Let them do the work. You can tell them where you want to go and what you want to do and let them work out the details. They can also tell you where or what is available within your budget. In addition, they receive daily updates on great places to visit.
  • All-inclusive options. If you are looking for a getaway with everything included, travel agents will have that information easily available. The travel agent will take care of all of the details so you can enjoy yourself worry-free.
  • Discounts and perks. You often receive discounts to attractions, rental cars, and hotels when making reservations through a travel agency. Travel agents may have access to additional options not available to those planning their own trip. For example, when booking with a travel agent, you may receive free parking at theme parks, a discount at a gift shop, or a voucher for eating at a specific restaurant.
  • Tour books and maps. Certain travel agencies like AAA can provide wonderful tour books and maps If you are driving, they can help map out your route.

When traveling, remember to pack efficiently. Use the list below to ensure that you do not miss anything. If you are flying, use the 3-1-1 guideline recommended by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration: 3 ounces or smaller bottles of a liquid must be placed in a 1 quart clear bag, allowing one bag per traveler. Liquids larger than 3 ounces may not be taken on the plane. They must be placed in checked luggage or discarded.

Clothing Items:

  • Outfits for each day
  • Undergarments, socks
  • Shoes
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimwear, active wear


  • Aspirin/pain reliever
  • Allergy medicine
  • Prescription medications
  • Glasses/contacts
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen

Personal Items:

  • Toothbrush, tooth paste
  • Brush, comb
  • Shampoo, hair products
  • Deodorant
  • Makeup
  • Lotion
  • Razor/shaving items


  • Camera
  • Memory card, film, batteries
  • Cell phone
  • Chargers for all devices


  • Reservation confirmations
  • Directions or GPS
  • Passport/driver’s license
  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Event tickets

When preparing to travel, make sure to be smart, efficient and find the best bang for your buck.

summer vacation tips

Written by Alex Elswick, Extension Associate for Family Resource Management. Edited by Lauren Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Grandparent and Adult Grandchildren Relationships

grandparent relationship

Grandparent and Adult Grandchildren Relationships Mutually Beneficial

One of the many benefits of living longer is grandparents get to see their grandchildren become adults. While scientists have conducted much research about the benefits and effects of positive relationships between grandparents and their young grandchildren, until recently little research had been conducted about the relationships between grandparents and adult grandchildren. Recent studies show that positive relationships between these two groups are mutually beneficial.

A study conducted by Boston College researchers showed that close emotional bonds between grandparents and their adult grandchildren is associated with fewer symptoms of depression in both generations. Researchers also found that grandparents who helped out their grandchildren and received assistance from their grandchildren had the fewest symptoms of depression. Grandparents who received support but could not reciprocate, had the most depressive symptoms.

Another study, led by a University of Texas researcher, looked at the frequency of grandparents offering support to their adult grandchildren. Researchers found that listening, emotional support, and companionship were the most common things grandparents gave to their adult grandchildren. The study also found that grandparents were a greater means of support to their grandchildren when the child’s parent was experiencing life problems or was unemployed. Grandparents listening, advice, and companionship with their adult grandchildren ran hand-in-hand with parents providing these same types of support to the child.

strong relationship with grandparents

As we age, it’s important not to forget the strong bonds that formed years ago as grandparents and young grandchildren. Everyone gets busy, but it’s important for us to take time to enjoy these relationships as much as possible. Whether over the phone or in person, continuing these relationships can be helpful to both generations in ways neither can imagine.

For more information on raising strong families, contact Chris Duncan, Family & Consumer Science Agent at the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service, via (502) 222-9453 or

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by David Weisenhorn, Senior Extension Specialist, and Amy Kostelic, Associate Extension Professor. Edited by Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension State Assistant.

Master Clothing Volunteer

The following Family & Consumer Science article printed in the March 31, 2016 edition of the Oldham Era.

Extending Knowledge

Become an Extension Master Clothing Volunteer

If you’re interested in making sewing more than just a hobby, Cooperative Extension’s Master Clothing Volunteer program might be right for you. Recruitment for the Master Clothing Volunteer Class of 2016 is ongoing through the end of June.

A master volunteer is an individual who goes above and beyond the traditional volunteer role. Master Clothing Volunteers have basic knowledge of sewing and garment construction skills. They are interested in receiving in-depth training in the subject and are dedicated to helping others learn their art.

The Kentucky Master Volunteer in Clothing Construction Program has been certifying individuals since 1990. A new class of volunteers is selected every two years. The class of 2016 will be the 13th class to begin the certification process.

Participation in the Master Clothing Volunteer program is highly selective. Only two individuals are selected from each of the state’s 14 extension areas. Individuals must first apply to the program at their county’s extension office, where they are already an approved volunteer. From there, a county committee will screen the applicants. Individuals will be notified by mail about the status of their application. Those selected will advance to an area screening committee. The committee will make their selections based on an individual’s sewing knowledge and people skills drawn from the application and an interview.

Those selected to participate in the program will attend a statewide training, Oct. 18-21 at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Educational Center in Jabez and begin the certification process. During this process, they will receive training on subject matter, record keeping, teaching, and people skills. They will also make a written commitment to give back a specific amount of time to Cooperative Extension and the community by teaching basic sewing skills to groups of individuals. After completing the volunteer requirements, the individual will become a Certified Master Clothing Volunteer recognized by the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service as a trained professional aide.

Applications are available at county extension offices. For more information on becoming a Kentucky Master Clothing Volunteer, contact the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

Source: Marjorie Baker, extension associate for clothing and textiles

KY Food Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) releases food and drug recall notices to help consumers stay informed. Sign up to receive email notifications of Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts.

Trader Joe’s Recalls Candy

On March 25, the FDA released a food recall notice from Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s voluntarily recalled jelly sticks due to undeclared milk content. All Trader Joe’s Chocolate Orange Sticks and Trader Joe’s Chocolate Raspberry Sticks have been removed from shelves nationwide. A full refund is available to customers who return the affected products.

Due to the unexpected milk content, the dark chocolate coating may appear lighter than normal. Persons with a milk allergy or sensitivity may experience adverse reactions after consuming the recalled candy. Two allergic reactions have been reported in connection with the recalled jelly sticks.

Recalled English Muffins

Flower Foods, Inc has voluntarily recalled Cobblestone Bread Co. Wheat English Muffins due to undeclared milk. The affected products bear UPC # 0 72250 01316 1 and best by dates of October 28, 2015 through April 10, 2016. Those who are lactose intolerant risk an allergic reaction by consuming the recalled English muffins.

Stores in the following states may have distributed the recalled products: Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. The recalled muffins may also have been sold in stores in Washington DC.

Customers are encouraged to return any products affected by this recall for a refund or product replacement.

Meijer Rolls Recalled

R.W. Bakers Co. issued a recall for 8 count packages of “Meijer Plain Knot Rolls” due to the possibility of undeclared peanuts. People with peanut allergies risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction by consuming the affected products.

The recalled “Meijer Knot Rolls” were distributed in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. The rolls were sold between the dates of 3/6/16 and 3/28/16. The recalled rolls may be identified by lot number 16061, production date 3/1/16, and UPC code 0-41250-09971-0.

Consumers are urged to return the recalled rolls to place of purchase where they will receive a full refund.

Public Safety Tips

The following Family & Consumer Science article published in the March 24, 2016 edition of the Oldham Era.

public safety tips

Stay Aware to Stay Safe

Two women were recently attacked in two La Grange parking lots. Both attacks occurred in the evening, and each woman was in her car when a man approached her with a gun and demanded money.

One robbery victim, however, successfully evaded her attacker by being aware of her surroundings and employing protective measures. She noticed the man ducking suspiciously in the shadows of a nearby building. By keeping her doors locked and her car running, she was able to shield herself from the attacker and then exit the situation by driving away.

Protect yourself from potentially dangerous situations with the following public safety tips.

Public Safety Tips | Parking Lot Safety

Take Mom’s advice: look both ways before you cross the street. Cars with quieter engines can sneak up on you if you don’t keep watch around you. An approaching cyclist may make no noise at all.

Pay attention. While walking through a parking lot, don’t wear headphones or stare at your phone, setting yourself up to be surprised. Watch for cars backing out of parking spots; you may be in a driver’s blind spot. When available, use sidewalks and crosswalks to protect yourself from inattentive drivers.

As well, try to walk through more open areas rather than weaving between parked cars. This helps create more space between you and a potential attacker, giving you more time to react.

Public Safety Tips | Setup Safety Measures

Give yourself time to react to potential dangers. Sitting in an unlocked car may open yourself up to a surprise attack. Simply locking the doors prevents getting caught off-guard. Additionally, lock your car before walking away to keep a potential attacker from hiding in your back seat.

Carry a loud whistle that you can use to alert others in the area of a dangerous situation. There is safety in numbers. You’re never too old for the buddy system.

Public Safety Tips | Maintain Your Calm

Most people mean to do no harm, and instances of crime may be few and far between in your community. Being prepared, however, is the best defense in any potentially dangerous situation. Keeping calm and alert can also help protect you in the case of an accident.

Keep your eyes open, and watch out for yourself and others around you.

Sources: Michelle Bufkin, AU Agriculture Communications Student/EDEN Community of Practice Social Media Assistant, “Tips about Returning to Campus Safety.” Ohio University Extension, “Safety Tips.” Oregon University Extension, “Safety & Risk Management.”

Written by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Reviewed by Chris Duncan, Oldham County Family & Consumer Science Agent.

March Food Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) releases food and drug recall notices to help consumers stay informed. Sign up to receive email notifications of Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts.

Boost Tea Recalled

On March 11, Awareness Corp. issued a food recall on containers of Boost Tea due to possibility of Salmonella contamination. Infection of Salmonella bacteria can cause serious illness and even death. Young children, elderly persons, and other people with weak immune systems are at the most risk. Someone infected with Salmonella may experience symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

7.4 ounce containers of Boost Tea are affected by this food recall. Distributed nationwide, the affected product may be identified by a “Lot #022615” marking on the bottom panel of the white plastic container and an expiration date of 10/17. The recalled tea may be returned to place of purchase for a full refund.

Recalled Pistachios

The FDA posted a food recall on March 10 for in-shell and shelled pistachios by Wonderful Pistachios. The pistachios are linked to a Salmonella outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Eleven cases of Salmonella infection have been reported.

Multiple flavors and package sizes are affected by this food recall. The Salmonella infected pistachios were sold to retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Peru under three brands: Wonderful, Paramount Farms, and Trader Joe’s.

Recall by Nestle

Nestle USA issued a voluntary recall on multiple DiGiorno Pizza, Lean Cuisine, and Stouffer’s products as they may be contaminated with glass pieces. Consumers are advised to check the production code on the following foods:

  • DiGiorno Thin & Crispy Spinach and Garlic Pizza
  • DiGiorno Rising Crust Spinach and Mushroom Pizza
  • DiGiorno pizzeria Thin Crust Spinach and Mushroom Pizza
  • DiGiorno pizzeria Tuscan-style Chicken Pizza
  • Lean Cuisine Spinach and Mushroom Pizza
  • Lean Cuisine Spinach Artichoke Ravioli
  • Lean Cuisine Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli
  • Lean Cuisine Spinach, Artichoke & Chicken Panini
  • Lean Cuisine Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli
  • Stouffer’s Vegetable Lasagna (10 oz., 37 oz. and 96 oz. sizes)
  • Stouffer’s Spinach Soufflé
  • Stouffer’s Chicken Lasagna

No injuries have been reported in connection with the recalled items.

Healthy Snacks

veggies as kids snack

Healthy Choices: Fruits & Veggies

Want Your Kids to Reach for a Healthy Snack? Make Sure Fruits and Veggies are in Reach.

Make fruits and veggies look more appealing to your child by making Happy Snack Packs. Fill small snack bags with cut-up veggies. Decorate the outside of the bags with stickers. Store in the refrigerator on a shelf where they are easy for your child to see and grab. One mom told us, “I found that when I put fruits and veggies in a place where my kids can see them, they eat them. It takes a little planning, but it’s worth it. I know fruits and veggies help them stay healthy.”

Remember, kids only eat what they can find!

Make Healthy Snacks Easy and Fast for Your Kids to Grab.

Do your kids come home hungry? For a fast healthy snack, keep fruits and veggies in a place where your kids can see them. Try a bowl on the counter or a low shelf in the fridge. If you don’t have fresh produce, use canned or frozen. Fruit Salad makes a colorful, healthy snack.

Picky eaters might like to try dipping their veggies in this Kentucky Proud Bacon and Tomato Dip or Homemade Ranch Dip.

Find more healthy recipes at Kentucky Proud!

Get More Healthy Kids Snack Tips

Contact Oldham County Extension to learn more about free nutrition resources.

Follow the Kentucky Nutrition Education Program on Facebook for daily nutrition tips and recipes.

Food and Drug Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) releases food and drug recall notices to help consumers stay informed. You can sign up to receive email notifications of Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts.

Frozen Seafood Recalled

February 18, Peking Food LLC recalled Steamed Buns with Seafood for containing undeclared eggs. People with an egg allergy risk an allergic reaction by consuming these products. The frozen seafood packages were distributed to stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, and Puerto Rico.

The affected frozen products are packaged in plastic bags and weigh 1.5 lbs. Chef Hon brand STEAMED BUNS WITH SEAFOOD & VEGETABLE and Chef Hon brand STEAMED BUNS WITH SEAFOOD MARINATED IN XO-SAUCE are the recalled varieties.

Super Potent Morphine Recalled

February 16, Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals voluntarily recalled morphine sulfate 0.5 mg/mL preservative free in 0.9% sodium chloride, 1 mL syringe, CII, for intravenous use. Two medical facilities, one in Indiana and the other in Illinois, received the recalled product. Laboratory results showed that the morphine sulfate is super-potent which can cause serious injuries including coma and death.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse reactions to FDA MedWatch.

Raw Pistachios Recalled

February 16, Lipari Foods, LLC, voluntarily issued a recall of various raw pistachio products due to risk of salmonella.

Affected products were distributed under the following brand names: Blue Goose Market, Hollywood Market, Market Fresh Fine Foods, Roger’s Foodland, Marv & Alison’s Marketplace, Long Lake Market, Martin’s, Holiday Market, The Purple Onion, Trentwood Farms, Angeli Foods, Market Square, Village Food Market, Martha’s Vineyard, Remke Market, or as generic product without branding.

Food service and retail stores throughout Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and West Virginia received the recalled products.

Seasonal Depression

Feeling down? It might be seasonal affective disorder.

Do you feel down, depressed, moody, or irritable during a particular time of the year? You may suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is a type of depression linked to seasonal changes, and it begins and ends around the same time every year. For the majority of people, symptoms start in the shorter days of fall or winter but quit with the sun-filled hours of spring or early summer.

SAD can cause feelings of depression for most of the day or nearly every day. Other symptoms include low energy, loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, problems sleeping, loss of appetite, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. A full list of symptoms is available on the Mayo Clinic’s website. For some individuals, symptoms may start out mild but progress as the season wears on.

It is normal to feel down some days, but if you lack motivation and energy and feel blue for multiple days at a time, it is best to make an appointment to see your doctor. While there is no way to prevent SAD, a health care professional can diagnose the disorder and prescribe treatments to help you better manage the symptoms. Such treatments might include brightening up your environment, getting outside more, and making physical activity a regular part of your day. Talk therapy is another proven treatment of depression.

If you think you might suffer from SAD, you are not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, this disorder affects 6 percent of the U.S. population with an additional 14 percent suffering from a lesser form of seasonal mood changes. Females are four times more likely to suffer from the disorder than men. Your risks also increase the farther north you live, as you receive less sunlight compared to those in the south. People can even develop the disorder after moving to more northern climates.

For more information on family-related topics, visit the Oldham Cooperative Extension Office.

Written by Amy Hosier, Associate Extension Professor for Family Life Education. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Reviewed by Chris Duncan, Oldham County Family & Consumer Science Agent.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.