Women smelling rose

Stop to Smell the Roses – Mindfulness Practice

April 7, 2021

This time of year I love to be outside enjoying the springtime and all that it offers to each of my five senses! Recently I was walking near my neighbors’ front yard when I noticed the rich scent of fresh-cut grass and damp earth. It was so overwhelming that it caught my complete attention. My […]

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Andrea on a kneeler pad in the garden

Adaptive Gardening Tools

March 24, 2021

This time of year always makes me want to step outside and get closer to nature. The bright sunlight, crisp air, and blossoming plants that are abundant during spring inspire me to dig in the dirt and plant new plants! At the Sunflower Hill Garden, we love to make gardening fun and accessible to all. […]

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Pratima holding a plate with banana bread and ice cream

Favorite Shelter-in-Place Recipes

March 17, 2021

This month I’m excited to highlight a few favorite shelter-in-place recipes from our Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch residents! It’s been a year since we’ve been sheltering at home, and while it’s certainly been a challenging year, not all of it has been bad. For me, one of the benefits of sheltering-in-place for the last […]

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Teacher Abby using a knife to demonstrate the pinch method of cutting an apple

Safe Knife Skills

March 10, 2021

An essential cooking skill is learning to safely use a knife! I know that sometimes, knives can be a little scary. But with some knowledge and preparation, knives can be a great and safe way to prepare delicious snacks and meals from scratch for yourself, friends, and family! If you are not ordinarily able to […]

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Pratima holding the directions for the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique


March 8, 2021

Do you ever have a day where you feel like your mind is trying to focus on a thousand things all at once? Each time you try to sit down and focus on one of those things, you can’t. You’re left feeling scattered and unproductive? This month’s Mindful Monday article focuses on “grounding” or being […]

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Irby Ranch Resident Chris at computer smiling.

Chris – An Irby Ranch Storyteller

March 3, 2021

I’m so excited to introduce you to Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch resident, Chris, who is a college student, writer, and the Resident Spotlight for March! As part of our person-centered program offerings at Irby Ranch, Chris and I have met one-on-one several times over the last few months – always masked and distanced – […]

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Numerous pots with plants

Container Gardening

February 24, 2021

The last few days have felt like spring here in the Bay Area, with warm, sunny days, cool breezes, and chilly nights. Springtime always gets me thinking about planting! As the Garden Coordinator for the Sunflower Hill Garden, I’m honored to be able to plant and care for a LOT of different varieties of fruits, […]

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TV with sunflowers on screen. Best shelter-in-place shows.

Best Shelter-in-Place Shows

February 17, 2021

During my time off from being the Residential Programs Manager (which I LOVE), watching TV and movies is one of the ways that I escape the stress of this time, refresh, laugh, and yes, sometimes cry. Recently, I was talking with a couple of our Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch residents who also expressed their […]

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Teacher abby in her kitchen, holding safety knife with a safety glove on her left hand.

Preparing Fresh Produce

February 10, 2021

As the Garden and Cooking Class Teacher at Sunflower Hill, I’m privileged to work in our beautiful Garden with an abundant amount of produce. I feel fortunate to share cooking and gardening techniques with so many program participants who are eager to learn. I love being able to showcase the garden’s fresh fruits and vegetables […]

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Pratima holding self affirmation card "I am proud of myself"


February 8, 2021

I love being the Residential Programs Manager at Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch. Engaging with our residents and providing fun activities for them makes me so happy! Yet sometimes I feel a little blue, like I imagine we all do. I’ve found a great technique to stay positive, and it’s the focus of this first […]

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