Aging Well July 27th

Senior Living July 27th

“Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine” observed Robert C. Gallagher. But change creates challenges that as we get older we need be prepared for.

During these modern times, more often than not, our children are scattered like seeds in the wind - living who knows where. But by being separated by distance and time, our children may not know our specific needs or desires, our fears and hopes. And with the generations more isolated, they probably also lack a general understanding or empathy for the struggles and joys that we travel with us as we age.

With this lack of awareness are you prepared for the time when there are decisions to be made because of a life-changing situation: the unexpected fall, a debilitating illness or the slow progression of dementia? And the child parent relationship reasserts itself, but surprise! -you are now considered the child. Who is going to decide – for you?

And have you considered the affect of not making your wishes known - the anguish and conflict as your children try to determine what you would want them to do. Will they make the right decision - the decision you would want them to make?

There may not be the right time, but there needs to be a time to initiate these tough discussions: these discussions we all - and particularly our children - try to avoid or deny. Our children may be talented and caring – and we love them - but very few are mind readers. We can’t expect them to know what we want unless we tell them. And we need to be prepared by telling them our wishes and desires now.

Meals-on-Wheels delivers eighty plus meals a day as well as serving a fine dinner every week day at noon at the Center, but like most community based programs, the Meals-on-Wheels program operates on a shoe string – a thin shoe string. Consequently they depend on the many volunteers to deliver the meals; without them the program could not exist. But they need your help. If you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer or can squeeze in one more activity in your busy day, consider driving for Meals-on-Wheels. The commitment is small - as little as one hour a week, but the reward is great.

The Center’s NU-2-U Shop is in the midst of a two week half-price sale continuing through Friday August 6th. There is a nice selection of good quality women’s clothes and a few men’s clothes to boot. But Martha says they gotta move - we don’t have the room. Stop in and check out the selection of clothes at prices that should be illegal. The NU-2-U Shop is open every Monday through Friday from 10:00 - 1:30.

I don’t know yet who is playing next Tuesday night at the Center, but I do know the Jazz Generations will be playing some hot licks and cool sounds tonight for your listening and dancing enjoyment. The “cats” start howling at 7:00 and it won’t cost you any “bread” although donations are appreciated. (Late bulletin: Truman will be back performing next Tuesday August 3rd. Smooth country music for you dancing and listening pleasure.)

The women clearly outnumbered the men - nineteen to five – in answering last week’s “Remember When” question. Richard Chamberlain played the lead character in the hospital drama Dr. Kildare. Those winning a free breakfast are Sharon Pincock and Sandy Stillings (#1 dishwasher for the Saturday Breakfast). But a special free breakfast goes to Sandy Lutgens - if and only if - she brings her autographed picture of Richard Chamberlain to breakfast on August 21st.

But although Richard Chamberlain was a handsome fellow, Jenny Garner thought he couldn’t compare to Illya Kuyakin. In the TV series that ran from 1946 thought early 1968, Iilya (David McCullum) teamed up with Napoleon Solo (Robert Wagner) as secret agents fighting the evil international organization THRUST. What was the name of this hit TV show? Email or call 541-296-4788 or place the answer on the front seat of a mint condition 1963 Buick Skylark convertible parked at the Center.

It is time to jump in the shower and cool off – for the third time. Until we meet again, “If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there with ya”.

Aging Well July 20th

There a reason I'm married. Saturday morning I wanted to open up the Center by 5:30 so the volunteers would be ready to serve the Cowboy breakfast by 7:30 - for those who like their breakfast bright and early. But when I woke up that morning, it was 5:25. (The alarm did go off at 5:30 but I won’t embarrass myself by mentioning who set the alarm.) After rushing out of bed - trying not to wake my wife, with a quick splash through the bathroom – no time for my regular shower, and getting dressed, I managed to get to the Center by 5:37. Not bad, eh?

After opening up, and starting the coffee, I made a quick stop in the bathroom to tuck in my shirt – at least I had my shirt on. And looking in the mirror for the first time, I noticed my hair disheveled with strands sticking straight out - like Alfalfa in The Little Rascals. And this is when I realized the benefits of marriage. Friends are far too kind to comment, but my wife, if she had been awake, would have immediately noticed, and before I had left the house would have corrected my appearance with the gentle reminder “You aren’t going out looking like that are you?”

That is why we men are so beholden to our wives. Without them, what would we look like, how would we dress, and who would remind us of the food stains on our pants or the mismatched socks? As we get older, more distracted and forgetful, this “quality assurance” role wives play becomes even more significant. Thank goodness I’m married – I need all the help I can get and I know it’s not going to get any better.

Before I embark on this week’s “Remember When” question, I need to apologize to the ladies for stating last week’s question was for the guys. As said by the cowboy from Condon, “The easiest way to eat crow is while it's still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swaller”. In my wisdom I thought a question about baseball and cowboys would naturally appeal more to the male side of the audience - not imagining that eleven of the eighteen respondents would be women. I guess Gene Autry made quite an impression. And since there were so many entries, there are two winners: Donzella Schlager and Jim Ayers, both winning a free Saturday breakfast on August 21st.

So this week I’ll try again with a question for the gals. (I’ll see what trouble I get into this time.) Richard Chamberlain was the leading TV heartthrob of the early 60’s while playing the lead character in what TV series that ran on NBC from 1961 through 1966? Email or call 541-296-4788 or write the answer on the back of a c-note and discreetly place it in my back pocket.

I am starting to schedule the Center’s fall classes and activities and I would like to present several new offerings this fall. I still want to provide several specific technology classes such as social networking since the over 60 crowd is the fasting growing population using social media. And an iphone user’s group - there must be more folks out there who are looking for the latest iphone app besides Virgil Choate and myself. I know what appeals to me – and have found many times it is only me. But what are your interests? If you have any ideas for a weekly, monthly or just a onetime only class or activity, or if you know someone who is interested in facilitating a class, email me or call the Center with your suggestions.

As there is always room for home-made ice cream on a hot summer day, there is always a place for good live music with fine company. Next Tuesday the 27th the Jazz Generations will be presenting the big band sounds for your dancing and listening enjoyment. And tonight the Sugar Daddies will be playing your favorites standards and their own original compositions. The beat goes on from 7:00 till 9:00 and it’s all free although donations are appreciated.

Well it’s time to put the top down and follow the open highway. Until we meet again, if you think you are pretty darn smart remember, “It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep”.

Aging Well July 13th

I remember the days growing up in Indiana - hot and humid, without air conditioning: sleeping uncovered - spread out like you were ready to be frisked by a city cop; every morning emptying the water from the dehumidifier; and getting out of the car - the back of my shirt drenched with sweat. Ah, the good ole days! But it seemed like I could handle the heat better then, than now.

As we get older, particularly after 65, we are more susceptible to health issues caused by the heat. We do not adjust as easily to sudden changes in temperature, are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that affects our body's response to the heat; and are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair our body's ability to regulate its temperature. And as a reminder, here are some common sense actions we can take to help mitigate the effects of the heat.

Drink liquids, even if you are not thirsty, but avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Dress for the heat: natural fabrics are usually better than synthetic: light colors are better than dark; and wear loose fitting clothes - let the younger generations were the outfits that look like they are painted on. Keep cool. If you don't have air conditioning, find a place that does. And cool baths or showers can provide relief while ice bags and wet towels are also helpful. Slow down. Additional activity can put extra strain on the heart. Limit salt use. Salt is a problem for many reasons and heat is one of them.

Take the heat seriously. Dizziness, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, nausea, headache, chest pain, mental changes or breathing problems are warning signs that you should seek immediate medical attention.
Be smart. Although the weather is cooling, we know it will be back up in the 100's again sometime this summer.

For all of you "pioneers, adventurers, rogues & scallywags", the Rough and Wild Fort Dalles Days and Rodeo has arrived and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. On Saturday starting at 8:00 AM the Center will be serving a Cowboy Breakfast fit for your finest bull rider or rodeo queen. It will include hotcakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit and the regular beverages all for $5.00. The sponsors for the Cowboy breakfast are the crew at Barb Pashek's Oregon Dogwoods who would like to thank everyone for all their support over the years and especially this season. And Hazel Philips Travel - offering several trips this year including the Whale Watching Trip in September and a Leavenworth Christmas Lights Tour in December. Stop by the Center or Hazel Phillips Travel for more information. There is no better way of enjoying a trip than letting someone else take care of all the details.

And how many of last week’s “lateral thinking” questions do you think you got right? Are you an “out of the box” thinker? Here are the answers - with the abbreviated questions for those like me who can’t remember what you read yesterday, let alone a week ago.
1. What he would do if you met the airline pilot wearing a dress in a bar? Offer to buy her a drink! The captain was a woman. 2. What are the two coins totaling 11cents, if one of the coins is not a penny? A dime and a penny - the other coin can be a penny. 3. There was an oil lamp, a candle and firewood and you only have one match, which would you light first? The match. 4. What can you put into a wooden box that would make it lighter? Holes. 5. How much soil is there in a 3 inch x 2 inch x 2 inch hole? None - it's a hole! 6. If you drove a bus leaving The Dalles with 35 passengers ... and then drove on to arrive in Portland, what would the name of the driver be? You are the driver! 7. A window cleaner on the 25th floor slips and falls and suffers no injuries. Explain. He was cleaning the inside of the windows. 8. A farmer has 15 cows, all but 8 die. How many were left? Eight. 9. John's mother has 3 children, one is named April, one is named May. What is the third one named? John. 10. How can a cowboys ride into town on Friday, stay overnight and leave the next day on Friday? His horse was named Friday

And this week’s “Remember When” question is one for the guys. What singing cowboy founded and owned a baseball team but died before he could see them win the World Series in 2002? Call the Center at 541-296-4788 or email your answer to

A couple of quickies before I run out of space. Next Tuesday night the Sugar Daddies will be playing for your dancing and listening pleasure, and tonight it’s the Notecrackers. Music starts at 7:00. It is free, although donations are always appreciated. And Joann Scott knew what you call a penguin in the Sahara Desert? Lost!

Well, the steer is about to leave the chute. Until we meet again, as the cowboy from Condon once said, "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.”

Aging Well July 6th

How do you feel about family reunions? My wife and I recently spent five days in Bend with my brother and sister who flew out from back east. We had a good time: playing games, sightseeing, eating, and catching up on the present while sharing stories from the past. (I am always impressed how my younger sister can remember so many embarrassing stories about me which I have no recollection of. I guess you remember what is important.) But with being out of town for five days and having an early deadline for this column because of the holiday, I am a little rushed. And what do you do when you have so far to go and so little time? You punt!

So here is a short list of ten questions that was used during the Center’s Brain Fitness class to start your brain synapses firing. But they may be a challenge. Some of us are more literal or concrete thinkers (Does that make us blockheads? And does anyone know what that means anymore?), while others are better at lateral thinking – the ability to think creatively, solving problems by looking at them from unexpected perspectives. (You know - people who can’t see the obvious, spending their time coming up with great ideas, but never getting anything done.) But you will have to wait until next week for the answers. You see, this is also a test on how well you can deal with deferred gratification.

1. A graduate applying for pilot training with a major airline was asked what he would do if, after a long-haul flight to Sidney, he met the captain wearing a dress in the hotel bar. What would you do?
2. If you have two coins totaling 11cents, and one of the coins is not a penny, what are the two coins?
3. If you were alone in a deserted house at night, and there was an oil lamp, a candle and firewood and you only have one match, which would you light first?
4. What can you put into a wooden box that would make it lighter? The more of them you put in the lighter it becomes, yet the box stays empty.
5. To the nearest cubic inch, how much soil is there in a 3 inch x 2 inch x 2 inch hole?
6. If you drove a bus leaving The Dalles with 35 passengers, dropped off 6 and picked up 2 at Hood River, picked up 9 more at Cascade Locks, dropped off 3 at Troutdale, and then drove on to arrive in Portland 90 minutes later, what would the name of the driver be?
7. A window cleaner is cleaning the windows on the 25th floor of a skyscraper, when he slips and falls. He is not wearing a safety harness and nothing slows his fall, yet he suffered no injuries. Explain.
8. A farmer has 15 cows, all but 8 die. How many does he have left?
9. John's mother has 3 children, one is named April, one is named May. What is the third one named?
10. A cowboy rode into town on Friday, spent one night there, and left on Friday. How do you account for this?

Don’t forget the basement rummage sale at the Center - Thursday through Saturday with the doors opening at 9:00. And on Saturday there is more: Meals-on-Wheels’ parking lot sale with hot dogs and cotton candy; and several folks selling their own items. Stop by and see if there is a bargain you can’t live without.

It’s still not snowing, and there are no hurricanes - at least in these parts - so Tuesday Night music is a go. On the 13th the sounds of the Notecrackers will be sashaying through the air for your dancing and listening pleasure. And tonight the Strawberry Mountain Band will be playing. The music starts at 7:00 and there is no charge although donations are appreciated.

The winner of last week’s “Remember When” question was Marcia Lacock who remembered Topo Gigio, the Italian puppet that often appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. This week’s question takes a different tack to lighten things up a bit. What do you call a penguin in the Sahara desert? If you know the punch line – or can use your lateral thinking skills and come up with a better one, call the Center at 541-296-4788 or email your answer to It’s your chance to win a free Saturday breakfast at the Center on July 17th.

Well the light has turned green- time to get this body moving. Until we meet again, one man’s piece of junk is another man’s treasure.

“Family life is a bit like a runny peach pie - not perfect but who's complaining?” Robert Brault

Aging Well June 29th

I can never remember where I parked the car; can't even remember eating my banana; and what I do remember - I find out never happened. Sound familiar? And because of these memory lapses, you may have considered taking a “memory screening” test - offered at pharmacies or health fares - to see if this “forgetfulness” is something you should worry about - such as the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.

But according to Nicole Wood in her article on the Healthy Aging Magazine's Web site there is a debate among Alzheimer disease experts regarding the value of “memory screenings”.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) believe these memory screenings - which can take as little as ten minutes - can detect cognitive issues before memory loss becomes a problem. In addition, a positive screening result would commence a conversation between the individual and their doctor and encourage the doctor to recommend additional evaluation. But AFA makes it clear - a screening is not a diagnosis.

But the critics, including the Alzheimer’s Association, are concerned that these memory screenings are inaccurate and produce a high level of false positives. Even though physicians have successfully diagnosed Alzheimer Disease patients, it requires a battery of tests including extensive physical, neurological, psychological and mental exams. And even then, one out of ten diagnoses is incorrect.

In addition many patients who receive poor scores at mass screenings do not follow up with their physicians for a complete diagnosis. John Trojanowski, MD, PhD, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has called the 10-minute memory screening exams useless. And rather than memory screenings, the Alzheimer's Association promotes "cognitive surveillance" between patients and their physicians.

However both sides of this debate agree that a healthy lifestyle including exercising, both physical and cognitive, staying socially active and engaged, and reducing stress and anxiety can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease no matter how well you score on a memory test.

There can be many causes for forgetfulness and memory loss including urinary track infections, side effects of medications, and depression. If you have concerns talk to your physician to better understand and diagnosis the reasons for your memory lapses. But a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease can have serious consequences and should be offered after a careful and thorough evaluation. .

Tuesday Night music is seldom canceled – only if it snows - and since there’s no snow on the Klickitats, the Strawberry Mountain Band will be back playing on the 6th for your dancing and listening pleasure. And tonight it’s “Martin and Friends”. The house starts shaking at 7:00 and everyone but their dog is invited. The price is non-existent but the fun isn't.

The Center is still accepting donated items for its rummage sale on July 8th, 9th and 10th opening up at 9:00 am each of those three days. And the main event is Saturday when Meals-on-Wheels will add their yard sale plus hot dogs and cotton candy. We will have spaces available ($15 a space) if you want to sell your own items or have your own “table” sale. Contact the Center for more information.

A quick plug for The Dalles Farmers' Market at the City Park from 8am – 1 pm every Saturday through October. They have fresh produce, meat, eggs, local honey, fresh cut flowers, hand spun and dyed yarn, as well as skin care products. Good natural healthy stuff. And you can even find them on Facebook. .

Of all the responses identifying Ted Mack as the host for the Original Amateur Hour TV show, John Layson was the winner of a free Saturday breakfast during Ft. Dalles weekend. This next "Remember When" question may be a challenge. The Sunday night Ed Sullivan show was always a must see when I was growing up - I didn't want to miss the big stars of the day. But there was one character that was on the show over 50 times and even closed the final Ed Sullivan Show in 1971. What was the name of the Italian puppet that would end the Ed Sullivan show by saying "Eddie, Keesa me goo'night!"? Call 541-296-4788 or email with the correct answer for a chance to win a free Saturday breakfast.

Well the alarm has rung again - time to rollover and go back to sleep. Until we meet again, don’t let the past be your future.

“Adventure is just bad planning.” - Roald Amundsen Norwegian Arctic & Antarctic explorer (1872 - 1928)


Follow by Email

Blog Archive