Aging Well November 29th

Once again with enthusiasm - December 7th is the end of the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare! I want to mention this once again because there is the fear that since this date is three weeks earlier than usual (so any changes can take affect at the beginning of the new year), there will be many folks who will miss the chance to review and change their current Medicare plans.

So it is not too late. And if you or anyone you know has questions, there is still help available. You can go online at the Open Enrollment Center, you can schedule an appointment at the Center with a SHIBA volunteer from 1:30 - 4:00 on one of the next two Wednesdays or you can call Jean Hockman at the Area Agency on Aging (541-298-4101). And if you are the type who just can’t ask for directions even when lost, there are SHIBA and Medicare booklets available at the Center.

Now that we all have traversed the slippery slopes of Black Friday, Shop Local Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, here are three community-centric ideas for your Christmas gift list. Do you remember going upstairs at the Original Wasco County Courthouse and viewing one of their slide or tape presentations? Those presentations have now been professionally re-mastered from the original 1970’s era slide /tape presentations including The Craft of Wheelwrighting; Farewell to Celilo; Early Wasco County; To See and To Do in The Dallles and Wasco County Cherries; and Raising Wheat by Horsepower. You can purchase one for $20 or the set of five for only $80. For more information call and leave a message at 541-296-4798 or go online at

Nowadays it seems like the safest present to give is a gift card. The School District 21 Education Foundation is selling a wide assortment of gift cards from Amazon to Wendy’s and including Cabella’s and Casa El Mirador. And here is the cool part. Even though the card doesn’t cost you anymore than buying it at Fred Meyer, the foundation receives up to 15 % on the value of each card sold. If you are interested in this win-win, PK Swartz will be at the Center during lunch on Thursday taking orders. Or you can call Marion at the District offices at 541-506-3420.

And finally, the Center is starting its 2012 Membership Drive celebrating 25 years since the Center opened its doors in January of 1987. So for that newly retired someone or that loved one you just have to get out of the house, you can purchase a 2012 membership gift certificate at the front desk for only $35 per person of $60 per couple.

Tonight “For the Good Times” will be playing your favorite country hits for their first time at the Center. Then the following Tuesday the Sugar Daddies will be making one of their once-in-a-while special appearances. And you know the song - the music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated. Also on Friday night the folks from the Mid-Columbia Concerts will be presenting “A Pops Evening with Mike Strickland and Clipper Anderson” at the TDW High School on Friday, December 2nd at 7:00 PM.

At the Center’s 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on December 6th, Roger Wagner will discuss the basics of financial planning. And on the following Tuesday the 13th, John Roberts, Wasco County Planning Director, will discuss the importance of the county planning department and the challenges they face.

The name of the catalog (which Steve Jobs described as the paperback version of Google in the 60’s and 70’s) published by Stewart Brand between 1968 and 1972 was the Whole Earth Catalog. (The winner of five quilt raffle tickets was Rosalie Clarke who still has a copy somewhere - as does Don McAllister and Joann Scott) But this week’s “Remember When” question brings it back home. According to an article in The Dalles Chronicle on March 14th 1968, the Federal Communications Commission approved the first FM radio station in eastern Oregon with the transmitter atop the Klickitat Hills. Who was the owner/disc jockey of radio station KCIV which broadcast at 104.5 megacycles?” Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off with a mint condition 1960’s SONY TFM-6100W AM/FM transistor radio - and don’t forget the original headphones.

Well, it’s been another week asking myself “How many ways can I use leftover turkey?”. Until we meet again, after thirty five years the Whole Earth Catalog’s farewell message is still good advice: “Stay hungry, stay foolish”.

Aging Well November 22nd

Ever since we were kids in school, we have been reminded during the holiday season to be grateful for what we have. But as we get older I don’t believe a holiday is necessary because every day we experience why we are thankful. Every day we can appreciate living with a wonderful husband, because we see friends who are living alone. Or if we are living alone, we can be thankful we can drive because we know many who cannot. And if we no longer can drive, we can still be grateful for the LINK and friends who take us to the many places we need to go. Every day we see and live the ways we are blessed. And as long as I can wake up each morning – and my feet touch the floor, the hot water is running and I hear the sweet sounds of my wife asking “When are you going to take out the trash?”, I know I can be thankful for another beautiful day.

For those who have lost a loved one, the holidays can be a difficult time - bringing back special memories of special times. Next Tuesday at 11:00 on the 29th, Debby Livingston, chaplain for Heart of Hospice, will speak on the timely subject – “Grief during the Holidays”. Whether you find the holidays difficult or if you know someone who does, this presentation will be helpful.

If you missed the St. Mary’s Holiday Bazaar there is plenty more in the next several weeks including an Historic Christmas Open House from 12:00 – 4:00 PM at the Rorick House, 300 W 13th, on Saturday December 3rd; the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center’s Annual Holiday Open House from 9:00 – 5:00 with cookies and cider, Prime Rib Buffet, sale items, Christmas carols and more, and The Dalles Area Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, December 10, 2011. (If you would like to reserve a sales table, or can donate soup or pies for their soup & pie lunch, or baked goods for their ever popular baked goods table, please contact the Habitat office at 296-8817.) And don’t forget the Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 12:00 – 3:00 at St. Mary’s Academy. If you need a meal delivered, you can call 541-296-6417.

If tonight you aren’t getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner or on your way out of town to visit family, you can turkey trot your way down to the dance floor and enjoy the sounds of the Strawberry Mountain Band. And since this month there is an extra Tuesday, on the 29th you can enjoy “For the Good Times”. The music starts at 7:00, anyone (including turkeys) are welcome and donations are always appreciated.

The Center’s Nu-2-U Shop will finish off this month with a half price sale. That is half-off already ridiculously low prices. And because of the many generous donations, every month there is new stuff to browse through. So stop in and see what Martha, Betty and Anita have in store for you.

Many folks remembered Frick and Frack - the two Swiss comic ice skaters who joined the original Ice Follies in 1937. (And the winner of five quilt raffle tickets is the P51 gal - Anna Monkiewicz.) But this week’s “Remember When” question is a little more recent - only forty years ago! So for the Boomers out there “What was the name of the catalog published by Stewart Brand between 1968 and 1972, which listed where you can purchase products such as clothing, books, tools, machines, seeds but also included ideas for the counterculture lifestyle?” Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off with all the materials for a geodesic dome.

And as I promised here are the remaining answers to the Brain Rattler from two weeks ago.
13.) 8 = Sides on a Stop Sign; 14) 3 = Blind Mice (See How They Run); 15.) 4 = Quarts in a Gallon; and 16.) 24 = Hours in a Day, 17). 1 = Wheel on a Unicycle; 18). 5 = Digits in a Zip Code; 19) 57 = Heinz Varieties; 20.) 11 = Players on a Football Team; 21) 1000 = W that a P is W; 22) 29 = Days in February in a Leap Year; 23) 64 = Squares on a Checkerboard; 24) 99 = Bottles of Beer on the Wall.

Well, it’s been another week searching for the right answers to the wrong questions. Until we meet again, as you gather with family you may want to remember the advice of Miss Manners “If you can’t be kind, at least be vague.”

Aging Well November 15th

We are fast approaching the holiday season - Thanksgiving is around the corner while Christmas is just over the hill and through the woods. Most of us will share the holidays with friends and family, but not everyone is so fortunate. Many live by themselves, socially isolated with few personal connections of any significance - making the holidays an acutely lonesome time.

But that’s not the way it has to be. Marilyn Buchannan, the volunteer coordinator for the Friendly Visitor program at the Area Agency on Aging, knows several seniors who would like someone to visit them. And it is her Christmas wish that they can all be connected with someone during this holiday season. Give her a call at 541-298-4101 to learn how you can be that friend.

You will have to wait until December, but Mark and Tracy Linebarger are celebrating twenty years since the reopening of the Baldwin Saloon by jumping head first into the holiday spirit and helping our local non-profits. During the entire month of December, when you dine at the Baldwin Saloon and use a coupon printed from their website (you can use as many coupons as you would like), 5% of your total bill will be donated to the non-profit you choose from the fifty non-profits listed on their website (For those who do not have access to the Internet, there will be coupons at the Center you can use to support the Senior Center, Meals-on-Wheels or any of the other important non-profits in The Dalles.) And that’s not all! The non-profit with the most dollars donated by the end of December will have that amount matched by the Baldwin Saloon. For more details and information, you can check their website at

The Dalles Meals on Wheels will have their annual Fall Bake Sale at the Center on November 17th before and after lunch. Come by and pick up a delicious dessert - or your main course depending on your eating habits - in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Why bake when you can buy!

It is once again Breakfast at the Center this coming Saturday from 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM. The menu will be a surprise but for most folks the breakfast is just an excuse to visit with friends anyway. The cost is only $5.00, $4.00 for Center members and $3.00 for children 12 and under. And as Jack always said, “Breakfast tastes better when someone else cooks it.”

We are going to “shake, rattle and roll” the regular monthly music line up for November and December, since the Jazz Generations are taking a holiday break. Tonight Truman will be playing his usual third Tuesday but next week the popular Strawberry Mountain Band will return for your listening and dancing enjoyment. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and you can go home by 9:00. All are welcome and donations are always appreciated.

Not many folks knew Texaco was the sponsor for the NBC radio broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera, but Sandy Goforth did – which means she wins five quilt raffle tickets. And Sandy is also the source of this week’s “Remember When” question. In 1937 these two Swiss ice skaters joined the original Ice Follies as comic ice skaters and even appeared in movies including “Lady, Let’s Dance” in 1944. What was the name of this famous pair of skaters whose names became household words? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off while wearing a pair of Alpine Lederhosen.

It looks like I am running out of space and time. So here are the answers to just the first twelve “Quantagories” from last week - you have one more week to figure out the rest. 1.) 26 = Letters of the Alphabet; 2.) 1001 = Arabian Nights; 3.) 7 = Wonders of the World; 4.) 12 = Signs of the Zodiac; 5.) 54 = Cards in a Deck (with the Joker); 6.) 9 = Planets in the Solar System. 7.) 88 = Piano Keys; 8.) 13 = Stripes on the American Flag; 9.) 32 = Degrees Fahrenheit at which Water Freezes; 10.) 18 = Holes in a Golf Course; 11.) 90 = Degrees in a Right Angle; 12.) 200 = Dollars for Passing Go in Monopoly;

Well it’s been another week looking to see what will blow across my path. Until we meet again, as my wife affectionately reminded me, “Don’t try to be humble. You aren’t that good.”

“The first rule of holes: When you’re in one, stop digging.” Molly Ivins

Wednesday (16) Whitefish with dill sauce
Thursday (17) Powerful Pork Chops
Friday (18) Swiss Burger w/sautéed Mushrooms and Onions
Monday (21) Swedish Meatballs over Noodly Noodles
Tuesday (22) Glazed Ham or Turkey with Stuffing and Gravy

Aging Well November 8th

Do you feel you have lost your intellectual edge? That you may not be as mentally nimble as you once were! Recent brain research suggests even though the mature brain may not be as quick, it does produce better decisions (at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves!) Here is a short quiz Dan Erickson showed me that may or may not tell you anything about your intelligence, but is fun and challenging. (Dan answered correctly 18 out of 24. I won’t testify to how many I solved - pleading the right not to incriminate my intelligence.)

Each of the following phrases contains the initials of words that will make it correct. See if you can find the missing words. (Example: 16 = O in a P. Answer: Ounces in a Pound) The answers will be next week’s column, but if you need any help, don’t look at me, call Dan.

1.) 26 = L of the A; 2.) 1001 = A N; 3.) 7 = W of the W; 4.) 12 = S of the Z; 5.) 54 = C in a D (with the J); 6.) 9 = P in the S S. 7.) 88 = P K; 8.) 13 = S on the A F; 9.) 32 = D F at which W F; 10.) 18 = H on a G C; 11.) 90 = D in a R A; 12.) 200 = D for P G in M; 13.) 8 = S on a S S; 14.) 3 = B M ( S H T R ); 15.) 4 = Q in a G; 16.) 24 = H in a D; 17.) 1 = W on a U; 18.) 5 = D in a Z C; 19.) 57 = H V; 20.) 11 = P on a F T; 21.) 1000 = W that a P is W; 22.) 29 = D in F in a L Y; 23.) 64 = S on a C; 24.) 99 = B of B on the W.

The Center is offering Old Fashion Family Bingo from 3:00 - 4:00 on Saturday November 12th. (The minimum age is seven, but if you are under 18 you must have a parent or guardian with you.) We will sell the classic hard cards for $3.00 a piece or 2 for $5.00 - which are good for all 10 games. The payouts are $5.00 per game - except for the last game which will have a payout of $25. And to wet your whistle, there will be Root Beer Floats (or brown cows as we use to call them in the Midwest) for only twenty-five cents.

The Oregon State University Extension Service is offering several Food Preservation Classes this fall and winter and no prior experience is required. The classes are a Food Drying Basics class on November 17th from 1:00 - 3:30 PM and a Fruit Butter Basics class from 1:00 - 3:00 on November 22nd. Both will be held at the Zion Lutheran Church, 101 W 10th Street, and the cost for either class is $10 for supplies. For more information and to register contact Wasco County Extension at 541-296-5494.

There are “good vibrations” every Tuesday night at the Center starting at 7:00 PM. Tonight, if you can read fast enough, you can make it to the Center to hear John Martin and Friends. And next Tuesday on the 8th, Truman will be singing all the gold that’s fit to play. All makes and models are welcome and like always, donations are appreciated.

The Tuesday lecture series “Along the Mighty Columbia", concludes with Roger Nichols, local journalist, radio personality and a man of many and often obscure talents. He will share his perspective on the Columbia River Gorge Commission, both as a reporter and now as Wasco County’s newly appointed commission member. It should be a fascinating presentation.

It was Jack Armstrong “the All-American Boy” who thrilled radio audiences from 1933 until 1951. (The winner of five quilt raffle tickets is Herm Neuberger.) But this week we are going high culture. The first network broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera was on Christmas Day, 1931 when NBC’s Blue Network aired Engelbert Humperdinck's (for those those more familiar with low culture - the composer, not the singer) Hänsel and Gretel. What company started sponsoring Metropolitan Opera broadcasts in 1940 and continued for 63 years? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off with a man who wears the star.

Well it’s been another week trying to find what can’t be found. Until we meet again, as Gordon often reminds me - anytime you wake up above ground, it is a good day.

“Worry is like a rock­ing chair. It gives you some­thing to do, but it gets you nowhere.” Erma Bombeck


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