Aging Well February 24th 2015

There are 760,000 Oregonians suffering from arthritis, and you may be one of them. With arthritis you may find it difficult to keep moving, but there is a program developed by the Arthritis Foundation named Walk With Ease that has been proven effective in increasing balance, reducing pain, improving mental health, flexibility and overall physical health. If you can be on your feet for 10 minutes without increased pain, you will want to join the Walk With Ease program where you will learn how to develop a walking plan, stay motivated, manage your pain and learn to exercise safely.

Lauren Kraemer, the Family and Community Health agent for OSU/Wasco County Extension, will soon be starting a Walk With Ease class. You can learn more about this program at the Center’s 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on March 3rd. Or you can call OSU/Wasco County Extension at 541-296-5494 for more information.  

If you happen to be a regular Fred Meyer customer, you probably have a Rewards Card that gives you cash back and discounts. An easy way to support your favorite non-profit, (and I don’t know one that couldn’t use more financial help), is to link your Rewards Card with the nonprofit. The process is pretty simple. First, go online to At the top right of the page you will be asked to “Sign In” or if you don’t have an account, click on “Register”. After completing the questions to create your account, search for the nonprofit you want to support.

You can only choose one non-profit and as you can imagine there are plenty in The Dalles and Mid-Columbia area to choose from. Also when searching for a Mid-Columbia non-profit find their location. For some reason the Tri-Cities in Washington think they are the Mid-Columbia. By connecting your rewards card to your favorite non-profit, you will make sure it receives a share of the $2.6 million Fred Meyer donates each year.

Meals-on-Wheels has a loyal cadre of volunteer driver’s that deliver meals to individuals who have difficulty preparing a healthy hot meal. But they do need more drivers. It takes only about an hour with 10 – 15 deliveries. You do have to go through a background check. If you would like to be a MOW driver, stop by their office at the Center or call them at 541-298-8333.

Looking ahead to March, there are several concerts scheduled for the Center besides the regular Tuesday Night Music and Dance. On St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday March 17th, there will be a baked potato supper and concert with Barley Draught playing the best Irish music this side of the Mississippi. Admission for the concert is only $7.00, and $12 if want to enjoy both the baked supper and concert. Supper starts at 5:30 and the concert is from 7:00 to 10:00.

Nehemiah Brown will be back for his first performance of the year on Friday March 27th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM. He will be performing the standards from the 50’s and 60’s and the cost will be $3.00 per person. Besides being an entertainer, Nehemiah is also a minister and gospel singer. He will be performing with the Brothers in Christ at the Great Gospel Concert at Calvary Baptist Church on Saturday March 28th from 2:00 – 3:30.

For the Center’s Tuesday Night Music and Dance, it is already time to head back to the top of line-up with Andre, Tom and Joe playing their crowd pleasing brand of country and honky-tonk music on March 3rd. Doors open at 6:00 and the music starts at 7:00. All ages are welcome and donations are appreciated.

The name of the disturbed owner-manager of the hotel in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller, Psycho, was Norman Bates. (And the winner of a free Cherry Festival Breakfast is Betty Richmond.)

This week’s “Remember When” question is from 1959 when entertainment and international politics intersected on the television screen. Shown on January 11, 1959 on this popular Sunday night variety show, just days after Fulgentia Batista fled Cuba and Fidel Castro had assumed control, was a six minute video clip of the show’s host interviewing Castro - calling Castro and his soldiers "Revolutionary Youngsters." What was the name of the television show? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with Topo Gigio and a block of cheese.

Well, it’s been another week, welcoming another sign of spring – sugar ants appearing on the kitchen counter. Until we meet again, don’t forget to spend time reflecting on what really matters.

“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.” A.A. Milne
Many of you may agree with Fran Lebowitz who said, “Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.”

Granted most of us may not have true artistic ability, but if you don’t follow that “burning, restless” urge, you will miss the pleasure, and satisfaction and sense of discovery of creating something new whether it is a drawing, a piece of glass art, or just a doodle. It may not be great, or even good. But that is really not the purpose. It is the process of letting yourself go in the act of creating. And if you get a few kudos or ribbons at the county fair, that is just the cherry on top.

To get your creative juices flowing, there are several opportunities coming around the mountain. The Dalles Art Center is offering Clay Play! taught by Yvonne Pepin-Wakefield from 6:00 – 8:00 PM on every Tuesday in March and first three Tuesdays in April. The class is an individually structured open studio ceramics class over the course of 8 weeks for anyone curious about clay or who want to expand their ceramic skills in a supportive and light-hearted environment. The cost is $80 per student which covers attendance for 4 of the 8 available classes - which you can choose at your own convenience. And if you want to attend more than the four, which you are encouraged to do, there is an additional fee of $20 per class.  You can also purchase a 25 lb. bag of low-fire clay for $15 which can be shared. You can register now by contacting The Dalles Art Center at 541.296.4759 or by email at

Also the Center’s Creative Arts Program supported by the Wasco County Cultural Trust is taking shape for this year. The first of the ten Tuesday classes will start on March 10th plus there will be several special events throughout the year: Glass Art Classes with Stephanie, Joy Kloman’s Drawing Classes in May, and “An Evening with Darryl Lloyd” national award winning photographer. It is all exciting stuff and I will provide more information closer to the events.

The twenty tickets for the 2:00 performance of Guys and Dolls on Saturday, March 14th are going fast. If you are interested you should purchase your tickets soon. And once again, Sherman County Transit will be providing the transportation, so our friends in Sherman County who want to attend can pick up the bus closer to home.

Since last week I forgot which week it was and announced the wrong band playing tonight (It is the Simcoe Boys), I shouldn’t even try to tell you who is playing next Tuesday on the 24th. And starting this month, the Center will be rotating bands on the fourth Tuesdays to add some variety to our regular music line-up. Let’s see how long I can keep it all straight. But what I do know, well at least I think I know, is that the Elderly Brothers will be playing on the 24th for your dancing and listening enjoyment. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and everyone is welcome. And thanks to everyone who attend the dances for your donations. The bands appreciate the support and it helps keep the lights on at the Center.

The name of the medication that was advertised on television in the 1960’s using the hit song “No Matter What Shape Your Stomach’s In” was Alka-Seltzer. (And the winner of a free Cherry Festival Breakfast is Sandy Haechrel.)

Alfred Hitchcock was known as the “Master of Suspense” directing more than fifty movies spanning six decades. For this week’s “Remember When” question, in his 1960 American psychological thriller-horror film (which I am still too scared to watch), what was the name of the disturbed owner-manager of the hotel? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a brand new shower curtain.

Well, it’s been another week, complaining about the sun in my eyes - now that the sun has finally appeared. Until we meet again, as I heard at the Center, “Don’t pray for better days, but for these to last.”

 “I always knew looking back on the tears would make me laugh, but I never knew looking back on the laughs would make me cry.” Unknown

Aging Well February 10th 2015

Do you still receive unsolicited calls from telemarketers trying to sell you something you don’t want or need: security systems, satellite television or a new remedy for your diabetes? They are often scams but can also be calls from telemarketers representing Fortune 500 companies. But there are steps you can take to limit them.

First, register with the National Do Not Call Registry by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you wish to register, or go online at (For online registration you will need an email address.) You may want to register your cell phone, but is shouldn’t be necessary because it is illegal in most cases for telemarketers to call a cell phone.

Once you have registered your phone number, it is permanent - unless you have lost your mind and want to take your name off the registry. Or if you forgot to pay your last two phone bills and were disconnected, in which case you will need to register again.

Unfortunately, the law does not prohibit calls from charities, political organizations, telephone surveyors and companies with which you've done business in the last 18 months. But for those telemarketers not covered by the Do Not Call regulations, you can ask them to put you on their own internal Do Not Call list, and by law they have to honor your request. Record the date you make the request so if there are future violations, you'll be able to file an FTC complaint.

Telemarketers have up to 31 days to update their lists, so it could take that long for calls to cease. After that, you can file a complaint about unwanted calls at the Do Not Call website or phone number.

Through enforcement actions, the Federal Trade Commission is working to reduce the number of illegal telemarketing calls and holding telemarketers and businesses accountable. Just recently, a federal judge in Illinois ruled that the satellite TV company Dish Network is liable for making 57,606,609 illegal telemarketing calls.

It was nice to see everyone at the Civic for GoRed for Women’s Heart Health. And if the event nudged you towards being more active, the Center offers several affordable movement and exercise classes: from the gentle and contemplative Tai Chi to the high energy Zumba Gold with Seniorcise, yoga and Strong Women in-between. You can drop in any class at any time to see if the class works for you. But you will have to wait until March 2nd for Corliss Marsh’s Tai Chi class to return.

For all of you who did not make it to Saturday Night Bingo you missed a delicious meal prepared by Cherry Heights Living – the Center’s neighbors to the north. Thanks to managers Blll and Nelda, and cooks Barry and Sandy for helping make a wonderful evening of fun and good food.

AARP Tax Aide, a free service for low and moderate income tax payers, is off to a fast start with a packed downstairs at the Center on Friday and Saturday. The hours for the program are from 2:00 – 6:00 on Fridays and 9:00 – 1:00 on Saturdays through April 11th. And a reminder, it is first come first serve. If you are not in a rush you might want to wait until March when the action slows down and you won’t have to wait as long.  

For the Tuesday Night Music and Dance at the Center on February 10th, the crowd pleasing Andre, K.C. and Tom will be performing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, all ages are welcome and donations are always appreciated.

The name of the boy with the pointed cowlick in the “Our Gang” and “Little Rascals” comedies was Alfalfa. (And the winner of a free Cherry Festival Breakfast is Kim Birge.)

The television commercials for this product were some of most popular in the 60’s and 70’s. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was name of the medication that was advertised on television using the 1966 hit song “No Matter What Shape Your Stomach’s In”? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with “a spicy meat ball-a”.

Well, it’s been another week, wondering what the winter would have been like if all the rain had been snow. Until we meet again, it’s your attitude not your age that counts.

“Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, be strong and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” ― John Mayer

Aging Well February 3rd 2015

I have always forgotten things. (Fred MacMurray in the Absent Minded Professor was one of my role models.) And I can still remember the sinking feeling when I had forgotten my appointment for a haircut or to pick up the kids after school. I would kick myself in the pants, but I never thought more about it. But now when I forget something, I start imagining every set of lost keys or forgotten name is one more sign that my memory is riding that downhill slide to total oblivion. I don’t know if you have the same experience, but I find it a little bit scary. And it doesn’t’ help that my mother died from Alzheimer’s. (But there is one good sign. I do remember how to spell Alzheimer’s!)

Normal forgetfulness such as absentmindedness, forgetting names or those tip-of-the-tongue moments are common at any age and are not serious memory problems. A more serious concern is dementia; a set of symptoms including impairment in memory, reasoning, judgment, language and other thinking skills.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, some early signs of dementia may include: asking the same questions repeatedly, forgetting common words when speaking, mixing words up - saying "bed" instead of "table", taking longer to complete familiar tasks, misplacing items in inappropriate places - putting a wallet in a kitchen drawer, getting lost while walking or driving around a familiar neighborhood, or undergoing sudden changes in mood or behavior for no apparent reason.

If you find this is happening to you or if you know someone who is exhibiting these signs, a doctor should be consulted. There are many other causes for memory lapses that can be treated and they should be ruled out first: severe stress, depression, a vitamin B12 deficiency, insufficient sleep, some prescription drugs and infections.

In the meantime, for us who experience normal forgetfulness, there are ways to help keep our minds sharp. Stay engaged with friends and family, volunteer, reduce your stress, keep your mind active, get lots of rest, exercise and eat well.

You can learn more about dementia and memory loss at the Center’s next 11:00 Tuesday lecture on February 10th. Colleen Ballinger, from Hospice of the Gorge, will discuss in more detail the differences between normal forgetfulness and dementia, what some of the treatable causes of memory loss are, and how caregivers can cope.

The Planetree Resource Center always offers an excellent series of free spring lectures on health related topics that are open to the public. This year there are three that may be of particular interest to older adults: “Living with Chronic Pain and the Tools for Management” on February 17th, “This Aging Body” on March 3rd, and “Could You Repeat That? Hearing Loss and Prevention” on March 10th. The lectures are held at Water’s Edge from 7pm to 8:30pm. For more information or to register call 541-296-8444 or visit the MCMC website.

Donzella Schlager and I will be attending the GoRed for Women’s Heart Health event at the Civic this Friday from 11:00 – 2:00 to share information about the activities at the Center. So after your massage and bowl of soup, stop by and say hello.

On Saturday March 14th the Center will be taking a bus load of twenty folks to Portland to see the matinee performance of “Guys and Dolls”. Tickets are $75 including transportation, and can be purchase at the Center. 

For the Tuesday Night Music and Dance at the Center on February 10th, Martin and Friends will be performing. Doors open at 6:00 and the music starts at 7:00. All ages are welcome and donations are always appreciated.

The name of the translucent pink styling gel with a unique smell and gelatinous consistency was Dippity-Do.  (And the winner of a free Cherry Festival Breakfast is Carol Parker.)

From 1922 to 1944, producer Hal Roach created a series of 221 short comedy films about a group of poor neighborhood children called “Our Gang” which he later repackage in the 1950’s as “The Little Rascals”. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the boy in the series known for his trademark pointed cowlick? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a picture of Darla - his romantic interest.

Well, it’s been another week, trying figure out what I’ll do when I grow up. Until we meet again, as John Barrymore once said, “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.” James M. Barrie


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