THE CENTER IS BACK OPEN.
Fundraiser Dinner and Auction - Friday, February 22nd $35 per person.
AARP Tax Aide Fridays from 2:00 - 6:00 and Saturdays from 9:00 - 1:00.
Bingo every Thursday and Saturday Nights. Doors open at 4:00 and games start at 6:00. New players encouraged to arrive by 5:30. Average payout is over $1300 each night. Minimum buy-in is $10.
But sometimes it is hard, particularly this time of the year when we would give everything to share again memories of Christmas’s pasts with friends and loved ones who are no longer with us. It’s not always easy to stay upbeat and positive, but Shawn Achor, who researches and teaches positive psychology, describes three steps that can help us recognize the positive instead of mindlessly absorbing the negative.
First, for twenty-one days in a row, take two minutes a day and write down three things you are grateful for.
Second, start a journal and each day write about one positive experience you encountered.
Third, do one positive random act of kindness each day - whether it’s complimenting the salesperson during a hectic Christmas shopping day or buying a bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling juice for your local senior center director (and he prefers a red grape to a white apple cider!)
But I would also suggest two more steps.
Fourth, each day give at least one person a big hug - the human touch is an essential nutritional requirement for the spirit.
And last, if there has been something you have been meaning to tell someone, tell them. Don’t wait and regret missing the opportunity.
Whether your glasses are rose colored, broken or you can’t find them, during this season of hope, love and possibilities, consider these five steps to better appreciate all that is good and right - and the bountiful banquet spread before us.
The Christmas season often brings snow and frigid weather - and we saw both these over last two weeks. With the inclement weather, it is often a tough call whether to keep the Center open or to close. I guess I’m just a little more cautious since I broke my hip several years ago. (Although the cause wasn’t snow or ice, but not being bright enough to find the bottom step.).
Consequently, last weekend we played it safe instead of sorry, and postponed the Holiday Breakfast - even though Mary Davis was bringing the Mistletoe! We’ll try again in March when there’s less chance for snowflakes and Santa shouldn’t be as busy.
Also, Saturday night bingo was cancelled, but will return on New Year’s Eve when we’ll welcome in the New Year (east coast time) and there will be a $1000 payout for a blackout in 58 numbers or less on the last game.
If you are making your end-of-the-year donations, and are donating to any of the twenty-two qualifying cultural non-profits in Wasco County, don’t forget to also donate the same amount to the Oregon Cultural Trust for which you’ll receive a 100% state tax credit and help the cultural arts in Wasco County and the state. You can find more information and a list of the cultural non-profits at www.culturaltrust.org.
Tuesday night music is back at the Center on December 27th with Country Road performing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 6:30 and donations are appreciated to feed the band and keep the lights on.
Continuing the countdown of “40 Great Things about Growing Older”. # 10 – Grandchildren are great. And great grandchildren are a bonus.
The Christmas classic, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, was first sung by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis. (This week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each are Betsy Ayers, Sandy Haechrel and Jerry Phillips.)
This season you may see ads for VR (virtual reality) glasses, which I have tried and admit are pretty cool. But in 1939 there was a Portland company that introduced another cutting-edge technology consisting of stereoscopic 3-D pictures on a circular disk which could be inserted into a plastic device and viewed.
For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this classic toy? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the latest virtual reality edition of this viewer.
Well, it’s been another week, waiting for Santa to poke his beard around the corner. Until we meet again, let the spirit of Christmas light up the new year.
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Norman Vincent Peale
Well, last Friday was one of those days kids dream about. But at my age, snow days just don’t quite have the same excitement. Certainly, there is still the anticipation, but now it is: How much snow am I going to have to shovel? Will the car make it out of the parking spot? Will I fall flat on my face walking across the parking lot?
But snow is no surprise and we do adjust – often just staying inside and out of trouble. So while snuggled up on the Lazyboy recliner, why not catch up on the best Christmas movies from the 40’s and 50’s. We use to have to check TV Guide to see if our favorite movies were showing on TV - if at all. But now you can watch them anytime over the Internet using streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, or Amazon (although you usually have to pay).
So where do you start? Here are nine movies from the 40’s and 50’s, including their leading actors, ranked in the top 25 best Christmas movies by the movie review website “Rotten Tomatoes”.
#24 - The Bishop’s Wife, 1948 - Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young.
#18 – A Christmas Carol, 1951 - Alastair Sim and Kathleen Harrison.
#13 - The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, 1944, -Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, and William Demarest. #6 - The Apartment, 1960 - Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray.
#5 - Stalag 17, 1953 – William Holden, Peter Graves, and Robert Strauss.
#4 - Holiday Inn, 1941 - Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.
#3 - The Shop Around the Corner, 1940 - Margaret Sullavan and Jimmy Stewart.
#2 - Miracle on 34th Street, 1947 - Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, and Natalie Wood.
#1 - It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946 – Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore.
If I missed your favorite Christmas movie, email me and I will mention it next week.
Everyone’s invited to the Center’s annual Holiday Breakfast from 8:00 – 9:30 AM on Saturday, December 17th, sponsored by Dennis Morgan - Copper West Realtors and Dean Dollarhide - State Farm Insurance. And this year we’re trying something new: offering all-you-can-eat pancakes. In addition, the menu includes scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit and coffee or juice all for $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for children 12 and under.
Meals-on-Wheels is serving a special Christmas Dinner on December 20th instead of their usual birthday dinner. And to have time to prepare, the dinner will be served at 2:00 instead of noon - so you still have time to drive home before dark. But because there is only room to seat 125 people, you will need to sign up ahead of time. There is a signup sheet at the Center or you can call Meals-on-Wheel at 541-298-8333.
Because of the Meals-on-Wheels Christmas party, there will not be music at the Center Tuesday night, December 20th. But if you can wait til after Christmas, you’ll find Country Road playing on the 27th.
Continuing the countdown of “40 Great Things about Growing Older”. # 9 – Telling stories about the “good old days”. Although it is sobering to think that these may be the “good old days” for a future generation.
The name of the television show that featured a boy with a propeller beanie and a Sea-Sick Sea Serpent was Beany and Cecil. (This week’s winners of a quilt raffle ticket each are Jerry Phillips and Tina Castanares.)
The Christmas classic, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, is the third most performed Christmas song of this century. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who sang the song when it was introduced in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis? Email your answer to email@example.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the 2014 hit version sung by the English singer-songwriter Sam Smith.
Well, it’s been another week, tangled up in all my loose ends. Until we meet again, snow is nature’s reminder to slowdown.
“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” Carl Reiner
2. Last year the Red Cross responded to nearly two home fires each day in Oregon and SW Washington.
3. More than 60% of fire deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm.
I became aware of this, when Linda Griswold stopped by the Center to drop off flyers for last week’s talk: “When a Good Thing Goes Bad…Prescription Drug Misuse”. She told me that prescription drug misuse is not a problem just for young people - it can happen to older adults as well.
Which makes sense. As we age there are many legitimate reasons to use pain medications: back pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and major surgeries - increasing the risk of abusing opioid pain medications such as OxyContin and Percocet. These pain medications are particularly dangerous because they can create a physical dependence in as few as five days for someone taking several daily doses. And the longer the drug is taken, the stronger the dependence grows and the tolerance increases- creating a need for larger and larger doses. Which is not good.
Sadly, the addiction to prescription painkillers among older adults is growing. Between 2006 and 2012, hospital emergency rooms saw a 78 percent increase in the number of visits among older adults with misuse of prescription or illicit drugs - and nearly half of those visits were among adults 75 and older.
Family members, caregivers, all of us, need to be aware of the dangers of opioid medications: the addiction-related problems such as feeling more anxious or depressed; falling more often or seeming more confused at times or even disoriented; and the alternative non-drug treatments such as acupuncture, medical massage, hydrotherapy (soothing warm jets of water) and pool therapy which can all reduce pain.
But the take away is to remember that opioids are for short-term use: acute pain or when prescribed for a few days after major surgery. But NOT for chronic conditions. As many have learned, it can be deceptively easy to turn a good thing into something bad.
Doesn’t it feel as if Black Friday sales start earlier and earlier each year? So why not just throw away all those big stores ads, and visit the local craft fairs and holiday bazaars to purchase one-of-a-kind gifts for your family and friends – and maybe something for yourself.
This coming Saturday, November 19th, you can shop two bazaars with one stop: the St. Peter’s Altar Society’s Annual Bazaar (9:00 – 4:00) at St. Mary’s School, and right across 10th street at the Center’s Holiday Bazaar (9:00 – 3:00). There will be more vendors than you can shake a stick at (haven’t heard that expression for quite a while) including unique handmade lap blankets, pillows and pillow cases. On Saturday, make sure you don’t drive by without stopping.
Continuing the countdown of “40 Great Things about Growing Older”: #6 “Your kids finally see you were right – at least about some things.” Which doesn’t mean they are smart enough to think they can start telling you what to do! For the Center’s Tuesday Night Music on November 22nd, Country Road will be playing so you can throw your head back and kick up your heals, Doors open at 6:00, music and dancing starts at 6:30 and donations are appreciated. “
"Kids Say the Darndest Things” was a segment of Art Linkletter’s “House Party”. (This week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket each are Sandy Haechrel and Tina Castanares, And Betsy Ayers - just to show her I can remember how to spell her last name correctly.)
This NBC television show aired for its longest run from 1960 through 1967 and featured concealed cameras filming regular people in unusual situations. For this week’s “Remember When” question, complete this show’s famous catchphrase, “Smile, you’re on ______ ______”? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or deliver it to the Center with a copy of the episode that included former President Harry S. Truman.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to remember, did I just add three scoops or four? Until we meet again, as my old friend Sophocles once said, “Old age and the passage of time teach all things.”
“Worry is like a rockin' horse. It's something to do that gets you nowhere.” Old West Proverb
One of their first initiatives is the “Community Reads” project. They raised enough local funds to purchase and distribute for free to discussion groups and libraries in the Gorge, four hundred copies of the book Age of Dignity - Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America written by Ai-jen Poo.
In the book, Ai-jen Poo states that more than fourteen percent of Americans are now over sixty-five; and by 2030 that ratio will be one in five. The fastest growing age group is those eighty-five and over which are over 5 million people now, and expected to more than double in the next twenty years.
How do we respond as a community and as a nation to this coming demographic earthquake? Who is going to provide the care? How do we ensure the caregivers, both paid and unpaid, are respected and supported? How do we care for our elders, which are many of us, so they live long and meaningful lives?
In the coming months there will be several conversations about aging, elders and caregiving starting with the World Café Community Conversation on Saturday, October 22nd from 1:30 – 4:30 at the Columbia Gorge College in Hood River on the Heights. If you plan to attend, they ask that you RSVP by going to the website: http://evite.me/C2Du4RQFjq.
You are also invited to attend one of the smaller Age of Dignity discussion groups held in The Dalles at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center on November 16th from 10:00 – 12:00; and The Dalles/Wasco County Library on November 22nd from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. If you don’t have the book Age of Dignity, you can pick one up at the Center to read and then share with others; or stop by the library where they still may have a few copies left.
Thanks to The Springs at Mill Creek and everyone who attended the Baby Back Rib Dinner. If you weren’t able to make it, you missed some literally finger-licking good ribs prepared by the Meals-on-Wheels crew, and some lively bluegrass music performed by Hardshell Harmony (with The Dalles City Councilor, Tim McGlothlin, filling in at his old spot playing the stand-up bass).
There will be a new quilt hanging in the Center’s lobby. The Center quilters sold over $200 worth of raffle tickets - but unfortunately there can only be one winner. And that lucky person was Jean Spee. Congratulations!
In just over a month, we will be entering the holiday craft fair season starting with the granddaddy of them all - the St. Peter's 38th Annual Holiday Bazaar on November 19th. On the same day, right across 10th street, the Center will host its 3rd Annual Holiday Bazaar - and there’s still room for a few more vendors. It you are interested, call the Center at 541-296-4788.
Last week I forgot to mention that the Simcoe Boys will be playing tonight at the Center. And before I forget again, next week for the Center’s Tuesday Night music, Country Road will be strutting their stuff from 7:00 – 9:00. Doors open at 6:00 and donations are appreciated.
Continuing the countdown: #3 of “40 Great Things about Growing Older”: “Grey hair earns respect.” And for some reason, I find much more attractive these days.
The comedian that impersonated John F. Kennedy on the 1963 album The First Family was Vaughn Meader. (This week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Tina Castanares.)
Spies and espionage were a common theme on television in the 60’s. This spy-fi British television series was created in 1961 and was the first British series to be aired on prime time in the U.S. when it aired in 1965. For this week’s “Remember When” question what was the name of this show that starred the ever-graceful and gentlemanly John Steed and his partner - the intelligent, quick-witted Emma Peel? Email your answer to email@example.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or deliver it to the Center while wearing a bowler hat made of steel.
Well, it’s been another week, chasing windmills. Until we meet again, as my Aunt Mo once told me, “When you are over a hundred years old, people start asking you the dumbest questions.”
“A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.” Groucho Marx
But now there is Homecare Choice - a new in-home services program offered by the Oregon Home Care Commission for people using their own funds to pay for help at home. If you are enrolled in the program, you have a choice of who you would like to interview and hire as a caregiver (using the Oregon Home Care Commission’s Registry); when and how those services are provided; and the services you would like to purchase such as assistance with personal care, household tasks, companionship, transportation, medication reminding, running errands, and pet care.
Often forgotten or ignored is that if you hire someone, for as little as four hours a week, you could qualify as an employer with all the associated responsibilities. But the Homecare Choice program can help by paying the caregiver on your behalf, paying the withholding and reporting payroll taxes.
I will explain more about the Homecare Choice Program and how to enroll at the next 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on October 11th. If you think you might ever need a paid caregiver, you will find this presentation helpful.
My apologies for this late announcement about the Oregon Alzheimer’s Association’s Living with Alzheimer’s Late Stage class that will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) from 10:00 – 12:30 at the Center. This class is for caregiver’s who are caring for someone in the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease, when caregiving typically involves new ways of connecting and interacting with the person with the disease.
For each of the last three years, over 300 folks have enjoyed a delicious finger-licking Baby Back Rib dinner. Now you have a chance to join the fun this Friday, October 7th from 4:30 till 7:00. Because of the generous sponsorship by The Springs at Mill Creek, every penny of your $15 ticket will go to providing healthy nutritious meals and classes and other activities that support older adults. You can purchase tickets at the Center, Klindt’s Booksellers or at the door.
The Center quilters meet every Monday from 10:00 – 3:00 downstairs at the Center where they stitch and sew the large beautiful quilts hanging in the Center’s lobby. But did you know they also make unique smaller quilts that are ideal as gifts? At the Center, you can purchase a small quilt as well as raffle tickets for one of the larger quilts. And if $200 worth of raffle tickets are sold by the end of the Baby Back Rib Dinner, we will draw the winning ticket and someone will be going home draped in a beautiful quilt.
Martin and Friends will be playing at the Center on Tuesday, October 11th. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and donations are appreciated. Last spring while attending the annual Gerontology conference at OSU, I picked up a bookmark that identified “40 Great Things about Growing Older”. Email me one of the great things you think makes growing older great, and each week I will mention one. The first one on the list of 40 is “Senior discounts are great” - which includes my favorite, the “young man” (a euphemism for “this old guy”) discount at Subway.
Am I the only one who remembers Donovan, the 60’s British singer and songwriter who was often described as a Bob Dylan clone? Oh, well.
But for this week’s “Remember When” question, I’ll try something a little more familiar – an American Western television series. What was the name of the TV show that aired from 1950–1956; starred the title character and his English mangling sidekick Pancho who traveled the west fighting injustice; and by 1955 was the most popular non-animated television series among American children? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off at the Center with a copy of the O. Henry’s short story "The Caballero's Way".
Well, it’s been another week, keeping a hand on the banister. Until we meet again, don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good.
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra
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