Aging Well in the Gorge June 29th 2022

Technology offers tremendous benefits: staying connected with family and friends, virtual medical visits, accessing services from your home, and immediately contacting help in case of a fall – all things that can help you stay in your home longer.

But you may be thinking, “I know, I know, but it is so FRUSTRATING!” And it is! There is so much to understand. I mean what is this “Internet of Things”? What is the benefit of PayPal?  Where is this cloud everyone talks about? And why is this robotic dog barking at me?

But a basic knowledge about current technologies can be frustrating and but can also improve your life and help you stay as independent as possible. To help older adults learn more about the benefits of technology, GOBHI in partnership with Senior Planet is again offering five lectures and one class facilitated by locally trained volunteers. And this time they will be held at both the Mid-Columbia Senior Center (MCSC) in The Dalles (1112 W 9th Street) and the Hood River Valley Adult Center (HRVAC) in Hood River (2010 Sterling Place).

There is one lecture for each of five consecutive weeks starting July 12th on Tuesdays at MCSC from 2:00 – 3:15 pm and starting July 13th on Wednesdays at HRVAC from 3:00pm - 4:15pm.

The weekly lectures cover the following topics. Week one: Smartphones. Week two: Cloud Storage. Week three: Google Workspace. Week four: Internet of Things. Week five: eBay and PayPal.

Following the five weekly lectures, there will be a five-week IPAD ESSENTIALS class. For this class, there will be two sessions each week starting August 16th at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 – 3:15, and starting August 17th at the Hood River Valley Adult Center on Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:00 – 4:25.

You must bring an iPad device! But if you don’t have one, the Area Agency on Aging has them available to loan - for free! Call 541-276-1926.

 

You will also need a Gmail address and Apple ID. If you need help setting up a Gmail address or Apple ID or have any tech questions, please call the FREE Senior Planet hotline: 844-410-0268 available from 9am – 5pm EDT, Monday through Friday. (That’s 6:00 – 2:00 for us left coast folks.) If you have questions about the local classes you can call (541) 256-4623 or email Britta Willson at  bwillson@gobhi.org

While helping facilitate the previous classes I heard about Gorge Learns (www.gorgelearns.com) a fascinating website that provides educational resources on the history, art, science, and technology in the Gorge through collaboration with local partners in Gorge cultural institutions. Gorge Learns is an outreach project of The History Museum of Hood River County with funding made possible through the History Museum and grants from Oregon Humanities and the Providence Foundation.

Brain Tease: When I was in grade school, I imagined I was an international spy deciphering secret coded messages. You won’t save the world from destruction but see if you can break this code to answer a simple riddle.

Why do chickens lay eggs? JG UIFZ ESPQ UIFN UIFZ CSFBL

The 1963 American musical romantic comedy film that was inspired by Elvis Presley being drafted into the Army and made Ann-Margret a superstar was Bye Bye Birdie. I received only two correct answers from Lana Tepfer and Margo Dameier who are both winners of a quilt raffle ticket. But three others, Kim Birge, Keith Clymer, and Doug Nelson instead remembered the 1964 box office hit Viva Las Vegas starring both Elvis Presley and Ann Margaret - which led to an off-screen affair. And again, I’ve missed several folks. This time Debbie Medina and Marlene and Keith Clymer.

These hot days of summer remind me of going to the pool in my “baggies” and seeing the girls wearing this controversial type of bathing suit popularized in a 1960 hit song. For this week’s “Remember When” question, in that song the girls were wearing an “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie” what? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with a picture of Brian Hyland.

Well, it’s been another week, keeping an eye on the temperature. Until we meet again, take time to challenge yourself - if only by trying to program the new air conditioner!

“Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time.” T. S. Eliot

Aging Well in the Gorge June 22nd 2022

 Besides the warm weather, summer trips, and struggling to manage the overgrown garden, summer is the time when you can enjoy fresh local produce and meet the people who grow it at one of the many Farmers’ Markets in the Gorge. You may have your own ways of shopping at a Farmers’ Market but here are several quick tips to make the best of your experience.

1.) Plan ahead. Have an idea of what you need. To see what is available, check out the market’s website or Facebook page. And if you need a ride, call your local public transportation provider to learn how they can help you get there.

2.) Bring a bag. Having a bag that can go on your shoulder will help keep your hands free. Or try a backpack! And a mini cooler with a few damp paper towels can keep highly perishable items like fresh herbs and certain vegetables from wilting on the way home. When you leave, you don’t want to look like a circus performer juggling your newly purchased fresh meats, vegetable, and fruits!

3.) Ask questions. Get to know your local farmers. Take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the food and how it’s been grown.

4.) Try something new. Challenge yourself to try at least one new food item. How about the vegetables Arugula or Kale?

6.) Make a farm-to-table meal. Now, use everything you bought to prepare a tasty locally grown meal.

And don’t forget the basic sanitary practices: make sure meat is kept cold in a closed, iced cooler; keep it separate from other fresh produce to prevent cross-contamination; rinse your fruits and vegetables and pat them dry with a clean paper towel; use separate cutting boards for produce and raw meat; and as our parents told us always wash your hands first. Remember, you are the last line of defense in reducing the risk of foodborne illness.

To find information about all the local Farmers’ Markets go online to https://gorgegrown.com. But for those of you who can’t, here is a quick listing of the time and places for all the local Farmers’ Markets.

Hood River: Saturday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm; 5th and Columbia lot in downtown Hood River.

The Dalles: Saturdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm; downtown City Park, Union and E. 5th Street.

White Salmon: Tuesdays 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm; Rhinegarten Park at 282 N Main Avenue.

Goldendale: Saturdays: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm; Chamber lawn, 903 E Broadway.

Odell - Mercado del Valle Farmers’ Market: Thursdays, July 7th and 21st, August 4th and 18th, and September 1st and 15th 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm; Mid-Valley Elementary School, 3683 Davis Drive.

Stevenson: Saturdays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; the Waterfront at 140 S Cascade Ave.

Brain Tease: I shared these two riddles five years ago and you would think I would remember both answers. Well, I did for the first, but I couldn’t for the second - it was a little too cerebral for me. See if you can do better.

1.) How many times can you subtract 5 from 25? 2.) Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out? 

The portable radios popular in the ’60s and ’70s were called transistor radios. I received correct answers from Doug Nelson, Jess Birge, Lana Tepfer, Donna Mollett, Dave Lutgens, Margo Dameier, Jim Tindall, Rhonda Spies, and since this week I’m in a generous mood both Tiiu Vahtel and Scott Franke are winners of a quilt raffle ticket. Last week I missed Rebecca Abrams.

This 1963 American musical romantic comedy film was inspired by the sensation of singer Elvis Presley being drafted into the United States Army in 1957. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this movie that is credited with making Ann-Margret a superstar during the mid-1960s? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with an autographed picture of teen idol Bobby Rydell who played the part of Hugo.

Answer: 1.) Only once. 2.) Stop imagining. 

Well, it’s been another week, watching the weeds keep growing taller. Until we meet again, keep your nose clean and your hands dirty, because as the old farmer from Fossil once said "Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

"The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter." -- Mark Twain

Aging Well in the Gorge June 15th 2022

Life is full of risks: stepping out of the shower, driving down I-84, walking around the neighborhood, flying the friendly skies to visit the grandchildren, speaking in public. Many of those risks we try to avoid, others we find ways to reduce, and still others we ignore the risk and proceed full steam ahead. Choosing one of those options was a difficult choice many of us made during the pandemic.

When calculating risk, we rarely rely on rational calculations but instead are influenced by emotional perceptions, the context of the situation, and personal experience. That is called our perception of risk. This can cause us to overact to risks that trigger us emotionally and underreact to risks that do not.

Then there is actual risk. It is more objective and quantifiable such as the likelihood and severity of the consequence of taking that risk. 

You may not be surprised, but our perceived risk is not always in line with the actual risk.

For example, I feel much safer driving than flying.  While driving I feel I have greater control. And flying? Who can forget all the catastrophic aircraft incidents we’ve heard about? But as you probably know, statistically flying is far safer than driving. The greater risk is driving to the airport.

One risk most of us are familiar with is the risk of falling. I imagine there are very few of you who haven’t fallen at least once in the last ten years. One reason older adults fall more often is we frequently overestimate our physical ability and take unnecessary risks of falling. Have you taken the shorter ‘risky’ path covered in ice, instead of the longer, ‘safe’ path? For myself, I perceived the risk of falling when walking down steps as very low. And then I missed a bottom step, fell, and broke my hip. Now that I have experienced the actual risk, I ALWAYS hold on to the handrail when walking down any stairs.

When assessing our risk, we should go beyond what we feel, and realistically appraise our physical abilities both our strengths and weaknesses to avoid unnecessary risks with serious consequences. We may be wiser, but we are no longer that spry twenty-something!

To live a full and rewarding life we need to take risks. And the right to take reasonable risks is essential for our dignity and self-esteem. So be adventurous - but also smart. And although they want the best for you, don’t always listen to your overly cautious and protective adult children!

Brain Tease: In my hand, I have two coins that are newly minted. Together, they total 30 cents. One isn’t a nickel. What are the coins?

The correct answer to May 25’s “Remember When’ question was Bell Bottoms. I received answers from Chuck Rice, Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Nona Moore, Kim Birge, Dave Lutgens, Rose Schulz, Margo Dameier, Doug Nelson, and Marlene Clymer this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

And from last week, the American comedian who in 1972 first used “seven dirty words” in one of his monologues was the irreverent George Carlin. I received correct answers from Rebecca Abrams who was “right on!”, Keith Clymer, Jess Birge, Steven Woolpert, Barbara Cadwell, Margo Dameier, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Rose Schulz, and this week's winner of a quilt raffle ticket Cheryl Rockowski who reminded me of “a blast from the past” - another popular expression from the 60s.

This singer-songwriter with her writing partner Gerry Goffin wrote such hits as "Take Good Care of My Baby" "Up on the Roof", “One Fine Day", and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" for Aretha Franklin. What was the name of this artist who recorded Tapestry which won the 1972 Grammy Award for album of the year? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with a copy of her memoir A Natural Woman.

Well, it’s been another week, looking up and down and all around for that elusive wisdom of old age. Until we meet again, as Dave Barry wrote, life is too short to not be a part of something stupid - but that doesn’t mean climbing a 15-foot ladder!

“There’s something liberating about not pretending. Dare to embarrass yourself. Risk.” – Drew Barrymore

 

Answer: One wasn’t a nickel but the other one was. So, the answer is a quarter and a nickel.

Aging Well in the Gorge June 8th 2022

 Life is full of risks: stepping out of the shower, driving down I-84, walking around the neighborhood, flying the friendly skies to visit the grandchildren, speaking in public. Many of those risks we try to avoid, others we find ways to reduce, and still others we ignore the risk and proceed full steam ahead. Choosing one of those options was a difficult choice many of us made during the pandemic.

When calculating risk, we rarely rely on rational calculations but instead are influenced by emotional perceptions, the context of the situation, and personal experience. That is called our perception of risk. This can cause us to overact to risks that trigger us emotionally and underreact to risks that do not.

Then there is actual risk. It is more objective and quantifiable such as the likelihood and severity of the consequence of taking that risk. 

You may not be surprised, but our perceived risk is not always in line with the actual risk.

For example, I feel much safer driving than flying.  While driving I feel I have greater control. And flying? Who can forget all the catastrophic aircraft incidents we’ve heard about? But as you probably know, statistically flying is far safer than driving. The greater risk is driving to the airport.

One risk most of us are familiar with is the risk of falling. I imagine there are very few of you who haven’t fallen at least once in the last ten years. One reason older adults fall more often is we frequently overestimate our physical ability and take unnecessary risks of falling. Have you taken the shorter ‘risky’ path covered in ice, instead of the longer, ‘safe’ path? For myself, I perceived the risk of falling when walking down steps as very low. And then I missed a bottom step, fell, and broke my hip. Now that I have experienced the actual risk, I ALWAYS hold on to the handrail when walking down any stairs.

When assessing our risk, we should go beyond what we feel, and realistically appraise our physical abilities both our strengths and weaknesses to avoid unnecessary risks with serious consequences. We may be wiser, but we are no longer that spry twenty-something!

To live a full and rewarding life we need to take risks. And the right to take reasonable risks is essential for our dignity and self-esteem. So be adventurous - but also smart. And although they want the best for you, don’t always listen to your overly cautious and protective adult children!

Brain Tease: In my hand, I have two coins that are newly minted. Together, they total 30 cents. One isn’t a nickel. What are the coins?

The correct answer to May 25’s “Remember When’ question was Bell Bottoms. I received answers from Chuck Rice, Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Nona Moore, Kim Birge, Dave Lutgens, Rose Schulz, Margo Dameier, Doug Nelson, and Marlene Clymer this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.

And from last week, the American comedian who in 1972 first used “seven dirty words” in one of his monologues was the irreverent George Carlin. I received correct answers from Rebecca Abrams who was “right on!”, Keith Clymer, Jess Birge, Steven Woolpert, Barbara Cadwell, Margo Dameier, Lana Tepfer, Dave Lutgens, Rose Schulz, and this week's winner of a quilt raffle ticket Cheryl Rockowski who reminded me of “a blast from the past” - another popular expression from the 60s.

This singer-songwriter with her writing partner Gerry Goffin wrote such hits as

"Take Good Care of My Baby" "Up on the Roof", “One Fine Day", and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" for Aretha Franklin. What was the name of this artist who recorded Tapestry which won the 1972 Grammy Award for album of the year? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with a copy of her memoir A Natural Woman.

Well, it’s been another week, looking up and down and all around for that elusive wisdom of old age. Until we meet again, as Dave Barry wrote, life is too short to not be a part of something stupid - but that doesn’t mean climbing a 15-foot ladder!

“There’s something liberating about not pretending. Dare to embarrass yourself. Risk.” – Drew Barrymore

 Answer: One wasn’t a nickel but the other one was. So, the answer is a quarter and a nickel.

 

Aging Well in the Gorge June 1st 2022

Do you ever feel out of date like an old 45 record in an age of digital music? One possible reason is that each new generation tries to separate themselves from older generations by creating their own language or slang words - as we did when we were young.

If you grew up in the 50s, you may remember “knuckle sandwich”, “shiner”, “made in the shade”, or “the royal shaft”. If you were a child of the 60s, how about “far out”, “dig it”, (“It's) a gas”, “mellow”, “bummer”, and of course “groovy”.  For you younger readers who grew up in the 70s, there was “psyche”, “don't be such a spaz”, and “up your nose with a rubber hose” popularized by Vinnie Barbarino in the TV show Welcome Back, Kotter. Over time each generation has introduced its own slang. But unless you are a real “dork”, you probably won’t be using most of those slang words - unless you want to get that look of “When were you born?”

Those expressions are innocent anachronisms from our youth. But there are also words we consider vulgar and offensive and those too change over time. For example, when my son was elected 2003 senior class president in high school, he ended his acceptance speech with “We’re going to have a “badass” year!” Well, that didn’t go over well – except with his classmates - and he was disqualified. He knew it wasn’t acceptable, but in his defense, he argued words considered unacceptable are always changing. (The same can be said about what you can wear to school. I remember when boys couldn’t wear jeans and girls had to wear skirts.)

Today we may accept the use of “badass” - or maybe not? But what is difficult to accept for many of us is the excessive use of words we find offensive. I know many friends who won’t watch certain television shows because of all the swear words - particularly the use of “bleep” which seems to be common in entertainment and music these days, Once I tried to watch who I heard was considered a popular cutting edge young comedian on Netflix, but I couldn’t get past the first five minutes. If I was in the audience, I would have been squirming in my seat. It was just too much of a bad thing. Maybe you have had similar situations.

When we were young, we weren’t so direct. We used euphemisms for words that were considered vulgar: “What the fudge”, “dagnammit”, “Jiminy cricket”, “Oh, shoot”. I remember being shocked when my 8th-grade football coach told a lineman to keep his “butt” up.  In my family, we didn’t use that word!

What language we think is “cool” and what we think is vulgar is different for each of us and each generation. We may feel that the freedom of speech to say anything you want has gone too far and just isn’t right, but it isn’t the end of the world. Words we consider offensive today will lose their power to offend, and new words will take their place. It wasn’t that long ago when the public was shocked to hear Rhett Butler end "Gone With The Wind" with the famous line "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Brain Tease: You’re escaping a labyrinth and there are three exits. Exit A leads to an inferno. Exit B leads to an assassin. Exit C leads to a lion that hasn’t eaten in 3 years. Which exit do you pick?

Because of Memorial Day, I submitted this column early so I will mention everyone who answered last week’s question next week.

in 1972 an American comedian used in one of his monologues the “seven dirty words”. For this week’s “Remember When” question who was this comedian and social critic? Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788, or mail it with the forecast from the “hippy-dippy weatherman”.

Well, it’s been another week, trying to focus among all the distractions. Until we meet again, if you ever get down, there is always more than one way to get back up.

“If you feel you are doing as much at seventy as you did when you were twenty, you must have not been doing much at twenty.”

 

Answer: Exit C. If a lion hasn’t eaten in 3 years, it has definitely starved to death.

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