Aging Well August 28th 2012

How would you like to have in one place, concise information about different facets of aging – from fall prevention to cooking for two; a list of community resources – from transportation providers to senior living options; plus dates and reminders of local events and activities, all locally created and produced – and for free?

The Wasco County Network on Aging, a collaborative effort to improve the health and well-being of older adults, is producing such an information guide in the form of a 2013 calendar that will be distributed to all adults over 65 in Wasco County. And the Network is now seeking information about local events to include in the calendar. I know some of us don’t think more than a week in advance – or even a day. (It is hard to think too far in advance when you can’t remember what day of the week it is!) But if you know of any 2013 events you would like included in the calendar, send the name of the event, date and time and a contact number to the Senior Center by phone, email or carrier pigeon before September 30th.

Thanks to the efforts of Barb Pashek and Sylvia Loewen, a Community Parking Lot Sale will once again be held at the Center (one of the busiest corners in The Dalles) on September 15th from 8:00 AM – 1 PM. This may be your last chance to pick up some spare change by ridding yourselves of those good used items hiding in the basement or garage – or just taking up space in the living room. You have until September 7th to reserve a space (approximately 9 feet by 20 feet) for only $25. (All the fees for the spaces will help support the Center.) For more information contact Sylvia Loewen at 541-298-4682 or pick up a reservation form at the Center.

Many of the Center’s classes took a break over the summer to allow folks to travel and enjoy the warm summer months. But classes like Strong Women, Serenaders, Digging Up Bones!, iPad Users Group, Tai Chi and others will be back in full stride by the second week in September. Call the Center for times and to sign up.

The Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society meets every second Saturday of each month at 1:00 PM in the downstairs meeting room of the Discovery Center. And on Saturday, September 8th, Lorna Elliott and Sandy Bisset will take an in-depth look at how City Directories offer many family research possibilities. Public and guests are welcome and membership is open to all ages. For more information call Sandra Bisset at 541-298-1240 or email Or you can go their website at

Tuesday Night music at the Center never stops and next Tuesday Andre and the Strawberry Mountain Band will be leading a parade of good music and fine dancing. And tonight the Dufur Boys from Dufur will be making a special appearance. (And to keep those brain synapses firing on all eight cylinders, see if you can read the rest.) Mauasaiac sataaaratas aat 7:00, eavaearayabaoaday ias waealacaoamae aanad daoanaaataiaoanas aarae acacaeapataead waiatah aa samaialae.

It was John Cameron Swayze who described the many wild tests demonstrating that a Timex watch could “take a licking and keep on ticking”. (And last week’s winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is Don McKinney.) But with such good response to the last two questions, I have to once again use another question from “Are You Smarter than a 60 Year Old” forwarded to me by Diana Weston. So for this week’s “Remember When” question, what three words completes the following lyric to this 1961 #1 hit song “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the …”? Email your answer to the, call541-296-4788 or mail it with the “All Time Greatest Hits!” album by the Tokens.

Well, it has been another week, seeing how close I can fly past the flame without burning my tail feathers. Until we meet again, when worrying about the small stuff, remember, it doesn’t really matter.

Okay, I’m sorry about the spate of Winnie the Pooh quotes but the unassuming bear of little brain is one of my favorite characters from childhood fiction. So bear with me (that is not a pun) as I share one more quote that may explain why so much doesn’t make sense in the world these days.

“”I don’t see much sense in that,” said Rabbit. “No,” said Pooh humbly, “there isn’t. But there was going to be when I began it. It’s just that something happened to it along the way.”

Aging Well August 21 2012

Basic medical equipment is not cheap. A simple shower bench can cost between $30.00 and $45.00. And if you are on a limited income and Medicare doesn’t cover the cost, it may not be affordable. .

But an often overlooked service the Center provides is its Loan Closet. With the help of Joyce Browne and Visiting Health Services, the Center expanded its Loan Closet about four years ago to include a variety of medical equipment that can be borrowed for a day or indefinitely depending on your situation. And the only cost is a minimum suggested donation of $5.00. But the available equipment depends on generous donations. The Center accepts any equipment from wheelchairs to quad canes; from bath benches to disposable underwear. And right now the Center is in need of rollators (rolling walkers with a seat), transfer benches and a specific need for a wide heavy duty wheelchair. (But we do have available several hospital beds – one with side rails.) If you have limited resources or have a short term need, give us a call. The Center might be able to help.

A new offering coming in September to the Center is “Seasons” which will take a closer look at the highs and lows of growing older. Through mutual exchange and support, class participants will be encouraged to share stories of loss, loneliness, changing roles, re-location, and other aspects that often accompany this special time of life. The class, led by Sally McBain – author of Soul Portrait, is open to both men and women and will be held at the Center from 10:00 – 11:00 AM for three consecutive Mondays starting September 10th. And to add to the conversational ambience, coffee and tea plus a few mid-morning treats will be provided.

If you missed seeing the new sign at the Center, you may want to stop driving – because you’re really not paying attention. (Or you could sign up for the Center’s AARP Driver Safety Class.) Last week Meadow Outdoor Advertising installed a sign on the corner of 9th and Cherry Heights and thanks to their generosity, it didn’t cost the Center or Meals-on-Wheels a cent. And it wasn’t easy – with design work, the permitting process and installation. So a big public thank-you to Chris Zukin and all the folks at Meadow Outdoor Advertising – the sign looks fantastic. (But there is one little, bitty, tiny thing. Is there any way you can make it rotate with the wind? That would be really cool!)

August 26th is the summer’s last “Fort Dalles Fourth Sunday at the Fort Music Concert” featuring The Dufur Boys from 4-6 PM. You can bring a picnic dinner and a lawn chair, and enjoy a summer concert on the lawn. And if you would rather listen to music inside on the 26th, the Center is hosting the Jammers from 2:00 till 5:00.

And at the Center on the following Tuesday, the 28th, you can double your pleasure and double your fun by once again listening and dancing to the Dufur Boys. And tonight, Truman will be playing his Country Gold. You know the pitch – starts at 7:00, everyone invited and donations are suggested.

It is Sherman County’s turn with the 103rd Sherman County Fair running from August 22nd – 26th at the fairgrounds one mile outside of Moro. Some of the highlights include the Shipley Shuffle Walk-Run, Parade and Barn Dance on Saturday; and a Cowboy Cook-Off and Demo Derby on Sunday.

The answer to last week’s “Remember When” question was a Silver Bullet – the calling card of the Lone Ranger. (The winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is Kathy Gonser.) And since there was such a good response to last week’s question, I’ll try another one from the “Are You Smarter than a 60 year Old?” quiz. The advertising campaign for this product included high-divers, water skiers, paint mixers and the propeller of an outboard motor. What was it that could “take a licking, and keep on ticking? (And for the tie-breaker who was the television spokesperson that described each of these amazing stunts?) Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with an antique Waterbury #44 walnut double dial calendar clock with alarm.

Well, it has been another week, watching life from the off ramp. Until we meet again, don’t give up – you don’t make butter by just looking at the cream.

“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” Winnie-the-Pooh

Aging Well August 14th

After sixteen days and nights following the 30th Olympiad in London, you can appreciate the dedication, sacrifice, and perseverance it takes to succeed. And while the competitive spirit isn’t always a clear path to health and wellbeing, for many folks it doesn’t fade away and instead offers new challenges, purpose and vitality as they grow older.

That is the case for the eight international table tennis competitors who competed in the “2010 World Over 80’s Table Tennis Championships”. They are portrayed in the new documentary “Ping Pong: Never Too Old for Gold” directed by Hugh and Anson Hartford and released in Great Britain two weeks before the Olympics. With warmth and humor, the documentary “explores the hope, regret and immediacy of growing old”. An example is the following exchange between an interviewer and Dorothy Delow, one of the oldest competitors at the age of 97. When the interviewer asked “Why are you participating in this competition, you’re so old!” Dorothy incredulously replied, “Oh, I’m not that old!” You can view the film’s trailer on the Center’s website or google “Ping Pong- Never Too Old for Gold”. And from an email I just received from Anson Hartford, the film, unfortunately, won’t be released in the United States until next spring.

But in the meantime, anyone interested in playing table tennis? It requires quick thinking, good hand eye coordination and some aerobic fitness (but I don’t have to run around a tennis court on my uncooperative knees). And does anyone have a good used ping pong table that the Center could borrow or keep? If you answered yes to any of the above, give me a call and we can schedule a regular practice time. And one of these days, if we are blessed to reach our 80’s, maybe we will have a chance to fly to London and “Go for the Gold”. Anything’s possible!

And if table tennis isn’t your cup of sweat, but you have a particular interest or hobby you would like to share with others, the Center could be the answer. Last year, the Center started several new activities because of the personal interest of several folks: Corliss Marsh’s beginning Mahjong Class on Fridays from 1:00 – 3:00, Richard (the tech wizard of Dufur) Lyon’s class on how to get the most out of your iPad from 1:00 – 2:00 on the first Wednesdays; and Edna Miller’s “Digging Up Bones” an introduction to Genealogy starting at 1:00 on the second and fourth Tuesdays – all of which will be meeting in September. If you are interested in sharing your talents or interests, contact me at the Center and we will see what we can put together.

Saturday the 18th is the third Saturday of the Month and you know what that means at the Center? Breakfast in the AM from 8:00 – 9:30; Old Fashioned Bingo in the PM from 3:00 – 4:00 (before Saturday Night Bingo at 6:00) and for me, a nap in between. The August Breakfast is sponsored by my friends at the Wasco County Republican Central Committee (who will eventually see the errors of their ways, but I know they are hoping the same for me!) The menu will include Biscuits and Gravy or Hash Browns and Scrambled Eggs, Sausage and Fruit plus your favorite beverage.

Tonight, Martin and Friends will be passing musical notes for your dancing and listening enjoyment. And next Tuesday on the 21st, Truman will be playing his Country Gold. Music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are accepted with a smile.
It wasn’t Bruce Jenner or Bob Richards, but Bob Mathias, the 17 year old who won the Decathlon in the 1948 Olympics. (The winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is Don McAllister.) This week’s “Remember When” question is from the “Are You Smarter than a 60 year Old?” quiz forwarded to me by Diana Weston. After the Lone Ranger saved the day and rode off into the sunset, the grateful citizens would ask, “Who was that masked man?” Invariably, someone would answer, “I don’t know, but he left this behind”. What did he leave behind? Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a recording of the William Tell Overture.

Well, it has been another week, separating the sense from the nonsense. Until we meet again, (and without anyone knowing), try something you have never done before.

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?” Winnie the Pooh

Aging Well August 7th

As I woke up at 6:00 AM Monday morning and the temperature was already 79 degrees, I thought to myself “Whoa, am I back in Indiana?” But with the temperatures expected to hover in the 90’s the rest of the week, maybe it is again time to review the effects of heat on older adults.

According to Medline Plus, an online service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are several reasons older adults are at greater risk for heat related illness. They do not adjust as well to sudden changes in temperature, are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that changes normal body responses to heat; and are more likely to take prescription medicines that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or that inhibit perspiration.

But there are several steps you can take to prevent heat related stress: drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages; rest; take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath; wear lightweight clothing; do not engage in strenuous activities, and seek an air-conditioned environment. (The Center is open every night except Friday of this week with different activities.)

The primary concern is heat stroke: when the body’s temperature rises rapidly and loses its ability to sweat. Warning signs can include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness and nausea. If you find someone in heat stress, call 9-1-1immediately and start cooling the individual rapidly, using whatever methods you can.

As we all know, “this too shall pass” and in four months we will be longing for the lazy, crazy days of summer. In the meantime, stay cool, drink plenty of liquids and keep an eye out for each other.

Remembering and celebrating the past is the focus of several events happening this coming weekend. On August 11th and 12th you can see how harvesting was done in the “good ole days” with horse-drawn threshers and a steam-powered wheat separator at the Dufur Threshing Bee.

And Friday Night if you are downtown in The Dalles after 7:00 PM and you feel you have been time warped into the movie “American Graffiti” (but you still can’t find Suzanne Somers in the white ’56 T-bird), it is because you are in the middle of the “Neon Cruise”. Ah, the memories of the cars of my youth! Driving a light blue ’63 Skylark convertible with my high school sweetheart snuggled next to me. (Talk about a distraction while driving!) But memories aside, you can see all the classic autos up close and personal at the “Show in the Shade” on Saturday at Sorosis Park.

The Wasco County Fair and Rodeo is just around the bend. And once again, on Thursday, August 16th (Free Family Fun Day sponsored by Mel’s Sanitation) lunch will be provided for free thanks to the contributions of the Area Agency on Aging and Flagstone Senior Living.

Tonight at the Center, the Strawberry Mountain Band will be back for another musical set to get you and your partner up on the dance floor. And then on Tuesday August 14th, John Martin will bring his Friends to play some good foot-stomping, Country and Western standards. It all starts at 7:00, everyone is invited and donations are always accepted.

The 1950-1961 game show, hosted by Bud Collyer, where couples were required to perform a stunt within a certain time limit was “Beat the Clock”. (And the winner of a free Saturday breakfast is Pat Yanez.)

But now that Michael Phelps has added to his record medal count, Gabby Douglas has won gold in the all-around and Oregon’s own Galen Rupp brought home a silver in the 10,000 meters – the first medal won by an American in that event since Billy Mills won gold in 1964, it seems appropriate to have an Olympic “Remember When” question, right? So here goes. In the 1948 Summer Olympics, resuming after a 12 year hiatus because of WW II, who was the 17 year old American that won the decathlon event? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with an autographed football from the 1952 Stanford Football Team.

Well, it has been another week, deciding whether to go to sleep or watch the Olympics. Until we meet again, the Olympic goal may be to go “faster, higher and stronger, but I’m satisfied if I can just keep moving, stay upright and get to the bathroom in time!

“As we grow older, we must discipline ourselves to continue expanding, broadening, learning, keeping our minds active and open.” Clint Eastwood

Aging Well July 31st

The place to gather with friends and neighbors; where you can eat healthy but inexpensively, share stories and learn about current issues affecting older adults, is for many folks the senior meal sites. Pioneer Potlatch supports several of them: the Wasco meal site serving noon meals every Monday, Dufur every Wednesday, Tygh Valley every Thursday and Mosier every Monday and Wednesday. And the Sherman County meal site in Moro and Meals-on-Wheels here in The Dalles offer noon meals five days a week plus home delivered meals. With shoe string budgets and the love, sweat and laughs of many volunteers, these meals sites provide nutritious meals – and much more.

Two weeks ago I was able to visit the meal site at the Sherman County Senior and Community Center in Moro for lunch with their director Jan Byram. Besides learning about the many ways the Senior and Community Center supports older adults in Sherman County, I also learned about an exciting effort to build a Gazebo adjacent to the Center on the lawn between the Center and the Sherman County Historical Museum. They are asking for community support in both cash and labor to build the Gazebo that would host Center activities as well as other community events such as music performances. It is an exciting project and to volunteer or learn more about it you can contact Jan at 541-565-3191.

And speaking of Sherman County, why not “take a walk on the rural side” at the Sherman County Historical Museum. The Museum is open daily from 10:00 to 5:00 through October and exhibits over 15,000 artifacts from those used in local churches and schools to dry land wheat farming. It is quite a jewel in the middle of Sherman County.

Did you know you can call 1-800-354-7319, a statewide toll-free hotline, to answer your questions about canning, freezing, making jams & jellies or pickling? You would if you read Garden Highlights – the colorful gardening guide produced by Master Gardener Marty Miller. This month’s guide is planted with tips about harvesting, canning and storing your summer harvest, and much more. Join the 4700+ readers of this free bi-monthly electronic newsletter by emailing Marty at And if you don’t have email, stop by the Center and we will print you a copy.

From last week you know about Judy Merrill’s Foot and Nail Clinics at the Center, but also on the first Friday of each month, Debra Lutje, licensed massage therapist and the Center’s Seniorcise and Yoga instructor, offers 20 minute chair massages for only $20. If you have never had a massage, this is an inexpensive and modest (as in – you keep your clothes on).way to discover for yourself the benefits of a soothing back and neck massage. Call the Center to reserve a time slot between noon and 3:00 PM.

On Monday, August 6th from 5:00 – 8:00 cruise down to Burgerville and enjoy a burger, shake and Walla Walla onion rings. (Or a salad if you just can’t count the onion rings as a serving of vegetables.) The Center is partnering with Burgerville and 10% of everything run through the till between 5 and 8 will be donated to the Center.

“For The Good Times” will be playing tonight at the Center. And next Tuesday on the 7th, the Strawberry Mountain Band starts the month off once again. Doors open at 6:00; music starts at 7:00 and donations are suggested.

The name of the television game show that aired from 1961 to 1967 where celebrities would team up with contestants to guess secret words was “Password”. (And the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on August 18th is Rayburn Parker.) For this week’s” Remember When” question, how about one more game show question – this time from the fifties. The original version of this game show, hosted by Bud Collyer from 1950 to 1961, featured couples who were required to perform a prescribed stunt within a certain time limit which was counted down on a large 60-second clock. Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a 1954 Sylvania Stratford 21″ television set with halo lighting.

Well, it has been another week, trying to stay cool while the summer sun shines. Until we meet again, as the late Steven Covey pointed out “there are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment … to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy”.

”If it wasn’t for procrastination … I’d have nothing to look forward to tomorrow.” Tom Wilson

Wednesday (1) Salisbury Steak
Thursday (2) Oven Baked Chicken with Baby Red Potatoes
Friday (3) Fish or Chicken Nuggets
Monday (6) Chicken Breast on a Bed of Saucy Fettuccine
Tuesday (7) Lemon Pepper Fish