Living Well in the Gorge December 20th 2016
Tis the Christmas Season: a time for memories that stir our senses: cookies baking in the oven, houses sparkling with Christmas lights, and bells ringing at local grocery stores. It’s also a time to remember how we have been blessed at our chronologically advantaged age.
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
Aging Well in the Gorge December 13th 2016
Winter is the season when all schoolchildren become weathermen, trying to predict whether there will be enough snow to close school so they can sleep in before going outside to build snow men. (Do kids still play in the snow anymore – or do they just assemble snowmen on their computer screens?)
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
Aging Well in the Gorge December 6th 2016
Aging Well in the Gorge November 29th 2016
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.
Aging Well in the Gorge November 22nd 2016
Aging Well in the Gorge November 15th 2016
What is your picture of a drug addict? A young man on a street corner shooting up heroin? But did you ever think it could it also be the 75-year-old grandmother addicted to OxyContin since recovering from back surgery? It may not be the picture you imagined, but the overuse of prescription painkillers can be just as harmful as heroin sold on the street.
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