Aging Well July 24th

You have a different perspective when you believe it won’t happen to you – when you can’t imagine you will need intense physical therapy (I have always been fit), or the doctor will ever find a spot on your chest x-ray (I never smoked). And certainly you can’t imagine ever falling down and breaking your hip (I am too young for this). But when it does happen, your perspective changes from sympathy – a sense of feeling sorry, to empathy – now I understand!
Over the last several years, I have experienced what I never thought I would when I was thirty years younger: hearing loss, eye floaters, and then the trip, the fall and the broken hip. No longer do I feel infallible – just the opposite. And when I hear what others at the Center have experienced, I now listen closely for any lessons learned.
But I have gained a greater empathy and less self-consciousness towards “getting older” as I experience both the blessings and the “wish that didn’t happens”. I no longer feel uncomfortable talking about toilet seat risers, because after my broken hip (when I was sure someone had lowered the toilet seat by two feet as I painfully tried to pull myself up), I can now extol their benefits.
And I never appreciated the need for foot and nail care. It wasn’t something I could imagine needing. But since 2009, when Judy Merrill started offering foot and nail care at the Center, I have learned how important it is to care for your feet and how difficult that may be for many older adults because of physical, vision and health problems. And now I can imagine Judy’s foot care may be something I will eventually need.
Judy, who has been a registered nurse for 37 years, offers monthly foot and nail care clinics at the Center every first Friday. And her clinics have been so successful, extra ones have been scheduled. In addition, Judy also sees folks in their homes, in facilities and community settings throughout the Mid-Columbia area. For more information or to make an appointment, you can call Judy at 541-980-5038.
Next Saturday, July 28th at 1:00 PM at the Rorick House, 300 W 13th, Karl Vercouteren will present a “hands-on workshop” on using block prints with petroglyph designs. And to make it easy, materials will be provided. You may also want to put on your calendar two other presentations at the Rorick House this summer: August 11, Bill Johnson will be discussing The Oregon Trail in Wasco County and on August 25, Gerald Richmond will be discussing The Civic Auditorium – Then and Now. The Rorick House is open every Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 – 4:00 PM through August.

Carol Mauser, manager of the local office of Aging and People with Disabilities, sent me the following warning from the FTC. Scammers have been making phone calls claiming they are from the government and they need to verify some information because of the Affordable Care Act. If you receive a call allegedly from the government – or from anybody – asking for personal or financial information, you know the routine: Hang Up. And then report it to the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP or the Oregon Attorney General at 1-877-877-9293.
as Carol Burnett
Tonight at the Center, the “Jazz Generations” are playing and next week, on the fifth Tuesday of the month, “For the Good Times” will be knockin’ your socks off. Music starts at 7:00 and donations are appreciated. .

Bucky Beaver wanted you to “Brusha…Brusha…Brusha” with Ipana toothpaste – the answer to last week’s “Remember When” question. (And the winner of a Saturday Breakfast is Ed Anghilante.) This week I will stick with television – specifically, TV Game Shows. What was the name of the television game show that aired from 1961 to 1967 on CBS; hosted by Allen Ludden, where celebrities would team up with contestants to guess secret words using word associations? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a 1962 home version of the game distributed by Milton Bradley.

Well, it has been another week, trying to stay grounded when the winds a blowin’. Until we meet again, every experience is a teacher and there is still so much left to learn.

For age is opportunity no less/Than youth itself, though in another dress/
And as the evening twilight fades away/The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.

Aging Well July 17th

We come, we go, passing through The Dalles and thorough life with many stories to tell. And by fortune or luck, some of those stories are collected and remembered, so not to be forgotten, at the many historical sites in The Dalles. Stories of early settlers and their protectors, business people and farmers; civic leaders and people of faith, all who may mean little to us now, but were important threads weaved together through time to ake the fabric of The Dalles. And we continue to add our own threads and dyes and ribbons; creating new designs that enhance the warn fabric that’s often stretched and sometimes torn, but always mended, becoming stronger and more vibrant to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

And although during this week the big draw for many is the Ft. Dalles Pro Rodeo and Saturday’s 10:00 parade, there are many activities celebrating the stories and proud history of The Dalles. On Saturday video presentations will be shown at the Original 1859 Wasco County Courthouse including “Early Wasco County,” at 12 PM.; “Raising Wheat by Horsepower,” at 1 PM; “Farewell to Celilo,” at 2 PM and the “The Craft of Wheelwrighting,” at 3 PM; Family Fun Day from 10 AM. – 4 PM at the Fort Dalles Museum and Anderson Homestead including Aaron Auer of R.O.A.R. ministries re-enacting Rev. Jason Lee; Open House at the 1850 Rorick House (300 W. 13th St.) from 10 – 4 PM; and the School District Archive Museum (3601 W. 10th St. on the Wahtonka Campus – entrance by athletic fields) will be open 10 AM – 3 PM and every Saturday through September.

And if that is not enough, the Historic 1879 French & Co. Bank (later the 1926 Citizen’s Bank and now the current home of State Farm Insurance Agent Dean Dollarhide at 300 E. 2nd) will be open for tours from 9:00 – 6:00 PM through Friday.

It is also time for the Center’s Saturday Cowboy Breakfast from 8:00 – 10:00 sponsored by Flagstone Senior Living – serving Texas size French Toast (Can you use Texas and French in the same sentence?) with scrambled eggs, your choice of bacon or sausage plus fruit and your favorite breakfast beverage for only $5.00.

On Saturday the 21st it’s time for Old Fashioned Bingo starting at 3:00 (regular bingo starts at 6:00). There are small $5.00 cash prizes (except $25.00 for the last game) and only costs $3 a bingo card or two for $5. And since it is nothing complicated – no happy faces or chevrons – just the traditional straight up, across or diagonally, anyone seven and older can play.

I won’t try to rattle your brain by mixing up the words for this week’s music announcement. But if you want to give your brain a real work out, try doing a regular activity with different senses: unlocking a door with your eyes closed or eating a meal with friends using only visual clues. So this week instead of trying to decipher my jumbled letters, try reading this column while riding a bike; or read it with your eyes shut or better yet – on a bike with your eyes shut. But first you need to know that Truman is playing tonight, Jazz Generations on the 24th; the cost is a small donation or a large one if you have the spare cash. Doors open at 6:00; music starts at 7:00 and you are out before the sun sets. And everyone and their blue moon are welcome.

The legendary comedian who played the bratty toddler “Baby Snooks” on the radio and whose life was the storyline for the film “Funny Girl“ was Fannie Brice. (And the winner of a free breakfast is the P-51 gal – Anna Monkiewicz.) This week’s “Remember When” takes us back to the early days of television advertising. The Disney created character Bucky Beaver was the marketing icon and mascot for what brand of toothpaste that was the most popular U.S. toothpaste from the 1920’s through the 1950s? (And is currently the leading toothpaste in Turkey.) Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a 1920’s recording of “Smiles” by the Sam Lanin Orchestra.

Well, it has been another week, remembering what I can and forgetting what I can’t. Until we meet again, to paraphrase Sydney Smith – correspondences are like a pair of loose pants without a belt, it is impossible to keep them up.

“In times like these, it’s helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.” Paul Harvey

Aging Well July 10th

What do you think of when I mention the word “exercise”?

Do you agree with Phyllis Diller whose idea of exercise is a “good brisk sit”? Or Joey Adams who feels “If it weren’t for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn’t get any exercise at all”? Or do you consider exercise a dirty word and every time you hear it you “wash your mouth out with chocolate”?

But to improve your health, maintain your independence, and preserve your mental abilities, it has been shown, over and over, you should be physically activity – whether it is traditional “exercise” or whether it is yoga, gardening, dancing, walking or just trying to keep up with the grandkids.

Because of the known benefits of physical activity, The Alberta Centre for Active Living has been studying what it takes to get people moving. And they have identified four steps: deciding to be physically active; making a plan; setting goals and identifying what stops you from being physically active.

That’s a lot and you can find the details at But to keep it short and simple, here are a few of the most important points.

Decide why you want to be physically active. What is your motivation? More energy, to do more with friends and family, sleep better or feel stronger. (For many folks it is to lose weight, but even if you don’t lose weight, keep going, because the physical activity is most important.)

Make a physical activity plan that includes the 5 W’s: Why, What, Where, When and Who. It helps you get started, but most importantly, it can help you to keep going. And remember – the best kind of physical activity is the one you will do – and enjoy.

Set goals. And make sure they are achievable – not what you use to do when you were twenty-five. It may be just doing leg lifts in your chair or walking ten minutes every day. And rewarding – do you see the benefits from the activity and are they important to you? And accept a realistic timeline. Start with small steps; don’t look for dramatic change overnight.

Finally, consider possibly the most important question “What stops you from being physically active?”

There are always reasons, but there are usually ways to overcome them. If it is the weather – plan ahead; if it is boring – go with a group; if you are too tired – go early in the morning. And if you are self-conscious about how you look in that swim suit or walking shorts, you aren’t going to look any worse than the rest of us! Trust me.

So find a reason why, build a plan, set goals and overcome the challenges in the way. And then get moving, so you can make the best of the rest of your life.

At the Center, we are always trying different ways to get you out and about. Some work and others don’t, but you never know unless you “throw the spaghetti against the wall”. So under the category of “Let’s see what sticks”, Denise Patton, director of Meals-on-Wheels, is organizing a Pictionary Night on Wednesday July 18th from 6:00 – 8:00. This is open to anyone who just wants to have fun. And don’t worry, if you don’t know how to play – we will be glad to teach you.

The lads and lasses from Strawberry Mountain will be playing tonight for your dancing enjoyment. And next Tuesday, Truman will be singing the country gold from his two CDs. tI si a taerg yaw ot taeb eht taeh edistuo dna etaerc a elttil taeh deisni no eht ecnad roolf. ehT cisum strats ta 00:7, ydobyreve si emoclew, dna snoitanod era detseggus.

It was Danny Thomas who starred in the television sitcom “Make Room for Daddy”. (And the winner of a free Cowboy Breakfast on July 21st is Nadine McCracken.) Since last week’s “Remember When” question may have been too easy, this week I’m going back, back, back to the golden age of radio. Who was the comedian, singer, theatre and film star that played the role of the bratty toddler on the popular radio show “Baby Snooks Show”? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or write you answer on the back of the album soundtrack for “Funny Girl”.

Well, it has been another week, wishing for winter in the heat of summer. Until we meet again, be cool, keep cool, and whatever you do – don’t blow your cool.

Aging Well July 3rd

With the recent scam warning reported by the Northern Wasco County PUD – a PUD customer was called and asked for his bank account information because the caller said his payment was past due – reminds us to always be vigilant protecting our financial information. But even though you have heard that many times, you don’t have to be missing a few spoons in the drawer to still be swindled. These devious scam artists are really good at doing what they do best: discovering new ways to separate you from your hard earned dollars.

Not all telemarketing calls are scams, but if you find them irritating there are several things you can do. Avoid giving out phone numbers on surveys, sweepstakes, or online forms. Don’t answer unknown or blocked phone numbers – let them leave a voice message if it is that important. And register your phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry at or 1.888.382.1222.

I have found the Do Not Call Registry to work, but there are exceptions to what calls are restricted. You can still receive calls from public agencies; companies with which you have established a business relationship; charitable organizations you have an interest in supporting and the big one during this campaign season – political campaigns asking for your opinion or vote. If you do have a complaint about any telemarketer or knowledge of a possible scam, you can call the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392.

The next meeting of the Women Widows of Veterans Gathering Support Group will be at the Veteran Services Office in The Dalles at 201 Federal Street on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 11am. These gatherings are an opportunity for grief support as well as ensuring that widows of veterans receive all the available support from Veteran Services. Feel free to call Barb Thomas at 541-467-2651, Ruth Otto at541-769-0078 or Joyce Powell Morin at 541-296-7266 for more information.”

Have you wanted to write your life story? You don’t have to wait any longer. The Columbia Gorge Genealogical is offering “Journal Your Life Story” – a hands-on writing workshop facilitated by Sandy Bisset. The workshop will be held in the Discovery Center Board Room on Saturday July 14th from 10:30 – 3:00. Traditional and nontraditional methods of documentation including writing, drawing and more will be explained. For information and a supply list, email or call 541-298-1240. There is a minimal $1.00 fee and preregistration is requested.

The Center’s annual Membership Meeting will be held at 1:00 on Tuesday July 17th. The meeting is also the traditional end of the Center’s 2012 membership campaign. If you have been meaning to join or renew your Center membership, now is the time. (Actually, the beginning of the year was the time but now will do.) Membership dues are $35 per person, $60 per couple or $50 if you want to be a Super Duper member.

Ever since the Center opened in ’87, the Center’s quilters have raised funds for the Center by designing and stitching quilts, as well as mending quilts for a fee. (The drawing for the most recent hand stitched quilt will be held at the Cowboy breakfast on July 21st.) If you are interested in joining the quilters, they meet every Monday from 10:00 – 3:00 in the basement of the Center.

It’s “Martin and Friends” performing at the Center tonight playing their favorite country western standards. And next week it will be the Strawberry Mountain Band. To live is to dance – and you can live every Tuesday at the Center starting at 7:00. Everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.

Did you remember your favorite summer song? Marilyn Sarsfield (the winner of the Cowboy Breakfast on July 21st) remembered “The Song from Moulin Rouge” from the summer of 1953. But this week’s “Remember When’ question is back to the entertainment world of radio, TV and film. Who was born Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz in 1912, and was a radio and television actor, best known for playing shifty brother-in-law Amos in The Bickersons’s on the radio and starring in the television sitcom “Make Room for Daddy”? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or include it with a medal pendant of St. Jude Thaddeus – the patron saint of hopeless causes.

Well, it has been another week, trying to reach my toes. Until we meet again, keep stretching – both body and mind.

“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.” Sydney Smith. Sent my way by Earline Wasser who is doing fine in Chandler, Arizona.