Aging Well October 30th 2012

Ah, the body: the vehicle that used to attract young women with such ease, that could zig-zag through the backfield of the opposing team and catch passes with a single leap; and could stay up all night and still get to work in the morning – on time. Where, my friend, have you gone?

Now because of your wayward behavior, I have another part time job: maintenance man. Unexpected trips to the hospital, doctors testing and poking you; often finding not an answer but several “it-could-be’s”; and then I spend weeks worrying what the “could- be’s” could really be! Body, you were once an asset and now it’s just “patch, patch, patch”.

But I haven’t given up on you – at least not yet. Even though you haven’t been kind, I will still do my part. I will keep moving, stay active, laugh with friends, and eat well. And then will you see the error of your ways?
But maybe I am over reacting. Maybe it really isn’t your fault. Maybe what the doctor said is true. And maybe, just maybe, we are both getting – older?
But nah, that can’t be.

Until medicine and technology advances to the point we can trade in our bodies like we can a 2004 PT Cruiser, we have to live with the body we have. And here are several resources to help keep your body in the best working condition.

Diabetes is a chronic disease marked by high levels of blood glucose. It is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. And according to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 10.9 million, or 26.9% of all people 65 and older have diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes – the highest rate among all age groups.
But one step people with diabetes can take to learn more about how to control the disease and lower the risk of complications is to attend Diabetes Discovery Day on Friday November 9th from 11:00 – 3:15 at Water’s Edge. It is an opportunity for those with diabetes and their families to receive the latest information about the disease. You will have a chance to hear experts from various fields discuss the latest advances in research and treatments; visit community resource booths and diabetes vendors and receive a free blood glucose test by MCMC lab.

Also a Stroke Support Group has been reestablished to provide encouragement, education and socialization. It is meeting on the second Wednesday every month at 2:00 PM in the second floor conference room at Water’s Edge. For more information contact Meagan Wells at 541-506-6902 or email

Maybe you have bought an eBook reader such as a Kindle, Nook or iPad. Or possibly one of your kids sent you one to make sure you were keeping up with all the modern technological conveniences – even though you told them several times “I like the feel of a real book in my hands!” If that is the case, next Tuesday at the Center at 11:00 on November 6th, bring your eBook reader and Sue Ann Arguelles from The Dalles – Wasco County Library will provide a hands on demonstration of how to download free e-books from the library to your electronic device.
At the Center tonight starting at 7:00 PM “For the Good Times” will be performing. And next week we go back to the top of the charts with “The Strawberry Mountain Band” – back for another high energy evening. Everyone is welcome – even ghosts and goblins – and donations are suggested.

“Where the elite meet to eat” was at Duffy’s Tavern, the popular radio comedy series starring Ed Gardner as the bartender Archie. (The winner of a free Saturday breakfast is Karl Vercouteren.) But allow me just one more “Remember When” question from the glory days of radio (and television). What was the name of the popular comedy series that aired on the radio from 1948 – 1958 and television from 1952 – 1956 starring Eve Arden as the sardonic high school teacher and Gale Gordon as the blustery high school principal? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of Walter Denton from the 1956 Madison High School yearbook.   
Well, it has been another year trying to reach Halloween before turning on the furnace. Until we meet again, stay warm, stay dry and keep a smile in your soul.

“After thirty, my body has a mind of its own.” Bette Midler (And I wonder what she felt when she turned sixty-five!)

Aging Well October 23rd 2012

The Social Security system has protected and supported millions of older adults since 1935. And next Tuesday on October 30th at 11:00, Amy Throop from the local Social Security Administration office will be at the Center to help you better understand the past, present and future of Social Security. Amy will touch on a variety of subjects including who receives Social Security; where the money comes from what the retirement benefits are and how they determined; who can receive Social Security Disability Benefits and Supplemental Security Income; and what is the relationship between Social Security and Medicare. 

In honor of Veterans Day and in recognition of their dedication and commitment to service, in November, the AARP Driver Safety class taught by Dennis Davis (and his floozy assistant and wife – Mary. He is a lucky man!) will be free to all veterans and their spouses. The class will be offered from 9:00 – 12:00 on November 19th and 20th, the third Monday and Tuesday of the month. But knowing there are plenty of veterans who can recognize a good deal, Dennis will schedule another class if needed. To sign up or for more information, call the Center at 541-296-4788. And for non-veterans the cost is $14.00 and $12 for AARP members.

I have finally confirmed the trip to Portland to see the Singing Christmas Tree for the 1:30 Matinee performance on Sunday, December 2nd. The Center’s regular transportation provider is unavailable, but thanks to Sherman County Community Transit the trip is a go. Consequently, I have set aside five tickets for any folks from Sherman County who would like to make the trip. So for all you readers in Sherman County, spread the word and ask anyone interested to call the Center. The tickets are $52 including transportation.

After Amy Throop’s presentation, the Center’s next Tuesday Lecture will be on November 6th when Sue Ann Arguelles from The Dalles – Wasco County Library will explain how to download free e-books from the library to your iPad, Kindle or Nook. You know, one of those ebook readers many of you received from your kids to make sure you are keeping up with all the modern technological conveniences – even though you told them “I like the feel a real book in my hands!”.

I am afraid I’m still pounding the SHIBA drum. The Medicare open enrollment period has already started and will end before you know it on December 7th. And my advice is – don’t wait till the last moment. The SHIBA Medicare counseling times at the Center have changed to only Wednesdays. But you can now make appointments for the morning as well as the afternoon.  And if Wednesdays don’t fit your schedule, the SHIBA volunteers can make appointments at other times. Call the Center for more information.

Short and sweet – tonight at the Center, crowd favorites “The Dufur Boys” will be playing. And on Tuesday the 30th “For the Good Times” will be performing their jamming favorites. Music starts at 7:00, everybody is welcome and donations are appreciated. 

The radio series spin off from Fibber McGee and Molly featuring a confirmed bachelor who oversaw his late brother-in-law’s estate while raising his orphaned niece and nephew was the Great Gildersleeve. (The winner of a free Saturday breakfast is Don McAllister.) For this week’s “Remember When” we’ll take another peek at the glory days of radio. This radio program ran for a decade from 1941 – 1951 and took place “where the elite meet to eat”. It was run by the manager, Archie, whose  mangled use of words were often quoted and included such malapropisms as “Fate has fickled its finger at me”; “Leave us not jump to seclusion”; and “Now, don’t infirm me that I’m stupid.”What was the name of this working man’s comedy radio series?  Email your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a picture of the married couple – Ed Garner and Shirley Booth. 

And if you want to listen to these old time radio (OTR) classics and have access to the Internet you can visit The OTR.Network Library at – a free resource with over 12,000 radio shows available for instant listening. 

Well, it has been another week trying to keep an eye on the ball and the water in the kettle. Until we meet again, as it has been said by Henry Haskins “Don’t refuse to go on an occasional wild goose chase; that’s what wild geese are for.”

 “Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and instead of bleeding, he sings” – Archie

Aging Well October 16th 2012

It is 3:15 on a Sunday afternoon. And as I am writing, my eye lids are slowly, unwillingly closing; my fingers are losing consciousness – typing a row of ZZZZZZZZZZZZ’s; and I know, from these telltale signs, it must be time for a nap.

But don’t think I am just another old codger who needs his afternoon nap. Napping has taken on added significance in this fast pace world – a new way to increase employee productiveness where companies including Apple and Googe are allowing employees to take naps on the job. Research has shown
 a nap can boast the brain’s learning capacity, improve memory, increase creativity, and is more effective than caffeine. And even a short nap can have a marked effect on your health.
The article “The Science of the Perfect Nap” that I discovered on the website Lifehacker, offers several suggestions on how to take the perfect nap. I’ll try to share it with you – before I fall asleep.
1. Watch the time. Twenty minute naps work well. 2. Find a quiet and dark space. (Unfortunately during my college days, the library was quiet and dark and I often slept there more than I studied.) 3. Lie down. It takes significantly more time to fall asleep while sitting. 4. Get in your napping zone. Concentrate on your breathing, relax your muscles, and use visualization techniques. 5. Plan naps into your day. Take a nap before you get to the dangerous point of drowsiness. 6. Set an alarm. You don’t want to sleep longer than you desire.
Naps are natural and beneficial. And even the younger generations are now learning about the advantages of naps -reaping the benefits of improved productivity, energy, and mental capacity. So no longer think of napping as an essential guilty pleasure. Napping is a good thing – and at any age.

This is from the Center’s bulletin board for all you family history buffs out there. There is a free Family History Workshop on Saturday, October 20th from 9 am – 2 pm at the Mid-Columbia Family History Center inside the LDS Church on 18th and May Street in Hood River.  There will be mini classes for beginner and experienced researchers including “Beginning Your Family History”, “DNA Testing and Your Family”, “Online Vital Records” and “Creating Heritage Albums”. For more information call 541-490-0344.

The Center’s Saturday Breakfast on the 20th (serving from 8:00 – 9:30 am) will include hearty Texas French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit and your favorite beverage all for only $5.00. This month the breakfast is sponsored by the Wasco County Democratic Central Committee. (And with the Republican Central Committee having sponsored the breakfast in August, are there any Ron Paul Libertarians out there who would want to sponsor the breakfast in November? Mike, are you listening?). Also on Saturday there is Old Fashioned Bingo: simple, inexpensive and fun from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, before Saturday Night Bingo which starts at 6:00 pm.
The Center’s Tuesday Lecture speaker on October 23rd will be Duane Francis, CEO of MCMC, who will discuss the good and bad, the ins and outs, and the CCOs, HMOs, PPOs and Oh-Ohs of the changing landscape in health care. The presentation starts at 11:00 
I’ll keep it simple this week – no secret code or secret messages for the unsuspecting. Tonight at the Center, Truman will be playing his Country Gold and on the Tuesday the 23rd, the Dufur Boys will be back playing their crowd pleasing country/western. And you know the rest of the story: music starts at 7:00, everybody is welcome and donations are appreciated. 
Rin-Tin-Tin and his offspring were the stars of radio, film and the television series “The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin” that ran on ABC from 1954 through 1959. (And the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is Shirley Christiansen.) But before there was TV, there was radio. What was the name of the radio series aired on NBC from 1941 – 1957 that was a spin-off from “Fibber McGee and Molly” and featured a confirmed bachelor who oversaw his late brother-in-law’s estate while raising his orphaned niece and nephew? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a water bill from the City of Summerfield Water District. 
Well, it has been another week trying to remember what I have forgotten. Until we meet again, take time to close your eyes and imagine the impossible- but try to stay awake!. 

“I love a good nap. Sometimes it’s the only thing getting me out of bed in the morning.”– George Costanza from Seinfeld

Aging Well October 9th 2012

An important part of healthy aging is to keep moving and staying as active as possible– both physically and mentally. And if you can make it fun, it is a whole lot easier. One way to stay active while having fun is geocaching – a sport that has attracted thousands of international players. It is like a worldwide scavenger hunt that is good clean fun for everyone: parents, kids and grandkids. You use GPS devices (you can even download Geocaching applications to GPS enabled smartphones) to search for hidden containers called geocaches. And it is inexpensive – although you can travel to over 200 countries looking for geocaches!
If you are intrigued, the Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation is offering a Geocaching 101 Workshop at 10:00 on Friday October 12th. Just meet at the Parks and Recreation office at 414 Washington Street. Daniel Kittelson, the new Activities Coordinator, will show you how to operate a GPS receiver (which is provided) and find treasures hidden all over The Dalles!  (And with a school in-service day, you can bring your grandkids!) The cost is only $10 per family. For more information call 541-296-9533. And you can also visit The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site website at and learn more about geocaching and the Great 2013 Geocaching Block Party Travel Bug Race.

Thanks to everyone who attended the Baby Back Rib Dinner at the Center last Friday evening to support The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels and the Senior Center (and to enjoy some finger licking good Baby Back Ribs). It was made possible by all the hardworking volunteers – from cooks to greeters, the lively bluegrass music performed by Hardshell Harmony, Meadow Outdoor advertising, and the local businesses who contributed to the silent auction. And a BIG THANK-YOU to the evening’s sponsor: Mill Creek Point Senior Living. Their sponsorship covered the cost of the food and music so every dollar from ticket sales and the silent auction went directly to Meals-on-Wheels and the Senior Center. Mill Creek Point is being acquired by Springs Living, LLC and it was a pleasure to introduce the President and Founder of Springs Living, LLC, Fee Stubblefield, to the dinner crowd. (He also pitched in and helped serve dinner). It was a successful evening with wonderful friends. And we hope to see everyone back next year on the first Friday in October.
When you receive your Annual Notice of Change letter from your Medicare plan, you may have questions as you decide if it is still the right plan for you. If you do have Medicare questions, sign up for free help at the Center from 1:00 – 4:00 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays starting October 17th. It is provided by trained SHIBA, (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance) volunteers coordinated by Shirley Ludlow at the local Area Agency on Aging. Shirley is also scheduling appointments at other meal sites. If you want to find out if there will be a SHIBA volunteer in your area, call her at 541-298-4101.
If it is hard and makes you think – that is not a bad thing. So get out your decoder ring and see if you can read this week’s Tuesday Night music announcement. Snmhfgs, Martin and Friends vhkk ad cqhmjhmf bneedd zmc okzxhmf bzqcr. Zmc mdws Stdrczx nm sgd 16th, Truman vhkk ad btsshmf gzhq. Sgd ltrhb rszqsr zs 7:00, dudqxnmd hq vdkbnld zmc cnmzsjnmr zqd zooqdbhzsdc.
Snoopy was the Red Barron’s flying nemesis and whose heroics were put to song and recorded in 1966 by the American rock band “The Royal Guardsman”. (And the winner of a free Saturday Breakfast on October 20th is Don McAllister.)
For this week’s “Remember When” questions, let’s go back to TV trivia, but with a different flavor. This dog was found in a bombed-out dog kennel during WWI and was named after the finger puppets given to American soldiers by French children. He starred in twenty three movies and his kin were featured in film, radio and television including a television series named after him that ran on ABC from 1954 through 1959. What was this famous dog’s name? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a case of Ken-L Ration.

Well, it has been another week, trying to stay out of trouble and in the good graces of my wife. Until we meet again, don’t blame someone for not doing what you kept them from doing in the first place.

“When you’re getting run out of town on a rail, get to the front of the line and call it a parade”

Aging Well October 2nd 2012

In less than two weeks, Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period begins – the time between October 15th and December 7th. This timeframe is important because it is your only chance, with a few exceptions (aren’t there always a few exceptions), to change plans or more specifically switch from Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) to a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare, switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another and make changes to your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

Consequently, every October is the time you should review your current Medicare Plan to see if it is still the best deal for you. Are there any changes in the premiums and deductibles? Does your plan still cover your medications? Does it still let you go to the pharmacy or doctors you want? These are some of the questions you will want to ask when you receive your Annual Notice of Change letter to make sure your current plan is still your best option.

And this year you may want to pay particular attention to your Prescription Drug Plan. As you may have heard, the premiums for seven of the top ten prescription drug plans will increase by 11 percent to 23 percent even though premiums for the overall market for 2013 will stay about the same. So this year, it may be worth your time and your check book to shop around.

 If you need help, there are several local resources available. The Center has once again invited Jeff Eagan, who has been in the Medicare Insurance business for over twenty years, to present a session called MEDICARE 101 on Tuesday October 9th from 3:00 – 4:30. He will explain the basics plus highlight any changes for 2013.

Also the Area Agency on Aging is offering SHIBA counseling at the Center every Monday and Wednesday from 1:00 – 4:00 starting October 17th. SHIBA is “Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance”, a state wide program of trained volunteers to help answer your Medicare Part D and other Medicare questions. Call the Center (541-296-4788) to schedule your individual appointment with a SHIBA volunteer.

You can also contact Medicare directly by calling 1-800-633-4227 or go online to And you can contact SHIBA by calling their message line 1-800-722-4134 or go online at

One last reminder. The Baby Back Rib Dinner, a fundraiser for Meals-on-Wheels and the Senior Center; generously sponsored by Mill Creek Point Senior Living, is this coming Friday from 4:30 – 7:30 PM. Your $15.00 ticket can be bought at the Center, Klindt’s Booksellers or at the door. There will be additional parking in the St. Mary’s School parking lot with the Mill Creek Point Bus conveniently shuttling folks back and forth to the Center. And if you want to eat at home, call Betty Harlan at the Center after 4:30 PM and ask for a take-out. She will make sure your meal is hot and ready to go as early as 5:00 PM.

Hardshell Harmony will again be providing the musical entertainment for the Baby Back Rib Dinner. But Friday night isn’t the only musical evening during the week. Tonight at the Center, Andre and the Strawberry Mountain Band will be playing country favorites for your dancing enjoyment. And then next Tuesday on the 9th, Martin and Friends will be returning. And if you want to mark it on your calendar for the rest of the month – Truman will be playing on the 16th, The Dufur Boys on the 23rd and For the Good Times on the 30th. The music starts at 7:00, everyone is welcome and donations are appreciated.

The twin talking magpies of Terrytoons fame were “Heckle and Jeckle” – staples of Saturday morning cartoons. (And the randomly selected winner of a Baby Back Rib Dinner is Rayburn Parker.) And since the Baby back Rib Dinner will be just a pleasant memory next week, the winner of this week’s “Remember When” questions will win a free Saturday Breakfast on October 20th. So here goes. The Royal Guardsman, an American rock band, recorded a 1966 hit describing the battles between the Red Baron and what comic strip character? Email your answer to the, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a bag of Georgia grown peanuts.

Well, it has been another week, trying to remember new names and old friends. Until we meet again, take that step no matter how small, because it only takes small changes to make big differences in our lives.