Aging Well in the Gorge December 5th 2017

How did December arrive so soon? And as quick as you can forget the name of a person you just met, 2018 will be here and we will be toasting in the new year with a glass of red wine – which is my segue to the sixth of the “Power of Nine” lessons from the Blue Zones. (But before we go any further, do you remember the first five?)
The sixth lesson is “Wine at 5”. People in the Blue Zones, except for the Seventh Day Adventists, drink alcohol moderately and regularly – generally one or two glasses a day with friends and/or with dinner. One of red wine’s possible benefits is that it has been found to help absorb plant-based antioxidants which may help protect your cells from damage.  (What about grape juice for non-drinkers? Some research studies suggest that red and purple grape juices may provide some of the same heart benefits of red wine.)
But there are always risks. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, after age 65, your lean body mass and water content decreases and your metabolism slows down. Translated that means alcohol stays in your system longer, so the amount of alcohol in your blood is higher than it would have been when you were younger. Consequently, at our age it is particularly important to be prudent and drink in moderation.
Also, if you are like me, you take more medications than when you were younger. The trouble is alcohol can interact with hundreds of prescription medications causing complications: nausea, fainting and headaches; and can interfere making the medications less effective or useless; or even harmful or toxic to your body.
As you enjoy your glass of red wine at 5:00 with friends or during dinner, drink moderately and read the drug labels to avoid harmful interactions – so you can live a longer, healthier, and happier life.
(The first five Blue Zone lessons are “Move Naturally”, have a “Purpose”, “Downshift”, “80% Rule” and “Plant Slant”.)
On two occasions this month, there will be special Christmas music before the Meals-on-Wheels noon dinner at the Center. Students from Colonel Wright will be singing on December 7th at 11:45 and on December 22nd, Bruce and Sher Schwartz will be playing special holiday music starting at 11:30. Besides the special music this month, Bruce and Sher will also be playing before lunch on the 8th; Andre and K.C. on the second and fourth Tuesdays, and Tom Graff on most Thursdays.
This sounds like fun and for a good cause. The Springs at Mill Creek is having their annual Gingerbread Open House on Thursday, December 7th from 5:30 – 7:30 PM and you are invited. Enjoy Gingerbread House creations, wonderful desserts, eggnog, cookie decorating and of course Santa. There is no charge, but each of the Gingerbread Houses will be available for the Silent Auction to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
I know some of you have to be reminded more than once, so why don’t you do yourself a favor and stick on the door a note that says “Holiday Breakfast, Center, this Saturday, 8 – 9:30. $6. Yummy! Bring extra money for raffle tickets.”
The name of the song, an innovative combination of gospel and psychedelic rock sounds, sung by Norman Greenbaum was “Spirit in the Sky”. (I received correct answers from Deloris Schrader and Sonja Petersen-Talatzko who both win a free raffle ticket for Saturday’s quilt raffle drawing.)
This week let’s move from pop music to something less entertaining. I remember in the 1950’s having to have my tonsils removed. Before I could get to the promised milk shakes, I had to survive the surgery and I can still remember lying down and the nurse putting a mask with a terrible smell over my face and asking me to count to ten. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the type of general anesthesia that was used? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with any memories you may have had of this general anesthesia used during surgery.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to talk and chew (or do anything) at the same time.  Until we meet again, a bad memory isn’t all bad, because some have said it is the key to happiness.  

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” W. C. Fields

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