Christmas is coming and for all you online shoppers: Please enter the shopping mall Onecause.com and register Lassen Senior Services as your charity of choice. Shop where you want in familiar stores…they will donate a percentage to the charity of your choice. Help stop senior hunger insecurity! Pass it on…Lassen Senior Services serves 100-120 home bound seniors daily. Often they live in very sad circumstances and our drivers are the only people they see. This is a passive way for Lassen Senior Services to raise money and it is tax deductible for you!
Redding, CA - Golden Umbrella is looking for individuals who are interested in joining the agency’s Senior Advocate Volunteer Program. Advocates assist seniors and disabled adults to maintain their dignity and independence.
Advocates serve as the primary link on behalf of a senior or disabled adult to services in Shasta County. They are trained to assess client needs, assist with paperwork and make appropriate referrals as needed.
Additionally, advocates may be asked to greet visitors and perform routine receptionist duties.
Potential volunteers should call Golden Umbrella and speak with Mary Kirby at 226-3033 or Senior Corps Programs 226-3098.
Mercy Medical Center
2175 Rosaline Avenue
Redding, CA 96001
By Lorraine Shoemaker
On a recent trip to Reno with my sister, Melissa, we had the pleasure of staying the night at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino. Along with the first rate room on the 21st floor of the Concierge Tower, we had access to the opulent Spa Atlantis- which has so many treatments available that it’s nearly impossible to chose just one. Fortunately we didn’t have to! With the purchase of one treatment each we were treated to an entire day of luxurious pampering.
Melissa chose the Signature Physiodermi Facial as her treatment and her Facial Technician, Charlene lead her to a candlelit room with calming music. Melissa was in a semi reclining position on an elegantly draped massage table . Charlene first placed a warm towel on Melissa’s’ face to open the pores and relax the facial muscles. Next, a gentle cleansing and exfoliation using botanical extracts-most noticeably papaya enzyme- the aroma was heavenly! A very gentle extraction of impurities was followed by another warm towel. Rich moisturizer was applied and a final spritzing. Charlene also shaped Melissa’s’ eyebrows and waxed her upper lip as well as massaging her shoulders, neck and hands.
My treatment was The Hot Rock Massage. The intimate candlelit room with soothing music and delicate aroma made me feel relaxed and I wasn’t even on the massage table yet! I started by laying facedown on the soft, warm table and felt my shoulders ease. It was so serene. My Massage Therapist, Nickie, eased quietly into the room and began preparing to do magic. Using wondrously warm cream and a gentle touch, Nickie massaged my neck, shoulders, back, arms, legs, feet and hands. About the time I was dozing, Nickie began using the hot rocks up and down my back. What a luxury. The rocks used are river rocks, specially selected for several qualities: size for different parts of the body, color for heat retention (black absorbs more heat -white less) and shape and smoothness.
At the end of my massage I melted into the table for a few minutes before getting up. As I stood up my legs were so rubbery I felt intoxicated. I, sadly, bide farewell to Nickie-an excellent Massage Therapist. Next time you’re in Reno, give yourself an indulgent treat- visit Spa Atlantis and experience the magic. For a full menu of amenities contact Atlantiscasino.com
By Nancy Lund
We all say it –Next time, I’ll do it differently. “ Next time I won’t cook dinner for people who don’t come on time, I’ll suggest we meet at a restaurant” and “Next time I’ll ask what I should bring, or what to wear instead of…”
These are trivial occasions that don’t really matter. But I’m thinking of reasons why we shouldn’t put off to ‘next time’ things that do matter, things that can have lasting effects for ourselves or our families.
Taking care of our health is the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t wait until the next time when you have a headache that won’t go away, or when your loved one has chest pains that might only be indigestion, but might not. Make that appointment with the doctor for yourself or your spouse. The next time might be too late.
And what about the insurance policy that keeps going up? Should we wait until the next time to see if we can get another one at a better rate? Or wait till we get another notice that our auto insurance has lapsed? That accident might not wait until the next time!
And when it comes to relationships, should we wait until the next time to go visit that friend who is in the hospital? Or to pick up the groceries for our house-bound neighbor? How awful we will feel when we hear that the friend has died or that our neighbor hasn’t had a square meal in days.
I learned a great lesson from my mother. In her late eighties she suffered from arthritis and major problems with her feet, but when invited to go out for dinner or a movie she would always say “Of course, I’ll be delighted to go.” Nothing about her aches and pains.
My dear mother-in-law, and a number of years younger, was just the opposite. Her answer would always be “I don’t feel up to it, but invite me next time.” And the next time was no better!
So, at the risk of sounding like Dear Abby or that old-fashioned motto on the wall, my advice is: “Don’t wait until the next time. Do it today! There are few second chances –so leap on the opportunity today. Take care of yourself now! Be that good neighbor today! Don’t wait to enjoy life tomorrow –live now!.”
Nancy Lund and her husband retired from the hustle and bustle, the smog and the traffic of Los Angeles in 1975 and found exactly the community they sought in Greenville, Ca. Nancy, now 93 years old and a widow, opened her own home design business and was still drawing plans until last year. She is currently writing her memoir– the ups and downs, the changes she has seen in a long life. As Chair of the Plumas County Commission on Aging, she continues to be active in senior affairs and in the League of Women Voters. She may be reached at 284-7206 or at nedlund5@frontiernet,net
Getting there is what it’s all about! How we get there is the question. Whenever I am in the Bay area, I am always eager to visit a concert, a play or a museum. I had read about two new exhibits at the de Young museum. One was of the artifacts of the Olmecs, people of central Mexico, whose civilization pre-dates the Incas and Aztecs by many centuries. There was also the exhibit of the famous fashions by Balenciaga, the Spanish designer.
“Are you up to all the walking that’s involved?” my family asked. “And there’s no telling how close we can park.” “Oh, I need to walk”. And I did. (I am still relatively robust at the age of 93, but do walk with a cane, when I think of it.) We walked through the parking garage and up a ramp and then stood in line to get tickets. The Olmec exhibit was marvelous and I was so happy that I got to see it. But I was more than ready to sit down as we left that part of the museum. But there was so much more to see and my daughter particularly wanted to see the Balenciagas.
“Do you think there is a way to get a wheelchair?” I asked, much to my family’s surprise. “You know, I hesitated to suggest it” said my son. “Sit right there while we get one and I’ll be more than happy to push you as long as you like.” So I got to see the Balenciagas and then the Impressionists and other galleries. It was a real highlight of my trip to the Bay Area. Once the wheelchair was returned,I had no trouble walking out of the museum and into the parking garage, and I was able to enjoy going out for dinner afterwards.
To my surprise, I found being in a wheelchair liberating! I was able to give my full attention to the exhibits; didn’t hold up the others with my slowness, nor having to look for a place to sit. What is more, my family didn’t have to worry that I might fall in the jostling crowd. Why do so so many of my fellow elders think that their life will be over if they are no longer able to walk? Is needing a walker tantamount to giving up? Of course, there are plusses and minuses of being confined to a wheelchair (which I was not). Obviously, not everyone has a son who is able to push them around and the alternative, motorized wheel chair, is not within everyone’s budget.
However, the lesson I learned was that there are compromises that can be made. We may not be able to do all the things that we did thirty years ago,or even a year ago. But, being able to see the plusses and not dwelling on the minuses, is the secret. One that I wanted to share with you.
by Nancy Lund
When people ask me how do I stay so young I tell them “I don’t stay young – I stay active. You can’t fool the calendar; my birthdays come around like everyone else’s.”
Do I have a secret? I think it is that I have stayed actively involved — with my community, with people of all ages, and for the causes that are dear to my heart.
Leisure World, and its type of retirement living, may be ideal for some, but not for me and my husband. To us it seemed an artificial life. I don’t want to disparage golf but aside from its health benefits and a better tan, what do you have at the end of many years spent on the links? We wanted to live in a real community, where there is a mix of people with different backgrounds and different interests; a place where kids are born and grow up. And we found it in the beautiful mountain valleys of Plumas County.
My story is a familiar one to many retirees. For much of our married life my husband’s job and mine took us into different fields. He worked a swing shift, I had a day job. I would have weekends off while he often had to work. So when we retired we had the happy experience of doing things together. We shared the household chores so we could be out and about – doing what mattered.
And what mattered? We discovered that the Greenville AARP was not only busy with the Senior Nutrition program but was a prime supporter of the local hospital and the schools. The AARP also played a big part in re-opening the Taylorsville Pool, since re-named the Indian Valley Pool. Now, every summer the pool is host to aerobics for seniors and a place where kids can splash and play, but more importantly are taught to swim! And we were active in the successful campaign to secure safe water for the people of Greenville. The community now owns and operates the water system.
My husband and I had always been active in civic affairs; now as retirees we saw the need to be informed about Social Security and In-Home Supportive Services. Some good things and some bad things were being enacted in Congress and in our own state capital, and there were letters to write and petitions to be circulated. Interestingly enough all these activities put to use some of the skills we had used in our work-a-day life and led us to learn new ones!
And of course there is family! We were not as fortunate as some of you to have children and grandchildren living in the area but we took every opportunity we had to be with them , traveling as far away as Saudi Arabia to welcome a new granddaughter! And we took advantage of Plumas County’s many camp sites when different members of the family were able to come here!
Sadly, since my husband’s death four years ago, I no longer have the partner with whom I shared this active retirement, but the ties I made in the community have sustained me. I know too many men and women who are unprepared for widowhood, who now find it difficult to get out of the house. How much better it is to get involved with people now, in the church and in the community around you.
No, we can’t stay young, nor fool the calendar — but we can make our present life preparation for the years ahead.
Author of Aging in Place
by Jan Cox
At 92 years of age, Nancy Lund amazes many for her longevity, her quick brain and her lifetime drive to stand up for personal rights of women, the poor, the aging, and for the right to be herself.
Currently, Nancy is the Chair of Plumas County Commission on Aging. The 20 member commission keeps up on current legislation and acts as a watchdog for people’s rights.
Lund was an elected Senior Senator from 1984-92, representing five northern California counties in the Senior Legislature. This group is a mirror image of the regular legislature, acting as their eyes and ears concerning senior issues. She especially enjoyed the annual four-day sessions in Sacramento, where proposals were made, hopefully to be picked up by one of the legislators and enacted into law. Some of the Senior proposals were passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by the governor-including two authored by Lund.
With her usual sense of humor, she told a story about walking the halls of the capital with her husband who was impressed that everyone knew her name. Pointing down to her chest she said, ” Sure they do, I have on a name tag.”
Nancy Lund grew up in El Paso, and attended two years of college in Texas before the family moved to Los Angeles. She had one semester at UCLA, always meaning to return, but never did. Nancy became a draftsperson before women were accepted in the trade. She received her training during World War II and was able to use that in several capacities before and after coming to Plumas County.
Nancy and her husband, Dick, discovered this area while camping and decided to retire here, doing so in 1975. Since moving to Greenville, Nancy has designed many homes for both locals and newcomers. She was aged 90 when she completed her last home and continues to enjoy taking visitors to see some of the homes she has designed.
Nancy and Dick raised 3 children, one of whom she now lives with in Greenville after her husband’s death. She remains close to her 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Today, aside from her interest in local issues, she is active in the Plumas County League of Women Voters and belongs to a local book club and writer’s group who are encouraging her to complete her memoir. She also writes the “Aging in Place” column for this magazine.
When asked how she has stayed so lively right into her 90′s, Nancy replied that she hates fried foods, eats lots of fruit and vegetables, has always been a walker and keeps her brain strong through reading well written fiction and non-fiction. She also comes from a family with great longevity! Be sure and watch for her articles in Aging in Place in future issues of this magazine.
Nancy Lund at home in Greenville
by Nancy Lund
To drive or not to drive—that is the question. When to give up the keys? How to find other means of getting where we want to go? These are among the hardest decisions we have to make –for ourselves as well as for a loved one.
Let us be clear, we are not talking about aging per se, but about disabilities that may strike us at any age but are often encountered in our later years. As we all know, driving a car involves not only our personal safety but that of others. It is a serious matter and worthy of careful consideration.
Giving up driving is usually a gradual process. Many of us find that driving at night is difficult. The lights in back of us, as well as those facing us, are distracting. So night driving is often the first thing we decide to forgo. Many of us are comfortable driving about our own town – to the market, to church, to a friend’s home. But we do not feel confident driving out of town, so we surrender that task to others. How to tell when it is time for us to give up driving altogether? Or that the time has come to take the keys from our loved one?
The fender-benders and parking mishaps are clues that all is not well. Of course, we can make excuses but something basic is happening and we ignore these incidents at our peril.
Before the accident happens a good place to start is with your long-time physician He (or she) can be dispassionate about the situation, knowing the factors that contribute to accidents. Do we suffer from diminished mobility, poor eyesight and/or hearing? Can we react to dangers in sufficient time? Hopefully he will not be moved by our excuses and alibis but will recommend the appropriate solution: that we stop driving.
Does the physician know what alternatives for transportation exist? Unlikely. He may have heard of “Dial-a-Ride” but we do not have that program in Plumas County. There are limited rides with the Senior Transportation ( Phone 283-3546 in Plumas County, 257-2113 in Lassen). Besides the trips to and from the nutrition sites, there are some shopping stops. Out-of-town doctors’ appointments can sometimes be arranged. But let us look elsewhere.
If your spouse or elderly parents are the ones who must give up driving, you will want to assure them that you will be available to drive them; and if you, personally, can’t, that you will make arrangements for a responsible driver on a regular basis. I emphasize responsible and regular basis because otherwise your loved ones will be bereft –a big part of their lives cut off.
From my own experience, I can tell you it is not an easy decision. My husband had an enviable record of safe driving but there came a day when he made numerous errors in judgment. It was obvious to me that he should no longer be driving. So my son and I made ourselves available to do the driving. It was often a bother and he was not happy with the arrangement but –imagining all the wrecks that were avoided- I have no regrets.
One more personal note: I passed the driver’s written test on my 90th birthday (in record time with only one error!) I was given a 5 year renewal–much to my surprise. Two and a half years later I am not driving and although I find it annoying and inconvenient I can live with it.
I am fortunate to live with my son who has agreed to take me wherever I need to go. But I know that such arrangements are not always the case.
So I advise you to have a plan if and when the time comes for you to give up the keys to your car. Is there a friend, relative, or neighbor who will be willing to take you where and when you need a ride? I believe a business arrangement is preferable. Their time and their gas are worth paying for. And you need not feel that you are taking advantage of anyone or become terribly indebted to them. Giving up driving may seem like the end of the world, but believe me, you will survive and be the healthier for it!
Advice For Senior Citizens from the National Council on Aging
The decision to choose a reverse mortgage is a big one and one that should come with careful consideration. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) offers help for older adults who wish to examine their home equity options in an effort to stay at home.
A reverse mortgage allows homeowners aged 62+ to convert a portion of their home equity into cash while they continue to live at home for as long as they want and are able. In order to apply for a reverse mortgage, applicants must first get counseling from a government-approved agency. The National Council on Aging’s Reverse Mortgage Counseling Services Network is one of four national counseling organizations approved by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
Their counselors are exam-qualified aging services professionals who can help individuals:
* Evaluate the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage for your situation.
* Apply for public and private benefits that can help you pay for needs like home energy, meals, and medications.
* Find services in your community that can help you stay independent longer.
To schedule a counseling session, call NCOA toll-free (800) 510-0301. There is no fee unless you choose to apply for a reverse mortgage. The NCOA also waives the $125 counseling fee for older adults who:
* Are facing financial challenges such as foreclosure.
* Have modest incomes — under $20,000 for single homeowners and under $30,000 for couples.
The NCOA also offers a free booklet you can download outlining the pros and cons of reverse mortgages on their website at www.ncoa.org where a wealth of information for senior citizens on a variety of subjects can be found.
by Nancy Lund
Ever had the impulse to say “What a great idea! Glad somebody thought of that!” Well, that was exactly what I said when I learned about HICAP. The initials describe what it does – Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.
MediCare, MediCal, Medicaid, Medi-gap, Medicare supplement , Medicare Advantage–these are not words we learned in school. And that is where HICAP comes in. Its sole purpose is to help seniors cope with the complicated and confusing world of health care insurance. HICAP has no axe to grind, it is non-partisan and non-political. And best of all – it is free! In Plumas County the toll free number is 1-800-434-0828. In Lassen County call 530-223-0999. In Sierra County call 1-800-434-0222.
HICAP holds regular informational meetings but you do not have to wait for one. If you have a question call the toll free number. When you call HICAP you will be referred to someone who can answer your question –or, if you like, will set up an appointment with a HICAP volunteer who will sit down with you and explore your various options.
HICAP volunteers not only know the basics, they are always up to date on any changes which have been made. These men and women are adept at searching the internet, They can compare insurance policies — what they will cover and what they won’t cover, as well as their premiums. They can show you which drug companies operate in our area and which pharmaceuticals they cover. HICAP can help you determine if your income qualifies you for help toward your Part B deductible (2009 legislation added $562.5 million to the program.)
Are you one of those seniors who have health care coverage through retirement? In most cases this is better than purchasing a plan as an individual. But you still may have questions which HICAP will be happy to answer.
When it comes to drug plans you are entering an area that is extremely complicated. Not only are there different companies but each company may offer an array of different plans, a different list of which prescription drugs it covers, with varying prices and varying co-pays. HICAP has helped many seniors get the drugs their doctor thinks best for them, when earlier denied.
Perhaps you are one of the healthy seniors who has no need for a drug plan at this time. But there is a penalty for those who do not opt for a drug plan when they are eligible to do so –HICAP can point out your options.
HICAP is especially valuable for those seniors who are thinking about assisted living facilities or long-term care. HICAP not only has a list of facilities in our area, the volunteer can show you their costs, their state rating, what complaints, if any, have been made against them .
HICAP is dedicated to fighting fraud and abuse and has won court cases where seniors have been over-charged or charged for services they did not receive. But we as consumers have responsibility, too. We need to be alert in protecting ourselves. Keeping a record of all our medical appointments makes it easy to check all bills as to the dates and procedures listed. Hopefully, we have asked all providers for their fees ahead of time, so we will not be surprised when we get the bills!
HICAP offers the following advise: Don’t give out personal information to marketing representatives. Don’t give out your Social Security/ Medicare Number over the phone. Insurance agents are prohibited from calling before 8: 00 A.M. or after 9:00 P.M. If you get repeated unsolicited calls from an agent you can tell him that he will be reported for using improper methods. Do not pay an agent to find the wheelchair, bath chair or commode you or your loved one may need. Such items are handled by certified suppliers of durable medical equipment and may be reached directly.
There’s more to HICAP than I can cover in this space so I urge you to keep those numbers handy and call them when you have a question.
Nancy Lund is the Chair of the Plumas County Commission on Aging.
She represented this area in the California Senior Legislature from 1984 to 92 and served on the California State Legislative Committee of the AARP.
More than 100,000 people are currently awaiting an organ transplant in the United States. There are not nearly enough donations to match the need.
Here are some facts about organ, tissue, and eye donation:
• Each organ donor may save up to 8 lives, and each tissue donor can enhance the quality
of life for up to 50 people.
• The gift of life is ageless — anyone can sign up to be an organ donor, at any age.
• Most people are eligible to sign up on the donor registry — the medical criteria at the time
of donation will determine eligibility.
• Cornea transplants have been successful for more than 100 years.
• Organ transplants have been successful for more than 50 years.
Sources: USDA Department of Health and Human Services, Oregon Donor Awareness www.organdonorawareness.org
Publish printable donor card if recommended. CALL FIRST FOR OK!!!
888-275-4772 EASTERN TIME
What happens to our dream of aging in place when our health begins to fail? What if one of a couple has a debilitating illness? Are there alternatives to nursing home care here in our beautiful remote mountain valleys?
Naturally, if you have long-term-care insurance, this is the time to access it. These policies vary greatly in their usefulness and application. If you encounter problems, call the California Insurance Dept. (1-800-927-4357), or consult an elder-care lawyer.
Meanwhile, here are some immediate suggestions: contact the Senior Lunch and Transportation programs in your area. (283-3546 in Plumas County, 257-6670 in Lassen County) The lunch program is a real life-saver for many frail elders. No shopping, cooking or washing up! Plus, a well-balanced meal in the company of your peers can make a difference for both the caregiver and the ailing spouse. No longer driving? Transportation to the lunch program is available. Home-delivered meals are the ticket for both spouses when one is house-bound. Persons aged 60 and over are eligible for meals and transportation. There are suggested donations for these services: $2.50 for lunch, $1.50 for round-trip to the Nutrition Site.
Plumas, Lassen and Modoc counties are currently investigating means of providing transportation for medical appointments. At this time, there is very limited transportation to medical appointments (Call 283-3546 in Plumas County, 257-2113 in Lassen County).
The Veteran’s Offices offer some transportation for medical appointments (283-6275 in Plumas county, 251-8912 in Lassen county). While in touch with the VA, you may look into another program they administer—“Aid and Attendance.” This is a program to provide war-time veterans and surviving spouses with help toward expenses.
Next, I want to emphasize how important it is to work with your physician to access services that exist but that he or she may not suggest. For instance, you may ask if physical therapy (invaluable in restoring and/or maintaining mobility) is appropriate. Ask also about “Home Care,” a Medicare covered service which can only be accessed on order by your physician. Under Home Care, a specialist will come to the home and evaluate what is needed. Do you need a walker and a chair for the bath/shower? Will a commode that sits over the toilet provide you with the hand-holds you need? Does the bed need to be raised so it is easier to get in and out? Some of this is paid for by Medicare and some is not.
Under home care, there are a limited number of visits by a nurse to monitor your “vitals”, take blood for lab testing, and help with bathing. This can be essential while you explore other resources.
Respite care can make the difference between being overwhelmed with stress and fatigue or your ability to function! Respite care is designed to give the care-giving spouse a regular break so he/she can take a nap, go shopping, or go for a walk. (In Plumas County call 898-6637, in Lassen call 229-0878)
Plumas Rural Services (283-3611) has two programs which can be helpful: Respite Care and Community Connections. The respite program has a list of providers and operates on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay. Community Connections is a network of volunteers who do a variety of household tasks in exchange for “credit” later, when they may need it
IHSS (In-Home Supportive Services) is a federal, state program that provides non-medical services (house-keeping) for low-income seniors. (283-6350 in Plumas County, 251-8128 in Lassen County). Unfortunately, because of California’s budget woes, eligibility for IHSS is projected to be severely cut this year.
Finding reliable housekeeping workers is not easy, but they are out there. Run an ad in the local paper and don’t overlook the possibility that your neighbors, your church or people in your social club may know of someone who is looking for work and whom they can recommend.
Most of us are proud of our independence and are reluctant to ask for help. We may even feel that in some way we are at fault—that we should be able to cope. Let me assure you; you are not alone. The first step is to ask! There are many caring people around; people who — like you — want to stay in this beautiful, peaceful area. Just ask! You will be surprised!
Nancy Lund is the Chair of the Plumas County Commission on Aging. She is a former California State Senior Senator and served on the AARP State Legislative Committee. email@example.com
by Jan Cox
In Chester, Quincy and Susanville, you will find the most amazing volunteer organization called Hospice. It is the mission of this group to give end-of-life aid and support to terminal patients and their families. Like me, you may have wondered how this name came about? In Europe, during medieval times, hospices were way stations where those traveling could receive care and shelter when needed. Today, this concept has been extended to those who are close to the end of their lives. We now celebrate Hospice month each November.
These trained volunteer groups offer unique health care in the form of coordinating practical, psychological, social, and spiritual support for individuals and families. In this way, patients can live out the rest of their lives in the environment of their choice.
I was pleased to be able to speak to Doreene Wood, the administrative Coordinator of Plumas Community Hospice in Quincy who gave me a little deeper insight into what volunteering for Hospice means. All the local Hospices train those who wish to help in any way. After the training, volunteers who choose to work with patients are matched to specific patients and families. They journey with the patient in whatever way is needed. You might call them, “trained friends”. They can run errands, drive the patient to the doctor, offer respite care for the family caregivers, act as a sounding board for concerns of the patient and family, coordinate health care from the patient’s doctors and caretakers, and support the patient and family through the dying process. Hospice is not a religious organization and volunteers serve everyone, no matter what their belief system. They are very special, caring people.
Those volunteers, who choose not to work with patients, help support the organization in many other ways. Right now, for example, the Plumas Community Hospice is looking for people with computer skills. Other ways to help include being on the board of directors, being a patient care coordinator, helping at the thrift store or at fundraising events. In Quincy, Dr. Jeff Kapple, from North Fork Family Medical supports Hospice with concerts in the Town Hall Theater where he plays guitar and promotes the talent of local youth including his three daughters who sing with him. This year’s concert will take place on November 8 with all proceeds going to Plumas Community Hospice. This Hospice serves the Quincy, Crescent Mills, Greenville, Bucks Lake, Greenhorn Creek area and Feather River Canyon. You can reach them at 394-7228.
Sierra Hospice serves the Chester, Westwood, Clear Creek and Lake Almanor Basin and surrounding areas. This group offers many other services besides patient care. The Forget-Me-Not Thrift Store not only serves the community with high quality used goods, but also supports Hospice financially. Other services include Camp Hug, a free bereavement camp for ages 8-18, and Camp Big Hug for those 18 and older which is held at Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake. They also offer a 6 week free cancer support group led by volunteers who are either cancer survivors or in the health services.
Karron White, the director of Sierra Hospice can be contacted at the office at 150 Brentwood Dr. in Chester or by calling 258-3412. Or you can view information on their great website at www.sierrahospice.com.
Honey Lake Hospice in Susanville offers many of the same services as Sierra Hospice. Historically they have trained with Sierra Hospice beginning in 2004. Training will again take place in the spring of 2010 and will be announced in the newspapers. Their coordinator, Andria Cuypers noted that they work closely with the patient’s physicians and with Quincy Home Medical Services in caring for patients. This Hospice serves Susanville, Janesville, Milford, Herlong, Doyle and the Eaagle Lake area. Honey Lake Hospice is located at 2930 Riverside Dr. Susanville or call 257-3137.
All of these Hospices have fundraisers to help support their program. One of Sierra Hospice’s projects is a special dinner and auction event. This year thanks to very generous contributors from both the art community, who donated art, and from those who gave generously to purchase the same, Art From the Heart netted over $10,000 to help Sierra Hospice continue their most important service to the community.
Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a tree lighting ceremony is held at Wildwood in Chester which commemorates loved ones who have died. Lights may be bought at Plumas Bank in honor of these people and cost $10 per light or 3 lights for 3 different people at $25. This year’s ceremony begins at 6 pm and includes the reading of names which are also printed in a book, a candle-lighting ceremony in their memory, beautiful music including a special solo, and homemade refreshments.
Honey Lake Hospice also has two main fundraisers. They have an afternoon tea in the spring and a tree lighting ceremony the weekend before Thanksgiving. At Eagle Lake Village, an assisted living community on Paul Bunyan Road, Honey Lake Hospice has planted a tree which is decorated with dye cut doves in memory of loved ones who have died. These doves sell for $10 each while a perpetual acrylic dove is available for $100. These doves may be purchased at either Margie’s Booknook or Plumas Bank in Susanville.
All three Hospices offer a tremendous service to their respective communities. Part of hospice care includes bereavement services. These Hospices have libraries of books and videos about specific diseases or death and dying issues, brochures and handouts. Hospice volunteers are available for bereavement and grief counseling, either one-on-one or through workshops, and are also available for sudden death intervention.
To be eligible for Hospice, a patient must be in the final stages of a terminal illness, be a patient of a primary physician, have a caretaker available for ongoing care in the home, and live in the service area of the Hospice. All three Hospices are listed in the Yellow Pages of your phone book under Hospices.
As my husband and I watched our youngest boy drive away that 4th of July morning, the Jeep Wrangler loaded to capacity, it was a bitter sweet feeling. It was exciting, but at the same time fear and worry took over my thoughts as I struggled to hold back tears. Soon the jeep was out of sight, with my little boy at the wheel, driving himself to college in Colorado.
The “empty nest” syndrome is a very real psychological condition not to be taken lightly. It refers to the feelings of depression, sadness and grief that parents experience when their children leave home for college or to get married. It most often affects the mother and can likely come at a time when women are also going through other life changes, such as menopause or caring for their own elderly parents.
It is very normal and natural to feel sad when your last child moves out and there is no longer that need for day to day care. It’s also natural to want to have a good cry over it, so don’t be ashamed of those feelings. Experts say it is important to monitor your feelings and reactions however, don’t hesitate to seek counseling or professional help if your sadness overwhelms you. Severe symptoms include excessive crying, feeling like your useful life has ended and/or no longer wanting to go to work, go shopping or even being with friends.
Netdoctor recommends these helpful tips to ease this time of transition for empty-nesters:
Keep in contact with your child – schedule weekly phone chats
Email your son or daughter with current happenings at home
Mail your child small “care packages” with grocery items or house wares for their new place
With the extra time and energy now, take up a hobby or spend it on leisure activities or even a career
Lean on your friends for their support, especially those that have been through this empty nest syndrome
If you’re a parent facing the empty nest syndrome, you will get through it. It was a long six months before we met our son at the airport to bring him home for Christmas. The tall young man who came running up to hug me is still my little boy, but an adult as well.
At this time of adjustment you and your spouse may have totally different ideas on how to spend your time or how to use that extra space in your home. Communication and compromise is the key. If finances allow, take a trip – just the two of you and rest, relax and enjoy!
Sources: MedicineNet, provided by Psychology Today
by Melissa Wynn
We should all take time now and then to thank the special seniors in our lives for all the timeless traditions we so often take for granted. Myths and legends, tall tales and lullabies, nursery rhymes, secret recipes and core family values are all slowly woven into the fabric of our children’s lives with threads left trailing behind from our ancestors of long ago. My great great granddaughter, whom I will most likely never meet, might just bake my German Chocolate Cake someday, if I take time to teach my granddaughter to make it when she visits next summer.
My own grandfather was certainly one of my heroes and most profound teachers. He was a very gifted poet who always inspired and encouraged me, and all his own children, to write. Not just to write but to open our souls on the paper so our work would be gripping, naked and true. Go real or go home was his basic, though sometimes abrasive, outlook on the world. I guess I also owe him some thanks for pulling my once young head out of the clouds. I was fascinated by this little old man that seemed to know how to do and fix everything. My own children later looked at my own father with admiring eyes and spent many a summer afternoon weaving their threads into the tapestry of knowledge with Grandpa. Those are moments we all treasure and the ones that matter most in the end, for it is what we share of ourselves that survives for generations.
If you wonder what it was like back in the days before television and video games, ask your grandfather. If your grandson can’t see past the end of the latest gadget attached to his head or hands, take him outside to toss the ball around and share some tales from back in those days. Maybe even take him fishing or teach him the difference between cricket songs and croaking frogs on a warm autumn evening; you know, the things that were sewn into our tapestry by older relatives like that vanishing parental command “Go outside and play”. Wonder to yourself now and then just what may be lost if YOU fail to share it. Spin the threads you will leave trailing with mindful intent. Share your treasured songs, memories and traditions with all those you love. They will shine for generations in your special family tapestry of knowledge.
WITH TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR DRIVING SKILLS AND PRIVILEGES
By Melissa Wynn
In this new millennium, the Senior Community is a much more health conscientious and active crowd than their grandparents were. Sixty-five is the new forty-five and 100th birthdays are common these days. Today’s senior citizen is on the move and often driving in the fast lane trying to catch that little old lady from Pasadena.
California Department of Motor Vehicles reports that by 2030 one in five drivers will be 65 or over. Today in California more than 5.5 million drivers are over 55 and over 2.5 million are over 70. Granny is cruisin’ the strip and still quite able to do so. Unfortunately, the natural effects of aging eventually catch up to us, and sometimes force some changes in our driving habits. Contrary to what many believe, there is no special age set by law or the DMV that requires one to report to DMV and prove they are still “spry” enough to drive. Anyone can be summoned for reexamination to keep their driving privileges but age alone is not among those reasons. California DMV wants everyone to enjoy driving for as long as we are safely able. Medical complications such as vision issues, side effects of medication, arthritis and diabetes are a few reasons that the mature may start to drive differently. Self monitoring is the best way to keep driving safely for a good long time. Know your limitations and work around them. You know best if night driving has become a challenge or if that right knee is just getting too stiff to hit the brake quickly in an emergency. Better to keep ourselves in check than to hear the dreaded speech from our children or family doctor.
Even with physical limitations, DMV makes allowances to keep you on the road. Although there may be restrictions, if you are certain your ability to drive is still intact, the California DMV will work with you to fill your driving needs. Next time your license is due for renewal there are a few things you can do to be as ready as you can be. A visit to your eye doctor for an eye exam will let you know if new glasses are in order before DMV lets you know. It also can’t hurt to read the latest drivers’ handbook in case a written exam is needed for your renewal. Making an appointment by calling the number below can save you a long wait in a long line. I think the wait might just be the worst part. If you’re afraid that your driving skills may be a bit rusty, there are several Mature Driver Improvement Programs available to help you brush up before the big day. More information on these programs and a self assessment quiz are available online at www.dmv.ca.gov. You can also obtain senior driving information by mail by calling California Department of Motor Vehicles at 1-800-921-1117. Keep Cruisin’ safely Mountain Valley seniors; those Sierra Mountain roads are gorgeous this time of year and you don’t want to miss a thing.
Facts and stats courtesy of www.dmv.ca.gov
By Grayson Sorrels
“Everybody needs beauty as well as
bread, places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength
to body and soul.” John Muir
Michael Muir, great grandson of John Muir has lived with multiple sclerosis since he was 15 years old. Refusing to be daunted by the relentless course of his disease, Muir believes in challenging the limits of disability. In 2001, he led an international team of people with disabilities, driving wheelchair accessible, horse drawn carriages on a 3,000 mile, ten-month journey across America to Washington DC. The extraordinary experiences of that journey have led to the founding of the non profit group ACCESS ADVENTURE.
The group enriches the lives of people with disabilities and under-served youth by providing outdoor recreation, environmental education and open space access, using unique wheelchair accessible, horse drawn carriages.
Muir brought his group with volunteers to Lassen county in June. The clip clop of horse’s hooves blended with laughter as 45 campers from Camp Ronald McDonald were taken on wagon rides through the pine scented forest near Eagle Lake. Two carriages, one an Amish built Thorn lea carriage with a solar/battery powered lift accommodated wheel chairs and seated riders. One part of the group’s program is to offer such multi-day accessible camping trips to remote, scenic locations throughout California.
While in Lassen County, Access Adventure volunteers enjoyed camping near Papoose Meadow for two days. Local author and historian Richard Surrill informed and entertained the group with stories and songs around the camp fire. They also enjoyed Goumaz Campground and two days of driving on the Bizz Johnson Trail. Negotiating the steep, narrow section of trail beneath the Highway 36 bridge provided a scene right out of the old west, as the able bodied riders walked up the hill to save the horses.
Michael Muir drives the team and provides inspiration for all. In 2001 he spent ten months on a carriage ride that took him to Washington D.C. His message, “Just because you are disabled your life doesn’t have to be over.” He is fond of saying, ” The worst disability is a bad attitude.” He shares his passion for horses and the outdoors with the disabled community and others fortunate enough to know him.
Other components of his program involve youth and disabled carriage driving training, a horse breeding program to supply stock for Access Adventure and raise funds for the non profit organization and outdoor education. Access Adventure has teamed with Solano Land Trust and has its headquarters on Grizzly Island Road near the Suisun Marsh at an historic stock and grain ranch.
Access Adventure events are free to people with disabilities or mobility challenges. Volunteers are welcome as are donations to the program. See the website’s special events calendar for 2009 for upcoming events and additional information at www.access-adventure.org.
Photos By Grayson Sorrels
What Can I do to keep my kids safe this summer?
Submitted by Michelle Williams,
Banner Lassen Medical Center
What’s that stuff about lazy summer days? Summer is all about having fun in the sun. You can keep it the best time ever by making it the safest time ever. Here are some tips to help your family have a fun and safe summer.
• Keep Hydrated. Playing or exercising outdoors in the summer can lead to heat stress or even to heat stroke, which can be fatal. You can reduce the intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more when the temperature and humidity are high.
• Talk to coaches of organized competitions and practice to ensure proper hydration and activity levels are understood and strictly enforced.
• Before prolonged activity, be sure you and your children are well-hydrated. Drink water every 20 minutes during activity. Wear light-colored, lightweight clothing.
• Know the Rules of the Road. Serious injuries from bicycles, skateboards, in-line skates and scooters are one of the main reasons for emergency department visits. Insist that your child wear a helmet and set a good example by always wearing one yourself. Insist on properly fitting wrist, elbow and kneepads. Use proper hand signals when turning or stopping.
BE SAFE IN THE WATER!
• Always supervise children in or near water.
• Learn to swim and be sure your children know how to swim.
• Inflatable swim aids should not be substituted for approved life vests.
• Stay within arm’s length of infants or toddlers in water.
• Children should always wear well-fitting life vests on boats or near water.
• Children should know how to put on a life vest.
• Always extinguish cigarettes and shut down motors, fans and heating devices before fueling a boat.
BE SAFE AROUND FIRE!
Like a Boy Scout, Be Prepared.
• Always use a flame-retardant tent and set up away from campfires.
• Use only flashlights or battery powered lanterns inside tents.
• Build campfires downwind of tents. Clear vegetation and dig a pit surrounded by stones for campfires.
• Use liquid fire starter, not gasoline, to start campfires. Store starter away from fire and tenet.
Teach your children these summer safety tips and enjoy the months of sunshine. If you do need Emergency Services, Banner Lassen Medical Center’s Emergency department is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Susanville.
By Melissa Wynn
As the baby boomers are entering their golden years, the number of households including both grandparents and teenagers is on the rise. Those of us in the middle of these two generations often find ourselves worried that the kids spend too much time with their video games and that our parents aren’t getting enough physical and mental stimulation. It turns out that the Nintendo Wii can broaden our horizons. Senior communities across the country are buying these interactive video games to host bowling, tennis and other tournaments, and they are having amazing turnouts. Even if your at home seniors are wheelchair bound, as long as they can work the t.v. remote sized paddle, they can bowl, play tennis, be in a boxing match, play golf or participate in a wide variety of other activities. It’s much more fun than routine physical therapy exercises and incorporating your teenager to help them get familiar with the new-fangled thing is a great way link the two generations on common ground. Nintendo Wii also has puzzles and fishing games that are great for mental stimulation and give the grandparents a forum where they can still participate in a favorite sport and really have some fun with teenagers and other family members.
There is such a wide spectrum of game choices it is very easy to select a game for everyone that will keep each individual interested and give everyone a chance to be the champ and shine. We have all heard that if you don’t use it you will lose it, and I can’t think of a better way to keep all the generations using their bodies and minds than to get together for some great fun everyone can enjoy. The game box costs around $250 and games run $35-$50. Both are available at most department stores and online. The family that plays together stays together so encourage your teenagers to teach their grandparents to Wii. Let’s fish with Grandpa in the living room and get Grandma bowling like she used to, while engaging our teens in their kind of play.
As technology has launched us into the industrial age, fewer families care for the elderly and disabled in their homes and more opt for professional long term care in a skilled nursing facility. As a result, many of these aging and challenged members of society have spent much of the last few decades out of the public eye. I provide in home care for two elderly women and have noticed that many people seem uncomfortable in their presence, especially children. It has occurred to me that many children have never spent the day with someone who is in a wheelchair or has speech trouble from a stroke or dementia. The Generation Gap between the elderly and the very young is growing wider.
Even adults and old friends avoid and ignore these sweet ladies, seemingly embarrassed to stop and say hello. So many of us choose to believe that illness and old age are good reasons to leave folks alone to enjoy “the quiet life.” On the contrary, if Grandma enjoyed a house full of children and loud music before her stroke or 90th birthday, chances are she still does. No one wants to feel like they have disappeared. I know my little ladies light up like Christmas when any small child says hello or flirts from behind a chair in the Dr. office. I also notice their sadness when someone they know passes by like they were invisible.
As the baby boomers enter their senior years, more families are choosing in-home care. Therefore the elderly will once again be a large part of the public crowds that we and our children encounter every day. Let’s help them bridge that generation gap. Talk to your children about the effects of aging, dementia and stroke. Encourage them to say hello and get their cheeks pinched by that little old lady in the Dr. office. They will learn that she is not to be feared and she will have a brighter day. If you have a family member in long term care, take the kids along for your next visit. The smiles they bring may be contagious to the entire facility. Also remember that the elderly are a fountain of knowledge and many have plenty of time to spin a tale for the youngsters. Let’s reunite our babies with our elders. Bridge the Generation Gap and everybody wins!
TELEMARKETERS….Don’t Call Me Anymore!!!
By Eileen Majors
About three years ago, I followed the lead of Montel Williams along with the rest of the watching country and registered. I was promised two years of privacy from telemarketers and it proved to be a wise move. A year ago, things changed even more for telemarketers. due to the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in February 2008. Now your registration will not expire. Federal law provides privacy from telemarketers in the National Do Not Call Registry provided by the California Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission. Telephone numbers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry will remain on it permanently and you can register (or unregister if you change your mind) for free on line or on the phone, easily.
You can register by phone at 1-888-382-1222 or on line at https://www.donotcall.gov.
Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at the same website or phone number used to register. This process looked about as simple as registration was. If it comes down to filing a complaint, you will need the date the company called you (which must be at least 31 days after you completed your registration). You will also need the name or phone number of the company. (I can’t wait to use this on a particular company offering warranties that calls me every day on 2 out of 3 phone lines!)
The registration process on line allows you to enter up to three phone numbers and your email address. You then simply click Submit, check for errors and click Register. All that’s left then is to check your email for a message from Register@donotcall.gov. Open the email and click on the link to complete your registration.
I was able to register my cell phone, and two land lines very quickly. If you register any telephone numbers that you share with others, they will remind you that you are registering for everyone who uses these lines. For more information, visit https://www.donotcall.gov.
By Louise Biggs
Upward Bound Coordinator
Feather River College
Here in the Sierras wind blows in the month of December causing the tree tops to sway and dance. The sting of cold air chills the hands and face; however, it is the lights of the season that warm my heart and soul. December is also the month of three major celebrations. Perhaps it is also the perfect time to introduce your children to celebrations from other cultures.
Only you will be able to balance instruction about other cultures and faiths with why your family has chosen to keep certain traditions in your home, including your family’s faith. One simple way to introduce your children to other cultures is to begin with different celebrations. As a parent, one could focus, first, on how another culture’s celebration may be similar to one your family celebrates. One similarity in these celebrations is the use of candles.
Hanukkah (also spelled-Chanukkah) is the first celebration of light in December. It is a holiday which is based on a lunar calendar and therefore moves. This year it begins during the evening of Sunday, December 21. One book I like, which can be used with elementary aged children, is A Hanukkah Treasury edited, by Eric Kimmel and illustrated by Emily Lisker.
While Hanukkah is probably the best known Jewish holiday, it is not one of their holiest days. It honors a revolution led in part by Judah Maccabee and the rededication of the Temple, which in turn led to the miracle of one night’s oil lasting for eight nights. The religious observance related to the holiday is the lighting of candles.
The candles are arranged in a candelabrum called a menorah, or sometimes called a chanukkia. It holds nine candles; one for each night plus a shammus (servant) at a different height. On the first night one candle is placed at the far right. The shammus candle is lit and three berakhot (blessings) are recited: l’hadlik neir, a general prayer over candles; she-asah nisim, a prayer thanking God for performing miracles for our ancestors at this time; and she-hekhianu, a general prayer thanking God for allowing us to reach this time of year. (www.jewfaq.com) This website also has other information to begin a discussion with more mature students. There are more traditions to this holiday, including fried food, my favorite are latkes, small gifts of coin called gelt, and a game of chance played with the driedel.
The next celebration of light is December 25, Christmas. While reading The Book of Christmas Folklore, by Tristram Coffin, I found useful definitions for the three types of Christmas I tend to see: Christ-mass, which is spiritual and festive; Christ-tide, which is simply spiritual; and Yuletide, which is merry and unconcerned with the religious aspects of the season. As much as I love Christmas, I learned a lot of history of the season and would highly recommend this book for any high school student.
December 25 was the date fixed “circa 320 A.D.” as the birth of Jesus Christ, known to Christians as the Son of God. Among the pagan cultures Rome conquered, the days around the winter solstice often held special significance. Local customs were used by Catholic fathers to help convert locals to Christianity.
One of the oldest customs of Christmas is the Yule log, yet few families I know of practice this custom. The log had to come from one’s own land or your neighbor’s for luck. While it burned the family would retell tales of olden times. More recently city dwelling families adopted a tree decorated with lights and sparkles. Legend says St. Boniface had dedicated a fir tree to the Christ child in an effort to counter Odin’s sacred oak. Candles and lights have been associated with “the Light of the World” since the medieval church. People carry candles to midnight mass, fires are still burned on the mountains slopes of the Alps and their smoke take ‘flight for heaven,” and in Ireland a candle was placed in the window in hopes a priest could visit them during the times of persecution to perform mass. Some of my favorite books of the season include Littlest Angel, and Christmas in the Barn, A book with a moral for the season is An Orange for Frankie.
Kwanzaa is the third and newest celebration of light in December. It is an American cultural festival, inspired by African traditions. According to Seven Candles for Kwanzaa, by Andrea Pinkey with pictures by Brian Pinkey it is not intended to be a religious holiday, nor a substitute for one. It was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga Ph.D. of Black Studies at CSU Long Beach.
The festival begins on December 26 and ends on January 1. Kwanza is a Swahili word which means “first.” The extra ‘a’ was intentionally added to give it seven letters representing the seven principles celebrated during the week.
On the first day the African- American family decorates their home. The mkeka represents tradition and is placed upon the table; it looks a bit like an elaborate straw placemat. For each child in the family muhindi (an ear of corn) is place on the mat along with apples, nuts, and yams to remember the earth’s abundance. Zawadi are hand made gifts that are exchanged. The kinara (wooden candle holder) is placed on the mkeka and is set with seven candles. One black candle is placed in the center representing the richness of their skin color, three red candles on one side represent past struggles, and three green candles on the other side represent a prosperous future. www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org Each day a family centered activity takes place to emphasize the principle of the day.
On the first day of Kwanzaa the black center candle is lit to celebrate the principle of umoja (unity). The red candle next to it is lit the second day to represent the principle of kujichaguli (self determination). The first green candle is lit the third day for ujima (collective work and responsibility). Another red candle is lit for ujamaa on the fourth day for cooperative economics, balanced on the fifth day by a green candle being lit for nia (purpose). The final red candle is lit on the sixth day for kuumba (creativity). Finally on the last day, the green candle is lit and the principal of imani (faith) is celebrated with a feast including yams and other traditional foods.
Celebrations such as these are a simple way to begin a wonderful conversation of the importance of your own family traditions. It is also a place to find common ground as your family expands to include others who grew up celebrating differently than you. May the light and blessings of the season be with all of you and your family.
Upward Bound Director
Feather River College
Do What You Love
In today’s tough economy, it may not be the time to quit your day job and begin launching a new career, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do what you love for fun. It may even bring you some extra good fortune, using your talents like that. I couldn’t help but snap up picture of these two, who obviously enjoy using their talents.
Lisa Weaver, a long time wheel thrower just loves throwing clay. She is passionate about what she does and it shows in the beautiful pieces of work she has been preparing for holiday sales. Recently, Lisa has been enjoying getting into her craft more than ever! She can be found at Busy Bee Ceramics at 22nd and Park Streets in Chico where she offers several class options. You can come with the kids and just enjoy a family fun day with instruction on the wheel, or you can come for a few dates to complete your own masterpieces in time for the holidays. It’s really fun to bring a few friends and make a night of it. The shop offers a giant selection of already made ceramic items for painting and firing too. There are many great projects for kids, which serve as inexpensive, yet thoughtful gifts that will stir up their artistic abilities. Many of the items are very reasonable to make. I encourage you to try your hands at the wheel. It is really fun to create something from a blob of clay. Lisa is a great teacher and great fun to work with. The shop offers all the paints and materials you will need and the cost of firing projects there is quite reasonable. So go make some fun… and maybe some gifts. Nothing is nicer than receiving something handmade, especially something as practical as a nice dish or vase you made yourself on the wheel. Visit them at 2145 Park Avenue in Chico. Call 530-892-2233 of visit them online at busybeesceramics.com.
You will find this friendly lady, Marlene Kien, outside Sierra Tile, her son’s tile shop in Chester. She has come up with a beautiful use of small tiles. She makes outdoor stepping stones, bird baths and other garden decor using her favorites of all the beautiful tiles available from the shop. When I spoke with her recently, she was waiting for her assortment of glow in the dark tiles which was in a ship yard somewhere, just in from Italy. She will be happy to show you how beautifully they glow in the dark. Many of the stepping stones coordinate with each other in colors as do the bird baths and other items, although each piece is a different design and an original piece of art. Also displayed on stands for the garden, are beautiful globes made of tiles and some with mirrors. She will make virtually any color scheme, with an amazing array available including a magnificent iridescent white tile. If you stop and speak with her, I think you will appreciate her art all the more. This lady is fun, friendly and it too, is obvious in the talent she displays, that she loves what she does.
We hope you will get out your crafty ideas and share your talents with others this holiday season. With particularly tough times being experienced by many right now, it is an excellent time for everyone to get back to basics, and send beautiful, thoughtful gifts, without all the big price tags. Involve the kids if you can and bring new meaning and memories to the holiday. Your family might enjoy making the Photo Memory Boxes on our kidzview page in this edition.
By Louise Biggs
Upward Bound Coordinator
Feather River College
November…It’s the huge family feast, football on T.V., school stadiums and in backyards everywhere. Here in the Sierra’s there will be families gathering pine cones, evergreens and cutting down Christmas trees. However, I’d like to take a moment to remember the first holiday of November and urge families to celebrate it with your children; Veteran’s Day.
If you look up Veteran’s Day you will find it dates back to the Great War. The armistice to end the war between Germany and the Allies was signed on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, in 1918. Armistice Day, as it was known officially, became a holiday on November 11, 1926. Then to honor all U. S. Veterans on June 1, 1954 the name was changed to Veteran’s Day. I refreshed my memory at www.infoplease.com, it has also information on the Tomb of the Unknowns where our President lays a wreath every Veteran’s Day.
There are resources in abundance on the web. For younger children, www.theteacherscorner.net has puzzles, crosswords and coloring pages about Veteran’s Day. One of my favorite sites lists different activities by topic and age appropriateness. www.educationworld.com uses a scavenger hunt http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/hunt/hunt011.shtml. to teach about the topic and is suitable for middle school and older students. One of the most wonderful war poems ever written is “ In Flanders’ Field”(Google the title) It provides a place to begin a discussion of what a veteran’s sacrifice means for all of us with high school aged children. I also found something new this year. History.com is sponsoring Take a Veteran to School Day. You may go to www.veterans.com ; click on the videos and teacher’s resources to learn more. If you would like to be even more proactive, contact your child’s school to see if they are participating. Don’t forget, there is more than just web based learning, check out your local library too.
I found an activity credited to Dear Abby. After discussing Veteran’s Day, make large stars (about 6″ by 6″) made out of construction paper in colors of red, white and blue. Your children are to interview (if possible) their veteran, a relative or neighbor and write down on the star: Name of veteran, Branch of service, Location of service and any other pertinent information ( awards, maybe their relationship to the vet) If they cannot interview the veteran because they are now serving or have passed on, they can interview a family member who can tell them about that person’s service to our country, then write it on the back of the star. Then hang the stars on a “Veteran Wall” in your home, or maybe your front window to show your support of veterans in your town.Veteran’s sponsor essay contests, scholarships and keep on giving more even after serving their country. Be sure they are on your student’s list to volunteer for cemetery clean up, hall refurbishing and other arduous duties. I hope you take advantage of some of the activities during the Veteran’s Day Weekend, and don’t forget to attend the local Veteran’s Day Parade!
Upwards Bound Director
Feather River College
Family Memories at the Pumpkin Patch.
It was quite a day as I remember, as we piled up in the car filled with passengers to pick out pumpkins. More cousins, aunts and uncles followed in their own cars and we all met up at Wemple’s Pumpkin Patch. The two grandmas on scene disappeared into the quaint country store, returning with a treat for everyone and plenty of other fun stuff for themselves. Moms soon discovered the treasures of the Wemple’s Country Store too as dads took over outside. Scents of the season filled the air as cousins soon piled up in the red wagons provided to search for the perfect pumpkins. Moms, dads, grandmas and grandpa followed along as excited children ran from one pumpkin to another. When everyone had their choice in hand, we returned for more fun.
Everyone ran through the hay maze before enjoying lunch from the snack shop. Little ones lingered near the animals while the boys made good use of time pretending and riding on tractor seats. We soon all boarded the wagon lined with hay and rode around the property. Stunning country scenes laid the backdrop for our fun filled day. We all came home with pumpkins, gourds and even cornstalks. That just made for more fun the next day as we decorated for fall.
Wemple’s Pumpkin Patch in Milford is open everyday in October. It is a great family outing. You can
Living in the Sierra’s valleys and mountains enriches our daily lives. We are surrounded by natural beauty and are often far from the staggering crime statistics of the big city. Our children are blessed to be able to play in lakes and rivers running with clean water, ride bicycles through the streets near their homes and hike the forests surrounding those homes. However, raising a student in the Sierra also means they are less likely to visit museums, aquariums or experience live performances of visiting symphonies and theater troupes as part of their educational experience at school. Due to educational budget cuts there are less career and college counseling services available. Hopefully this column will be beneficial to all parents trying to find resources to enrich their student’s learning opportunities. The first and most important teacher is the parent.
The computer offers virtual field trips of museums, aquariums and even far away places to explore. Simply conduct a search on an engine like Google or Yahoo using the key words “virtual field trip” include another key word, for example, museum or aquarium in your search for better results. In less than 2 seconds, parents will have a page full of results; be sure to check out the links before showing it to your student. Some sites may be off the web, others too advanced for him /her. http://www.alifetimeofcolor.com/play/leonardo/index.html teaches about art and science through time travel. Colonial Williamsburg offers several CSI type reenactments of historical events. This one focuses on finding the cure for small pox. http://www.history.org/History/teaching/potions/smallpox/smallpox.html
A tip for a middle school parents; now is the time to begin thinking about possible career paths for your student. Talk with him/her student about what they are dreaming of doing when they grow up… at the dinner table, in the car. If the answer seems to always be, “I don’t know”, a great resource is the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, available online too. 2008 Best Careers includes becoming an audiologist, a member of the clergy, a ghostwriter, a fundraiser, a systems analyst or an urban planner. If none of those careers are your student’s cup of tea take a peek at the jobs forecast section. If your student is always on the computer, and begging for the latest techno –gadget? Perhaps computational biology, behavioral genetics or data mining are careers you could begin discussing. On the other hand if you have a student who is always looking out for everyone else in the family or even the world, a career as a patient advocate, wellness coach or green collar consultant may be in their future. Is your student already selling lemonade on the corner, has a babysitting job and saves every birthday dollar? Foreign business development may be a niche for him/her. Most importantly now is the time to encourage your student’s “wonder quotient”; encourage them to ask why and how things work.
If your student is in high school now is the time to begin thinking of which colleges they may wish to attend. Again, U.S. News & World Report is a great parental resource. Yearly it ranks the best colleges by type, program, location and size of the college. It is a great place to begin searching for which “type” of college will best suit your family, because colleges are truly a family fit. Think about planning possible future family vacations around the college towns you may want to be spending four to six years visiting. As always stay involved in your student’s education, even if he/she protests! Be the parent that helps select the correct classes needed to get to college. Make sure your student completes their homework and help them stay on top of project and essay deadlines. Take time to read the end of a few questions from their homework to them, or offer to host study groups at your home.
Finally, if you have a college bound senior the final deadline for the November 1 SAT test is Oct. 10. You will have to pay a late fee if your senior has not yet registered. Anyone planning to attend a four year institution on the West coast typically will need their SAT scores for college applications. Go to www.collegeboard.com to sign up. College Board is also the place to go to study for the SAT. Seniors should also be working on their applications for the CSU system and preparing for the UC application. Don’t put them off and ruin everyone’s Thanksgiving break trying to rush around to complete them. Life in the Sierras with a week off is meant for tramping through the woods…
Upward Bound Director
Feather River College
Mountain Valley Living October 2008
What is Mountain Circle?
Mountain Circle is a private nonprofit corporation, 501(c)(3), incorporated in July 1985 for fostering healthy family relationships. Mainly Mountain Circle is a foster family agency, meaning that we recruit families to be foster families. We then contract with surrounding counties to place foster children in these homes.
Mountain Circle is also a licensed adoption agency. We received our license in February 2001. This means that when foster children are freed for adoption, Mountain Circle does the adoption home study, files all the legal paperwork and finalizes the adoption.
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As my husband and I watched our youngest boy drive away that 4th of July morning, the Jeep Wrangler loaded to capacity, it was a bitter sweet feeling. It was exciting, but at the same time fear and worry took over my thoughts as I struggled to hold back tears. Soon the jeep was out of sight, with my little boy at the wheel, driving himself to college in Colorado.
Continue reading EMPTY NEST SYNDROME