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Armageddon my socks on at Stitchin’ in the Kitchen

Friday mornings are the Hallelujah chorus of our party week. Beginning at 9 a.m. the “Geezers” trickle in for coffee and conversation. At 11 a.m., Tai Chi begins at the other end of the building. Sandwiched between the two is a favorite activity of mine, Stitchin’ in the Kitchen.

In anticipation of these activities, my people arrive early to socialize. Most Fridays, Mary Lou Maehr, Dru Sewell or I prepare a heavenly confection of a smackerel of something to be shared during this time. The Fridays that all three of us bring something are a smorgasbord of sugary gluttony, a fabulous way to end the week.

Stitchin’ in the Kitchen transpires in our dining room when people congregate with their stitching projects to knit, crochet, cross stitch, embroider, sew, teach each other the same and discuss the important issues of our lives. These issues include the sharing of vacation details, family woes, politics, religion, cooking and local news. The women that come are as varied as our projects and are ages from late ’40s to mid ’80s.

As the stitching commences, our non-stitching friends join us mostly for the chocolate chip cookie bars. We share them happily, along with equal portions of love and light-hearted insults, depending upon the visitor. Husbands bring their wives and end up staying to drink coffee and laugh with and/or at us.

What is the best part of Stitchin’ in the Kitchen?

“The knitting projects and helping each other” answered Anlaug Adams.

“And teaching people a new skill,” added Dru.

Mary Lou Maehr enjoys the camaraderie and the recreational lies. Bernie Sautel enjoys the company, and thinks, “It is pretty cool how we help each other. And we talk about our whole lives.” Sometimes we talk so much that we drop stitches or count our stitches wrong, or don’t even work on our projects, huh, Bernie?

My favorite parts are the random discussions. One Friday, Dru, our indefatigable volunteer, revealed that she would be moving to Peru. She described with a wink how she is learning to make everything herself in case the Mayans were right about the impending end times. Including socks.

“You mean you are knitting Armageddon socks?” I asked wide-eyed.

“Yes, like that,” answered Dru. “After 2012 there might not be any stores to buy socks so you better learn how to make them. It will be the end of the world as we know it. Don’t worry, I will show you how.”

My being responsible for my people’s warm feet when I knit at the speed of minus slow made me nervous. We discussed different apocalyptic views of various cultures and wondered if the end of our world as we know it would be a such a bad thing. I was raised in a Christian home and as a child Armageddon indeed seemed like a bad thing, with Satan ruining everyone’s fun. Maybe I am just a half empty glass thinker.

I thought about how I like the way “Armageddon Socks” rolled off of the tongue. I made up a word play about it, “Armageddon my socks on” (read “I’m a getting my socks on”). I deflected my attention by wondering why socks always had to match and asked Anlaug what she thought. The conversation turned, someone came for a piece of Mary Lou’s cake, and Dru began to teach me about sock making.

Art in The Den

The current art show in our dining room features Pat and Nancy Artis who have been active photographers since the 1970s. Their primary interests include sports, nature and landscape photography. Their works have been displayed at the National Wildlife Museum in Jackson, Wyo., at a variety of other galleries and the Pagosa Mountain Hospital. In 2008, they were featured as “Artists of the Quarter” at the Holtzman Alumni Center at Virginia Tech. Pat and Nancy have been residents of Pagosa Springs since 1999.

Join us for lunch and view this beautiful collection!

ASI election

Archuleta Seniors Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Seniors in our county, is holding its annual board of directors election on Friday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Senior Center dining room. Everyone who is a member (you are if you purchased the $5 card) is strongly encouraged to vote. The slate of candidates is posted at the Senior Center.

Delivery

We need someone to deliver meals on Mondays, beginning mid October. It takes about an hour. And you can eat lunch with us afterward. Call me, Jodi, at 264-2167.

Flu shot clinics

Flu shot clinics offered by the San Juan Basin Health Department are scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Senior Center lounge. On Thursday, Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to noon, the clinic will be held in Arboles, in the basement of the Catholic Church. Questions? Call Jodi at 264-2167.

Medicare

Protect yourself from the flu by getting your flu vaccination early, before flu season ramps up. Medicare covers many preventive services including the flu vaccine.

Medicare clients can get the flu vaccine at not cost. There is no coinsurance or copayment applied to this Medicare benefit, and people on Medicare will not have to meet their deductible. The flu vaccine can prevent the flu; it does not give people the flu.

Getting a flu vaccine is the best thing you can do to keep you from getting sick this flu season. This year, one flu vaccine will protect you from three different types of flu virus, including the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused much illness last season. Additionally, by protecting yourself, you are also protecting those you care about from getting the flu from you. All adults age 65 years and older, and people who are under 65 who have chronic illness, including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or end-stage renal disease, should get a flu vaccine.

Helpful tips to follow during the flu season:

1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.

2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also work.

3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

4. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

5. Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 Celsius) or signs of a fever without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.

Visit www.medicare.gov, or call (800) 633-4227 to get a free copy of “Staying Healthy: Medicare’s Preventive Services.” On the Web, select “Publications” under “Resource Locator.” You can also visit www.flu.gov for specific information about influenza. More information is available at www.healthcare.gov.

Transportation

With the closing of the downtown City Market, we remind you that we have a Senior Bus that runs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please call me, Jodi, at 264-2167 for details.

Counselors

Do you enjoy helping others? The SHIP program (Senior Health Insurance Program) and SMP (Medicare Fraud Program) available through the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, is looking for additional talented volunteers to join the Medicare Navigators Team. These programs educate, counsel and assist Colorado’s Medicare beneficiaries. We need people who have a desire to help others in the community, who have computer skills and are Internet-savvy.

The Colorado Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program is part of a national network of programs that offer free, confidential counseling and assistance for people with Medicare. Congress established SHIP in 1990 to help beneficiaries navigate an increasingly complex health care system. It’s also home to the SMP Medicare Fraud Program.

Each year, the Colorado SHIP/SMP provides invaluable services to people with Medicare, including: Counseling beneficiaries through the annual prescription drug plan enrollment period, connecting with beneficiaries who have limited incomes to help them save money on health care costs, and educating the community about health insurance issues.

Call Musetta Wollenweber at 264-2167 if you are interested in assisting us in providing this necessary service.

Weekly activities

Friday, Oct. 1 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m., Gizmo the Therapy Dog 12:45 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 4 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Scrabble 1 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 5 — Yoga 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Housing Solutions counselor 12:45 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 6 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; Writing for Generations 1 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 7 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Oct. 8 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; ASI board elections 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 1 — Sloppy joe on a bun, scalloped potatoes, broccoli, apple.

Monday, Oct. 4 — Oven fried chicken, baked potato, hot marinated carrots, biscuit, strawberry, fruit whip.

Tuesday, Oct. 5 — Orzo (pasta) with veggies and ham, salad, orange wedges, bavarian loaf.

Wednesday, Oct. 6 — Beef stew with peas, carrots, potatoes, whole wheat crackers, green beans, diced pears.

Thursday, Oct. 7 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Oct. 8 — Crunchy baked fish, whipped potatoes, mixed veggies, pineapple and mandarin oranges, roll.