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Season ending, it’s time for a dome

By Musetta Wollenweber
SUN Columnist

In an attempt to prove to my husband that I should have a grow dome, I planted a small garden this year. Gardening and I are not strangers, but I’m no expert. If it doesn’t grow where I plopped it in, well, that’s the way it goes. This year was a tiny bit different; I added a little bit of soil and even fertilized a time or two.

For me, the season started late. I was waiting for more soil to arrive. That never happened, so I pushed forward with what I had. A friend joined me in my shopping adventure in early May; three stops and we had loaded down the car with all kinds of veggies and flowers. Late June, and all the little plants were in their places, ever so thankful to be out of their teensy containers.

I have vowed never to plant late again.

Incredibly, everything grew very nicely; I didn’t kill a thing. The harvest of zucchini, as always, was bountiful in green and yellow varieties. Poblano peppers, mesclun, spinach, potatoes and snap peas, thank you. Oh, tomatoes will you please ripen? I’ve been doing my best to cover the garden every evening; so far, just a little frost damage to the leaves. I’m afraid I’ll have to pull the plants to let them ripen, all 90-plus of those lovely ’maters. The asparagus is set and will reward us with tender spears in a year or two.

I even started a compost pile.

Dan, can I have a grow dome now?

Medicare 

The 2012 General Enrollment for Medicare Prescription Plans (Part D) and Medicare Advantage Plans is Oct. 16–Dec. 7.

No, you do not want to enroll in a plan just because it’s a plan your friend or neighbor recommends and here’s why, read on …

I highly recommend that anyone already enrolled in Part D, or needing to enroll, schedule an appointment. The program(s) can, and sometimes do, change their deductible, the drugs they cover and how much you pay for the drug. Some of the low-income plans will no longer be offering services to low-income individuals this year; however, they may still offer to enroll you at a higher cost.

• Don’t get caught by surprise; make sure you are enrolled in the plan that best suits your needs. Your neighbor may have a great plan, but it may not be great for you. The best plan for you is based on your specific drugs.

• Beware of letters you receive encouraging you to buy their program; it may not be best for you.

• Read any material you receive in the mail in regard to your plan, it may contain information on plan changes.

• Low-income beneficiaries may qualify for extra help with drug costs.

• Remember, Medicare will never call you selling a product; never give out your Medicare number.

• When in doubt, contact our SHIP office located at the Senior Center.

We highly encourage you to make your appointment early; as we move later into open enrollment we are extremely busy and want to make sure that we are able to meet your needs.

Our counselors are ready to tackle open enrollment and help you navigate your way through the process; our calendar is ready for scheduling.

Remember, all our services are free.

For further information, or to schedule an appointment, call 264-2167.

Help us help others

Due to budget restructuring, I am in need of a program coordinator (volunteer). Can you help answer phones that ring off the hook, create spreadsheets, enter data, come up with presentation ideas and schedule them? The sky is the limit with the help I can use. You must be able to work at a fast pace and be an awesome multi-tasker with a revolving door at your side.

Your reward for your assistance is fulfillment of the many needs of our seniors; a free lunch is a bonus, too.

I am looking for a writer to help out with the weekly column. One idea for a writer would be to interview our Senior of the Week. Perhaps you or others have ideas.

Like to greet people and lend a hand? We have the perfect opportunity for you. We are looking for a few people to greet our folks, introduce new clients to our services, show them the ropes of the dining room and offer assistance to those needing help filling out our new client form.

Please call Musetta at 264-2167 for an application.

Stretch and breathe

Beginning this month, Margaret Burkesmith (certified yoga instructor and certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner) will offer a free Stretch and Breathe classes — Oct. 17 at 10:45 a.m. The benefits of this 20-minute to half-hour class are:

• Creating health — by boosting one’s immune system and antioxidizing one’s inner digestive organs.

• Creating safety — creating an added awareness within oneself and in the space directly around them, as well as added strength, flexibility and mobility (especially around joints).

• Creating strength in the whole body, including inner organs.

• Creating better circulation within the organs and throughout whole body (which adds an ability to focus and concentrate, as well).

• Creating coordination, concentration and increased capacity to listen.

• Assisting digestion and elimination.

• Creating a sense of calm and peace.

• Decreasing pain, stress and depression.

• Creating a sense of community and getting to know one another in a different way.

Sign up for this free class by calling Musetta at 264-2167, Ext. 28. Space is limited, so don’t miss out.

Snow prediction 

Think you might just have an idea of when we’ll receive the first inch of snow outside the Café Fox windows? Make your best guess by Oct. 12. Call 264-2167, Ext. 28, leave your name, phone number and the date you predict the first inch of snow will fall, or stop by The Den’s office and sign up. In case of a tie, the winner will be the first to have called in or signed up, or, if you prefer, we’ll decide it with a spirited arm wrestling match. The winner receives a free meal at Café Fox. (Participants need to be age 60-plus)

Naked walls

They’re still naked …

We have been enjoying the photo display of Navy Photographer Rob Gaston, and now it’s time to enjoy our next artist’s work. Who will it be? Do you have photos, paintings, etc. that you would like to display on our dining room walls for the senior diners to enjoy? If so, please contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Transportation 

Get out in the community and let us do the driving. Get to where you need to go; door-to-door bus service is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, for seniors age 60-plus. Suggested donation is $2 per day. Come hang out with us and enjoy our company. Call for details, 264-2167.

Special delivery

Are you struggling to get meals prepared because you are homebound, recovering from surgery or an illness? Let us do the cooking. Enjoy Café Fox meals delivered to your door. Our hot meal, home-delivery program is available to those living closer to town four days per week, with frozen meals for Thursdays and weekends. Those living farther out of town may be eligible for the frozen meal program. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $4 per meal. Give us a call at 264-2167 for further information. Donations are greatly appreciated. 

Weekly activities 

Friday, Oct. 5 — 9 a.m. Geezers; 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 10:30 brain injury support group; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk.

Monday, Oct. 8, 12:30 p.m. Gym walk; 1 p.m. Canasta.

Tuesday, Oct. 9 — 11 a.m. massage (sign up); 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Meditation for Healing.

Wednesday, Oct. 10 — 11 a.m. blood pressure checks; noon nutrition education-national dental hygiene month; 1 p.m. hand and foot card game.

Thursday, Oct. 11— Lunch day.

Friday, Oct. 12 — 9 a.m. Geezers; 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; deadline to guess first day of snowfall.

Café Fox menu

All meals include our great salad bar.

Friday, Oct. 5 — Homemade hamburger with whole wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, onion slices, roasted sweet potatoes, fruit salad with citrus, oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.

Monday, Oct. 8 — Spinach lasagna, Italian veggies, tossed salad, strawberry fluff with sliced bananas, Italian bread.

Tuesday, Oct. 9 — Roast turkey with gravy, garlic whipped potatoes, broccoli, salad with sunflower seeds, whole wheat roll, magic cookie bar.

Wednesday, Oct. 10 — Beef stew, homemade biscuit, winter fruit salad.

Thursday, Oct. 11 — Lemon chicken, oven browned potatoes, broccoli, whole wheat bread, split pea soup, chocolate pudding.

Friday, Oct. 12 — Beef tacos, refried beans, salsa, fiesta corn, fruit salad.

Reservations required by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to dine at Café Fox.

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $4, guests $6, kids 12 and under $4. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act via the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other donations and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $10.50. 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.

This story was posted on October 10, 2012.