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A Hostess for All Seasons “School days, school days, dear old golden rule days; Readin’ and writin’ and rithmetic; Taught to the tune of a hickory stick. You were my queen in calico; I was your bashful, barefoot beau; You wrote on my slate, I love you, so; When we were a couple of kids.” September focuses on— you guessed it—good ole’ fashion school days. Norene invites each of her guests to reminisce about when they attended elementary, high school and college, by sharing stories and mementoes of years gone by. There will even be a special guest this time around, a five-year-old preschooler at the Penn State Child Development Lab where Norene regularly volunteers. Each gathering is usually held on four or more consecutive dates in an effort to accommodate attendees’ schedules. I was lucky enough to snag an invitation to the first of four September meetings.

In this Issue Employee Spotlight......4 For Your Health............6 Capturing Brookline...10


nd so begins the latest party invitation from Windsong resident, 93-yearold Norene Bigelow. Every month or so for the past few years, Norene plans and preps for a special themed celebration at her home at Brookline. Past get-togethers have covered everything from flowers to flags of the world; from vacation memories to childhood Halloweens; and from flying airplanes to raising alpacas. This

For each gathering, Norene and fellow Windsong resident, Ray Miller, decide on a seasonally-appropriate theme. Ray creates custom invitations and hand delivers them to each Windsong resident, as well as several residents of PineCastle and The Inn, and a number of State College community members. Then he “hits the books” (or more appropriately, the computer) and begins his “research”. You see, each of these get-togethers is much more than just a social soiree. The hostess—every bit the retired schoolteacher—encourages her guests to learn a little something along the way. Today, for example, attendees chatted about the evolution of the school system and “what in the heck a charter school is, anyway.” There were handouts available describing a variety of modern schooling options, as well as some old photos and an antique lunch pail. And while Norene used said pail to assemble a handsome floral centerpiece, school lunches (continued on page 9)


s the summer winds down and another fall is upon us, there are always plenty of things happening at Brookline. At the Terrace we’re proud to now offer to our residents the added convenience of in-house ophthalmologist services. Our organizational web site has been updated to include more user-friendly features such as MapQuest® driving directions, electronic information request forms and event calendar. You can also check out an electronic version of this newsletter; and it’s all at

Join the party as you read A Hostess for All Seasons, and be a guest at the latest social gathering in the home of Windsong resident, Norene Bigelow. And be sure to check out Summer Camp… (p. 5), as we take a look at a very special intergenerational activity program held at PineCastle. Finally, just because summer is coming to a close doesn’t mean that so too must your garden. On pages 6 & 7 you’ll find, How Does Your Garden Grow? – Helpful Hints for Senior Gardening in All Seasons, where we survey the top crops for fall along with practical tips for maximizing your comfort, safety and results with this favorite pastime. Check out all this and much more in this edition of Brooklines. I hope that you find this issue of Brooklines both enjoyable and informative. Here’s to a happy, healthy season! Best Wishes, Anne Campbell Administrator, The Terrace at Brookline


Name: JoDell Ralston Occupation: Although JoDell is actually employed by M&T Bank, for the past 11 years— since the bank opened a branch location at The Inn—she has been a regular member of the Brookline family. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as a teller and customer service representative for M&T, JoDell offers residents the convenience of on-site banking with nearly all of the services offered at the bank’s larger locations, such as check cashing, account deposits and withdraws, and opening new accounts. M&T was founded more than 150 years ago and is considered one of the country’s most highly-regarded regional banks. Brookline houses one of the bank’s four State College branches. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, JoDell can be found at the nearby South Atherton Street location. She has been employed with M&T on-and-off since 1980. Hometown: Bellefonte, PA Family: Husband of 27 years, Ralph; daughter, Haley 20; and son Grant, 15 Hobbies: cooking, shopping and home decorating What makes your job worth coming to each day? Looking forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays because, “I love seeing the residents and I enjoy listening to and learning from their amazing stories.” In fact, you can find JoDell serving coffee and chatting with Inn residents twice a week over the lunch hour. “I also enjoy the employee comradery at Brookline. The staff and residents have become like family.” In fact, JoDell’s late grandmother, Betty Moore, was a resident of The “We like her. She is Inn, where JoDell would visit her before and after bank hours. “She loved Brookline and especially always so nice and loved walking around the facility and the gardens,” we love to visit.” JoDell says, “She was a very happy, positive person.” Blanche Lovell, It looks as if some things run in the family.

resident at The Inn



ummer Camp invites residents to play! Ready, Set, Grow, a local business offering summer learning enrichment programs

for young children, recently announced the addition of a new summer camp series with a unique intergenerational component. The half-day “mini-camps” for pre-schoolers up to age 8 are being held at Brookline. “Storybook Tea Time,” a program with a princess theme, promotes manners, poise, self-confidence and service to others. It includes stories, art, music and a dress up tea party/crowning celebration in the appropriately named PineCastle assisted living residence. Ready, Set, Grow program developer and director, Lori Pacchioli envisioned a meaningful relationship between the young princesses and the wiser “queens” who live in „the beautifully appointed facility.‟ “Through a child‟s imagination, Brookline can very much feel like a real castle,” she says. “The children have crossed a footbridge over a koi pond, wound their way through art-adorned hallways and enjoyed tea in tall-back upholstered chairs that double as thrones.”

Pacchioli worked at Brookline for ten years shortly after it was developed. “The commitment to intergenerational programs by Brookline‟s developer and partners has always been a strong one,” says Pacchioli, who returned to her early roots in education after becoming a parent herself seven years ago.“It‟s tremendously satisfying to come full circle, bringing children back to this very special place where everyone can gain something of lasting value.” And residents seem to agree; as one put it, “Having the children here is a breath of fresh air. They remind us how it feels to be young. They are a joy!”


parsnips and rutabagas, and begin planting cilantro, lettuce and radishes. Start cabbage family seedlings indoors, and set out the seedlings as promptly as possible. 10 to 12 Weeks Out Set out broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and cauliflower seedlings, along with celery, bulb fennel and parsley. Direct-sow beets, carrots, collards, leeks and scallions, along with more lettuce and radishes. In some areas, even fast-maturing peas and potatoes will do well in the fall garden. 8 to 10 Weeks Out Direct-sow arugula, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, turnips, spinach, mustard and other Asian greens.


any people see the fall as a time to close down the garden and wait until the spring to start up gardening activities again. However, there are plenty of things you can be doing through the fall months to continue enjoying the pleasures of gardening. If you’re wondering where to begin, determine the date for what gardeners call the first killing frost. You can do this by using the first date where there is to be an at least 50 percent chance that night temperatures will fall to 28 degrees. In Pennsylvania, this has recently been occurring between late-October and early November; though with recent climate changes, may take place even later. Keep in mind that cold temperatures may come and go for several weeks in late fall, but in most areas, you can easily stretch your fall season by covering plants with old blankets on subfreezing nights.


Dig In! Use this basic timeline (weeks out from first killing frost) and list of vegetable-growing pointers to make the most of your garden. 12 to 14 Weeks Out Direct-sow last plantings of fast-maturing, warm-season vegetables such as snap beans, cucumbers and summer squash. Also sow

Sow more lettuce and radishes. 6 to 8 Weeks Out Make a final sowing of spinach (In most regions, you can expect to enjoy these crops in your Christmas salads!) Make a final sowing of lettuce beneath a protective tunnel or frame. On or around your first killing frost date Every fall garden should include garlic and shallots. If you love onions, be sure to try multiplying onions and perennial “nest” onions. Bloom Where You Are Planted If you’re looking to add some colorful blooms to your autumn garden but haven’t planned ahead, you will be glad to hear that there’s another way to provide yourself with seedlings for a fall planting. Some retail outlets call in fresh recruits (seedlings started in summer) to put on sale as the dog days of summer are waning. These plants are just starting out in life, so their foliage will still look nice and fresh by the time they bloom in fall—without any nursing from you! You may pay a bit more for them than for the older, leggy plants; but they are still often sold at a discount, due to lack of consumer interest in annuals so late in the season. So let the

frosts come when they may; you have little to lose, since your investment was minimal. Think mums, asters, Shasta daisies, or even ornamental grasses. One Step at a Time Now that you’re ready to plant, it’s important to remember to play it safe. For seniors living with arthritis, high blood pressure and other ailments, gardening is often nothing but a memory. But, with a few small changes, most everyone can continue to enjoy this excellent form of exercise for mobility, flexibility and use of motor skills that helps to improve strength and endurance. This type of physical activity can also help to prevent osteoporosis, reduce stress levels and promote relaxation to help you rest better at night. You may want to

warm up by doing a few stretches before starting any gardening activities and working with your garden tools. Doing this will help reduce any muscle soreness you may experience later on. Safety First Think raised gardening beds. Instead of bending over and planting in the ground, build raised beds to a more comfortable height. Stand with your arms to your side; where the tips of your fingers hit is the perfect height for the top of the flower bed. Either enlist help in the building of the flower bed, or make sure to wait till later in the day when the sun is not so hot. Take your time walking across the lawn. If you use a cane, be sure to take it with you into the garden. It will help you be steady on uneven ground. You can also fit your cane with a flat, triangle-shaped cane base. It’s designed to be used on grass and won’t sink into the ground like a regular cane tip may. Always remember to bend at the knees and hips, and definitely avoid twisting the forearm back and forth. Instead, try to work with your hands in a neutral position.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and ALWAYS—no matter the season—add a hat and gardening gloves to cover exposed skin and use sunscreen to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Remember to keep lots of water handy to prevent dehydration and fatigue! The Right Tools for the Job Invest in the right tools for your garden. Acquire rakes and shovels with the ergonomic padded handles. Investing in proper tools will be cheaper in the long run than purchasing tools that hinder your movements, break from cheapness, or fail to work without pain to you. Less strain for your hands will make you able to work longer painfree. Also, a lightweight, large-wheeled cart will help you move plants and mulch around without having to carry it. You’ll also want to keep your tools sharp, well oiled and in good working condition. This will help avoid resistance when using them and cut down on the manpower needed to execute certain tasks. Also, try rotating your gardening tasks every half hour or so, as this will help you to use your larger muscles and be less taxing on those smaller muscles that you really may not be aware that you’re putting stress on until you become uncomfortable later on.

Note: Seniors should always check with their physician prior to doing any strenuous activity, including gardening.



A Hostess for All Seasons (continued from cover)

were still on the menu, as she handed around paper sacks filled with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, egg salad, popcorn, apple slices, a molasses bar, and candies. Cold lemonade was the beverage of choice and desert was a slice of homemade pistachio cake. The two-hour trip down memory lane had several of the five-or-so guests this afternoon calling to mind the one- and two-room school houses where they learned their ABC’s and recited lines of popular poetry. They discussed what they might have found in their lunch pails each noon time, and how far they had to walk to get to where they were going… though I suspect that there may have been some exaggerating! The lady of the house even told about the horse she received from her father upon her entering junior high school. Not exactly the kind of “ride” a kid might expect these days.

Neighbors are always buzzing about the latest party at Norene’s place, as they look forward to the next one, trying to guess just what the subject matter might be. Norene says that she and Wilbur enjoyed entertaining regularly over the years, so this just seems the customary thing to do. Customary for her, perhaps, but never ordinary. By opening her door and her heart to accompanying residents and friends, Norene is doing something very special, indeed. —Anissa Rupert Illie

Norene confided to me that she began throwing these get-togethers not long after her husband Wilbur passed away. She and Wilbur had moved into the newlyconstructed PineCastle in 2003. In fact, she told me that they had the pleasure enjoying the first meal ever served at the assistedliving facility. Upon his passing, Norene suddenly found herself faced with a new beginning. Having been happily married more than 60 years, she coerced herself to move forward a little each day and made a conscious effort to keep herself busy with volunteer work and socializing. She found that being around others helped her tremendously and decided that it might also help others in similar situations.


Happy r’s Mothe Day

ily Fam ic Picn


nal o i t a N ng Ho i s r u N Week

Your g n i r B Work o t d l i Ch Day

Panc akes w ith the P SU Playe rs


ident s e R ners de r a G


Name ____________________________________________________ Address _____________________ City _________________________ State _____ Zip ___________ Telephone ________________________________________________ E-mail ___________________

I am interested in more information regarding (Please check all that apply.) Independent-Living Apartments Memory-Care Assisted Living

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Please contact me via phone or e-mail to arrange an appointment. The best time to reach me is _____________ Please remove me from your mailing list.

MAIL TO: 1950 Cliffside Drive, State College, PA 16801 or E-mail information to

1900-1950 Cliffside Drive State College, PA 16801 WINDSONG—Independent Apartment Living


THE INN—Individualized Assisted Living


PINECASTLE—Assisted Living Suites


THE FAIRWAYS—Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation


THE TERRACE—Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Care


Fall 2009  

Brookline newsletter, fall 2009 issue

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