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By Margaret Thompson-Shumate

“Don’t be cruel to a heart that’s true Please let’s forget the past The future looks bright ahead – don’t be cruel”


t’s hard to believe that Elvis “left the building” and us 40 years ago. The song, “Don’t Be Cruel”, was written by Elvis Presley and Otis Blackwell and recorded by Elvis in 1956. It is currently ranked as the 173rd greatest song of all time, as well as 6th best song of 1956. Now I wasn’t a crazed fan of Elvis but I did enjoy most of his recordings – especially his gospel music. Of course, “Don’t Be Cruel” was surely written with

Jan McCanless


t’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that it is already October, I mean, where did the rest of the year go? As I write this, we are anticipating some affects from a hurricane, and it’s raining catfish and hushpuppies outside. Mother nature has surely sent us some quixotic weather this summer, but I know, in my aged wisdom, that things will level off - eventually. If it’s too dry, sooner or later, it will rain, too wet, and eventually, it will dry out. The world works that way. With all we have to worry about in

a young lady in mind, but I want to borrow these three words and apply them to some present everyday life situations and hopefully lessons to be learned for people of all ages. Several months ago, I was in a medical facility waiting room and overheard a long-time friend of mine tell her caregiver that she knew me and that I had always been “fat” and that I still was. She was unaware that I heard her. And no – it didn’t make me angry, but it did highly disappoint me. My friend with me suggested that I just ignore the remark as the woman is more than twenty years my senior. I say this is no excuse and that there is no excuse for spoken rudeness regardless of your age. Some time ago, I would occasionally run into one of my former high school classmates

(who is now deceased). He would laughingly address me with, “Hey Thompson. I see you haven’t lost any weight lately.” My reply to him would always be, “And I see that you are as rude as ever. I can lose weight. Can you fix ugly?” I have a mirror at home and I can plainly see that I am somewhat overweight; therefore I really don’t need anyone to point out this fact. Currently, diversity is a hot topic and I am a firm believer. God made us in different sizes, shapes, skin colors, and with varied abilities for a reason. Thank you God – I am most grateful for that! Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we were all the same? He did, however, also give each of us a heart and a brain with the freedom of choice in our life’s journey. As a born-again Christian,

this world, on this day, one thing is for certain, my favorite time of year approaches. Autumn, more specifically, October and November are my favorite times of the year. I was born in the fall, married in the fall, had 2 children born in October, one of them married in the fall, and 4 of my nine grands were born in autumn. No wonder I love it so! Seems like my clothes fit better in autumn as well, but, that’s inconsequential. Halloween has always been such a happy time for me, I enjoy seeing all the little ghosts and goblins as they make their way around the neighborhood, and the fall festivals and bazaars

the churches put on each year are so nice. When my own younguns were doing the trick or treating, I couldn’t think of an appropriate costume for the boys, until, I found some little devil suits in the store. Had to have them, and fittingly so, I thought. My daughter always wanted to be a princess, but, if you ask me, I should have gotten her a devil suit as well! She used to enjoy answering the door when the others came around, but, then, I overheard her one night telling the little goblin at the door, that she’d ‘share’ his candy with him, so, she gave him one of the wrapped ones from our house,




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Great American Publishing Company publishers of Senior Savvy

Published monthly as an information service for those 55 and over The publication of advertisements in Senior Savvy does not constitute endorsement by Great American Publishing Co. or contributing senior centers. Signed columns are the opinion of the writers and not necessarily the opinion of the publishers. If you need medical, financial, or other advice, seek this advice from a qualified professional in the appropriate field. Publisher Cindy Hart Advertising Sales Cindy Hart For information concerning advertising, call 704-213-4718 If you are interested in having a story or article printed, please contact us at: Great American Publishing Co. 125 Midsail Road Salisbury, NC 28146



Elvis and Jodie continued from page 1 my heart is constantly reminding my brain to always abide by the Golden Rule and treat others as I would like to be treated. It’s a struggle at times, but most always triumphs prevail with blessings given as added bonuses. From 1987-1995, Jodie Sweetin portrayed the character, Stephanie Tanner in a wonderful sitcom called “Full House”. Stephanie was the middle sister of three. She often stated that it was never easy being “in the middle”. She became very well known for the catchphrase, “How Rude!” that she used on the show constantly. Jodie was 13 years old when the show was

canceled, but many dedicated past viewers of the sitcom still relate the “How Rude!” catchphrase to her even though she is now a fine young adult with a family of her own. Most times cruel words and actions toward others can be avoided if we use our brains and listen to our hearts. Each of us can possibly make a small difference in someone’s life if we really want to and make an honest effort. This month of October would be a good time to start. On Halloween, fill your pumpkin bag with cookies, candy, other treats and small gifts, smiles,

hugs and of course, Senior Savvy magazines and distribute them to your friends, neighbors, and/or shut-ins. Dressing in a Halloween costume is optional of course, but I think your visits and unselfish kind deeds will classify you somewhere in an “angel” category. What? A Halloween angel? It can happen! Just always remember – when you are thanking God and praising Him for a diverse world and people that you put a big emphasis on NOT being CRUEL and NOT being RUDE! I’m pretty sure Jodie, as well as Elvis’s spirit, will say “Thank you. Thank you very much!”

Spooks in the Night... continued from page 1 and took one of his out of his bag. That told me right then that she would end up as some

kind of con artist or one woman entrepreneur some day. One year, as this same childs grade mother, her Halloween party at school consisted of us mothers making the cackle of a witch, so see which witch was the best. I won, oh, I was really good. Scared her so bad, she wouldn’t ride home with me in the car, another mom had to bring her. Always great fun for me as a kid, Halloween was something to look forward to all year, and my cousin Shari and I frequently went out together, filled our sacks, came home and dumped them out, and then went out

again. Always alone we were, and never in fear of any danger. My, how times have changed. Too bad, because childhood used to be such a fun, unstressful time. Unfortunately, my grandchildren will never know the freedom and joy of our alone, ‘kid times’ we used to have. Times change I know, and we must with it, but, we have our memories, and I leave all the rest to the next generation. Doesn’t keep me from smiling though as I remember what once was. Don’t let the things that go bump in the night scare ya!!

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She was just a dog… go get a new one Louanne Stanton


am confident that one or more of you had a pet when you were little. Something tragic happened to that pet and you cried. After the tears stopped, or maybe even during the tears, an older person (probably a parent or loved one) said to you “Don’t cry, we will get you another one…” And the myth is perpetuated. We all have experienced the loss of something in life that is followed by “It’s ok, let’s get you a new… whatever” I would like to put an end to that myth. Replacing the loss sometimes is necessary. Replacing the loss sometimes is beneficial. But what do we do with the feelings left behind after that loss? How do we recover so we can enjoy our replacement as much as our loss? Ruby Tuesday is more than a song by the Rolling Stones. She was my Rottweiler. My husband gave her to me as a Christmas gift in 2009. She was a little fluff ball and I did not want her. We already had 4 dogs and having a fifth did not seem like a good idea. “But”, my husband pointed out,” Pepper is getting older and I want her to teach the pup how to be a great mama dog.” I learned to love Ruby. She was intelligent and I did not have to take much time at all to train her. She watched and followed the older dogs and learned by example. She loved to run and play and take toys from the

other dogs when they were not looking. And she was fast about that, so fast we started calling her “Gator”. It was a nightly occurrence to hear someone say to the other dogs “Watch out, here comes the gator!” It was a great source of entertainment. I fell in love with the growing pup. One winter when she was young we came in from playing out in the snow, through the kitchen door onto the tile floor. Ruby was still wet from outside and she fell down flat! There was a cry from her that made me tear up and she could not move. My husband came and lifted her up and she limped to her crate. We took her to the vet the next day, but he said her tendons were torn and she would need rest to heal. So… we tried to keep her still and not run and play, but it was a difficult task. That limp became part of who she was. When we would playfully chase our grandchildren Ruby would come and stand in between us and the kids, as if to protect them from our tickling. If a stranger or the UPS man would come to the house, she was the first one at the windowher menacing bark letting them know to stay away. She was a mama dog to the younger dogs and even took care of the outside cats by allowing them passage without getting harassed by the other dogs.

In That Old Black and White

Each winter, Ruby experienced more pain because of her fall when she was younger. She was on a regular dose of pain medicine to help her cope with the pain. I hated it. But she continued to eat well, play even better and did not stop being the fabulous guard dog that she was. Last week, she quit eating. After 2 days, I took her to the vet and he initially said she may have gotten into something that was causing a lingering stomach bug. I was encouraged. But when he listened to her heart and her labored breathing, he became concerned. He asked if he could do a CT scan and blood work. “Of course,” I said, “please see if we can find what is going on.” She was a big baby when it came to getting on the scales (come on ladies, we all know we hate it too) and she was a bigger baby when it came to being examined. I heard her crying as I waited nervously in the small room. I said a prayer for my big dog, that all would be well with her. When the doctor came back he was somber. He had discovered her spleen was enlarged and covered with a lacey substance that he said normally indicated Lymphoma. He wanted to do x-rays to make sure she did not have a lump in

her chest, which was causing labored breathing. Again, listening to her cry while they x-rayed her chest, I cried. My dog… my big Ruby Tuesday, having cancer? That did not seem possible. I waited until they brought her back and then just held her. The doctor said they would call me the following day with the blood work. Maybe they were mistaken and she could recover from this. I looked into her eyes and knew she was tired of this fight. I took her home and told my family what had transpired. I gave Ruby her pain medicine that night and she spit it out. She got up and went into the dark laundry room and laid with her head facing the wall. When we got up the next morning, I thought she had died in her sleep, but she was just lethargic. That day, I kept trying to get her to eat something… she ate a bite of sausage, a bite of bread but nothing else. When I would turn the light on in the room she was in, she would Continued on page 5

By Don Neal

Ozzie and Harriet, David and Rick For teenagers this show was just right; Parents would glean from the wisdom they shared, When dispensed in that old black and white. Timmy and Lassie, adventuresome two, Came to visit us each Sunday night; Saving their friends and their family, too They were rescued in old black and white. Dennis the Menace, a mischievous sort, How he kept Mr. Wilson uptight! Dennis would pester his favorite foil Did it best in that old black andon white. Continued page 5 Andy and Opie, all Mayberry too From the time when the world seemed so right; Barney and Gomer and Goober were there Kept us laughing in old black and white. Make Room for Daddy, The Donna Reed Show, And some others that gave us delight Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best, Life was best in that old black and white. Gone are the days of the family fun, Living color was soon to benight; Gone are the days of the “family fare” Swept away with that old black and white.

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From Our Readers

The Carolina Thread Trail weaves a path through time and terrain. My friends and I discovered a natural surface trail segment in the Buffalo Creek Preserve. Once a week we hike the path that meanders through restored oak-savanna and farmland along Adams Creek. On every walk we share stories about our past and consider dreams for the future. In late September 2016 we constructed a wooden frame shelter to house print versions of those stories; we called them Trail Tales. The modest enclosure is located at the head of the preserve. We plan to make those stories available to readers of Senior Savvy on a monthly basis, no hiking gear required.

Sharon is a new contributor to Trail Tales. This month she shares a story about a childhood memory that should resonate with many readers. Instruction on how to access an electronic version of “Home Sweet Home” is posted on the blog hosted at Enjoy this installment.

Home Sweet Home

© 2017 By: Sharon Upton


y husband, Dan, headed out the door and grabbed his walking stick on his way to his


morning breakfast and nature trail adventure with the other hikers. They always have some new story to tell every Friday morning. Eventually, many of the stories end up in the Trail Tales column of the Senior Savvy newspaper. In time for the Easter edition of the paper, the April 2017 column featured a story told by Dan. It described the painstaking effort he puts into crafting wooden plaques inscribed with

three crosses with A Message Meant To Be Shared down through the ages. * His walking buddies published on a wide range of topics, everything from lessons learned from an old pickup truck, to military recollections, a horse that couldn’t be tamed, a Dad who passed away way too soon, a golf outing that never should have been, and a holiday recipe that featured way too much turkey. Craig Scott, Chuck and Heidi Thurston, James Polk, Alberto Perez, Tommy Doonan, Julie Walter, Amy Bergeron and Vincent Vezza brought to life so many stories since the first story was featured one year ago in October 2016. As I watched his van pull out of the driveway, I thought about joining them on one of their hikes someday soon, especially with the weather being cooler, but not today. I poured myself another cup of coffee and sat down at my computer, ready to continue writing a portion of my novella that is still in early manuscript stage. It’s about my Mom and it features so many stories that she has shared with me, stories about her childhood, and mine. Well into her nineties, Mom continues to check the storyline, making sure

that I have the facts accurately recorded. It’s also important to her that I capture the feelings of those in her life that are no longer around to tell their story. Her generation lived through some incredible times. They came of age before the advent of television. News was filtered through print media or radio. There were no cell phones, no iPads, no Internet. Now, in 2017, I have an opportunity to capture her times with the aid of a computer and software that would have been the envy of the writers of Mom’s day. She was placed in an orphanage right before her fourth birthday. In the telling of her story, I am struck by her interpretation of family and home.It has given me a deeper appreciation for the many blessings that our Lord bestowed on me, my siblings, spouse, children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. I had ap-pointed a page for my brother’s drawing of our childhood home that he sketched from memory, titled Home Sweet Home. The writer in me saw the need for a brief, illustrated poem. When Dan returned from his Friday morning walk, I invited him to join me for what was my third cup of coffee and an opportunity to listen to what I had created in his absence, and added, “I hope you guys enjoyed the new trail.” Continued on page 7

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PROMISES... PROMISES By Evelyn Allison Looney


y Daddy taught me from an early age that lying ranks right up there with the unpardonable sin. He could tolerate a lot of things better than a bald-faced lie. I guess most of us fudge a little, but most of the time nobody calls our hand on it. Back in my spring-chicken days, I led the Cleveland Bombers 4-H Club. I always loved for my 4-Hers they deserved. I had a bunch of good, hard-working kids in that club. One year I encouraged a little fellar named Tommy to enter his cow in the competition at the Fair. I was doing some heavy-duty coaxing when he finally decided to enter. . . After I told him if his cow

won a blue ribbon I would come to the fair and wash his cow in a bikini. He got a mischievous grin on his innocent face. Of course, I never dreamed he’d actually win on his first competition. I dismissed the promise from my mind and never gave it another thought. Boy, was I ever sweating when I got an unexpected phone call. I could hear the laugh in his voice when Tommy said, “Guess what, Mrs. Allison? My cow won a blue ribbon. At first I was just stuprised and thrilled for him . . . Then he added, “Come on down.” AND I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT! FACING A DILEMMA Talk about my mind going a hundred miles an hour. What

could I possibly do??? I didn’t want to commit the unpardonable sin by letting that kid find out I’d told a lie, and I sure enough couldn’t show up at the fair parading around the cow barn in a bikini. I paced the floor for a few minutes wringing my hands. One thing I knew for certain, I needed to somehow make good on my promise. Up the stairs I ran to get the beach bag, and my modeststyle bikini. Into a plastic bag it went, along with a wet wash cloth. I jumped in my car and headed to Salisbury. My little 4-H boy was grinning like a ‘possum eatin’ briars when he saw me coming. I gave him a big hug, congratulated him, and

pulled the bikini out of the bag. S-L-O-W-L-Y I tied the bikini around the cow’s neck, washed its face with the wash cloth, and best of all. . . I went home an honest woman. Recently I had breakfast with my grown up little Tommy who towers over me several inches. Sure am proud of that young’n. He’s a Colonel in the Anny and has made 100 parachute jumps. When I hugged him good-bye that day, I couldn’t resist telling him, “If you ever need your cow washed again, just give me a call.”

She was just a dog… continued from page 3 move to another dark room. I had to make the call… and the doctor agreed with me it was a kindness to put her down. With a heavy heart I took her back to the vet. She went in to the exam room and just laid down, sighed a heavy breath and did not get up again. I sat down and put her head in my lap and told her all the things I wanted to say while they mixed the concoction that would take her to the fields filled with dogs running with no pain. I cried as they explained each drug they were administering and when they asked if I was ready for the final dose, I heard myself say yes… Sitting on the floor, holding my Ruby Tuesday, she took her final breath. Our vet did not charge me for that final act, he had taken care of her since she was that fluff ball and he loved her too. And they did have someone come and pick her up, to have her cremated. She needs to be on the hill with the

rest of my pets that have gone on before. Being a Grief Counselor, does not make my pain any less. But it does help in the fact that I know the steps I need to take to recover from my loss. I will miss Ruby for a very long time, but I do not have the unresolved grief that makes my heart hurt forever. One of the myths that we have in society today is that you can replace a loss. I have already had well-meaning friends ask me if I am going to get another dog… another Rottweiler to replace Ruby Tuesday. I cannot ever replace Ruby, but if I decide to get another dog in the future, I will be able to love it wholeheartedly because I completed my relationship with Ruby. As with any loss we incur in life, the relationship is unique and individual. You can never replace the loss, but you can complete the loss. We can move forward and

have a great relationship when we are ready. I held her and sang the song “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday… sure am gonna miss you.”

ones. You can contact her by calling 980-521-4661 or going to her website

Louanne is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist who does group grief classes as well as one on

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Our Faith



f you are arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict

you?” My friend, Evelyn, always knows just the right thing to say when I need to hear it. We were talking about someone who told me not to bother praying for her because there is no God. Ouch! In my nearly 70 years, I’ve only had a couple occasions when people questioned the existence of God in my presence. Most of these remarks were made by people who have severe health conditions that have gotten worse instead of better. People who are suffering severe pain are often angry with God, their doctors, and even their families and friends. If others don’t say what the sick person wants to hear, or do what is needed, feelings get hurt. (I’m sure I’ve hurt my families’ feelings when I complain about my loss of independence.) I am a Christian and I will not deny God. I will listen to the problems of others, share my feelings and beliefs, but I will not alter my belief to please someone else. I explained to my new acquaintance that her lack of belief was even more reason for the prayers of Christian friends. So one might wonder what any of this has to do with that opening quotation. Allow me to share some thoughts about


Linda S. Beck

what evidence is proof of being a Christian. In Matthew 28:l8-20 Jesus presented the “great commission” to his disciples “to go and make disciples of all nations…” Since that is one of his commands to his followers, how could I dare not at least try to reach others in his name (even if they don’t want to be reached). I believe if I were arrested for being a Christian, the fact that I try to tell others about Christ through speaking or writing would certainly be on the evidence list to convict me. So what else would convict me? Let’s see, do I go to church? Well, I used to try to go every time the doors were open, but now my disability causes some problems there. However, I’ve learned that going to church is not what made me a Christian. In Matthew l8:20 Jesus said, “For where two or three come

together in my name, there am I with them.” Sometimes my home has been a sanctuary for troubled friends, and I believe these folks would testify to my Christianity. One of my friends said that I have been like “a light that dispels the darkness” in times when she has needed comfort. I’m sure there are some times when I “step on toes,” but I try to use scripture to reach those who are in such pain. One day a very sweet lady overwhelmed me as she looked directly in my face and said, “I can see Jesus in your eyes.” Space will not allow me to share all the spiritual blessings I continue to experience when I speak to others about God’s word and will in my life. Without my stories of illness, heartache, and the new adventures that resulted in the last 24 years of my life, I could not have become the speaker/writer that God had planned for me to be. In Second Corinthians l: 3-4 Paul wrote, and God has taught me, about comforting others and this became another of my favorite scriptures: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” The lady, who said there is no God, has visited now and asked me how I remain “so upbeat.” I told her she might not like my answer, but she wanted to hear what I had to say. I explained to her that I am a Christian and that in studying God’s word, I have been able to turn my troubles over to Him and continue to enjoy the blessings that exist outside of the sorrows. Had I remained bitter and angry with God through heartache, several illnesses, and the loss of my husband, I could not have become a comforter and friend to others. Several people have said that I have comforted them and they wish they had the “peace” I have. I like to remind them of Jesus’ promise in John l4:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” That peace he gave me is stated so clearly in The Serenity

Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” I like to encourage others to think about this, memorize the prayer, and put it into action. Would these thoughts, beliefs, and actions be evidence to my Christianity? Sometimes folks wonder what good it does to pray when the results are not what they requested. But in Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus teaches what we refer to as “The Lord’s Prayer” and in verse 10 he says, “thy (God’s) will be done.” Some of us forget that we are His disciples and should pray for His will to be done rather than our own. Christians, who turn their backs on God because He didn’t answer their prayers in their own will and way, will lose out on the blessings He has for them in other ways. In Jeremiah 29:11-13 the Lord says, “For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” When we are victims of illness, we might wonder “why” and “if” our illness was in God’s plan for us. I can’t answer that for others, but I try to share my beliefs about how God has used my illness that I might help other people cope with the negatives in their lives. When I nearly died in 1976, I just prayed that God would enable me to go home and raise my daughters. I lived through an extended illness, raised my daughters, and it appeared to be answer to my prayer; but in reality it was God’s will because He knew He had future plans for me. When I look back at some of the major prayers that I lifted up to God, I can see that, as it says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” And that “strength” has gotten me through illnesses and helped me remain the Christian God desires me to be. As Christians we must trust and obey and have faith that God will hear our prayers. Trust, obedience, and faith may be more evidence used to convict us as Christians. I surely hope I’m found guilty.

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Our Health


Lorin S. Oden

Au.D., FAAA Doctor of Audiology


ow many times have Jane, Beth and I heard folks say “I hear people talking but do not always understand what they are saying”. We know a person will wait an average of 7-10 years before doing anything to improve their hearing ability. During that time what happens to the brain’s ability to process what they hear? When you begin to lose your hearing, the pathways in your brain that were designated to understand speech, begin to reorganize and rewire

themselves. As a result, you may lose some of the mental tools that are necessary to process and comprehend speech. Hearing and listening is not the same thing. Hearing allows you to receive acoustic information (speech) while listening requires your brain to attend to and interpret speech. For example, once a speech signal enters your ears, your brain must rapidly process each word and hold that string of words in memory long enough to comprehend and make sense of its meaning. Not only must your brain distinguish each word from all other possible words, but it must invoke mental skills such as auditory memory, auditory attention and auditory processing of speech in order for you to engage successfully in conversation. When all those things work well, understanding conversation goes smoothly. Remember hearing technology makes sounds

Home Sweet Home continued from page 4 Dan responded, “We did; got a chance to hike the Bear Creek park with Benny Moose. He shared background on the cross at the high point of the path.” “Well,” I said, “while you were enjoying nature, I worked on my Mom’s story and wrote a short piece about my childhood home to underscore my brother’s artwork. After you read it, let me know if you recognize any of the references. I titled it after the address on the front porch.” He began to read.

audible. Advanced technology does a wonderful job providing the brain with the acoustic cues necessary, but if the brain is not doing a good job making sense out of those acoustic cues, understanding speech can be challenging. Throughout the past decade various auditory training programs have been developed to help relearn those listening skills necessary to understanding speech. Consider it an exercise program for your brain. The problem with previously developed programs was they were time consuming and not much fun. As a result patient compliance was not very high. Our patients would start the program but after a few sessions would stop. A new program has been developed after many years of research and development. Jane and I have been waiting for this program to be available on your home computer as well as your iPad. More importantly, the program is fun. While playing candy crush or bejeweled is fun, it does nothing to improve

brain function. Why not play something that is fun as well as beneficial. clEar is here. Research performed at Washington University in St. Louis has shown that many patients better recognize words, discriminate speech better in the presence of background noise, and experience reduced listening challenges. So if you don’t need hearing aids but have difficulty understanding speech, just started using hearing technology or have worn hearing aids for years, this program may be for you. Everyone can benefit. If you are interested in learning more about clEar Auditory Brain Training, give Beth a call 704-633-0023. Jane and I would love to hear from you and help you be the best listener you can be. For more information or to schedule a hearing evaluation, contact Dr. Lorin S. Oden at Hearing Solutions of North Carolina, 464 Jake Alexander Blvd. W., Salisbury, NC 28147 704-633-0023

October Crossword

Three Fourteen East Bath Road Memories of days gone by, barefoot under the sun, We were half a dozen carefree kids simply having fun, Swimming in the family pool with sunshine or nighttime stars, Or biking to the drug store to get some candy bars, Coasting the wagon down the hill, swinging under the tree, Dirt bike riding in the field, or perhaps, stepping on a bee, Go-cart riding when Dad came home, jumping rope on the court, Or hitting the badminton birdie back and forth for sport. On days of rain or scorching heat, forcing us indoors, Mom played Hearts and Crazy Eights, we were never bored. We’ve all grown up and the house is long gone, But our sweet childhood memories still live on. Dan looked up, smiled and said, “Looks like your Mom gave you the kind of home that she yearned for in her childhood. Maybe we all get to remember what we choose to remember.” About Sharon Upton Sharon resides with her husband, Dan, in the rolling countryside just east of Mount Pleasant. They have two grown

children and seven grandchildren. Sharon has a special relationship with her ninety-seven year old mother, one that she hopes to capture in a book dedicated to her life. * You can request a free plaque from Dan by sending a postcard to Dan Upton, PO Box 1857 Concord, NC 28026.


1. Kind of lily 6. Send forth 10. Sounds of disapproval 14. Another time 15. Zero 16. Again 17. Bog hemp 18. Anagram of “Wort” 19. Connecting point 20. Product of your creative thinking 22. Roman robe 23. School session 24. Harvester 26. Feces 30. Ear of corn 31. Sweet potato 32. Wings 33. Two-toed sloth 35. Spirits 39. Ignite

41. Instinctive 43. Language of ancient Rome 44. Mats of grass 46. Roman emperor 47. Go up and down 49. Former North African ruler 50. Give and ____ 51. Materialize 54. Mining finds 56. Don 57. Illogical 63. Diva’s solo 64. A swinging barrier 65. Ostentatious 66. A man’s skirt 67. Astringent 68. Passageway 69. If not 70. Not more 71. Loamy deposit

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1. Anagram of “Crab” 2. Food thickener 3. Tibetan monk 4. 53 in Roman numerals 5. Concerning (archaic) 6. Coronates 7. Xylophone 8. False god 9. Tastelessly showy 10. Equivalent 11. Meddle 12. A small anchor 13. Affirm 21. Part of the large intestine 25. Where the sun rises 26. A dog wags one 27. Forearm bone

28. Flat float 29. Careful 34. Armpits 36. Urine component 37. Frolic 38. Blackthorn 40. Dwarf buffalo 42. Heretofore (2 words) 45. Smelly 48. Pertaining to a bride 51. Conscious 52. Risk 53. Buckets 55. Rope fiber 58. Part in a play 59. Buckeye State 60. Schnozzola 61. Hole-making tools 62. Caustics



A Little Dose of Humor Three Vampires Walk Into A Bar

Three vampires walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them suspiciously, but decides to serve them anyway. “What’ll be, boys?” The first vampire says, “Blood. Give me blood.” The second vampire says, “I too wish for blood!”

He rushes back to the table and pushes his way through the crowd. The lady is lying limp on the floor, with the table operator kneeling over her. The man is stunned. He asks, “What happened? Is she all right?” The operator replies, “I don’t know. She put all her money on 36, and when 47 came up she just fainted!”

Boat Number 99

The third vampire says, “Give me plasma.” The Bartender smiles and says, “Got it. Two bloods and one blood-light.”

Cash, Check, or What Is That?

“Cash, check or charge?” the cashier asked after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As the woman fumbled for her wallet, the cashier noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. “Do you always carry your TV remote?” the cashier asked. “No,” she replied. “But my husband refused to come shopping with me, so I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him.”

What Did He Do To You?

A bent-over old lady hobbled into a doctor’s office. Within minutes, she came out again but miraculously, she was standing up as straight as could be. A man in the waiting room, who had been watching her, said in amazement, “My goodness, what did the doctor do to you?” The old lady replied, “He gave me a longer cane.”

Mike’s First Day As A Bartender

Its Mike’s first day on the job as a bartender. As he serves a customer a Manhattan, a piece of parsley falls into the drink. “What the hell is that?” the customer asks. “It’s your Manhattan. And there’s Central Park.” he replied .

Playing Your Age

A lady is having a bad day at the roulette tables in Vegas. She’s down to her last $50. Exasperated, she exclaims to the whole table, “What rotten luck I’ve had today! What in the world should I do now?” A man standing next to her suggests, “I don’t know, why don’t you play your age?” He walks away, but moments later, his attention is grabbed by a great commotion at the roulette table. Maybe she won!

Old TV Shows Search

At a boat rental concession, the manager went to the lake’s edge and yelled through his megaphone, “Number 99, come in, please. Your time is up.” Several minutes passed, but the boat didn’t return. “Boat number 99,” he again hollered, “return to the dock immediately or I’ll have to charge you overtime.” “Something is wrong here, boss,” his assistant said. “We only have 75 boats. There is no number 99.” The manager thought for a moment and then raised his mega-phone. “Boat number 66!” he yelled. “Are you having trouble out there?”

Partly Cloudy

While watching the weather update early one evening in the middle of January, the forecast was for partly cloudy the rest of the day and through the night. Upon getting up and looking out the window the next morning, the man calls the station. He then asks if they can send someone out to plow the 18 inches of “partly cloudy” out of his driveway.

Really, Really, Slowly

Two guys were riding in a car, arguing about how to say the name of the city that they were in. One said “Louieville” and the other “Louise-ville.” They went on arguing and arguing, until they came upon a fast-food restaurant. The one guy goes inside and says to the waitress, “Please tell me the name of the place where I am right now, really, really, really slowly.” The waitress goes, “Bur-ger-King.”

They’re Biting Today

“Poor Old fool,” thought the gentleman as he watched an old man trying to fish in a puddle of water outside of the bar. He decided to invite the old man inside for a drink. As they sipped their whiskeys, the gentleman thought he’d humor the old man and asked, “So how many have you caught so far?” The old man replied, “You’re the eighth today.”

Hair Replacement

A man was going bald and told his friends he was going to get a rabbit tattooed on his head as it was a lot cheaper than an implant or a toupée. His friends asked how getting a rabbit tattooed on his head would help? The man replied, “Well, at least from a distance it will look like hare.”

Name That Boat

This guy wanted a boat more than anything. His wife kept refusing, but he bought one anyway. “I’ll tell you what,” he told her. “In the spirit of compromise, why don’t you name the boat?” Being a good sport, she accepted. When her husband went to the dock for his maiden voyage, this is the name he saw painted on the side: “For Sale”





I was at a yard sale one day and saw a box marked, “Electronic cat and dog call—guaranteed to work”. I looked inside and was amused to see an electric can opener.

Pirate Earrings

How much does it cost a Pirate to get his ears pierced? A bucc-an-eer!

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Stuffed Jack-O-Lantern Bell Peppers Ingredients: 6 bell peppers, any color 1 pound ground beef 1 egg 4 slices whole wheat bread, cubed 1 small onion, chopped 1 small tomato, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup chili sauce 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish. 2. Lightly mix together the ground beef, egg, bread cubes, onion, tomato, garlic, chili sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a bowl. 3. Wash the peppers, and cut jack-o’-lantern faces into the peppers with a sharp paring knife, making triangle eyes and noses, and pointy-teeth smiles. Slice off the tops of the peppers, and scoop out the seeds and cores. Stuff the peppers lightly with the beef stuffing, and place them into the prepared baking dish so they lean against each other. 4. Bake in the preheated oven until the peppers are tender and the stuffing is cooked through and juicy, about 1 hour.

Pumpkin Brownies Ingredients: 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup butter, melted 1 1/2 cups white sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 eggs 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. 2. In another bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla extract; beat in the eggs one at a time with a spoon. Gradually add the flour mixture, and stir the batter until it’s evenly moistened. Divide the batter in half in two separate bowls. 3. Into one bowl of batter, blend the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. In the second bowl of batter, stir in the pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. 4. Spread 1/2 of the chocolate batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, and follow with 1/2 of the pumpkin batter. Repeat the layers, ending with a pumpkin layer, and drag a kitchen knife or small spatula gently through the layers in a swirling motion, to create a marbled appearance. 5. Bake in the preheated oven until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan, cut into squares, and serve.


Do you have a favorite recipe that you’d like to share with our readers? If so, we’d love to have recipes that are easy, healthy and are smaller in proportion – just right for someone cooking for one or two. Please send your recipes to OR drop them off at the front desk of Rufty Holmes Senior Center to Cindy Nimmer. Thanks and we look forward to seeing what you’ve got cooking!

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Our Health

Can a Mediterranean-style Diet Protect One’s Eyesight? by Katrena Allison Wells Faith Community Nurse for Woodleaf United Methodist Church


ge-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. AMD destroys the macula of the eye, leading to a loss of central vision. In 2010, AMD cases in those over the age of 80 reached approximately 14%. By the year 2050, predictions indicate that rates of AMD will rise from the current 2.07 million cases to 5.44 million cases. The Coimbra Eye Study looked at age-related macular degeneration rates in nearly 3,000 people over the age of 55 in two towns in Portugal: Lousã and Mira. The study found lower rates of AMD in the study group who lived near the coast than the group located more inland. The coastal group also had lower AMD rates when compared with several other AMD studies, so researchers began to examine lifestyle choices of those living near the coast to see if behaviors such as dietary choices might play a protective role in helping people to avoid developing AMD or to have less severe cases of AMD. Study participants who ate more

fruit and who consumed more soluble and insoluble fiber were significantly less likely to have age-related macular degeneration. Additional significant results found that those with lower rates of AMD had a diet higher in betacarotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. A Mediterranean-style diet draws from cultural norms of those who live in Mediterranean areas and has the following traditional characteristics: • Natural, unprocessed foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes • Healthier dietary fats such as olive oil, canola oil, and some nuts instead of butter • Poultry or fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon rather than red meat • Low-fat dairy products such as skim milk, fat-free yogurt, or lowfat cheese • Red wine (up to 5 oz. for men over age 65 or women, up to 10 oz. for men under age 65) or purple grape juice Several studies, including the Coimbra Eye Study, also found that regularly exercising can reduce one’s risk for developing

AMD. Study results indicated lower rates of AMD among those who drank caffeinated beverages such as coffee or tea, perhaps in part because those beverages contain antioxidants. Can eating a Mediterranean-style diet help one to avoid developing AMD or from developing worsening AMD? Perhaps, but studies such as this indicate correlations rather than a cause-and-effect relationship. If you are concerned about your vision, check with your healthcare provider for individualized tips for lifestyle habits that may help to preserve your eyesight.

Sources: • Mayo Clinic online article “Nutrition and Healthy Eating” • National Eye Institute online article “Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)” • National Institutes of Health online article “Prevalence of AMD in Portugal: The Coimbra Eye Study – Report 1” • Opthalmology Times online article “Mediterranean diet may protect against macular degeneration” If your faith community is interested in a health program, please contact Pam Hurley at Pamela.Hurley@

S ud ok u

Puzzle Answers


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Our Health

Importance of Flu Vaccines for Older Adults


uring increased levels of circulating seasonal flu viruses, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that the benefits of receiving a flu vaccination outweighs the risk of receiving the flu virus between 40% to 60% among the overall population. It is important for older adults to get vaccinated due to weaker immune systems compared to their younger counterparts. The vaccine aids against major effects that could potentially lead to hospitalizations or possible

fatalities. The CDC recommends that some protection against flu-like symptoms is better than none, and by protecting yourself through vaccinations you are reducing your chances of fighting the severity of the flu illness. Even though flu vaccines do not protect against all infections and illnesses caused by other strains of flu viruses, seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against three or four flu viruses. Many individuals can protect themselves against influenza by receiving the

vaccination, taking antiviral drugs-prescribed by a doctor, and practicing good health habits-such as covering your face when you cough and frequently washing your hands. Get your flu shot today! Rufty Holmes Senior Center located at 1120 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave (28144) is partnering with Moose Pharmacy to provide flu shots to seniors 55 years of age and older on Monday, October 2, 2017 between 9am-11am. This vaccine is covered by most major

insurance companies with a zero copay including Aetna, Cigna, Tricare, Medicare Part B, United Healthcare, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC. Walk-ins are welcome! Please bring your insurance card and a valid form of identification. Please contact Rufty Holmes Senior Center’s main desk at 704-216-7714 to learn more about the flu clinic. For more information regarding flu vaccinations, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at https://www.

Paring Down the Food Label By Rebekah W. Adams, RN, MSN Community Health Educator

I recently spoke with registered dietitian, Ginnie Collins, MS, RD, LDN, CCP, to discover what advice she had about reading food labels. After 15 years of experience, she has developed what she calls a food label short list: 1. The fewer ingredients in a product, the better. Goal: 5 ingredients or less. 2. Seek “whole” grains rather than refined or “white starchy” carbohydrates. Whole grains have more disease protective phytonutrients and more fiber to help provide regularity and keep you feeling full longer. “White starchys” raise blood sugar and cause an increase in appetite. Whole grains have the word “whole” as the first word in the ingredient list. If “whole” is part of the second ingredient, rather than the first, it is not a whole grain. 3. Limit grams of sugar instead of carbohydrates. The recommended limit for added sugar is less than 7 grams per serving, with a daily total of less than 40 grams. An example of a beverage that could “blow the bank” is a can of regular soda at about 39 grams of sugar. Beware that sugar can also be called honey, sucrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, or molasses. 4. Eliminate trans fat: It raises bad and lowers good cholesterol. Goal: Zero grams per day. The good news? Since 2006, when trans fat had to be listed on the label, it was removed from many products. If a “partially hydrogenated” oil (AKA: Trans fat) is listed in the ingredient list,

especially near the beginning or multiple times, avoid the food. 5. Limit saturated fat: It raises bad cholesterol and is found in high-protein animal foods like meat, poultry and full-fat dairy foods. Raise an eyebrow if a product contains more than 3-5 grams of saturated fat per serving. 6. Limit sodium: Many clients admit they are reading labels for sodium, but don’t know why. We only need 2300 mg per day (equivalent to about 1 teaspoon salt) and can easily get this amount without ever using the salt shaker. It is prudent to limit sodium intake, especially if one has high blood pressure or congestive heart failure. 7. For weight management, look at calories and serving size/servings per container: Weight gain is simply consuming more calories than are burned off. Serving size tells us the portion of food

the calories on the label apply to. Pay attention to servings per container and don’t be fooled by a container that says 100 calories per serving when there are 2 servings per container. 8. Ignore DV% (daily values) on the label. These are the numbers followed by “%” on the label because they are always based on a 2000 or 2500 calorie plan which is much too high for an adult trying to manage weight.

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The learning curve for label reading is steep but short, meaning some time invested up front in learning what is important and what to ignore will pay off quickly in being able to pick up the products you are looking for and quickly scan for key nutrients and ingredients.


Our Health

Ten Hobbies for Retirees

performance once a month or once a week.

By Rachel Hanson From LoveToKnow Seniors


any people getting ready to retire wonder what they will do with all the free time, and these ten hobbies for retirees can fill plenty of the gaps. With a broad selection of weekly activities, you can fill up your days, many times while enriching the lives of others. Even if some of these don’t appeal at first glance, try them all out once you are actually retired. For example, you may think you don’t like to cook, but it may just be that you never liked the pressure of having to get a meal on the table at a certain time. Retirement can actually help turn tasks that were once tedious into fun-filled, relaxing activities. 1. Travel There is no better time to travel extensively than in early retirement. With no work commitments, and children all grown up, the first years of retirement offer a golden opportunity to travel the world. Whether you caravan close to home for relaxation, or if you visit faraway destinations you never took the time to see earlier in life, travel can be an eyeopening experience. Keep in mind that traveling doesn’t have to break the bank. Even some foreign destinations are quite affordable (once you pay for the plane tickets) because the local economy is very different from that in the US. 2. Volunteer Doing volunteer work, whether once a week at the local library, or every day at a children’s center, can enrich your life, while making a drastic difference in the lives of others in your community. Many people cite the first reason to not volunteer as lack of free time, making retirement a great time of life to do volunteer work. Look for opportunities to make a difference at local establishments, as well as schools, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations.

5. Clubs/Associations Several clubs and associations can provide social interaction and fun activities for seniors. Whether you join a national organization like the Red Hat Society, or you make a small local club of your own, such as a weekly card games club, this type of activity provides valuable interaction for seniors.

3. Arts & Crafts Perhaps you’ve quilted all your life, or you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since grade school art class, but retirement is the time to try new things! Try new artistic and creative endeavors, or perfect ones that you’ve enjoyed all of your life with the extra time you have available in retirement. Some ideas for arts and crafts activities to try include: * Paint * Make jewelry * Cross-stitch, embroider, or knit * Quilt or sew * Make pottery * Learn basket-weaving or chair-caning * Learn woodworking * Make stained glass projects Not only are these activities a great way to keep yourself busy, but they can also produce countless gifts for friends and family. 4. Music/Theater/Dance Whether you join the audience, the players onstage, or the theater staff in taking tickets and running lights, getting involved in the performing arts can be a lot of fun. If you’d like to participate yourself, call some local community theaters and community centers to see what opportunities exist. If you’d like to enjoy the hard work of others, start a club in which you and your friends go see a

6. Exercise Exercise can take on any form! Retirement is the perfect time to get in shape, or to make sure that you stay in shape if you are already in good condition. Take up a low-impact exercise routine; for example, go for a morning walk or an afternoon swim, or take up a daily yoga or tai chi practice. Staying fit doesn’t mean running marathons, it just means getting up off the couch. 7. Cooking Baking and cooking can be lots of fun if you take the time to enjoy them. Read cooking books or magazines, or watch cooking shows on the television for inspiration, and then try out some recipes that really appeal to you. When you make something you can’t wait to eat for dinner, you enjoy the cooking process more. It’s also lots of fun to make baked goods and bring them to neighbors as a surprise, or bake a special cake for a relative’s birthday. All these gestures will be greatly appreciated. 8. The Great Outdoors Did you always have an interest in birds or flowers, but never have the time to really learn about them? Retirees can take up many hobbies in retirement, among them a newfound appreciation for outdoor activities. While hiking up a mountain would probably not be recommended by your doctor, going for a stroll on a boardwalk through wetlands is

good exercise and interesting from an environmental standpoint. 9. Teach Whatever you did before retirement, you can teach it to the younger generation. Or, teach one of your hobbies, such as knitting or baking. Adult education programs are frequently looking for part-time evening instructors for these types of courses, and while they don’t produce a full-time income, teaching these types of classes can be a perfect activity for retirees. 10. Reconnect with Family Life is busy, but retirement offers a reprieve from the rat race. Invite your family over more often than you used to, or offer to babysit your grandchildren each weekend so that your kids can have some time to themselves. Write letters and send pictures to relatives who live far away, or go visit them more often. Get a webcam for your computer so you can chat with grandchildren who live far away. Retirement Relaxation All in all, retirement can be a time of fun, relaxation, and productivity. Some of these ten hobbies for retirees will probably appeal more than others, but there should be at least something for everyone. Whether you take up golf or volunteer at an elementary school, you can enrich your own golden years with many fun activities during retirement.

10 Tips for Family Caregivers 1. Empower yourself. Learn what you can about your family member’s disease and its course. Learn what resources are available in your community. Remember that you are an advocate for your family member, and knowledge is power.

5. Be good to your back. Caregiving is not only emotionally stressful, but it can be physically stressful as well. Learn proper techniques for assisting your family member with transfers, bathing, etc. If you are not physically able, see #3.

2. Be proactive. Start now with advanced directives (living will, power of attorney, Do Not Resuscitate order). Adapt your home setting in anticipation of your family member’s future needs. Have a plan for the time when living at home may no longer be an option.

6. Know your limits. Everyone has physical and emotional limits, and it is important to pay attention to what your body and mind are telling you. Ideally, ask for help before your limit is reached.

8. Seek support from those who know. All things are easier to bear if you know you are not alone. Find a way to connect with other family caregivers, whether through a support group, an internet blog, or friends in the same situation.

9. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Spirituality comes in many forms, and it can bring you a sense of peace and strength when you need it the most. Daily (or hourly if needed!) prayer and meditation can see you through even the worst days. 7. Accept what you can’t change. This covers a lot of ground, from your 3. Ask for help. Have your “Help Need” family member’s medical condition 10. Laugh often. How many times list ready when offers of help are have you thought, “I didn’t know to the rocky road of family made. There is no glory whether to laugh or cry”? You dynamics. Realize that you can’t in being a martyr! might as well laugh. Laughter change what other people say or reduces our level of stress do. You can only change the way 4. Kick guilt to the curb. It is a useless hormones, exercises 53 facial you choose to react. emotion that saps energy you need muscles, and releases natural for much more important and endorophins. Plus, it’s free and productive things. it’s contagious.


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Cabarrus Senior Savvy October 2017  

Celebrating Life After 55