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His voice has taken him on the ride of his life By Dianna Troyer At 4 a.m. Monday through Thursday, rancher Zeb Bell slips out of bed and slides into his radio studio at his ranch south of Murtaugh, Idaho, ready to broadcast his show, “Zeb at the Ranch,” worldwide. “It’s been such a fun ride, something I could never have imagined,” says Zeb, 64, a Christian who attributes his success as a rodeo announcer and radio show host to God. “I’ve been so blessed. We have cream-of-the-crop sponsors, guests, and so many advertisers that we have a waiting list.” The show airs from 8 to 11 a.m. on K-BAR Radio 1230 AM, and discusses conservative politics and life on his ranch where he and his wife, Deanne, raise Mexican longhorn Corriente cattle and quarter horses. In April, the show began airing worldwide via an internet webcast. “When I started this about 15 years ago, it was two hours, and I thought it would just be a hobby that provided supplemental income,” says Zeb. “Since then, it’s taken on a life of its own. Now it’s three hours, and I wish I had more time to get everything in.” Preparing for the show is a daunting task that Zeb manages with his trademark work ethic, humor, extroverted personality, and bass voice. “After I get up at 4, I read four papers, then at 6, I call the newsrooms on the East Coast to get updates, so I’m ready to go on air at 8.” When the show is done, Zeb slips into his other roles, being a familiar and knowledgeable voice on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo circuit nationwide. “I used to announce at 130 to 140 performances a year, but two years ago I had to cut back, so now I do about 40 a year,” says Zeb, who has been a PRCA announcer since 1974. To prepare for two hours behind the mike at a rodeo, he does about six hours of research. “I compile thick spiral notebooks with information about the performers, the specialty acts, and the stock. I rehearse and memorize.” Zeb’s announcing skills have earned him prestigious jobs. During the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, he was the voice of the American Quarter Horse Association as the exhibition announcer. At the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, in 2002, he was the announcer for the reining events. He was selected six times to announce at the National Rodeo Finals. When he is not announcing, he competes in team roping contests. “I used to do cutting, too, but most of all I love roping.” (Cont’d on p. 14)


PAGE 2 IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

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JUNE/JULY 2012

Interesting People In ISI Profiles

A Rose By Any Other Name‌

Many thanks for the article about Rick Petrillo. I knew him years ago when he lived in Hailey. I kept track of him off and on after that and then completely lost contact. It is nice to know that he stayed true to his lifestyle and dreams. Yes, I have a signed copy of his poems, and of course had to get it out again to read a few selections. Keep on finding interesting people for your profile articles. They are great fun to read about. I really enjoy the Idaho Senior Independent! Carol Blackburn Shoshone

Is anyone out there feeling rejected? Perhaps if I share one of my golden moments of rejection you can compare and determine the level of your problem. When I was going to high school, I trapped furbearing animals to have spending money. A good skunk pellet would bring more that a whole day’s wages they paid then. A weasel was worth three times more. But, no girls would go with me, I smelled like a skunk. I decided to go to a movie alone. I was barely seated when I realized no one was sitting within five seats of me in any direction. The word was out! Pepe Le Pew is in town, everyone move over. Now that is rejection! CG Hammer Idaho Falls ISI

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Idaho Senior Independent A Barrett-Whitman Publication P.O. Box 3341 • Great Falls, MT 59403-3341 208-318-0310 • Toll Free: 1-866-360-5683 Fax: 406-761-8358 www.idahoseniorindependent.com E-mail: idahoseniorind@bresnan.net The Idaho Senior Independent is published six times each year in February, April, June, August, October, and December by Barrett-Whitman, 415 3rd Avenue North, Great Falls, MT 59401 and is distributed free to readers throughout the state of Idaho. The mail subscription rate is $10.00 per year (6 issues). The Idaho Senior Independent is written to serve Idaho’s mature population of all ages. Readers are encouraged to contribute interesting material. Views expressed in opinion stories, contributions, articles, and letters are not necessarily the views of the publisher. The appearance of advertisements for products or services does not constitute an endorsement of the particular product or service. The publisher will not be responsible for mistakes in advertisements unless notified within five days of publication. All copy appearing in the Idaho Senior Independent is protected by copyright and may be reprinted only with the written permission of the publisher. Advertising copy should be received or space reserved by the 5th of the month preceding the month of publication.

Jack W. Love, Jr., Publisher/Editor Colleen Paduano Dan Hubbard Lisa Krebs Rhonda Lee Sherrie Smith Nann Parrett

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Contributing Writers Natalie Bartley Connie Daugherty Holly Endersby Clare Hafferman Cate Huisman Gail Jokerst Bernice Karnop Craig Larcom Liz Larcom Jack McNeel Michael McGough Dianna Troyer Š 2012

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Finance Funeral Gold & Silver Health

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Recreation

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IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 3

Manufactured Housing Is An Affordable Option for Retirement Living Living expenses can be a big concern for those considering retirement, and housing costs are a major component, which can significantly affect the quality of life enjoyed in retirement years. With many available housing options, what are the advantages of choosing a manufactured home? Affordability – When purchasing a new manufactured home, you can expect to pay from 30% to 50% less than a comparable site-built home. Buyers benefit because builders are able to purchase large quantities of construction materials, allowing them to negotiate low prices. An additional money saving option for many buyers is the convenience and lower cost of purchasing a remodeled home in a land-lease community. Land-lease communities offer additional savings by relieving the buyer of the cost of purchasing and making improvements to the land. Quality – The controlled environment and assembly line techniques remove many of the problems of site-built housing, such as damage to products and materials caused by poor weather, theft, or vandalism. Also, factory employees are trained, scheduled, and managed by one employer. Varied floor plans are available offering living and dining rooms with vaulted ceilings, fully equipped modern kitchens, comfortable bedrooms with walk-in closets, and bathrooms with recessed bathtubs and whirlpools. You may also select from a variety of exterior designs, including vinyl, wood, or hardboard. Design features such as bay windows, gabled fronts, pitched roofs with shingles, awnings, patio covers, and decks are common. Lifestyle – Buyers who choose to live in a land-lease community enjoy the security and warmth of a close-knit neighborhood. Some communities offer residency exclusively to those 55 and over. This is especially appealing to those who have raised families and love the occasional visit from grandchildren, but prefer the day-to-day peace and quiet of a community where the noise and rough housing of children are absent from everyday life. Such communities offer the benefit of having a built-in social network of neighbors with similar needs, interests, and lifestyles. With a wave of baby-boomers reaching retirement age, manufactured housing is becoming a more and more popular option. Both the convenience and the affordability of living in a manufactured home retirement community make this a great choice for many people. You may find it worth your time – and money – to check out the communities in your local area. ISI

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JUNE/JULY 2012

By Connie Daugherty One-Mission Man: An American POWs Struggle to Survive Hitler’s Nazi Prison Camp by David Ririe, Roger W. Nielsen, and Carolyn R. Nielsen; Teton Crest Publishing, 2012. “Before dawn on April 11, 1944, my B-17 flight crew gathered in the briefing room of the 388th Bomber Group of the U.S. Eighth Air Force in the small town of Knettishall, Suffolk, England,” begins David Ririe’s memoir, One-Mission Man. David was the bombardier of the crew. The events of that day would change David’s life forever. One-Mission Man is co-authored by David Ririe, his niece Carolyn, and her husband Roger. The book chronicles one young man’s life from his birth and youth in Ririe, Idaho through his military training as a bombardier in a B-17, his single wartime mission, his time as a prisoner of war and eventual liberation and discharge. To help maintain context, sidebars of actual news articles are presented alongside David’s memories. The book is well written and researched with an organized stream-of-consciousness style that is very readable. By telling David’s story, One-Mission Man pays tribute, not only to David, but also to all those E V O L who fought in World War II. O T S REASON David Ririe was born either March 19 or March 20, 1922 – the discrepancy is a family treasure – on ™ a farm outside the town his grandfather had established near Idaho Falls. His childhood was typical with just enough adventure to keep life interesting. He learned his work ethic on the family farm and his faith from his family history. His father was a Bishop in the local LDS church and David was looking forward to his own mission trip. Then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. “In September of 1942… I drove to Pocatello where we took tests to enter the Army Air Corps…. Six months after… I received my orders to report to Santa Ana, California for pre-flight training.” David celebrated his 21st birthday by beginning his Air Corps training. The next few months were strenuous, both physically and mentally, and OneMission Man devotes several chapters to the details of this difficult, but important training. In the fall of 1943, David recalls, “I received orders awarding me a commission in the army as a second lieutenant and the coveted bombardier’s wings… I had achieved my goal.” His real work was just beginning. After a brief furlough, David was off to more training in Ardmore, Oklahoma where he would become intimately familiar with the B-17 bomber and his position as a bombardier. “The bombardier sat in the most exposed spot on the plane, directly behind the Plexiglas nose cone… he aimed and released the payload… also protected the plane from fontal attacks, manning two guns.” By March 1944 he was on his way to England and then came that fateful day in April. “Our spirits were high as adrenaline surged through us.” They had trained and trained and AFTER ALL THE YEARS OF HARD WORK, it’s time to start enjoying all they were ready. Even though the plane had been the reasons to love Idaho. Nothing beats a day trip in the Sawtooth Mountains, damaged in a firefight they managed to drop their a soak in your favorite hot springs, or a boat ride down any one of the 52 payload and turn thankfully toward home. Then the German fighter planes appeared out of nowhere. beautiful rivers crisscrossing our state. Six hours after take-off the crew of the Expectant Another thing thousands of Idaho seniors can enjoy about our great state is Father found themselves injured, on the ground facing German soldiers’ guns, and headed to a POW Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho and its Senior Discount camp. Their first and only mission had ended, and for drivers over the age of 55. If you’d like to explore this exciting option, while they might have been out of the air and away from combat, they were still a part of the ongoing contact us today and one of our friendly agents will help guide you to all the fighting. discounts you deserve. Visit www.idfbins.com to find an agent near you. “Fear overwhelmed me… Unexpectedly, the words of a blessing I received before I left home forcefully entered my mind. ‘You will return home rejoicing,’ I had been promised. Immediately the words comforted and strengthened me.” Nearly 10 days after their fateful flight, David found himself at Stalag Luft 1 about 100 miles northwest of Berlin. He was assigned a room with 13 other men. “Each room contained a small wooden table, two or three wooden chairs, a bare light bulb Win an iPod Touch!™ If you have a great shot of Idaho dangling from the ceiling, and a small cast-iron o that you’d like to share, the “Reasons to Love Idaho” Photo wood-burning stove… not sufficient for heating.” Without any idea of how long they would be imContest could be your shot at a new Apple iPod Touch.™ prisoned, or what the conditions would be like from n. Visit www.reasonstoloveidaho.com for more information. PHOTO © J. EDWARDS, day to day, David determined to endure keeping in CLARK FORK, ID mind the blessing he had received. He even found

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err. – Mahatma Gandhi

FOR OUR NEIGHBORS OVER 55 THERE ARE MORE REASONS TO LOVE IDAHO THAN EVER.


JUNE/JULY 2012

some other LDS members and they started having Sunday services together. “The realization that we were prisoners of the Third Reich… became more obvious every day. Killing enemy combatants was replaced by killing endless hours of monotony. They played poker and chess, they read books supplied by the YMCA or competed in sports. “For awhile we played competitive volleyball… as our food supply dwindled, our energy level dropped. We just didn’t have the strength for volleyball.” Even with their limited rations of watery turnip soup and dark bread, they found the energy to devise and carry out escape attempts. David details the process of digging tunnels – more than once because they were often found out, but they did not stop trying. They even had an underground weekly newsletter where “we received… the most reliable news about world events.” Mostly they struggled and they endured. “Chaos, terrifying uncertainty, anarchy, death, and destruction enveloped Stalag Luft 1 as the final days of its existence came to a close.” Finally on April 30, 1945, “Ten days short of thirteen months in captivity, I was free,” David writes. However, liberation did not mean freedom and

an immediate trip home. Winding down a war can be a complex process, as David found out. It was about six weeks after his liberation from the prison camp until he, along with other POWs, boarded a ship bound for the United States. Finally, he was on his way home, back to the life he had left behind. “When I consider my life… I regard myself to be a very blessed man,” he writes. “Life has a way of working out if you work hard, stay on course, and have faith.” Each section of One Mission Man proves out David’s philosophy in one way or another, and is a wonderful reminder of what is important in life. David eventually earned his Ph.D.in Soil Science and Plant Physiology. Carolyn Nielsen, David’s niece, is a writer and editor and her husband, Roger, is the author of several books. They live in Idaho Falls. ISI

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 5

Reverse Mortgage Your local source for free information: Larry Waters NMLS 400451 Reverse Mortgage Consultant 208-762-6887 Local 855-762-6887 Toll-Free Must be at least 62 years old. Homeowners are responsible to keep annual taxes and insurance current. First National Bank of Layton NMLS 405871 All rights reserved. Copyright © 2012

A Man With A Calling To Poetry: Boise’s John Wulf By Gail Jokerst Poetry has been said - and rightly so - to be many things to many people. Carl Sandburg called it, “a packsack of invisible keepsakes” while William Wordsworth deemed it, “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” To someone like John Wulf, a man who writes verse as naturally as he breathes, creating poems is all that and more. It nourishes his soul in the same way a good meal nourishes his body. And it is just as essential to his well-being because writing poetry is how John gains a better understanding of himself and the world around him. Whatever moves him from angst to awe or from heartbreak to happiness is fair game for his pen. “If I don’t write poetry, I get constipation of the brain,” remarks John, who likes to carry a voice recorder in his pocket so he has a fast, easy way to keep track of the inspirations that occur throughout the day and that could possibly trigger a poem. “I keep files of these one-liners or snippets. Every now and then, I get them down so I can revisit them and turn them into poems.” Primarily, John writes for himself, to express his feelings but not necessarily to write so others can understand or relate to those words. For the most part, John jots down his poems in mere minutes. The tinkering comes later. “I do the revisions to insure the poem makes sense,” says John. “And I agonize more over that than writing the original poem. I put the flavor out there to be enjoyed and hope it also touches something in the reader.” As he says, “It’s my side of the conversation to look at my thoughts myself.” Like many poets, John writes haikus, rondelets, (Continued on pg 47)

A dog is a reliable friend, a family member who is willing to follow you to the ends of the earth for the simple reward of a pat and a few kind words (not to mention an occasional treat and boat trip here and there). And when it finally comes to saying good-bye to that constant companion, no matter how prepared you think you are, you are faced with a very difficult time. This issue, our winning Remember When contributor, Leonard Vickers of Payette, tells how his hound had no bones about traveling with his master

on a sailboat around the Southern Pacific, and how difficult it was to say good-bye after 17 years of companionship. Thank you and congratulations to Leonard for his piece, Lord, it was so hard to do, the winning story for our $25 Remember When prize. Remember When contains our readers’ personal reflections or contributions describing fictional or non-fictional events from some time in the past. Contributions may be stories, letters, artwork, poems, essays, etc. Photos may be included.

Each issue of the Idaho Senior Independent features the contribution(s) deemed best by our staff. The contributor of the winning entry receives a $25 cash prize. We look forward to receiving your contributions for our August/September 2012 issue. Mail your correspondence to Idaho Senior Independent, P.O. Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403, email to idahoseniorind@bresnan.net, or call 1-866-3605683 or 208-318-0310.

Lord, it was so hard to do By Leonard Vickers, Payette We first met Newt when he was about six weeks old, after reading an article in the paper about 14 puppies born on a small farm just outside Nyssa. We called and asked if they were giving some of the pups away. The lady told us that if we wanted one, we should come out and pick one. She said they were about six weeks old and ready to be weaned. When we arrived, the lady informed us that the article in the paper was a little misleading. The 14 puppies, though born on the same day, were from two different litters. One mother was a Chihuahua, the other was a Dachshund, and they had no idea

what breed the father was. The barn was filled with all kinds of animals, chickens, rabbits, and of course the pups. We spotted one little guy hiding in some straw under a piece of cardboard, I picked him up in one hand, and that was it – this little guy was to be our constant companion for the next 17 years. When people asked what breed Newt was, we really did not know what to say. He did not look Dachshund or Chihuahua. We just knew his mother was a small Dachshund and had no idea what his father was. The name “Newt” was a spur of the moment thing. Newt Gingrich’s odd (Cont’d on pg 23)


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JUNE/JULY 2012

What better way to reflect the magnificence of the good old USA than in the colorful nicknames of our 50 glorious states. We have selected half of them for our State Monikers: It’s All In A Name featured quiz. How good is your knowledge of geography and state history? Our winner of the $50 prize for the winning answers to the Famous Inventions quiz that appeared in the April/May issue is Elvira Wheaton of Plummer. Congratulations Elvira. Two $25 cash prizes are awarded from the “Contest Corner” in each issue of the Idaho Senior Independent. One prize goes to the person who submits the entry selected by our staff as the featured quiz or puzzle in the “Contest Corner” for

that issue. Turn your creativity loose and send us some good, interesting puzzles! The second $25 prize goes to the person who submits the correct answers to the featured quiz or puzzle from the previous issue. When there is a tie, the winner is determined by a drawing. Please mail your entries to the Idaho Senior Independent, P.O. Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403 or email them to idahoseniorind@bresnan. net by July 10, 2012 for our August/September 2012 edition. Remember to work the crossword puzzle in this issue and on our website www.idahoseniorindependent.com.

State Monikers: It’s All In A Name Created by the ISI staff. Below are 25 states, along with a list of nicknames. On a numbered sheet of paper, match each state with its correct nickname, and send it to us. The winner will receive a $25 cash prize. Good luck! 1. Alabama 16. New Mexico D. The Magnolia State O. The First State 2. Alaska 17. North Carolina E. The Evergreen State P. The Green Mountain 3. Arizona 18. Ohio F. The Yellowhammer State 4. California 19. Oregon State Q. The Sunflower State 5. Delaware 20. Rhode Island G. The Cornhusker R. The Tar Heel State 6. Florida 21. Tennessee State S. The Volunteer State 7. Idaho 22. Utah H. The Beaver State T. The Gem State 8. Kansas 23. Vermont I. The Pelican State U. The Buckeye State 9. Louisiana 24. Washington J. The Sunshine State V. The Garden State 10. Massachusetts 25. Wisconsin K. The Badger State W. The Golden State 11. Michigan L. The Great Lakes X. The Bay State 12. Mississippi A. The Ocean State State Y. The Treasure State ISI 13. Montana B. The Grand Canyon M. The Land of 14. Nebraska State Enchantment 15. New Jersey C. The Last Frontier N. The Beehive State


JUNE/JULY 2012

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 7

Answers to Famous Inventions Created by MSN Staff 1. J – Eli Whitney 2. B – Henry W. Seeley 3. Q – Judson L. Whitcomb 4. V – Edwin Herbert Land 5. C - Johann Vaaler 6. Y - Samuel Finley Breese Morse

Across 1. Orginal name for Memorial Day (2 words) 8. ___ the break of dawn 10. Moved a flag 12. One kind of soldier 14. Last word of “America, the Beautiful” 16. Philosophical verb? 18. ___ wire 19. Flag carriers (2 words) 25. All right 26. ___ Capitan 27. Degree 29. Official birthplace of Memorial Day 31. Kind of salute 33. Alert 35. __ and behold 36. Friend 38. Memorial Day events 40. Augusta’s state 41. American League, for short 44. Memorial Day race (3 words) 49. Sci-fi writer, Doc Smith 50. Metal find 51. Flowers associated with Memorial Day 53. Author of “In Flanders Fields” 55. Medical TV show 56. Call 58. Started a fire 59. Remembered

7. M – Tim Berners-Lee 8. H – Otto Fredrick Rohwedder 9. S – Ezra Warner 10. A – Ruth Wakefield 11. P – Dr. John Stith Pemberton 12. W – George Crumb 13. F – Dr. Percy LeBaron Spencer

Down 1. “_____ early light....” 2. Sorority letter 3. Brave opponent 4. More faithful 5. It’s a wrap 6. Put on 7. “Amen!” 9. Trumpet tune 11. Routing word 13. Sonnet 15. Attention 16. Get hot in the kitchen 17. Sun, poetically 20. Was sweet (on)

14. E – Thomas Moore 15. U – Earl John Montagu 16. L – Thomas Sullivan 17. I – James Naismith 18. D – Frank Henry Fleer 19. O – Arthur Wynne

21. Valley 22. Flower 23. Radio wave 24. American symbol 28. Military headgear 29. Combat 30. Alias 32. Unpopular conflict 34. Alert 36. Top 37. “A” variation 39. Preserves life 42. General in grey 43. “Catch!” 44. Push forward 45. Cache 46. Ace 47. Traditional Sunday fare 48. Dover locale (state abbreviation) 52. “___ pales in Heaven the morning star”: Lowell 53. Wire diameter measurement, abbr. 54. “Silent” prez 56. A can __ person 57. Ravens’ state ISI

20. X – John Lloyd Wright 21. G – Frank J. Zamboni 22. K – Benjamin Franklin 23. T – Alessandro Volta 24. N – Galileo Galilei 25. R – Mary Anderson ISI


PAGE 8 IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

Your Partner in Diabetes Education and Support St. Luke’s Humphreys Diabetes Center has six locations and 13 diabetes educators to meet your diabetes education and prevention needs. Call us today to find out how we can help you live a long, healthy life.

(208) 331-1155 hdiabetescenter.org Locations in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Mountain Home, Fruitland and Weiser.

JUNE/JULY 2012

According to an old Swedish proverb, “A life without love is like a year without summer.” Well, summer is upon us, serving as a gentle reminder that the warmth of love is within reach, so make your move! If you respond to one of these ads, you, too, could feel the warm effects of love’s summer glow. To those who wish to respond to any of these personal ads, simply forward your message and address, phone number, or email address to the department number listed in the particular personal ad, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, P.O. Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. We will forward your response, including your address, phone number, and/or email address to the person placing the ad. If you answer an ad in this section, there is no guarantee that you will receive a response. That is up to the person who placed the ad. Please make sure you submit your correct address plainly printed, so you can promptly receive responses. Respond to the ads in this issue, and also sit down now and prepare your own ad to run in our next issue. There is no charge for this service, and your ad may lead you down the path Lola Burdick, St. Luke’s Humphreys Diabetes of true love! Center patient and 2009 Responses to perwinner of our “Living Well sonal ads appearing with Diabetes” award. in this column can be submitted at any time. However, to place a personal ad in the August/September 2012 issue, the deadline is July 10, 2012. S W M , w i d o w e r, 6’2”, 180#, 70-yearsyoung, N/S, N/D, N/ Drugs, nondenominational Christian, retired professional searching for a woman who has everything except a loving man. Am looking for real love (spiritual and physical). She must be joyful and a downto-earth woman comfortable in Levis or an evening gown. I like the

outdoors, travel, flying, bicycling, walking, hiking, dancing, exploring, etc. Am looking for a woman who makes her man number one in her life – who would like to follow the sun with her man without being tied down to relatives, home, or pets. Please write if this fits you. Reply ISI, Dept. 8201, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWM, 78, ex-hyperactive adult, nominal Christian, latent Buddhist, looking for little old lady in tennis shoes, country girl or otherwise adventurous woman for friendship, companionship... potential partner. Pen pal okay and I will answer all responses. Reply ISI, Dept. 8202, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. Do you have a zest for life? Do you have the time, desire, physical well-being, and freedom to pursue it? Do you know how to really communicate? Do you know how to reciprocate? If you answered yes to all these questions, please read on. I am a spiritual, SWM, 63, 5’9”, 175 lbs., retired, and in good physical condition. My interests include walking, reading, music, dancing, boating, motorcycling, camping, and traveling. I live in Coeur d’Alene. I seek a woman, 45-65, with similar interests, values, and qualities for friendship, companionship, fun, and perhaps more. My philosophy is to live life to the fullest and make the most of each day I am blessed with. If you feel the same, please contact me! Reply ISI, Dept. 8203, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. Single white female, 65, seeking tall white male, 64-69, for companionship or long-term relationship. I have been a widow since 2000 and have many interests, including animals (especially cats), dining out, comedy, movies, sewing, cooking, and crafts shopping. I am a lady with long, strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. No smokers, drinkers, or drug users, please. A sense of humor. Being lonely 24/7 is no fun. I would like to find someone with similar interests. I am not a Miss America look-alike, but would like to find someone who considers looks important. It sure would be nice to hear from someone seeking the same thing I am. I live in Grangeville. Reply ISI, Dept. 8204, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWF country gal,, 5’6”, slim, attractive, long brown hair, brown eyes, spiritual, Christian, funloving, up-beat. I like traveling, new adventures, history, art, camping, fishing, outdoor activities, walks together, romance, and many other interests. I am looking for a true companion, 60-75, who has a sense of humor, is spontaneous, someone I can respect, love, care for, laugh with, and share my heart, dreams, and goals. Would like a loving, openhearted gentleman who knows how to love his woman – sharing the same values to see if we are compatible in the “Big-this-is-our-life”

Friendship is Love, without his wings. – Lord Byron


JUNE/JULY 2012

and â&#x20AC;&#x153;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re-in-this-togetherâ&#x20AC;? decisions. Accepting each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s uniqueness, spoiling each other for the rest of our lives. Age is not important if you have learned from the past and still keep an open mind. Will consider relocating. I am debt free. No drugs or smoking. Occasional drinking okay. Please enclose a phone number, address, and photo. Reply ISI, Dept. 8205, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. Looking for someone who still enjoys making love - kissing, cuddling and maybe more. I may be getting old but I still care about love. I am interested only in sexually active people for correspondence and possible meeting. I am 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;9â&#x20AC;? and 180 pounds, a non-smoker, a non-drinker with a great sense of humor. I love to laugh. Girls and guys, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s become friends. Reply ISI, Dept. 8206, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. Dependable and clean, attractive, compact 1955 model with low miles. Auburn hair, green eyes, 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;2â&#x20AC;?, sense of humor, old fashioned, affec-

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 9

tionate, considerate, honest spontaneous, down to earth. Like quiet times at home, reading, and gardening. Enjoy camping, spontaneous road trips, antiques, and yard sales. Seeking man 52-64 years financially secure with similar interests, qualities, and good personal hygiene/daily habits. Facial hair a plus. No boozers, smokers, druggies, or whiners. An honest one-to-one. Please send photo. Reply ISI, Dept. 8207, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. Seeking nice lady who would enjoy writing to me as a friend and pen pal. I am 74 years old and own my home in Idaho. I enjoy hunting and traveling here and abroad. I have Social Security and state retirement pensions. Write to me and I will exchange photos with you and give you my phone number. Reply ISI, Dept. 8208, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWF, 64, searching for SWM. I am honest, kind, young at heart, and enjoy doing many things. Please, no smoking and no drugs! Looking for day trips, back roads, lakes, mountains, watching wildlife, dancing, music, hot tubs, festivals, or just sitting, holding hands and watching life go by. Write to me and I will send my picture. Reply ISI, Dept. 8209, c/o Idaho Senior Independent, Box 3341, Great Falls, MT 59403. ISI

Thoughts On Women Over 50 Submitted by Julie Hollar Brantley In case you missed it on 60 Minutes, this is what Andy Rooney thinks about women over 50. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As I grow in age, I value women over 50 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over 50 will never wake you in the middle of the night & ask, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What are you thinking?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; She does not care what you think. Women over 50 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they will not hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it. Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like to be unappreciated. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 50. Once you get past a crinkle or two, a woman over 50 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Older women are forthright and honest. They will tell you right off if you are rude. Yes, we praise women over 50 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 50, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress. Ladies, I apologize! ISI

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IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 11

The Whites like some wildness in their legendary pet cats Article & Photo By Dianna Troyer Regular housecats are humdrum for Heyburn residents Earl and Sandy White, who prefer a little wildness in their pets, explaining why they owned bobcats and recently bought cheetohs. Their cheetohs, named Hawkeye and Cheyenne, are crosses of a wild cat from Asia and a domesticated breed called an Ocicat. They have the spots and rosettes of wild felines with the mild disposition of domesticated cats. Their breeder describes them as living room leopards that love to lounge in laps. “These cats aren’t for everybody, but they’ve sure made our lives more interesting. Besides,” says Earl, a retired jeweler and realtor, with a wink, “insanity runs on my side of the family.” Sandy, a cancer nurse at St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute in Twin Falls, says, “We like a little wildness and edge in our pets. We both like unusual things.” When the Whites bought their bobcats, they never imagined the felines would become local legends. In 2004, after seeing an ad in their local advertiser for hand-raised bobcat kittens, Earl told Sandy, “That would be a really cool pet.” They bought Shadow from a breeder in Homedale and a year later bought another bobcat, Tank. The Whites were deeply saddened when 6-year-old Tank died on Aug. 16, 2010, from complications of eating one of his toy mice. Last October, to ease their grief, they bought their cheetohs, a female named Cheyenne and her brother, Hawkeye. “More than a year had passed since we lost Tank, and we really wanted another cat because he had so much personality and had filled our lives with so much joy,” Sandy says of their 45-pound pet. “When he died, I ran a notice in the newspaper because he was so well-known in the area and had touched the hearts of many people.”

In their spare time, the Whites took Tank to schools throughout the area, where he motivated children to read and study. “He loved kids, and they loved him,” Earl says, showing a photo of Tank standing on his hind legs, hugging a student’s shoulders with his front legs. “We took him to schools around here, and as far away as Twin Falls and up to Carey and Ketchum. We still have all the thank you notes kids wrote to us after Tank came to their classrooms. Our grandkids loved playing with him, too.” Occasionally, Sandy took him to the hospital with her, where he charmed and cheered up patients and the nursing staff. “I kept him in the foyer, and then people would come to see him.” The Whites plan to take their cheetohs to area schools, too, once they are large enough, so the felines can charm students as Tank once did. To keep and show a bobcat, the Whites had an exhibitor’s license with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which they accidentally let lapse. Without it, they were not able to get another bobcat, so they settled on cheetohs and found a breeder in Washington. “Cheyenne and Hawkeye remind me of a bobcat with a long tail,” Earl says of the cheetohs that weigh up to 20 pounds and are intensely spotted like leopards and wild looking, yet have gentle and social dispositions. As Earl and Sandy play with Cheyenne and Hawkeye, they recall Tank’s notoriety. “When we took Tank with us, it took a half hour just to fill up the gas tank because everyone wanted to visit with him and pet him,” Earl says. During a trip to Boise, they pulled into Cabela’s, only to be greeted by one of Tank’s fans. “Someone came up to me and asked, ‘Is that Tank?’ We didn’t even know the person,” Sandy says, “but somehow he knew Tank.” Other times, as they drove along the inter-

state, passengers in the car next to them waved for the Whites to pull over, so they could visit with Tank, Sandy says. Shadow was friendly, too. “We had her for 2 1/2 years,” Sandy says. “She once posed as a mascot in a team photo with the Burley Bobcats’ soccer team.” When she was three, Shadow disappeared on a camping trip to Montana. “They were in our


PAGE 12 IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

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camper. She pried open a window and escaped. their basement. “If I couldn’t find him fast enough, We ran ads and looked and looked for her but were he’d come out and grin at me,” Sandy says. never able to find her.” Earl says, “He loved licking an ice cream bar At home, Tank loved to play hide-and-seek in on a stick.” Whenever Cheyenne and Hawkeye are exhausted from playing and need to take a catnap, Earl steps into his studio, where he facets gemstones and designs elk ivory rings and other jew-

elry. “I have so many interests,” he says. The Whites hope their cheetohs stay in their lives longer than their beloved bobcats did. “The life expectancy of these cats is about 15 to 20 years, so I’m hoping they’ll be around for a while, and we won’t have to go through what we did with Tank,” Sandy says. “It’s amazing how close people can get to their pets.” ISI

Glen Koelling crafts one-of-a-kind knives By Dianna Troyer “I was showing this one to some friends at a knife shop, and the owner happened to see it,” says Glen, 75, pointing to a knife’s photo tacked to the wall of his workshop at Standrod near the Idaho-Utah border. “He told me it was one-of-a-kind, and he’d give me $700 for it,” recalls Glen of the exquisite knife. “That’s when I realized I couldn’t afford to own the knife.” It had a Damascus steel blade and a handle made from deer antler and water buffalo horn. On the handle was a scrimshaw design showing a butterfly and a hound treeing a bear. “A friend had done the scrimshaw for it.”

Money from a sale like that doesn’t motivate Glen to make knives, although to cover the material costs and his time, he sells his knives for $100 to $400. “This isn’t a business,” says Glen, who sells his knives by word-of-mouth. “I don’t have a website and don’t want one. This is something I enjoy


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doing in the winter. It gives me a lot of pleasure to create something unique that people appreciate. I never make the same knife twice. When warm weather comes, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather be outside fixing fence or irrigating or riding my horse.â&#x20AC;? The six to eight knives he sells annually are usually bought as gifts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some people just want to display them, while others use them for hunting, like my son Kreg, who runs a trap line. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made some for Eagle Scout presentations, too. Usually a grandfather buys one for his grandson to celebrate his achievement.â&#x20AC;? Initially, Glen never intended to sell his knives. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I showed the first one I made to a friend, and he asked if he could buy it. So I had to make another one for myself, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how I got started.â&#x20AC;? Glen says he sold more knives when he and his family lived in Enumclaw, Wash., than he does in Standrod, where they moved in 2006. â&#x20AC;&#x153;More people knew me up there, and I did it year-round.â&#x20AC;? Making a knife is a way for Glen to strive for perfection. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People tell me my workmanship is excellent, and the knives are well balanced.â&#x20AC;? He shows one he wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as close to perfect as I can make it,â&#x20AC;? he says, cradling a 7 ½-inch knife with a squared black ebony handle and a black Damascus steel blade. Thin bands of stainless steel set off bands of Russian lavender stone and another band of black stone with gold flecks. In 1998, when Glen retired from his medical scooter business, he began making knives. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I met a guy at a black powder, mountain man store in Cle Elum, who sold the materials to make a knife, and he told me I should try it. He gave me a two-page booklet he had written by hand, and that was it.â&#x20AC;? Glen soon learned making a knife was a little more complicated than what was described in the brochure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You have to make sure the blade, handle and guard are in the right proportion to each other to ensure the knife has good balance and is appeal-

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 13

ing to the eye. If it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lie in your hand right, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not fun to use.â&#x20AC;? First, he starts with a knife blade. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have some that are German soligen steel, a high carbon steel, easy to sharpen that really holds an edge; others are Damascus steel.â&#x20AC;? For handles, he uses a variety of wood including maple, ironwood, ebony, olive, California buckeye, and spalted maple. He also uses antlers from elk or deer and water buffalo horns. To adorn the handles, he uses composite stone, interspersing it with flat pre-cut pieces of stainless steel and other metals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I really like working with copper and the look it gives. It shines up well, brightens up the handle

and sets off whatever stone is on either side of it. You seldom see copper used by other makers.â&#x20AC;? He glues the thin sheets of metal and gems into place with a special epoxy, compresses them and lets them set for up to 12 hours, so they fit seamlessly. Next, he shapes and sands the handle with a belt sander. Then he does the final sanding by hand with progressively finer grits of sandpaper and buffs the knife, so it looks glassy and has depth. Finally, he finishes the handle with waxylene gunstock finish and a Renaissance wax polish, â&#x20AC;&#x153;so you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have finger marks on it after you

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PAGE 14 IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

hold it. It takes me about 24 hours, working three or four hours a day, to make a knife.â&#x20AC;? He is glad to show others how to make knives. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not many people have the patience for it, though, especially the sanding and file work,â&#x20AC;? says Glen, who attributes his patience to being in the Marine Corps. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a lot of hurry up and wait in the military.â&#x20AC;? He was also a Navy pilot. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no place for hurry when you are getting ready to take off

JUNE/JULY 2012

or land a plane.â&#x20AC;? If Glen needs a break from making a knife, he does leatherwork. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I make sheaths, hand sewn with waxed linen thread, designed for the particular knife.â&#x20AC;? What will his next knife look like? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure yet. Before I start, I envision what a knife will look like for a couple of weeks. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll slip different combinations of metals and stone on

the handle to see how they look together. When I have a sense that it is right, I get started but still may make some changes. I study the available materials, blades, and woods a lot and also look at what other makers are doing. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always looking for new materials; many of the materials I use today werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t available when I started.â&#x20AC;? Whatever he makes, he will strive for perfection. ISI

The Niagara Of The West Lures Visitors From Around The World Article & Photo By Dianna Troyer We zigzag down the steep canyon, navigating countless hairpin turns until the road finally levels out into a parking lot at Dierkes Lake Park three miles east of Twin Falls. That is when we hear it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the rumble of Shoshone Falls, the Niagara of the West. The spectacular 212-foot tall, 1,000foot wide falls earned its nickname for being more than 50 feet taller than Niagara Falls. Visiting the falls is an annual rite of spring for our family. Some years, the rumble is more intense than other years depending on the winter snowpack that melts into the Snake River. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This year, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re expecting an average year because the snowpack wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as deep as it was the previous winter,â&#x20AC;? says Dennis Bowyer, Twin Falls parks and recreation director. The city owns and operates Dierkes Lake Park. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last year, we sustained a big flow for most of the summer and had a record number of tour busses â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 81 instead of the average of 50 to 55.â&#x20AC;?

Even local residents never tired of visiting the falls at the park last summer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We sold 800 season passes last year, and usually sell about 600,â&#x20AC;? says Dennis. The flow over the falls is controlled by the Bureau of Reclamation, which diverts much of the water for irrigation by mid-summer, so the best time to visit is late spring or early June.

We are not disappointed. Mist moistens our faces as we stand on the fenced observation deck that clings to the side of a cliff. Along with other visitors, we stand quietly in awe. As if just for us, a rainbow soon forms, and we ooh and aah and snap a few photos. Birds swoop and dive, escaping the heat of the Snake River Plain. After a while, we explore other options at Dierkes Lake Park. There are hiking trails including a 1.7-mile trail that loops around the lake, a playground, shady landscaped picnic areas, a boat ramp, and swimming area. Just outside the park is an elk farm, where stunning and magnificent sixpoint bull elk munch hay. The entry fee is $3 per vehicle. The previous Golden Age Passport, now called the America the Beautiful passport offered through the National Park Service, is accepted. For more information about the falls and the park, call 208-736- 2265. To reach Shoshone Falls from Highway 93 on the north end of Twin Falls, turn east onto Falls Avenue and drive for three miles, then turn north at the sign for Shoshone Falls and drive about two miles. ISI

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Zeb says in hindsight, the pieces of his life have fit together like a divine puzzle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There was a lot of guidance from God, even when I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize it. I grew up in a Lutheran church in Wisconsin but never applied my faith. About seven years ago, I re-evaluated my life. My belief in what God has done for me has become the forefront of my life.â&#x20AC;? He grew up on a quarter-horse ranch and graduated with a broadcasting degree from Brown Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1969. The schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s placement service had lined up a job for him in Hobbs, New Mexico. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had my car packed with my bongo drums and was ready to go, when that job offer fell through at the last minute because they rehired an employee. I went to the job placement directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office and told him what happened. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always amazed at what happened next, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not making this up. While I was standing there, he got a call from Twin Falls, Idaho, and K-LIX radio, needing someone to host a morning show about sports. He put his hand over the receiver and asked me what I thought about moving to Idaho. Three days later, I was in Idaho and have lived here since.â&#x20AC;? Zeb survived near fatal accidents including a plane crash in 1971 and a rodeo wreck in 1998. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was laid up for year, recovering from the plane crash,â&#x20AC;? says Zeb of the accident near Baker, Oregon. He was on his way to a rodeo with his fatherin-law, when the light plane crashed, killing the pilot. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For years after that, I ran away from my faith and God. I had a lot of animosity and I thought Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d already been through enough. I had polio when I was five and still use a crutch. After the crash, I decided to live for myself. During that time, I was feeling sorry for myself. Several years ago, I realized I had been given so much. God provides, and you just have to ask. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been all busted up, but God has given me a lot. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been so blessed.â&#x20AC;? During his spare time, Zeb spends time with his grown children, son Jake, a firefighter in Boise, and daughter Tobee Jo and her family, who farm near Murtaugh. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My grandkids are horsemen, so we have a great time together, here on the ranch or wherever we go.â&#x20AC;? ISI


JUNE/JULY 2012

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 15

You Bet Women Toss Shoes! Article By Jack McNeel Photo By Jackie McNeel Coeur d’Alene has a very active horseshoe club and some of those members are women. Yes, women including Nancy Bartee and Shirley Madson do like to toss horseshoes. Nancy lives east of Coeur d’Alene, and the two of them recently sat with me on the deck of the house she shares w with husband D Dave Allinger, v vice president o the Kootenai of C County Horses show Pitchers A Association, to ta about womtalk e and horseen s shoes. N a n c y m moved to Coeur d’Alene from A Alaska in 1987, a and had never Nancy Bartee

pitched horseshoes as a kid. “I didn’t start until we moved here. We had some pits here way back and old horseshoes lying around so we would throw those, but I hardly ever did.” A couple of neighbors who were Shirley Madson doing some work for Dave and Nancy asked if Nancy ever threw horseshoes and wanted to play a game. “I picked them up and threw a boxcar,” Nancy says with a laugh. “It was a fluke. That was the only time I did that for years.” Boxcars are double ringers. Shirley is even newer to the game. “I didn’t play as a kid either. I used to go down to the pits at Winton Park. They play on Thursday and I would keep score and watch. I got tired of doing that so I decided to start playing.” That was about three years ago. “It’s great exercise and it’s fun.” Nancy got into tossing horseshoes in the Kootenai County Association about four years ago. “Mostly because my husband skunked me every time we threw. It wasn’t fun. I used to throw a flip

shoe (where the shoe is held in the middle) and I started trying a throw a turn shoe (where the shoe is held on the side). It does a natural turn and is easier on my wrist.” Asked if her husband still skunked her, the response was immediate and very positive – “No! I win a lot!” she exclaims. Their enthusiasm for horseshoes is apparent. “We have a lot of fun,” Nancy says. “The club was really small when we started playing. There weren’t that many interested. It’s getting bigger and bigger and this year we have another gal that joined.” The club now has thirty members and five are women. “It’s a social thing too,” Nancy says. Both women help during tournaments putting the food together and selling raffle tickets. At the Thursday gatherings at Winton Park, they draw for partners and each person puts $3 into a pot to be divided among the winning players. Last place usually gets a dollar. “Some of us fight over that dollar,” notes Shirley. “I used to fight over that dollar all the time. Now I’m kind of in the middle. I don’t get the dollar but I don’t get the top money either,” Nancy adds with a laugh. This Coeur d’Alene club hosted the state tournament last summer. It was played in Pocatello the year before and members of the Coeur d’Alene club attended and bid for it to be in Coeur d’Alene. Nancy took second in the state last year in the women’s division. The age range for members runs from the low 20s to the mid-90s. The majority are under 60. “We have players in

their 90s who beat us every week,” Shirley said. So age doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference in horseshoes. One difference is that men throw from 40 feet, women from 30 feet, and youngsters from 20 feet. “Some people associate horseshoes with older people but they actually have kids that play in the Spokane Tournament. These little 5- and 6-year olds are incredibly good,” Nancy says. “I was struggling to beat them last year. There were three of them, brothers. Their grandparents play. It was scary, this little five-year old going ringer, ringer, ringer, ringer.... It was like ‘Oh, my gosh!’” Some members are snowbirds, traveling to Arizona in the winter, and some will bowl there which keeps them in shape for summer here and horseshoes. “It’s the same throwing motion and that helps,” Nancy comments. Nancy and Dave have their own solution to winter. They simply keep tossing horseshoes all winter long at the horseshoe pits in their yard. Nancy says, “We have a fire pit or we light the burn barrels and throw snow into the pits when they get too far down. That makes it softer because

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the ground is frozen. And we play winter shoes. “It’s all friends,” she continues. “We’ll play until two in the morning. Sometimes we’ll play game after game after game. It’s like New Year’s Eve or Christmas and it’s about every other weekend. We light the burn barrel so you’re warm and we throw shoes.” Now that’s dedication. Both women list travel as another hobby and each has a motor home.

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Shirley adds, “We also have motorcycles and ride, fish, and go to blues festivals. We try to get out of town as much as possible in the summer.” Nancy’s other hobbies include gardening, and she has a greenhouse in the back yard where she can start seeds in the spring.

Together Nancy and Shirley say to everyone, “Come and join us, it will be fun. We play on Thursday evenings at Winton Park in Coeur d’Alene and if anyone would like to play they’re more than welcome.” ISI

Phil Hough is Not Mr. Scotchman Article & Photo By Cate Huisman For a while, when I first heard of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, I thought of Phil Hough as “Mr. Scotchman.” He was, after all, the omnipresent director of the nonprofit Friends organization. He spoke to many groups, and led many hikes and work parties, and he turned up at fundraisers for FSPW and for groups with overlapping interests, like the Idaho Conservation League and the Friends of the Pend Oreille Bay Trail. So it took me a while to figure out that Phil was, in fact, not who the Friends had in mind when they wrote about Mr. Scotchman. He is a lot like their Mr. Scotchman – he has a short white beard, he is sturdily built and sure-footed, and he spends a lot of time in the mountains. But the real Mr. Scotchman, according to the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, is in fact their mascot – a mountain goat. Unlike the mascot goats that live near the peak, Phil seems to hike to and around Scotchman Peak, but he does not actually live there. His focus is on preserving Mr. Scotchman’s wilderness home, so the emblematic ungulates can live and flourish there in perpetuity. Phil’s affinity for wild western spaces began when his parents moved to Colorado during his first year in college. He had backpacked on the Appalachian Trail as a kid in New England, and canoed the Allagash and Missinaibi rivers, so he was no stranger to long wilderness trips. Out of college, he took off to backpack and hitchhike around the West. Eventually Phil’s travels took him on foot over Rainy Pass in the North Cascades to the car-free town of Stehekin, at the head of Lake Chelan in Washington State. He loved the town, and, since he was getting low on funds, he took a job as dishwasher in a lodge there. A few weeks later, he suddenly became a cook when two of the lodge’s three cooks left. For six weeks, he lived on nothing and saved $1,800, enough to carry him through several more adventures and back home to Colorado by Thanksgiving.


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But the seeds had been planted for a career. “As breakfast cook, I was part of the team that was running the restaurant. I got a taste for the hospitality industry,” says Phil. He found a job with the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado, and there followed a series of positions with Hyatt hotels. As it turned out, however, this career was not what Phil wanted to do. He still wanted to “travel and explore, and have more adventures.” In 1994, he took six months off to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mexican border to Canada. “One of my goals was to figure out what I wanted to do with myself,” says Phil. “The epiphany I had was that I was attacking the problem wrong. What I wanted to be wasn’t going to be defined by the work that I did. What I really wanted to be was a hiker.” At the end of that trip, what Phil really wanted was to turn around and hike back to Mexico. But he was out of money, and winter was setting in. So he went back to work for Hyatt, but he no longer thought of climbing the career ladder; instead, he arranged to take long periods off every few years. In 1997, he and his partner Deb Hunsicker hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. The following year they traveled extensively in central and south America, and then, in 2000, they floated the entire length of the Yukon River from Lake Bennett to its mouth in the Bering Sea. But even with the flexible schedule and the chance for adventure, by the turn of the millennium, “I had burned out on the general corporate rat race,” says Phil. A visit to a sister at Springy Point on Lake Pend Oreille got the couple hooked on the area, and they moved to the panhandle in 2002. Phil immediately began hiking the trails of his new home, and he discovered the de facto wilderness of the Scotchman Peaks that straddled the Idaho-Montana border. A few years later, he became involved in preparing a new forest plan for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, and it was during this process that he fell in with a group of like-minded individuals who felt that wilderness issues needed more attention. Together,

they founded the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. That was in 2005. Within a few years, Phil had become the articulate executive director of the organization. In this position, he has listened to the concerns of those who do not want wilderness, and the pleas of those who do. He has teased out the advantages and disadvantages, and recognized what needs to be addressed to make a wilderness designation seem appealing to all concerned. He is confident that the area will eventually be designated wilderness: “In my mind it’s not a question of whether but when. It becomes inevitable when the politicians who can make that happen feel compelled to make that happen because their constituents have made it clear that they want it to happen.” So Phil has focused on outreach and education that demonstrate the value of wilderness. Seven years ago, few people knew about the Scotchman Peaks. Now this range is a cause célèbre in Sandpoint and surrounding communities. Phil’s scheduled dozens of guided hikes into the area at all times of the year. He has aligned FSPW with other organizations appealing to likeminded people, finding allies among everyone from casual day hikers to cross-country bike racers. And he has discovered the power of wolverines. In the winter of 2010-2011, Phil recruited FSPW members to help Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game monitor a few remote wildlife cameras to determine whether there are wolverines living not only in the Scotchman Peaks but also in neighboring mountain ranges. Then he carried this theme a big step farther by garnering support through Facebook for FSPW to get a grant to do a much-enlarged study in 20112012. The result was 120 volunteers with an extreme commitment – they hauled frozen beaver carcasses (leftovers obtained from licensed fur trappers) through deep snow into remote areas to use as bait for 40 research stations they set up with cameras. Only Phil might have guessed that such a smelly proposition would have garnered the press it has – for both wolverines and

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 17

wilderness. And what will he do when what he says is inevitable finally happens, and the Scotchman Peaks do receive their wilderness designation? “Well, celebrate,” says Phil, noting that the Friends will continue to have a role in wildlife monitoring, trail building, and other activities to preserve the wild nature of the area. But it would not be surprising if he took the opportunity to go for a long walk as well. ISI

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York Times. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16-18, 2325 and 2 p.m. Aug. 19 and 26 in the UI Hartung Theater on the corner of Sixth Street and Stadium Drive in Moscow, Idaho. For tickets or information, call 208-885-6465. IRT is the University of Idaho Department of Theatre Arts’ professional theatre company in residence. This year’s season has been shortened to accommodate rigging improvements. In June, the Hartung will undergo 8 weeks of construction to update equipment before the August performance. For more, visit www.idahorep.org. ISI

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Bonners Books – Still All About Books After 25 Years Article & Photo By Cate Huisman There is something uniquely appealing about Bonners Books, and although I could not put my finger on it when I visited, I am sure it is because it is different. Unlike the ubiquitous Borders model, it has no featured section of New York Times best sellers, no children’s section bursting with stuffed animals, and no rotating racks of thick paperback thrillers like those lugged on airplanes by travelers desperate for a diversion. There is no coffee stand or barista making lattes, although the owner, John O’Connor, may offer a cup of coffee from a plug-in percolator behind the counter. “We’ve made a name for ourselves by resisting the main flow of the industry,” says John, and therein lies the store’s appeal. John O’Connor, 55, is slender and soft-spoken, seems quite comfortable among his books and their buyers, and with short gray hair and wire-rimmed glasses, he fits that bookish persona. John first came through Bonners Ferry on a cross-country bike trip from his home in the Puget Sound area to Prince Edward Island and New York City. The return trip brought him back through the town, and when he was looking to move, he remembered Bonners Ferry and found a job at its bookstore. After a few years, he had a chance to buy the business he worked in, and to his own surprise bought it. “I’d never owned a business,” he says. “I hadn’t set out to own a retail shop.” But he wanted to live in a small town, here was one he liked, and the bookstore gave him a purpose in it. The store resides in an old building in downtown Bonners Ferry, popu-

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lation approximately 2,500. The building started life in 1908 as a bank, experienced a few reincarnations as hardware stores, and as Western Auto Supply before standing empty for a while. John moved Bonner’s Books to its current location in 1992 from a smaller space down the street. “I was lucky to get this. The store and I have grown together,” he says. It has hardwood floors, a high ceiling with fans, and books stacked six tiers high on plain wood bookshelves. Photos, articles, cartoons, and aphorisms are tacked to the ends of the shelves, many featuring cats. One is a framed newspaper memorial to Gypsy, a cat that prowled the bookstore for 19 years. I am sorry I missed Gypsy, who must have been a singular literary soul. Currently, a cat named Magpie circulates silently among the shelves. An image of a cat features significantly on the store’s signature bookmark that John slips these into the books he sells. Above the shelves is a variety of memorabilia from the bookstore’s past including a large sign from Western Auto and the bicycle John rode across the country, which sits over a large selection of travel books. In the center of the store sits a grand piano that was a gift to O’Connor’s mother many decades ago. Boundary County’s Community Theater has staged plays here, and sometimes the piano figures in the plays. More often than plays, John has held readings by many significant voices of western literature, including Rick Bass, David James Duncan, William Kittredge, Sherman Alexie, and Jack Nisbet, among others. John does not lament the effect on his sales of the oft-reviled Internet and amazon.com. These trends do not seem to have cut into his business much. “I’m pretty isolated and insulated. I don’t get out enough to know what I’m doing right.” This does not mean he is a Luddite who has rejected the conveniences of the digital age. There is a computer screen right behind him at the front counter. “I use the internet to find books,” he says, but “I don’t sell any books on the internet. I’d rather see the people I sell books to.” That may be the key to his success. As John puts it, “I pay attention to what people ask for and about.” For him, that means remembering customers and what they like, which draws them from the three-state, two-province region that surrounds the northern panhandle. On my visit, John greeted a customer, Jan, by name, and she imme-


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diately volunteered, “This is my one little corner of sanity.” To another customer, Joe, John suggested a work by Karl Popper, an eminent philosopher of science, but not exactly a name on the lips of many bookstore browsers – or even bookstore owners. O’Connor had to know a good bit about Joe to suggest such a work, and he had to be an unusual buyer to have it in stock. Modest prices are another draw. The shelves mix new and used books, and John offers to look for inexpensive used books for those who prefer

the savings. Purchased books are packaged in recycled plastic bags from a local grocery store to reduce costs. On a personal level John lives reasonably too, biking daily to work from his home outside of town, where he and his wife have a woodlot and sell produce from their garden. And the future? “More of the same,” John says. He likes the business as it is. Bonners Ferry is not a big tourist town like Sandpoint, so the seasonality of business is not too pronounced,

Chase Sanborn’s love of Wallace inspires brewery Article & Photo By Jack McNeel “What could we do and live in Wallace?” is the way Chase Sanborn explains how the Wallace Brewing Company came to be. That plus some knowledge of brewing he had accumulated while doing some home brewing. Chase had grown up in Sandpoint, graduating from high school there in 1981. He loved Sandpoint in those days, growing up as a kid in a small town with a real feel of community. “Logging was the big industry then, and mill work,” he recalls. But Sandpoint was slowly changing and did not offer the same feel that Chase remembered as a youngster. “The way Wallace is now reminds me of the way I remember Sandpoint growing up as a kid,” he says. “This is the perfect place now for me. We enjoy it here. Wallace is just a nice fit.” After high school, he attended the University of Idaho, and then he and his brother started the Snowbird Apparel Company. “We made mittens for snowboarders,” he says. Initially the business was in Sandpoint, but in 1991, they moved it to Wallace where they continued through 2000. The next few years involved some lengthy commutes and some work at Lookout Pass. That’s when the question arose about the future and what to do, and the idea of a brewery arose. “I was approached by my partner, Dean Cooper, who said, ‘What do you think of opening up a brewery?’ I said, ‘Absolutely, let’s do it!’” It was not a completely new subject. Chase explains that his wife, Cathleen, had given him a homebrew kit as a birthday present in 1994. “We did a lot of home brewing and gave a lot of gifts out for Christmas and birthdays in the form of 6-packs.” They even made their own labels and 6-pack carriers. The Wallace Brewing Company brewed its first batch on Halloween in 2008, which went on sale a month later. Chase left his previous

job to go full time into the brewery business and now serves as the general manager. Dean Cooper also remains a part of the business. Initially Chase did all the brewing but last October they hired a full-fledged brew master. “I don’t want to diminish the fact that these guys go to school, and apprentice, and put in a lot of hours to become a brew master. I never did that. I brewed beer and opened a brewery. That doesn’t make me a brew master,” he says with a laugh. Wallace brewery produces six different beers, most with a central theme – Wallace. “We like to pay homage to the history of Wallace,” he says. Among them is one called Red Light, referencing the long history of brothels in Wallace. Another is Jackleg Stout – jackleg being a type of drill used in mining. Then there is Idaho Select, paying homage to a beer produced in Wallace from the late 1800s until the 1950s and similar to the light lagers produced by Budweiser and Miller. Another is Huckleberry Pale Ale, which has a nice huckleberry aroma and flavor says Chase. Wallace Brewing Company beers are now distributed throughout

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 19

although Christmas is big. “There’s a good balance here. I can run the store myself,” he says, with only a modest need for hired help. John sums up his business philosophy saying, “I’m not a promoter. I’m not a salesman. I like to make things available.” And he has made his books available at a time when bookstores are becoming increasingly less so. More of the same seems to be exactly right. ISI


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Idaho, and look for that to expand. “Sales expansion will drive our brewery expansion,” Chase says. “We’d like to become a bigger brewery.” Wallace Brewing is located in downtown Wallace, next door to the well-known 1313 Club. Every building in the downtown core is on the National

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Register of Historic Places and history seems to emanate from the entire town. There is sufficient room at this location to add more tanks for brewing. “We can grow quite a bit here,” Chase adds. The future looks promising. “We just started using our 12 ounce bottler that we own,” Chase explains. Sales will soon be expanding in Washington and it is likely that Oregon and Montana may be in the offing as well. Chase obviously loves Wallace. It comes through when he talks of the town, its remarkable history, and the feel of the town. He encourages visitors to stop and talk to people in the businesses. “We probably have more amateur historians here in town than anyplace, and everybody loves to talk about the colorful history of Wallace. From the bordellos to the outlaws, Wallace has always been doing its own thing.” Chase also gives back to the town, not only

with the brewery business, but also as a member of the city council, where he has served since 1998. “That’s a big hobby of mine,” he says with a laugh. Chase also makes good use of the outdoor facilities available. He snowboards, rides mountain bikes, and rides the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes quite extensively. “We’re outside a lot,” he says, although he confesses to never having taken up hunting or fishing. Cathleen helps in the brewery at times but her job as a program consultant at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene precludes her being more active at the brewery. But it’s Wallace itself that brought them here and that holds them here, perhaps through the remainder of their lives. “I feel we can be old and come down here and participate in something,” adds Chase. And, yes, brewing beer in Wallace was the answer to what they might do to remain in Wallace. ISI

Dave and Bonnie DeRoos bring a new tourist attraction to Wallace By Jack McNeel When Dave DeRoos returned to his home town of Wallace in 2006, he returned in a big way. Since then he and his wife, Bonnie, have acquired a motel that has been converted to apartments, condos, two bars, and a restaurant. But it is the next project that may get more attention than any of the others. But first, a little background. Dave graduated high school in Wallace, but left in 1972. After five years in Lake Tahoe and another five in Las Vegas, Dave moved to southern California, where he met and married Bonnie. Those

years in southern California were good to them. “We had a business that did cleaning for developers,” he explains. “When they would build a house we’d go in and detail it.” Bonnie was working as a civil investigator, where she specialized in construction defects determining what a particular defect might be and what the builder’s involvement was. But Wallace had been home to Dave and after a lengthy absence, he returned to play in a Labor Day golf tournament. Wallace had not changed much over those years and Dave and Bonnie made more visits. During one of them, someone mentioned that the Eagles building was for sale. In its upstairs I used to go to dances when I was in high school,” Dave recalls. Dave and Bonnie bought the building and worked on it two or three times a year. “Then somebody suggested we buy something else and we did. As we acquired more properties we spent more time up here and eventually moved back.” And now for the new project, which heads in an entirely different direction from past and present businesses. They are starting a zip line business on the hills immediately above Wallace. The opening is still a little weather dependent but with luck it will be in operation on


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Mother’s Day weekend this spring. a safety drill. “We’ll actually have a small zip line “We had ridden on a couple of zip lines in Cen- outside,” Dave says, “and the guide will show them tral America and in Mexico. When I was up working what they’ll look like and give them some instrucon the mountain above Wallace, I was standing on tion about the zip line. Then we put them in vans one point and looking at another point. It crossed and take them up on the mountain. It will be about a ravine and I thought what an awesome zip line a 2½ hour adventure.” this could be! I started looking around a little bit It might also stretch the tourist season a bit. harder to see other locaWeather factors will detions on the mountain. It termine some of that was an exciting thing to but they are hoping this see what we could actumight become a year ally do up there.” around business. “If Dave explains that it we find the equipment starts about 2,000 feet to transport people up higher on the hill than there we can be open I-90 in the valley below. the year around. It’s There will be two coursbeautiful up there in the es, east and west. “On winter time and people the west course there are are already dressed to six different zips and they go skiing so they would range in length from 450 have the gear to wear feet to 1,200 feet. On the on the zip line,” Dave east course they range adds. from 350 feet to an 1,800 There are very few foot course.” zip lines in the region The longest distanc– one in Whitefish, Mones on each course are tana, another 400 miles actually dual zip lines. south near Cascade, “The cables will be eight Idaho plus a couple feet apart and will have more in southern Idaho. automatic brake sysSilver Streak Zip Lines tems. We will be able will be midway between to send people down Lookout Pass and Silver face first, a la Superman. Mountain, and will proYou’ll be going about 55 vide a change of pace mph,” Dave notes. for skiers and someOne shows Dave and Bonnie with the Wallace Inn sign The cables for Silver in background. This is where the office for Silver Streak thing that might hold Streak Zip Lines were in- Zip Lines will be housed. [Photo By Jack McNeel] them in the valley an stalled this spring so are additional day. in place and ready to go. Despite their various businesses and the upAs this article was written, they were still waiting coming zip line, Bonnie and Dave are members of for snows to recede before the foundations and the Elks Club and Dave belongs to the Gyro Club. platforms could be completed. Licensed trainers Bonnie is also in charge of the Queen’s contest based in Indiana were set to begin training people the Elks Club runs each year. to serve as guides. Three classes were scheduled “We love our town with about ten people each and each group will and do whatever we spend a week in training in preparation for opening can to help keep it goday and the weeks to follow. ing. Many small towns Dave says the builder, who has built zip lines are depressed and we throughout the United States, estimates that the have a unique comzip course would attract 6,000 people this year. munity here. Everyone “That would be a conservative number,” he adds. works together and tries Wallace remains a mining town, but with min- to make it the best it can ing still depressed from its heyday, it has turned be,” says Dave. ISI toward tourism. A zip line that could attract those numbers would certainly fill more motel beds and bring more customers to restaurants, museums, and various other Wallace attractions. Silver Streak Zip Lines headquarters will be in the Wallace Inn, where tourists will don harnesses and be given

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 21

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PAGE 22 IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

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Article & Photo By Jack McNeel Coeur d’Alene has a new resident family with an illustrious past in athletics and a new passion in a very different field. Gary Winckler was a highly successful track coach, first at Florida State for five years and then at the University of Illinois for 25 more years. “We won two national championships at Florida State as a team,” he explains. Some of his athletes became Olympic medalists and world champions. Gary speaks softly and matter of factly as he continues. “I’m in the U.S. Track Coaches Hall of Fame. I had a very good career in track and field. I had a big interest in coaching education and was one of the four people who started our National Coaching Education Program in Track and Field back in the 80s.” About a year ago, Gary left Illinois and settled in Coeur d’Alene. He presently has a coaching consulting contract with the Canadian Olympic team that will continue through the London Olympics this coming August. “I spend a lot of time with them, working with coaches, doing seminars, and I go to all the training camps working with their junior athletes as well as their senior athletes.” While Gary was in Illinois, he began learning how to make saddles and that has become a prime interest. “I still have interests in track and field but I’d like to spend more of my time in saddle making,” he says. Gary was raised on a cattle operation in central Washington just outside Zillah. “We farmed a thousand acres of corn and wheat and it was all used to run a 1,200-head beef cattle feedlot,” he explains. The operation was run by his dad and his three brothers. “They grew up having to use horses for farming so when tractors came around they were done with horses,” he says laughing. “So as kids we never had horses. When I finally got to the point in my life and had a place big enough actually to get horses, I did.” Gary remained in the northwest through college, graduating from Seattle Pacific University in the early 70s and then doing graduate work at Oregon State. While at Seattle Pacific, he met his wife, Virginia, who was from the Longview-Kelso, Washington area. “When I started getting horses I really couldn’t find saddles that I liked or that fit horses well,” Gary explains. That led to his saddle making business. “I talked to a local man (in Illinois) who wasn’t really a saddle maker. He did a lot of saddle repair work at a local tack shop. I talked him into working with me and showing me how to make a saddle. We worked two hours one night a week for two years and we built a saddle. It was a chance for me to learn the basic skills. The move to Coeur d’Alene involved building a home overlooking Fernan Lake, just east of Coeur d’Alene. His project for the next couple of years is


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to build a barn, do some fencing, and purchase a couple of horses for the pasture below his house. His saddle shop is in a remodeled pole barn that dates back nearly 50 years when the property was a small cattle farm. Some old fencing and a few corrals needed cleaning up but now the barn is a well-outfitted saddle shop. An old dentist’s chair has been converted for holding a saddle. A beautiful fully tooled saddle sits atop it. He points to another saddle. “I built this saddle for our home show when we built our house,” he relates. On his website – www. wssaddles.com – there are many photos and most orders come from “all over” and as a result of the website. These are high quality saddles built on custom saddle frames. “Sometimes we measure a horse and give the specifications to the saddle tree maker and he uses that to create a saddle tree made for that horse.” The leather comes from, “The top leather skirt-

ing producer in the world,” he says. The sheepskin that lines the bottom of the saddle is vegetable tanned, “Not the white sheep skins you see on a lot of factory saddles that are not really sheepskin,” he explains. The base price for his saddles is about $3,100. From there the price goes up based on what the customer wants in terms of the tooling. The final price may be in the range of $5,000. The saddles look incredible and one would need to have a very discerning eye to find anything wrong with what he is already doing but Gary says, “If you’ve been around some of the really top makers and leather carving people in the world you start to see chinks in my work – at least I do anyway,” he adds with a smile. Maybe Gary is being too particular, because he says, “The guy who taught me said, ‘You know, who’s going to notice it on a galloping horse?’” ISI

Lord, it was so hard to do - continued from page 3 name was in the news a lot around that time and it just seemed to fit our little pup, so Newt it was. The vet to whom we took Newt always called Newt his little Republican. Newt was about four years old when my wife and I retired. We sold our house in Payette and moved onto a sailboat in Puget Sound, Washington. Newt was not much of a sailor, but he stuck with us as long as my wife would row him ashore, at least two times a day. Then came the big adventure — our son bought a sailboat in Florida, and we helped sail it across the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, and up to Costa Rica. Newt did not like Costa Rica. It was too hot and humid, and he lost a lot hair, but he stuck with us. When we finally got back to Idaho, years later, Newt was ready to settle down and so were we. We moved back to the Payette area and Newt settled into his new home, content to restrict his travels to a long walk every morning with my wife. About two years ago, Newt would not eat and started losing weight. We took him to the vet and found out he was diabetic. We started him on insulin twice a day, and he soon regained his appetite. He was almost 15 at the time, but it was the first time we gave much thought to his mortality. We live in a senior community and over time have had friends lose their beloved pets. I knew it could be hard, but I did not how hard it could be. Recently, Newt’s health started to deteriorate rapidly. He would fall sometimes, had lost his appetite, and his kidneys were starting to fail. We knew his time was near, and we were thinking we would wake one morning find he had passed on. But that was not to be. One morning, he could not get out of bed, would

not eat, and moaned in pain. During the night, he had urinated in his bed, and there was blood in his urine. We knew what had to be done. My wife called the vet and made the appointment. I gently carried Newt out to the car, wrapped in his favorite blanket, and laid him on the seat. When we got to the vet’s, I left him in the car while I made the arrangements. I arranged to be in the room with Newt during the procedure, and when they were ready, I got Newt, brought him in, and sat him on the table. An assistant held Newt lightly while the vet shaved a small spot on his foreleg. I had to sit down and take some deep breaths. Even though I could barely see through my tears, I walked back to the table and held his face in my hands. “It’s okay, Baby,” I said, “It’s okay.” Newt gave out just the slightest moan when the needle went into his vein, and then it was over. The vet checked his pulse and nodded. I said, “Thank you.” Then I wrapped Newt in his blanket and took him home to be buried. I know it had to be done... I know I did the right thing... but Lord, it was so hard to do. ISI

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 23

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Glaucoma – The Silent Thief of Vision By Chad Bouterse, DO Eye Care Specialists, Clarkston & Pullman Glaucoma is an eye condition that results in a progressive, painless loss of peripheral vision. If left untreated, it will eventually affect the central vision (which is used to drive and read) and can result in total blindness. It is the number two cause of irreversible blindness over the age of 60 in the United States with only macular degeneration affecting more people. So what exactly is glaucoma? To answer that question, we need to start with some simple eye anatomy. The eye is kept inflated with a fluid similarly to the way a basketball is filled with air. This fluid, called the aqueous humor, provides nutrients to the eye to keep it healthy. Fresh fluid and nutrients are constantly being pumped into the eye as older fluid is drained out. Imagine a bathtub that has the faucet turn on to deliver the same amount of water into the tub that is flowing down the drain. A bathtub setup this way will stay full, but not overflow. This results in the eye retaining a certain level of fluid pressure called the intraocular pressure (like the air pressure in a tire or basketball). Everyone’s intraocular pressure is unique to his or her own eyes. The range that is generally considered normal is between 5 and 22 (mm of Hg). However, everyone’s individual eye has a certain pressure it can tolerate before the eye overinflates and causes damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is like a cable that connects your eye to the brain. As the pressure increases, it pushes against this cable at the back of the eye and overtime permanently damages it. This injury prevents the eye from transmitting the images you are seeing to the brain. It generally starts by taking away your far peripheral vision and can go on for years without someone’s noticing vision changes. Once vision is lost to glaucoma, it is gone forever. There are two basic reasons that someone develops glaucoma. They are either producing too much new fluid in their eye or not draining enough of the old fluid out of the eye. Using the bathtub analogy, a tub will overflow if the faucet is turned up too high or if the drain is clogged. There are several causes of increased pressure in the eye. They include age, medications (for example steroids), injuries, and genetics (strong family history of glaucoma). The diagnosis of glaucoma involves checking your eye pressure, examining the health of your optic nerve, and testing your peripheral vision. These are all performed during a comprehensive eye exam to determine your risk of having glaucoma and other eye diseases. Luckily, we have many successful treatments for glaucoma. All of the treatments available work by decreasing the amount of fluid made by the eye or increasing the fluid drained out of the eye (i.e. turn down the faucet or unclog the drain). The most common and easy treatment is prescription eye drops. They are a very safe and effective way to lower the pressure. Lasers, surgery, and occasionally oral medications are also used to treat glaucoma. Only your eye care provider can correctly

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determine whether you have glaucoma and, if necessary, provide the proper treatment to prevent vision loss. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends an eye exam every two years until age 60 to look for glaucoma, as well as other eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. This screening recommendation increases to yearly over the age of 60 as

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 25

the chances of having these conditions increase with age. The worst part of glaucoma is that damage can occur before you even have any symptoms. However, with regular eye exams, you can prevent this silent thief from robbing you of any of your most precious possession – your vision! ISI

Yoga Helps Susan Edwards Move Through Life Article & Photo By Cate Huisman Even though it is offered early on Saturday mornings, Susan Edwards’s yoga class is invariably crowded. Once the other students and I have squeezed our mats into the available spaces around the room, Susan starts by asking us to sit comfortably and take a deep breath. Susan started practicing yoga in high school

and has been teaching close to 40 years since an instructor she met in college encouraged her to teach. During a World Campus Afloat college semester that took her to India whenever the ship put into an Indian port, Susan and the college’s PE instructor found a place to practice yoga. “Yoga is really a resilience skill for people in India,” Susan explains. “It helps the body, mind, and spirit with a difficult life; its philosophy makes life easier.” After that first deep breath, Susan leads us through a series of gentle, seated exercises for our joints. Once our hips are loosened with a variety of circling motions, and our shoulders and arms are loosened by “waving to the ancestors,” she directs us into a couple of twists – the kinds of convoluted

positions that seem to be the essence of yoga. When Susan first started practicing yoga, “Not many people were doing it, and it was kind of a hippie thing to do,” she says. Now studios offering varying approaches to yoga are everywhere, and it has become much more commercialized. But Susan’s classes at Sandpoint West Athletic Club and North Idaho College remain very simple. After each pose, Susan calls for more deep breaths. Sometimes she asks us to focus on a particular part of the body that may need healing, or to “inhale pure air” and “exhale all impurities.” Breathing helps us stop and refocus she reminds us, improving our thinking, helping our stamina, and clearing our lungs. Susan teaches hatha yoga, the most basic form of the practice. “Hatha yoga is the basis from which all the other yogas come,” she explains. “I’ve done various branches but always come back to the basics, because I have learned that the simple exercises are the best.” She believes these basic exercises help people the most and avoid injuries. Only after we have loosened, waved, and twisted while seated does Susan direct us to stand. Again, we loosen our shoulders and hips with a series of standing circling motions. In addition to deep breathing, slow moving, and stretching, Susan’s classes focus on yoga’s philosophy,

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which emphasizes unity of body, mind, and spirit, or “being happy and letting happiness go into your physical body,” as she puts it. At the beginning of every class, as we are sitting comfortably and breathing deeply, she directs us to think of three things for which we are grateful. Sometimes she will say that all three things have to have happened in the morning before the class. It takes a certain opportunistic mindset to come up with these at 8:15 on Saturday morning. Once we have completed more standing stretches, Susan leads us through several traditional poses. She rarely utters the word “asana,” although it’s a standard term in yoga. Her classes are uniquely accessible to the uninitiated, and foreign terms are kept to a minimum. We “salute the sun” a couple of times, and do balance poses like “the dancer” and “the tree.” Susan readily admits that she was never very coordinated with sports and non-athletic. She had polio as a child, and surgery for a knee problem when she was a sophomore in high school. “But,

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I was fascinated with yoga because I figured out I could do it,” she says. In addition, yoga helped the polio. “Polio is a latent disease; you never get rid of it,” she adds, but doing yoga consistently keeps the pain away. In class, it is never evident that this pixie of an instructor has a disease that affects her ability to move. Susan repeatedly exhorts us to stretch and extend just as much as we feel comfortable, no more. She reminds us that yoga should not be painful, and that it is not competitive. So when she asks us to reach with our hands and pull one leg as close as we can get it, I’m neither surprised nor disappointed that my knee remains far from my body, at the end of my outstretched arms, stretched as tight as it will go. But it is hard not to notice that Susan’s leg is touching her forehead. Susan teaches all ages but focuses on seniors. “I’m hoping that I can help others to have strong bones and enjoy physical activity,” she says, noting that her bone density, after a lifetime of yoga, is well above average, while her mother and grandmother had osteoporosis. “Within the last ten years, I have really seen the benefits of being able to be flexible. I’m 62 and can still stand on my head easily.” In class, she never suggests that any of us

stand on our heads. In her 9-to-5 life, Susan supervises Sandpoint’s Head Start program. After an early career move from her native Kentucky to Los Angeles, where she worked designing and sewing clothes, she got a master’s in education at Lesley College in Boston and then worked as a teacher. “I love what I do,” she says of her job. “All my life I’ve just wanted to serve. When I heard there was an opening to work with struggling families and families in poverty, I knew that’s what I wanted.” Class always ends with “the hardest pose in yoga,” as Susan describes it, which is complete relaxation. We lie on our mats with our eyes closed, and listen as she talks about a soft white cloud to help us relax all our muscles. Afterword, she bows briefly to each of us. “I believe anyone can do yoga, no matter what your size or your age,” says Susan. “In my class I try to make everyone successful.” Susan has created a DVD called “Gentle Yoga by the Lake” that takes the viewer through a beginning yoga routine like the one described here. Readers can call her at 208-290-7421 to order it. Cost is $13 plus $2 for postage. ISI

How to Organize and Remember Your Medications By Jim Miller Anybody who juggles multiple medications can relate to the problem of forgetting to take a medication, or not remembering whether they already took it. Here are some solutions that can help. Medication Helpers - Getting organized and being reminded! This magic combination can help your parents stay on top of their medication regimens. And with all the self-help products and tools that are available today, it is easy to do. Today, there is a bevy of inexpensive pill organizers and medication reminders on the market that are incredibly helpful, and the best place to find them is at www.epill.com (or call 800-549-0095). This is the granddaddy of medication helpers that offers dozens of different pillboxes, vibrating watches, beeping pill bottles and pagers, and even dispensers that talk to you. Forgettingthepill.com is another good resource to check. And for some unique medication management products, consider the following: • Talking pillbox: For $70, MedCenter (www. medcentersystems. com; 866-600-3244) offers a neat product that organizes a month’s worth of pills and alerts you up to four times a

day when your medication is due. • Smart pillboxes: These are small, fit-in-yourhand, high-tech, portable devices that chime or beep when it’s time to take your medication; let you know which medicine to take at that particular time; how to take it; and will remind you if you missed a dose. They can even be set up to alert a caregiver if desired. To learn more see the MedeMonitor (www.informedix.com; 888-582-4480; $30/month rental fee) and MedSignals (www. medsignals.com; 866-965-9200; $200 purchase price). Prepackaged Meds - Another way you can simplify your parent’s medicine consumption is by prepackaging their individual doses, and there are various ways to do it. One is with DailyMed (www.dailymedrx.com; 800-973-1955), a pharmacy dispensing service that provides, sorts, and organizes prescription drugs, vitamins, and overthe-counter medications into individual, singledose packets that are labeled in large print with the day and time they need to be taken. The cost for DailyMed is $15/month, not including medication costs. Or if you want to do it yourself there is Dose Guardian ($200; www.doseguardian.com; 804-726-5448), an easy-to-use home device that lets you do the organizing and packaging right at your own kitchen table. If your parents are in need of comprehensive medication assistance, consider EMMA ($10/ day rental; www.inrangesystems.com; 814-9401870), MD2 ($745; www.epill.com/md2.html; 800549-0095) or CompuMed ($900 or $100/month rental; www.compumed.com; 800-722-4417). These are sophisticated, home-based machines that will not only remind your parents when it is time to take their medication, it also dispenses exactly what they need to take and will report to a caregiver if they miss a dose. Reminding Services - If forgetfulness is the main problem, there are electronic services available today like OnTimeRx where you can have your parents called, e-mailed or paged for all types of reminders – daily medications, monthly refills, doctor and dentist appointments, or other events, for $10 to $30 a month (407-843-8966; www.ontimerx.com). CareCalls (www.parentcarecall.com; 888-275-3098) is another service that offers medication reminders, wake up calls, and more over the phone, along with caregiver alerts if your loved one does not answer within three tries. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www. savvysenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. ISI


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Help At The Push Of A Button By Steve Hansen, AssureLink Most of us take great pride in our independence. However, as we grow older, we realize that falls, health challenges and household accidents can threaten our ability to remain independent. Seniors and people with serious health conditions face unique and sometimes significant challenges in maintaining independence in their own home. A Personal Emergency Response Service (PERS) frequently offers security and confidence to individuals and families by ensuring that help is available at the “push of a button,” according to Steve Hansen, co-founder of AssureLink, Idaho Falls. Living in rural settings can sometimes make the decisions around independence more difficult as well. Distance between loved ones and the time that a person may go without care in the event of an emergency can sometimes threaten our ability to remain independent in our own home. While there are numerous equipment manufacturers and monitoring service options to choose from, most equipment operates with the use of a wireless signal that uses current telephone service in the home to notify someone that help might be needed. Should a customer find it necessary to summon assistance, he/she can simply press the alert button on a wristband or pendant that worn around the neck. According to Hansen, the customer is then immediately connected with a 24-hour monitoring center where professional and caring dispatchers can participate in a two-way conversation with the customer, over a speakerphone, to determine what kind of assistance is needed. In the event a customer is unable to respond in the two-way conversation, the PERS operator will summon emergency services immediately. In most cases, these dispatchers will refer to important information that has been previously provided to them by the customer and loved ones. “This information can be helpful in contacting family, friends, physicians, or other health care providers in the order in which the customer wishes them to be contacted,” says Hansen. In many cases, it’s a simple matter of contacting a family

member or a neighbor. Whether it is a simple request from the customer or a serious emergency, it’s always nice to know that help is just the push of a button away. Some PERS providers also conduct periodic home visits to ensure that the equipment is properly maintained and in good working order. These home visits offer an opportunity to insure the service continues to meet the customer’s needs. Additionally, some PERS providers also provide scheduled well-being calls to the customer to ascertain their overall well-being. Other optional services may include sensors to detect customer inactivity, fall detection, and friendly reminders. Medication reminders have become a popular feature among many PERS providers. However, Hansen says that this feature must be approached cautiously, since medications and prescriptions change frequently. “If the customer fails to communicate these changes to the PERS provider, the reminders may not be accurate,” says Hansen. Lock boxes are also frequently offered as an option, in the event the customer desires to allow easy access to the home for family, friends, or emergency personnel. An emerging feature is the use of cellular (GSM) technology, since there is a growing number of customers who have cancelled their traditional landline services in favor of cell phones. However, this brings

with it some unique challenges. For example, the use of cellular technology requires tracking features, such as GPS, for customers who may not be able to describe their exact location in an emergency. However, as this technology develops, it offers even greater mobility and independence for the customer. Overall, PERS services offer one of the most economical options available for people with limited mobility and those who live alone. Most PERS services charge just over $1 per day. “This breaks down to less than a nickel per hour,” says Hansen. Any way you look at it, PERS services appear to be a bargain, compared to other options that are far more restrictive. ISI

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Idaho eye doctors help legally blind to see Local low vision doctor helps those with vision impairment to keep reading and driving. By Elena Lomabardi retired rancher from Utah, approached the Low Just because you have macular degeneration Vision Clinic last February. (or other vision-limiting conditions) doesn’t always “I could not read the street signs soon enough mean you must give up driving or reading. when driving, and I couldn’t read my morning Ever look through a pair of field glasses or paper.” binoculars? Things look bigger He was fit with bioptic teleand closer, and much easier scope glasses. “Amazing,” says to see. Dr. Jared L. Cooper Ross, “to be able to see things of Southern Idaho/Utah and far away again. Even the televiDr. Cheryl Dumont of Coeur sion is so much better now.” He d’Alene are using miniaturized was also provided with a Clear binoculars or telescopes to help Image Microscope glasses for people who have lost vision from reading the newspaper. macular degeneration or other “Telescopic glasses usually eye conditions. cost over $2000,” says Dr. Coo“Some of my patients conper, “especially if we fabricate sider me the last stop for people who have vision them with an automatic sunglass.” loss”, says Dr. Cooper, a low vision optometrist who Not all low vision devices are that expensive limits his practice to visually impaired patients in - reading glasses start at $500 and hand magnihis offices throughout Southern Idaho. fiers under $100. Every case is different because “People don’t know that there are doctors who people have different levels of vision and different are very experienced in low vision care, many of desires. my patients have been told that there was nothCall Dr. Cooper or Dr. Dumont for a free ing left that they could do to improve their vision, telephone interview at 800-451-2015 or visit Dr. fortunately this is usually not the case.” Cooper on the Internet at www.drjaredcooper.com. “My job is to figure out everything and anything Dr. Jared L. Cooper Idaho License #ODPpossible to keep a person functioning.” said Dr. 100238. Cooper. “Even if it’s driving”. A patient of Dr. Cooper, Ross Johnson, 73 a


PAGE 28 IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

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Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap! Protect Yourself & Your Family This Summer By Terry Egan, Missoula City-County Health Department It is time to slip, slop, slap, and wrap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, As summer heats up, so do all those summertime outdoor actiities we love slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses to protect eyes and skin from harmful in Montana - music, sports, pools, parks, recreational activities, and more. UV radiation from the sun. This means more time in the sun and the need to protect yourself and your Why protect your skin? Prolonged exposure to the sun may trigger a skin family from the sun’s harmful rays. cancer known as melanoma. More importantly, research suggests that severe sunburns in childhood can lead to greater risk of the most deadly form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, later in life. According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, there are over one million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year, outnumbering all other cancers combined. Most of the more than 1 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed yearly in the U.S. are considered sun-related. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, accounted for about 59,940 cases of skin cancer in 2007 and nearly 80% of the 10,850 deaths due to skin cancer. The good news? You can protect yourself and your family by following these tips: • Limit time in the sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the sun is at its strongest. Take some shade time, but still apply sunscreen because sand, concrete, and water can reflect harmful rays. Use it even on cloudy or hazy days. UV rays can penetrate cloud cover. • Slip on a shirt, skirt, sundress, darker colored t-shirt, or loose fitting clothing. Wet clothing offers little sun protection and decreases the effectiveness of sunscreen. Some clothing is available with SPF protection. • Slop on enough sunscreen, about a palm full for an adult, 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply every 2 hours or sooner if washed away by water or perspiration, or wiped away by towel drying. • Slap on a hat with a brim wide enough to cover your face, neck, and ears. These areas are common sites for skin cancer. • Wrap on sunglasses that block UV rays. The most effective sunglasses fit close to your face or have wraparound frames that block sunlight from all angles. Contact your doctor if you notice any of the following: any change on the skin, especially in the size, shape, or color of a mole or other darkly pigmented spot, any new growth, scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or change of appearance of a bump. Skin cancer can be found early with careful observation and treated for the best results. ISI

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IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 29

The Nisles: Financial Help Through Free Meds Article & Photo By Dianna Troyer Rupert retirees Larry and Nancy Nisle dated in high school in Oklahoma, drifted their separate ways for decades, rekindled their romance two years ago, and recently found a new calling in life. “We’ve known each other for 50 years,” says Larry, “and lost track of each other until my mom died in March 2010. Nancy’s dad called to express his sympathy, and then Nancy called, too. We got reacquainted and were married two years ago.” Larry and Nancy have found a new calling during their retirement. Last summer, Larry, 67, who had worked as a chemist for General Electric in the international mining industry, and Nancy, 65, a registered nurse, started a new program, MiniCassia FreeMed, an all-volunteer effort. The Nisles help Mini-Cassia residents who have low incomes obtain medications for free or at greatly reduced cost. Their assistance to the client is free. “With retirement, you want to make a contribution, to do something worthwhile,” says Nancy, who retired in January 2011. “After you’ve worked and done something satisfying for a career, it’s hard to retire. You still want to spend a big amount of your time doing something that gives you a personal reward and satisfaction.” Larry and Nancy had been talking about what they could do with their spare time when a friend in Idaho Falls “called out of the blue and told us about FreeMed in Idaho Falls,” recalls Larry. “He suggested we start a program here to help people get free medication.” Their friend described a program in Idaho Falls that started a decade ago and helps about 600 people get $2.7 million in free meds every year. “They mentored us from April to August, and then we were ready to go,” says Nancy. “For some people with limited income, it comes down to buying food or paying utilities or paying for prescriptions. Many times, people just quit taking their meds because they can’t afford them.” Many people do not realize that pharmaceutical companies offer free medications through their patient assistance programs. Patients who qualify must submit paperwork and prescriptions from their physician. For some people, filling out that paperwork can be a stressful and overwhelming task. “We help people relieve that stress,” says Larry. “We don’t distribute medication or have any on hand. The patient has their doctor sign a form, then it’s forwarded to the drug company,

and the prescriptions arrive in about four to six weeks.” To inform residents of their service, the Nisles told case managers at hospitals and hospice programs about MiniCassia FreeMed. After printing fliers and brochures, they put them up in local hospitals, senior centers, and businesses. “We also did a radio program with talk show host Zeb Bell,” says Nancy. The Nisles opened their FreeMed offices last August at the Central Church of Christ, South 4th and H Street in Rupert. They meet their

clients from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. “We don’t proselytize at all,” emphasizes Larry. “We happen to be members there and were provided a small office. The purpose of our program is to help people, not to promote our church.” Providing the service is an expression of their Christian faith. “The Lord has been good to us,” says Larry, “so we want to help others like Jesus did.” So far, the Nisles have helped about a dozen people, reducing their collective annual drug costs from about $39,000 to about $3,000 for a variety of medications taken to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, or heart conditions. “The average annual cost of meds per client was reduced from about $5,000 to $400,” says Larry. Most of their clients need about a half dozen prescriptions but some need as many as a dozen. Nancy says becoming enrolled in the patient assistance program takes more than a month, so the service is not feasible for those who need immediate meds such as antibiotics or other emergency medications. “The program is for people of all ages, not just seniors,” says Nancy. Some clients mistakenly think the program

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is provided by the state or federal government and paid for with tax dollars. “This isn’t paid for by the government,” emphasizes Nancy. “Pharmaceutical companies pay for it.” The program helps many people who are enrolled in Medicare Part D or Medicaid with prescriptions that are not covered by those programs.

“We also help people who are Medicare eligible and not enrolled in Medicare Part D,” says Larry. Besides their church, other sponsors are local hospitals, D. L. Evans Bank, First Federal Bank, U.S. Bank, Wal-Mart, Greener Valley Computers, who provided a computer, and Safelink, which provides Internet service at a discount.

The Nisles would like to see MiniCassia FreeMed grow. “It’s a matter of getting the word out,” says Nancy. “We’d love to expand the hours and have more volunteer staff members.” To make an appointment or for more information about the program, Larry and Nancy may be contacted at 208-219-0980 or at MCFreeMed@gmail.com. ISI

Finding Financial Assistance Programs By Jim Miller Locating government benefits and financial assistance programs is actually easy to do thanks to two key resources created by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). Here’s where you can turn to for help. Online Search – If you have access to the Internet, the easiest and most convenient way to search for benefits for seniors is at benefitscheckup.org. Created by the NCOA 10 years ago, BenefitsCheckUp is a free, confidential web-based service that helps low-income seniors and their families identify federal, state, and private benefits programs that can help with prescription drug costs, health care, utilities, and other basic needs. This site contains more than 2,000 programs across the country. To help identify benefits that could help your

mother-in-law, you’ll need to fill out an online questionnaire that asks things like her date of birth, zip code, expenses, income, assets, veteran status, and a few other factors. It takes about 15 minutes to complete. Once completed, you’ll get a report detailing all programs and services she may be eligible for. You can also apply for many of the programs online, or you can print an application form, fill it out, and mail it in. Eldercare Locator – If, however, you don’t have Internet access you can also get help over the phone by calling the Eldercare Locator (800-6771116), which will assign you a counselor to review your mother-in-law’s situation, and provide you with a list of possible programs she may be eligible for, and who to contact to get the ball rolling. They can also mail you a free copy of the booklet “You Gave, Now Save Guide to Benefits Programs for Seniors,” that provides a general list of the programs, how you can apply, and where you can get more information. Types of Benefits – Depending on her income level and where she lives, some of the different benefits that may be available to your mother-in-law include: Food Assistance – Programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help pay for her groceries. The average monthly SNAP benefit is currently $119 for seniors living alone. Other programs that may help include the Emergency Food Assistance Program, Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and the

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. Health Assistance – Medicaid and Medicare Savings Programs can help or completely pay for out-of-pocket health care costs. And, there are special Medicaid waiver programs that provide in-home care and assistance. Prescription Assistance – There are hundreds of programs offered through pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and charitable organizations that help lower or eliminate prescription drug costs, including the federal Low Income Subsidy known as “Extra Help” that pays premiums, deductibles, and prescription copayments for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Heating and Cooling Assistance – There’s the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), as well as local utility companies and charitable organizations that provide assistance in lowering home heating and cooling costs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI provides monthly payments to very low-income seniors, age 65 and older, as well as to those who are blind and disabled. The average SSI payment is around $500 per month. In addition to these programs, there are numerous other benefits such as HUD housing options, home weatherization assistance, tax relief, various veteran’s benefits, transportation, respite care, and free legal assistance. Send your questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. ISI

Dying With Debt: Will Your Children Inherit Your Obligations? By Jim Miller In most cases when a person with debt dies, it is their estate, not their kids that are legally responsible. Here is how it works. When you die, your estate – which consists of the stuff you own while you’re alive (home, car, cash, etc.) – will be responsible for paying your debts. Whatever is left over is passed along to your heirs as dictated by the terms of your will, if you have one. If you don’t have a will, the intestacy laws of the state you reside in (see mystatewill.com) will determine how his estate will be distributed. If, however, you die broke, or there isn’t enough money left over to pay your unsecured debts – credit cards, medical bills, personal loans – then your estate is declared insolvent, and your creditors (those you owe) will have to eat the loss.

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There are, however, a couple of exceptions that would make your kids legally responsible for your unsecured debt after you pass away: if your son or daughter is a joint holder on a credit card account that you owe on, or if they co-signed on a loan with you. Secured debts – loans attached to an asset such as a house or a car – are another story. If you have a mortgage or car loan when you die, those monthly payments will need to be made by your estate or heirs, or the lender can seize the property. Untouchable Assets – You also need to be aware that there are some assets, such as 401(k) and 403(b) accounts, brokerage accounts, and some life insurance policies that creditors cannot get access to. That’s because these accounts typically have designated beneficiaries, and the money goes directly to those people without passing through the estate. Tell Your Kids – If you haven’t already done so, you need to inform your kids and the executor of your will of your financial situation so there are no surprises after you die. If you do indeed die with debt, and you have no assets, settling your estate should be simple. Your executor will need to send out letters to your

creditors explaining the situation, including a copy of your death certificate, and that will probably take care of it. But, your kids may still have to deal with debt collectors who try to guilt them into paying. If you have some assets, but not enough to pay all your debts, your state’s probate court has a distinct list of what bills get priority. The details vary by state, but generally, estate administrating fees, funeral expenses, taxes, and last illness medical bills get paid first, followed by secured debts and finally credit card debts. Get Help – If you have questions regarding your specific situation, you should consult with an attorney. If your need help locating one use findlegalhelp.org, a consumer’s guide created by the American Bar Association that offers referrals and links to free and low-cost legal help in your area based on your income level. If you don’t have internet access, call the Eldercare Locator at 800677-1116 for referrals. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. ISI

Mediation Can Help Adult Families Resolve Conflicts By Jim Miller Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about mediation for resolving family conflicts? My mother has Alzheimer’s disease, and to make matters worse, my three siblings and I have been perpetually arguing about how to handle her care and finances. Would this type of service be helpful to us? Tired of Fighting Dear Tired, If your siblings are willing, elder care mediation may be just what your family needs to help you work through your disagreements. Here is what you should know. Mediation - While mediators have been used for years to help divorcing couples sort out legal and financial disagreements and avoid court battles, elder care mediation is a relatively new and specialized field designed to help families resolve disputes that are related to aging parents or other elderly relatives. Family disagreements over an ill or elderly parent’s care giving needs, living arrangements, financial decisions, and medical care are some of the many issues that can be handled through the help of an elder care mediator. But do not confuse this with family or group therapy. Mediation is only about decision-making, not feelings and emotions. The job of an elder mediator is to step in as a neutral third party to help ease family tensions, listen to everyone’s concerns, work through disagreements and misunderstandings, and help your family make decisions that are acceptable to everyone. Good mediators can also assist your family in identifying experts such as estate-planners, geriatric care managers, and health care or financial professionals who can supply important information for family decision-making. Your family also needs to know that the mediation process is completely confidential and vol-

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untary, and can take anywhere from a few hours to several meetings depending on the complexity of your issues. If some family members live far away, a speakerphone or Webcam can be used to bring everyone together. If you are interested in hiring a private elder care mediator, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to more than $400 per hour depending on where you live and whom you choose. Or, you may be able to get help through a nonprofit community mediation service that charges little to nothing. Since there is no formal licensing or national credentialing required for elder mediators, make sure the person you choose has extensive experience with elder issues. Also, be sure you ask for and check references. Most elder mediators are attorneys, social workers, counselors, or other professionals who are trained in mediation and conflict resolution. To locate an elder mediator, start by calling your area aging agency (call 800-677-1116 or see www.eldercare.gov to get your local number), which may be able to refer you to local resources. Or, try websites like eldercaremediators.com and mediate.com. Both of these sites have directories that will let you search for mediators in your area. You could also use the National Association for Community Mediation website (www.nafcm.org) to search for free or low-cost community-based mediation programs in your area. Savvy Tip - The Center for Social Gerontology (see www.tcsg.org) provides some good information on its website, including an online brochure titled Caring for an Older Person and Facing Difficult Decisions? Consider Mediation. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior book. ISI

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How To Save On Your Final Farewell By Jim Miller Depending on how you want to go, there are various ways to make a final farewell more affordable, but it requires a little homework and pre-planning. Here is what you should know. Funeral Savers - With the average cost of a full-service funeral running around $10,000 today, there are ways to save if you plan. If a traditional funeral and burial is what you are interested in, your first step is to shop around and compare funeral providers, because prices do vary. Another way to lower your costs is to buy your own casket. You can save at least 50 percent by purchasing one from a store versus the funeral home, and the funeral home providing the service must accept it (it is the law). Two good casket-shopping resources that may surprise you are WalMart (visit walmart.com and type “casket” in their search engine) and Costco (costco.com), which offers its members a large variety of caskets and urns at discounted prices. And to help you avoid getting charged for any extra services you do not ask for, take advantage of the “funeral rule.” This is a federal law that requires funeral directors to provide you with an itemized price list of their products and services so you can choose exactly what you want. Be sure to ask for it! Finally, while it is a smart move to preplan a funeral, paying in advance can be risky. In many states, there is no requirement that funeral homes deposit your money in safe investments or refund it if you change your mind, move, or if the funeral home goes out of business or is bought out by another company. If, however, you are interested in looking beyond a traditional funeral, there is a variety of other options that you may have never thought about that are very affordable, such as: Cremation - An increasingly popular and inexpensive way to go, a “direct cremation” without a memorial service can cost as little as $500 to $1,000. If your family wants a service, they can have it at home or your place of worship

after the cremation, in the presence of your remains. Another cost-cutter is to buy an urn online. Urns sold by the funeral industry are overpriced. See cremation.com for more information and a U.S. directory of funeral homes that offer cremation. Direct Burial - Also known as an immediate burial, this skips the embalming, viewing, and ceremonies. If the family wants a memorial service, they can have it at home without the body. Direct burials usually cost under $2,000, plus cemetery charges that can range from $1,000 to several thousand dollars. All funeral homes offer direct burial. Green Burial: Environment-friendly and affordable, going green costs anywhere from $1,000 to several thousand dollars, depending on the provider. With a green cemetery burial, the body is buried in a biodegradable coffin or just wrapped in a shroud, without embalming chemicals or a burial vault. The Green Burial Council (greenburialcouncil.org, 888-966-3330) has a state listing of cemetery operators who accommodate green burials, as well as funeral professionals who provide the services. You can also do a search for natural burial preserves at naturalburial.coop. Veterans Burial - If you are a veteran, you are entitled to a free burial at a national cemetery and a free grave marker. This benefit also extends to spouses, dependent children, and some civilians who have provided militaryrelated service. Funeral provider or cremation costs are not covered. To learn more visit www.cem.va.gov or call the Department of Veterans Affairs at 800-827-1000. Body Donation - Donating your body for medical research and education is another honorable way to go, and it is free. Contact local medical schools to see if they accept body donations. Or visit www.med.ufl.edu/anatbd/usprograms.html for a list of U.S. body donation programs. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. ISI


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Gardening With Others By Clare Hafferman Experimentation is one of the reasons that we garden and we part with the coin to do it. There is no better example than an old friend and her husband attending something called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tomatomania,â&#x20AC;? where they could learn about over 300 varieties of the plant thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the top of everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s try thatâ&#x20AC;? list. Investigate any seed catalog and find new flowers and vegetables for our short summers, or order imported seeds from different countries that will let us pick or eat flavors or flowers that have been around longer than we have â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sales â&#x20AC;˘ Installation â&#x20AC;˘ Serviceâ&#x20AC;? been gardenIf youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re one of those people who have put off doing business at OVERHEAD DOOR COMPANY OF LEWISTONing. It makes CLARKSTON, then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re missing out on a comfortable me think of the experience. bridal verse, OVERHEAD DOOR COMPANY OF LEWISTONâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Something CLARKSTON is located at 422 20th Street North in Lewiston, old, something phone 743-8485 or 1-800-950-8485. We understand how very, n e w, s o m e very important repeat customers are. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why you will notice the extra personal attention thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s given such a high priority here to thing borevery person who comes to us. We specialize in offering Overhead rowed, somedoor sales, installations and service. We offer manual, electrically thing blue.â&#x20AC;? operated and remote control systems with a model for every Growing conceivable application. Repeat customers are a long tradition and something una way of life. Let us have an opportunity to earn your trust.

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usual is a good way to introduce gardening to others. You can begin with a youngster or maybe an older soul who just needs something to keep them at it. Something easy and intriguing is to plant seeds from lemons, grapefruit, or oranges and see them sprout. Kids and even adults like doing this, and when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s successful, you will have a grapefruit tree about five feet tall with glossy, green, leaves that when pressed will emit a nice citrusy smell. It will not bear fruit but as a potted plant, it makes an attractive oddity to keep or give away. You can start a small desktop garden if you look in a thrift shop for an abandoned goldfish bowl or other clear glass container. If there is a lid that fits, get that too. This will be the start of a terrarium. Terrariums originated in the 19th century as Wardian cases, glazed boxes that were filled with plants shipped by explorers back to England from all corners of the world. Gardening was a concentrated art in that era and having oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own terrarium reflected that. To create one of these, you can put commercial charcoal or small pebbles or gravel in the bottom of the container. Add potting soil, a little peat moss, and mix in a little sand. Some of the plants listed to grow slowly are common ivy, portaluca, pick-a-back plant, maidenhair fern, button fern, or dwarf mother-in-lawâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tongue. You can add a coleus for color. A large brandy snifter with a dwarf cactus makes a garden you will not have to water often. Other experimental plants that are beneficial to grow and that elicit attention from an older gardener or a novice include alpine strawberries, and Cestrum nocturnum (a type of night-blooming jasmine). , Nicotiana slyvestris (an annual tobacco plant that smells good and sometimes attracts hummingbird moths.) The alpine strawberries can be started from seed and will produce small, sweet berries that come on almost all summer. They do not grow from runners, but can be divided to make more plants. Mine have been around a ground level birdbath for many years. The instructions for Cestrum nocutrnum say plant the seeds as soon as you get them. For the nicotiana, its seeds are the â&#x20AC;&#x153;fine as the hair on a dogâ&#x20AC;? so cover them lightly. Give the cestrum light from an east window, mist it, water it, occasionally fertilize it, and be rewarded once it blooms. Gardening in the edible world is one way to attract those grandkids that would like to â&#x20AC;&#x153;dig in.â&#x20AC;? Carrots that they can pull, wash, and eat, or potatoes they can dig, and not to forget, some eaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite, sit in the patch and pick peas off the vine to eat right then, are all the kind of medicine that a good garden provides. And not to forget dessert that comes from the raspberry patch, a row of strawberries, or a transparent apple tree that will let you teach your next lesson, how to cook with what they learn to grow. The kind of childhood that most of us had consisted of either in town or out on the farm. Your family grew some, if not almost all of what went on your dinner table. You knew where your vegetable soup came from and no doubt, you helped grow it and pulled the weeds out of the row. In the order of events, that old pendulum has swung back to start over with that idea. Any knowledge that you as a gardener possess can be shared with others. You pass it on and they pick it up. ISI


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IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 35

Use Wireless Keyboard with iPad By Richard Sherman Q. I bought a Bluetooth wireless external keyboard to use with my iPad. It is a great little keyboard, but I cannot get it to connect with the iPad. What am I doing wrong? A. The iPad’s integrated virtual keyboard is adequate for some typing, but for any significant amount of data entry, a real keyboard cannot be beat. My personal favorite is a Logitech Bluetooth iPad Keyboard ($69), but Apple makes an excellent wireless keyboard, also $69 (what a coincidence) which is available from the Apple Store (http:// store.apple.com). It can be a bit tricky to establish the handshake between iPad and keyboard, so let’s walk through the process, systematically, in excruciating detail: On your iPad, go to Settings > General > Bluetooth and make sure it is set to On. Next, turn on your keyboard using its power switch. Return to the iPad’s Bluetooth settings (Settings > General > Bluetooth) and after a couple of seconds you should see the cryptic words “Not paired,” and your keyboard identified by name. Here is the crucial, little-known, often-overlooked, hyphen-laden step: In the iPad’s Bluetooth settings, tap “Not paired,” and note the four- or six-digit number displayed. Type that number on your keypad, then press the Return key. Once the connection (handshake) is established, you will see the word “Connected” next to the name of your keyboard. You can then begin typing. Once you finish using your Bluetooth device, be sure to return to Settings > General > Bluetooth and turn Bluetooth off. If you leave Bluetooth on and raise the iPad to your ear, like an iConch, the sucking sound you hear will be the charge departing your battery. The next time you use your keyboard, turn on Bluetooth, and turn on your keyboard and after a few seconds the word “Connected” should appear. At that point, you are good to go. For oodles more iPad tips, my latest eBook series, Mr. Modem’s Top 50 iPad Tips, Volumes 1-3, makes its debut on amazon.com this month.

- the window in which you are currently working and not any other window that might be lurking in the background, hold down the ALT key first, and then press the PRINT SCREEN key. When I create a screen shot of a window, or an error message, or some other dialog box, I paste it into Paint, which can be found under Programs > Accessories. However, you can use any other graphics program as your pasting destination. Mr. Modem’s DME (Don’t Miss ‘Em) Sites of the Month 10x10 - A fascinating site that takes an hourly photographic pulse of the world. When you open 10x10, you will see a grid of the top 100 world images for that hour, ranked in order of importance, reading left to right, top to bottom. Along the right edge of the screen are listed the corresponding top 100 words, one for each image. Move your mouse around the images and you will see which words match which images. Click any word or image to zoom in and see the news headlines behind the word. www.tenbyten.org/now.html. Get Relaxed - Soothing sounds to help you feel more relaxed and less stressed. Choose from mellifluous melodies such as “Eternal Hope, Midsummer Sky” or “Clear Water.” Music is accompanied by a photo slide show, which I thought moved too quickly and kind of stressed me out, but perhaps that is just me. Better still, forget the slide show, minimize the window, and let this musical muscle relaxer play in the background. Ahhhhh... www. getrelaxed.com. World eBook Library - The

World Public Library Association is the world’s largest eBook provider. Founded in 1996, the WPLA is dedicated to preserving and disseminating classic works of literature, serials, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference works in a number of languages and countries around the world. Nothing by Mr. Modem yet, though - pity. www.netlibrary.net/view/about-us.aspx. Mr. Modem’s Top 50 Computing Tips, a lifealtering five-eBook series, is just a download away on amazon.com! Each (only $2.99) features 50 of Mr. M.’s greatest computing tips, all easy to understand, all written in Mr. Modem’s entertaining and occasionally informative style. ISI

Q. I somehow deleted the My Document icon from my XP computer. How can I get it back? A. Right-click Desktop > Properties > Desktop tab > Customize Desktop button. Under Desktop Icons, place a check mark beside My Documents. If it already has a check mark, remove it, restart your computer, then return to the same area and replace the check mark, followed by OK. Q. How do I capture or save what appears on screen? A. The key to capturing whatever appears on your monitor is the keystroke combination CTRL + PRINT SCREEN, sometimes displayed as the PRNT SCRN or PRT SC key. Pressing the PRINT SCREEN key copies data to the Windows Clipboard, from which you can then paste it into another document or email message. If you want to capture only the active window

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By Kim Charles Petty Investing in Real estate is acquiring an increasingly critical profile with advancement in technology. Like other businesses, all aspects of real estate investing also have become technology oriented and complicated. You may find handling day-to-day operations quite stressful and difficult to handle without obtaining expert support. The easiest way to cope with such a situation is to use real estate investment analysis software. The software is user friendly and will prove to be the ideal option to manage your high profit ventures in real estate investing. To make it easier for you to handle the software, a detailed user manual and a CD are provided along with it. This will let you clearly comprehend the application and procedure for using the software. The software consists of many features that are of immense use to committed real estate investors, brokers, real estate agents and developers. It allows quick and easy real estate investment analysis presentation for individual investors that help them in understanding implications of their investment moves and lets them make an informed decision on real estate investing. Many companies sell real estate analysis software. Good quality software is a powerful tool that will let you determine your return on investment and analyze cash flows. It provides a near accurate estimate of future wealth/net worth and allows comparing multiple income properties through an executive summary. Using an executive summary, you can run assumptions against different income generating properties and then make a comparison of the financial data derived through the executive summary to determine the property that will give the highest return. This caters to systematically building wealth through your real estate

investments by making quick and better-informed decisions. This user-friendly software is available for all types of real estate like apartment buildings, singlefamily rental housing, office buildings, industrial properties, warehouses and mini warehouses, commercial buildings etc. The software will help you generate all types of related financial reports like income statements, cash flow statement, rent roll, mortgage and equity, sensitivity analysis, executive summary, operating expenses etc. It can also let you have a breakdown of operating expenses in the form of expense item amount expressed as a percentage of total operating expenses and a percentage of effective gross income as well. Real estate investing analysis software provides you with the flexibility of entering 2/3 mortgages on a one property to let you make a mortgage analysis of your investment real estate. It can take into account interest only mortgages, fully amortized mortgages, one future mortgage or refinancing, interest only mortgage with balloon payments, fully amortized mortgage with balloon payments etc. You must look for real estate investing software that allows powerful sensitivity analysis by incorporating variations in purchase price, loan interest rate, appreciation growth rate, income growth rate, expense growth rate, vacancy rate, and reinvestment rate of return. In the real estate business, you may come across terms that may appear to be complicated or confusing. Good real estate investment analysis software will invariably include an encyclopedia to help you out with this. It will clarify and help you understand the various real estate terms as well as its principles, concepts, practices and calculations with explanations to financial indicators like return, cap rate, IRR, GRM, DCR, DSR etc. ISI

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1. This afternoon there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends. 2. Thursday at 5 p.m., there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers will please meet the pastor in his study. 3. Ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind, and they can be seen in the church basement on Friday afternoon. 4. On Sunday, a special collection will be taken to defray the expense of the new carpet. All wishing to do something on the carpet please come forward and get a piece of paper. 5. Another marriageencounter weekend is being offered. It’s a chance for a weekend away for just you and your souse. ISI

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By Clare Hafferman When I was in the business of selling books, there was one category I especially enjoyed. Those of us who liked to read all kinds of literature but wouldn’t turn down the job of cozying up to four burners and an oven called it the “Reading Cookbook Section.” If you are both a reader and a baker or a cook of any kind, you have probably discovered some of these in your travels. A few that I have enjoyed and believe are worth noting include: • Cafe Beaujolais by Margaret Fox (written when she operated a unique cafe in Mendicino, California) • The Texas Chuckwagon Cook Book (history with the bacon and beans,) • The Victory Garden Cookbook (anything grows that can be cooked) • The Butte Cookbook (ethnic abilities with pots and pans on the hill) • From Roberta’s Kitchen (a beautifully printed edition devoted to one famous woman who used her abilities for Hailey, Idaho) • Alaska Magazine’s Cabin Cookbook (I ate moose meat and blueberries for two years of my life and I like to read recipes from that country) • Cross Creek Cookery by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, because she filled this book with the flavor of Florida foods and how to duplicate them. Last year I discovered another gem in my local library titled American Pie-Slices of Life (And Pie) from America’s Back Roads, written by Pascale Cardona Senior Apartments Le Draoulec. A name like that demands an ex208-238-5780 planation, which is that the author is the daughter )BXUIPSOFt$IVCCVDL of two faithfully French immigrants who landed in California, who earned her living as a restaurant Devon Senior Apartments critic and a reporter. 208-735-2224 To pen this tribute to pastry Pascale is offered /$PMMFHF3Et5XJO'BMMT a new job in New York, and when she laid out a map of the United States, rather than choose a Eagle Manor direct route, decided she needed some sort of 208-939-0409 thread to pull her along. Ruminating on this idea, $FEBS3JEHF4Ut&BHMF she decided to use her designated three weeks time to get there by searching out small towns, Friendship Manor I & II looking for pie bakers and stories about “pies with 208-459-7075 character and characters who love pie.” 8-PHBOt$BMEXFMM The author admitted to being 35 years old Gleneagles when she detailed her search for crust and fill208-735-0308 ings, but she had never baked a pie. Pie was too )BSSJTPO4U/t5XJO'BMMT intimidating she thought, but always hopeful, there might be a chance she could learn. Lake Wood Ranch A cable car operator in San Francisco told her 208-765-4111 that there weren’t any renowned pie bakers in the /UI4Ut$PFVSE"MFOF Golden Gate area. “Pie is too pedestrian here,” he told them. To find one he knew about they Leisure Village I would have to back track to begin with a roadside 208-452-7927 diner named Duarte’s Tavern and try the special 4$PMPSBEP"WFt'SVJUMBOE olalieberry pie. “The berries come off the bushes right by the diner,” he said. Leisure Village III They headed south and found olalieberries, 208-459-6036 a cross between a loganberry and a youngberry. 4UI"WFt$BMEXFMM Ron Duarte, pleased that his pie was such a discovery, volunteered his late Mother Emma’s Leisure Village IV recipe, still used for the 15 to 30 pies that are 208-452-7927 4UI4Ut1BZFUUF made every day. A secret revealed was that the bakers used one-third cup of cold milk to threeLeisure Village V fourths cup of shortening, one teaspoon of salt in 208-459-6036 two cups of all-purpose flour. #FMNPOU4Ut$BMEXFMM Departing Duarte’s, the duo headed east and found Nevada devoid of any good pies. Oakhaven After escaping Nevada, they reached Veyo, 208-465-7200 Utah at the bottom of the Beehive state. They 8FTU0HEFO"WFt/BNQB were rewarded with a pie case at an RV park that contained Banana Cream, Lemon Meringue, and Poplar Grove Coconut Cream, created by a 79-year old baker 208-678-9429 named Evaline, who had gone home for the night. "MNP"WFt#VSMFZ They found her later and thanked her for the luscious slices they had eaten. Rosslare Senior Apartments Evaline said, “Yes, I am the pie lady around 208-227-0584 here.” Her secret was in the touch. “I’ve given out )PPQFT"WFt*EBIP'BMMT my recipes, ounce for ounce, to lots of people and they tell me it never turns out as good.” Sunset Manor I 208-934-8141 Pascale said she would take her chances and &BTU.BJOt#VIM wrote the recipe for Banana Cream, which uses Professionally Managed by half-and-half cream, a touch of banana extract, Sunset Manor VI and real whipped cream. 208-436-1380 With their appetites and forks at the ready, UI4Ut3VQFSU the tasters barreled across the map to try Lemon Come visit us at Pecan, Buttermilk, Butterscotch, Apple-Plum, Sunset Manor V & VII Rhubarb Cream, Cherry pie in Michigan, and www.TomlinsonAssociates.com 208-587-7419 Huckleberry in Montana. /SE&t.PVOUBJO)PNF If a travelogue featuring pie interests you, find this book at your library or bookstore and then Van Engelen buy some 5x7 cards. A little work with the rolling 208-465-7832 pin and you might become the local “Pie Lady,” TU4U4 4UFt/BNQB or “Pastry Chef,” who is always asked to dinner Equal opportunity employer & provider if they bring dessert. ISI

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Ellis Bird Farm Showcases Mountain Bluebirds By Bernice Karnop It is not unusual for someone with a few years under their belt to point to one seemingly small choice or event that changed the direction of their life. For Alberta, Canada, farmer Charlie Ellis, that moment was when he came across the directions for a simple nest box plan in a farm magazine. He built the box and set it out in the spring of 1955. When a pair of tree swallows moved in and laid eggs, he was thrilled. But some house sparrows killed the female and moved in on top of her and her dead nestlings. At that moment, Charlie determined that he would spend the rest of his

life protecting the native birds from destructive non-natives like the house sparrows. Within a few years, he had built a 300-box nesting trail around his farm. In 1956, a single pair of mountain bluebirds moved into one of Charlie’s boxes. In just two decades, more than 60 pair of mountain bluebirds nested successfully on the Ellis Farm. Imagine the flurry of brilliant turquoise as these beautiful birds flew, perched, and hovered over the farm. In the late 1970s, the Ellis Farm claimed the highest nesting density of bluebirds ever recorded. Today it is not just the birds that flock to the El-

lis Bird Farm. Even though it is well off the beaten path, 10,000 visitors from around the world visit each summer to enjoy what Charlie and his sister Winnie, who farmed with him, started more than half a century ago. Myrna Pearman, who has worked at the farm for 23 years as a biologist, service manager, and executive director says, “It’s a very endearing, inspiring place.” Today Ellis Bird Farm, 35 miles northeast of Red Deer in central Alberta, is an unusual partnership between a working farm, big industry, and a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of mountain bluebirds. The siblings, with no children to carry on their bluebird legacy, sold the farm to Union Carbide in the 1980s. The sale agreement guaranteed that the work Charlie pioneered with the mountain bluebird would go on. Union Carbide collaborated with the Red Deer River Naturalist Society to establish and fund the non-profit company, Ellis Bird Farm Ltd. Today Union Carbide’s Prentiss Plant for manufacturing ethylene glycol operates as MEGlobal Canada on one corner of the Ellis homestead site. MEGlobal Canada is a major funding partner of the Ellis Bird Farm. The working farm continues to raise cattle, crops, and bluebirds using the conservation farming practices Charlie Ellis practiced. As a tribute to Winnie’s love of gardening, hummingbird and butterfly gardens, water gardens, and native wildflower gardens were developed. The gardens are a living demonstration of natural landscaping and are designed to attract wildlife of all kinds. The individual trees and flowers are deliberately chosen to attract birds and pollinator insects, as well as for their beauty. No pesticides or herbicides are used. Ponds are designed to draw deer and other wild creatures. Trails, including an extensive wheelchair path, link the areas. Many visitors go home with Pearman’s book, “NatureScape Alberta: Creating and Caring for Wildlife Habitat at Home”, tucked under their arm. Pearman’s other books include “Nestboxes for Prairie Birds, Mountain Bluebird Trail Monitoring Guide”, and a lovely “Children’s Bluebird Activity Book” for the grandchildren. Ellis Bird Farm does many programs during the summer, including a Bluebird Festival, school programs, senior days, and bird banding. During Grandparent/Grandchild day, participants spend the morning in an organic garden. Children learn where food comes from by picking strawberries, raspberries, or Saskatoons with their grandparents, and making them in to jam. In the afternoon, they build bird boxes together and participate in other hands-on nature activities at the bird farm. Children love the bug festival. Last summer eight world authorities on insects came, donating


JUNE/JULY 2012

IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 39

Friends can be said to fall in like with as profound a thud as romantic partners fall in love. – Letty Cottin Pogrebin

their time to introduce children to all kinds of insect life. They studied pollinators, pond life, and most intriguing, the crawly things that live on the dead gophers that a forensic entomologist brought. The small visitor center at Ellis Bird Farm will soon be enlarged, and they are building a covered area near the pond where grandparents may sit and watch the children play near the water. The teahouse in what used to be the Ellis’s home, recently received an update. Until now, the homemade soups and breads, and their specialty, Saskatoon pie, were made on the Ellis’s kitchen stove. To make sure of your place at the table in the Ellis’s living room, make reservations before you go. Last year they served 6,000 guests during their 15-week season. Last year extreme weather in April lasted several days, killing about half of the bluebirds, according to Myrna Pearman. Because bluebirds did not claim the boxes, tree swallows took over. The tree swallows will return and defend these nests from the bluebirds. To lessen the competition, the farm expanded their bluebird trail this fall. “If we have another extreme weather event this year, the numbers could be significantly reduced again,” said Pearman. “There’s not much we can do beyond controlling the sparrows, and putting out more boxes.” Admission to Ellis Bird Farm is by donation. To get there from Red Deer, go north on Highway 2 or 2a to the Blackfalds turn off. Go east on Highway 597, then turn north on Prentiss Road. To learn more about the Ellis Bird Farm, check out the beautiful photographs on their website, www.ellisbirdfarm.ab.ca, or call them at 403-3462211 from September to May, or 403-885-4477 from June through August. They are open mid-May through August from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays, and on special holidays. ISI

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PAGE 40 IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

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Best times in Bend, Oregon

I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty. – Groucho Marx

By Natalie Bartley; Photos by Dave Lindsay and Natalie Bartley Quietly tucked into central Oregon is the city of Bend, a growing tourist destination surrounded by stunning snow-covered volcanic peaks, the fish-filled Deschutes River, miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, and plentiful breweries that attract residents and visitors. Using Bend as a home base in April, my husband and I explored this diverse high-desert environment. Start your stay with an overview of the area with a one-mile drive on a paved road or a 1-mile hike on a trail up to Pilot Butte State Park located on the east side of Bend on US Highway 20. At the scenic overlook at the top of the old cinder cone, gaze at the city of Bend, population about 80,000. Notice the snow-capped volcanoes of the Three Sisters, Broken Top, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Bachelor. Then head into the valley and enjoy all Bend has to offer. For a better understanding of the flora, fauna, and history, don’t miss the High Desert Museum south of town on US 97. Its bird and wildlife recovery program provides visitors with views of great horned owls, bald eagles, otters, a lynx, a bobcat, and a porcupine. In need of some exercise? Paddle on a placid section of the Deschutes River. We used stand-up paddleboards to navigate the river as it passes through the Old Mill District. Atop a surfboard adapted to river paddling, we launched from the Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe rental and sales shop. With long single-blade paddles for propulsion, we completed an easy up-river and down-river outing on a portion of the Deschutes Paddle Trail that took us near tempting shore-side restaurants. Along the way, we passed a dog park with a swimming section for the canines, where we weaved among pets chasing water toys. Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) is a growing recreational pursuit in Bend and other towns. Laurel Brauns, the marketing director at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe said, “Six years ago we were the only ones selling SUPs in Bend and now even the snowsports stores are selling SUPs in the summer.” Brauns has found it a pursuit for women. “The coolest thing about this sport is it is so easy to learn,” she said. Another advantage is you are higher up than in a canoe or kayak and can see the rocks and fish under the water. The local Bend Parks and Recreation District’s trail system delights residents and out-of-towners. My yellow Labrador retriever enjoyed numerous walks on the local trail system including Sawyer Uplands Park, Pioneer Park, and Shevlin Park. For a forested hike about 12 miles west of Bend, check out Tumalo Falls. Take Skyliners Road past the Conservation Education Center and on to Tumalo Falls Road. Start hiking from the Deschutes National Forest trailhead a few miles further up the dirt road. (Pay the $5 Day Use Fee or display the Annual Northwest Forest Pass, usable in Oregon and Washington.) To quench our thirst and hunger during the active visit, we sipped on a six-glass beer sampler at the Deschutes Brewery and Public House on NW Bond Street in downtown Bend and gobbled pulled pork Havana sandwiches at Jackson’s Corner on NW Delaware Ave. Grab a local tourist map and make it your mission to get a brewery stamp from the eight participating craft breweries along the Bend Ale Trail. For a picturesque drive, take the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway towards Mt. Bachelor. In the summer, stop at some of the high mountain lakes and paddle a canoe or kayak. If you didn’t bring a boat, consider a day-trip with Wanderlust Tours. In addition to paddle trips, they offer caving adventures, natural history tours, and specialty tours. If you are looking for a well-rounded outdoor-oriented destination, snag the dog, boat, bicycle, and hiking shoes and then head to Bend. Getting to Bend – Approach Bend from the east and west by driving US Highway 20 or from the north and south on US Highway 97. Information – Official Bend Visitor Guide (Free) at www.visitbend. com or 1-877-245-8484. Oregon Parks at www.oregon.gov/OPRD/ or 1-800-551-6949. High Desert Museum – www.highdesertmuseum.org. Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe – www. tumalocreek. com. Deschutes Paddle Trail – www.deschutespaddletrail.info. Wanderlust To u r s – w w w. wanderlusttours. com. Bend Parks and Recreation District – www. bendparksandrec.org. ISI


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IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT PAGE 41

Health Insurance for Canada Travel A Wise Decision By Steve Cogger exceedingly costly. Even from Canada, you must assume a cost of $10,000 While we as U.S. residents think often about travel insurance coverage for this coverage alone. when we’re traveling overseas we’re not so quick to worry about health inPlanning ahead by purchasing health insurance for Canada travel will go surance for Canada travel. This is especially true if our voyage to Canadian a long way towards making your Canada vacation a serene stay. ISI provinces is by car and not by air. We don’t expect to need health insurance for Canada travel to protect us from exotic diseases or militant uprisings. Health insurance for Canada travel should not be ignored, however. Your medical insurance provider in the U.S. will typically only cover a medical emergency in Canada if the emergency was precipitated in the U.S. and the nearest emergency medical care is Canadian. This is especially true if you’re a senior whose only form of medical insurance is Medicare. Health insurance for Canada travel is, therefore, a must. When you’re shopping for coverage you’ll want to consider several things in your decision. They are: what is excluded from coverage (what particular incidents and situations would your trip coverage not reimburse you for); what sports you can participate in and still be covered by your health insurance for Canada travel; whether you might be excluded from coverage for a pre-existing condition; and if there is a deductible. The coverage that is customary is for a hospital stay, although the per day limitations and ceilings will vary plan to plan; medical care, in-patient and outpatient, including physician fees, as well as those for any nursing care, surgery or anesthesia; medical testing such as x-rays and laboratory work; transportation to or from medical care by ambulance; medical care provided by a private RN (registered nurse); medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, splints and slings; prescription medicine; and the cost of repatriation of the remains of a deceased member of your travel group. Probably the most crucial part of the plan you choose for health insurance for Canada travel must be good coverage in the case of an emergency evacuation back to your home for medical reasons. This is especially true if you are traveling by airline. The cost of changing travel plans, especially if you’ve purchased nonrefundable tickets and must now arrange a new flight last minute can be

Why Is Dad Doing That?: Unwanted Behaviors Alzheimer’s Patients Exhibit… and How to Deal with Them No doubt about it: when someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or some other cause of dementia, it is a crushing blow. Not only must you face the fact that your loved one has a degenerative (and ultimately fatal) condition, you also have to deal with a plethora of increasingly strange behaviors. Mother tells the same story fifty times a day and wanders the house all night. Or Dad compulsively loads and then unloads the dishwasher. If you feel confused, worried, frustrated, or even angry about the bewildering behaviors exhibited by your family member, congratulations. You are normal. And now, says Nataly Rubinstein, it is time to come to terms with a hard truth: the real source of your negative reaction is not necessarily the patient. It is you. “One big reason these behaviors are ‘unwanted’ is because they disrupt your life,” points out Rubinstein, author of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias: The Caregiver’s Complete Survival Guide (Two Harbors Press, 2011, ISBN: 978-1-9361981-3-9, $17.95, www.AlzheimersCareConsultants.com). “Sure, many behaviors are unhealthy and dangerous for you and your loved one. Other times, though, it’s not the actual behavior that’s causing so much trouble — it’s our reaction to that behavior, based on the mindset

we’ve locked ourselves into.” In short, she says, we believe that the way we think things should be is the only way (or at least the only right way). Thus, we limit our options when it comes to dealing with the patient. What’s more, we do not want our relationship with the person to change, even though it has changed dramatically and forever. “Being a caregiver for someone with any form of dementia, whether you live with the patient or not, will change your life,” Rubinstein asserts. “And sometimes, the new normal is more a problem for you than for the patient.” While every case of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is different, Rubinstein says there are practical ways for caregivers to successfully deal with the behavioral changes that result from a patient’s memory loss. Read on to learn about several “problem” behaviors that caregivers often have to deal with: PROBLEM: Compulsive Behaviors (Dad keeps taking everything out of his wallet and putting it back in.) Your loved one with Alzheimer’s may constantly check to see if the door is locked, empty or rearrange wallets or purses, pack and repack clothing, etc. These things are all manifestations of anxiety. SOLUTIONS: First, ignore the behavior and

remember that although it seems strange to you, it is probably not doing any real harm. Plus, if a behavior is not reinforced, it may stop. In general, do all you can to help the patient cope with his anxiety. Speak in a calm, gentle voice, and do not be afraid to touch or hug. PROBLEM: Repeating (My wife asks me the same question over and over again.) At their cores, Alzheimer’s and dementia are diseases of forgetting. As these illnesses progress, patients live increasingly “in the moment,” and they lose the ability to think and process information. SOLUTIONS: It will take patience on your part, but it is usually best for everyone if you answer the same question or listen to the same story repeatedly. Handling repetitiveness in this manner does not hurt you, it helps your loved one, and it can prevent much more serious episodes of agitation, confusion, or aggression. PROBLEM: Toileting Problems (Dad has started peeing on the couch, in the bathtub, and even out in the yard!) It is common for Alzheimer’s patients to struggle with incontinence. Sometimes they simply do not realize they need to use the bathroom, cannot make it there in time, or may have forgotten the location of the bathroom or what its purpose is. SOLUTIONS: First, realize that it’s okay to


PAGE 42 IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

feel extremely reluctant to take on this particular cleaning task. Second, make a doctor’s appointment to ensure that another medical condition or medication is not the cause. Establish a regular bathroom routine and encourage the patient to go instead of asking whether he needs to. PROBLEM: Refusal to Bathe (Mom insists that she took a shower this morning, but I know she has not bathed in several days.) An Alzheimer’s or dementia patient who once paid scrupulous attention to her grooming and beauty

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rituals may gradually begin to “let herself go.” No matter the reason (even if it is somewhat logical), refusal to bathe is a major issue for those who live in close proximity with the patient. SOLUTIONS: Know that forcing someone to bathe when she does not want to is not an easy or one-size-fits-all task — and acknowledge that you are not being unreasonable in insisting that this happen. If appropriate, try to reason with your loved one by telling her that you will have visitors or must go to a doctor’s appointment and that you know she will want to look her best. PROBLEM: Wandering (My husband walked out the door and was halfway down the street before I noticed!) When people wander — whether they are experiencing memory loss or not — it is usually because they are looking for a safe or comfortable place. SOLUTIONS: Wandering is a behavior change that is imperative to address, because becoming lost or being unaware of surroundings can have dire consequences. Buy your loved one a Safe Return necklace or bracelet through the Alzheimer’s Association. You might also change locks, install a security system in the patient’s home, or make use of baby gates. PROBLEM: Paranoia (My mother thinks that I am trying to poison her.) Paranoia boils down to fear. And people who are suffering from memory loss have a lot to be afraid of. SOLUTIONS: Dealing with paranoia is tricky. The best things you can do are to remember that your loved one is not trying to hurt you, and to try not to take things personally. Know beforehand that rational explanations and clarifications probably will not work. It is always a good idea to schedule medical appointments to check for other illnesses. PROBLEM: Hallucinations (My father keeps talking to someone who is not there.) Hallucinations are closely related to paranoia. A hallucination is a misperception of reality, often sparked by changes in the brain that cause the patient to see, hear, feel, or smell something that no one else does. SOLUTIONS: If your loved one’s hallucinations are not doing any harm, do your best to live with them and not allow them to become a bone of contention. Keep in mind, too, that changes in environment or medication can trigger hallucinations. PROBLEM: Aggression and Violence (My once-loving husband is increasingly nasty to me when I talk to him and try to help him complete tasks.) For individuals suffering from a form of memory loss, many actions, requests, and events can trigger a volcanic moment. SOLUTIONS: As with paranoia, try not to take

aggression personally. People suffering from dementia are often frightened and in survival mode, and they lack other outlets for relieving stress. Your behavior can either fuel the fire or help extinguish the flames. It is important to remain calm and reassuring, and to approach reality as your loved one sees it. PROBLEM: Sleep Problems (Mom wakes up frequently at night, and as a result we are both tired and cranky all day.) As we age — whether we are suffering from Alzheimer’s or not — the quality of our sleep tends to change. Individuals can wake up frequently due to the need to go to the bathroom, pain, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, or even a confusing environment. SOLUTIONS: First, make sure that your loved one is physically comfortable in terms of her clothing, temperature, lighting, mattress, pillows, etc. Her mental comfort might be a bit trickier. Try to minimize stress around the clock, stick to a routine, and provide reassurance rather than giving orders. If your loved one sleeps too much, limit daytime naps and try to get outside so that the sun can influence circadian rhythms. “Ultimately, while you can’t change the progression of the disease from which your loved one is suffering — or even greatly influence his or her behaviors — you can take steps to minimize the stress both of you feel as a result of behavior changes,” says Rubinstein. “Remember that educating yourself is one of the smartest things you can do—and never be afraid to ask for help and support if you feel that you’re having trouble handling things yourself. “Also, keep in mind that while many of the behaviors that result from memory loss can be difficult to deal with, it doesn’t mean all the joy is gone from your life and that of the patient,” she adds. About the Author: Nataly Rubinstein is a licensed clinical social worker and a certified geriatric care manager specializing in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. For sixteen years, she was the primary caregiver for her mother, who was diagnosed with dementia. Nataly also worked for several years at the Wien Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida, ranked among the nation’s top hospitals for geriatric care by U.S. News & World Report. About the Book: Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias: The Caregiver’s Complete Survival Guide (Two Harbors Press, 2011, ISBN: 978-1-9361981-3-9, $17.95, www.AlzheimersCareConsultants.com) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and at www.AlzheimersCareConsultants.com. ISI

Is It Time To Move? Things To Think About By Lisa M. Petsche As people age, and especially if they have chronic health conditions, at some point they are likely to find that their home no longer suits their lifestyle or their needs. It is worth considering a move if it might improve life in one or more of the following areas. Freedom. Reducing responsibilities associated with home ownership, particularly property maintenance. Also, allowing more time for recreation and leisure activities, such as engaging in a hobby, spending time with family, volunteering, or traveling. Independence. Offloading as many responsibilities of daily living as possible, in order to continue to live independently in spite of decreased physical functioning. People in this situation may

wish to eliminate not only property maintenance tasks but also housecleaning, laundering, and meal preparation. Climate. Relocating to somewhere with a moderate climate, for health and safety reasons or for comfort and convenience – to be able to engage in favorite outdoor activities year-round, for example. Home design. Increasing the accessibility of one’s home – specifically, making it easier and safer to enter and exit, access all areas and use rooms for their intended purpose. A one-floor, open concept plan is typically desirable. Some people (those who use a wheelchair, for example) may need a setting designed for the physically disabled. Finances. Reducing expenses associated with shelter, including mortgage or rent, property taxes, utilities, and maintenance. Another reason


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some people move is that the cost of home adaptations to improve safety and accessibility is beyond their means or is not a wise investment from a real estate market perspective. Socialization. Increasing opportunities for social contact. Specifically, the goal might be moving closer to family members, especially children and grandchildren, or relocating to a community of peers. Security. Reducing the risk of victimization. For example, those who are anxious about answering the door, leaving their home unattended, or coming home to an empty house may experience increased peace of mind living in a gated community with security patrol or an apartment building with a security desk and locked mailboxes. Community access. Improving access to shopping and other businesses, medical resources, places of worship and other amenities such as parks and recreation centers. This might entail moving closer to the city center or to public transit routes. Health. Ensuring ongoing healthcare needs are met. Needs may include one or more of the following: medication management, medical monitoring, a special diet, skilled nursing care, personal care and supervision or assistance with mobilizing. Residence options There are many possibilities for alternate living arrangements, depending on a person’s needs and preferences. Options include: • Moving in with a relative or friend for companionship and perhaps practical assistance, and to share expenses • Moving to a similar-sized home with a more suitable design • Downsizing to a smaller house or a condominium or apartment (some seniors’ apartments may be geared to income and have modified units for the physically disabled) • Moving to an adult lifestyle community • Moving to a long-term care setting such as a retirement home or a skilled nursing facility. If you are considering a long-term care residence, it is important to go beyond location, curb appeal, and advertisements and to take personal tours. Plan to visit several places, and take a relative or friend along for a second opinion. Also, take along a notebook and pen for recording information, observations, and impressions. Planning ahead Because a move in mid to late life usually involves downsizing, it’s wise, if you anticipate changing residences in the next few years, to begin now to sort through your possessions and sell or give away unneeded items. Typically, it takes much longer than expected to go through this tedious and emotion-laden process. If you intend to relocate in the near future, consider hiring a professional organizer to assist with the paring-down process, or a senior move specialist who can help with everything from planning to setting up in your new residence. Lisa M. Petsche is a social worker and a freelance writer specializing in boomer and senior issues. ISI

Grandfamilies: Resources For Grandparents Raising Grandchildren By Jim Miller Across the U.S., more than 2.4 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren, as the parents struggle with a variety of serious problems such as drug or alcohol addiction, financial hardship, mental illness, prison time, domestic violence, divorce, and more. While there are many financial, legal, and even emotional issues to think about when you begin to raise a grandchild, you will be happy to know that help is available. Here are some tips and resources along with supportive services to check. Support Groups - Even if it is not your thing, support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren are fantastic tools to connect you with other people who understand what you are experiencing, not to mention their giving you a chance to learn and share information and resources. To find local and online support groups, visit the AARP Foundation Grandparent Information Center at www.giclocalsupport.org where you can do a search by city or zip code. Financial Assistance - Raising or taking care of grandkids can be a major strain on the pocketbook, but financial assistance is available depending on your circumstances. For starters, find out whether your grandchild or family qualifies for Social Security (www.ssa.gov/kids/parent5.htm), your state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa), or food stamps (www.fns.usda.gov/fsp). Also www.benefitscheckup.org, a com-

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prehensive Web resource that helps you search for additional government and private benefits, such as supplemental income, lower energy bills, discounts on prescription medications, and more. Tax Breaks - Grandparents who are raising children may also be eligible for tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is available to those with low or moderate incomes. If you make too much money to qualify for the EITC, you may be able to apply for the Child Tax Credit. And if you are raising three or more kids, you can try for the Additional Child Tax Credit. Also available is the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to families who incur childcare expenditures in order to work. To learn more, visit www.irs.gov or call the IRS helpline at 800-829-1040. Legal Status - Ask a family law attorney to help you determine whether it would be beneficial for you to become your grandchild’s legal guardian. This status will allow you to make important decisions for the child such as enrolling him in school (some states require it) or giving a doctor permission to treat him. For help finding legal advice or locating an attorney visit www.findlegalhelp. org, a consumers guide created by the American

Bar Association that can also help you locate free legal services depending on your income. Health Insurance - If you need health insurance for your grandchildren, you can apply for free or low-cost health insurance (depending on your income level) through your state government. To learn more and find out if you are eligible go to www. insurekidsnow.gov, or call 877-543-7669. You also may be able to get help through Medicaid. Also visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website at www.insureuonline.org - click on “Raising Grandchildren,” for tips and information on a variety of other insurance considerations. Savvy Tip: The best overall resource for grandparents raising grandchildren is AARP (www.aarp. org/family/grandparenting), which offers a bevy of articles and helpful information including a GrandCare tool kit. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit www. savvysenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. ISI

Reduce Your Risk Of Stroke (NAPSI) One in every six people in the world will suffer a stroke in his or her lifetime, regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, or nationality. The American Heart Association and World Stroke Organization want you to take action now to lower your chances of having a stroke. There are steps you can take to make a difference: What You Can Do Take the American Heart Association’s My Life Check health assessment (strokeasso-

ciation.org/worldstrokeday), an online tool that calculates how healthy you are, teaches how to create an action plan to achieve better health, and provides simple steps to change unhealthy behavior. The WSO also offers six simple steps that can help you avoid America’s number three killer. 1. Know your personal risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol. 2. Be physically active and exercise regularly. 3. Adopt a healthy diet. 4. Limit alcohol consumption. 5. Avoid cigarette smoke. If you smoke, seek help to stop now.


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6. Learn to recognize the warning signs of a stroke and how to take action by dialing 911 immediately. Doctor’s Advice Jeffrey Saver, M.D., chairman of the American Stroke Association’s Stroke Council and director of the UCLA Stroke Center, says, “Stroke occurs when a blood vessel in or leading to the brain bursts or is blocked by a blood clot. When this happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood or oxygen it needs, so it starts to die; depending on the severity, immobility or paralysis may occur.” “Stroke may deprive a person of his or her livelihood, diminish independence, and create a burden that must be shared by family members and society. So by avoiding stroke, we can help reduce the burden to our loved ones and society.” Learn More To take the assessment and learn more about strokes and what you can do to take action, visit www.strokeassociation.org/worldstrokeday, or call (888) 4STROKE. ISI

A Man With A Calling To Poetry cont’d from page 5

and free verse that often focus on the subject of love, which he considers the universal language. “Poetry is my best attempt to give love definition and explore its mysteries. Throughout life, we get different tastes of what we consider the complete package,” says John, who describes himself as someone who has, “spent a lifetime loving wrong.” Among the hundreds of poems he has penned, you will find odes to familial love, romantic love, disappointments in love, and self-discovery through love - in essence, the human condition with all its joys and yearnings. Additionally, he pens stark stream-of-consciousness images evoked by his army days in Vietnam and creates impish limericks about everything from Grape Nuts to procrastination. He also pours forth luminous upbeat verses celebrating nature’s beauty in desert as well as mountain setttings. “One of my requirements in life is to live within view of the mountains, whether they are naked or clothed in timber,” says John, who spent most of his life in Montana’s Flathead Valley where he was surrounded by the Rockies as he raised a family and worked in the timber and automotive industries. His passion for writing poems stretches all the way back to his grade school days when he wrote his first verses and became fascinated by word play. John has turned to poetry ever since then as a way to express and examine his thoughts and share his observations and insights with others. “I wasn’t a great student but I had an interest in poetry and absorbed most of it. I seemed to have an innate sense about it. Maybe because I come from a musical family, I always seem to have had a sense of rhythm and rhyme,” says John. “It’s the flow of words I really love. I play with the words until the poem makes sense to me and I hope makes sense to others. I consider myself a bit of a cowboy; I just herd words around to try to clarify and put a sense of order to my feelings.” For John, the hardest part of writing poetry comes (Cont’d on p 47)

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when he is capturing emotions that are not warm and fuzzy. “They come out like a stream-of-consciousness barrage. Then I look at them and rephrase them. Sometimes it’s frightening to see what’s in your head but this is a way to let it out. When I start to play with the words I’ve written, it takes the sting out of them,” he explains. “They lose their power over me to make me angry or afraid. It’s rewarding and counteracts feelings of failure.” While some poets may rely on old-fashioned pen and paper to jot down their phrases, John prefers the modern-day laptop both as a writing tool, which allows his words to tumble out freely, and as a means to share with and learn from other poets. “Computers are a real gift. If I had one 40 years ago, I’d have written a lot more poetry. I like playing with the formatting to match the sentiment. It gives me an artsy freedom, plus I’ve been able to connect with other poets through the internet.” One of his favorite sites is poetrysoup.org, which is a supportive community of poets from all walks of life ranging from poetry novices to professionals. “Poetry Soup was a source of life for me when I found it last summer and the first place where I publicly shared my poetry. There’s an amazing spectrum of talent there and people are so encouraging. Whether you want spontaneous feedback or constructive criticism, you can get it.” Most people, if asked, would probably deny having the talent to string together stirring words that could evoke vivid emotional images in readers. But John would be the first to tell them everyone has this ability. “Poetry is just expressing yourself, talking to yourself in a different form. Anyone can write poetry. It’s an exploration of our thoughts and feelings that lets us take a deeper look at life,” he says. “The poet speaks from his being, a place every man has inside but seldom visits. When the words of the poet resonate in you - move in you - congratulate yourself. You are in your place of being, you are the poet.” John is currently in the process of self-publishing his first collection of poems entitled, Lady Who Loves The Whisper. It can be purchased through www.ETSY.com or by contacting John directly at bailexie@aol.com. Read on for a sampling of some of his favorite short poems. Montana Bandana There once was a man from Montana who refused to wear a bandana he was ridiculed, of course, while riding his horse for ignoring Americana Under the Covers man is not word spoken woman is not dress worn confuse and heart is broken tender love tattered, torn Kindred Soles a visit to my special sister’s house a long walk in recent harvest fields a spectacular rocky mountain horizon a bond stronger than time or distance feel like I was wearing my heaven shoes Ash Meadow tender shoots whisper hope breathing life again... in the ash meadow Warts I have sought love or my perception of love but failed to love myself truly warts and all therefore love runs ISI

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