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February/March 2010 Pheasants & snow photo by Becky Hart

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It’s the journey, not the destination that counts for artists Janet and Jerry McGahan By Gail Jokerst, Photo by B. James Jokerst Some people know good advice when they hear it, and Jerry McGahan happens to be one of those people. He and his wife, Janet, live on 30 riparian acres along the Jocko River in Arlee thanks to his ability to recognize sound advice when offered. In Jerry’s case, the pearls of wisdom came via John Craighead, one of Jerry’s University

of Montana professors when Jerry was a graduate student in wildlife biology. “He told me to look for a place to buy because riverside land was going to get more popular for recreation and was about to go sky high here as it did in Wyoming,” recalls Jerry. “And he told me to do it right then. He suggested finding cheap agricultural land along a river bottom and I did. I thought it made a lot of sense so I borrowed the money.” Forty years later, Jerry marvels at the insight his mentor had and is more grateful than ever that he followed his advice. This lush acreage has turned out to be far more than just a lovely place to have a home and raise a family. For decades, it enabled Jerry to earn a living as a beekeeper and nature writer. After his marriage to Janet, the couple grew much of their food here. In addition, they raised chickens and Roller Pigeons for the sheer beauty of watching them swoop, wheel, and roll in

mid-air. Today, the McGahans’ land also provides non-stop inspiration for the artwork Jerry and Janet create. “I love being surrounded by all the views here. I can walk out the back door to birds, wildlife, trees, and gardens,” says Janet. “That makes painting easy because you have beautiful backdrops everywhere. It’s hard for me to walk outside and not grab my camera to photograph something I see around the chicken coop or while I’m hanging clothes on the line.” Since one of Janet’s passions is rehabilitating injured birds, she often has subjects on hand to paint from life. These include her beloved pigeons as well as songbirds and raptors. Having prolonged proximity to the bird she is currently nursing back to health gives her added insight into the bird’s character and beauty, both of which she colorfully conveys through her paintings. Although Janet began sketching and doing portraits in the 1970s, she didn’t get serious about pursuing a career in oils, pastels, and watercolors until 1992. “I was frustrated by the inconsistencies in my work and by not knowing how to correct them,” she recollects. “When Jerry offered to pay for me to take private art lessons from Tu Baixiong, who was then teaching art (Continued on page 29)


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Montana Senior News A Barrett-Whitman Publication

P.O. Box 3363 • Great Falls, MT 59403-3363 406-761-0305 or 800-672-8477 FAX 406-761-8358 www.montanaseniornews.com email: montsrnews@bresnan.net

Merry Christmas... Not Happy Holidays But why were you afraid to put “Merry Christmas” on the front page instead of “Happy Holidays?” No matter if you, your readers, or me for that matter, like it - it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. That sort of set an expectation for the rest of your, otherwise seemingly fine, newspaper. Being politically correct is neither brave nor something a good news source should strive to achieve. Pete Hill A seasoned senior via email

Free Blood Pressure Screenings Free blood pressure screenings will be held on the Wednesdays listed at the North Valley Senior Center, 205 Nucleus Avenue, Columbia Falls from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and the Golden Agers at 121 2nd St in Whitefish from 11:30 a.m. to noon. For more information please call the Senior Center at 406-892-4087, Frontier Hospice at 406-755-4923, or the Community Center at 406862-4923. Our schedule for 2010 is: Jan 20, Feb 17 (Ash Wed), March 17 (St. Patty’s), April 14, May 12, June 9, July 21, Aug. 18, Sept. 15, Oct. 13, Nov 10, and Dec 8. Tracy Bridges, Community Educator Frontier Hospice - Kalispell MSN

The Montana Senior News is published six times each year in February, April, June, August, October and December at 415 3rd Avenue North, Great Falls, MT 59401 and is distributed free to readers throughout the state of Montana. The mail subscription rate is $8.00 per year (6 issues). The Montana Senior News is written to serve the reading interests of mature Montanans 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 Montana Senior News 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

Remember when we were young and every penny was worth something. We had many choices at the corner store. We were very careful with our decisions and that wonderful copper coin. Candy was a favorite choice, and a very kind shop owner would sometimes find a way to help us when we were a little short. Our winning Remember When contributor is Pearl Hoffman of Los Angeles, California whose story Sugar-Heaven reminds us that when we were young we did not take anything for granted. Thank you and congratulations to Pearl, the winner of our

$25 Remember When prize. Remember When contains our readers’ personal reflections, contributions describing fictional or non-fictional accounts from the “Good ol’ Days,” or reflections on life in general. Contributions may be stories, letters, artwork, poetry, etc. Photos may be included. Each issue of the Montana Senior News features the contributions deemed best by our staff. The contributor of the winning entry receives a $25 cash prize. We look forward to receiving your contribu-

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Contributing Writers Bob Campbell Connie Daugherty George Engler Clare Hafferman Sue Hart Kim Thielman-Ibes Gail Jokerst Bernice Karnop Craig Larcom Liz Larcom Michael McGough Dianna Troyer © 2010


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tions for our April/May 2010 issue. Mail your correspondence to Montana Senior News, P.O. Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403; email to montsrnews@ bresnan.net; or call 1-800-672-8477 or 406-761-0305. Visit us online at www. MontanaSeniorNews.com.

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Submitted by Pearl Hoffman, Los Angles, California There was a small mom-and-pop store across the street from the primary school I attended, so many years ago. Emblazoned across the store window, in impressive gilt letters, was the name LEVY’s. Taped near the bottom of the window was a hand-printed sign School Supplies, Candy and Other Things. School supplies students could have gotten elsewhere, other things, we couldn’t afford, but dear, patient Mr. Levy was our very special candy-man. Parents, today, give their children a gratuity called an allowance, and all the child has to do to earn it is live at home. In our young years, my friends and I considered ourselves fortunate if we were given a penny or two to do with as we wished. We did not spend it with abandon. We made sure we got our money’s worth. Poor Mr. Levy would stand behind the candy counter, waiting patiently for one of his big-time customers to make a decision. The choices were many. There were Pink Bananas, jelly beans, and black licorice sticks; tiny wax bottles containing colored sugar-liquid, and small fluted cups filled with who-knows what. My personal favorite was the dozens of little chewable, colored dots of congealed sugar, affixed to a long strip of paper. I thought those were, by far, the best choice. They lasted the longest of all the treats, and they could be “traded”, one or two candy-dots at a time, in exchange for a bite of a friend’s sweet bounty. Mr. Levy’s school supplies were displayed on a table at the back of the store, just beyond the candy counter. They were simple sundries that students were expected to provide for themselves – notebooks, paper tablets, pencils, and other small items. I remember standing at that table, coveting one particular item on display, a fountain pen. I dreamed that someday I’d be rich enough to buy a fountain pen and a bottle of green ink! I planned to write letters to very important people, on pale green paper using green ink. They would know, just by the coordinated color, that I was a person of class and distinction. When I was young, I was consumed with the need to always present a neat and perfect paper to the teacher. If the paper on which my homework was written somehow acquired a wrinkle or a tiny spot that could not be erased, I would re-write the assignment. As a result, I was too frequently in need of a new supply. My mother tried to modify my behavior. When I needed paper sooner than I should have, I was given the money for the replacement, but on that day I would have to forgo my penny treat. Once, when I had gotten into paper trouble, I came to Levy’s to buy a new tablet. As I was leaving the store I paused and, with longing and poignant sighs, looked at all the good stuff in the candy case. Mr. Levy asked what candy I wanted (as if he didn’t know; a paper strip covered with little drops of sugar-dots, of course), and I told him that I spent my candy-penny for the tablet I just bought. Mr. Levy paused for a moment, then told me that it just so happened he was having a special, on that day only; free candy for the student who was his best customer. As luck would have it, I qualified for that honor! I couldn’t believe my good fortune. He handed me the candy strip, I thanked him and hastily left the store before he could change his mind. How could I know, then, that seventy years later I would be writing about my most lucky day and Mr. Levy’s one-time-only special! Thank you, Mr. Levy, for a golden memory! MSN


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Recommended Reading Magpie Genesis: The Magpie Odyssey III by Loretta Lynde; iUniverse, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska, 2009. One for Sorrow; Two for Mirth Three for a Wedding; Four for a birth Five for Rich; Six for Poor Seven for a secret… I can tell you no More

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 5

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Magpie Genesis is the third in Loretta Lynde’s Magpie Odyssey series and is actually a prequel to her previous two novels. Lynde’s first novel, and the first in the series, The Magpie Odyssey: An Irish Journey, was published Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 or older to access a portion of the available equity in their homes — without income or in 2005 and received an enthusiastic response. In 2007 she published the credit score qualifications. You can use the proceeds to pay for health sequel, Mountain Medicine and just this past year, Magpie Genesis. Lynde’s care, home repairs or unexpected expenses. clean, clear, journalistic writing style cleverly weaves contemporary reality with a touch of mythological magic and mysticism. The constant cross-cultural To learn more and request a free brochure, please contact me today. references between the Irish and the Crow Indian mythology remind readers that there are more similarities than differences in the two worlds. Rob Bickel While the first two novels could stand on their own, this third one needs Reverse Mortgage Specialist the others to complete its story. Because Lynde has created such a concise, 406.370.7424 readable saga, I’m going to touch on all three books here. It is winter, afterrbic1414@msn.com all - the time when many of us pass the cold days curled up in front of a fire http://rmlo.bankofamerica.com/robbickel with a book (or three if you haven’t already read the first two). Colleen Lorrah, the youngest of three children, grew up on the family ranch Property insurance is required, flood insurance when necessary. Borrower is still responsible for paying ongoing property taxes. Credit is subject to age and property qualifications. in the Crow Indian Reservation. “Her earliest memories included awareness Program rates, fees, terms and conditions are not available in all states and subject to change. Please contact Bank of America for more information. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC that her skin was a different color from most of her childhood friends” - an Equal Housing Lender © 2009 Bank of America Corporation 00-62-0254D 08-2009 AR87008 Irish girl in a Crow world. Living in the midst of that world Colleen seemed to absorb some of the ways of the Crow and formed close connections with tribal ways. One of those connections manifests itself in the presence of her “spirit animal” - the magpies that always seemed to be with her. In An Irish Journey, Colleen’s dying father makes it clear that it is “vital for her to go to Ireland.” Insisting that it is her legacy to complete some sort of pattern, a pattern that, “maintained its strength through the daughters of the family.” From genealogical research, Colleen learns that many of the women in her family have been gifted with exceptional powers of healing and mystical insight. Her aunt insists that this is the pattern that Colleen has inherited and the legacy she must fulfill. Back home a Crow vision quest tells her the same thing - she is destined to visit her ancestral home in Ireland. “The answers are there,” people keep telling her in response to her questions. Once in Ireland, Colleen’s quest brings her into contact with people who touch her life in unexpected ways. She finds family, friendship, and love. She is there when the Good Friday peace agreement is signed and when the vote for its acceptance narrowly passes. But all is not peaceful and Colleen finds herself in personal danger as she is caught in the continuing violence. Violence that ends in tragedy and sends her rushing back home. In Mountain Medicine, Colleen finds herself back in Montana because the familiar landscape “was her only hope of regaining her balance. It was the foundation upon which her life had been build - where she had to begin again.” Meanwhile her mother has succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. The symbolism is subtle, but apparent - both women letting go of the present but clinging to the distant past. Colleen settles into the isolation of the sheepherder’s line camp shack on her family’s ranch. “The peaceful life at this camp and the simplicity of the cabin was a salve on her soul.” Throughout the spring and summer Colleen slowly puts her life back together. And although she is isolated, she is never really alone - the magic of the mountains is all around her, guiding her, protectYou may qualify for free assistive telephone equipment through the ing her, healing her heart. She reconnects with her Montana Telecommunications Access Program! family, with the Crow Indians of her childhood, and with her own place in the family legacy.

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In this second novel of the series, readers come to know the Lorrah family better. This is also the novel that brings the Crow mythology alive for readers. Mountain Medicine, even more than An Irish Journey, reads like a memoir and draws the reader into the life of this unique family. Magic, personal gifts, and talents continue to be the thread woven through this second book. In Magpie Genesis, Lynde takes the reader back in the Lorrah family history. While An Irish Journey and Mountain Medicine were essentially Colleen’s story, Magpie Genesis is her father’s story. Mike Lorrah, was “the last in a long line of spiritual leaders from this family,” and the person who first melded the Irish and the Crow mysticism into a new Lorrah family legacy. A representative of the new generation, Colleen’s teenage great-niece, Aisling, comes to spend the summer on the mountain with Colleen and her husband. It is clear to Colleen that Aisling will be the next woman to carry on the legacy. However she “was uncertain how to help her greatniece move forward in her destiny. It had to begin with the history of the legacy the family carried…. All of this had just been part of her own life since she was born… there was much she did not know.” Black

Bird Shows, a Crow medicine man and old family friend, comes to the rescue. Using a recipe from Colleen’s great-great grandmother’s herbal journal, Black Bird Shows makes a tea that enables them to “dream the past.” Sitting outside around a campfire on a warm summer night they drink the tasty tea. “The sounds of nature went silent, and they crossed a boundary of time and space. The present became the past, and the past became the present. Somewhere in the air, blended with the Indian songs came the thrumming of a bodhran… and then flutes, both Indian and Irish sang an ancient melody.” In their shared dream, they watch the family history unfold, and the torch is passed along, and through it all the magpies are present. In Magpie Genesis, Lynde includes an abbreviated family tree that allows readers to follow the relationships between generations. While each generation is mentioned in this prequel, An Irish Journey and Mountain Medicine also touch on the lives of the previous generations. Loretta Lynde, a fourth generation Montanan, was raised on a ranch on the Crow Indian Reservation. Like her characters she also has an Irish background and has traveled frequently to Ireland. Lynde’s personal family history serves to enrich her writing. A 30-year career in the newspaper business took her to Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Iowa before she returned to Montana. MSN

Book Review “The Dogged and the Damned” -- by Roland Cheek Skyline Publishing, October 2009 Reviewed by Jack McNeel Our newspapers and magazines frequently discuss and review post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that many combat veterans face, sometimes for many years after returning from war. World War II made it just as prevalent and just as debilitating as it is today, but then it was even less understood and simply called battle fatigue. Montana writer Roland Cheek has crafted “The Dogged and the Damned” about PTSD, a WWII war-hero veteran of battles in the South Pacific, and his life following the war. It is a hard-to-put-down, compelling story that will likely bring tears to your eyes as he struggles to return to mental normalcy. Cheek is known to thousands for years of syndicated columns and radio shows he produced from his home in Whitefish. His education came from “God’s own University of Wild Places and Wilder Things.” The Bob Marshall Wilderness and similar places were his stomping grounds. A saddle horse and a pack string with a tent and campfire were his home and companions on many nights in the wild country that provided the grist for his writing mill and honed his ability to put words to paper. It has been my good fortune to know Roland Cheek for a number of years… and my misfortune not to have spent time with him in the Montana backcountry. I read avidly many of Cheek’s earlier books pertaining to wildlife, but in this latest, his words grabbed and held me. Cheek creates an unforgettable book by combining his ability to relate this hero’s struggle to return to society with Cheek’s knowledge of the region where the events take place. Cheek was raised not far from the U.S. Veteran’s Hospital in Roseburg, Oregon. He was a teenager when the story unfurled and his memories of those newspaper accounts brought him full circle to write this book. Surprisingly, similar events occurred near this location, which caused Ken Kesey to write “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in the same period. Cheek’s story is true although some names, places, and times have been altered. Cheek also comments that if the main character, Mikhail Baranovitch, is portrayed in


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MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 7

a more heroic fashion than he actually was, it’s because that is the way Cheek saw him as a teenager when newspaper stories told of Baranovitch’s exploits. Baranovitch was a football star in Butte, an all-state lineman destined for bigger accomplishments in college when problems erupted at home, World War II started, and he enlisted in the Army. The accounts of his action in New Guinea and elsewhere will mesmerize the reader with his daring. His ability to relate those accounts come only years after the war ended while he is locked away in the Roseburg hospital. Months pass with little progress toward release as psychiatrists attempt to help him overcome the mental blocks that prevent him from facing and talking of those military actions. Escape and life alone in the mountains of western Oregon seem to be his only hope. It is during this time that newspapers ran frequent accounts of this “Wild Man of the Umpqua.” It is also a section of the book that few writers could so accurately portray. Cheek’s long years of hunting and horse backing through Montana’s backcountry provided the knowledge to describe so correctly and poignantly that period and that lifestyle. To say more would steal from the readers’ discovery and emotion as they read the book. It was a chance encounter in Whitefish with retired psychologist Dr. Ray Moore that prompted Cheek to publish “The Dogged and the Damned”. Dr. Moore did his internship and residency at the Veteran’s Hospital in Roseburg. Dr. Moore made the following observations after reading the final version. “It is truly a compelling read. The book is about the timeless effects of war on a soldier. This present-day social relevance will peak interest among contemporary readers. To me, it seems to have movie potential.” To preview the book, read reviews, and even read the first chapter, visit www. rolandcheek.com. MSN

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Discovering the Athlete Within By Carole Carson, Senior Wire be back on the courts in a few weeks and more When I undertook the task of re-inventing ambitious than ever. myself as a fit person, I had no idea what was Imagine my delight when I read that Clarence involved. No high-minded principles guided me, Chaffee, the tennis coach at Williams College, did nor did I adopt any particular program. Nor were not begin competing nationally until age 70. Since my motives practical, for example, to improve my then, he has collected 48 national Super Senior health. tennis titles. Or Albert GorQuite the opposite, my mo- Lest you think you don’t have time to don, a well-known businessexercise, as I once did, listen tives were shallow – I looked man and philanthropist, who to Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby, in the mirror and was too vain entered his first marathon at 1873, who observed, “Those who to accept the pudgy reflection. 80, at which time he comthink they have not time for bodily Only retrospectively can I figpleted the difficult London exercise will sooner or later have ure out what happened. Marathon in an excellent 6 to find time for illness.” First, I made an uncondihours and 30 minutes. tional decision to change my I am not aiming this high, lifestyle permanently. Second, I got help – from but I do want to become the best tennis player, professionals (a personal trainer and lifestyle gym-rat, and yoga student I can be, independent counselor) as well as from family and friends. of external recognition. Seeing the improvement Next, I managed my thinking, especially about in my athleticism, after 40 years of being out of food. Instead of being grim, I explored new ways shape, is its own reward. of cooking, challenging myself to eat well within Drs. Simon and Levisohn confirm, “If you caloric limitations. exercise regularly and develop your potentials to The last step was discovering my latent ath- their fullest, you will be a true athlete, even if you leticism. Somewhere along the exercise path, never win a race or compete on center court.” I stopped exercising to achieve its by-products Lest you think you do not have time to exer– improved health, more energy, lower weight, cise, as I once did, listen to Edward Stanley, Earl and a shapely figure. Instead, I just wanted to get of Derby, who observed in 1873, “Those who think better. they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner Practicing yoga, I wanted to improve my or later have to find time for illness.” form. Working with weights, I wanted increased His perspective is confirmed by medical restrength. Playing tennis, I wanted more consis- search coming at us from all directions. The way tency and an effective serve. Before I knew it, I we live accounts in large part for how long we was “in training.” will live and how well we will live. The good news Drs. Harvey Simon and Steven Levisohn, in is that we are free to make choices about the their book “The Athlete Within,” say, “All of you way we live. Even better, if we have made poor can become athletes. Each of you has surprising lifestyle choices in the past, we are free to make potentials; most of you will never be sports stars, adjustments today. If it is not too late, our bodies but all of you can greatly extend your horizons will respond magnificently. Best of all, there is an through careful planning and diligent training.” athlete residing in each of us just waiting to come Initially, I was self-conscious in tennis clinics out and play. where many students were half my age. But, the Carole Carson is a fitness consultant and the lure of becoming an athlete was irresistible – I author of From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a surrendered. Today, instead of having to exer- Weapon of Mass Reduction, which chronicles her cise, I have to limit activity so my body can rest, own 62-pound weight loss and the inspirational especially when I have a sports injury, like the Nevada County Community Meltdown. Visit www. back pain that is currently plaguing me. Taking houndpress.com for more information. MSN a longer perspective, I reassure myself that I will


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Kidney Transplants: Buy, Sell, Old, Young – Questions and Concerns Abound By Tait Trussell, Senior Wire In America today, at least 350,000 people, including those now on dialysis, are anxiously hoping for kidney transplants. Many of them are seniors. Meanwhile, medical researchers have found that age alone should not prevent older adults from having a kidney transplant or even from being an organ donor. That is the judgment of researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Their discovery could help relieve the serious shortage of organs for transplant. The waiting list, however, is expected to continue growing, according to the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. While the number of patients with end-stage renal (kidney) disease (ESRD) in the U.S. has increased, the supply of kidneys for transplantation has not kept pace with demand. So writes Benjamin E. Hippen, M.D., a transplant nephrologist at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. He also is a member of the United Network for Organ Sharing/Organ Procurement and the Transplant Network Ethics Committee. A key reason, Dr. Hippen points, out is that in the U.S. “the supply of kidneys for transplantation is kept artificially low by a prohibition on the sale of human organs.” Permitting the sale of one individual’s kidney to another suffering from kidney failure would relieve the shortage considerably, he maintains. A portion of the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 prohibits the sale of organs. Dr. Hippen argues that U.S. transplant centers and organ procurement organizations “should be permitted to experiment with how to implement a system for organ vending.” About half of the people on the waiting list for kidney transplants are age 50 or older. Robert Stratta, M.D., director of Transplantation Services at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, deplored the critical shortage of kidneys available from deceased donors - a number that has remained at 5-8,000 for the last 15 years. He said, “Some physicians have ethical concerns that providing elderly patients with scarce do-

nated kidneys may not represent a worthwhile investment.” But Dr. Stratta and his research colleagues found, “You can no longer make the argument that transplanting a kidney into an older recipient is a wasted organ.” By using newer methods to match the kidney with the recipient, the ages of the donors and recipients did not affect either patient survival or the lasting potential of the transplanted kidney, their study determined. In the past, kidneys were matched exclusively by blood and tissue type. Newer approaches to matching have come about for allocating higher-risk kidneys that were once considered unsuitable for transplants and were discarded. These included kidneys from deceased donors over age 60 or those over age 50 with health conditions, such as high blood pressure. Using kidneys from these donors, called expanded criteria donors (ECDs), lets more patients benefit from transplantation. Wake Forest Baptist has doubled its number of transplants using ECD kidneys. Survival rates for transplanted kidneys were 86 percent in the Wake Forest group, whose mean age was 65, compared with 87 percent in a younger group with transplants. “We are matching based on weight, age, and kidney function,” Stratta said. “Even organs donated after cardiac death, which had been taboo in the past, can be suitable in some cases.” Kidney dialysis was developed in the 1960s in the U.S. as a form of renal replacement therapy to cleanse the blood of toxins through a machine that replaces the work the kidneys normally do. Dialysis became the first fully funded Medicare health benefit. A diagnosis of ESRD qualified patients for this (Continued on page 13)

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Kidney Transplant - continued from page 11 entitlement. But many of the people on dialysis are dying while waiting for a transplant from a deceased donor. Some 341,000 patients suffering from ESRD were on dialysis in 2005, Dr. Hippen said. And the number is expected to grow to as many as 500,000 by 2010. In addition to lives lost, the cost of ESRD entitlement grew to $21 billion in 2005, nearly seven percent of the entire Medicare budget. “Transplantation confers a significant quality and quantity of life for nearly every category of patient with ESRD,” said Dr. Hippen. The survival rate is about twice as long after transplantation as for a person on dialysis.

Organ procurement organizations (OPOs) have served “the same function for procuring and distributing organs from deceased donors. So, the responsibility for procuring and distributing living organ venders can reasonably be assigned to OPOs,” Dr. Hippen said. There are 58 such organizations in this country. Living donors are typically identified and evaluated by individual transplant centers for medical and surgical evaluation. As for selling organs, Dr. Hippen pointed out that a successful vendor market could probably “reduce government expenditures significantly,” compared to the current restrictive system. MSN

Feel Good, Do Good, and Save Taxes By Mel Feeley, CFP Planned Giving Dir. / American Heart Assoc. Do you wish you could give more to your favorite charities but can’t afford to? Could you use guaranteed lifetime income and some tax relief? Would you like the tax dollars that would normally go to the government instead go to your favorite charity? These are a few of the results that can be achieved by creatively and thoughtfully planning your estate and charitable gift giving actions. Most are very simple and you need very little assistance. On the other hand, if your estate is sufficiently large there is a host of more complex strategies that you could utilize – and that is when professional assistance is necessary.

Combining charitable giving with estate planning is the realm of “Planned Giving” within a charity’s organization. This area deals with wills, trusts, charitable gift annuities, life insurance and IRA beneficiary designations, real estate gifts, etc. Because most charities are recognized by the IRS, there are usually significant tax benefits afforded. Many donors are not aware that most large charities receive 15-25% of their annual revenue from these types of gifts. For the donor, these are easy, painless, and leave a lasting legacy. Call your favorite charity today to see how you can help them and feel good too! MSN

Montana Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Senior volunteers are making important contributions fighting Medicare fraud in Montana through the federal program known as “Senior Medicare Patrol,” or SMP. The Montana SMP program is administered in Missoula at Missoula Aging Services (MAS). Along with its ten partner Area Agencies on Aging across Montana, SMP empowers seniors to prevent healthcare fraud. Montana SMP volunteers help seniors detect instances of Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse by offering education sessions, community outreach events, and one-on-one counseling. They often play a vital role in preventing healthcare fraud before it happens. But since this is a $60 billion problem, we need more con-

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cerned people to help teach seniors to recognize Medicare fraud and to protect the country’s healthcare system from the wide variety of scams aimed at older Montanans. If you are interested in

volunteering with the program or think you might have been the victim of fraud, call MAS at 406-7287682. Outside Missoula County, reach the SMP partner agency nearest you at your Area Agency

on Aging by calling 1-800-551-3191. Healthcare reform starts by stopping healthcare fraud. MSN

Montana Neuroscience Institute Studies Brain Injury and Diseases of the Nervous System The Montana Neuroscience Institute (MNI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a unique collaboration between St. Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center and The University of Montana. The mission of the MNI is to bring innovations in science and medicine to those suffering from brain injuries and diseases of the central nervous system. The MNI is actively involved in research at all levels to both study and provide education about

injuries to the brain and other diseases of the central nervous system. A wide variety of clinical trials, including studies of medications for Alzheimer’s, pain, MS, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and studies of neurosurgical devices, as well as other areas are conducted on an ongoing basis through the clinical research offices located at St. Patrick Hospital. At The University of Montana, “translational” (bench to bedside) research is being conducted in stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease

and ALS. All free public lectures and educational events sponsored by the MNI are advertised in the Missoulian and other local publications. Those interested are encouraged to attend. For more information about The Montana Neuroscience Institute, contact Cindi Laukes at 406-329-5663, or email her at claukes@saintpatrick.org. MSN

When is it Time for Cataract Surgery? Almost everyone who lives a long life will develop cataracts at some point. As more Americans live into their 70s and beyond, we all need to know a few cataract basics: risks and symptoms, tips that may delay onset, and how to decide when it is time for surgery, so good vision can be restored. The American Academy of Ophthalmology encourages Americans to know their risks, especially people who have diabetes, smoke, or have a family history of cataract. “Cataract surgery is a very common procedure, with a success rate of more than 95 percent,” says Jeffrey Whitman, M.D., of the KeyWhitman Eye Center in Dallas, TX, and an Academy clinical correspondent. “The eye’s natural lens with

cataract is removed and replaced by an intraocular lens (IOL), selected to meet each patient’s vision correction needs. Talk with your Eye M.D. about IOL options and related use of eyeglasses, so together you can select the best IOL for you.” A few tips will help you maintain healthy vision and choose correctly if you develop a cataract. Get a baseline exam if you are over 40. As part of the EyeSmart campaign, the Academy and EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, recommend that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease get a baseline screening exam at age 40 - the time when early signs of disease and vision changes may start to occur. During this visit, your eye M.D. (ophthalmologist) will advise you on how often to have follow-up exams. People of any age with symptoms or risks for eye disease, such as a family history, should see their eye M.D. to determine a care and follow-up plan. Know your risk factors. In addition to having a family history of cataract, having diabetes, being a smoker, or other factors can increase your risk of developing a cataract. These include extensive exposure to sunlight, serious eye injury or inflammation,

and prolonged use of steroids, especially combined use of oral and inhaled steroids. Reduce your risks. Use UV-rated sunglasses when outdoors and add a wide-brimmed hat when spending long hours in the midday sun. One of the best things anyone can do for their eyes and overall health is to quit smoking or never start. People with diabetes can reduce cataract risk by carefully controlling their blood sugar through diet, exercise, and medications if needed. Be informed about when to consider surgery. This decision is really up to each person based on his or her daily activities and related vision needs. The concept that the cataract is “ripe,” or ready, is no longer considered a valid reason for surgery. After age 65, most people will see their eye M.D. at least once a year, where they will have their vision tested and learn whether cataracts are growing. But only an individual can determine whether symptoms like glare, halos, blurriness, dimmed colors, or other cataract-related problems are making activities like driving and reading difficult or impossible. The Academy’s consumer guide to cataract surgery offers more information. Talk to your Eye M.D. When preparing for surgery you will need to give your doctor your complete medical and eye health history, including especially whether you are or have taken Flomax®, Hytrin®, Uroxatral®, or Cadura®. These medications can cause the iris to move out of its normal position, which can lead to complications during cataract surgery. You can still have successful surgery if your surgeon knows you have taken these drugs and adjusts his or her surgical technique. If you have had LASIK or other laser refractive surgery, it is important to provide your pre-surgery vision correction prescription to your eye M.D., if possible. (The record of this prescription is also called the “K card.”) About Cataract: As we age, the eye’s lens slowly becomes less flexible, less transparent, and thicker. Then areas of the lens become cloudy; if left in place until the “overripe” stage, the cataract would be completely white and block vision. Cataracts often develop in both eyes at about the same time. By age 75, about 70 percent of people have cataracts. For more information on cataract and IOLs, visit www.geteyesmart.org. MSN


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Cyclists Keep On Pedaling More and more people are riding bicycles for exercise and recreation. Heightened interest in the sport brings along an increased possibility of lower body injuries. A recent study published in the December 2007 Journal of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found these injuries may be avoided with some preventive steps, if the cyclist will take the time to: • Find the proper bicycle equipment by seeking out professional advice before making a purchase • Always position the seat, handlebars, and other bike parts properly in relation to the rider’s body size • Wear a properly fitted helmet • Stretch prior to cycling especially the gluteal, hamstring, quadricep, and calf muscles • Take proper care at first sign of injury including rest, ice, compress, elevate, and seeing a doctor if pain persists According to statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than a million people are treated in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and clinics each year because of bicycle injuries. “We are seeing an increased interest in cycling as a sport. With the baby boomers getting older, it is a popular alternative to running, which is more of a strain on an aging frame,” says Dr. Tony Wanich, the study’s lead author and an orthopaedic resident at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “Part of the problem is that the majority of people do not go to a bike shop to test ride a bike, they just buy off the rack, not paying very much attention to the proper fit.” While cycling is good for joint movement and flexibility, overuse of joints

and muscles can happen very easily resulting in injury such as knee pain, hip tendonitis, stress fractures, and foot numbness. However, the knee is the most common location for overuse, with 40-60 percent of riders experiencing knee pain. Most of the time these injuries do not require surgery, instead treatment usually includes rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injection, ice, reducing intensity of cycling, and physical therapy. “Overall cycling is a relatively safe activity and is a terrific option for many individuals, especially those with musculoskeletal ailments. Riders can prevent most injuries by taking the proper safety precautions,” Dr. Wanich says. “Lance Armstrong did a lot to educate and excite people about cycling; now we need to take care and properly fit our bicycles to prevent possible injuries.” MSN

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What Did Your Stomach Know, When Did It Know It, And Are You Going To Have A Heart Attack? By Dick Seelmeyer, Senior Wire Since a good number of Americans love detective stories, here is another anecdote in the continuing saga of “What did the body know, and when did the body know it?” The underlying question is, “Does your body give you a warning sign that something bad is brewing internally that spells bad news for you?” This is followed by, “If you are paying attention and seek medical attention, might you save yourself some misery and maybe your life?” Good questions you say, but people cannot run to the doctor or hospital every time they feel gritchy. Feeling out of sync sometimes is part of the price we pay for the luxury of a long life. Maybe. But, medical researchers are learning more about how the body signals that we are running a quart of oil low and are in serious need of repair. Researchers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, rated as one of the best research and treatment hospitals in the nation have concluded that nausea without apparent cause is a good indicator of an impending serious heart attack among people with potential heart disease. The findings are preliminary and a broader study is underway to determine whether the initial findings warrant broader conclusions regarding the location and seriousness of the heart attack. The incidence of nausea followed by a serious heart attack is too frequent to be a coincidence. If the research can determine the correlation, the

patient would seek care sooner and appropriate care regimens could get effective treatment to the patient earlier. The earlier that medication is administered to prevent or to moderate the severity of a heart attack, the better the patient’s chance of a full recovery. The findings appear in the December 2009 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology. The report indicates that almost two-thirds of heart attack victims experience nausea prior to the onset of a heart attack. People who have risk factors such as age, obesity, high cholesterol, and lack of exercise should be aware that an attack of nausea could be indicative of an impending heart attack. The research will provide medical providers with the tools better to predict when a heart attack will occur and the time window for effective treatment. Nearly two million people annually suffer heart attacks, and approximately 25% die. Others recover, though many do so with seriously injured hearts that restrict their activities for the rest of their lives. Previous studies have indicated that vomiting and nausea are more common in less serious heart attacks that involve the back portion of the left ventricle. Anterior heart attacks - the most dangerous type of cardiac arrest - often happen when the left coronary artery, called the “widow maker,” is blocked. However, the current study indicates that no assumptions should be made about the type of heart attack or where it is located based on nausea. MSN

A Brief History of the Use of Medical Marijuana Cannabis, called má or dàmá in Chinese, was used in Taiwan for fiber starting about 10,000 years ago. The botanist Li Hui-Lin wrote that in China, “The use of Cannabis in medicine was probably a very early development. Since ancient men used hemp seed as food, it was quite natural for them to also discover the medicinal properties of the plant. Cannabis is one of the 50 “fundamental” herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, and is prescribed to treat diverse indications. Every part of the hemp plant is used in medicine; the dried flowers, the achenia, the seeds, the oil, the leaves, the stalk, the root, and the juice. The flowers are recommended in 120 different forms of disease, and the achenia are prescribed in nervous disorders, especially those marked by local anesthesia. The seeds were used for a great variety of afflictions, and it was said that their continued use rendered the flesh firm and prevented old age. The oil was used and juices of the leaves were used to



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stop the hair from falling out and to prevent it from turning grey. The stalk or its bark was considered to be diuretic. The juice of the root was used for similar purposes, and was also thought to have had a beneficial action in retained placenta and post-partum hemorrhage. References to the use of medical marijuana can be found in various Egyptian texts dating as early as 1800 B.C. according to the Egyptologist Lise Manniche. The ancient Egyptians even used hemp (cannabis) in suppositories for relieving the pain of hemorrhoids note references to “plant medical marijuana” in several Egyptian texts. Surviving texts from ancient India confirm that cannabis’ psychoactive properties were recognized, and doctors used it for a variety of illnesses and ailments. These included insomnia, headaches, a whole host of gastrointestinal disorders, and pain. Cannabis was frequently used to relieve the pain of childbirth. The Ancient Greeks used cannabis not only for human medicine, but also in veterinary medicine to dress wounds and sores on their horses. In humans, dried leaves of cannabis were used to treat nose bleeds, and cannabis seeds were used to expel tapeworms. In the 5th century B.C., the Greek historian Herodotus described how the Scythians of the Middle East used cannabis in steam baths. In the medieval Islamic world, Arabic physicians made use of the diuretic, antiemetic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, pain killing, and antipyretic properties of Cannabis sativa, and used it extensively as medication from the 8th to 18th centuries. An Irish physician, William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, is credited with introducing the therapeutic use of cannabis to Western medicine. He was Assistant-Surgeon and Professor of Chemistry at the Medical College of Calcutta, and conducted a cannabis experiment in the 1830s, first testing his preparations on animals, then administering them to patients in order to help treat muscle spasms, stomach cramps, or general pain. Cannabis as a medicine had become com-

mon throughout much of the Western world by the 19th century. It was used as the primary pain reliever until the invention of aspirin. Modern medical and scientific inquiry began with doctors like O’Shaughnessy and Moreau de Tours, who used it to treat melancholia and migraines, and as a sleeping aid, analgesic, and anticonvulsant. By the time the United States banned cannabis in the federal 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, the plant was no longer extremely popular. Skepticism about cannabis arose in response to the bill. The situation was exacerbated by the grossly exaggerated stereotypes promoted by the media and government educational materials that the drug was used primarily by Mexicans, African Americans, and that the drug would lead to a life of violence and degeneracy. Later in the century, researchers discovered that smoking the drug reduced intraocular pressure. In 1973 physician Tod H. Mikuriyare ignited the debate concerning cannabis as medicine when he published Marijuana Medical Papers. He believed that the drug could reduce high intraocular pressure and prevent blindness in glaucoma patients. Many Vietnam War veterans believed that the drug prevented muscle spasms caused by battle-induced spinal injuries. Later medical use focused primarily on its role in preventing the wasting syndromes and chronic loss of appetite associated with chemotherapy and AIDS, along with a variety of rare muscular and skeletal disorders. In addition, during the 1970s and 1980s, six U.S. states’ health departments performed studies on the use of medical cannabis. These are widely considered some of the most useful and pioneering studies on the subject. Since that time voters in fourteen states have legalized medical marijuana, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. On October 7, 2003 a patent entitled Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants (#6,630,507) was awarded (Cont’d on pg 19)

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Medical Marijuana - continued from page 17 to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, based on research done at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). This patent claims that cannabinoids are useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory, and

autoimmune diseases as neuroprotectants to limit neurological damage from stroke and ischemic trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia. This article has been abridged from www. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/medical_cannabis. MSN

What happens if you are diagnosed with colon cancer? Provided by the Colorectal Cancer Network Treatment for colon and rectal cancer depends on the stage and other factors that you and your doctor will discuss before choosing a treatment option. Your doctor will conduct tests and tissue biopsies to determine your cancer stage. Cancer staging is the process of classifying how far a cancer has progressed. The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) developed the most commonly used system for staging colorectal cancers. It is referred to as TNM (Tumor, Nodes, Metastasis) and takes into account the tumor size, lymph node involvement, and whether the cancer has spread, or metastasized to other organs. Once the stage is determined, the course of treatment may include more than one therapy together or in sequence. In deciding what treatment is best, it is important for patients to ask questions and seek a second opinion. The three primary forms of standard therapy for colon and rectal cancer are: • Surgery

• Chemotherapy • Radiation therapy Another option currently being tested in clinical trials is biologic therapy, which uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances made by the body or made in a laboratory are used to boost, direct, or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. This type of cancer treatment is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy. Some people have attempted to cure cancer using complementary or alternative therapies. You must be very careful about choosing an alternative especially. Make sure that there has been valid clinical research done. Combinations of the therapies above may also be given before or after surgery. When given before the primary therapy, a treatment is called neoadjuvant therapy. When given after the primary therapy, a treatment is called adjuvant therapy. In deciding with your doctor which therapy or combination of therapies is best, you will want to discuss side effects and complications of each treatment strategy. MSN

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Women’s Lives are Showcased at Women’s History Museum in Billings By Bernice Karnop Dorothy McLaughlin is interested in people’s stories. Her interest was strong enough to inspire her to start Billings’ Women’s History Museum in 1995, and it keeps her working there countless volunteer hours. “I really like to know about people - what they are doing and why they do it,” she says. The goal of the museum is to collect, preserve, and disseminate information, and she’s proud of what they have done in the past 15 years. Exhibits are grouped by historical era so visitors may stroll through the Victorian era, Laced Up, Buttoned Up, Bound Up & Acting Up; the period from 1900 to 1930, The New Woman; the years 1931 to 1946, Women’s Place is Where?; the baby boom period, Back to the Kitchen; and today’s society titled The Liberated Woman. “We think the lovely Victorian furniture, which was donated by one of our members, is worth the trip,” Dorothy says. The turn of the century set includes a sofa, settee, chair, and a massive marbled topped coffee table that required four men to carry. Hats, shoes, and vintage clothing help tell women’s stories, as does the collection of beautiful beaded purses. Dorothy laments that they keep many of their artifacts in storage because they do not have room to display them. The library includes hundreds of books by, about, and for women. Researchers search through the photo collections, diaries, papers, and booklets. Dorothy likes to research the families of wellknown people. She says that Jeannette Rankin’s mother raised her seven children alone after their father died, and every one of them attended college. Jeannette’s only brother became a lawyer. “The other girls became well-known in their own right, but you only hear about Jeannette because she was in politics,” Dorothy adds.

The World War II exhibit includes videos of Dorothy interviewing women who worked in the war effort. Some of the women accompany the videos so they can answer questions in person when the suitcase exhibit travels to high schools. The non-profit Women’s History Museum is supported through memberships, donations, memorials, and fund-raisers. Its last two fund-raisers featured programs that show a commitment to reflecting the lives of women everywhere. In September, Japanese women from Billings danced, modeled kimonos, and talked about their lives. The year before, a Greek woman told how she came to this country not knowing the language or the man she married soon after arriving. Dorothy created and hosted for 10 years a television program called Wisdom of the Ages in which she interviewed women about their lives. Similarly, she now produces and airs on Community 7 Television in the 6-6:30 p.m. Tuesday time slot, the Museum of Women’s History interview program. After airing, the tapes are archived in the museum library. “The most important thing we are trying to get across to women is to write down their histories. If you have pictures, turn them over and put the names of the people on the back. If you don’t save your history now, there isn’t going to be any,” she says. Dorothy, a Kansas City, Missouri, native, holds degrees in accounting, sociology, and business. She moved to Montana in 1976 to be near her daughter. She was AARP Senior Community Service Employment Program Director in Billings until she transferred to Dallas, Texas. She returned to Montana in 1987. Now 83, Dorothy looks back at many accomplishments including starting the Montana Association of Female Executives in Billings, co-founding Senior Helping Hands in Billings, and working hard to better her community through volunteerism.


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Her proudest accomplishment is founding The Women’s History Museum. It is located across the street from the Alberta Bair Theater at 2824 Third Avenue North. Staffed by volunteers, it is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. with admission by donation. You can learn more about them by calling 406-248-2015 or by visiting

their website, www.womenshistorymuseum.org. Women are encouraged to send their histories to the museum marked with their name, address, and phone number. The Museum also accepts many different kinds of artifacts. Contact them for information. MSN

We Can Hope For A Better Decade In Montana By Bob Campbell New Years Eve traditionally was celebrated by a hearty “out with the old and in with the new” but not this year. The number of serious problems emerging during the past decade has left us with a feeling that our financial crisis will intensify rather than disappear. The three essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. The generation gap has never been wider. I pause to think whether I would trade my life as a senior to be a member of the younger generation that will be forced to deal with the problems our generation has created. Young people today have become distracted and even dependent on the world of the Internet. They are generally clueless when it comes to understanding government and political participation can improve the quality of their lives. The younger generation is caught between a rock and a hard place – seeking a college degree, they have been entering four-year or longer programs but with few jobs when they graduate. Most take out costly student loans that will follow them for many years. In addition they have been targeted by credit card companies to assume excessive credit card debt. Americans have suffered a $13-trillion reduction in net worth in this financial meltdown that has reduced the value of stock, real estate, and retirement funds. Everyone I know has experienced a financial setback since 2007. Although we in Montana have not experienced the devastation of other states, it is clear that our own safety net is in-

adequate to meet the needs of our citizens. Every job loss increases pressure on home foreclosures, loss of health insurance, and family stress. Where are the Montana legislators when we need them? They are hibernating for another year because in the past, we had a slow moving economy that could rely on long-term budget estimates and not meet in twenty-one of the twenty-four months during a legislative term. It is unrealistic to have the legislature meet only every two years and have term limits restrict the work of experienced legislators. These barriers to good government must no longer be ignored. Economists say that the financial pain Montana families are experiencing will get better by the end of this year. Why not reduce the pain now? We need ongoing budget analysis that is responsive to Montana’s dynamic economy. We need real property tax assessments that do not impose higher taxes on properties that are losing value. Business as usual is unacceptable. If the governor continues to refuse to use his authority to call a special session of the legislature, the legislature should call itself into session by a simple majority mail ballot and pass specific corrective measures. Government can only succeed if it has the confidence of the people. At this point both the federal and state governments are not meeting the needs of our citizens and frustration is growing against all incumbents. This is the time for bi-partisan politics that works cooperatively to solve our problems. MSN

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Spring is fast approaching! It is time to find that special someone to enjoy all of nature’s new life - from newborn bunnies to the first green shoots coming from the ground. Submit your letter today and find a new relationship. 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 Montana Senior News, P.O. Box 3363, 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’s 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 April/May 2010 issue. There is no charge for this service and your ad may bring a breath of fresh air to your heart as well. Responses to personal ads appearing in this column can be submitted at any time. However, to place a personal ad, the deadline for the April/May 2010 issue is March 10, 2010.

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1948 model Christian fixer-upper, fine chassis, 5’ 5 1/2”, waist length blonde hair, blue eyes. I am educated in the fine arts, partner needs to be smart and savvy, ready for commitment and a life of fun and glorifying the Lord. If you can’t afford the gas, don’t buy a yacht. To whom expense is not an issue; this baby is prime and ready to refurb. No work done until married. After that this Nordic looking beauty is ready to be styled to your specs.

Reply MSN, Dept. 26301, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. I don’t know exactly what I am looking for, but I know a lot about what I don’t want, and I am hoping after reading this letter that some nice guy out there will want to meet me. I am far from rich but I am independent, and I don’t need a man to take care of me or fix things for me. I would like to meet a gentle, ethical gentleman with principles, who can appreciate the simple life. Looks are relatively unimportant as long as he is neat and clean; someone who can care about others; someone who can debate a disagreeable subject without anger; someone who can get a single sentence out without interjecting the “F” word; someone who has a little more ambition than a couch potato; someone who would consider me an equal. I am honest to a fault and I expect the same, even if it hurts. I am not into head games; I don’t sleep around; I am somewhat old fashioned in the morals and values departments; I am very up front and accept people at face value so most that know me say I am very sincere. I am a light smoker and currently trying to quit; I don’t drink at all, but I don’t begrudge anyone their drink as long as it isn’t excessive; I am spiritual but not religious; I believe in God, our country, angels, ghosts, and UFOs. I am fairly adventurous and at times act on instinct, which has always been more fun than hazardous. I am very uncomplicated, easy going, with a great sense of humor. I prefer diet coke to champagne, blue jeans to black tie, and BBQ to a formal sit down. I like auctions, classic cars, travel, and history. My favorite time of day is a warm summer eve about dusk… twilight time. A couple of things I do not tolerate are prejudicial slurs and obnoxious drunks. If you can get by all of this, please write me. We can exchange pictures and phone numbers after

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

that initial introduction. Friends first. If it develops great! If not, that is okay too. Reply MSN, Dept. 26302, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. WWF, 68, country gal, green eyes, brown hair, 5’, blue jeans, quiet evenings at home, reading, cooking, music, some TV, eating out once a week and special occasions, swimming, museums, exploring Montana, non-drinker, non-smoker, no drugs. Searching for someone loving, kind, with same likes and dislikes. Reply MSN, Dept. 26303, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. DWF, looking for a companion 70 to 80. I like fishing, hiking, day trips, and picnics. I’m 4 feet 8 inches tall and weigh 130 lbs with gray, long hair, and freckles. I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs. I live in town and I don’t own a car or drive. I live in a 3 bedroom home by myself and would like a roommate. I like to go to yard sales, movies, and craft shops. I like to watch baseball. I am a Yankees fan. I have one son and one small spoiled dog. I love c/w music and used to sing it. If you like to do the same things I do, then drop me a line and a picture. Will answer all. Reply MSN, Dept. 26304, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. Good hearted SWF, 54, 5’6” would like to meet tall, gentlemen, 55-58 who is kind, honest, and true. I prefer wranglers and boots, but also like to dress up for an evening out. I’m kind, caring, thoughtful, and enjoy being with someone who likes to have fun and has a sense of humor. I’m a social drinker. I enjoy c/w dancing, rodeos, laughing, living life, and so much more. I have a passion for horses as I raised them at one time. I’m in the Kalispell area. Friendship at first. Please enclose photo, no email. Reply MSN,

Dept. 26305, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. A quiet male in his mid-eighties in relatively good health interested in a lady 75+ for chats, movies, and short drives – no alcohol. Live in Great Falls. Reply MSN, Dept. 26306, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. I’m ready to meet a nice gentleman who is in his late 60s. I’m a widow in my late 60s. I am 5’4”, with blonde hair, and 120 lbs. I love to dance, go to movies, and concerts. I like to laugh and have fun. I live in the Billings area. Send a picture if you have one. I’m hoping to meet you real soon. Reply MSN, Dept. 26307, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. Active, attractive, mature widow, in my young 80s, loves gardening, animals, cooking, dining out, long rides, short walks, and cozy evenings. I am seeking physically independent male to spend time with. I live in the Bozeman area. I do not smoke or drink. Reply MSN, Dept. 26308, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. Male in his late 70s, non-smoker, drinker, or drugs of any kind, likes fishing, traveling, watching TV, and going out to dinner. Looking for a lady companion in her late 70s to mid 80s to spend the rest of my life with. Reply MSN, Dept. 26309, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. SWF – hoping to meet a nice gentleman in his early to mid-eighties. Some of the interests I have are music, travel, reading, concerts, dining, and dancing. I am very willing to try new interests as well. Non-smoker, non-drinker. I will send a picture. Reply MSN, Dept. 26310, c/o Montana Senior News, Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403. MSN

AWARE - Keeping Dreams Alive He has a developmental disability. She has a developmental disability. While his classmates attended school in a classroom, he attended school in the boiler room. While the girls her age giggled about boys, she was in an institution. When he was an adult, he was told of things that he couldn’t possibly do. When she was an adult, she was told of things that she wouldn’t ever accomplish. When they met and fell in love, they heard about how it was irresponsible and illogical. When they decided to give all they had to buy a house and take their chance for the American dream, people were worried. When they bought the house, people were astonished. They never had a doubt. Neither did AWARE.

AWARE’s services work for and with people in every stage of their lives, and respect the fact that everyone deserves a chance to decide what their lives’ milestones will be. The right services. To the right people. At the right time. Whether they’re for children, adults, or families, AWARE has a service that just might be able to make life a little more accessible. Visit www. aware-inc.org for more information or to see how you can help. MSN

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Betty Fulton and The Missoula Public Library’s Paperbackers Article by Gail Jokerst Photo by B. James Jokerst As soon as you spot the canister brimming with bookmarks in Elizabeth “Betty” Fulton’s home, you know this woman takes books seriously. If the bookmarks do not convince you, the four-inch stack of index cards perched next to the canister should. Betty files the cards by author. Then she lists on each card the titles she has read by that writer so she avoids borrowing or buying the same book twice. Considering Betty reads two or three books weekly and has been updating her lists for two decades, it is understandable why these cards are full of writing and why the stack feels so hefty. One way Betty discovers new authors and books she might like to read is through her volunteer work at the Missoula Public Library. As part of the group known as The Paperbackers, Betty and 10 other avid readers, assist the library by alphabetizing and returning borrowed paperbacks to their genre-specific shelves. The four hours she helps monthly provide a perfect opportunity for her to peruse the backs of unfamiliar soft-covered mysteries and general fiction and decide if a new author or title might be worth her time. As Betty will tell you, The Paperbackers never lack for items to shelve because that collection moves so rapidly.

“Our paperbacks are checked out regularly, maybe 50 or more daily, rarely less,” says Betty who is in a good position to know since she has been shelving paperbacks here since 1990. She has discovered during that time there are several reasons the reading public loves these lightweight books. “Some people prefer the smaller size of a paperback compared to a hardcover book. That makes the books easier to handle and take along on a work commute or a trip,” she explains. “You also find genres, such as romance, science fiction, and fantasy, are primarily published only in paperback.” A staunch supporter of public libraries, Betty has carried a library card since she was ten years old. She cannot say enough good things about the importance of reading and the role libraries fill in the community for people of all ages. “I’ve always had a book in my hand. Reading is both a recreation for me and a great source of information. Libraries encourage people to read and not just watch television,” adds Betty, who never fails to be impressed by the steady flow of traffic through the library’s doors and the popularity of the teen room with its comfortable reading couches. Fellow Paperbacker, Judy Ansley, heartily agrees with Betty’s sense of the value of books and libraries.


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

“Reading exercises different parts of the brain than television or movies do. When I read, I go into a world I create. I make up the landscape,” says Judy, who holds a graduate degree in literature and is the newest Paperbacker recruit. “This library has a good feel to it. Curious people come here. Since I volunteer, I use the library more. I’ve also gone back to and enjoyed reading American classics like those written by Edith Wharton.” In 2005, Betty was honored as the library’s Senior of the Year for her public service. The nomination form praised her for saving the staff hours and hours of time. “Betty is one of those volunteers who loyally and quietly work behind the scenes. Yet her contribution to our good library service is very important,” it stated. According to Honore Bray, the library’s director, volunteers like Betty and Judy are indispensable

to her staff. “We couldn’t exist without our senior volunteers. They spend about 90 hours per week shelving, covering, and repairing books and adding to our Missoulian database. They do clerical things that we wouldn’t have money for and they are vital to what goes on at the library,” notes Honore. “Volunteering fills a void in people’s lives. Some people do it because of their love of holding a book and wanting others to do the same thing. Most volunteers help at other places, too. These people have a rich life and they want to share it through volunteering. We’re so very thankful for all the volunteers we have.” To learn more about the library and its events, visit www.missoulapubliclibrary.org. For information about volunteering, call 406-721-2665. MSN

Turning Lives Around: Missoula’s Youth Harvest Program By Gail Jokerst Photo provided by Youth Harvest In days past, it took the allure of Popeye the Sailorman to get most kids to eat their spinach. Today’s teens may not be any more enamored of green leafy vegetables than their predecessors were but thanks to Missoula’s Youth Harvest Program that’s changing without any help from a cartoon character. A new generation of Montana teens is not only developing a taste for the likes of spinach, kale, and chard, they are also learning to grow, harvest, sell, and even cook these formerly taboo veggies. If you think these are adolescents with an untapped culinary bent or a yen to return to the land, think again. The kids who find their way to the Youth Harvest Program are the ones society classifies as “at risk.” Missoula’s Youth Drug Court sends them to this innovative program where therapeutic rather than punitive treatment can change lives. Each spring, five Youth Harvest teens between the ages of 14 and 16 work the soil for minimum wage alongside University of Montana environmental studies majors. This plunges them into all phases of food production - from planting seeds to harvesting over 25 kinds of vegetables at Garden City Harvest’s farm. So far, the success rate of this service- and work-oriented approach has been impressive. Not only do the teens fulfill their commitment to work through the growing

season, some come back as volunteers the next year. “These kids fall in love with growing food and being part of the community. It gives them a sense of purpose and satisfaction at following through with a project from start to finish,” notes Youth Harvest Assistant Director Laurie Strand. “Teaming up with the university students is invaluable, too. They are all at the same level learning to farm together. As the season progresses, the students serve as role models. Friendships and life-mentor bonds form. In addition, the program makes the teens more aware and introspective. They take ownership of what they’re doing.” Cooking enough food daily to feed the farm’s workers is an unexpected but equally important part of the

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

program. Everyone gets to slice, dice, and chop - no exceptions. “They enjoy cooking and learn to do it since they have to prepare food for 20 people at a time. It’s ad lib cooking for the most part, working with what’s at hand,” explains Laurie. “When the meal is ready, everyone sits down together at a huge long wooden table.” Initially, teens may be clueless about what to do with a bunch of beets but along with the university students, they figure out how to turn those root vegetables into something delicious. By the end of the season, all the farm hands eat the different vegetables they have grown and think even kale tastes good. In addition to the farming tasks, the Youth Harvest teens also help care for the farm’s pigs and chickens. “They love to feed the pigs and clean the troughs. They also like to feed the chickens and gather eggs. But no one likes weeding,” confesses Laurie. “It’s difficult to like something that hard, which you have to do for two and a half months straight.” As one of the other staff members comments, “It takes a special person to get fired up about weeding.” Two years ago, the program extended its beneficial reach even further into the community by starting a program called the Mobile Market. This weekly market on wheels gives the teens a chance to sell the food they’ve grown to approximately 150 residents of The Manor, Glengarra Place, Vantage Villa, and Silver Crest. Every Monday and Thursday during the harvest season, Laurie and her charges haul their produce in an old red truck around town and set up their portable market in the parking lot at one of these four subsidized housing complexes. This allows residents who can’t or don’t get to a farmers’ market to easily shop for fresh local lettuce, carrots, and corn. Since some customers hesitate to get acquainted with unfamiliar vegetables such as mustard greens and Chinese cabbage, the teens share recipes to

encourage experimentation in the kitchen. To entice sales, the vegetables at each Mobile Market are sold at marked-down prices along with fresh rolls donated by Bernice’s Bakery. After an hour, the teens pack up and move on to the second and last stop of the day taking a well-deserved ice cream break between market destinations. Housing residents buy the produce either with cash or with special $2 farmers’ market vouchers available through Missoula Aging Services for qualifying individuals. According to Laurie, men and women find the open market concept equally appealing and take advantage of the service. “Everyone wants potatoes, broccoli, onions, and tomatoes, and appreciates what we have to offer. The kids get to know the regular customers by name. Likewise, the customers know their names, too. One woman was so taken with the girls working the Mobile Market she knitted them all scarves. They loved the scarves and the woman who knitted them,” recalls Laurie. “She always laughs and smiles with the kids and treats them like people. The interaction is special.” Among the many benefits for participating Youth Harvest teens are learning to run a small business and developing a comfort level in conversing with a generation with whom they rarely have contact. Laurie also sees the program as a means to get the kids into the community, “in a giving rather than a taking relationship.” From her perspective, it is a win-win situation for all involved. “This program gives our older citizens easy access to high-quality inexpensive food. It also bridges the gap between two age communities. At the same time, it provides stimulating interaction that would not otherwise happen for those living in low-income housing. Maybe ten percent of the residents don’t buy from us,” observes Laurie, “But they do stop by the market. They just like to come and talk. It gives them something to look forward to.” And perhaps one day that ten percent may start buying freshly picked spinach from the Mobile Market and savor how good it tastes when tossed in a salad or sautéed with butter. That first bite might even remind them of one almost-forgotten cartoon sailor. The Mobile Market is available only to residents of the four housing complexes mentioned in the article. For more information, visit www. gardencityharvest.org or call 406-523-3663. You can also visit www.missoulaagingservices.org or call 406-728-7682. MSN


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Cody in a Cowboy Hat - A story from the Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) The show was Robin Hood and MCT had been commissioned to produce it in tiny Glenwood, Washington - population 300. A new kid in town, an angry, sullen, sixth-grader named Cody, was cast in one of the leads. He wore western clothes and a cowboy hat. It was clear that he was very unpopular with everyone – students and teachers alike. It was also clear that he was the best choice for the role of “Prince John”. Cody was a project. The MCT tour team called him out on bad behavior, but made it clear that they believed in him and expected him to step up to this responsibility. With some special attention, Cody memorized his rather large role. They had his attention and his trust, and at one point during the week, he confided in them that his mother had stayed sober for the past week. (He wasn’t living at home.) At week’s end, to the astonishment and delight of everyone in town, Cody absolutely stole the show. He awkwardly thanked both directors for “bossing him around all week.” As the team was packing the truck to leave, there in the parking lot stood Cody with his plaid shirt and cowboy hat. He ran across the lot with a huge smile on his face to tell them goodbye one last time, which they knew really meant “thank you!” There is a new story every week. To become an MCT Guardian and invest in the future of kids all over North America, contact Don Collins at 406-728-1911. MSN

Artists Janet and Jerry McGahan - cont’d from page 1 at the university, I jumped at the opportunity. Without the gift of those lessons, I’d still be floundering. They gave me a confidence I never had before.” Janet kept a journal while Tu mentored her and recorded his instructions and philosophies on art so she could return to them time and again. One of the first things she jotted down were Tu’s words, “I won’t teach you unless you listen to me. Will you listen to me?” When she agreed, Tu began his lessons by having Janet draw basic shapes and insisting she get each shape right no matter how long it took. “Whether you’re painting a portrait, an animal, or a landscape, it’s the same because you’re always painting the shape,” explains Janet. “‘You can’t build a building without a foundation,’ he would say, ‘and you can’t paint without the big shape.’ If you get the shape right and then the colors and values, it doesn’t matter what you’re painting.” Jerry’s oil painting career began some time later, just seven years ago, as a creative adjunct to the work he was already doing as both a fiction and nature writer. At the time, he was vacationing in Mexico and simply wanted an artistic outlet other than words to record his impressions of the new-world people and countryside he was seeing. Ever since, he’s enjoyed portraying native peoples from Central and South America as well as the land they live on. “For thirty-something years I’ve written fiction and loved the beauty of it. Fiction is a nice creative outlet. But people in the arts never quit. We never retire. Art is bottomless. It’s not a skill you learn and get down. You’re always figuring out new things; there’s still more to learn every day,” adds

Become an MCT Guardian. An investment in children is an investment in our future. We change lives. To learn more about the Missoula Children’s Theatre Guardian Program, contact Senior Development Officer, Don Collins at (406) 728-1911 or dcollins@mctinc.org.

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Jerry, whose novel, A Condor Brings The Sun, was published by The Sierra Club and received impressive reviews. Publishers Weekly wrote of it, “McGahan’s reflective narrative is an elegantly written, astonishingly cohesive debut.” Although Jerry sold most of his beehives along with his honey business five years ago, he retained six of his 250 hives. In the past, his annual crop was enough for him to supply honey to several Montana bakeries and breweries, as well as The Good Food Store. Nowadays, he harvests only enough honey to keep his friends, family, and long-time customers happy. That continues to be a part of his days along with his gardening, writing, and painting. Since both McGahans work from home, they naturally comment on one another’s work. But from the start, they’ve approached critiquing as they do their marriage, with mutual respect. “No one is allowed to say anything about your work until you ask, until you are secure enough to have someone else look at it,” says Janet. “It’s eyes off and mouth closed. We tell each other what we think is wrong, but we don’t discuss it. We leave it alone. No defense is required.” “When Janet critiques my writing, I incorporate 95-98% of her suggestions,” adds Jerry.” Considering his success at having stories printed

in literary journals such as The Antioch Review and The Georgia Review, this is obviously another example of his ability to recognize good advice. “For us, it’s the same rule as getting along in a marriage. Suggestions are offered and mulled over,” says Janet. “Sometimes they’re resisted. But more often than not they’re taken after we’ve had a chance to think about them awhile. “ Interestingly, while they share many things in common the one thing the McGahans don’t approach the same way is their art. “He loves routine and writes in the morning and paints in the afternoon. I don’t like routine,” observes Janet. “But I do something with art every day in some form.” For both Jerry and Janet, the joy in their life together comes not from getting something done and going onto something else immediately. Rather the joy is in being involved in the now - in the process of whatever is engaging them. “It’s the doing not the having that matters, the journey not the destination,” says Janet. “It’s just fun to be absorbed in a project you’re excited about.” For more information about the McGahans’ artwork, write them at arleeart@blackfoot.net or call 406-239-0732. MSN

Special People Ride Free A Carousel for Missoula’s story is familiar to most Montanans (read it at www.carousel. com), but even those who know the details of its creation may not be aware of its impact on some very special people. Anyone with a physical or mental disability is welcome to ride the Carousel free of charge.

Soon after the Carousel’s grand opening, a letter to the editor appeared in the Missoulian from the father of a young girl with multiple disabilities. The only time she felt “like all the other kids,” he said, was when she was on the Carousel. The mother of a vision-impaired young man told Larry Pirnie, the artist who adopted and painted the carousel horse named Paint, that Paint was her son’s favorite horse because Paint was the only one he could “see.” The Carousel provides over 10,000 free tokens each year to agencies serving disadvantaged children. Agency staff tell us how important it is to their kids to have fun with other children on the Carousel and in Dragon Hollow. The Carousel and Dragon Hollow were created for all kids, but the positive effects they have on those with disabilities or disadvantages is truly the icing on the cake for the Carousel’s board, staff and volunteers. For more information, please call 406-5498382 or visit www.carousel.com. MSN


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Helping The Hungry And Homeless: The Poverello Center And Its Dedicated Volunteers By Gail Jokerst When it comes to accomplishments, chopping carrots and peppers hardly seems like something most people would rave about. Yet for Missoula’s Nancy Crabtree, the time she spends slicing vegetables at the Poverello Center easily rates as the most rewarding moments of her week. After wielding a knife for two non-stop hours, Nancy says, “When I’m driving home, I feel like the most fortunate person in the world.” To understand why she can make that claim, it helps to know something about the philosophy behind the Poverello Center, Montana’s largest homeless shelter. Most importantly, staff members at “the Pov” (as locals often refer to it) treat everyone using their services with care and respect as they’d like to be treated. “Our clients don’t choose to live this way,” states Kevin Johnson, the Pov’s volunteer coordinaKevin Johnson is the Poverollo Center’s Volunteer tor, who has seen a coordinator. [Photo by B. James Jokerst] steady rise over the past year in the number of individuals requiring help. “Only 9% chose this lifestyle. Many people stay just for one span of time, which could be anywhere from one night to 30 days.” Gentle firmness is another hallmark of this active non-profit. Those sleeping overnight at the shelter are expected to lend a hand in some way - anything from washing dishes and sweeping floors to sorting donated clothes. If a client performs the task incorrectly, staff members don’t criticize. Instead, they might suggest, “what if you try it this way?” to set things straight. Another example of the center’s velvet-covered steel core is seen in its stance on drunkenness: anyone who is inebriated can’t sleep overnight at the shelter. But they will receive - at the minimum - a warm blanket and a sack lunch. “The staff is so kind, and kindness makes such a difference in the lives of the people who come here,” says Nancy, who has often seen the Pov’s compassionate philosophy in action since she began volunteering here two years ago. At that time, she had just retired from over three decades of teaching elementary school and was seeking a (Continued on page 40)

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 31

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Fall Prevention: Tips to Keep You on Your Feet By Bobbi Perkins Falls are a serious health issue for older adults. As Montana’s older population increases, falls will cause an increasing number of serious injuries that limit mobility and independence, and result in premature death. The healthcare system is stretched when people lose their independence - even temporarily - because of fall-related injuries such as sprains, breaks, fractured hips, or traumatic brain injury. Despite the risks, there is good news. With careful consideration and planning, most falls can be prevented. Montana has one of the highest fatality rates in the nation for all ages for falls, 11 per 100,000, nearly twice the national fall fatality rate of 6 per 100,000. Falls have been the leading cause of injury-related death for Montanans age 65+ since at least 1991, causing 51% of unintentional injury fatalities between 1999 and 2002. According to the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 20% of Montana respondents age 45 and older reported having a fall in the last three months and of those who had fallen, more than 25% were injured as a result of the fall. Falls are often caused by gradual health changes, but certain risk factors are strongly associated with falls, particularly among older adults. These risk factors include a history of falls, gait and balance deficits, muscle weakness, visual deficit, arthritis, use of certain medications, and

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 33

hazards in the home. Knowing these risk factors can be the first step toward instituting effective strategies to prevent falls. It is important to take the following steps: Regular Vision Exams - Poor vision can increase your chances of falling, so have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. You may be wearing the wrong glasses or have a vision-limiting condition like glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration. Exercise - Exercise is one of the most important ways to lower your chances of falling. It makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Exercises that improve balance and coordination are the most helpful. Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your chances of falling. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider about the best type of exercise program for you. Medication Review - Have your doctor or pharmacist review all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines. As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall. Home Safety - About half of all falls happen at home. To make your home safer: • Remove things you can trip over from stairs and places where you walk. • Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep rugs from slipping. • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool. • Install grab bars beside your toilet and in your tub or shower. • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors. • Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well. (Continued on page 35)

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

MON TANA

WINTER 2010

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He is an Engineer, a fly fisherman and chief of the bar-b-que. Your Dad and Husband. Our Friend and Neighbor.

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In Western Montana:

We Care Because You Care. What is Rehabilitation?

ramps, stairs, and Wii fit on flat screen TVs to enhance balance. But it is really our people By Karen Powers who make the difference. Our therapists are always inventing A fall, break, accident, stroke, heart attack or decline of strength new and interesting ways to get you back to your best self. are all reasons for rehabilitation therapy to be prescribed. Our mission is a holistic At Innovative Rehabilitation, approach toward wellness: led by physical therapist and Physical Therapists work on geriatric specialist Amy Paris, our strength, mobility, coordination cadre of physical, occupational and dexterity so you can walk and speech therapists, latest farther, stand up straighter and equipment, technologies and keep your balance. facilities are designed to get you Occupational Therapists help you back on your feet. develop coordination and create techniques such as how to get in and out of the shower or how to cook or do laundry when you have just been given a walker. Speech Therapists work to strengthen the muscles used in speech, improving speech clarity, articulation, redeveloping speech and language skills, swallowing techniques, and eating and communication techniques. How do we do it? Therapists work Therapy at Innovative with clients by using interesting Rehabilitation is one of the best exercise equipment, model ways to return to a quality of life kitchens to help with coordination, we all deserve. Innovative Rehabilitation can be found in: Billings: Valley Health Care Center, Billings Health & Rehabilitation and Westpark Village Missoula: Riverside Health Care, Hillside Health Care and The Village Health Care Center Hamilton: Valley View Estates

“Discover how good life can be.” • Independent Living • Assisted Living 2815 Old Fort Rd. • Missoula • (406) 549-1300 • www.villagesenior.com • Rehabilitation • Short- and Long-term Skilled Nursing Care • Memory Care Wing • Accepting Medicare, Private Insurances and Medicaid 2651 South Ave. W. • Missoula • (406) 728-9162 • www.villagehealthcare.com • Rehabilitation • Short- and Long-term Skilled Nursing Care • Memory Care Wing • Accepting Medicare, Private Insurances and Medicaid 1301 E. Broadway • Missoula • (406) 721-0680 • www.riversidesenior.com • Rehabilitation • Short- and Long-term Skilled Nursing Care • Memory Care Wing • Accepting Medicare, Private Insurances and Medicaid 4720 23rd Ave. • Missoula • (406) 251-5100 • www.hillsidesenior.com • Rehabilitation • Short- and Long-term Skilled Nursing Care • Memory Care Wing • Accepting Medicare, Private Insurances and Medicaid 225 N. 8th St. • Hamilton • (406) 363-1144 • www.valleyviewestates.org

We Care Because You Care.


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Fall Prevention - continued from page 33 • Hang lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare. • Have handrails and lights installed on all staircases. • Wear comfortable shoes both inside and outside of the house. • Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers. Falls are a threat to independence and mobility and are often perceived as a part of aging. But you control your fall risks by scheduling regular vision

exams, engaging in strength and balance training, reviewing your medications with your healthcare provider, and assessing your home for potential hazards. Together, these tips provide effective strategies for reducing your chances for a fall. To learn more about what you can do to prevent falls, visit http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/index-fs.html or contact Bobbi Perkins, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Montana DPHHS at 406-444-4126. MSN

Landscaping Means $$$ in your Pocket By Trina White Attractive landscaping is a great way to add curb appeal and value to any home. Whether you are preparing your home to sell or just want to increase your curb appeal and plan to stay for years to come, landscaping can transform your home. For people who are thinking of selling this spring and want to put some dollars in their pockets, working on landscaping will certainly help. Simple, low cost chores can add to your bottom line and speed the sale along as well. As with the inside of your home, the first thing to do is clear away clutter. Simply removing old Christmas decorations, children’s toys, and unused flower pots will go a long way in improving the curb appeal. Other low cost fix-ups include: adding fresh mulch to flower beds, painting/staining decking and replacing rotting wood. You can add a touch of color to the exterior with a few pots of tulips in March. Red and white colors add the most punch - think red geraniums this summer. Freshly trimmed landscape will allow better views from the windows inside as well as allow buyers better views from the street. If you are thinking of updating your landscaping for your enjoyment, there are a lot of new ideas to check out. Water features are very popular with today’s homeowners, but keep in mind the maintenance and budget such features may require. A landscape designer can be hired for the homeowner wanting extensive exterior upgrades. Many charge between $75 and $150 per hour, but will make recommendations for soil conditions, insects, drainage, sprinklers, and what plants to mix and match for color and variety. When budgeting for a landscaping overhaul,

homeowners should plan on 10% of the value of the home. The USDA Forest Service recommends planting trees, citing they cut down on heating and cooling costs. The Department of Energy says that three properly placed trees can save you between $100 and $250 a year in annual energy bills. Making your yard more livable will increase your home’s square footage. Many of today’s projects include adding outdoor rooms, with well-equipped kitchens and relaxing comfortable outdoor furniture. Again, adding color will transform your space. A popular feature which can be relatively inexpensive is a pergola and will add livable outdoor space. MSN

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 35


PAGE 36 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

2728 Colonial Dr PO Box 6013 Helena MT 59604 lindac@mtnwestbank.com www.mtnwestbank.com Office 443-4381 ΠCell 439-6528

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Are You Burdened by Credit Card Debts You Can't Pay?

By Jerome S. Lamet, Supervising Attorney - Debt Counsel Reverse Mortgage Specialist Vice President/Real Estate Loan Department for Seniors and the Disabled (DCSD) If you are having trouble paying your credit card debts, you should know that you are not alone. The following excerpts are from a recent article in the Washington Post, called “Seniors Leaning on Credit Balances Balloon for Older Cardholders – and Health Bills Don’t Help.” Alice Smith thought she would live comfortably and quietly in her Hyattsville retirement community. Instead she’s fretfully dodging calls from her creditors. She owes more than $10,000 to four credit card companies and more than $7,000 to a credit union – in part, she said, because of spending to help her family. She doesn’t give exact figures because she is unsure of them; with late fees and higher interest rates, the amount she owes has grown. Her income has not. Through a pension and Social Security from her former job at a National Institute of Health laboratory, she receives about $2,000 a month. Her rent is $955. She doesn’t know how she can ever pay down her debts. So she thinks she just might not. Take five minutes “I am 80 years old,” to learn how one hour can she said, “and I don’t need this headache at make a lifetime my age.” of difference. Av e r a g e c r e d i t OLH]LYHNLWLYZVUZWLUKZOV\YZ card debt among low^VYRPUNHUKI\PSKPUN\WHZZL[ZK\YPUN[OLPY and middle-income SPML[PTL`L[WLVWSLH]LYHNLSLZZ[OHUMV\YOV\YZ Americans 65 and WSHUUPUN^OH[[OLPYOLPYZ^PSSYLJLP]L;OLNVVK older carrying a balUL^ZPZ[OH[PUSLZZ[OHUVULOV\Y`V\JHUIL ance for more than ^LSSVU`V\Y^H`[VJYLH[PUNHWSHU[OH[^PSSWYV[LJ[ three months reached `V\YOHYKLHYULKHZZL[ZHUKLUZ\YL`V\Y^PZOLZ $10,235, up 26 perHYLRUV^UHUKMVSSV^LK·L_HJ[S`HZ`V\PU[LUK 0[»ZTHKLWVZZPISLI`\ZPUNHUL^MYLLYLZV\YJL cent from 2005, acMYVT[OL(TLYPJHU/LHY[(ZZVJPH[PVU6\Y^PSSHUK cording to a recently LZ[H[LWSHUUPUNRP[4H[[LYZVM[OL/LHY[JHU Will & Estate released study by the OLSW`V\ZH]L[PTLTVUL`HUKOHZZSL;OLYLPZ Planning Kit public policy group HIZVS\[LS`UVJVZ[UVVISPNH[PVUHUKUVYLHZVU[V Demos. It was the fastW\[VMM[OLTVZ[PTWVY[HU[OV\Y`V\JHUZWLUK est increase of any age group. Soon-to-be TO GET YOUR FREE COPY or request assistance, retirees are also strugcontact Mel Feeley at 888-302-8390 ext 8047 or e-mail mel.feeley@ heart.org gling with debt. It’s a surprising re-

LINDA COCKHILL

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versal of fortune for a generation that had been considered more financially responsible than younger generations. Frequent or frivolous use of credit cards had not been a common trait of older Americans, particularly those 65 and older, because credit was not as easily available in their formative years. Now, even they are finding they have little choice but to borrow money. The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) recently issued a report that explains why people are having difficulty dealing with their credit card debts. The following is an excerpt from this report, which answers the question, “Why?” “Families with credit card debt are often thought to be shortsighted or ill disciplined, guilty of “living beyond their means.” Of course, societal pressures to consume – to acquire certain goods and to achieve a certain lifestyle – have their place in a discussion of credit card debt. But the survey findings reveal that much of the debt for low- and middle-income households is “safety net” debt. That is, families are going into credit card debt as a way to cope with drops in income or unexpected expenses. Our findings illustrate that most debtstressed low- and middle-income consumers are trying to cover unavoidable expenses, not discretionary purchases. • The most significant predictor of “debt stress” level was whether a household relied on credit cards to cover basic living expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, groceries, utilities, or insurance. • Households dealing with a layoff or major medical expenses were more likely to have a higher relative debt-stress level. These economically vulnerable households were more likely to have higher relative credit card debt because they used their credit cards to cover expenses associated with an illness or necessary medical treatment, as well as basic living expenses. Complicating matters, many card companies have raised interest rates, fees, and minimum payments recently in anticipation of a new law taking effect in February that will restrict such hikes. Older borrowers have been hit especially hard by such actions, consumer advocates said, because their incomes are fixed and their ability to get a job is limited. “There are just less shock absorbers in a senior’s budget,” said Cate Williams, vice president of financial literacy for Money Management International, a nonprofit credit counseling agency. MSN

How To Make Grandpa Feel Warm And Fuzzy Submitted by Julie Hollar/Brantley Six-year-old Mandy went to the hospital with her grandmother to visit her Grandpa who had been ill. When they got to the hospital, she ran ahead of her Grandma and burst into her Grandpa’s room. “Grandpa, Grandpa,” she said excitedly. “As soon as Grandma comes into the room, make a noise like a frog!” “What?” asked her Grandpa. “Why do you want me to do that?” “Because Grandma said that as soon as you croak, we’re all going to Disneyland!” MSN


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 37


PAGE 38 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Tax Help – Where To Find It By Jim Miller Q: What are the 2009 IRA minimum filing requirements? My income was very low last year and I am thinking I may not have to file tax returns this year. What can you tell me? A: There are millions of people in your situation. In fact, according to the Tax Policy Center, around 55 percent of Americans over age 65 will not have to file income tax returns this year mainly because their incomes are under the IRS filing requirements. Here is what you should know. 2009 Filing Requirements - If your “gross income” is below the 2009 IRS filing limits, you do not have to file a federal tax return this year. Gross income includes all the income you receive that is not exempt from tax, not including Social Security benefits, unless you are married and filing separately. Here is an income breakdown for each filing status. • Single: If your 2009 gross income was less than $9,350 ($10,750 if you are 65 or older), you do not have to file. • Married filing jointly: You do not need to file if your gross income was under $18,700. If you or your spouse is 65 or older the limit increases to $19,800. And if you are both over 65, your income must be under $20,900 not to file. • Head of household: If your gross income was below $12,000 ($13,400 if age 65 or older), you do not have to file. • Married filing separately: At any age, you must file if your income was at least $3,650. • Qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child: If your gross income was less than $15,500 ($16,150 if age 65 or older), you do not need to file. Note: Just because you are not required to file a federal tax return does not necessarily mean you are also excused from filing state income taxes. Check on that with your state tax agency before concluding you are entirely in the clear. For links to state and local tax agencies see www.taxadmin.org – click on “Links.” Senior Tax Credit - If you find that your gross income is more than the IRS filing limits, you will

need to file a federal tax return. But depending on your income level, you may be eligible for an elderly tax credit, which can amount to as much as $750 for a single taxpayer and up to $1,125 for a couple. To qualify, you must be 65 or older (or under 65 and disabled), a U.S. citizen, and your adjusted gross income must be less than $17,500 for a single filer, and the non-taxable part of your Social Security or other nontaxable pensions, annuities or disability income must be less than $5,000. Or, if you are married and are filing jointly and you both qualify, your income will need to be less than $25,000, and your nontaxable Social Security or other nontaxable pensions must be under $7,500. To claim the credit you will need to file either Schedule R, if you are filing Form 1040, or Schedule 3, if you are filing Form 1040A. To learn more, see IRS publication 524 “Credit for the Elderly or Disabled” at www.irs. gov/pub/irs-pdf/p524.pdf, or call 800-829-3676 and have them mail you a copy. Tax Prep Help - If you do need to file a tax return, you can get help through the IRS sponsored Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). This program provides free tax preparation and counseling to middle- and low-income taxpayers, age 60 and older. Call 800-906-9887 to locate a service near you. Also check with AARP, a participant in the TCE program that provides free tax preparation at more than 7,000 sites nationwide. To locate an AARP Tax-Aide site call 888-2277669 or visit www.aarp.org/money/taxaide. Savvy Tips: If you have tax questions, the IRS offers a helpline at 800-829-1040, or visit a nearby IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (see www.irs.gov/localcontacts) where you can get face-to-face help free. Also see www.irs.gov/ individuals/retirees for a variety of tax tips for seniors. 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. MSN

Gifts From The Heart Are Lasting Gifts Since February is “heart month,” this is a good time to reflect on whether your favorite nonprofit(s) might be in need of your gift from the heart. In today’s very difficult economic times, many nonprofits are understandably anxious about their future. Will they be able to continue to do all the wonderful things many of us have come to expect? Certainly nobody wants any of them to not be able to continue. Legacy Montana,

Need answers at tax time? The Montana Department of Revenue can help you. Ÿ Need help deciding which tax form to use? Ÿ Wonder if you qualify for the Elderly Homeowner/ Renter Credit worth up to $1,000? Call us toll-free at 1-866-859-2254. In Helena, call (406) 444-6900.

a group of 50 nonprofits in Missoula and the surrounding area, works to make people aware that they can leave something for their favorite nonprofit(s) in a will or trust. With proper planning you can remember your family, friends, and the nonprofit organizations closest to your heart. During “heart month,” have a heart, and take steps to help ensure that your favorite nonprofit(s) will be sustainable in the future. For more information about participating charities, please visit our website: www.legacymontana.org or call us at 406-543-5387. MSN


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

By Jeanette Prodgers Ask almost any Montana Adult Protective Service (APS) worker and they will tell you there is a big need for financial assistance and guardianship programs for at-risk seniors, and the need won’t be going away any time soon. In fact, it is a national issue. According to the National Alzheimer’s Association, 7.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with dementia by 2030, and Montana is a graying state with 42% of its population over 45 years of age. Resources are insufficient to keep up with the demand. For the past 10 years, the Western Montana Chapter for the Prevention of Elder Abuse in Missoula has been providing an array of valuable services. According to program director Kevin Brown, this organization known as the Chapter began in 2000 as a state initiative to provide payee services to people unable to manage their own finances. APS employees were receiving many referrals for individuals who needed payees for Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, and veterans benefits. First, the state provided an office, telephone, and supplies for a part-time bookkeeper who worked as an independent contractor and received payment directly from clients for payee services. Social Security allows payees to collect $37 a month for services per client, Brown said. Next the state recruited three AmeriCorps volunteers who helped expand the program by fundraising, public education, and program development, and the number of payeeships increased. Today Western Montana Chapter serves between 160-170 clients in the western half of the state, mostly in Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, and Sanders counties. In 2002, Cindy Shott, a Missoula attorney specializing in business and financial law, became the first program director of the Chapter and served in that capacity until 2007 when Brown assumed charge. After retiring from a 17-year-career with

Financial Assistance & Guardianship Programs in Western Montana

APS, Brown brought a wealth of expertise to the program. He said the 501(c)(3) nonprofit program’s principal focus is to provide a safe haven for the assets of the individuals they serve. It is probably the most comprehensive program in the state for doing conservatorships, guardianships, payeeships, and trusteeships. The agency is bonded, insured, and registered with the State and has a board of directors composed of a variety of community members. The program does not have any volunteers. “One of the biggest issues is to maintain the strictest confidentiality since we are dealing with people’s money,” Brown says. Currently, the agency has four bookkeepers, a part-time administrative assistant, one social worker, a parttime case manager in Kalispell, and the program manager. The agency also retains former director Cindy Shott as in-house counsel. Either the social worker or the case manager provides guardian services. Guardians set up medical appointments and take the clients to appointments as may be required. Each client has a support system and services that are personalized to meet their needs, Brown notes. “We act as payee for persons that either the Social Security Administration or Veterans Administration has determined are in need of that

STONE CHILD COLLEGE R.R. 1 Box 1082 • Box Elder, MT 59521 (406) 395-4875 • (406) 395-4836 FAX

Stone Child College is a tribally controlled college on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. Located in Rocky Boy, Montana; home of the Chippewa Cree Tribe. Stone Child College is an equal opportunity junior college offering both educational and technical programs. The college has been reaffirmed for Accreditation by the Commission of Colleges and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. Degrees Offered: Associate of Arts Degree General Studies Human Services

Associate of Science Degree Business Computer Science Applied Science

Certificate Programs 1 year - Construction Technology, Customer Relations, Accounting/Information Management, Business 2 year - Pre-Engineering Assistant For more information contact the college or visit us at www.stonechild.edu

“Making our Dreams Happen with Academic Excellence, Culture, and Commitment.”

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 39

support. We accept the role of court-appointed conservator where a district court has determined that an individual is unable to protect their own assets,” Brown adds. Sometimes the Chapter is a trustee when an attorney and their client have legally established a trust for another individual. Check registers are available to approved individuals within 48 hours for financial accounting. They don’t give cash to anyone. They may write a check for a receipt or they may accompany the person shopping to purchase something. Western Montana Chapter has established fees for services, some set by the funding source such as Social Security or the VA, others established annually by the Chapter’s board. “We have the privilege of a long relationship with the many vendors and professionals we network with to do this work. These relationships allow us to provide professional and timely services for our clients in banking, investment, real estate, tax preparation, Medicaid, and many other areas,” Brown explains. Few things are more personal than handling someone’s money, from which arise issues inherent in that responsibility. The Chapter has an established procedure for any unresolved issues. “Our goal is by providing a quality service we can avoid such issues,” Brown asserted. The operational budget for the program is small, and with the economy down, large grantors have cut back on donations. Funding for the agency comes from the clients and foundation grants such as the Washington Corporation, Gallagher, and Silver Foundations. These grants provide assistance for pro bono services, Brown says. Payeeships that allow only $37/month usually take a lot more time. For more information about the Western Chapter, call 406-327-7886 or visit www.westernmontanachapter.org. The office is open 8-5 weekdays. MSN


PAGE 40 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Poverello Center And Its Dedicated Volunteers - continued from page 31 way to give to the community. She felt drawn to the Poverello Center and after making an appointment to talk about volunteer opportunities, decided this was where she wanted to give of her heart and hands. “Homelessness is not a partisan issue. It has no boundaries. Volunteers ranging from evangelical Christians to social justice liberals come

here for their own reasons,” explains Ellie Hill, the Poverello Center’s dynamic director. “They want to work with families or vets to help break the cycle of homelessness.” Although Nancy could have assisted in the clothing room or with clerical tasks - among other jobs - the soup kitchen seemed the right place for her to play a part in breaking that cycle of homelessness. “Since I like to work with my hands and with food it was a logical thing for me to choose. I feel strongly that no one in America should go hungry. We have so much in our country, everyone, no matter what their life situation, should be able to have a meal. Missoula, especially, has so many resources to feed people,” says Nancy, who immediately felt at home when she first toured the Pov and its soup kitchen. “It’s turned out to be one of the most pleasant places I’ve worked. The kitchen is such a happy place with a positive atmosphere. I like being there and I like helping people who need it the most. A lot of people there, no matter how down they are, still have an optimistic outlook,” says Nancy, a woman so committed to her humble task that she brings her own knives from home to chop those carrots and peppers or whatever vegetables or fruit the chefs need prepped that morning. It’s obvious from the support the Pov receives from Missoula-area individuals, businesses, and churches that many others share Nancy’s passion for feeding those facing hard times. “Restaurants and caterers call us to pick up food they have left over or they bring it to us,” says Kevin. “As part of our Grocery Rescue Program, we have a refrigerated-box cargo truck that goes to various supermarkets. Many grocery stores in town support the Pov by leaving groceries daily for us to pick up. The food is still good but can

no longer be sold.” As Kevin explains, stores have to pull products from their shelves that are either past their freshness date or no longer look top-notch even though there’s nothing wrong with these items. In addition, several area churches have adopted the Pov as their special cause. Every weekend, church members show up at the kitchen laden with sacks of groceries they’ve purchased. These volunteers then prepare and serve the breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. Because of generosity like this, the Pov can maintain an annual food budget of just $5,000 and still offer three meals daily throughout the year at no cost to clients. Kevin estimates that some 300-350 meals are consumed there each day. Beyond that, between 40 and 80 sack lunches are given to those who can’t be there at mealtime. “Volunteers enjoy serving the food and like knowing what they are scooping onto a plate will help someone continue to live. People have an innate desire for fulfillment in their lives. They get a certain amount of joy from knowing they’ve helped someone,” says Kevin. “Our volunteers are so important to us, if we didn’t have them, we couldn’t serve any food tomorrow or provide clothing to anyone. It would be so chaotic. Volunteers really are valuable to our organization and to our community as a whole.” Besides the food served at the Pov’s soup kitchen, clients can also take free groceries from the center’s food pantry. Donated canned and packaged goods from area supermarkets are a boon to those with homes but without financial means for grocery shopping. Once again, volunteers make this possible by putting away these items and stocking the shelves of the food pantry. “In 2008, volunteers donated over 37,000

You CAN do something about Medicare fraud! YOU are the first line of defense! Protect. Detect. Report. Call today for the Montana SMP office near you, or to volunteer.

1-800-551-3191

It happens to you. It happens to your neighbors. It happens in Montana and it adds up to millions of wasted dollars. You can do something--start by carefully reading your billing statements and questioning anything that doesn’t look right. With the help of trained Montana SMP volunteers you can be empowered to stop Medicare waste, fraud and abuse!

This ad was supported, in part, by a grant from the AoA, DHHS. Points of view or opinions do not necessarily represent official AoA policy.


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

hours of time to us, which the IRS counted as an in-kind donation amounting to $298,000 of labor that we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to pay for,â&#x20AC;? notes Ellie. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Volunteers are important stakeholders with an opinion about what we do here. We couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t operate without them.â&#x20AC;?

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 41

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Poverello Center or its Grocery Rescue Program, contact Kevin Johnson at 406-728-1809 or knjohnson@montana.com, or visit www.thepoverellocenter.org. MSN

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Aging Workers Staying on the Job, Or Coming Back To It By Dick Seelmeyer, Senior Wire Aging workers are living longer and healthier lives today, a fact of life that often translates into longer time on the job because they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t eager to retire when they still enjoy the job, and employers are happy to retain skilled people who know their customers, as opposed to having to find and train new workers. With management and labor both satisfied with the arrangement, it would seem to be a win-win situation. With a poor economy across the nation for the past several years, many workers who had retired suddenly found themselves needing to get back into the workplace. And, having done so, many have decided to stay for a while. Everyone benefits, except, of course, for young people entering the workplace and looking for a job. The fewer openings available to them mean settling for a job that will not advance the skills they gained in college, and were hoping to make their life work. What has caused this first-of-its-kind upheaval in business is the cultural changes across the country caused by good medical insurance for workers, healthier lifestyles generally across the board within the nation over the last 50 years or so, and medical advances that keep people pretty much as alert and healthy as they were in earlier decades. Yes, Americans still age just like people everywhere do, but steady improvements in diet, healthcare, and medical advances have left older Americans feeling a lot younger and friskier than ever before. They feel good, involved, as sharp as ever, and they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want a rocking chair yet, thank you very much. They still enjoy challenge, and being part of the action. As a nation, we have pretty much known these things were happening. There is a lot more gray hair in executive circles these days, and that much more experience too. Good for the corporate bottom line, no question. But, it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t only happening here. It is happening across the globe. In industrialized nations where healthcare tends to be better than at any time in the history of the world, the trend has been visible for a while. In less industrialized nations where quality healthcare tends to remain an unfulfilled goal, no light at the end of the tunnel is yet discernable, but sooner or later, the up-and-coming wannabe nations emulate what their richer industrialized nation neighbors do. From a business point of view, it makes sense. The poor, as always, tend to get the short end of the stick. For all of us, dying is free of charge; for those who must live without medical insurance, staying alive often seems too expensive to be realistic. Diseases which killed huge numbers of people across the industrialized world in the 1950s, including stroke, cancer and diabetes, are very treatable today. The death rates from those diseases are far lower and dropping steadily. That is true for most other diseases too. The diseases are still kill-

ers, but todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doctors now have enough weapons to keep them in check, if caught early enough to treat. As reported by a research team in Duke University in North Carolina, there are discernable connections between adequate health protection funding and mortality rates from all diseases. That means that an American farmer who begins to feel bad while atop his tractor plowing a field in Iowa, will shut down the tractor, get in his car and go see a doctor. A Mongolian farmer, trying to grow grain 2,000 feet up on a steppe will pasture his ox and go lie down if he feels bad. Mongolians are a hardy people, but a heart attack kills there just as easily as it kills in Des Moines, Iowa. It also means that when the farmer near Des Moines gets treated, he can in all likelihood go back to farming as usual, and his farm production will stay pretty close to normal. For the Mongolian farmer who became disabled for lack of medical care when he had his heart attack, the results can be much more devastating to himself and to his family. The farming will have to be done by other family members if the family is to survive. That means that his wife, children, and/or aged grandparents must plow the fields, sow the grain, and tend the animals as best they can. The study focused on health issues of workers and how loss of time from the job because of disease affects the overall economy. Today, they found, one of the largest factors affecting the work force is that as America ages, people are not retiring as early as they used to. Healthy at 80 years-of-age and older, many workers stay on the job far longer than age 65 which used to represent a time when those with jobs that came with good pensions would retire. MSN

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Enjoy Your Easter Holiday April 4th


PAGE 42 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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Notes on Iran By Mary Mumby, Kalispell In 2007, I heard Pam Haglund of Kalispell talk and show pictures of her trip to Iran. I was intrigued and when I discovered a group called Neighbors East and West that promoted travel to Iran, I signed up. Twenty-four of us left for Iran near the end of April 2009, and came back in May - just before the Iranian elections. We landed in Tehran, and then traveled on to Isfahan, Shiraz, and Persepolis. My only previous trip in the Middle East had been to Egypt, and I found Iran very different. The first thing that struck me was how clean the cities were. I see more litter in my neighborhood than I saw in Tehran. And there were no garbage-filled bags like the ones I saw along the banks of the Nile! I also saw no beggars, which is not to say there are not any, but I did not encounter them. Nor did any of the shopkeepers follow us trying to sell their wares. Their shops were filled with what you can buy in most department stores – except Persian rugs and spices. I loved going to the spice shops in the bazaar where the spices were in high, colorful piles and oh, the wonderful smells. The bazaar is where the locals shop. I fell in love with Isfahan - what a beautiful city with tree-lined streets and according to the Iranians, the largest town square in the world. It is several football fields long and wide, surrounded by shops, restaurants, offices, mosques, and palaces. To get to the square we walked across the Khaju Bridge that was built in the 17th century. It is decorated with beautiful paintings and tile works especially in the alcove built for the royal family. There they could sit and look over the river from the middle of the bridge. The man who built the bridge figured that passengers could pass one another eight abreast. On the bridge walkway, there were lots of motorcycles as well as many people crossing on foot as we did. Down the river about 300 meters was another similar bridge. Between these two bridges were beautifully landscaped riverbank parks where people picnic, visit, and generally enjoy themselves. It attracts many people as a place to relax. I found it had a peaceful, calming effect on me. Seventy years ago,

I was studying Persepolis and its history. What I did not learn was that Persepolis was built to celebrate the spring equinox and that the Persians of that time really knew how to party! Darius (the ruler at the time) built an entire 36-acre compound for his nobles and their families in which to stay during the celebration, which lasted for more than a month. Darius had expanded Persia from India to the edge of present day Greece - 28 kingdoms – so that it took many structures to accommodate all the rulers and their staff. Although Alexander the Great destroyed much of the area, there is enough left that we can glean a great deal about what life was like then! The best part of the trip was getting to know the people. We met many school groups on field trips. The kindergarteners were learning English as were all the other groups of schoolchildren we meet. At the junior high and high school levels a great many of them had phones that took pictures. We were asked to have our pictures taken with their friends as though we were rock stars! I was particularly struck by the devotion of the Iranian people to their poets. In Shiraz, we visited the tombs of the poets Hafez and Sa’adi. Their tombs were beautiful monuments, set in the middle of large, carefully maintained gardens. I remember how Iranians would touch their lips and then touch the tombs, or they would stand by the sarcophagus and recite from memory poems and verses. It is said that there are more volumes of the poetry of Hafez in Iran than copies of the Koran. We chatted with some professional women in Persepolis who had many questions. They all asked if we liked their country and assured us that they liked Americans. So, I figure they have some nuts running their country now – just as we have had some marginal people running our country at times. This does not mean that the people of Iran and the United States dislike each other. I am glad I had the opportunity to find out for myself that what we often read and hear about other countries ‘ain’t necessarily so! More than twenty people made a similar trip to Iran in 2008. If you wish to learn more about these trips, and more about travel to Iran, visit http://neighborseastandwest.org or http://www. ricksteves.com/iran/. MSN

World Trivia

Submitted by Darlene Young It is a big world out there, and since it is so difficult to know the interesting details and curiosities, we have gathered a few of them below to expand your geographical knowledge. More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska. Spain literally means “the land of rabbits.” St. Paul, Minnesota was originally called “Pig’s Eye” after a man named Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant who set up the first business there. MSN


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 43

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By Don Chenhall For Details call: There are endless options to consider when choosing the snowbird lifestyle. The most Fall Foliage Tours! popular is hauling an RV to Arizona, Southern California, or Florida in the fall and then hauling it home in the spring. This can involve a lot of expense and stress, as well as proGroup Cruises! River Cruises! voke an annual disagreement as to what constitutes an acceptable place to settle in for New York Broadway Shows! the winter. Australia New Zealand Tours! Of course, after finally agreeing that you have found the perfect spot, you can park your Alaska! Discover Montana! RV there year-around and pay rent year-around. A third possibility is leaving your RV in storage all summer in the vicinity of your destination. This leads to the necessity of making Main Connection Travel of Helena friends with assorted snakes and insects (some poisonous) when you return. Rodents are 805 N. Last Chance Gulch Ste. #1 preferable, although theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re generally harder to get rid of. Helena, Montana We decided to build an Arizona replica of what we have in Alaska, a small house on 406-443-4199 or 1-800-429-2944 acreage out the road a ways. This solution is ideal in theory. In practice, it has problems, some of which relate to water. On the desert, the two absolute necessities are water and shade. My brother witched us an excellent well, so all that remained was to devise a system that automatically irrigates our shade trees for the six hot months weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re gone. Every October, when we come up the driveway for the first time, the anxiety is overwhelming. So far, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve killed three trees and burned up a pump. Walking into the Alaska house after a long absence can also get ugly, especially if the heat has been off for any period of time. This year there had been an extended power outage at some point. When I pressured up the system, water sprayed from four split pipes, each inside a wall in a hard-to-reach place. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a fair plumber, but it still took me sixteen hours to repair the damage and clean up the mess. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve come to the conclusion that the ideal snowbird situation is a condo with a Porsche in the garage at both ends. The only J]\KITT][NQZ[\  WZ    downside I can see is having all that extra time on my hands that I currently spend in frustrated agitation. I guess I could take up golf. MSN

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PAGE 44 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin B3. The artisan chips come in three gourmet varieties: sun dried tomato with basil, chipotle cheese, and natural salt. Lightly sweet, yet salty granola nut clusters by Nature Valley in four varieties: honey roasted peanut, nut lovers, roasted almond, and roasted cashew, make another handy snack. Nature’s Bounty offers affordable puffed fruit snacks, banana and pineapple with a crunch, and 100% organic artisan-panned chocolates like chocolate covered cashews, macadamias, and cocoa nibs, plus gluten free crackers. What wine to serve with such a broad range of flavors? Sacred Stone Masters Red Blend, from California’s Pietra Santa Winery, is specifically crafted to pair with a wide variety of casual cuisines. Rancho Zabaco’s Zinfandel also makes the perfect pairing for a wide range of cuisine. And for a quite different beverage option there is Knudsen’s Sparkling Essence, which combines the subtle flavor of organic lemons, cooling mint, whole blueberries, and fresh cucumbers with sparkling spring water. The result is a light and refreshing flavor without any calories, added sugar, or artificial ingredients. To add a personal touch, delight and nourish your guests with potato and tomato soup, or one of 100 others from Love Soup by Anna Thomas. And for a sweet grand finale consider bittersweet chocolate blackout cookies, one of the 745 scrumptious recipes in The Ultimate Shortcut Cookie Book where each recipe starts with a box of cake mix, brownie mix, refrigerated cookie dough, or ready-to-eat cereal. Potato and Tomato Soup with Sage (from Love Soup, W.W. Norton publisher) Serves 6 generously 2 red onions (about 1 pound) 2 Tablespoons olive oil, + garnish 1-½ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste 1-1/4 lbs yellow, Yukon Gold, or red potatoes 10 cloves garlic, peeled 2 lbs ripe tomatoes, mixed varieties ½ cup dry white wine 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves 1 scant teaspoon fresh thyme A small pinch of rosemary 2-3 cups basic vegetable broth Freshly ground pepper Peel and slice the

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 45

red onions thinly crosswise. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick pan and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt, stirring often on medium heat until they are soft and lightly browned in spots - and do not hurry this. Meanwhile scrub and trim the potatoes and cut them into ½-inch dice. In a large soup pot, combine the potatoes and whole garlic cloves with enough water to cover (about 2 cups) and a scant teaspoon of salt. Simmer the potatoes and garlic for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not falling apart. Peel the tomatoes, either by blanching them and slipping off the skins or by using a serrated peeler, and cut them in pieces, saving all the juice. Add the caramelized onions to the potatoes and garlic, along with the tomatoes and their juice, the wine, and all the herbs. Simmer the soup, covered, until all the vegetables are soft, about half an hour. Add the vegetable broth; the amount you need will vary with the juiciness of the tomatoes you are using. The soup should pour easily from the ladle, the broth slightly thickened by the potatoes and perfumed with the sage and garlic. Taste the soup and correct the seasoning with more salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Author Anna Thomas always drizzles a little fruity green olive oil on each serving of this soup, her favorite finishing touch. Bittersweet Chocolate Blackout Cookies (Recipe courtesy of Shortcut Cookie Book, Cumberland House publishing). Makes 48 cookies 2 tbsp instant espresso or coffee powder ½ cup water 1 package devil’s food cake mix 1/4 cup (½ stick) butter, melted 1 large egg 1 (8-ounce) package bittersweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped into chunks. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Position oven rack in middle of oven. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the espresso powder and water in a large mixing bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add half of the cake mix along with the melted butter and egg to the same bowl.

Two Great Shows Remain in Our 80th Season BUTCH THOMPSON TRIO Jazz trio from Garrison Keillors “Prairie Home Companion”

Sunday, Mar. 28, 2010 • 3:00 pm

BOSTON BRASS Encore brass quintet presentation

Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010 • 7:30 pm Tickets available at the Mansfield Box Office, Great Falls Civic Center, by calling 406-455-8514 or on-line at http://ticketing.greatfallsmt.net Additional concert information available at www.gfcca.org

Great Falls Community Concert Association • The Best Entertainment Deal in Town


PAGE 46 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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Blend with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Stir in the remaining cake mix and chopped chocolate with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are moistened. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until set at edges and just barely set at center when lightly touched. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets. Transfer to wire racks with metal spatula and cool completely. MSN

Where Are They Now – Leonard Nimoy?

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By Marshall J. Kaplan Trekkies will be happy to know the former Vulcan is alive and well, living on planet earth, and still acting. Leonard Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts to Jewish immigrant parents. As a child, Leonard began acting at the age of eight. By the age of seventeen, he began appearing on the local stage. He studied photography in college, but headed off to California upon graduation to find acting roles. Nimoy’s first on-screen appearance was in the 1951 film, Queen for a Day. For the next fifteen years, Nimoy appeared in dozens of television shows such as Dragnet, Bonanza, Perry Mason, and The Twilight Zone. He also appeared in quite a few B-movies with titles such as The Brain Eaters (1958). But all that was about to change. In 1966, Nimoy was cast as Spock, halfhuman, half-Vulcan with a green face and pointed ears, on the science fiction television show, Star Trek. Alongside his other co-stars on the Starship Enterprise, Spock became the most iconic television character from the show, by the time it went off the air in 1969. After Star Trek, Nimoy tried his best to leave Spock behind him, but his unique features and recognizable voice proved difficult for casting agents to see past. In 1979, Nimoy joined the original cast for the first Star Trek motion picture. The film proved to be a huge success; spawning five more features films and a Next Generation television show. With the success of the films, Nimoy was now embracing his Spock legacy, even directing two of these films. Most recently, the 78-yearold appeared as Spock in the 2009 Star Trek movie. Nimoy resides in Los Angeles where he has reconnected with photog-


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

raphy, his childhood hobby, and his Judaism. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am not Spock. I am a photographer,â&#x20AC;? he clarifies and adds, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am spiritual everyday, whether it is through photography or conversations with

MONTANA SENIOR NEWS PAGE 47

my Rabbi.â&#x20AC;? No matter how Nimoy wishes to be remembered, our only hope is that he continues to â&#x20AC;&#x153;live long and prosper!â&#x20AC;? MSN

The Wisdom Of Larry the Cable Guy... Submitted by Julie Hollar/Brantley 1. A day without sunshine is like night. 2. On the other hand, you have different fingers. 3. Forty-two percent of all statistics are made up on the spot. 4. Ninety-five percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name. 5. Remember, half the people you know are below average. 6. He who laughs last thinks slowest. 7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm. 8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. 9. Support bacteria. They are the only culture some people have. 10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines. 12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments. 13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand. 14. Okay, so what is the speed of dark? 15. When everything is coming your way, you are in the wrong lane. 16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now. 17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges? 18. Eagles may soar, but weasels arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sucked into jet engines. 19. What happens if you get scared half to deathâ&#x20AC;Ś twice? 20. Why do psychics have to ask you your name? 21. Inside every older person is a younger

person wondering, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What the heck happened?â&#x20AC;? 23. Light travels faster than sound. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 24. Life is not like a box of chocolates. It is more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your behind tomorrow. MSN

Bozeman Symphony Free Community Concerts Promise Great Music By Bridget Garnsey Fifteen years ago Bozeman Symphony Maestro Matthew Savery launched the first â&#x20AC;&#x153;Free Family Concertâ&#x20AC;? with the goal of creating a userfriendly opportunity for family members of all ages to experience and enjoy the power of live symphonic performance. Jam packed with attention grabbing costumes, narration and humor, all combined with the power of an 80-musician orchestra these concerts have been delighting families annually. This year Bozeman Symphony will be performing American classical favorites through contemporary movie themes in The Star Spangled Symphony with performances Saturday, February 13, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., at the Willson -ONTANASENIORNEWS&"&PDF0Auditorium. Free tickets must be reserved online (www. bozemansymphony.org), call 406-585-9774, or stop by the Symphony office at 1822 W. Lincoln Suite 3 (open 9-5 M-F). These FREE community concerts are generously sponsored by Tim and Mary Barnard, the Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts, the Montana Cultural Trust, the Target Corporation, and Northwestern Energy. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Bozeman Symphony relies on the generosity of patrons to support this free educational programming. Bozeman Symphony Society is celebrating forty-two years of performing live 0LEASE#ALL/UR-ONTANA#LINICsOR symphonic music in the greater Gallatin Valley. For additional information call 406-585-0285 or visit us online at www.bozemansymphony.org. MSN

Happy Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day


PAGE 48 MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Senior Living at it’s Finest!

One thing that just doesn’t seem to change no matter what the year, is the fact that sometimes your name just isn’t good enough. Our winning contest is from Sylva Mularchyk of Santa Maria, California whose Can You Match These Names? quiz makes us wonder why in the movie business, your given name does not define the person you are trying to be. Thank you, Sylva. Congratulations to Sara Radabah of Libby who submitted the winning answers to the How Well Do You Know Your Cakes? quiz that appeared in our December 2009/January 2010 issue. Thank you, Sylva. Two $25 cash prizes are awarded from the “Contest Corner” in each issue of the Montana Senior News. One prize goes to the person who submits the entry that our staff selects as the featured quiz or puzzle in the “Contest Corner” for that issue. Be creative and send us some good, fun, and interesting puzzles! The second $25 prize goes to the person who submits the most 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 Montana Senior News, P.O. Box 3363, Great Falls, MT 59403, or email to montsrnews@bresnan.net by March 10, 2010 for our April/May 2010 edition. Be sure to work the crossword puzzle in this issue and on our website www.montanaseniornews.com.

Can You Match These Names?

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Submitted by Sylva Mularchyk Santa Maria, California Below is a list of numbered stage names and also a list of lettered given names. See if you can match the two – which lettered given name matches which numbered stage name? Let’s have fun with a little trip through film history, and who knows, you might just win the $25 prize. Just jot your answers on a piece of paper and mail or email them to us. J. Jay Silverheels 19. Ginger Rogers Stage Name K. Nathan Bierbaum 20. Gene Wilder 1. Harry Houdini L. Vito Farinola 21. Vivien Leigh 2. Mamie Van Doren M. East St John 22. Frankie Laine 3. Tony Randall N. Joan Molinsky 23. Hedda Hopper 4. Martha Raye O. Henry Brataburg Given Name 5. Nicolas Cage P. Edda von Heemstra A. Francesca 6. Mitzi Gaynor Hepburn-Ruston von Gerber 7. George Q. Catherine Conn B. Erich Weiss Montgomery R. Jerry Silverman C. Margaret O’Reed 8. Ray Milland S. Edda Fury D. Joan Olander 9. Tonto E. Leonard Rosenberg T. Frank Lo Vecchio 10. Vic Damone U. Israel Baline F. George Letz 11. Tony Bennett V. Vivien Mary Hartley G. Reginald 12. George Burns W. Virginia Katherine Truscott-Jones 13. Joan Rivers McMath MSN H. Nicolas Coppola 14. Harry Morgan 15. Audrey Hepburn 16. Walter Pidgeon 17. Kitty Carlisle 18. Irving Berlin

I. Anthony Benedetto

Answers to “How Well Do You Know Your Cakes?” Submitted by June Zody, Glendive 1. F 2. M 3. O 4. G 5. I

6. N 7. D 8. K 9. A 10. L

11. E 12. B 13. J 14. C 15. H


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Across 1. The ___ Rights Act, prohibited discrimination against women in the workplace 4. Jeanette ___, the first woman member of the United States House of Representatives 8. Name of a southern California show, for short 9. The largest American feminist organization, for short 11. Little bit 13. ___ Caraway, the first woman elected to the United States Senate 16. Emotional Intelligence, for short 17. Constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights, abbr. 19. Second First Lady of the United States and education pioneer, Abigail 21. Pencil lead letters 23. Trademark abbr. 24. Carry Nation target 25. Skywards 26. Silver and gold 28. Class, for short 29. Ain’t I a Woman? speech giver, Sojouner 33. Fannie ___ Hamer, in 1963 she became a leader in the voting rights campaign 34. Romance 35. Glossy cotton fabric 37. Women’s history month 39. Providing that 41. August baby 43. Three-player card game 45. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s work, Woman’s ___ 47. The Second Sex writer, de Beauvoir 49. Civil Rights activist, Parks 50. Deep sleep cycle 51. Pacino and Gore 52. Change of political and driving direction (2 words) 53. German for yes 54. Sarah Lawrence College state 55. Honorable, for short 56. Second in the family 57. American civil rights

leader and well-known suffragette, first name 59. You, in Paris 60. Noted educator and kindergarten advocate, Catharine ___ 62. Nickel symbol 63. Founder of The Red Flag journal, initials 65. French law 66. Girl ___, U.S. youth organization and cookie providers 68. Biblical second son 69. Start! 70. Distinguishing feature Down 1. Shirley ___, the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives 2. This right was secured for women in 1920 3. American abolitionist and the first American “feminist,” initials 4. Barricade (2 words) 5. The Equal Pay ___, required equal wages for men and women 6. It precedes a work of art 7. Wade’s court opponent 10. Women’s peace movement created in 1915, abbr. 12. Goes with crafts? 14. Pastry types 15. Social Security card, for one 18. Dawn time

Answers to “Tis the Season” December 2009/ January 2010 Issue Page 15

20. Life partner 22. Sis’ side 27. Mary Wollstonecraft’s continent, abbr. 28. Constricting garment worn by women in the Victorian era 30. Sun beam 31. Emmeline B. Wells’ state 32. Mister 34. Seattle state 36. Cleopatra river 37. Farm noise 38. 60 across’s sister 40. First, second or thirdwave person? 41. Amelia Bloomer newspaper title, The ___ 42. After jays, kays, and els 44. Gin mixer 45. Arts degree 46. 1960’s garments to be burned? 47. ___ Day O’Connor, first woman on the United States Supreme Court 48. Religious lady 53. Oath taker 55. Jane Addams’ House? 57. Religious group 58. Against 60. ___ Sisters, youth mentor program 61. High school, for short 64. Gym loss, perhaps 67. United Airlines, abbr. MSN

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Assisted Living Options: Research Early, Don’t Wait for Crisis Call By Jacqueline Marcell, Senior Wire At one of my recent seminars, an “at-her-wit’send” adult daughter, Sally, rushed up afterward pleading for my advice on how to get her elderly parents to move to assisted living before their health deteriorated any further. She lived across the country and was terrified about their being alone as there had already been a few close calls - like the time her father left the gas stove on without it lighting, filling the house with fumes and nearly asphyxiating himself and his wife. Sally had already tried to hire caregivers to come into her parents’ home, but her father would not allow it. She was desperate to get them to move before the next crisis call - hoping to preserve their safety! It reminded me of the time I received a late night call from another adult child, Paul, begging for my advice on this same exasperating situation. He had just flown in after receiving his crisis call and was at the hospital with his folks. His father had accidentally burned their house down! He said he had begged his parents for years to move into assisted living and a couple times even had everything signed and ready to go, but they canceled at the last minute. I felt so bad for him and suggested maybe it would be better to wait a bit until his parents recovered from the smoke inhalation before he brought up the move to assisted living again; but Paul (a 60-year-old man), burst into tears with, “Jacqueline, I can’t wait - I just found out my father already hired the contractor to rebuild the house. My parents are 90 and 92 years old!” So how do you convince a loved one to move to assisted living when they flatly refuse? Oh, I wish I had the magic bullet! Of course, the key would have

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been by having “the conversation” years earlier and being prepared to handle these difficult situations. By documenting a person’s wishes for their later years and having living wills, trusts, and durable powers of attorney in place (for health and financial decisions should they become incapacitated), much of this stress can be reduced. But unfortunately, most people go into denial and procrastinate dealing with end-of-life issues until they absolutely have to. And since our civil rights laws are properly very strong and you cannot just move someone out of their home against their will. It boils down to: 1. Begging, pleading, and a test of wills and perseverance. 2. Repetitive family interventions. 3. Soliciting healthcare professionals to help with the convincing. 4. Contacting Adult Protective Services (APS) and an elder law attorney, and going through the nightmare of trying to get a legal conservatorship/guardianship over your elder. This requires substantial proof that the person is a danger to himself or herself or someone else. But, if the day they go before the judge they are sharp as a tack (which happened to me with my father), you cannot get it! So, it behooves everyone to talk to his or her parents early on, while everyone is still healthy and thinking clearly. By having rational solutions for their later years documented, and discussing assisted living options, when the time comes it will be much easier to accomplish. Jacqueline Marcell is a former television executive whose caregiving experience resulted in her bestselling book “Elder Rage,” a Book-of-theMonth Club selection. She is also a breast cancer survivor who advocates that everyone (especially caregivers) closely monitor his or her own health. www.ElderRage.com. MSN


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Survey Reveals Financial, Emotional, and Other Stressful Components Of Caregiving By Tait Trussell, Senior Wire It is women’s fate, largely. And the recession has not helped. I am talking about caregiving - for family, friends, or loved ones. American caregivers are predominantly female (66 percent), according to the study Caregiving in the U.S. in 2009 conducted for the National Alliance for Caregiving from interviews with 1,480 caregivers chosen at random. It is said to be the most comprehensive examination to date of caregiving in America. Seven out of ten of these kindly souls care for someone over age 50. Caregiving lasts an average of 4.6 years, and almost one-third of the nation’s population plays a role in caregiving, the study discovered. “More and more people who are 65-plus are providing care to both children and adults,” said Gail Hunt, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving. “The shift to an older population of caregivers points to a real need for assistance for these individuals from family, friends, employers, and social service programs. With more support for caregiving, older and disabled people would be able to do what is so important to them, to remain in their own homes and with those they love,” The survey also found that the economic downturn has affected family caregivers in significant ways, including their current work situation, their use of savings or added debt to cover caregiving expenses, and the impact on the caregiver’s health in terms of stress. Over 60 percent of the respondents were providing personal care or ADLs - activities of daily living - such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and toileting. Fifty percent of working caregivers said they were less comfortable taking time off from work to provide care. Thirty percent of working caregivers reported they were having to work more hours or get an extra job. Forty-three percent had had their work hours or their pay cut. One in six caregivers said the downturn had caused them to lose their job. In terms of cost, 13 percent said they had to spend more on caregiving expenses. Of these, half are struggling just with basic needs and are putting their own financial futures at risk. Sixtythree percent reported they are saving less for retirement. Forty-three

percent are borrowing money or increasing their credit card debt because of the recession. One in four has cut back on spending. The likelihood of reducing caregiving expenses is higher among younger folks. The proportion falls steadily as age rises until it reaches age 65, when 11 percent of caregivers are 65 or older. The average caregiver is a 48-year-old woman. Most of them care for a relative (86 percent) and most often a parent (36 percent). Seven in ten caregivers take care of someone who is over age 50. One in seven caregivers provides care for a child with special needs - over and above regular parenting. In a profile of caregivers, the study showed that 32 percent live in households with incomes of $50,000 to $100,000. Twenty-two percent live in households with incomes of less than $30,000. Fifteen percent of caretakers were retired, while 57 percent said they were still working. Ten percent were listed as homemakers. Seven percent were unemployed and seeking work. The study also revealed that both caregivers of adults and their families are older now than their counterparts were five years ago. There is a shift upwards among caregivers 50 to 64, while younger caregivers declined. The average care recipient’s age increased from 67 to 69 over the five-year period as the proportion of elderly

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increased. The main reasons people need care is old age (12%), Alzheimer’s disease (10%), mental/emotional illness (7%), cancer (7%), heart disease (5%), and stroke (5%). “Caregivers report they need help looking after their loved ones, but they also need help managing their own stress,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. The National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-

profit coalition of more than 40 national organizations that focuses on issues of family caregiving across the whole span of life. The Alliance was formed to conduct research, do policy analysis, develop national programs, increase public awareness of caregiving issues, and work with state and local caregiving coalitions. Caregiving is defined as providing unpaid care to an adult or child. MSN

When Stroke Hits A Family Tips For Managing The Stress By Lisa M. Petsche Strokes are the leading cause of long-term adult disability in this country. Approximately 600,000 Americans experience one each year. Only ten percent recover completely. Stroke can result in physical disability and mental impairment as well. Paralysis or weakness on one side of the body is the most obvious sign of damage, but mobility, personal care, communication, mood, memory, and problem-solving ability can also be affected. Without a doubt, stroke is a life-altering experience, not only for survivors but also for their loved ones. It can be a time of grieving losses. Life may never return to the way it used to be, and plans for the future may have to be revised. Like survivors, family members initially can experience a wide range of conflicting feelings, including shock, relief, denial, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, and frustration. In the midst of such upheaval, relationships within a family often become strained. Impaired speech or language comprehension can make it difficult for the survivor to communicate with loved ones. Chemical changes in the brain can cause what is known as emotional liability - sudden, uncontrollable laughing or crying, often at inappropriate times. This can make for some awkward moments in social situations. In addition, some people undergo personality changes following a stroke. A confident person may become slow and cautious; conversely, a cautious person may become impatient and impulsive. Depression, a common consequence of stroke, may affect the survivor’s motivation for rehabilitation. Sometimes it manifests itself as irritability, other times as indifference and withdrawal. Stress Points Such changes can lead family members to feel

that they no longer know the survivor very well. Furthermore, they often feel as if no one outside the family understands what they are going through. It can make for lonely times. Uncertainty about the future - for example, how much function their loved one will recover after the stroke and whether he or she will be able to return home - also contributes to stress among close relatives. One result can be depression. Spouses or adult children may be overwhelmed by the number and types of decisions that they need to make regarding rehabilitation options, medical equipment purchase, home modifications, and other considerations following discharge from the hospital. They often have to take over practical tasks such as managing finances, preparing meals, and housekeeping. In addition, they may be expected to assume the role of hands-on caregiver, assisting with dressing, grooming, bathing, and even using the toilet. Feelings of doubt and resentment may surface, closely followed by guilt. Keeping Control - So how can relatives of stroke survivors keep stress manageable during such a challenging time? The best place to start is with some education. Learn as much as possible about stroke and then teach family and friends to help them understand. Attend some therapy sessions with the stroke survivor. Find out what he or she is and is not able to do. Include your loved one in conversations, even if his or her ability to participate is limited. Continue to involve your loved one in family activities and community events as well. If he or she must rely on a wheelchair to get around, register for accessible transportation service in your area. A physical therapist or social worker can facilitate this. Helping Hands - Focus on progress made, however small the steps, and encourage your loved one to do the same. Take things one day at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Encourage your loved one, and perhaps other close relatives, to participate in decision-making, so you don’t have to take on sole responsibility for important choices. Find at least one person you can talk to openly, someone who will listen and empathize.


FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010

Consider joining a support group for families of stroke survivors. Make a concerted effort to look after your own health. Schedule regular breaks from visiting at the hospital or caregiving at home in order to stay connected to friends and outside activities. Ask other family members to help out as needed. If your loved one will be returning home or already is home with you, find out about relevant community support services and make use of them. Don’t take on every responsibility single-handedly or you will burn yourself out.

There’s Lot To Be Said For An Old Farmer’s Advice Submitted by Julie Hollar/Brantley Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight, and bull-strong. Keep skunks and bankers at a distance. Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. Words that soak into your ears are whispered... not yelled. Meanness doesn’t just happen overnight. Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads. Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you. It doesn’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. You cannot unsay a cruel word. Every path has a few puddles. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty. The best sermons are lived, not preached. Most of the stuff people worry about is not going to happen anyway. Don’t judge folks by their relatives. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time. Don’t interfere with something that isn’t bothering you. Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got. The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you from the mirror every morning. Always drink upstream from the herd. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in. If you get to thinking you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God. Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you. MSN

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Be patient. Allow plenty of time to adjust to the changes in your relationship and lifestyle. Look for ways to include laughter and joy in each day - this will enhance your relationship with your loved one and help foster a positive outlook. Lisa M. Petsche is a medical social worker and a freelance writer specializing in boomer and senior issues. MSN


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Cremation: A Popular End-of-Life Option By Jim Miller Question: I am interested in learning more about cremation and would like to know what religions allow it. I understand cremation is a lot cheaper than a standard burial, but born and raised Catholic, I’m not sure the church allows it. What can you tell me? Curious Catholic Answer: Almost all religions accept the practice of cremation including Roman Catholics. In fact, statistics show that about one-third of all Catholics today are opting for cremation versus the traditional casket burial. Here is what you should know. Growing Acceptance - Over the past 30 years, the cremation rate in the United States has grown rapidly, jumping from only 6 percent in 1975, to 19 percent in 1995, to nearly 40 percent today. And by 2025, that number is expected to reach over 55 percent. After forbidding cremation for centuries, the Catholic Church began allowing it back in 1963. However, it still prefers the traditional burial. Other

religions that allow but discourage cremation include the Mormon Church, Reform and Conservative Judaism, and Southern Baptist Convention, while Protestant Churches are much more accepting of the practice. Religions that forbid cremation are Islam, Jewish Orthodox, and Eastern Orthodox churches. Cheaper Option - There are various reasons for the increased rate in cremation – personal preference, it is environmentally friendly, uses less land, it is easier to arrange – but the biggest reason is money. Cremation can cost one-tenth (depending on the services you choose) of what a funeral and cemetery burial brings, which averages around $10,000 today. More Choices - Many people think that cremation limits your funeral options but it actually gives you more choices. With cremation, you can still have a funeral or memorial service of your choice, either with the body before cremation or without the body after cremation. And after the cremation process, there are options on what to do with the remains that include scattering, being kept by the family, placed in a mausoleum or columbarium niche, or buried in a cemetery plot or on your own property depending on local ordinances. Personal memorials can also vary, but could include an urn, plaque, headstone, a simple marker, or nothing at all. (Note: The

Catholic Church prohibits scattering of ashes or keeping them at home. They believe the cremated remains should be buried or entombed.) Preplanning - To assure your final wishes are honored and to prevent your loved ones from having to make decisions and arrangements at the time of your death, you should choose a cremation provider (most funeral homes provide cremation services) and prearrange your cremation and funeral or memorial service. The prearrangements should also be noted in your will and advance directive (if you have one), and be sure to tell your family and clergy. Also note that preplanning does not have to include prepaying, so be very careful before you put any money down. To help you locate a cremation provider in your area, look in your local yellow pages under “cremation” or “funeral” or visit www.cremation.com. Savvy Tip: For more information on cremation and funeral planning contact the Funeral Consumers Alliance, a nonprofit consumer protection organization that provides free publications and can answer all your cremation questions. They can also put you in touch with your area memorial society that offers consumer information and referrals to local cremation providers. You can find them at www.funerals.org or call 800-765-0107. 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. MSN

Golden, British Columbia - Plan to stay longer Article & Photo by Jack McNeel Like many travelers, I have a list of favorite places, and I’ve recently added a new one - Golden, British Columbia. Although I’ve been within an hour or two of Golden before, I only recently visited. It’s a town I hope to visit again but for a longer time. Two days was not enough! It’s an outdoor town but you certainly don’t have to be a rugged nature lover to enjoy it. If you just want to enjoy a beautiful cabin, eat outstanding food, and view incredible scenery – this is your town. Or, if you want to float whitewater rivers, ride cross-country or downhill bicycle trails, climb mountains, ski in the winter, or golf in the summer, this is also your town. Golden is in the center of the largest concentration of national parks in North America, and possibly in the world. Six Canadian national parks are within two hours, which makes it an ideal base for exploration. Because Golden is lower in elevation than the parks, it has a little longer warm season, and you can find lower-priced lodging here than in the parks. Those facts alone are appealing, plus the scenery here is a match for much of what you will see in the national parks. There are numerous inns, chalets, cabins, lodges, B&Bs, and motels to suit any request, and in the area, you will find the largest concentration of backcountry cabins in North America - places you can fly to during the winter if you want a remote cross-country skiing vacation or just a place to get away from it all. We stayed at Kicking Horse Kabins, about 15 minutes from town in the Blaeberry River Valley. Two-hundred years ago, explorer David Thompson followed this valley to where Golden now rests at the junction of the Kicking Horse and Columbia Rivers. Kicking Horse Kabins, one cabin at this point, is a new, modern, and delightful log cabin typical of the accommodations in the area. It allows you to be alone in a quiet setting with nightly deer visitors and all the conveniences. It was recently named the Best New Business of the Year by the Golden


Chamber of Commerce. Kicking Horse is the name of a nearby river where an early explorer, James Hector, was severely kicked by his horse and thought to be dead. Hector recovered and that incident is the source of the name now applied to several local attractions. One of the highpoints of the trip was our visit to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and a visit with Jubilee Cazaci and Boo. Jubilee is a young woman finishing her masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thesis on whether grizzly bear cubs have inherent survival skills, and Boo is the grizzly she has studied for several years. Boo was orphaned after his mother was shot in 2002. After a year at a small enclosure in western British Columbia, he was sent to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort to a 20-acre natural refuge secured with electric fence. Jubilee explained that about 15 kinds of berries grow within this habitat, plus other natural grasses and clover. She estimated that Boo weighed 650 lbs. when we saw him and would likely get close to 750 lbs. when he entered hibernation in November. Some supplemental food is provided when needed but is intended to mimic the starches, fats, and protein a bear would normally eat. Be sure to take the gondola to the bear refuge where an interpreter will discuss the bear, his history, and bear biology. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also an excellent chance to get a good view of Boo. This is not a zootype situation but essentially a wild grizzly living a somewhat normal bear life within a secure natural area. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best to arrive early while itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still cool and crowds are smaller. Normal years find as many as 14,000 visitors to the bear enclosure. You can also

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ride the gondola to the Eagleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eye Restaurant, Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highest elevation restaurant (7,905 feet) and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;crown jewel of resort dining.â&#x20AC;? Eating out is fun in Golden. We had a great luncheon in the little upstairs cafĂŠ in Bacchus Books where they

1910-1912 to house Swiss guides who spent the summers here guiding visitors into the high peaks. The Vaughn family patriarch started guiding in the area in 1898, and this family guided its last guest in 1982. Jean Vaughn, his daughter, is a lovely lady who will show visitors her old family home and tell of its history. The home is no longer occupied but retains its original furnishings and wonderful family photos. Contact Jean at 250-344-2307 in advance for a private showing. Rafting is extremely popular on the three rivers that provide a variety of options from very gentle, on the Columbia, to some Class 4 whitewater on the Kicking Horse River. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is pretty much the highest youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get anywhere,â&#x20AC;? Steve Crow, the media coordinator for Tourism Golden, explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Kicking Horse is probably one of the top three rafting rivers in Canada in terms of popularity. At last count there were seven rafting companies operating on the Kicking Horse. Alpine Rafting in Golden is the largest. They run upwards of 20,000 people a season.â&#x20AC;? Also in the area is a variety of hiking and biking trails, a wolf exhibit where you can â&#x20AC;&#x153;walk with the wolvesâ&#x20AC;? and take photos, a world-class golf course where only wildlife intrudes, and numerous camping opportunities. With everything that Golden has to offer, when the day is done or the vacation is finished youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll probably wish you had stayed another day. MSN

advertise, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are creaky and quirky and oh so homemade.â&#x20AC;? T h e Whitetooth Mountain Bistro was another excellent choice among many fine restaurants in this small town. The historically minded will enjoy the old Swiss Village where six small homes were built from

The NEW Corvette Submitted by Eagle Cove Retirement Center He got his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he floored it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Amazing,â&#x20AC;? he thought as he flew down I-15, pushing the pedal even more. Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw the highway patrol behind him, blue lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What am I doing? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m too old for this,â&#x20AC;? and pulled over to await the Trooperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arrival. Pulling in behind him, the Trooper walked up to the Corvette, looked at his watch, and said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a reason for speeding that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never heard before, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll let you go.â&#x20AC;? The old gentleman paused. Then said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Years ago, my wife ran off with a State Trooper. I thought you were bringing her back.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Have a good day, Sir,â&#x20AC;? relied the Trooper. MSN

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Monster Energy Supercross Motorcycle Competition Growing In Popularity As A Family-Friendly Event (NAPSI) - It’s been billed as the world’s toughest sport, and nearly 1 million Americans packed stadiums to watch its athletes compete during the 2009 season. Competitors race on a man-made course using 1.5 million pounds of dirt at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. They soar up to three stories high for distances as far as 70 feet as they careen the hairpin turns and jockey for position. And with its fast-growing fan base, a chance to see the Monster Energy Supercross - a stadium version of motocross - has become one of the hottest tickets in town. If you’re not yet familiar with Monster Energy Supercross, the following primer can help bring you up to speed. It looks at the ins and outs of the sport, its stars, its season and how you can see a race. What Is Supercross? The sport is a 17-race FIM World Championship indoor, off-road motorcycle racing tour produced inside the world’s premier stadiums. Riders speed across manmade tracks and hit multiple jumps known as “triples.” The speed and challenging nature of the competitions

attract the world’s top riders, and the intensity of the races has earned Monster Energy Supercross the moniker “the NASCAR of motocross.” Star Power - Reigning AMA Supercross class champion James Stewart, former AMA Supercross class champion Chad Reed, Ryan Villopoto, and Ryan Dungey are among the most recognizable names in the sport. Stewart became the first African-American to win a major motorsports championship. Most of the riders are between the ages of 18 and 28, but professional eligibility starts at 17. Scheduling Excitement - The sport’s 17-race 2010 competition runs through May 8 at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium, when the champion will be decided. Monster Energy Supercross visits the top stadiums across America. The events, which sometimes have more than 150 riders competing for a spot in the finals, are family friendly with tickets available for as low as $10. You can learn more about the sport at www.supercrossonline. com, and events can be viewed on CBS Sports television. MSN

Ask Mr. Modem - Windows 7 Tips By Richard Sherman, Senior Wire Q. Now that Windows 7 has been released, what is your impression of it and do you have any new-user tips? A. I have been using Windows 7 since its initial beta version and I remain impressed. I would characterize it as Vista, but without the quirks. I am being diplomatic. Bottom line, Windows 7 is a good, solid operating system and at least at this stage, Microsoft appears to have redeemed itself from its V-word debacle. If you are using Windows 7, or if it is in your future, I added a new Windows 7 section to my weekly Ask Mr. Modem! newsletter at www.MrModem.com. Heading into its tenth year of publication, each week I deliver helpful, easy-to-understand tips for all versions of Windows, as well as prompt, personal responses to subscribers’ questions by email. As far as Windows 7 tips, here are four little teaser tips from my newsletter: 1. The Show Desktop feature that was used to minimize all open windows in XP and Vista has been replaced by Aero Peek. Peek is enabled by mousing over a “glass” rectangular area in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, to the right of the time display. When you mouse over this little panel, all open windows are hidden and replaced by window outlines. If you prefer the older style Show Desktop effect, click the little panel

instead of mousing over it and all open windows will minimize. 2. Gone, too, is the Quick Launch bar in Windows 7, but the new Taskbar effectively serves the same function. If your Windows 7 Taskbar is taking up too much room because of its large icons, right-click on Start, click Properties > Taskbar > Use small icons > OK. 3. If you drag one window to the left side of the screen and another to the right, the windows will instantly resize, each filling half the screen, so you can easily use them side by side. Love it! 4. Windows 7 includes a number of new keyboard shortcuts. A few of my favorites include The Windows (Logo) Key + G displays gadgets in front of other windows. The Windows Key + Up maximizes the current window, while the WinKey + Down minimizes the current window. The WinKey + Spacebar causes all windows to become transparent so you can see through to the Desktop, and the WinKey + (+ or -) will zoom in or out. Q. I downloaded a font that I like, but I cannot figure out how to install it in my word processor. I followed instructions, but the font does not appear in the list of available fonts. Can you help, Mr. M? A. In this instance, do not install your new font into the word processor itself; install it in Windows where other programs can then access it. To do this, using Windows Explorer, for example, copy the font file into your C:\Windows\Fonts folder, or whatever folder is appropriate for your system if it’s configured other than in this manner, which is typical. Then go to Control Panel > Fonts > File > Install New Fonts. In the Add Fonts dialog box, navigate to the C:\Windows\Fonts folder, or whatever folder is appropriate on your system. Double-click to open the folder. Under “List of Fonts,” click to select your new font, then click OK. Restart your computer and the


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font will then be available for use in all Windows programs, including your word processor. Q. I understand there are methods and devices that can transfer 35mm slides to a hard drive or CD. What can you tell me about them and where can they be purchased? A. There are a number of methods for converting slides to digital images that are described in detail in the following articles: Converting Your 35mm Slides to Digital Format at http://tinyurl. com/tze8j, and How to Convert 35mm Slides to Digital at http://tinyurl.com/yjofg6j. There are also devices that can perform the conversion (http://tinyurl.com/yl6oedl), or you can use any number of professional services, such as Larsen Digital Slide Scanning at www.slidescanning.com/slides.htm. Mr. Modem’s DME (Don’t Miss ‘Em) Sites of the Month Roadside Peek - Get comfy and enjoy an open-road journey back through time. Travel old routes (including the legendary Route 66) across America. See the old motels, bowling alleys, drivein theaters (remember drive-ins?), neon signs,

petrol pumps, tacky tiki villages, and other roadside treasures. The site’s default font is a bit small for my trifocals, so if you want to enlarge the font, click View > Text or Zoom in your browser or press CTRL and the + sign. www.roadsidepeek.com Shakespeare Insult Kit - Shakespeare was, of course, a brilliant writer, but he also had a cutting wit that could skewer an adversary faster than you can retort, “Says who, thou fobbing, earth-vexing dewberry?” Use this site to create your own Shakespearean insults. Choose an entry from each of three columns, string them together, precede the phrase with “thou,” and you have an insult worthy of a 17th century poet, thou calumnious, muddy-mettled mumblemews. http://tinyurl. com/yez5m9v. For plain-English answers to your questions by email, plus great computing tips, subscribe to Mr. Modem’s award-winning weekly newsletter. Subscribe using Promo Code 1640 and receive two-free months with your 12-month subscription! To view a sample issue or subscribe, visit www. MrModem.com. MSN

For Safer Winter Sports, Watch Your Feet (NAPSI) - From the downhill rush of snow skiing to placid casual skating, cold-weather sports provide a fast track for fun and cardiovascular health. But colder temperatures and the exhilarating speeds attained during such sports can also expose your feet and ankles to injuries. “Healthy feet and ankles, which act together as accelerators, steering, brakes, and shock absorbers in winter sports, are not only crucial to success in competition, but also help keep the body upright and out of the emergency room. Any problems with the foot or ankle could have serious repercussions for winter sports participants,” said Dr. Ronald D. Jensen, president of the American Podiatric Medical Association. Here are a few tips to help avoid foot problems: • Keep feet warm and dry. Proper footwear - insulated, waterproof boots or shoes - are as important as coats, hats, or gloves during cold weather. Podiatric physicians recommend a single pair of thick socks made of a poly-cotton blend that wicks away moisture. In subfreezing temperatures, feet are in immediate danger of frostbite, a serious, painful condition that can result in loss of toes. • Make sure footwear fits properly. Podiatric physicians specializing in sports medicine say

properly fitted ski boots and skates are the single most important factor in safe and successful skiing and skating. Without a snug and accurate fit, the pressure exerted by the constant forward motion and lateral movement of skiing and quick turns of skating can result in discomfort or injury. If boots and skates are too loose, toes quickly get irritated in the toe box, and tight footwear may inhibit circulation of the blood vessels of the lower extremity and cause cold feet. If you are not sure if your ski boots or skates fit properly, or if your current pair hurts your feet, take them to a podiatrist, who can evaluate the fit and make recommendations to improve both comfort and performance. • Stretch before and after participating in any winter sport. Stretching lower limbs adequately helps to prevent muscle pulls and tears and prepares the muscles for the flexing required. Without proper stretching first, the motion can result in painful Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, among other problems. For more information, visit www.apma. org. MSN

Kids are very quick… Submitted by Julie Hollar/Brantley Teacher: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t have ten years ago. Winnie: Me! Teacher: Glen, why do you always get so dirty? Glen: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are. Teacher: Millie, give me a sentence starting with “I.” Millie: I is… Teacher: No, Millie. Always say, “I am.” Millie: All right. I am the ninth letter of the alphabet. MSN

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The perfect place to become a kid again. Beartooth Nature Center Red Lodge, MT 446-1133 beartoothnaturecenter.org Open Everyday


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More Comfort for RVers By Bernice Beard, Senior Wire Usually RVers don’t think consciously about comfort; they just know when they’re uncomfortable – too warm, bored, or distressed. RV manufacturers innovate and build vehicles for RVers’ comfort. Yet comfort comes in other ways, too – finding a rest stop, overcoming an anxiety, solving a problem, dressing appropriately, and sleeping well. One RVer said he wants his body to be physically comfortable and his mind to know that everything necessary to travel is taken care of, both before starting out and on the road. Here are some tips to add more comfort to your next trip. • Keep your RV well maintained. Use a notebook to record coach maintenance, listing the date and odometer reading along with other details. Set up a separate page for oil changes, oil filter changes, and other maintenance tasks. • Your daily maintenance routine on the road should include cleaning the windshield and checking the oil levels in the engine and the auxiliary generator. Walk around the coach to check the tires and look for signs of fluid leaks. Dust off the headlights and taillights. Check all the lights and turn signals to be sure they light properly. • Sometimes making a small adjustment inside the RV makes a big difference in comfort. One of these adjustments may be moving the clothes rod in the wardrobe toward the rear only a half inch – just enough to make it easier to close the sliding doors without catching sleeves in them. • Adding an eggshell foam mattress, placed with the smooth side up, makes sleeping more comfortable. If your bed mattress shifts on its wooden platform while you’re traveling over bumpy roads and during sudden stops, place a piece of rubberized

matting between the platform and the mattress to keep the mattress in position. You can buy the matting at carpet stores and RV dealers. • If the curtains in the bedroom don’t make the room dark enough, try hanging towels over them until you get home and can fix the problem with heavier lining material or new curtains. • To decrease the heat/cold transmitted through the bath skylight, solar windshield covers for cars can be trimmed and attached with Velcro. • Take breaks when traveling – whether that means stopping at a rest area, taking a walk along the beach, or having lunch. • A shopping center, Wal-Mart, or grocery store parking lot is a good place for a rest stop on a secondary road that does not have designated rest or picnic areas. • Don’t let fatigue creep up on you. If you feel run down, a nap may be just what you need to restore your body and spirit. • Be sure to include some no-travel days in your schedule. Don’t try to crowd too many miles or activities into the time available. • To keep from getting bored during a long day of travel, passengers can do handiwork (such as knitting, crocheting, or cross-stitching), listen to the radio or audio books from the library (with a headset), play games that don’t distract the driver, write in a journal, or browse tour books and maps. • When you stay at a campground for several days, you can remain hooked up to the sewer and let the gray water run into it instead of into the RV’s holding tank. The result? A nice long shower without worrying that the tank will fill up and let gray water back up into the shower. • If the RV’s propane furnace doesn’t keep your rig warm enough when you’re parked at a site, try a small electric cube heater with a thermostat. • If you’re concerned that the dash air conditioner takes too much power away from the motor, use the auxiliary generator to run the overhead air conditioner instead. • Who knows what weather you’ll be traveling through today? Dress in layers so you can adjust to changing conditions. • One of the great features about RV travel is that you can visit friends or relatives along the way and still sleep in your own bed – because it’s parked in the driveway. Your RV itself brings comfort to your traveling life. These tips will help make life on the road and in campgrounds even more comfortable and enjoyable. Bernice Beard is the author of the At Your Own Pace series of RVing books including 301 Ways to Make RV Travel Safer, Easier, and More Fun (Arbor House Publishing). Visit www.rvatyourownpace.com for more information. MSN


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Lessons from Bob and Debby By Saralee Perel, Senior Wire When my husband, Bob, bought a lottery ticket, I asked him, “How would your life change if you won?” “Well, I wouldn’t want to move. I would not want another car. I don’t want more things.” “They why buy the ticket?” “It would allow me to spend more time with you, to read, and to play with the dogs and cats. The best time I have had this week was sitting on our porch brushing your hair. That did not cost a dime. So if I won, we wouldn’t have to work as hard and we could be together more.” He kissed our 14-year-old dog on her forehead. “Money wouldn’t make Gracie live longer.” Now, I am not living in fantasyland. There are people who do not have homes, cars, or food for which money would surely matter. It took me most of my life to realize, for myself at least, that what matters are unadorned blessings. Most of life is made up of simple things. If I do not notice them and do not appreciate them, then I have missed most of my life. I received a rather eye-opening email from a column reader in Colville, Washington, named Debby: “Hello Saralee, your column made me step back and look at life differently. I’m learning to love the simple things. When the sun is coming up, I love the cool feel of the dew on the lawn; the warmth of the sun as it touches my cheek. The birds are just beginning their morning songs, and the smell of brewing coffee floats to me. I can hear my husband moving about getting ready for morning and my dog, Lamar, and my cat, Sammy, chasing each other for a morning play.” What made me do a double take was when she mentioned, “Lamar is my seeing eye dog.”

After learning that, I’ve read the rest of her emails much differently. She wrote: “The air coming in through the open windows is cool and fresh. I love to hear my husband’s wry humor as we watch the morning news; his gentle voice as he talks to our cat. These are the things that I love and am so grateful for. Thank you for reading this.” Debby is thanking me? I thank her: “Debby, your email came at a perfect time. I’ve been feeling so pessimistic lately and I hate wasting precious time feeling that way. I am caught up in so many things that don’t matter when in reality, I have so much to be grateful for. Thank you from my heart for your beautiful words.” Debby answered: “You are so very welcome! It certainly is easy to get our priorities and everything all mixed up, isn’t it?” I asked Debby if she could tell me more. Her words changed my life in an instant when she wrote: “I realize that the more thankful I am for whatever happens in my life, the more joyful I am.” That is so logical, yet I have never thought that way before. Debby has been blind since birth. Her way of thinking does not come naturally. She works hard on it. She wrote: “Well, I have had to fight being a pessimist. But hey, who wants to sit around feeling sad or angry? Then I just make myself and other people miserable. So now, I think of every day as a new day to enjoy life. I wrote that she was an inspiration to me, and she replied: “Me? An inspiration? I don’t think so. LOL.”

Appreciating the help! Dear Love, INC. “Thank you so much for all the assistance my family has benefited from! As of today, I will be graduating from your Finding Financial Freedom class. It has truly been a learning experience. Not only has the class taught me to better understand finances in general, it has helped me to better organize my own personal finances. “My mentor, Jenny*, was wonderful, enthusiastic, and helpful in every possible way! We also made use of your Clothes Closet and Personal Care Pantry, as well as the grocery voucher. All these resources have been invaluable to our little family as we get on our feet. Thank you so much!” S/ A Love, Inc. Client Love INC, a network of 41 Christian churches and volunteers, has served our neighbors in need since 1995. More than 5,000 needs are met yearly. Love INC provides budget counseling, personal care products, cars, car repairs, transportation, gasoline, bikes, firewood, computers, linens, blankets, clothing, cribs, furniture and delivery, moving help, home repairs, quilts, snow removal, yard work, a Christian lending library, prayer, and much more. Love INC, PO Box 7117, Bozeman, MT 59771. Donations are tax deductible. Visit www.loveincgc.org or call 406-587-3008 (M-Th) for information. *Names have been changed MSN

Recently, Debby’s husband, Craig, became very sick. She wrote: “Craig was in the ICU until yesterday. It is so very, very wonderful to have him home! Life is even more precious, since a week ago they were VERY concerned about him.” Later, I emailed to see how Craig was doing and Debbie replied: “Craig is home and on oxygen. I even learned how to work the oxygen tank! Life with Craig is sweeter than ever. Whatever happens I’ll just keep rejoicing that he’s here with me today.” After thinking about Debby’s gratitude for things that have nothing to do with wealth, I asked myself to name two things for which I am grateful, that did not cost money. 1. For the first time in an email, a friend I have known for 12 years signed “Love,” before his name. 2. When I turned my head away from the table where we were dining on roast chicken, my little cat, Eddie, who in 2008 was given two months to live, was gorging himself on the chicken. Saralee welcomes emails at sperel@saraleeperel.com or via her website www.saraleeperel.com. MSN


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Best Rail Trails Pacific Northwest More than 60 rail trails in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho

By Natalie Bartley Best Rail Trails Pacific Northwest is the complete guide to walking, jogging, biking, and crosscountry skiing the rail-trail systems in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Written by a local with expert knowledge of her state, this easy-to-use book provides mile-by-mile descriptions of fortyeight of the Pacific Northwest’s most popular rural and urban rail-trails, plus complete listings of the region’s other rail-trails. This comprehensive directory to the state’s most popular rail trails also includes: • Full trail profiles, including length, access points, difficulty rating, and surface type • Detailed trail maps • At-a-glance icons for easy identification of rail trails that best suit one’s interests • Information on wheelchair accessibility; availability of parking, rest rooms, and places to eat along the trail; location of ranger stations, visitor’s centers, and depot museums; and where to rent bikes. About the Author - A Pennsylvania native, Natalie L. Bartley moved to Idaho in 1987 to work as an outdoor program manager and has lived there ever since. She has over 500 articles to her credit in publications including Paddler, Canoe and Kayak, Ski Patrol, Women in the Outdoors, The Idaho Statesman, and the Idaho Senior Independent. When she is not working as a freelance writer, she can be found mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, cross-country skiing, or exploring the outdoors with her yellow Labrador retriever. Best Rail Trails Pacific Northwest, By Natalie Bartley ISBN 978-0-7627-4607-1 • $15.95 • Paperback • 6 x 9 • 368 pages • January, 2009 FalconGuides® is an imprint of The Globe Pequot Press / www.globepequot.com. MSN

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Montana Senior News Feb/Mar 2010  

Vol 26 No 3