Northwest Prime Time November/December 2022

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Prime Time

Novem be Decem ber 20r/2


Laughter, Tears and Dusty Muffins Local television veterans Julie Blacklow and Penny LeGate start a podcast together …by Margaret Larson


etween them, veteran reporter Julie Blacklow and longtime Evening Magazine host Penny LeGate racked up a total of 75 award-winning years in Seattle television. Over that time, they reported on other people’s lives (as Julie says, from movie stars to murderers), but now they’re opening up about their own in a new podcast cheekily entitled ‘Coupla Dusty Muffins.’ If the sideeyed meaning isn’t clear, please refer to actress Betty White’s classic 2010 Saturday Night Live skit featuring her trademark innocent but raunchy hilarity. In the podcast world, they’re finally unplugged. No bosses, no managers, no camera-ready makeup and hair, no artifice, no rules. Just the hard-earned humor, feistiness, and uncensored thoughts of women who’ve lived adventurous lives, share a strong friendship, and have plenty more to do and to say. “When you have less time ahead of you than behind you, for me, it amps me up!” Julie remarked. “It’s a gift to grow old. It energizes me.” Penny added, “It’s such freedom,” to be part of a podcast now. “It gives us complete freedom from any management team, from any measurement of audience. We don’t have to clear our subject matter with bosses.” And she noted, “We say bad words once in a while, and it’s just so free. It’s so freeing!” These days, Julie is an author, painter, and horsewoman who plays Wordle with her adult son Jeremy

“We’re Old, with Big Mouths, and Not Ready to Shut Up,” say these former local TV broadcasters about their new podcast. This photo of Julie Blacklow (left) and Penny LeGate is courtesy of Klem Daniels Productions

every morning. After TV, she managed a horse ranch for twenty years. Penny has freelanced on projects for the Seattle Channel, travels, shares her life with husband Craig and daughter Molly, is a prolific advocate for community and humanitarian projects, and recently returned from a family trip to the European sites where her father fought and was continued on page 10


Northwest Prime Time

November/December 2022

Libby Carr: When Retirement Takes on a Different Meaning …by Barbara Kindness

Growing up in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, it was expected that 65 was retirement age and apparently “seniors” had nothing more to contribute to the outside world—or even to their own well-being. Now, with advanced medical treatments and products to slow the aging process in the forefront of news and advertising, we’re not only living longer but looking for ways to stay engaged with society. Just look at the likes of Norman Lear, Mick Jagger, Cher and our own local icon, Tom Skerritt. There are those who haven’t bothered to slow down. They continue to find ways to spread knowledge, awareness and even fun to the lives of others. They are Libby Carr at home in Bothell driven by an energy nudging them from within, a spirit of giving – or just plain curiosity about what’s going on around them. possible. Always fascinated Washington resident Libby with the film industry, other Kelleher Carr is one of those new interests for Libby individuals. include the documentary Libby has been an project 2040 on climate environmental and political change and the Meaningful activist for much of her life. Movies Project for social A graduate of the University justice. of Oregon, she landed a job Probably the most with the Sierra Club, traveling compelling and enjoyable around Washington State to activity at this time of her recruit volunteers working to life has revolved around Libby with her own “best work” – her daughter and four save wilderness in the national children—her own “best forest system, to preserve Hells beautiful grandkids work,” as she describes it, Canyon, to pass the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. raising a daughter and doting on four beautiful grandkids Seeing yet another need following the Vietnam who live nearby. But it doesn’t end there. Sharing War, Libby became involved in the Vietnamese Refugee Christmas duties at a local mall with Santa as Mrs. Claus, resettlement program. After 10 years in social services, Libby has relished the time spent with children asking she began a sales and marketing career in the corporate them what they want for Christmas. But many children world—first in telecommunications then in the insurance had a question of their own: “How Do the Reindeer Fly?” industry, where for the past 25 years she has had her own Says Libby, “I knew that was an important question, independent life insurance agency. but when the only answer I could think of was the same Like most of us, Libby has deep concerns about what one I was told when I was a child, (‘Well, it must be we are doing to our planet and what condition we are Magic’), I soon discovered that answer was less than leaving it in for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. satisfactory. The kids were disappointed because they She recently became aware of Project Drawdown, a wanted much more detail.” nonprofit organization dedicated to climate solutions, Then, an interesting thing happened. For two years in reversing global warming, and reaching zero greenhouse a row, Libby had a very vivid dream: a Christmas Angel gas levels in the atmosphere as quickly and safely as made her presence known by waking Libby up about 3am

November/December 2022 Christmas morning with “Libby, Libby!! How Do the Reindeer Fly??” The second year when it came like a freight train into her early-morning consciousness, she knew she was being called to answer that question. Having already helped promote one children’s book, Libby decided this must be a voice to write one on her own. She created her own magical answer and found the perfect artist/illustrator, Scott Ward, to tell this story. She even found the domain name of was available for her website. She also found a local small independent publisher, edkbooksanddistribution, to handle her book’s production. Books can be purchased on her website.

Libby’s new children’s book answers the question, “How Do the Reindeer Fly?”

What’s next for this innovative senior whose broad and never-ending scope of interests—whether political, social, environmental or spiritual— pushes her into action? We’ll just have to wait and see. Libby Kelleher Carr always dares to step into the light. She is a total woman’s example of the human experience. ❖ Check out for more information or to purchase the book


Staying Safe and Joyful Tips for a Dementia-Friendly Holiday Celebration …courtesy the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

For many, the holiday season is a joyful one spent together with loved ones—including families affected by dementia. Being adaptable and building an inclusive environment are key to creating dementia-friendly holidays and celebrations. With the holiday season right around the corner, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is providing tips on how families affected by dementia can adapt holiday gatherings to make them safe and dementia-friendly during this festive time. “The best way to support someone with dementia during the holiday season is to create an inclusive environment to enjoy holidays and celebrations, while understanding and adapting to changes and being aware of the many emotions the holidays can bring,” said Jennifer Reeder, LMSW, AFA’s Director of Educational and Social Services. Families caring for someone with dementia should consider the following steps: Adapt past favorite traditions or create new ones. Build on old traditions where you can, such as

enjoying favorite music or movies. Start new ones around things the person can still do and likes to do, such as touring neighborhood holiday lights. Whenever possible, involve the person by asking what traditions are important to them (this will help you prioritize and plan). For example, if the person used to do all the holiday cooking, make it a new tradition to cook together as a family. If they were in charge of hanging holiday lights, make it a group effort. Avoid overdecoration. Excess stimuli may be challenging for someone with dementia. Too many flickering lights or an abundance of decorations can be overstimulating and disorienting. Also, be aware of the person’s sensitivity to factors such as loud noises. Create a safe and calm space. Avoid fragile decorations (which can shatter and create sharp fragments) and ones that could be mistaken for edible treats (which can create a choking hazard or broken teeth). Reduce clutter and be aware of where extension cords are placed to avoid potential tripping hazards. Securely continued on page 20


Northwest Prime Time

Life Perspectives


Slow Down, Pause …by Mary Stobie

Slow me down, Lawd, I’s a-goin’ too fast, I can’t see my brother when he’s walkin’ past. I miss a lot o’good things day by day, I don’t know a blessin’ when it comes my way.

--Old Spiritual I found the article Slow Down in my mother’s things when I was cleaning out her house after she died. The piece has a photo of a couple taking a walk together in a field of wild grasses. The man and the woman are both looking in the same direction. It’s interesting that my mother would have saved this for so many years, because later in her life she became one of the busiest people ever. Maybe the meaning of the article comes through especially for active people. My husband and I talk about slowing our pace. Life is short and gets shorter as we grow older. We have to consciously slow down because the culture we live in is one of speed. So much is available to us: high speed freeways, high speed internet, same day shipping, instant movies on Netflix, cellphones with email, bullet trains. On television and computers, we watch events as they happen all over the world and witness speed records broken in the Olympics by new super-athletes. But how does all this speed affect our children? The article my mother

November/December 2022

Medicare Reminder Medicare Open Enrollment ends on December 7. This is your chance to switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage saved, Slow Down, says: plan, or vice versa. Those with “Slow up our weekends Original Medicare can join, drop of gaiety so we live more or switch a Part D prescription drug plan during this time, and with our children... those with a Medicare Advantage do more with them... plan can switch to a different grow closer to them. Medicare plan. Your new coverage For they need parental will start January 1, 2023. companionship now Before you make your decision, during these uncertain consider the following tips: times more than ever • Review all letters and before.” notices from your current plan as The words written plan costs and coverage can change over 70 years ago ring every year. Does your plan still cover true today. Two days your prescription medications, your ago my son-in-law asked me to make doctor and pharmacy? a weekly date with my three-year-old • Make a list of all current grandson, Noah. Yesterday, Noah and I walked in the rain, held an earthworm, prescription drugs you take, the doses, and how often. Then, use the and went to a playground with wet sand and made sandcastles. We played Plan Finder at to compare Part D plans. with fountains in the shallow pool at • Review the 2022 Medicare the recreation center. And he recently & You handbook. You should have taught me how to line up small cars. “Grandma Mary, Grandma Mary...” he received it by mid-October. said when we were back home. “Read me Mike Mulligan and the Steamshovel.” For help with your Medicare He loves stories and we take each questions before you sign up: • Consider calling the page slowly and talk about the pictures. Now I have time to spend with my Insurance Consumer Hotline: 1-800grandson because I retired as a hospital 562-6900 and ask how you can speak with a SHIBA volunteer in your chaplain. Chaplaincy is a ministry of presence. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll still have local county. • Check your local library a chance to practice it with him. or senior services organization to Because the gift of presence, like see if they are offering Medicare prayer, is intangible, not seen, it is sometimes overlooked as having value workshops. • You can also check out in our hurried-up competitive society. And with my grandson becoming SHIBA resources at a regular part of my life, I’m learning • Another resource to check is how to slow down and “know a blessin’ when it comes my way.” ❖

November/December 2022


How to Write Your Own Obituary …by Kimberly Blaker

When you pass away, who will tell the story of your life? Generally, an obituary is written by someone close to the deceased to share a bit about their life and legacy. But this can be complicated for a grieving person. They have a short time during an emotional time to put together the details of another’s life that they may not fully know or recall. Today, many people are starting to write their own obituaries before their deaths to have a say in how they’re remembered. Writing your own obituary allows you to share your perspective on your life, what was important to you, and a final message for the loved ones you leave behind. Writing your own obituary can also be a very cathartic and healing process as you review your life path and the journeys that brought you to where you are now. If you’re dealing with a terminal illness, worsening memory or neurological problems, preparing an obituary now can be a positive way to take control of your own narrative. This way, you can decide for yourself what your last message to the world will be. Writing down your personal history allows you to share your memories, life, and lessons learned with others rather than leaving it to someone else to share their interpretation of you and your life. Getting started If you’re feeling stuck or unsure where to start, the following steps and tips will help you get going: 1. Decide where you want to share your obituary and ask for the publication’s specific recommendations or requirements for length or content and how the submission process works.

You don’t want to put all your effort into a meaningful obituary only to find out it doesn’t meet your chosen publication’s guidelines. Or, many people utilize the free obituary posting service available at the funeral home handling the final arrangements. 2. As you begin the process of deciding what to include, think about why you’re writing your obituary. Who is it for? Do you want to inspire others? Encourage them? Warn others to avoid the mistakes you made? Or just share something about your life and time on this earth? 3. The obituary celebrates and provides a record of your unique, individual life. So if you have the opportunity to write it, make it reflect your personality. It doesn’t have to be a serious or somber reflection; it should sound like you. Don’t be afraid to make jokes or be silly. Writing your own obituary means that you get to share your life with your own voice. 4. Some basic details that obituaries usually include are: • your name • birth and death dates • other significant dates • a list of close family or friends • your education or career path • notable achievements • hobbies • special interests • places traveled • things that emphasize your uniqueness

• your interests • something that brought you joy or fulfillment • funeral arrangements or a memorial, depending on your wishes 5. Your obituary is your place to leave your mark. So decide what’s important for you to communicate as your legacy. The content and the format are up to you. You might even want to write more than one version for different purposes. Maybe write a shorter version to be published in the newspaper or on the funeral home site. Then create a longer, memoir-like record of your life to share with loved ones. 6. Decide with whom you’ll entrust your obituary. This may be a trusted friend or family member, your lawyer (along with instructions in your will as to how your obituary will be shared), or an obituary service. 7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Writing an obituary can be an overwhelming and emotional process. So talk with trusted family members or friends for emotional support and perhaps share your obituary for feedback. Death is unpredictable, inevitable, and out of our control. For many, it makes the idea of dying scary and leads to avoiding dealing with anything related to it. When you choose to write your own obituary, you acknowledge this uncertainty and embrace the idea that none of us live forever – yet we can still make an impact even after we’re gone. ❖


Northwest Prime Time

Health Matters

Medical Minutes

November/December 2022

activity that matters more,” said Smagula. “This is a different way of thinking about activity. You may not need to be sprinting or running a marathon, but simply staying engaged with activities throughout the day.”

Walking Away from Breast Cancer Boosting physical activity levels and curbing sitting time are highly likely to lower breast cancer risk, according to a newly published study in the British Journal of Sports Keeping on a Schedule Matters Medicine. The findings were generally consistent across all Older adults who consistently get up early and remain active throughout types and all stages of breast cancer. Observational studies show that physical inactivity the day are happier and perform better and sedentary behavior are linked to higher breast cancer on cognitive tests than those with risk, but proving they cause breast cancer is another irregular activity patterns, according matter. The researchers assessed lifelong physical activity to researchers at the University of and sitting time to show that activity might be causally Pittsburgh. The findings suggest that John Schieszer related to breast cancer risk in general, and specifically to patterns of activity, not just activity different types of breast tumors. intensity, are important for healthy aging and mental The researchers examined data from 130,957 women health. and 69, 838 of them had breast cancer that had spread “There’s something about getting going early, staying locally (invasive) and 6,667 had tumors that hadn’t yet active all day and following the same routine each day, done so (in situ). For comparison, the study also included that seems to be protecting older adults,” said lead author 54,452 women who didn’t have breast cancer. Stephen Smagula, an assistant professor of psychiatry and The analysis showed that a higher overall level of epidemiology at Pitt. “What’s exciting about these findings is that activity patterns are under voluntary control, which genetically predicted physical activity was associated with a 41% lower risk of invasive breast cancer, and this was means that making intentional changes to one’s daily regardless of menopausal status, tumor type, stage or grade. routine could improve health and wellness.” Similarly, genetically predicted vigorous physical activity Smagula and his team recruited 1,800 senior on three or more days of the week was associated with a citizens aged over 65. Participants wore accelerometers, 38% lower risk of breast cancer, compared with no selfwhich are movement-detecting devices often found in smartphones and exercise trackers. The participants wore reported vigorous activity. Increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary them on their wrist for seven days to measure activity, time are already recommended for cancer prevention. and they completed questionnaires to assess depression This new study adds further evidence that such behavioral symptoms and cognitive function. changes are likely to lower the incidence of future breast The analysis showed that 37.6% of participants rose cancer rates. early in the morning, stayed active throughout the day and had consistent daily routines. “Many older adults had robust patterns. They get up before 7am on average, Combating Strokes at Home at Very little Cost There may be a very simple and painless way to and they keep going. They stay active for 15 hours or so dramatically lower your risk of suffering a stroke. A new each day. They also tend to follow the same pattern day study is suggesting that only about half of those who in and day out,” said Smagula. “Lo and behold, those have hypertension or conditions linked to blood pressure same adults were happier, less depressed, and had better regularly monitor it. Healthcare providers recommend most cognitive function than other participants.” The participants who had disrupted activity patterns older adults start home blood pressure monitoring. The new study found that only 48% of people ages 50 in which periods of activity were erratic throughout to 80 who take blood pressure medications or have a health the day and inconsistent across days had the highest condition that’s affected by hypertension (history of stroke, rates of depression and performed worst on cognitive coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, tests. “People often think about activity intensity being important for health, but it might be the duration of continued on page 19 John Schieszer

November/December 2022


7 Ways to Promote Good Prostate Health During Movember …by Marc S. Cohen, MD FACS

Whether you’re growing out your facial hair in support of Movember (an annual event to grow beards and mustaches in an effort to draw attention to men’s health issues) or not, supporting men’s prostate health awareness can be as simple as these seven tips: Watch your meal portion sizes Growing up I was always told to “clean my plate.” It wasn’t known at the time, but that was bad health advice. The golden rule is to eat slowly and deliberately so that you know when you’re full and don’t overeat. This is a chance to do something good for your prostate and your health in general, as overeating can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of prostate cancer. Eat the right fats - Everyone needs some fat, but too much bad fat can increase weight, which is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Replacing animal fats with vegetable oils may help men with prostate cancer to live longer, while eating lots of saturated fats may be linked with an increased risk of prostate cancer recurrence. Much less is known about the impact of fats in prostate cancer prevention. Good fats consist of things like avocados, which are rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, which helps lower cardiovascular inflammation, nuts, such as pecans, almonds, and walnuts, and olive oil, which is also rich in monounsaturated fat. Avoid hydrogenated fats and limit fats from dairy and processed foods. Limit red meats - The literature

on the effect of red meat on prostate cancer is unclear, but some research suggests that eating too much fat may raise your risk of aggressive and advanced prostate cancer. Some studies suggest that a diet that is low in meat but high in fruit and vegetables may help slow the growth of prostate cancer. Large amounts of meat that have been cooked at very high temperatures or are very well done (barbecued, grilled, fried) may increase your risk of prostate cancer due to the heterocyclic amines (HCAs) found in cooked meat. Common examples include beef, pork, hot dogs, sausage and luncheon meats. Eat prostate-healthy foods Laboratory studies have demonstrated a positive effect of certain ingredients in foods such as lycopenes in tomatoes on the prostate. What remains largely undetermined is supplementation mostly effective in individuals that are deficient in a particular substance and how much is enough. This means we can’t say for sure that any of these foods unquestionably benefit the prostate. That being said, the following foods are thought to have possible benefit: soybeans and legumes (kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils), green tea, tomatoes (cooked is better than raw), watermelon, guava, papaya, pomegranate and green tea. Avoid sugar - It is said that prostate cancer has a sweet tooth because sugar (glucose) appears to be

associated with many cancers in that it increases the risk of obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation, all considered to be substantial risk factors for cancer development. Things to avoid include: sugary sweets, sweetened beverages such as soda and fruit juice. Exercise portion control, avoiding additional sugars added to products. Rely on natural sugar sources (such as fruit) for your “sugar fix”. Cut down on salt - Salt is known to increase urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH, so it is best to follow a low-sodium diet. By limiting the use of frozen foods, processed and canned foods and not adding salt to meals wherever possible, you can cut down on your salt intake. Lifestyle Changes - Simple lifestyle changes can do wonders for your health including good prostate health. If you’re a smoker, cut back or better yet stop immediately. Modest alcohol intake is fine but never in excess. ANY exercise is better than no exercise. Start slowly and progress as your body permits. The recommendation is at least three hours per week for a really healthy lifestyle. Don’t give up. It can take months before a habit becomes ingrained. Do just ONE THING every day to make you feel good about yourself and you may find that the positive change is empowering. continued on page 20


Northwest Prime Time

November/December 2022

Nutmeg High Homemade Vanilla Eggnog for Suzy Cohen

Recently I made some homemade vanilla eggnog and used freshly grated whole nutmeg. It really does make a difference if you grate a whole nutmeg versus regular powdered nutmeg spice. The flavor is incredibly richer than the former. [The recipe is posted to the right.] Nutmeg is a super interesting spice with tons of health benefits. But you may not realize it naturally contains a compound that can get you a tad bit high! It’s called the nutmeg high. The psychoactive properties of nutmeg might explain why that one relative gets all weird after Thanksgiving dinner which often contains a recipe with nutmeg! Nutmeg has compounds in it that impact the brain and for sensitive individuals it may be a little too much. The worst part is that children and teens are usually the ones getting into trouble with nutmeg. The Nutmeg Challenge trend started on a popular social media app called TikTok. The results have been devastating and led to some fatalities. Before you go and trash the nutmeg in your home, I want to tell you that the myristicin is also in your parsley, anise, cinnamon, clove, fennel, parsley, star anise and basil! There’s just not that much in those other spices. The kids trying to trip off the myristicin aren’t going for those other herbs, though, they’re looking in the cabinet for nutmeg. Nutmeg has medicinal properties that make it a delicious, healthgiving spice. It is known to help with sleep, blood pressure, inflammation, stomach problems, and pain. It’s a strong anti-inflammatory and has antitumorigenic properties. I don’t want to continued on page 17

Special Occasions Ingredients 6 egg yolks 1/4 cup light (or golden) brown sugar, packed 1/4 cup evaporated cane 1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 cups whole milk 1/2 TEA vanilla extract 1/4 TEA ground nutmeg – see my note below 1/16th of a spoon salt (commonly termed a “pinch of salt”) Optional: 1/2 TEA dried vanilla powder spice)

NOTE: If you can get the whole nutmeg ‘ball’ please do! Grate one of them with a lemon zester tool until you have your own freshly ground nutmeg. Fresh does make a difference. If you don’t have the whole nutmeg to grate, just use the regular powdered spice. As noted in the article, don’t overdo the nutmeg, it has psychoactive effects!

Directions: Whisk together the 6 egg yolks with the 2 types of sugar. Set aside this blended egg yolk mixture. In a medium-size saucepan, heat up the whipping cream and milk, and all the other spices/ingredients. Continuously whisk it all together. Heat it on medium-low, and almost to the point of boiling but not quite. It doesn’t look like a whole lot just yet, but be patient. Before it boils, use a small ladle, and take some of the very hot milk mixture (basically one ladle at a time) and add it to the blended egg yolk mixture in the bowl you set aside. Keep adding more milk to the yolk (you’re just tempering the eggs) until you’ve almost emptied your saucepan into the egg yolks, and whisk it nicely together until you have smooth vanilla eggnog. Now do the reverse, pour the mixture you just made back into the saucepan and continue heating it until it thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. If you can evaluate the temperature, it’s something like 170 degrees. Once you’ve achieved this, allow it to cool on the stove, or in a mason jar, with some plastic wrap (or foil) on top of it. When it’s cooled down, move the mason jar to your refrigerator and chill for 3 – 4 hours. Sprinkle your vanilla eggnog with cinnamon or a dash of fresh whipped cream. For a boozy option, feel free to spike it with bourbon, brandy or even Chambord® cherry liqueur. Voila you now have a wonderful homemade vanilla eggnog for a special occasion.

November/December 2022


Library Corner

Do You Need a Friend? Wendy Pender

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we all need a buddy in life. Someone who understands you, who doesn’t judge, Wendy Pender who supports and uplifts you, and maybe even provides a different perspective. I find those people every day at my local library. All the authors, performers, directors, characters – it’s truly a cocoon of lifelong friends and I am grateful. I was volunteering at the York Public Library in Pennsylvania in 1993, sorting books for a book sale when I realized I was surrounded by 100,000 of my favorite people, a veritable treasure trove! I entered graduate school the following fall to pursue a library career, and decades later I continue to meet new friends every day. Who do you need in your life right now? Do you need a friend, who can assure you you’re not alone? Do you need inspiration, someone to light the way? Do you need someone to understand your tears without judgment? Do you need somewhere to vent your despair about climate change? Do you need someone to help you laugh and see the lighter side? We have all these “friends” at the library. Let me introduce you to some of mine! When I’m lonely: I love immersing myself in quirky

villages like Jan Karon’s Mitford series and Jenny Colgan’s Mure series. Part of my heart is always longing for some nameless “home,” and these books help me feel as though it might actually exist, and I belong there. When I need inspiration: Biographies of all sorts – Elton John’s ME; In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett; Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away (by the fascinating entrepreneur who changed the way America eats and his philanthropic wife); and RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), about the woman who fought to change the way justice is administered in the U.S. Someone who understands my tears: Megan Devine, It’s OK That You’re Not OK and Maria Kliavkoff, Healthy Mourning, Happy Loving. Someone who helps me with my climate-change despair: The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of

Warming by Eric Holthaus. Someone who helps me laugh when the world is too much: Allie Brosh for the win! Try her Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened. Or for all of us who’ve struggled with technology (who hasn’t?) there’s Damn You, Autocorrect! Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn’t Mean to Send. And then of course, there’s absorbing mysteries, histories and fantastical worlds to simply “take us away!” The library has all kinds of formats, too. You don’t have to “read” to take advantage – just push “play” and enjoy a wonderful audiobook story while your hands are busy with other things, or when you’re just trying to turn off your mind from fretting about the day. You can stream movies via Kanopy (like a free Netflix) or download music via Hoopla (similar to Pandora or Spotify). And we have people to help. Come into your local library or call Ask KCLS, 425-462-9600. Some of my best friends are at the library – I bet yours will be too! ❖ Wendy Pender, Older Adults Program Coordinator, King County Library System


Northwest Prime Time

November/December 2022

Laughter, Tears and Dusty Muffins ...continued from page 1

wounded, and where her uncle was killed during World War II. Julie and Penny have known each other for decades from their days as familiar faces on Seattle TV. The two first worked together at KING-TV, and later at KIRO-TV (where I was also a Julie plays Wordle with her son Jeremy colleague), and always clicked for a quick every morning chat though they didn’t know each other well. But they stayed in touch. Then in recent months, their spark reignited as Penny attended a book launch for Julie’s memoir about her pioneering days as a TV journalist, Julie Blacklow’s 2020 book, “Fearless: Fearless: Diary of a Badass Reporter. Diary of a Badass Reporter,” made a “I was intrigued by her book and her splash, including praise from Tom Brokaw: “Fearless, entertaining and passionate. Julie stories,” Penny remembered, but it was was born to be a journalist.” Julie’s genuine curiosity about other people and the way she interacted with them that stood out. “She is just so real and authentic, and in a world where a lot of At the age of sixty, Julie people aren’t always switched careers, leaving the authentic and are full of world of television news to (it), she is the real deal.” manage a horse ranch Julie has owned five dogs, four cats Discussions ensued, and one horse: “Animals are often ideas were swapped, paleolithic age of TV news,” far more sane than humans...” a bond deepened… Julie chuckled, “there were Painting has become one and then one day, Penny sent a text: “We need to do a two women in the KING of Julie’s favorite creative podcast.” Julie responded: “Of course we do.” And with newsroom and a group of pastimes that, the Muffins were off to the races. 120 men. We were breaking “We didn’t want to do doom and gloom,” Julie ground.” It was also a slog. “We all started in the era before explained, referring to the tenor of contemporary news. sexual harassment was a term, the outrageous things men “We wanted to talk to people about subjects they don’t have said and done to us,” Penny added. often think about.” Their podcasts mirror their realWith the accumulated wisdom of surfing through life heart-to-hearts, from celebrity gossip to captivating time, the two tally up a wide-ranging list of hoped-for interviews, the importance of female friendship, and guests and future pod ideas. Julie said, “We look for the discovering all the things we do not need to care about common thread. The things everybody can relate to.” anymore at this juncture of life. Whatever the topic, Julie and Penny dig in, One of my favorite episodes centers on working in sometimes dissolving each other in laughter, sometimes newsrooms where women were few, bosses were always lighting up with quips and opinions, and sometimes male, harassment was rampant, and comments on looks/ wading in on deep truths and emotions that are both age/weight flew freely. “When I started in 1972, in the painful and healing.

November/December 2022


Penny explained that Marah struggled with anxiety and depression and began selfmedicating as a 15-year-old, first with alcohol and marijuana, later with harder drugs. Marah fought courageously and repeatedly toward recovery, and her family made every effort to help her. After a lengthy period of sobriety, at age 19, she relapsed. “She died of a heroin overdose Penny (center) with her two daughters, Marah (left) and Molly (right) in my home in 2012 and I found Penny LeGate was her,” Penny said softly. What the longtime host of followed was a moving tribute to “Evening Magazine” along with Brian Tracey her vibrant, talented, empathetic girl, details on the nonprofit Penny launched to reach other vulnerable young people (, and her reflections on the daily walk with grief. As is Penny’s way, she also offered words of support to other parents facing Penny is a prolific advocate for tragedy and people in despair. community and humanitarian All of this unfolded on a computer screen, and I projects. Here she is in Africa. watched Julie’s face as Penny talked. I could see her eyes well and I could feel her heart extend to her friend like the arch of a rainbow. That’s the thing with these two. Penny was news anchor at KIRO7 after leaving KING5’s They worked in a tough business, met life’s challenges with bravery, succeeded when it wasn’t easy, without “Evening Magazine” – photo by Wade Clark losing their unmatched empathy. I’ve been acquainted with them both for many years, yet they amaze me still The interview/ with their perceptiveness and their expansive sense of conversation that served caring and interest in people. It feels ever more exquisite as the basis for this article as we get older. To help and educate others, turned into a podcast of And I dare you not to laugh when they crack each Penny shares her experiences its own. The three of us other up. The ‘real talk’ they offer is warm and welcoming. with daughter Marah’s heroin found ourselves looking At one point, Penny mentioned that Julie is 75 years overdose: “Marah was not only beautiful, but a highly back at the topography old. “Thanks a lot!” Julie cut in, laughing. “Hey, I’m proud sensitive soul who carried all of our lives, specifically of it!” the world’s sorrows in her at surviving our lowest These two souls don’t waste a minute of life. heart.” Penny launched a lows. Julie shared about Whatever they want to do, I’m in. Whatever they want to nonprofit to support others facing similar circumstances the death of a spouse, say, I’m ready to listen. ‘Coupla Dusty Muffins’ is not to be ( the excruciating firing missed. from a job she loved The podcast featuring the conversation with the and the resulting very public lawsuit (which she won), three of us is currently available. You can link to it and and even a period of suicidality. I somehow found myself other ‘Dusty Muffin’ podcasts at www.buzzsprout. talking about the stressful, family-driven circumstances com/1966945. ❖ of my retirement publicly for the first time. And Penny stopped our hearts with her raw openness about losing Margaret Larson retired as longtime host of KING-TV’s Marah, the younger of her two daughters. New Day Northwest.


Northwest Prime Time

November/December 2022

The Great Outdoors

A Walk in the Woods …by Roger Urbaniak,

I must have inherited a gene that requires me to spend time in the woods just to maintain harmony with my soul. For many years I concocted excuses of picking this or gathering that to justify my forays to the outdoors. The truth is deeper. My reward from these adventures goes beyond just Roger Urbaniak harvesting. Each trip adds another layer of knowledge. And these trips to the woods take me back to the pleasure of my youth, enjoying time in nature on family outings. Growing up on the farm, I would wander into the woods late in the day, at first only to prove that I could find my way back. I enjoyed the silence but listening more intently brought the woodland sounds of squirrels or jays chattering to protest my presence. The wind blowing through pine needles made quieter, more soothing sounds than through oak leaves. Nature has its own range of wind chimes. The woods became alive with sound when I finally stopped to listen. Eventually my eyes began to see more. Wildflowers only dimly recognized at first as a mass of color were later admired for their beauty, delicacy and occasional scent. Animals became visible after my eye was trained to spot small movement, patterns out of place with foliage, or just the slightest sound that did not fit with the forest floor. The presence of animals I didn’t notice was still appreciated simply by observing their tracks. Gradually I built an appreciation for the intricate functioning of the forest and woodlands. In the spring near cottonwood trees look for morel mushrooms. Wildflowers thrive in years with ample late winter and spring moisture. I learned of the symbiotic relationships of certain mushrooms to certain trees, what plants need wetlands to grow, plants that prosper in sunlight and those that need shade.

Roger maintains harmony with his soul by spending time in the woods

Winters with deep snow followed by intermittent melting and freezing are hard on grazing animals as they attempt to navigate through the crusted woodland searching for buried food. Wet, cold springs deplete the energy of birds trying to maintain their body heat while on the nest. Successive years of mild weather during breeding seasons will be followed by a rise in predator populations to take advantage of abundance of prey. I attempted to understand the many complex relationships of birds, plants, animals and insects that are required to survive and prosper into the next generation. Over time, the jigsaw puzzle has fit together. My favorite time to visit the woodlands is spring when wildflowers are abundant. I note the fresh petals of those currently in bloom, the dried stalks of those just finished, and fresh starts of the next generation of nature’s decoration. Spring reminds me that I have many months ahead to enjoy the woods before snow cocoons in preparation for next year’s emergence of life. Understanding nature has been a lifelong pursuit. Much of my interest is inherited from previous generations of family who relied on their knowledge for survival. I suspect that long after I become too feeble to visit, I will conclude that I haven’t seen or experienced anywhere near enough. In the meantime, each visit to the woods is a reminder for me to appreciate life. Take a trip to the woods and see what you observe for the first time, and what you remember with happiness. ❖ Roger Urbaniak writes about the Great Outdoors from his home on Mercer Island. “Rogers Outdoor Channel” is the place to learn about the adventures of Northwest Outdoor Enthusiast Roger Urbaniak along with his lovely wife Linda and trusty pooch Sparky. Visit for more information or email Roger at

November/December 2022


Outdoor Therapy for Veterans and Others …by Stephen J. O’Shea

In the last decade, there has been a surge in experimental therapy programs for veterans. Emerging practices involve everything from psychedelic drug treatments and “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing” therapy to trial medications and neurological treatments. But of all these emerging forms of therapy, one has proven to be both timeless and consistently effective. Its common name is outdoor or wilderness therapy. An emerging body of research is now proving outdoor therapy to be not only successful, but accessible and appealing to veterans and just about anyone suffering from stress or anxiety. Being amongst trees, wooded lakes, mountain hikes and forest streams tend to slow down our everracing minds and allow us to take a step into the present moment. Jammie Schmunk, a certified forest therapy guide describes this practice as both mindfulness and “body-fulness.” “What we’re doing in forest therapy is experiencing all of our senses,” said Jammie. “When we awaken the senses, the mind slows down. We call it a slow walk through the forest because when we slow our body down, our mind will slow down as well.” This type of therapy has been quantified by scientific research, which shows that walking through the forest can lower cortisol levels, blood pressure, pulse and heart rate compared to those who walked through cities. Other studies found that walks in

the woods also trigger boosts in serotonin, the key hormone for stabilizing mood and making us feel content and happy. Trees also The VA and other organizations are utilizing outdoor recreation clean the air and therapy to benefit veterans provide higher concentrations of oxygen for the brain, but for the purpose of adventure purifying the air that we breathe. Trees instead of combat and war. Ten years even release pheromones—which after finishing his tour in Iraq, Bare interact with their surroundings in returned with a cadre of veterans ways we don’t entirely understand— to climb and ski the highest peak and they put off a fragrance called in Iraq, Mount Halgurd. The idea phytoncide, which might even was to experience stress, adrenaline, improve our immune systems. and euphoria all in the same place The physical, mental and social he had prior, but this time in a benefits of trees don’t stop there. healthy, exciting way, to help balance A full list of studies and potential the memories and trauma of his benefits for veterans and civilians deployment to Iraq. alike can be found at the Healthy “I can look back now on the Trees, Healthy Lives website: https:// symptoms and challenges of traumatic stress, adjustment disorder, depression and a mild traumatic Adventure Therapy brain injury, manifesting primarily Many organizations are taking as drug and alcohol abuse,” said Bare a more kinetic approach to treating at a TedX Talk in his hometown of veterans via the outdoors. One Brookings, South Dakota. “I think example of this is by combining it’s grace,” he added. “The wilderness outdoor therapy with adventures such accepts you for who you are. It doesn’t as hiking, skiing, sailing and other care your color, your race, your creed, activities. your sexuality. It doesn’t care if you’ve Stacy Bare—an Iraq War Veteran, ever shot at anybody or been shot at. the former director of the Sierra Club, Wilderness – wildness – is in all of us.” a National Geographic Adventurer While outdoor recreational of the Year, and the subject of a REIs activities have been shown to short documentary Adventure Not empower veterans and gives them War—conceived the idea of returning confidence in themselves and their to areas of conflict where he served, continued on page 20


Northwest Prime Time

November/December 2022

Therefore, a description like, “someone who could always be counted on to be there” might mean he was the guy who always stayed at the party way too long. Or, “he will be greatly missed” might really mean that he owed a lot of money. Or, “he always left his mark” might indicate a personal hygiene problem. Let’s face it, your obit is the last big status symbol. And the ultimate status is getting your picture in the obits. How is it decided who is deserving of this honor and is …by Sy Rosen there someone I can bribe? Of course, I’d have to bribe them before I died and then I wouldn’t be completely sure Okay, I admit it, I’ve been that they’d put my picture in the obit. Some people have reading the obituaries lately. no integrity. Life (and death) just isn’t fair. I don’t know when or why it Many of the people who have their picture in the started, but I’m really into it. obits have done something to improve humanity. I I usually add up the ages of sometimes smile and say hello to strangers, but I don’t the people who died that day, think that would qualify me as a great humanitarian. average them out, and see how Actually, I just smile, I don’t even say hello. Actually, I stack up against them. I know most of the time, I don’t even smile. this is kind of sick, gruesome, I’ve noticed that some of the people who have and self-centered. But what can I their pictures in the obits have done two things with Sy Rosen say? I’m sick, gruesome, and self- their lives: psychologist/professional drummer; Olympic centered. champion/poet; architect/monkey trainer. I’m not sure I If I’m younger than the average age of the people really have one career, so it’s tough to come up with two. who died that day, then I’m doing good. If I’m older than Maybe I could just make something up and say writer/ the average age, then I just compare myself to the oldest neurosurgeon. guy who died. Either way, I’m almost always coming out This brings up an interesting question: Do they ahead. check these things, or do they just accept the word of By the way, I’ve noticed that the person submitting people are living longer these days. the obituary? I’d hate to It’s not uncommon for me to see a few have a retraction printed people listed in the obits who were the day after I died: “Sy in their nineties or older. And on TV Rosen wasn’t really a the other day I heard some reporter neurosurgeon. He failed saying that people, in the not-toobiology in high school and distant future will live to 150. When is a big, fat liar.” people hear that, a common question I think maybe it’s time they have is, “Who wants to live that to get over myself and my long?” I have a simple answer: “I do!!” obsession with obituaries. There is one thing about the If my obit just said that I obituaries that really depresses was a decent man, only me—everybody listed seems to have occasionally petty and lived fuller and happier lives than jealous, and left a great I. Of course, these people may be family who loved me, I exaggerating or spinning the truth would be happy. a little. Who can blame them? Your Of course, if they also obituary is probably the last time squeezed in the words you have to create a little buzz about “national treasure,” I “How is THAT for halftime!?” yourself. wouldn’t mind. ❖

Vintage Funny Side of Life

Reading the Obits

November/December 2022


The ongoing life-affirming adventures of Rose and Dawn

Rookies at the Casino …by Diana Couture

“What if people are smoking in that place?” Dawn whimpered. “Well, you just grab the cigarette right out of their mouth and do the ‘Smokey the Bear Dance’ on that bad boy. Gosh, Dawn, I don’t know if you can even smoke in a Casino anymore. Maybe you have to go outside…..maybe they even have blackjack tables located outside!” Rose teased. “Sure, no problem for you, Rose, you don’t have angry sinuses like I do,” Dawn coughed out. “Oh please. You’re as healthy as a horse….well, a horse with bad knees.” Rose stared off into space and then focused on Dawn and asked, “Can you believe it? It’s been 60 years since we’ve been young.” “Speak for yourself, old lady. I’m a very spry, saucy 80+ year old and intend to stay that way,” Dawn volleyed back. “Well, spry with bad knees, of course.” “Okay, there’s my point,” Rose quickly responded. “We’re spry and active and need to keep looking for new things to do….like going to the Casino.” So, over tea and cookies it was agreed that the girls would head out on the Casino bus to gamble away tomorrow afternoon. The bus picked them up at Northgate Mall in front of the Barnes and Nobel bookstore. Dawn wanted to go in and get a book on how to play the slot machines, but Rose refused. “Geesh, if you let everyone know you’re a rookie….well, it’s like being the new kid on the playground, they’ll eat you for lunch.” Rose informed urgently. “Well, they’re gonna know,” Dawn pouted, “as soon as I stand in front of a slot machine with no clue

what to do.” “All you have to do is put the coin in the slot and pull the arm. Simple. They call the slot machines ‘One Armed Bandits’, you know.” Rose added sagely. “Really?” Hmm, no problem, thought Dawn. After a 99 cent lunch of Salmon and Chips in the Casino Cafe, Rose and Dawn walked nervously toward the gaming floor. They timidly approached two “Land of Cleopatra” slot machines sitting right next to each other. The machines didn’t look too scary. But they held no clue as to where to put the money. The girls looked high and low; up and down for the slot to put the money. They were eying in between machines when they spotted a man who was sitting a few seats away from them. They could ask him for help. But the smoke haze was dark and thick. They couldn’t decide which of them should risk lung damage for information. Just when they were ready to give it up and do the walk of shame back to the Café, a friendly Casino worker came up and asked if they would like to buy a ticket. “A ticket for what? Do you have shows here?” Rose asked excitedly. The surprised casino worker held back a giggle and explained that the ticket is used in place of coins in the machines. Dawn straightened up and said, “Of course we knew that. How else would we be able to play these one armed bandits? Right Rose? It’s not like we’re a couple of rookies” “Well ma’am” said the

employee, “I’m sure with your experience, you’ll know that there aren’t any arms on slot machines anymore.” Dawn smiled vacantly, handed him her $20 bill and got a ticket. When he walked away, she turned toward Rose and growled, “So, just put the coin in the slot and pull the handle, huh?” But Rose was lost in a smoke haze interviewing their neighbor regarding the proper way to play the slots. She came back shortly with a knowing smile, a $20 ticket of her own, a slight wheeze and the distinct smell of cigar smoke on her jacket. By the time they left, Rose was down $2.47 on a penny machine, but Dawn was thrilled to cash out her 1,200 points ($12). She didn’t care one whit that it took $20 to get there. ❖


Northwest Prime Time

Win $100 Can you identify the location of this photo? If so, you may win $100!

Where in Washington?

HINT: For a clue, visit the “Contests” box at The winner will be drawn at random from the correct answers sent to by November 28, 2022. If no correct answer is received, the $100 prize will transfer to the following contest.

IT’S ELEMENTAL My hair has turned to silver. And my teeth are full of gold. Sometimes my mettle’s tested On the road to growing old. I try to be respectful And never rude or crass, But my will has turned to iron And I have a lot more brass. -- Pat D’Amico

November/December 2022

Congratulations to Lauralyn of Kenmore, winner of the last contest. It featured the Shattuck Avenue train trestle in Renton near McClendon Hardware. One contestant noted that he has observed trains carrying Boeing green fuselages over that trestle to the nearby Renton Municipal Airport, which not only serves small private planes, but is also where newly manufactured Boeing 737s take off.

Holiday Mix-ups Len Elliott

Each clue in each group is an anagram of a word associated with Christmas. E.g. Snake and regrets past actions are clues for serpent and repents, which are anagrams of present.

George Carlin sez...

”I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older. Then it dawned on me ... they’re cramming for their final exam.”

1. Arms of a sea; hear; kind of partner or alarm; sign up for the Army: _________. 2. Harvest post-harvest; actor Conrad; actress Jessica; acute, e.g.: ________. 3. Boxer Spinks; it can precede Star or Ranger; FSU athlete; Jay of late-night TV: _______. 4. Rodents; painting and sculpture; sailors: _______. 5. Sheep sounds; restaurant furniture; most proficient: _________. answers on page 20

November/December 2022

Scenes from Childhood


The Nutmeg High ...continued from page 8

Shadowing Papa

scare you away from nutmeg when it is a superfood. It even improves memory and if used correctly in recipes, it will enhance the flavor of almost any dish! …by Edythe M. Gandy Using it properly is key. Recipes call for small amounts, usually onequarter or half of a teaspoon to the Papa (my grandfather) and batter or soup you’re making. It’s a Other Mama (my grandmother) very tiny amount compared to the lived around the corner. Papa whole recipe. But kids and some was always busy removing storm adults are taking a whole teaspoon, windows, putting up screens, or and sometimes up to a tablespoon preparing the garden for the bounty or two! This can lead to fatal of summer vegetables. consequences depending on the Working as a janitor for a Edythe Gandy with her grandfather, “Papa” individual. department store, Papa would The psychoactive compounds in come home for lunch. Other Mama nutmeg spice put the sympathetic “Papa, you can let us out here,” would phone me to come have nervous system into action, and this I said. lunch with Arthur, as she called can cause fight or flight symptoms. “I’m taking you right to the him. He had given me a little In excess, one may experience dry door,” he replied. red pedal car, so I’d pedal around mouth, blurred vision, dizziness, I looked straight ahead, praying the corner to eat lunch with my confusion and heart rhythm no one would recognize me, “Hero.” thinking, “I will NEVER go anyplace abnormalities. If there is a preI was his shadow. Papa always existing heart condition, even a with HIM again.” wanted our picture taken to teaspoon or two can be fatal! It seems like only a moment in remember those days, knowing they The difficulty is that the LSDtime after that incident when I was would not last forever. like effects don’t occur right away, Things changed as I grew older. told Papa was sick. I came home the spice is fully ingested and from school one day and stopped by I remember walking to school absorbed into the bloodstream Other Mama’s house. with my friends on a freezing Iowa before the dreadful situation “Where’s Papa?” I asked. day. As we passed Papa’s house he presents itself symptomatically. Her silence told me there was called out, “Edythe, I’ll take you to Eventually one may experience school. It’s too cold for you all to be no more Papa. My friend, my hero toxic effects such as dizziness, was gone. I took the long walk walking.” I was horrified. I didn’t vertigo, tachycardia, hallucinations, want to ride in that Model-T, even around the corner to my house, disorientation to time and space, remembering his smile when he as cold as it was. teased me, and the many times I was depersonalization, dysphoria, I said, “That’s okay, Papa, we’ll nausea/vomiting and more. proud to be his shadow. ❖ walk.” Nutmeg is easily a superfood, “Come on. Get in the car!” he with tremendous health benefits. When Edythe M. Gandy of Renton insisted. submitted this essay back in 2005, she called When abused it can lead to Reluctantly, my friends and herself a late bloomer who started writing in intoxication. Please read your I got in the old Model-T. I was recipes carefully and keep an eye 1999, painting in 2000, blacksmithing in miserable on this journey, which on what your kids or grandkids are seemed to take an eternity. Soon we 2001, pottery making in 2002 and many watching on social media. ❖ more adventures after that. were a block from school.


Northwest Prime Time

Writing Corner

Writing about Anger …by Ariele M. Huff

Dear Writer: I realized I wanted to tell you that there are some ways of articulating anger that can work. And I know that many life stories hold Ariele M. Huff anger which is hard to ignore or process away. It is also hard to share without seeming self-centered or as though you are obsessed with it. So, the top strategy is to use humor. A lot of comedians are really angry and get away with it by making good jokes. Think Bill Mahr, Don Rickles, Andrew Dice Clay, and Conan’s “Insult Comic Dog”—a puppet, but really insulting. Humor can be subtle too like Frank McCourt in Angela’s Ashes. Though much of the book shares the terrible poverty in Ireland at the time, McCourt managed to include humorous things he recalled, like being given a little money to learn traditional dancing. Instead, he used the money to see a movie and for some candy. He was asked each week what he’d learned about dancing. His solution was to invent dance steps and perform them. His descriptions of the steps and the reactions of his family are welcome and relatable moments in the book. The second method is really to make sure that your anger is expressed on behalf of the Reader. For example: I’m pissed that this kind of thing happened to me and my ill father, AND I’m telling you because I’m pissed that someone might do it to

you. This role is like coming to your reader as their personal champion knight. The rule with this strategy is to aim all zingers at the imagined foe of the reader. Giving examples of other people’s struggles is fine. Mostly, be wary of sounding sorry for yourself. A champion knight is devoted to the readers s/he is trying to save. The third way of downloading and sharing anger is directly to address your anger. This requires emotional honesty and bravery. Don’t try to prove that your dad did things to you that were wrong, just tell the reader that you became angry and still feel that way about this particular incident/ behavior/comment. If you do that, it

Poetry Corner

On New Year’s Day 1985 about Christmas Letters

As I read your Christmas poem having just arrived at home from a trip (Oklahoma City) where I visited my pretty grandchild, young Lena Christine and her mother, Connie M I too reflected pon the year I think I’m glad a new one’s here As the last one has been tense not though without its recompense… Julie college, Tracy home pretty bride, my Connie M The hours fly by, days months and years, times of laughter, times of tears a child is born, crawls, then is grown was it ever mine to own? Tracy, Julie, Connie M

November/December 2022 will be good also to name OTHER feelings that came up that led to the anger…most often those are sadness, fear, or insecurity. Sympathy for someone else in the situation works well…a sibling or parent, a neighbor, family friend, or maybe co-workers for the “tyrant boss,” for example. That would give the reader the message that you’re letting them into your reactions in a way that readers do appreciate. We all like to see and feel hard to express emotions from our authors. AND again, importantly, you’d be taking full responsibility for having those emotions whether anybody approves of those or not. ❖ Ariele Huff’s new ongoing class Ancient Healing Methods for Modern Stress begins in Winter quarter 2023. Want more information on this class or one of the many online writing and ZOOM classes? Contact Ariele at (Looking forward to meeting you or working further with old friends.)

This the season to be jolly is a time to re-think folly think of things done wrong, but past of how the consequences last of how things thus learned are passed to Julie, Tracy, Connie M Yet there’s a joy the season brings which overpowers lessor things it rings loud in the laugh of Lena and is felt by all who’ve seen a Tracy, Julie, Connie M A hardy wish of Happy New Year from our house to yours, can you hear peals of happy, children’s laughter lingering forever after Julie, Tracy, Connie M --Lyle C. Adams Poetry may be excerpted, edited, or used in Sharing Stories on Northwest Prime Time’s website. Send to

November/December 2022 Medical Minutes ...continued from page 6

chronic kidney disease) regularly check their blood pressure at home or other places. Among these individuals, 55% said they own a blood pressure monitor, though some said they don’t ever use it. A somewhat higher number (62%) reported that a healthcare provider encouraged them to perform such checks. Poll respondents whose providers had recommended they check their blood pressure at home were three-and-a-half-times more likely to do so than those who didn’t recall getting such a recommendation. Anyone can do home monitoring and keep a daily diary, which can be highly beneficial. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of strokes. The study authors write that home blood pressure monitoring could play an important role in helping adults live longer and maintain better heart and brain health. Past research has shown that regular home monitoring can help with blood pressure control, and that better control can mean reduced risk of death. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is also linked to cognitive impairment and dementia. The findings, which were published in JAMA Network Open, were based on a national survey of adults aged 50 to 80 concerning their chronic health conditions, blood pressure monitoring outside of clinic settings, and interactions with health providers about blood pressure. ❖ John Schieszer is an award-winning national journalist and radio and podcast broadcaster of The Medical Minute. He can be reached at

Senior Fitness Tip

Staying Hydrated …by Mark Bryant

Older people are at an increased risk for dehydration because we may not detect thirst as in our younger days and as we age our bodies tend to hold less water. Plus, some health conditions or certain medications can contribute to dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water, your body will borrow water from itself, compromising organs and tissue and negatively impacting bodily functions or causing pain. Muscles need blood and water and if you exercise when dehydrated, you may experience shortness of breath, have an asthma attack, get angina pain or leg cramps. Other signs of dehydration can include dry mouth or skin, fatigue and dizziness. Serious dehydration can cause difficulty walking and staying balanced, confusion, rapid heart rate and fainting.


HEALTHY HYDRATION HABITS Drink eight glasses of water each day. Some seniors drink less because limited mobility makes it difficult to keep getting up to get water, or they reduce their fluid intake to prevent frequent trips to the bathroom. Milk, broth, juice, frozen fruit pops all count towards optimum fluid intake (avoid drinks with sodium and high sugar levels). If drinking that much is difficult, work your way up to it. Have water next to you that you can sip from throughout the day. Many foods can contribute to hydration, especially fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumbers. Avoiding alcohol, minimize sodium and caffeine intake can help. Drink water. Stay hydrated! ❖ Mark Bryant has been a personal trainer for 25 years and recently earned a certification as a Corrective Exercise Specialist. He is the Enhance Fitness Coordinator at Southeast Seattle Senior Center, with over 15 years of experience working with seniors. Despite having had a total hip replacement, Mark has won 14 Powerlifting World Championships.

Our Senior Fitness Tip columnist, Mark Bryant, recently returned from Las Vegas, where he competed in the AAU Powerlifting World Championships at the Rio Hotel. “I got first place. I was awarded three gold medals. I also hold Three Powerlifting World Records, one each in Lift, the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift, says Mark. “I competed in the 198 lb. weight class and age class, 63 at the time and now 64. In October, I went down there as an 11-time Powerlifting World Champion and came back as a 14-time Powerlifting World Champion.” Mark is also a two-time Powerlifting Hall of Famer.


Northwest Prime Time

Staying Safe and Joyful ...continued from page 3

hook Christmas trees to the wall to avoid falls and utilize candles or menorahs or kinaras with electric candles to reduce fire hazards. Holiday Celebrations Like with traditions, adapting celebrations is key for a dementiafriendly holiday. Try to focus on what they enjoy while keeping in mind their safety and comfort. Before the celebration Prepare the person. Help build familiarity and comfort by showing them photos of the guests or arrange a phone call/Facetime chat with the visitors beforehand. Be open with guests. Consider sharing beneficial information with guests beforehand, such as ways they can communicate with the person, what they respond well to, and what may upset them—especially visitors who don’t regularly interact with the individual. This will guide them on how they can be helpful and supportive. 7 Ways to Promote Good Prostate Health during Movember ...continued from page 7

Many of these tips are just plain good for you and promote good health in general. If you have other medical conditions such as heart disease, you will recognize most of these suggestions as heart healthy as well. When talking to patients I often say, “heart healthy is prostate healthy.” ❖ Marc S. Cohen, MD FACS is Medical Advisor for Bastion Health

November/December 2022

Utilizing the Outdoors for During the celebration Veteran’s Therapy Preserve normal routine. Changes in daily routine can be ...continued from page 13 challenging for someone living with dementia. If the person usually takes abilities, the most impactful part of an afternoon walk, build in time for each event comes at night for some of that. If they go to bed early, hold the the programs that offer “campfire time” celebration earlier in the day so that when participants simply gather in a everyone can participate. circle around a campfire after the day’s Connect with loved ones activities and start talking. through technology. Videoconference “They definitely open up over technology (i.e., Facetime, Zoom, the campfire times,” said one program Skype) can include others who can’t leader. “And that’s one of the reasons attend in person. they really want to come back. They Take a Strengths-Based and bond and they see it as a really positive Person-Centered Approach. Focus on experience.” what the person is still able to do and One option that is free and what they choose to do now, rather accessible to everybody: state forests. than dwelling on what they used to do. “There’s a place for every single one of us,” said Jammie. Walks in state forests The Alzheimer’s Foundation are open to everyone. “The premise of America Helpline is available is to introduce people to the calming seven days a week to help provide effects of the forest, and to have people additional information about creating exercise their ability to slow down dementia-friendly holidays or any their minds and let the noise of the other caregiving questions. Connect outside world subside.” She likens it to with a licensed social worker by calling a skill that you have to practice in the 866-232-8484, web chatting at www. same way that you would exercise. or sending a text message to Therapeutic programs utilizing 646-586-5283. The web chat and text nature are paving the way for message features can serve individuals the utilization of public lands as in more than 90 different languages. ❖ recreational retreats. The holistic beauty and simplicity to forest Holiday Mix-ups therapy that doesn’t have any social requirements and doesn’t require Answers to questions on page 16 anything, really, other than a forest. “As the guide, I just open the 1. inlets; listen; silent; doors,” said Jammie. “The forest truly is enlist: tinsel. the therapist. And I believe that if we 2. glean; Nagel; Lange; could just take a 10-minute walk each angle: angel. day in nature, we’d live in a whole 3. Leon; Lone; ‘Nole; different world.” ❖ Leno: Noel. [Five more anagrams of Noel: enol, Elon; Olen, Olne, “One L.”] A Calendar of Places 4. rats, arts, tars: star. to Go, Do or See… 5. bleats, tables, ablest: Our online calendar is updated twice a month. stable. Visit