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Whistlestop DECEMBER 2011

E PRESS

Whistlestop.org

The Leading Information Resource for Marin's Active Aging Movement

Everyone Deserves to Age with Dignity, Independence and Grace by DENNIS THOMPSON, President, Board of Directors

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f you stop by Whistlestop, you might see Lucille in a yoga class, the Mystery Book Club, or learning about financial planning. But most of the time you’ll find her in our computer lab practicing what she learned in our Facebook class by connecting with her grandchildren, friends and former students. When Lucille, a retired teacher, lost her husband a few years ago, her son, Sam, worried that her health would decline if she became lonely at home. Sam found Whistlestop and now Lucille comes to Jackson Café for meals, and is part of the vibrant community at the Active Aging Center. Together, you and I can support Marin’s growing population of older adults and people with disabilities by making a gift today. Every day, Whistlestop provides transportation, meals and classes to older adults and people with disabilities to

Rocky Packard's Edamame Succotash page 4

help them thrive and stay connected to one another. No other organization provides the comprehensive, integrated hub of vital services that they need. Yet we can’t do it alone. We share the responsibility to help our older relatives and neighbors live active, engaged lives for as long as possible. Today, Whistlestop’s services are more critical than ever. Marin County is the fastest aging county in California, with 1 in 4 residents over the age of 60. You may not realize that even in affluent Marin, an increasing number of older adults lack good nutrition and struggle to make ends meet. Here’s how your gift can help: We serve 17,000 weekday lunches a year and charge only $4.50 a meal to older adults. Your donation will make up the difference in food costs. Transportation is a big part

The Bird's Side of Marin page 11

Members chat during the Persian Social Group gathering at Whistlestop’s Active Aging Center. The generosity of Marin County donors contributes to this and countless other social activities at the center. of what we do, but government funding doesn’t cover our annual costs. Wouldn’t you like your grandmother, especially if she is frail, to have door to door service and a driver who will make sure she gets home safely? With your support, we can expand our personal ride service to more older adults who need us. Help us make Marin County a viable, supportive place for people to age with dignity and grace. ✦

San Rafael Ceramist page 12


Whistlestop

Table of

CONTENTS 4 5 6 7 8/9 10 11 12 13 14 15

PERSPECTIVE by JOHN BOWMAN Volunteer Gives Out of Gratitude

From Rocky's Pantry Rocky Packard Gratitude Important Photo Contest Reception Tea Dance Photos Whistlestop Classes Activities Calendar The Bird's Side of Marin Richard Pavek Marin Ceramist Board Member Column Karen Arnold Grand Mom Audrey Mettel Fixmer WordSearch Puzzle Paul Gruner

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Marin Senior Coordinating Council, Inc. 930 Tamalpais Avenue San Rafael, CA 94901 Chief Executive Officer, Joe O’Hehir Board of Directors President, Dennis Thompson Vice President, Terry Scussel Treasurer, Michael Rice Secretary, Michael Hingson Karen Arnold • Eleanor Delaney • Claudia Fromm Jane Lott • Debbie Mills • Lori Peterson • Bill Saul Bob Sonnenberg • Jeff Stoffer Whistlestop Express is a publication of the Marin Senior Coordinating Council, Inc. A 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization The Mission of Whistlestop: To promote the independence and well-being of Marin County’s older adults and individuals with disabilities to enhance their quality of life. Whistlestop Contact Information Main Number 415-456-9062 Whistlestop Fax 415-456-2858 www.whistlestop.org Information & Referral Office 415-459-6700 • resource@whistlestop.org Whistlestop Express Editorial, Art Direction & Sales John & Val Bowman Editors 916-751-9189 • john.bowman58@gmail.com Missy Reynolds Art Director mreynolds@pacificsun.com Advertising Linda Black • 415-485-6700, Ext. 306 Whistlestop Express is printed on recycled paper To be added to, or taken off, the email list for Whistlestop Express, please call 415-456-9062, ext. 141. Or send an email, with your request, your name and address to INFO@whistlestop.org. Subscriptions mailed to your home are $10/year.

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Whistlestop Express DECEMBER 2011

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e n e r o s i t y, ly that he needed to get the theme of out and meet other peothis month’s ple. This man was my Whistlestop Express, husband, Robie Nelson shows up in many Harrison. He started forms. For Jean Harcoming in every day for rison, 70, of Greenlunch, making friends brae, giving back is with everyone, singing the way she expresssongs, telling naughty es gratitude for all jokes, sweet -ta l k ing that the Active Agthe ladies. He contining Center has done for her and ued coming to Whistlestop unher late husband, Robie, who til 2008. He died in 2009 at the died in 2009, after 45 years of age of 90. His doctors firmly marriage. believed that Whistlestop had Folks who eat regularly at a lot to do with his making it the Jackson Café know Jean to that age. His disease had for her friendly smile and not progressed all that much voice and the smooth way she and the daily interactions, handles cashier duties at the movement/exercise and nutriJackson Café. She also sometious meals helped to extend times helps to set up tables his life. and serve lunches. She has “After Robie died, I realbeen volunteering at Whisized what a big part of his tlestop for nine years. She and my life Whistlestop says in her melodic voice, that had been. I am truly grateshe really appreciates Whisful that we found Whistlestop because, “For a lot of tlestop when we fi rst moved older people, the only interacto California. It has been, tion they get with others is and continues to be, a great when they come here.” The resource. I have been a volTexas twang comes from her unteer here for nine years 38 years in Houston, although because I believe in what the originally Jean organization is doing.” comes from Virginia. Besides working She recently talked ‘His doctors in the Café, Jean about her husband firmly also has helped with and what Whistlestop other activities, believed that such as decorating meant to him: “ T here was th is Whistlestop for special events ma n, in h is ea rly and luncheons. Her had a lot to 80s, who began comfavorite job is serving to Whistlestop do with his ing food and talkin 2002. He had just with people. “It making it to ing been diagnosed with makes me feel good Alzheimer’s and his that age.’ to interact with doctor told his famithem.” ✦


The most important guessing game you’ll ever play B y J A N I C E WA L L AC E, t h e E l d e r c a r e Co a c h

www.grief-to-healing.com

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here’s been a lot of talk lately about how drugs are being used to cope with challenging behaviors in elders as the first resort. Instead of investigating the reasons for difficult behaviors and trying non-drug interventions first, a patient or resident is likely to receive some type of anti-psychotic medication. Elder patients are at risk for more serious side effects including death as a result of these drugs. As family members, discovering the reasons for a behavior change can be our most important guessing game. Here are some tips to guess with success: Start with the perspective that you will try multiple interventions outside of medication before going with a drug. If your family member is already receiving medications to address difficult behavior, still seek physical and environmental causes and interventions with the hope that the drugs can be removed or reduced. 1. If your family member works with outside caregivers, enlist their help or support. What has changed in your family member’s environment? Have they observed your family member grimacing or favoring a part of their body? Have they noticed that the bad behavior is related to a certain activity or time of day? 2. Check the physical basics. Does your family member have any wounds or sores that could be causing discomfort? Don’t forget to check or ask them about their teeth and mouth. 3. More physical basics: could they be constipated or having other digestive issues? 4. Has anything about their current prescriptions been changed recently? I attended an educational program recently and a doctor who was lecturing about prescription drugs and seniors said, “Assume any change is a side effect of a recently prescribed drug.” 5. When was the last time your family member went to the doctor? 6. What has changed in your family member’s environment? Is there a new caregiver? 7. What changes might you make to the environment or routine that might make a positive difference. ✦

GIVE THE GIFT OF HOPE We are seeking grants and donations to supplement the cost of HBOT for those who can’t afford it. HBOT has a proven track record of aiding people suffering from conditions that are extremely difficult to treat by conventional methods alone. In the last year we have provided supplementation for HBOT treatment to eighteen individuals.

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Discover the Difference.

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415.233.6095 515 Northgate Drive San Rafael, CA 94903

www.almaviaofsanrafael.org AlmaVia of San Rafael, an Elder Care Alliance community is cosponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas West Midwest Community & the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. RCFE Lic # 216801868.

whistlestop.org 3


From Rocky's PANTRY b y R O C K Y PA C K A R D

Jackson CafĂŠ Edamame Succotash

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damame is a rich source of protein and a great substitute for those who do not like lima beans. This dish is great hot or cold as a side dish for fish or chicken. Servings: 6 1 lb Fresh corn, removed from the cob 2 tbs Olive oil 1/2 cup Red onions, diced 1/4 Red bell pepper, cut into medium dice 1/4 lb Edamame/soy beans 1/8 pint Cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half 2 tbs Parsley, chopped 1 tbs Fresh thyme, chopped Salt and pepper, to taste Place the edamame/soy beans in a steamer pan and steam for 5 minutes; rinse with cold water. Heat the olive oil until hot, then add the onions, sautĂŠing until soft with a little bit of

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Whistlestop Express DECEMBER 2011

color. Then add the bell peppers, continuing to sautĂŠ a few minutes until soft. Add the cherry tomatoes, edamame and corn. SautĂŠ a few additional minutes just to heat through. Combine all the ingredients, mixing well, and add salt and pepper to taste. âœŚ

Caregivers May Qualify for Family And Medical Leave Act

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he Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. Under FMLA, group health benefits must be maintained during such leave. FMLA includes parents (but not grandparents) as qualifying family if there is a serious medical condition. Federal law notwithstanding, some workers perceive pushback from employers on eldercare leave requests. Before having to use FMLA, understand it as much as possible. There are many employee legal protections, rights and worker leave benefits where available or applicable. Eligibility under FMLA requires the worker to have been employed by the employer at least 12 months, and, a minimum of 1,250 hours over the past 12 months at a location where the company employs 50+ employees within 75 miles. For more information, call Mary Lou Blount, principal with In Your Home Care For Life, 415-895-5185. âœŚ


Neuroscience Shows Gratitude Makes Us Healthier

Helping You Maintain Your Independence

by OCEAN ROBBINS

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egative attitudes are bad for you. And gratitude, it turns out, makes you happier and healthier. If you invest in a way of seeing the world that is mean and frustrated, you’re going to get a world that is, well, more mean and frustrating. But if you can find any authentic reason to give thanks, anything that is going right with the world or your life, and put your attention there, then statistics say you’re going to be better off. Does this mean to live in a state of constant denial and put your head in the sand? Of course not. Gratitude works when you’re grateful for something real. Feeling euphoric and spending money like you just won the lottery when you didn’t is probably going to make you real poor, real quick. But what are you actually grateful for? It’s a question that could change your life. Recent studies have concluded that the expression of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on our health, our moods and even the survival of our marriages. In one study on gratitude, conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., at the University of California at Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami, randomly assigned participants were given one of three tasks. Each week, participants kept a short journal. One group briefly described five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week; another group recorded five daily hassles from the previous week that displeased them, and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told whether to focus on the positive or on the negative. Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25 percent happier than the hassled group. They reported fewer health complaints, and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more. 1) Keep a daily journal of three things you are thankful for. This works well first thing in the morning, or just before you go to bed. 2) Make it a practice to tell a spouse, partner

continued on page 6 >

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A sample of our services: •Grocery HospiceShopping Care Care Care x•• Memory Alzheimer’s • Companion Care Med Reminders Meals x• Bathing/Dressing Med Reminders •Prepare Housekeeping Housekeeping x• Laundry Bathing/Dressing •Light Transportation to Appointment x• Cooking Laundry •Drive Run Errands •Run PostErrands Surgery Care Much More! x• And And Much More!

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HEALTH CARE CONNECTION

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Whistlestop Photo Contest Winners Honored

Whistlestop CEO Joe O'Hehir, left, and George Cunha, with Cunha's Best of Show photograph. Cunha was among winners of the Whistlestop Photo Contest, who were recently honored.

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Thank You!

for sponsoring our third annual Photography Contest and doing something good for older adults!

George Cunha’s Cheetah: Best in Show

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Whistlestop Express DECEMBER 2011

histlestop recently hosted a reception for winners of its third annual photo contest for Marin County residents 60 years of age and older. Best of Show winner George Cunha, 85, of San Rafael, spoke briefly about his winning photo of a cheetah. He said the animal, which is endangered, is quite vulnerable to larger cats – lions and tigers. Contest judges Marilyn Bagshaw and Terry Scussel spoke about the quality of the entries, which, they said, was outstanding. Marin Filmworks co-sponsored the event with Whistlestop. ✦

< Neuroscience continued from page 5 or friend something you appreciate about them every day. 3) Look in the mirror when you are brushing your teeth, and think about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself. Ocean Robbins is an author, speaker, facilitator, movement builder and father. To learn more about his work or to get a free copy of his minibook The Power of Partnership, visit www.oceanrobbins.com. ✦


2011-2012

Whistlestop

TEA DANCE

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ur tea dances continue to be very popular. Ms. Aragon, aka Little Red Riding Hood pictured below, won the best costume at our Halloween-themed dance.

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Keep Learning at WHISTLESTOP BEGINNING COMPUTERS FOR ADULTS LEVEL I Thursdays, January 19 - February 23 • 10 to Noon Instructor: Ed Essick Fee: $10 off New Years Special...6-week course for $50 Pre-registration required: 459-6700 Requirement: have hav a Windows-based computer. c This is a hands-on hands-o course that will provide you with the basic skills needed to use your Windows based personal computer. It is designed for first-time computer u users. In this class you will learn how to: start your com computer and turn iit off, ff use the h mouse and keyboard to perform basic computer tasks, use Windows components to create and print a document, identify the basic parts of a computer and their use and search the Internet to find information. Laptop users are welcome to bring their computers to class.

COMPUTER/PICTURE CLASS Beginning: 2nd Friday, 2 to 4pm Advanced: 3rd Friday, 2 to 4pm Computer Room | Fee: $15 Instructor: Gene Dyer | Registration required: 459-6700 Call for more information and class descriptions. COMPUTER LAB DROP-IN CLASS Mondays, 10 to Noon & Wednesdays • 10 to 2pm Need help using a computer? We have volunteer computer tutors available to work with you one-on-one, if needed. 8

Whistlestop Express DECEMBER 2011

HOLIDAY LUNCHEON Wednesday, December 7 • 11:30 to 2pm Cost: $7 for 60+/$10 under 60 Please join us for a delicious meal and live entertainment by the Christmas Jug Band! Menu: Ham with candied yams, baby green beans & wax beans, chocolate three nut tart, and eggnog. Entertainment provided by Bread & Roses. AARP DRIVER SAFETY RENEWAL COURSE E Saturday, January 7 • 8:30 to 1pm Fee: $12/AARP members and $14/nonnd: members | Pre-Registration Required: 459-6700 This course is for drivers who have taken the eight-hour driver safety course within the last four years or who have taken a renewal class within the last four years to ount. At maintain their insurance discount. the end of this course, a certificate of completion will be given. MARIN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S VICTIM-WITNESS PROGRAM 1st & 4th Thursday • 9 to Noon If you or someone you know have either been a victim of a crime or have witnessed a crime, Yolanda Johnson, advocate from the District Attorney’s office, will be available to meet with you to answer questions, provide information and connect you to resources. WATERCOLORS WITH HILDA Thursdays • 10am Donations appreciated. Join us for this fun art program! Learn to make beautiful art using watercolor paints. Come explore your world


from a whole new vantage point. You may even reacquaint yourself with your inner child! All levels are welcome, and no experience is necessary. REMEMBRANCE WRITING 101 WORKSHOP The Easy Way to Write and Share the Stories of Your Life Thursdays • 2 to 4pm Facilitator: Claudia Carroll, writer of plays, songs, poetry, and reporter for community newspapers. | Fee: $5 YOU have a story to tell because you have LIVED LIFE! Share your remembrance stories with others in the workshop, then with friends and family. Write about your grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, your school chums and even your pets! Write about your hopes and dreams that came true, and the ones you are still dreaming up! All you need is a notebook with lined paper (a three-hole notebook with lined paper and divider inserts is best) and pens or pencils. The sessions will be on-going, so come every week, or drop in whenever you can.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Contact: Debbie at 456-9062 or programs@whistlestop.org • Jackson Café volunteers, at least one day a week from 11 to 2:15pm • Front Desk/Center Host(ess) • Board or Card Game Leader • Resource Office, computer experience required • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, help older adults and low income families with their Federal and State Income Tax returns. Training is in January and tax preparation season is February – April.

COMMISSION ON AGING Thursday, December 8 • 10:00-12:30 pm Where: The Redwoods, 40 Camino Alto Mill Valley Topic: New Research in Parkinson's Disease Next Meeting: January 12, 2012 • 10 am at Pickleweed

ART PROJECT 1st Friday • 11 to 12:30pm 456-9062 Learn how to create different types of art projects with artist Celeste Parcell. January 6: Beading COMING SOON IN JANUARY 2012! • Hearing Screenings • Lip Reading & Listening Skills Class • Facebook Computer Class IN-KIND DONATIONS NEEDED Mah Jongg sets, decks of cards, books and yarn If you have items to donate: 456-9062.

Independence Through Mobility Your One-Call / One-Click Transportation Resource:

(415) 454-0902

www.MarinAccess.org

Transportation Numbers JACKSON CAFÉ VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Whistlestop is looking for volunteers to work in the Jackson Cafe at least one day a week from 11am to 2:15pm. Whistlestop’s Jackson Café, located at the Active Aging Center, serves delicious and affordable lunchtime meals, Monday through Friday to diners of all ages. The Café features daily specials, deli sandwiches, soups, desserts, and fresh salads. The Jackson Café offers a comfortable setting where older adults and their family and friends can eat well and stay socially active. 456-9062 or programs@whistlestop.org.

Marin Access Call Center: 454-0902 Get Qualified to Ride: 456-9062, x160 eligibility@whistlestop.org Cancel a Ride: 457-4630 Volunteer Driver Program: 454-0969 whistlestop.org 9


TIME

CLASS

MISC.

COST

10:00–11:00 AM 11:00–12:30 PM 11:10–NOON 2:00–4:00 PM 4:00–5:30 PM

AM Monday (Discussion) German Social Group Movement & Music ESL Citizenship Class

457-0586 Open Open 457-8811 454-0998

Free Free Free Free Free

9:15–10:15 AM 10:00–2:00 PM 10:45–11:45 AM 11:00–2:00 PM 1:00–3:00 PM 2:00–3:00 PM 2:00–3:30 PM 2:30–3:30 PM

Whistlesizers (Exercise) Asian Social Group Cardio Exercise Class Manicurist Learn Spanish ESL Vietnamese English Conversation Balance Class

Open 454-1552 Open Appt. Needed Open 454-1552 454-0998 Open

$2 Free Free Free Free Free Free $10

WEDNESDAYS

Tai Chi Qigong Chair Massage Seniors' Circle (Support) Mah Jongg Computer Lab Corazón Latino ESL Basic English for Spanish Speakers

Sugg. Donation Open Open Open Open Open 457-8811 457-0586

Free Free Free Free Free Free

9:15–10:15 AM 9:30–11:00 AM 10:00–NOON PM 10:00–2:00 PM 10:30–NOON 2:00-3:30 PM 2:00–4:00 PM 3:00–4:00 PM

Whistlesizers (Exercise) Chiropractic Services Knit!!! Asian Social Group Watercolors with Hilda English Conversation Remembrance Writing Basic English for Spanish Speakers

Open Open 457-0586 454-1552 Open 454-0998 Open 457-0586

$2 $5 Free Free Free Free $5 Free

Chair Massage WS Knitters ACASA (Support/Training) Practice Spanish (Club) Friday Movie Arts & Crafts w/Vicky Yoga with Kelly

Open 1st Fri. Arts & Crafts Peer Counseling Open Dec. 2 & 23 Dec. 9 & 16 456-9062

$4/8min. Free Free Free $2 $3 $3

FRIDAYS

9:00–10:15 AM 9:00–2:00 PM 10:00–11:30 AM 10:30–NOON 10:00–2:00 PM 10:30–11:45 AM 2:00–4:00 PM 3:00–4:00 PM

9:00–2:00 PM 11:00–1:00 PM 1:30–3:30 PM 1:30–3:30 PM 2:00–4:00 PM 2:00–4:00 PM 3:00–4:00 PM

Jackson Café

Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:00pm $10 Located in Whistlestop $4/8min. Active Aging Center

THURSDAYS

TUESDAYS

MONDAYS

Whistlestop ACTIVITIES This Month at Whistlestop

LUNCH MENU 60+ PRICES/ UNDER 60 PRICES

Main Entrée $4.50/$7.25 Sandwiches $4.25/$6.25 Soup du Jour $1.75/$2.25 Hamburger w/Fries $4.25/$5.25 Salads $2.50/$4.00 OTHER ITEMS Tuna Salad Side Fresh Fruit Beverages Desserts

$1.25 $1.50 $1.00 $1.50

The Caboose, Computer Lab, Board Room and Jackson Café are all located at Whistlestop’s Active Aging Center – 930 Tamalpais Ave., San Rafael. 10

Whistlestop Express DECEMBER 2011


The Bird's Side b y R I C H A R D PAV E K PHOTOS © RICHARD PAVEK

OF MARIN

Gathering flock

Mom and Dad “necking”

GPS for Gannets

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orried about your teenage grandchildren off traveling the world alone? Just consider the juvenile Australasian Gannets of Murawai, New Zealand. A few weeks after their first flight, the young white-speckled black Gannets take off from their crowded nesting site and fly 1,200 miles across the glistening Tasman Sea to a rich feeding ground, 30 miles out from Sydney Harbor, Australia — without a guide or guidebook. There are no islands or shorelines to follow, just 1,200 miles of rolling sea. Some authorities say genetic programming or instinct is at work, a sort of GPS for Gannets. Personally, I think Mom and Dad regale their kids with tales of far off wondrous shoals with lots to eat, just to get them out of the crowded nesting site — so they can get to necking and

start another egg! (Gannets are great neckers, but only one egg at a time.) After four or five years, their travel bug satisfied, the mature young Gannets fly home in their fine new coats to re-join their parents, find mates, and lay a single egg to rear into their very own little explorer. They will stay on the Murawai cliffs for the rest of their lives, regaling their chicks with stories of wondrous shoals with much to eat, far to the west, far across the glistening seas with the great rolling waves. It works, every time! Every weekend, I email an interesting bird photo to Express readers. If you’d like something nice to look at in your Inbox, email me at SHENmaker@MSN.com. ✦ Till next month, Richard whistlestop.org 11


ing on mugs, bowls and vases. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all functional work; I like that people use them.â&#x20AC;? Daphne was drawn to Marin County from England in 1963 to work at Heath Ceramics in B Y VA L B O W M A N Sausalito. She was urged by a painter on saban Rafael ceramist Daphne Ahlenius, now batical in England to go there, and she was hired 80, was a member of the Judy Chicago by Edith Heath, who even opened up an apartteam that produced the famous â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dinner ment on her Tiburon barge home to Daphne and Partyâ&#x20AC;? project in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;70s. Daphne created the Su- her husband. She sharpened her technical skills san B. Anthony, Natalie Barney, Virginia Wolff under Edithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teaching, and her plates, mugs and and Georgia Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Keeffe three-dimensional plates. bowls are still in demand. She says there was a strong sense of mission with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Working with clay on the wheel is the project. always my starting point and source â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many dozens of women came from of renewal. The greatest satisfaction all over the U.S. to contribute their is knowing that tomorrow I can make time and skills, especially in needlemore pots and explore new possibiliwork, weaving and historical research,â&#x20AC;? ties of this craft. I am honored to work Daphne said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was stimulating to in a tradition that goes back to prework on a creation that was much bighistory, when women made the cookger than oneself.â&#x20AC;? ing pots, the storage jars and also the Today she continues to work out of sacred vessels, intimate expressions of her home studio and has several pieces the culture.â&#x20AC;? for sale at the upscale Post Ranch Inn Daphne began her work with at Big Sur. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I also have some private orHeath Ceramics as a production potders,â&#x20AC;? she said. Currently she is work- Daphne Ahlenius in her studio. ter. She produced an array of functional pieces with intense blue and purple glaze finishes. She experimented with glazes to eliminate the lead. Her Can You Afford Retirement? work in glaze technique led to the development A Reverse Mortgage Could be the Answer of a line of glazes with non-toxic materials for Competitive FHA-insured and new low-fee reverse mortgages. use in schools. She is passionate about the use Call for your FREE DVD info packet today! of art in the education of young children. Homeowners 62+, call for a face-to-face consultation She also developed a series of glazes for hobby or to find out how much you qualify for: potters in the mid-temperature range. She preMary-Alice Cardenas fers not to send her pieces away to other parts Reverse Mortgage Professional GENERATION of the country. She feels there is always a place Call 1-866-411-3818 Mortgage Company A New Generation in Reverse Mortgages NMLS #468646 for local potters and for pride in them and their work. She has been a member of Artisans GalNMLS #1319; Licensed by the Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act.Š 2011 Generation Mortgage Company. All rights reserved. lery in Mill Valley since 1981, and it has been a principal showcase for her work. â&#x153;Ś

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Same Old New Year’s Resolution? It’s Your Chance to Shine!

government support for our transportation programs, and 4-5% of our funds are from grants, but the rest of our funding is from our donors. Check out our website at www.whistlestop.org for a simple way to make a contribution. Also, if you work for the county, state or a federal agenby KAREN ARNOLD cy, add Whistlestop to your Combined Federal re you one of the millions of Americans Campaign pledge, (organization code #40150). who makes a New Year’s Resolution — Or consider making a legacy gift to secure Whistlestop services for future to lose weight, exercise generations. more or quit smoking — and Marin is the fastest aging then by January 15th, you are county in California, with one beating yourself up for falling out of four residents over 60. short? This year, try this: make This demonstrates not only sure your goals are enjoyable, the acute need for our serinteresting, and convenient so it vices, but also means we have will be easy to make them part a large pool of talented social of your routine. capital ripe for civic engageDid you know you can achieve ment and financial support. I enormous physical and mental hope you will join me in suphealth benefits from volunteerporting this wonderful coming? People who volunteer live munity resource. ✦ longer, have greater functional Barbara Hodes (right) is one of the Karen Arnold is a Whistletop ability and lower rates of depres- many friendly volunteers at the Board member. sion. Volunteers enjoy a personal Jackson Cafe'. sense of accomplishment, purpose and greater satisfaction with life. Studies have shown significant health benefits with only one to two hours a week. Interestingly, these health benefits are the greatest with people over 65. As a community volunteer and Whistlestop board member, I believe we share a responsibility to ensure that people in Marin age with grace, dignity and independence. Everyday, Whistlestop connects older adults and people ® with disabilities with a hub of essential services, such as transportation, delicious meals, Lifeline with AutoAlert® allows you classes and social programs to help keep our to live independently by automatically community engaged, vibrant and active. placing a call for help if a fall is detected. Why not make a New Year’s Resolution to become involved with Whistlestop? This great organization is successful, not only because of our many talented staff, but also because of our dedicated and valuable volunteers. You could teach a class, organize one of our fun activities, staff the welcome desk or help serve meals in the Café. We Remarkably affordable with no long term contracts will work with you to find the best fit, something convenient and rewarding. To get started, contact For more information on the leading personal Debbie at 456-9062 or programs@whistlestop.org. medical response service for more than 35-years call: If you are too busy with work and family to (707) 778-7883 • (800) 949-2434 volunteer, you can support Whistlestop with a www.lifelinenorthbay.com financial donation. Whistlestop receives some

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Grand MOM by AUDREY METTEL FIXMER

Grand Mom Never Too Old to Travel First of Two Parts

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recently returned from a Luxembourg tour, something I would have considered impossible just a couple of years ago. Then one day, I was discussing with my 26-year-old granddaughter, Hillary, her trouble deciding on a career. I asked her what kind of work would make her happy and she replied, “Being a travel companion for elderly people!” I thought about her years of working as a CNA in nursing homes. That, plus her bubbly personality and travel experience, made me think she’d be the perfect companion for a trip to Luxembourg. Both sides of my family, as well as my husband’s, are pure Luxembourg/German. I joined Ancestry.com and had no trouble digging four or five generations back in my family, but Bob’s Families with Aging Parents Trust Aging Solutions

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was another story. Even with the help of the Luxembourg American Cultural Society, I couldn’t get back further than his grandfather, John, who emigrated in 1890. I needed to get to that church in Bech, Luxembourg, to find more in their records. Would Hillary be willing to be my travel companion? Are you kidding? I invited her last spring, and she was so excited that she put in as much overtime as she could get in her waitress job to save up her own spending money. I knew we would be expected to do a good deal of walking, and I tried to get myself in shape before the trip by walking (usually behind a cart in grocery or department stores, but that can get expensive). I visited my doctor and got the requisite shots, and told her my concern about the parts of the tour when we would have to stand and listen to a lecture. My back gives me trouble when I stand more than a minute or two. She suggested a transfer chair, which I can push like a cart when I want to walk and sit in when I need to. What nobody told me was that all of the cobblestone streets we walked were on hills. Good thing I didn’t know in advance. I might have backed out and missed the trip of a lifetime. I could not have done it without Hillary. She was my Memory: “Grandma, I think you put your pill in that pocket,” my Baggage Carrier: “Let me take that for you!” my Secretary: “You go to bed, Grandma, I’ll write that blog for the family tonight,” and my Nurse: “Don’t worry, I’ll get your leg bandaged as soon as we can stop the bleeding.” Next month: the Moselle River cruise, and finding Great Grandpa and Grandma in the family plot. ✦

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The 100-Year-Old Marathon Man

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nything worth doing is going to be difficult,” says Fauja Singh, the 100-year-old runner who recently became the world’s oldest person to complete a full-length marathon, crossing the line at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront event in eight hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds. (And he didn’t finish last: five came in after him.) At five-foot-eight and weighing a little more than eight stone (about 112 pounds), Singh is a spindly figure under his heavy turban and wispy beard. “I was so worried we might not make it that we didn’t tell our relatives we were doing it. (He runs with his trainer.) I just wanted to break that bloody record.” He is referring to the record set in 1976 by a 98-year-old Greek athlete. “I lost my speed in this race,” says Singh, “but it was the thought of that old man that pushed me through the last four miles. That and God.” Speaking in Punjabi, Singh says running has given him purpose and a sense of peace. “Why worry about these small, small things? I don’t stress. You never hear of anyone dying of happiness.” He took up serious running when he was 89 and says it was his good kismet (destiny) that led him to meeting ex-professional runner Harmander Singh, his trainer and friend. Harmander says tests taken last year showed that Singh “has the bones of a 35-year-old.” Singh claims never to drink milk. “I’m scared of building up phlegm.” The rest of his diet? “I just eat the minimum of what I need: some daal and roti, gobi and chai – I’d probably be dead if I was full all the time.” (From dailygood.org) ✦

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