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Snitchin’ on the kitchen, accepting donations for rummage sale

When I arrive at work at 8 a.m., Nancy Dickhoff, kitchen supervisor-head chef, has already been in the kitchen for an hour.

KWUF is rocking the room, and the hint of an aroma of something delicious floats in the hallway. Dolores Sause and Dolores Gallegos, assistant cooks, enter with me. Dolores Sause prepares the home-delivered meals and the meals for Seeds of Learning, a local preschool. Dolores Gallegos prepares the vegetables for the extensive salad bar, which is the best salad bar in town. They all work for eight hours prepping, cooking, serving and cleaning.

Nancy does all of the meal planning for each of the meals, ensures our compliance with state regulations, orders the food twice a week and prepares it creatively. She is required to follow a state-approved menu. She is not required to add the spices to kick it up a notch or make everything from scratch, or insist on perfection. On snowy days, with her hands on her hips, she looks out of our window and declares that she will make soup. From extra ingredients in the enormous refrigerator and from the love in her heart she creates a soul warning soup and serves it herself to the grateful crowd.

What is their favorite part of their job?

“Talking to the diners as they come through the lunch line” was the unanimous answer.

With every lunch comes a scoop of sass with a side of concern. It is during this time the two Doloreses and Nancy discover who is allergic to what, who is sick, who needs their roof shoveled, etc. Then, after the staff has eaten, they disseminate the information to get help to whoever needs it.

I asked them what they like best about working together.

Dolores Sause thoughtfully responded, “We have each other’s backs.”

“Yes” agrees Dolores Gallegos, “No matter what happens we drop everything to help each other.”

I have witnessed this team work when we thought we would have 25 people to feed and actually had 63. They cheerfully cover for each other during vacations, illness and personal trials.

“What is the one thing you wish every diner knew?” I inquired.

Nancy replied, “All of us put our heart and soul into every meal.”

Our lunch is served Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at noon, with the salad bar opening at 11:30 a.m. Come to the Silver Foxes Den, where lunch is the best part of the day.

ASI Rummage Sale items

By Lynnsie Sutton, ASI vice president.

Archuleta Seniors Inc. will have a booth at the community center Spring Rummage Sale on Saturday, April 10, 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. We are asking you to help us raise money for seniors by donating gently-used items. We need items that would sell well at the sale; no clothing please.

You can never start too early when it comes to collecting items for the sale. If you keep a large box in a corner at home before the sale, you will be ready. During the next few weeks, when you come across a nice item you no longer need or want, put it in the box; don’t wait until the day before the sale, this will make your accumulation of items easy.

If you have large furniture items, we ask that you bring a photo of your items to display at the booth the day of the sale and leave the large items in your truck, where they can be easily viewed and picked up by the buyer.

Bring items before the sale to the community center on Friday, April 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. We will be happy to help you unload your car!

All proceeds go to Archuleta Seniors Inc. medical assistance program.

Healthier Living

Healthier Living is an awesome six-week chronic disease self-management program developed at Stanford University. The program is designed to help with the challenges that come with living with an ongoing health condition.

The class will run weekly for six weeks starting Tuesday, April 6, from 1-3 p.m. and will be taught by trained leaders, Katy Deshler and Tracy Reuther.

Chronic conditions are diseases that cannot be cured. Participants in the classes have ranged in age from 40 to 89 and have grappled with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, heart problems, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and back pain. Other examples of chronic illnesses are Lupus, Crohn’s disease, long-term depression, obesity and phobias.

This course series will teach skills that can help with coping with fatigue, frustration, pain and stress. It is also recommended for family, friends and caregivers. Included with the course is the companion book, “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions.” It will be taught here at the Senior Center. There is no charge for the class or materials. This is a really great course. Call me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167 to sign up.

Midnight Masquerade

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. will host its annual Senior Prom on April 25 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs High School in the Commons Area.

The high school prom happens the night before, and the school is leaving the decorations. The theme is “Midnight Masquerade.” For $5 for ASI members and $8 for non-members, each person receives a corsage or boutonniere, hors d’oeuvres catered by Christine’s Cuisine and one free prom photo. John Graves will be providing the music, and rumor has it, there will be pre-prom dance lessons here at the Silver Foxes Den. Tickets will be sold at the ASI membership desk located in the dining room at the Silver Foxes Den on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thank you

Thank you, Jack Renner, for volunteering to deliver meals, and for your answer of “pay it forward” to the question “Why do you want to volunteer?”

Thank you, Lynnsie Sutton, for the ninja stapler.

Thank you Tessa Michaelson for your library hospitality. We look forward to your “Readers Digest-ing” program during our lunch next month.

Services

Are you homebound or know someone who is? Let the Silver Foxes Den help you with your meals. We have expanded our service to the more rurally-isolated areas of the county and would like to help you help yourself.

These meals are the same meals prepared in our kitchen by the same cooks who prepare those scrumptious senior center meals. Our hot meal home-delivery program remains available to those closer to town four days per week, with frozen meals on Thursdays. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give me or Musetta a call at 264-2167 for further information.

Weekly activities

Friday, March 26 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Int. 9:30 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi Beg. 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; birthday lunch!

Monday, March 29 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Canasta 1 p.m

Tuesday, March 30 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, March 31 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; Poker 1 p.m.

Thursday, April 1 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, April 2 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi 10 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Parkinson’s Support Group 1 p.m.

The Archuleta County Senior Center Newsletter is now available on Archuleta County’s Web site: www.archuletacounty.org/Seniors/seniors.asp. Look it up!

Medical expenses

The Silver Foxes Den, in cooperation with Archuleta Seniors, Inc. (ASI), may be able to help with excess medical expenses.? Items covered might be prescription copays, eyeglasses, hearing aids and dental care.?Qualifying amounts are based on income and need. Recipients must be current members of ASI. Dues are $5 per year. For more information about how we might help you or your family, please contact Musetta at 264-2167.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal, which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, March 26 — Spinach salad, seasoned green beans, tangerine, bread stick.

Monday, March 29 — Chicken fried steak with country gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli, apple, biscuit.

Tuesday, March 30 — Chicken Fajita, lettuce and tomato, cilantro rice, cabbage, grapes.

Wednesday, March 31 — Meatloaf with gravy, cheesy potatoes, three bean salad, pineapple, bread.

Thursday, April 1 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, April 2 — Breaded fish, company potatoes, stewed tomatoes, tropical fruit, whole grain bread.