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‘Midnight Masquerade’ prom for Seniors set for April 25

I long to be an Angelina Jolie character saving the world from evil with my secret ninja moves, and vaporizing danger with my gaze. (Elegantly dressed in black and grey of course.)

This week I was graciously offered the opportunity to begin training for this goal by learning Tai Chi.

Tai Chi (translates as supreme ultimate fist, or supreme ultimate) is a slow-moving internal martial art based on softness and awareness, rather than force and resistance. It has been recognized for thousands of years as both a method of self cultivation and of improving health. Practiced at a slow and even speed, Tai Chi promotes relaxation, straight posture and balance.

Dr. Pam Kircher and Anna O’Reilly teach Tai Chi for Health every Friday at 11 a.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center. Kircher is a retired family physician and one of the 16 master trainers in Tai Chi for Health in the United States. O’Reilly has practiced Tai Chi for almost 35 years. During most classes, Paul Roberts accompanies the class playing his sitar (a long-necked stringed instrument from India) or his banjo. Tai Chi for Health, as practiced here, focuses on engendering its scientifically proven health benefits and is sponsored by The Arthritis Foundation.

On this particular Friday, Anna taught and nine people attended. Their ages ranged from 50 to 80 years old. There is no minimum physical fitness requirement or special uniform for Tai Chi; however, Anna recommends loose comfortable clothing and flat soled shoes. One woman sported a cane. One gentleman was dressed business casual. One woman wore a long skirt The music began and so did the class.

As Anna led the class through the flowing, articulated forms, people outside of the community center room bustled to set up for the Spring Rummage Sale. Unperturbed, the class continued, in unity and serenity. Anna used compelling descriptions in her explanation of the movements, like “repulse the monkey,” “tie the coat loosely” and “push the mountain.” The attendees professed their love for the art. Merilyn Moorhead credits her Tai Chi practice as “making all of the difference in the world” in her balance after her hip replacement surgery two years ago. Biz Greene enjoys Tai Chi because it is “slow and spiritual, quietly centered.” It helps her to “achieve a sense of peace and balance.”

At the end of the class, Anna invited me to join her on a following morning outside to try Tai Chi instead of observing it. On the bank of the San Juan River in Town Park just beyond the bench and the eagle, I met Anna O’Reilly for my first Tai Chi lesson. I was greeted with a robust hug and a joyous smile. She gracefully taught me to reach for the sky, push to the earth and wave my hands like clouds. I became lost in the rhythm of my movement, faintly aware of the rushing spring river and the bitter cold. I left my new favorite spot on earth to go to work happily energized. Evil and danger would have to wait.

New scams

Employment search scams have consistently been among the most common fraud in the United States. With so many people currently looking for work, some are bound to become targets for less than reputable businesses willing to offer very promising employment situations. Many of these scams involve people having to pay fees up front, supposedly for materials, certifications or memberships, employment placement fees or phony sales leads. Once you pay, you get nothing in return or may receive less than useful supplies.

When looking for help in finding work, it’s important to understand the differences among employment services. Find out what services a firm offers, how much the services cost and who pays.

The following are signs that you may be dealing with a less than reputable company:

• Promises to get you a job, a “guaranteed” offer, or any hiring without an interview;

• Enticements of easy money working from home. Examples are assembling crafts, stuffing envelopes, doing medical billing or processing rebates;

• Any request for up-front money for job placement or materials. Legitimate placement firms are paid by employers, not job seekers;

• Be wary of firms promoting previously undisclosed federal government jobs. All federal positions are announced to the public;

• Do not give out your credit card or bank account information, or Social Security number, over the phone unless you are familiar with the company and agree to pay for services. Anyone who has your account information can use it to take money from your accounts improperly.

Fox Tales

The Snow Birds are returning! Rick Sautel has been around the sun 60 times. Tom Ferrell, our fearless Magic Bus driver, resigned. We will miss him. Poker rocks the house on Wednesday afternoons. Rumor has it that there are root beer floats.

Thank you

Thank you, Bob and Nelda Monjure, for your love and dedication. Pagosa Springs will miss you!

Thank you, Mike Mahaffey, for volunteering to deliver meals on Thursdays.

Thank you, Bonnie of Slices of Nature, for your donation.

Craft and jewelry sale

On Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., we are having a craft and jewelry sale in our dining room. Booths will be $25. Now is the time to make things and look through your current jewelry that you don’t need. We will also be selling refreshments including cinnamon rolls. Yummmm. Interested? Space is limited, please sign up early. Call me, 264-2167.

Midnight Masquerade

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. will host its annual Senior Prom on April 25 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Pagosa School 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’ouevres 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 within the dining room at the Silver Foxes Den on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11a.m. to 2 p.m.


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, April 23 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Book Club 10:30 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Don Ford Secret Athlete 12:45 p.m.

Monday, April 26 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, April 27 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Jessica Peart, personal trainer 12:45 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.; Healthy Living Class 1 p.m.

Wednesday, April 28 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; poker 1 p.m.; Alzheimer’s Support 1 p.m.

Thursday, April 29 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, April 30 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Book Club 10:30 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m., birthday lunch.

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, 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, April 23 ?— Dijon chicken, cheesy pea salad, orange, julienne beets, whole wheat bread, fruit medley.

Monday, April 26 — Porcupine meatballs, whipped potatoes and gravy, vegetable medley, almond peaches, bread.

Tuesday, April 27 — Stewed chicken with olives, greek spaghetti salad, karidopita.

Wednesday, April 28 — Combination burrito, brown rice, cooked cabbage, banana, fortune cookie.

Thursday, April 29 — No lunch, administrative day.