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Pedometer Chronicles — Creating the Good Part III

The Fox Trot Challenge is now over, and I am sad.

Sad like taking the last lick of a satisfying bowl of Baileys flavored ice cream, the end of a fabulous vacation, or when family and friends leave after Thanksgiving.

I told this to Kent Schaffer and he agreed. He reminded me “but the leftovers are great, remember that.”

With the heart of a goddess warrior and the constitution of Marlon Brando, I empathize with my people who faithfully come for lunch with their canes, walkers and wheelchairs. I understand that the breakfast of champions is a pot of coffee, three Advil and a prayer. When we began the Fox Trot Challenge (a 10-week pedometer walking program sponsored by AARP and Create the Good) I was skeptical of the promised results.

Our people took 7,319,863 tenacious steps. One walker wore her pedometer on her shoe. She was having remodeling work done to her condo and a workman asked her if she was under house arrest. Another danced every day to John Denver music. Parking far away became a habit for many. Several parked at the Hot Springs and walked to the Senior Center for lunch. My people asked each other how many steps they had taken so far every day, and compared their shrinking waist lines.

There were technical difficulties. At least 10 pedometers had untimely demises by drowning in toilets, one was run over by a car. Many were washed with the laundry. I went through a couple and can tell you which pedometers from Alco, Wal Mart and Big 5 are the best. People experimented with their pedometers. Biking registered on them as did gardening. Tai Chi registered practically nothing as did horseback riding. Regardless, we walked.

As a Fox Trot coach, Rick Sautel reported that the best part of the program was that people were surprised that they felt better walking more after the first week, and that so few people dropped out. The most valuable part of the program was that it made us all aware of how much we moved and the extra energy that came with increased walking.

The AARP pedometer and Create the Good Walking program showed us all concretely that we decide, with every step, to be active or sedentary. The leftovers from this program are the good stuff — increased energy, smaller waistlines, a new dedication to walking. All we needed were shoes, a plan and time.

Art in the afternoon

Join us at Serenity Trail Gallery of Fine Art on Wednesday, July 14, at 1:30 p.m. for the exhibit “Castles and Landscapes of England and Scotland,” by artist Jamie Schmidt. Her originals and photo art are complemented by European and American antique prints from the late 1800s by Edouard Debat-Ponsan, Frank Church and others. Serenity Trail Gallery is located at 190 Talisman Drive, C6. Call Connie Giffin at 731-0640 with any questions.

Readers Digesting

Tessa Michaelson, Head Imp of Fun and adult services librarian at the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, will be here Monday, July 12, at 12:45 p.m. to collect hours for the Adult Summer Reading Program and entertain us with this month’s library mischief.

Senior Law Day

Colorado Seniors and adult children are invited to participate in the 12th annual Colorado Senior Law Day, Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, in Denver. If you are a senior, an adult child with an aging parent, or a caregiver, this is one day you cannot afford to miss.

This annual educational seminar presents programs specifically designed for seniors in the Colorado community. This seminar will provide attendees with important and useful information on many issues facing our growing senior citizen population.

Each participant will receive a free copy of the 2010 Edition Senior Law Handbook, with over 400 pages. This is a collaborative project between the Colorado Bar Association Elder Law and Trust and Estate Sections, and published by Colorado Bar Association CLE.

Workshop topics include Assisted Living and Nursing Home Issues, Adult Protection and Elder Abuse, Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud, Disposition of Final Remains, End Life-How Do You Want to Die?, Estate Planning-Wills, Trusts and Your Property, Hanging Up the Car Keys for Good, Aging in Place-Maintaining Your Independence at Home, Illness and Death of a Significant Other, Long-Term Care Insurance, Social Security, What to Do When Someone Dies, and many more.

Its easy to register. Go to

Opening chess

Beginning Friday, we are hosting chess games in the dining room. We need more chess sets, however. Please bring one with you. Or if you would pretty please like to donate a chess set, bring it to me or call me at 264-2167.

Medicare counselors

Do you enjoy helping others? The SHIP program (Senior Health Insurance Program) and SMP (Medicare Fraud Program) available through the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, is looking for additional talented volunteers to join the Medicare Navigators Team.

These programs educate, counsel and assist Colorado’s Medicare beneficiaries. We need people who have a desire to help others in the community, who have computer skills and are Internet savvy.

The Colorado Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program is part of a national network of programs that offer free, confidential counseling and assistance for people with Medicare. Congress established SHIPs in 1990 to help beneficiaries navigate an increasingly complex health care system. It’s also home to the SMP Medicare Fraud Program.

Each year, the Colorado SHIP/SMP provides invaluable services to people with Medicare, including: Counseling beneficiaries through the annual prescription drug plan enrollment period, connecting with beneficiaries who have limited incomes to help them save money on health care costs, and educating the community about health insurance issues.

A three-day training is provided and is coming up soon, Aug. 10-12. Contact Musetta Wollenweber at 264-2167 for further details about this great opportunity. Insurance agents, insurance brokers, and financial planners are not eligible to serve as Medicare Navigator team members.


We need volunteers to help in the kitchen from 9 a.m.-noon on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Your duties might include food prep, dishwashing and lunch set up. Kitchen experience would be helpful, but reliability is a must. In return, you get a fabulous lunch, big love from the seniors and eternal gratitude from us.

We also need home delivery volunteers to deliver hot meals once a week. Call me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167.


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, July 9 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; ASI board meeting, 1 p.m.

Monday, July 12 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Tessa Michaelson, Readers Digesting 12:45 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, July 13 — Chair Massage 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, July 14 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; Poker 1 p.m. ; Art in the Afternoon 1:30 p.m. Serenity Trail Art Gallery

Thursday, July 15 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, July 16 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Chess 10 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

ASI memberships

Is it time for you to renew or buy your 2010 ASI membership? You can purchase memberships at The Silver Foxes Den on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Folks 55 and over will benefit with discounts from many local businesses, including the local hot springs. This is one of the best deals in Pagosa Springs.

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.

Friday, July 9 — Chicken fajita, lettuce and tomato, cilantro rice, cabbage and red peppers, grapes.

Monday, July 12 — Sloppy joe on a bun, baked potato, broccoli and carrots, apple.

Tuesday, July 13 — Fish creole, cheesy potatoes, squash and onion, peaches, whole wheat roll.

Wednesday, July 14 — Teriyaki chicken, brown rice, spinach mandarin salad, tropical fruit, whole wheat roll.

Thursday, July 15 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, July 16 — Spinach lasagna, salad, green beans, orange, breadsticks.