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Bear Tales: Tips to make life easier

When I was a little girl and it was summer, my mother sent me outside for the whole day only to call me back for food and bed time.

My biggest fears were missing the calls to come inside for lunch (grape Kool-Aid and an American cheese sandwich on day old Wonder Bread), getting caught for punching Brian Adams in the nose for insulting my brother, and losing kickball games to the boys. I was never afraid of bears because the only one I knew of was named Smokey and he was on a poster at school warning me not to play with matches.

Now that I am not little, my biggest outside fears are getting lost walking in the PLPOA not knowing where the bathrooms are, getting hit by a car walking in the dark stupidly wearing black, and bears attacking and/or eating my people.

The latter is a new-found fear that just developed last week when I was at a dinner party and my hosts regaled me with stories of a bear breaking into their house to eat their banana bread. The following day a neighbor told my husband about a 400-pound bear in a tree very near to our home. The day after that, bears were the subject du jour in our dining room.

I asked my people about bear encounters expecting to hear only one or two stories. Not so. Everyone had a bear tale. It is heartwarming to note that all of my people who currently have bear visitors made me promise not to give names or locations to protect the bears from the Division of Wildlife. Here are my five favorite comments. 1. “Don’t put out hummingbird feeders. Bears love those. I know.” 2. “I am more afraid of an angry woman than a bear.” 3. “Bears swam in my kiddie swimming pool and crunched the sides.” 4. “What do you call 10 naked people in the middle of a field? A bare picnic. I made that up.” 5. “In New Mexico bears lay out in the streets and roll around.”

Although my tale tellers were wide-eyed in the telling, they admitted to no fear of their ursine company. Instead they informed me of rules in promoting good relations. “Never run,” “Never leave out trash,” “Don’t wear perfume when you camp,” “Don’t leave your doors or windows open” and “Don’t have chickens.” The litany ended with “Bears are more afraid of people than people are afraid of them.” Seriously?

I was admonished to remember that the bears were here before people and that I had a responsibility to cohabit with them peacefully. I promised to do my best, not camp in Chanel No. 5, not have hummingbird feeders and especially not raise chickens.

Picnic in the Park

Friday, July 30, we are hosting another Picnic in the Park in Town Park by the Gazebo, instead of lunch in our dining room.

Jack Collinsworth will be singing at 11 a.m., and there will be a square dancing performance during lunch.

Reservations are required, so call Rob now at 264-2167.

ASI bake sale

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. is hosting a bake sale during Picnic in the Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. My people are baking pies, cakes, cookies and candy. You better get there before I do. Yum.

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 on 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, many more.

It’s easy to register! Go to

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 SHIP’s 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. Please 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.

Desperate for help

We need home delivery volunteers, to deliver hot meals once a week. We need a Friday person and a Monday person. It takes about an hour. Please, please call me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167.


Thank you to Dru Sewell for volunteering countless hours this week. You deserve more than the song I made up for you.

Thank you to Jim and Linda Rigny for substituting for our deliverers.

Thank you to Mae Boughan for setting up the dining room every day.

Thank you to Dawn and Bob of the Floured Apron for bringing the best pancakes to my friends and me.


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, and 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 at The Den

Friday, July 23 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Chess 10 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.

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

Tuesday, July 27 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

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

Thursday, July 29 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, July 30 — 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. Picnic in the Park.

The Archuleta County Senior Center Newsletter is now available on Archuleta County’s Website: Look it up!

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, July 23 — Turkey jambalaya, zucchini and squash rice, orange, breadstick, cookie.

Monday, July 26 — Hamburger, lettuce, tomato and onions, baked beans, potato salad, watermelon.

Tuesday, July 27 — Roast pork, mashed potatoes, parslied carrots, Jell-O, multigrain bread.

Wednesday, July 28 — Enchilada pie, lettuce and tomato, yellow squash, mixed fruit, whole wheat tortillas.

Thursday, July 29 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, July 30 — Honey barbecue chicken, oven browned potatoes, spinach, pears, roll.