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Enjoying the (pink) colors of fall in Pagosa

If the cool weather and the shortening days didn’t announce that fall had arrived, the shelf of pink packaged Quaker Oats Oatmeal at City Market did.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with the Susan G. Komen Foundation hijacking the color pink for the corporate sponsorship marketing to Save the Ta Tas.

Pink is the new October orange and black.

As annoying as it is to have pink removed from my wardrobe palette because I associate it with breasts, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has made an epic impact towards its simple mission to “end breast cancer forever.” Since 1982, it has been funding research and education projects to do just that. Approximately 200,000 women and 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Approximately 40,000 women and 450 men will die from it. Senior women are more likely to get it, young women are more likely to die from it. These statistics are like Charlie Brown’s teacher’s “Wa Wa Wa Wa” until it is your mother, the elderly neighbor lady who taught you to make apple pies, and the woman who covered you with a blanket after a near fatal car accident. When it is your own people that suffer the disfiguring severance, the endless nausea, the baldness and the fear, it is personal. Saving the sisters is a noble cause.

Why, though, are the girls getting all of the attention? September was Prostate Cancer Awareness month. The prostate gland is located in men internally, down there, close to the external manifestations of manliness. Prostate cancer will be diagnosed approximately 230,000 times this year. The same statistic of 40,000 deaths of our fathers, husbands, sons and brothers are predicted. Can we save the boys, too? Why wasn’t there baby blue Quaker Oats Oatmeal on the shelf last month?

I asked my people, who are personally well versed in the horrors of both prostate and breast cancer “Why the inequality of attention?” The statistics, back in their day, were that if you got any kind cancer, you just died. The Foxy Ladies didn’t know, but pointed out that Avon is a huge supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness. I knew better than to ask the Corner Intelligentsia due to their bent to express themselves in an unprintable manner, yet I couldn’t help myself. Not disappointed, I received a long speech about the loveliness of the female shape.

The Artist’s Table thought that perhaps it was easier for everyone to talk about breast cancer than prostate cancer. Perhaps women were better at talking about their womanly parts and advocating for them than men. I am pretty sure, although I am not privy to any inner man circle conversations, that men attending the Mountain Chile Cha Cha in Town Park did not stand around the beer tap and discuss painful urination and erectile dysfunction, symptoms of prostate cancer.

However, my girlfriends and I do not discuss the state of our own assets either. I bravely asked the cooks in our kitchen, who asked me not to quote them, if they had checked their breasts for lumps lately and did they ask their friends if they did the same. Screeching and laughing they called me names and chased me out of the dining room. I guess not.

Early detection of both types of cancer is the definitive way to beat it. This means regular physicals for everyone, blood tests for men, self exams and mammograms for women over 40. Research shows that obesity is the largest general risk factor. Preventative measures include eating healthily, exercising and getting plenty of sleep. Simplistic “Wa, Wa, Wa, Wa,” but I would rather do that than contemplate reconstructive breast surgery after a mastectomy.

Cancer of all types kills 1,500 people of all ages and both sexes a day. So this month, in the pink fog of save the sisters love, let’s remember the brothers.

Thank you

Thank you, Nancy and Pat Artis, for the loan of your inspiring photographs.

Thank you, Dru Sewell, for coming back every week to help in the kitchen, and making us laugh, and for dancing with my dad.

Thank you, Rosa Long, for knocking yourself out every day when you really don’t have to. We appreciate you and your hard work.

Art in The Den

The current art show in our dining room features Pat and Nancy Artis who have been active photographers since the 1970s. Their primary interests include sports, nature and landscape photography. Their works have been displayed at the National Wildlife Museum in Jackson, Wyo., at a variety of other galleries and the Pagosa Mountain Hospital. In 2008, they were featured as “Artists of the Quarter” at the Holtzman Alumni Center at Virginia Tech. Pat and Nancy have been residents of Pagosa Springs since 1999.

Join us for lunch and view this beautiful collection!

ASI election

Archuleta Seniors Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of seniors in our county, is holding its annual board of directors election on Friday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Senior Center dining room. Everyone who is a member (you are if you purchased the $5 card) is strongly encouraged to vote. The slate of candidates is posted at the Senior Center.


We need someone to deliver meals on Mondays, beginning mid October. It takes about an hour, and you can eat lunch with us afterward. Call me, Jodi, at 264-2167.

Flu shot clinics

Flu shot clinics by the San Juan Basin Health Department are scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Senior Center lounge. On Thursday, Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to noon, a flu shot clinic will be held in Arboles, in the basement of the Catholic Church. Questions? Call Jodi at 264-2167.

Medicare announcement

Protect yourself from the flu by getting your flu vaccination early, before flu season ramps up. Medicare covers many preventive services including the flu vaccine.

Medicare clients can get the flu vaccine at not cost. There is no coinsurance or copayment applied to this Medicare benefit, and people on Medicare will not have to meet their deductible. The flu vaccine can prevent the flu; it does not give people the flu.

Getting a flu vaccine is the best thing you can do to keep from getting sick this flu season. This year, one flu vaccine will protect you from three different types of flu virus, including the 2009 H1N1 virus that caused much illness last season. Additionally, by protecting yourself, you are also protecting those you care about from getting the flu from you. All adults age 65 years and older, and people who are under 65 who have chronic illness, including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or end-stage renal disease, should get a flu vaccine.

Helpful tips to follow during the flu season:

1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.

2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also work.

3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

4. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

5. Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 Celsius) or signs of a fever without the use of a fever reducing medicine.

Visit or call (800) 633-4227 to get a free copy of “Staying Healthy: Medicare’s Preventive Services.” On the Web, select “Publications” under “Resource Locator.” You can also visit for specific information about influenza. More information is available at


With the closing of the downtown City Market, we remind you that we have a Senior Bus that runs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please call me, Jodi, at 264-2167 for details.


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 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.

Call Musetta Wollenweber at 264-2167 if you are interested in assisting us in providing this necessary service.


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-deliveryprogram 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, Oct. 8 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; ASI Board Elections 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 11 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Scrabble 1 p.m.; LEAP (Energy Assistance) presentation by Mary Ann Foutz 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 12 — Yoga 10 a.m.; chair massage 10 a.m.; blood pressure checks 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 13 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.

Thursday, Oct. 14 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Oct. 15 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; ASI; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

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, Oct. 8 — Crunchy baked fish, whipped potatoes, mixed veggies, pineapple and mandarin oranges, roll.

Monday, Oct. 11 — Chicken fajita, lettuce and tomato garnish, cilantro rice, cabbage, grapes.

Tuesday, Oct. 12 — Roast turkey, baked sweet potato, green beans, cranberry Jell-o with fruit, whole wheat roll.

Wednesday, Oct. 13 — Tahitian chicken, brown rice, broccoli, fruit salad, whole wheat roll.

Thursday, Oct. 14 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Oct. 15 — French dip with au jus, oven browned potatoes, mixed veggies, coleslaw, strawberry applesauce.