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The night the lights went out

As I sat at my computer, my husband preparing to do the dishes, I reluctantly announced that perhaps I should take my turn at doing the dishes when — poof! — the power was off.

I carefully worked my way to the window to survey the outage. Yep, it was a doozy, no glow from the city lights.

The glow from the woodstove provided just enough light for me to make my way to the desk drawer that contained the lighter stashed inside. With a flick or two of my thumb I lit our oil lantern; one of our cats found the flame to be most delightful.

Now, to check in with my friend in town; nope, no lights there either; I was assured the aliens were at fault.

I checked in with my people at lunch the next day with the burning question, “What did you do when the lights went out?”

From the smirks on many faces, I could tell I needed to quickly rephrase my question. I tried not to giggle and squeaked out an, “OK, what did you use as a lighting source when the power went out?”

The answers were fun.

• An emergency kit with an LED.

• A kerosene lantern (use proper ventilation).

• Candles (unfortunately one candle’s flame went out due to a kamikaze moth).

• Oil lamp.

• Camping lantern (use proper ventilation).

• Flashlight.

• Battery lantern.

• Backup generator at their building.

• Didn’t bother, I was asleep.

• Climbed in bed with the Kindle; it has a light, so I read.

• The light from the cell phone display works in a pinch too.

My daughter didn’t have a clue the lights were out; she lives in a solar powered home. Humph.

I got out of doing the dishes, thanks to the aliens.


Now on my plate is to review the basic family table setting from “Etiquette,” by Peggy Post. These “tips” are meant to be fun; take ‘em or leave ’em.

I turn to page 184 and instantly smile at the picture before me. Ha; I’ve had it right all these years. Thanks, Mom.

From time to time we’ve had discussions on just exactly where to put that fork, and I will now officially tell you.

From left to right:

• Napkin.

• Fork.

• Plate.

• Knife.

• Spoon.

• Glass set above the knife.

Another little argument has been the placement of the napkin in your lap. Mom, you apparently read your Emily Post “Eitquette” from cover to cover; as I was taught, the napkin goes in your lap as soon as you are seated at the table. I won’t mention any names, you know who you are ... I was right.

Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

The 2011 General Enrollment for Medicare Prescription Plans (Part D) and Medicare Advantage Plans has changed to Oct. 15-Dec. 7, 2011.

We highly recommend anyone enrolled in Part D, or needing to enroll, to schedule an appointment. The program(s) can, and sometimes do, change their deductible, the drugs they cover and how much you pay for the drug. Some of the low income plans will no longer be offering services to the low income this year, however, they may still offer to enroll you at a higher cost.

Are you enrolled automatically in a plan through Medicaid? Auto enrollment plans may not be right for you and specific to your needs.

Don’t get caught by surprise; make sure you are enrolled in the plan that best suits your needs. Your neighbor may have a great plan, but it may not be great for you. The best plan for you is based on your specific drugs. Beware of letters you receive encouraging you to buy their program; it may not be best for you.

Read any material you receive in the mail in regards to your plan; it may contain information on plan changes.

Low income beneficiaries may qualify for extra help with drug costs.

Remember, Medicare will never call you selling a product; never give out your Medicare number.

When in doubt, contact our SHIP office located at the Senior Center.

You are encouraged to make your appointment early. As we move later into open enrollment, we are extremely busy and want to make sure that we are able to meet your needs.

For further information or to schedule an appointment, call 264-2167.

Upcoming special events

Alpine Hospice Information. Alpine Hospice provides medical care under the Medicare benefit as a non-chargeable and 100-percent covered benefit. In addition to providing hospice care and supportive services, Alpine Hospice focuses its efforts on community outreach and education about hospice. In order to support their mission, volunteers are needed to provide companionship, caregiver support and other small tasks for patients.? To learn more, attend the presentation on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 12:30 p.m.

AARP Driver Safety Course, Thursday, Nov. 10, 12:30-4:30 p.m. here at The Den. The new four-hour refresher course is designed for drivers 50-plus. AARP members $12, non-members $14, veterans attend free. Call Adrian at 247-0619 for more information and/or to register.

Transportation service

Available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to seniors age 60-plus, suggested donation $2 per day. Call for details, 264-2167.

Home meal delivery

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 and weekends. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give us a call at 264-2167 for further information. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Weekly activities at The Den

Friday, Nov. 4 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.

Monday, Nov. 7 — Blood pressure checks 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 — Chair massage 10 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 9 — Alpine Hospice presentation 12:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 10 — Administrative day, no services.

Friday, Nov. 11 — Closed for Veterans Day.

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 via the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other donations and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $11.51. 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, Nov. 4 — Chicken salad on a whole wheat bun, homemade vegetable soup, tomato wedges, 1/2 banana, raisin nut cup.

Monday, Nov. 7 — Chili con carne, wheat crackers, sliced yellow squash, fresh apple, cornbread.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 — Oven fried chicken, baked potato, spinach-mandarin salad, whole wheat roll, peaches.

Wednesday, Nov. 9 — Roast beef with gravy, tossed salad, baby carrots, dilled red potatoes, whole wheat roll, winter fruit salad.

Thursday, Nov. 10 — Closed, no services.

Friday, Nov. 11 — Closed for Veterans Day.

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