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McPeak's Assisted Living Newsletter

June 2011 Newsletter

By Linda Ohlsen, Recreation Director

May brought the beauty of spring to our outdoor gardens and the lovely flowering trees and shrubs we saw filled us with inspiration for our arts and crafts activities this past month. Our recreation room wall took on a fresh look with the many pretty blooms fashioned by Alex Salmin and Frank Hartman. Our lovely pink and yellow flowers brought a pleasant pop of color to our room which was a nice distraction from the drenching rains that were a large part of the month too.

The daisy chains we made as children flashed across our minds as we made the cute daisy wreathes to fill our hall with some springtime splendor. Those made by Madeline Pedota and Kitty Keegan were especially well done.

Everyone found the mini shopping bags given out at one of our craft sessions to be just adorable and all wondered what we'd be putting inside them. There were some terrific guesses made including the ones by Jo Caputo and Virginia Kara. Jo suggested M&M's as a nice filler and Virginia hopefully suggested diamonds. Both good suggestions, but in keeping with our Springtime theme, it was artificial flowers that won out. Chris Orth and Muriel Lizak had fun picking posies from my flower patch and arranging them in their bags for a beautiful display that turned our recreation room mantel into a lovely indoor garden for us all to enjoy.

Thanks to our hard work and creative efforts we were able to complete our Spring make-over in time for Mother's Day. Mother's Day activities included a piano salute to our moms from entertainers Frank and Bob. Their selections included "I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad" and, of course, the song "Mother". During our word games and reminiscing program, we shared parenting advice and also memories of our own moms. Robert Hall related that his mother was not a very good cook, while Tess Brana noted that her mother's meals were outstanding. We counted the number of children we had and compared them to the offspring of our parents only to be amazed at the decline in family size after just one generation. It also got us wondering how our mothers were able to accomplish all they did with so many children to raise.

Freddie Prinz, our favorite keyboard artist, delivered an outstanding afternoon of musical favorites guaranteed to please all our moms. Music from the 40's, 50's, and 60's brought back some lovely memories and had us all singing along to the many tunes we could easily recall. There was great dancing on display too, with Virginia Kara dancing to the theme from "Never On Sunday" and Bobbie Smith shaking her hips to the music of the "Peppermint Twist".

Tony Grant also performed during the month playing some Latin favorites in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Pauline Bovino was loving the music and did a great Samba out on the dance floor with her partner, Estella, of our staff. Hazel Siegel and Walter Colligan also showed off their dancing talents and there was some fine singing by Mary Billott and Lee Kulakowski.

As the month drew to a close we focused on Memorial Day. A decorative craft which paid tribute to the Stars and Stripes was done by Ruth Faustich and Noreen Doohan. Hung outside our dining room, it gave us all an opportunity to remember how very proud we are of our country.

Our group discussions also led us to celebrating our patriotism
with such topics as gold star mothers, war time shortages and air raids. Maryann Conforti described a typical air raid drill for Americans while Elizabeth Czeher told us about such drills in England. We found it interesting, though a bit scary, that during the European drills one would be carrying a gas mask.

A special program of patriotic selections was offered by guitarist George Maselli. It was nice to be able to raise our voices in song as we paid tribute to our country. There was some wonderful singing by Josephine D'Elia and Kitty Keegan as well as Hazel Siegel and Lillian Diamond.

Also fun during the month was our regular Monday morning bowling games. Scoring the highest this month was Julia Manganiello with a 196. Bobbie Smith had games in the 180's and Ruth Faustich did well too with a high of 159. Alex Salmin's game has improved and new bowler Lillian Diamond exhibits fine technique.

A visit from our pet therapy dog, Harry, is always fun. Harry is a standard poodle with a pleasing temperament who is always as happy to see us as we are to see him. Irene Huether gave him a warm welcome on his last visit but it was Adelaide McKasty who won his heart by sharing her cookie with him.

New guest, Elizabeth Czeher, had a terrific streak of luck at our special bingo rounds. Elizabeth won lots of goodies plus a lovely shawl, hand knit and donated to us by the Sayville Congregational Church. Also doing well at the games were Juliette Gerlach and Josephine D'Elia.

Regular bingo rounds are always fun and always a bit competitive too. It was a three way tie at month's end between Gilda Messina, Nick Mazzillo and Muriel Lizak. When the last games were played through and scores were tallied, it was Nick Mazzillo who was our monthly winner. Congratulations, Nick!

Our June calendar shows lots of fun activities scheduled and we'll be looking forward to all of them. Planned events include some sparkling red, white and blue crafts for Flag Day plus entertainment by Ray Lani, Julia Franco and Everett Green. Also in June a special fashion show presented by the Patchogue/Medford High School Key Club.