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McPeak's Assisted Living Newsletter

April 2012 Newsletter

By Linda Ohlsen, Recreation Director

Bruce Schneider helped us welcome a new month with a terrific one hour program featuring the songs of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash. Bruce's three man band had Lenny Markowitz and Gilda Messina singing their hearts out while Mary Huben and Bobbie Smith danced together to some old favorites.

March was National Women's Month and we used this as an opportunity to discuss the changing role of women throughout the decades during one of our morning programs. Josephine Caputo noted that she had seen lots of changes over the years and felt women had come a long way in many fields. A video on women in history was also viewed and discussed during the month. We were pleased to see the film pay tribute to our favorites, Eleanor Roosevelt, Hellen Keller and Jackie Kennedy.

Of course our major focus for the month was on St. Patrick's Day. We were thinking Irish as we all helped Marie Thompson and Joe D'Angelo decorate our mantel with what looked like a pitcher and glasses filled with beer. Irish pub signs were also on view in our recreation room and welcomed all to such non-Irish spots as, Ignelzi's, Hoffman's and Manganiello's Pub. With our work done, the atmosphere was just right to enjoy some beer (root) and pretzels. We all appreciated the nice treat as well as our fine decorating job.

Our four leaf clover wreathes, done by Paolina Bevacqua and Alfred Merrett, were easy to make and fun too as we added special gold coins left for us by the leprechaun. Several guests, including Alfred, told about finding real four leaf clovers, some right in their own backyard. All our four leaf clovers brought lots of luck to Alex Salmin, who was our March raffle winner. Alex won a genuine Irish Bear who was sporting his own four leaf clover, of course.

Two sing-alongs during the month were most enjoyable. Bob's piano favorites were a hit with Muriel Lizak and had Virginia Kara singing along nicely to "Never on Sunday". Dito Butigieg and John Kittell were appreciative of our talented guitar player, George Missali. John sang along to many tunes as did Juliette Gerlach. Of course all voices were heard singing "When Irish Eyes are Smiling".

Saint Patrick's Day celebrations were not to be topped. Green carnations were given to all as they entered the dining hall for the traditional Irish feast of corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes and Irish soda bread. Nice comments from Adelaide McKasty and Irene Huether on the meal kept our Irish eyes smiling. Lee Kulakowski had some nice words too for the fantastic show done by Tony Grant which followed the meal. Tony's mix of Irish music, history and humor made our hour with him a very enjoyable one. Mary Billott sang along to most of the songs and Noreen Doohan impressed us all with her fine Irish Jig.

A less obvious date during March marked the 100th anniversary of the Oreo Cookie. We were happy to throw our own party for them as we sampled both the traditional Oreo and some of the newer varieties. All were just great and we're sure they'll be around for another 100 years. Toll House Cookies have been around for quite some time too and using an "original recipe" we came across, we were able to prepare and bake some of our own. Thanks to the skills of Muriel Lizak and Ruth Beal, our cookies tasted even better than the originals.

We greeted the first day of spring with some lively table games that had us vying for such seasonal prizes as floral scented room fresheners and soaps. Juliette Gerlach and Josephine Caputo won a few of these, while Bob Hall won a cute plush chick. Bob, who raised canaries years back, was pleased with his chick and also the very informative video on birds that was shown later in the day.

With Spring in the air we were looking to Easter. Ted Gosnell enjoyed the first jellybeans of the season as we worked on some adorable Easter baskets for our recreation room. Madeline Pedota and George Thogersen created some that were absolutely gorgeous. Also gorgeous, were the multicolored Easter Eggs that decorated our hallway and were the handiwork of Virginia Kara and Marie Thompson. Our favorite Easter craft to date, though, are the cute bunnies, made by Julia Manganiello and Tess Brana, which make us smile. We're looking to see if the bunnies, like our smiles, will multiply in the days ahead.

Strong competition and high scores kept our monthly bingo winner a mystery right to the last games played. The final score found Marie Thompson, Lee Kulakowski and Gilda Messina all with 54 wins and Bob Hall, our champ, with a total of 56. Congratulations Bob!

Freddie Prinz ended our month on a high note. His visit on the 30th provided us with a great opportunity to sing and dance and have a fantastic time. Freddie's keyboard artistry was at a peak as he played all our old favorites. John Kittell, Bobbie Smith and Mary Huben were great dancing to his more lively numbers and received lots of applause from the appreciative crowd.

April will bring us a chance to have yet more fun as we color our eggs and vie for prizes at our annual Easter Egg Roll. Our staff/resident bowling tournament will take place late in the month and will pair our top six resident bowlers with members of our staff. Bowling averages will be tallied earlier in the month and the participants announced the week of the event. Looking good so far are John Kittell, who has bowled a 174, Alfred Merrett, with a high of 169 and Bobbie Smith, with a 164. With lots of crafts, games and entertainment too, April should be a fun filled month for us all!