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McPeak's Assisted Living Newsletter

November 2013 Newsletter

By Linda Ohlsen, Recreation Director

October was a busy and interesting month here at McPeak's. To begin, we talked about Christopher Columbus at our word games and reminiscing program. We recalled the year he sailed and the names of his three ships and then went on to discuss the types of boats we had sailed on. Ruth Beal had been in a cruise ship, Alex Salmin an aircraft carrier and Philip Cantone a tugboat. We further discussed the need to be aware of the weather while at sea. Millie Verderosa was one of several guests who noted that they could tell by their arthritis when rain was on the way.

Of course, we were all anxious to begin preparing for our favorite fall holiday, Halloween. Our mantel was covered with autumn leaves and orange lights and featured the 3 dimensional pumpkins made by Antonia Levato, Tina Schillings and Bernadette Lawlor. Also in our recreation room was ahuge cobweb filled with some very colorful and creepy spiders made by Lois Martucci and Charlotte Hoffman.

Smaller spiders appeared on the cute "Boo" signs that we made for our hallway. Everyone loved them and we have Madeline

Pedota and Mary Costa to thank for lending their talents to create them. Flying just outside our dining hall were the many bats made by guests including Robert Baumann and Elisabeth Sommers. Our bats certainly helped put us in a spooky mood, as did our Halloween trivia, which had us recalling old horror films, ghosts, devils and witches. Ruth Beal, Frances Skotko and Gilda Messina were very good at the game and won some nice prizes for their efforts.

Also fun was our ICU bingo. Numbers for the game were written on plastic eyeballs and placed in my witch's cauldron. We took turns selecting our eyeballs and calling out numbers. Among our winners at the game were Fran Zummo, Celia Wysocki and Tony Webb. Our baking project for the month was certainly seasonally appropriate- pumpkin bread. It was a bit more work than we anticipated, but thanks to the help of Bobbie Smith and Evelyn Grasso, we got the job done. Bill Jones was definitely a big help too, handling much of the mixing that had to be done. Bill seemed to enjoy the job, though, as he mixed the batter while singing along to a Mario Lanza CD which was a gift from Marilyn Kansich, Rose Navatto's daughter. Bill is a fine singer and a talented baker as well, as we all agreed while enjoying a buttered slice of our delicious pumpkin bread.

Bob Shade led us into fall with some wonderful songs of the season, including "Autumn Leaves" and "Autumn in New York". Angela Hampson and Mary Alfieri enjoyed the program and joined in many of the songs. Also in fine voice this month were Rose Navatto and Lee Kulakowski, who joined in the country western tunes played on the guitars of Nina Et Cetra. Joe Gold, who was wearing his cowboy hat, joined me in a dance during their performance, as did, Philip Cantone and Bobbie Smith. Bruce Schneider and his group brought their guitars too, plus keyboard and bongos, when they performed for us. We loved their musical selections from the 40's and 50's and there was singing by Josephine Gross and Evelyn Grasso. John Rissland and Leonard Doerler loved the vocal talents of George Missali, who led us in some spirited musical selections, which included, "Witchcraft" and "The Monster Mash". Antonia Levato wowed us all when she sang "Momma". Antonia sang the verses in Italian and gave a flawless performance that left us all spellbound. Antonia's song also served as inspiration for a poem, written by our residents with the help of Stacy and Julie of The Poetry Connection, who joined us on October 9th. The residents' poem, which is entitled "Musical Memories", is presented here for your enjoyment.

Fire and rain, loud and soft
dance and sing-
music moves me.
Heart racing,
sexy saxophones and jazz,
listen all day long,
and Tennessee Waltz
soar with Sweet Caroline.
Mama sings Italian songs
to us all day long.

Throughout the month, we have been enjoying our regular activities too, including pet therapy with our friend Diane and her dog Dustin. Mary Ditta, who is certainly an animal lover, was delighted with the visit, as were Joan Corbett and Mary Morris.

Bowling is always fun and this month there were several guests who scored over 200, including Bill Jones, Joe Gold, Larry Judson, Bobbie Smith and Evelyn Grasso. Everyone is, of course, trying to up their game so as to be in the top six and play in our staff/resident bowling tournament scheduled for next month.

Elisabeth Sommers, Madeline Pedota and Celia Wysocki have been working hard at working out. All three love our exercise program, as do Josephine Gross and Tony Webb.

Bingo is always a winner and we have many residents playing daily. There were good scores this month by Gilda Messina, Paul Trouve and Lois Martucci, but, Phyllis Levy took the top spot again. This is the third consecutive month Phyllis has been our monthly winner, so, congratulations, congratulations, congratulations, Phyllis.

Our month ended with a spectacular Halloween celebration that lasted all day. The morning found me in my favorite witch-wear, inviting guests for a morning of fun at our active games program. Our games followed a Halloween theme and were guaranteed to make us all feel like kids again. First up was our 'knock down the witch' contest, which we thought, for sure, would be won by one of our gentlemen with a strong throwing arm. Bill Jones did come close, knocking the witch off the table with three tries, but, petite Millie Verderosa bested him, doing it with just one throw.

Joe Gold and Mary Alfieri proved it was possible to throw the ring over our bottle of "witch blood" and both got not one, but two rings over. Our last competition was to flip the witch's pancake in our skillet as many times as possible in 25 seconds. Mary Costa, John Rissland and Ruth Beal did very well with about 5 or 6 flips in the time period and Angela Hampson and Tina Schillings were both doing well, till they got the giggles and could no longer flip with accuracy. In the end, our top flippers were Alex Salmin, with 17 and Phyllis Levy, with 20. All winners were given their choice of prizes and all participants left with a Halloween goodie

Our afternoon found us enjoying the bewitching talents of Sasha's belly dancers. Our dancers dressed in beautiful orange, purple and red sequined costumes. Using props such as cauldrons, brooms and lots of candles. The girls put on a fantastic show, which ended with some audience participation. Up and dancing were Mary Costa, Bobbie Smith, Josephine Gross, Joe Gold and Angela Hampson, who definitely caught the Halloween spirit and had a wonderful time.

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