We had a good crowd at our Jan. 9 meeting. It was nice to see everyone and chat about other things beside the holidays.

Now it is time to buckle down and try to stay healthy. As Madeline said, "Its time to roll in 2016!"

Birthdays

Celebrating birthdays for the month are Peg Crawford, Doug Skinner, and Mace Porter. There were no anniversaries.

It was noted that a native of the town of Berne is celebrating his 90th birthday. Happy birthday, Milton!

Everyone at one time or another visited Hart's Mill and chatted with Milton and Ruth. I remember going to the mill and picking up frozen foods and seeing Morris Willsey

smoking on his pipe. There were many discussions with the farmers picking up feed. Milton is also a World War II veteran.

So, Happy Birthday. Milton and many more. See you at the next NEAT (Not Eating Alone Tonight) dinner.

New business

The Berne Library is having a book sale in March and has asked for permission to use the senior center on our meeting date. As we are going out to dinner, permission was granted.

Mike Vincent is going to the Berne Town Board meeting to see what the requirements are for using the senior bus, Everyone seems to have conflicting stories. Mike is interested in taking some of the men (and women) to the Albany Gun Show and to other hunting programs.

That brings up another program regarding guns. There is going to be a pistol-permit class in Sharon Springs. Now, don't get up in arms (no pun intended) but a little protection for us is not a bad thing. First we will be required to take an eye and hearing test.

Legal Aid

Brittany Sergent from the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York was our guest speaker. Anyone over the age of 60 can get free civil legal advice.

She is going to be at the Knox Town Hall on Wednesday mornings and you have to make an appointment if you want to see her. 

Coming events

The Helderberg Church will be having its breakfast Saturday, Jan. 23. Their blueberries pancakes are wonderful.

Plans are being made for our March dinner to be held at Maple on the Lake. They will be serving corned beef and cabbage.

But our February meeting will be held at the senior center. Join us!

Reminder

Play in the dirt; life is too short to always have clean fingernails.

Fuddy-duddy. That was what we used to call somebody who didn’t keep up with the times, who was sluggish, old-fashioned, and un-cool.

So how did I become one?  I remember my pride in never reading anything that was a best seller, but that was intellectual nonsense. My alleged reasoning was that anything that appealed to a mass market must be trash, and targeted to the lowest common denominator. It was also in error, a.k.a. wrong. Some writing becomes popular simply because it’s good.

But how did this morph into a false pride in not keeping up with technology? When did we become so resistant to change that we deliberately refuse it?  I understand that human beings in general fear change; it’s a version of fear of the unknown.  But when did the Dick Tracy wrist radio stop being awesome and start being scary? When it became possible?

Yes, as we get older we realize that change for its own sake isn’t always the answer. Sometimes deliberation and caution are a good idea.

OK, but why haven’t I learned how to Skype? (I think that’s the software that lets you talk face-to-face with someone via computer.)  I haven’t suddenly become stupid, so why am I so resistant?

I’m not a big fan of the current trend toward nonexistent privacy.  My security is important to me, but failing to learn new techniques doesn’t make me safer; it makes me more vulnerable. Yes, knowing how to do things the old-fashioned way is great protection against disaster in the absence of technology and electricity, but not knowing how to communicate, and use information with technology, leaves me at an even greater disadvantage.

The Dowager Dutchess on Downton Abbey called the telephone a device of torture. Admittedly, we write fewer well-thought-out letters these days, and we may have lost something through that. 

We now have many more words flying around on the Internet, but it takes more time to separate the wheat from the chaff. (Note to the young people: This was a process where the kernels of wheat were agitated until their hulls, known as chaff, came off.)  On the other hand, it’s a lot easier to check the accuracy of data today.

Why has this attitude persisted? Socrates (and those in every generation since) has lamented the wayward ways of the younger generation.

OK, it may be that whatever set of standards were in effect as we were forming our ideas about the world seem the most “right” to us because they are familiar. We associate them with a time in our lives when there was security, constancy, and hence, safety. (I wonder what percentage of revolutionaries and major change instigators had lousy childhoods, and did that make it easier for them to break with tradition?) “Comfort foods” are most often found in memories of childhood. 

Is there something inherent in the aging process that makes us this way? Is there some neurochemical that decreases and makes us less adaptive?

Have we just gotten lazy, or want things our own way because it involves less effort? I’d hate to think that my love of the Victorians was just some sort of endocrine imbalance.  (But the Victorians were a rigid, uncomfortable, and hypocritical bunch, if truth be told.) So how did it become a source of pride to be backward?

Whatever the reason, I think I’m going to have to let go of some of that reverse snobbery; I don’t like the implications of what it says about my adaptability, capability, and personality. I’ll just have to find something else to be peculiar about (no shortage there!) Windows 10, bring it on!

Menu

And speaking of new things, the new menu for next week’s lunch at the Hilltown Senior Center is here!

Swap tales with friends, and enjoy a lunch that you don’t have to cook.  Doors open at 11 a.m., and lunch is served promptly at noon.

We have games and cards on Mondays, bingo on Tuesday, and live music on Fridays.

— Monday, Jan. 25: Chili over rice, braised collard greens, cornbread, milk, and applesauce;

— Tuesday, Jan 26: Roast pork with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, whole-wheat stuffing, milk, and tropical fruit; 

— Friday, Jan. 29: Macaroni and cheese, stewed tomatoes, California blendvegetables, whole wheat, milk, and apricots.

Please call 24 hours in advance to 872-9400 to reserve lunch.  Email HYPERLINK "mailto:plightbody@nycap.rr.com"plightbody@nycap.rr.com, or sign up when you come in. Tell us how many are coming, your name, and your telephone number.  If you’d just like to come and help out, give Mary Moller a call at 861-6253, or email her at HYPERLINK "mailto:helderbergseniormeals@aol.com"helderbergseniormeals@aol.com, and put “volunteer” in the subject line.

Lunches are provided by Helderberg Senior Services, the Albany County Department of Aging, and Senior Services of Albany. The Hilltown Senior Center is located at 1360 Helderberg Trail (Route 443) in Berne.

By Phyllis Johnson

Free legal consultations will soon be available in the Hilltowns.  Attorney Brittany Sergent, of Senior Legal Services at the Legal Aid Society, spoke at the Hilltown Seniors meeting on Jan. 9 to describe the new service.

Private, personal sessions with a lawyer will be offered at the Knox Town Hall on the second Wednesday of every month. Questions about health care, bills, landlord disputes, contractors, wills, and many other civil issues can be discussed free of charge for anyone over 60 years of age.

This service is for civil law issues only; so if you just robbed a liquor store, you need more help than we can provide.  An appointment is necessary, so call Pat Lightbody at 872-9400 to schedule your visit. You may make a contribution to Legal Aid if you wish, but it is not required.

Help for vets

Veterans living alone can get assistance with snow shoveling, repairs, and other chores. Call Charlotte Fuss at 861- 8960 for more info.

CARE

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act, which will require hospitals to allow patients to formally designate a caregiver before they leave the hospital, or are transferred to another facility.  It will also require hospital workers to provide the caregiver with instruction or training on how to perform tasks for the patient at home, such as changing bandages or administering medication. 

The new law requires hospitals to record the name, phone number, and address of the caregiver in the patient's medical record. The hospital must then notify the caregiver of the patient's upcoming discharge at least 24 hours in advance, and offer instruction in the after-care tasks designated in the patient's discharge plan.

We hope this will make it less likely that anyone gets discharged with no way to take care of themselves once they get home.

Advocacy Day

There is a Statewide Legislative Conference and Advocacy Day planned for Feb. 2 to encourage passage of a proposed $177 million New York State aging services budget.  Supporters will be coming from around the state to meet with legislators in the halls of the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building.

Join the statewide advocacy effort, and call or write your legislator. More information can be found online at HYPERLINK "http://www.agingny.org/EducationEvents/"http://www.agingny.org/EducationEvents/, or from your county Department for Aging.  

Difficult people

Another opportunity offered by the Aging Alliance is a webinar on “Dealing Effectively with Difficult People.”  It will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. This Internet session will provide practical tips and strategies when working with those difficult people (and we all know some of those).

Speaker Alan Krieger, of Krieger Solutions, LLC will give useful tips to help defuse tensions and improve the way we work with others.  Pre-register at HYPERLINK "http://www.agingny.org/EducationEvents/"http://www.agingny.org/EducationEvents/.

Internet access

On the subject of who gets to watch Internet movies at home, we may be getting some much-needed relief here in the rural wasteland, as a result of the Public Service Commission’s approval of the merger between Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications.

Under the terms of the agreement, Charter Communications will improve high-speed broadband access in rural and urban communities, provide more low and moderately priced Internet service packages to consumers, and deliver free broadband Internet access to community centers in underserved areas.

These conditions are supposed to make service available to virtually all customers in Time Warner’s and Charter's current franchise areas, make service more affordable for consumers, and offer free broadband connections community centers in underserved areas.

We hope some of this will trickle down to rural Albany County. Municipalities will be asked to submit proposals this spring to Regional Economic Development Councils; the councils will then recommend funding. Every REDC will have money to spend, so we have a fighting chance. Thanks to State Senator George Amedore for pushing this initiative.

Menu

The lunchtime menu for next week at the Hilltown Senior Center is here.  Swap tales with friends, and enjoy a lunch that you don’t have to cook.  Doors open at 11 a.m., and lunch is served promptly at noon.  Mondays and Tuesdays, we have games and cards, and on Fridays, Nancy Frueh serenades us with live music.

Speaking of lunch, please remember to call in your reservations. We use the reservations to order the correct number of dinners, so that there is enough for everyone.

— Monday, Jan. 18: Because it’s Martin Luther King Day, there is no lunch. 

— Tuesday, Jan. 19: Meatloaf with gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli, whole-wheat bread, milk, and peaches.

— Friday, Jan. 22: Potato-crunch fish, grren beans, mashed sweet potatoes, whole-wheat roll, milk, and mandarin oranges. 

Please call 24 hours in advance to 872-9400 to reserve lunch.  Email HYPERLINK "mailto:plightbody@nycap.rr.com"plightbody@nycap.rr.com, or sign up when you come in. Tell us how many are coming, your name, and your telephone number.  If you’d just like to come and help out, give Mary Moller a call at 861-6253, or email her at HYPERLINK "mailto:helderbergseniormeals@aol.com"helderbergseniormeals@aol.com, and put “volunteer” in the subject line.

Lunches are provided by Helderberg Senior Services, the Albany County Department of Aging, and Senior Services of Albany. The Hilltown Senior Center is located at 1360 Helderberg Trail (Route 443) in Berne.

 

 

 

To paraphrase a current joke, “I love New Year’s resolutions! I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they slide by.”

So it’s New Year, at least according to the Gregorian and Julian calendars in use by the popular press. Of course, if you need a fresh start because you’ve already loused up this year’s resolutions, there are several others to choose from: Chinese New Year is on Monday, Feb. 8, and this will be the year of the monkey.

Ethiopian New Year, called Enkutatash, is celebrated on Sept. 11. The Thai New Year is April 13 or 14, and is called Songkran; in Cambodia, the dates are the same, but the name is Chaul Chnam Thmey. The Jewish and Islamic calendars both use the same date for the New Year, but vary widely regarding what year number it is. There are others, but you get the picture.

My real question is, why do New Year’s resolutions so closely resemble the thought process used for diets (which in many cases are the same thing)? It’s not the goal-setting I object to; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with aspiring to a better life, however you define that.

What gets me is the double or nothing, success-failure dichotomy that we so often impose. There are Puritans in the woodwork whispering that I am flawed, not good enough, and need to be held rigidly and sternly to some absolute, unattainable standard.

I find myself buying into this form of logic far too often. I secretly suspect that I am a lazy slug who will do nothing with her life but read cheap novels, eat bonbons, and grow fat unless I am whipped out of my complacency.

The truth is that this is hogwash (and by the way, what does one use to wash a hog, and why isn’t it any good?). Why can’t we re-frame the whole thing and vow to be kinder to ourselves and others? 

If I’m forcing my poor body to drag around too much weight, or struggle to breathe, wouldn’t it be kinder to reduce the amount of work it has to do?  Couldn’t the New Year be about care rather than constriction? 

I think this whole resolution process needs to be turned around, so we are trying to appreciate ourselves and one another rather than judge. But then, that’s just my opinion.

In any case, I wish each and every one of you a pleasing, warm, and comfy New Year, filled with all the things you need and hope for.

Coming events 

The Hilltown Seniors meeting will be Jan. 9 at the Hilltown Senior Center on Helderberg Trail. Lunch follows the meeting, so remember to bring your own table service.

There will be a speaker on consumer fraud at the Jan. 12, Helderberg Senior lunch program. Knowledge is power, so come and learn how to defend yourself against cheats and con artists.

Menu

And, the lunchtime menu for next week at the Hilltown Senior Center is here.  Begin the New Year with friends, and enjoy a lunch that you don’t have to cook.  Doors open at 11 a.m., and lunch is served promptly at noon. 

— Monday, Jan. 11: Beef Stroganoff, egg noodles, Brussel sprouts, fruit punch, whole-wheat bread, milk, and Mandarin oranges;

— Tuesday, Jan. 12: Chicken cacciatore, tossed salad with Romaine, pasta, wheat or Italian bread, milk, and applesauce cupcake; and

— Friday, Jan. 15: Spaghetti with meat sauce, cauliflower, whole-wheat bread, milk, and tropical fruit.

Please call 24 hours in advance to 872-9400 to reserve lunch.  E-mail plightbody@nycap.rr.com, or sign up when you come in. Tell us how many are coming, your name, and your telephone number. If you’d just like to come and help out, give Mary Moller a call at 861-6253, or e-mail her at helderbergseniormeals@aol.com, and put volunteer in the subject line.

Lunches are provided by Helderberg Senior Services, the Albany County Department of Aging, and Senior Services of Albany. The Hilltown Senior Center is located at 1360 Helderberg Trail (Route 443) in Berne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

 

 

Is everybody happy now that winter is here?  I know we all joked about the warm weather, but there were a lot of people with respiratory problems.

I hope the cold has knocked the germs out of the air. We will just bundle up with a good book and watch the birds. 

On Saturday, Jan. 9, we will be having our first meeting of the new year at the senior center. We will be having a representative from Legal Aid. 

Our trip to Washington, D.C., which runs from April 1 to 4, still has openings. Call Shirley Slingerland at 797-3467 for information and reservations.

We will be making plans for further outings for the year. 

It was reported that the senior meal program now has a new vendor and the meals are much better. Maybe we need some kitchen angels like the Altamont Seniors have to help us out.

Did everyone get a Social Security update for 2016? Isn't it wonderful that there wasn't a cost-of-living raise? I don't know what country they live in.

So, let’s see. We can't go in an adult living community because the cost is for the rich. There are over 40,000 senior citizens in Albany County who are abused. First of all, how do they know this? And, if this is correct, why isn't something being done?

But wait — Albany County is going to form a panel and spend how much money to come up with a plan? According to the Commissioner of the Department of Aging, said at a meeting, a senior is a senior. I am still shaking my head.

So, remember to come to our meeting at 10:30 a.m., to enjoy the company and the food.

A question: Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, while dishwashing soap is made with real lemon?

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