A Resident’s Perspective – What Not To Do at Panorama

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. March 2017

Well, it is March and we are coming out of the cold. I can’t wait for the bloom that is around the corner but I am finding I have two new “weather” predictors. Further, now that we have been residents at Panorama for four years, I finally learned of something not to do here.

Way back in November, two weeks before Thanksgiving, moving quickly from the living room, perhaps to get the phone, my bare foot connected with the leg of the sofa and the crunch was heard across the house along with my verbal response. Having not had a prior (twenty-five years earlier) fractured toe looked at by anyone in the know, I now have a healed toe (same foot) that has a knuckle bump that gets rubbed by shoes/boots. The ice bag was applied and foot elevated as it throbbed and throbbed.

Picture 1

A call to our local clinic advised me to just go to the West Olympia urgent care on Black Lake Blvd. I did. Three X-rays later, it was confirmed I had fractured two toes (little and ring toe) on my right foot. Non-displaced fractures, the orthopedic sports doctor said, phew, I didn’t need to have them pinned. However, a flat orthopedic sandal was ordered and fitted and four week re-check appointment made. Elevation, ice when miserable, Ibuprofen, “don’t do anything that hurts or torques the toes”, and “don’t injure it again, which might displace the bones” she said.

Good grief…..we are never quite aware of how much non-essential digits do for us. These toes are not balance toes, like the great toe. However, walking and changing direction all torque the toes outboard of the great toe. I decided that the doc had never had a broken toe. She further advised me that it would take 4-6 weeks to heal properly with care….and then glancing at my chart, changed that to “but in your case, at 74, plan on eight weeks!”

Well, eight weeks have come and gone. I am four months into this new way of moving, walking, etc. I found early on that lap swimming was do-able if I just dragged the leg with the broken toes. At two months, I could use it to kick in the water. At four months, I can’t use the ladder to get out of the pool, though, without pain. The second set of three X-rays showed knitting of those last joints at the one month appointment.

So, now what? I have continued to climb the Quinault Building’s 5 flights of stairs daily using a different foot movement. I walk wherever we go on campus. I wear a Teva sandal and am out of the orthopedic flat sandal. Through the rain and cold, there I am marching in the sandal. I joined my first “lunch and stroll” to find that my boots don’t fit, the toes still too fat. I found a 30-year old pair of Gortex brand hiking boots used years and years ago on the Milford Track and they are roomy enough. I can wear sneakers or shoes for about three hours before those toes swell and yell at me. I am determined to not miss the hiking season approaching. New boots maybe are in my future.

I am aware of many more serious consequences to some of us during our wintry frozen months and the bones others have fractured. I can’t even imagine their re-hab and changed activities. I do know that we now have two other options for injury closer to us than the Black Lake facility. There is a walk-in clinic with X-ray capability on College and also one on Galaxy out in Hawks Prairie, should you need them. I have heard that care there is excellent. I am NOT suggesting that you try these clinics out, just to sample them.

Be careful. Wear shoes/footwear. Stay out of flip-flops, which the doctor said causes more foot and leg injuries than she can recount. Know that often we are our worse enemies. I didn’t want to offend you with a picture of these awful-looking toes, but have enclosed the offending furniture leg. You can imagine how carefully I walk past them now. My home support group was wonderful through this awful episode.

Picture 2

About those weather predictors…..along with my un-treated broken little finger (from our un-packing at move-in time), my un-treated middle toe and now my little toe plus the ring toe, I know when weather is changing. They all ache…temporarily, of course, but I also now understand my beloved Grandma’s railing against her old injuries from very long ago. As a child, I had no idea. I should have listened to my elders. And now that we are elders, be careful out there and continue to enjoy what a lovely community we have here at Panorama.

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Meet the Yoga Team

  Written by Panorama resident, Charles Kasler. March 2017

Meet The Yoga Team: Connie, Jean, and Charles. We are all seniors ourselves and residents of Panorama. We bring years of training, practice, and teaching experience to our classes.

BCB2C881-82BC-4C55-82B1-110F751EF5BC

“Do what you can and that is perfect for you.” – Jean

Jean Garwood is a certified Yoga instructor who has been teaching since 1995. Jean started the yoga program at Panorama. She was certified at the International Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Center. She is also a certified Chair Yoga Instructor. She taught and worked several times at the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas. She has attended continuing education programs at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in California. She has taught in various centers including her own private studio. Jean taught Chair Yoga as manager of the Chalet for three years and Chair and Floor Yoga at Panorama for 10 years.

“Remember to breathe.” – Charles

Charles Kasler has been teaching since 1990. He is a former resident of Esalen Institute and Kripalu Yoga Ashram, and a founding member of the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association. He also studied at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California. He completed the first Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga training at Spirit Rock. He has several audio recordings that were featured in Yoga Journal Magazine. He is the author of Dharma: 40 Essays On Yoga, and Light To Dispel the Darkness – both available at Amazon.com. He was a member of the teacher training faculty at Yoga Center of Carmel, California as well as teaching at Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula and Hospice of the Central Coast. He teaches Moving Meditation and co-leads the Mindfulness Meditation program with Connie.

“May the light within me recognize the light within you.” – Connie

Connie Ruhl is a certified Yoga instructor who completed 200 and 500 hour Yoga Alliance authorized training programs. Connie also completed a Yoga for Healthy Aging training program in Berkeley, CA in August 2015. She has sat in a number of extended meditation retreats. She began practicing and studying in 1983 through 2000 with Mady Sharma (formally trained in India from classic hatha yoga schools). She participates in yoga classes in various studios in US and internationally as opportunities arise. She has been teaching Yoga II and Chair Yoga at Panorama since 2009, and co-leads the Mindfulness Meditation program.

F0F250D1-D6D8-4DDE-8E68-FF310F8A46DE

A Resident’s Perspective – Feeling My Felting

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. February 2017

At age 77, and 9 hours of labor, I smiled and bent down to his little whiskers…a few inches from my face. I had just given birth to my foot-tall, orange, smiling kitty cat standing on the white table.

“Oh, hi, sweetie!! You’re so-o-o precious! So cute. So cuddly. You’re ado-ra-ble. Yes..I see you smiling back at me. You’re just perfect! I can’t wait to take you home.” My cupped palms gave that baby face a gentle squeeze. I didn’t want to mash him out of shape. “Chris won’t believe I made you.”

I carried on and on with gushing expletives. I had just needled the last tiny corner of the large-curved, thin line of his ear-to-ear smile under his big, puffy, brown nose. It perched between two, scalloped, closed eyelids.

mjo_felting

Laugher brought me back to reality from the other eight residents in the room.

I caught myself. “Hope they didn’t hear me. Hope I’m not blushing.” I said nothing.

But they did, “Mary Jo, when you talk with your project with such tenderness and hug it with emotion, you know it has come alive and you’re done.” Teacher Gerda, with Alice and Sharon (her last year’s two helper-students), put down their projects.

I nodded, “Yes, that’s how I feel right now.”

“You’re on your way.”

We only had 45 minutes remaining in 18 hours divided between the past three consecutive days of needle-felting sculpture class.

My wrist tapped constantly on my 5-inch ladybug as I learned to use different felting needles on felting wools of various textures and colors. Despite repeated warnings to keep our eyes on our needles, someone would “ow!” as her finger jerked like a small fish on a hook. Gerda handed over a Charlie Brown and Snoopy bandage.

We graduated to sculpting a face and entire head…wrinkles and all…since it involves many techniques used in felting.

When Gerda demonstrated the options for curled hair, I shook my head. “I’m behind and need to catch up. I’ll make hubby Chris. He’s 84 with a bald head, and has just a few hairs between his ears on the back of his head!”

Gradually I felt my felting, and progressed much faster.

“I love that pixie Mary Ann’s forming. I’m going to make one for each of my grand-girls.”

I appreciated Gerda’s teaching and offering us to do our own thing while she guided with the techniques. Her helpers worked on their own masterpieces: Sharon’s 12-inch Mickey Mouse on a wire stand, and Alice’s full size, life-like owl. Being a crafter, when I see an unusual, exciting technique, perhaps I won’t pursue it, but I must experience how it is done.

A great discussion emerged when Sharon lit up, “Aren’t we blessed here at Panorama? Look at this state-of-the-art-room and the many resources we have.”

“The professional residents who teach us, and the selection of water color pencils, paints, papers, and tutorial books,” someone added.

“And that new TV on the wall with DVDs to teach more art while we work.”

“We have discovered hidden talents and many win art competitions with professional works.”

I never dreamed I would carry the heavy load of exciting opportunities at a retirement place like Panorama. I thank God daily.

Mary Jo Bio - Test

Superbowl Sunday Snow – Thank you , Panorama!

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. February 2017

This blog is a little off my usual  topic of “newbies, boomers, and would-bes” but I wanted to express my gratitude for Panorama’s awesome response to yesterday and today’s Superbowl Sunday snow event (“storm” might be a little too strong a word). First off – we vaguely heard the phone ring during the last thrilling minutes of Super Bowl – or was it a ref whistle? Were we going to answer it? No way! But Panorama left a voicemail message letting us know that some events and facilities might be closed tomorrow (Monday) due to the snow event. Later on, after catching our breath following the game, we checked and confirmed that the Aquatic and Fitness Center would indeed be opening late. Thanks to Jenny, Security, and others for great communication! We know that some staff worked beyond their normal hours to ensure the safety and awareness of residents and staff.

In the morning, we also got an email from Grace Moore to let us know of Monday evening’s concert cancellation. Thank you so much, Grace, for being on top of communications! While email is not yet available to some residents, it’s a great way to communicate last-minute changes to the schedule.

At about 11 Monday morning I ventured out, equipped with my Yaktrax tread devices on my boots (thanks to fellow resident Susan W for the suggestion!), and, of course, my SARA pendant. During my walk, three snowplows came by, and there were Panorama staff out at each neighborhood shoveling walkways. Most sidewalks were shoveled by then, as were most roads. A shouted “thank you” to staff was invariably met with a smile. 

Inside the Quinault, by the door, were two armchairs that allowed me to take off (and then put back on) my Yaktrax before heading to the exercise room. 

So, KUDOS to Panorama and staff for their great efforts at communication and response! 

Deb Bio_Edit

 

A Resident’s Perspective – Owner Manuals

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. January 2017

You remember when you actually got an “Owners Manual” with vehicles or appliances or whatever? A place to go to with questions on “how to” or explanations of things just out of your understanding??? Many times now you are directed to go “online” at a help site and you muddle along. I often find I haven’t the vocabulary to even know how to search some of the sites for information I need, or the explanation is tech to tech and leaves you wondering what it is they are talking about.

I recently had the fun experience of changing out our own year old Panorama “Owners Manual” with a great bunch of volunteers. I think of it as “The Manual” but it is really the Resident Handbook and Directory. Your Resident Council enlisted volunteers at three sites to incorporate all the information that changed in administration of our Panorama. The total of residents who made the effort to get their latest edition with changes was 672! The weather was cold, the walkways sometimes crystals of snow/ice. But what a turnout!

When we moved to Panorama in 2013 and received the “Handbook,” I considered it a boon as we entered a different phase of our lives. As the boxes got unpacked, and we had wider aisles to walk through, I spent about 3 days reading the “Owners Manual” cover to cover. Now calibrate me, as a previous neighbor used to say. There is a wealth of information on most situations you encounter as you join a large retirement community. And I am the one who would rather suss out some problem or question without necessarily “bothering” someone for an answer. I have since offered to help new arrivals who may be overwhelmed by their move, though I never consider it being bothered. However, what a wealth of information this Handbook has.

Resident Directory Pages 1

“Who would sit and read through all that stuff?” I even heard some folks who came to get updates say, “I haven’t ever used it but for the directory of residents and pictures of folks I have run into but didn’t get the names of.”

A great deal of time and effort goes into the updating of the sections as staff changes happen, or new procedures become common place. It is a living document. I am very thankful to an administration that sees this as value to residents. Portions of this Handbook change every year and administration does a great job keeping up with current status and contact information of residents. It is, of course, also sad to see some residents missing which is always happening in our continuing care retirement community.

Resident Directory Pages 2 FINAL

Many friends and neighbors arrived at the distribution sites with additional Handbooks for residents who where traveling or indisposed at the times of distribution. A very thoughtful and kind thing to do. The Resident Council will be in their office in the Quinault building weekdays for those who were traveling or didn’t get the updated inserts. I am hoping everyone finds this document as valuable as I do.

Sandy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Friendship

Written by Panorama resident, Deb Ross. January 2017

An article by Paula Span in the New York Times inspired me to write this blog entry. The title of the article is “Loneliness Can be Deadly for Elders: Friends are the Antidote.”

The article notes that the importance of maintaining social contacts is well known: having someone you can call in the event of an emergency, keeping mentally and physically fit, and less likely to succumb to depression, all contribute to health, safety, and longevity. The article goes on to say that this can be difficult for seniors, as our old friends move away or pass away. Interestingly, as we get older, our definitions of friendship evolve: we seek out more meaningful relationships and can overlook quirks and tics in our friends that would formerly have annoyed us.

My non-Panorama friends and relatives often ask me how I am fitting in here. Of course, I mention the many activities and amenities that our community has to offer. I always add, though, that I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of folks I genuinely like and consider friends, not just acquaintances. A surprise because, of course, we baby boomers believed that we shouldn’t “trust anyone over 30.”

Capture

The Times article notes, “I couldn’t help noticing how many of the elders I spoke with had benefited from living in retirement communities and nursing homes – the very destinations so many people dread. They can provide proximity, shared activities, and a larger pool of prospective friends.”

One of the things that Panorama encourages is the development of social interest groups – whether it be genealogy, book groups, politics, foreign language, neighborhood get-togethers, or just having fun. Panorama can provide meeting spaces, transportation, copying and communication services, and other assistance for these activities. There are also numerous places around campus just to “hang out” and share a cup of coffee, work on a jigsaw puzzle or launch an impromptu card game. In time, we may even have a Resident Portal on the Internet to make it even easier and seamless for us to share ideas and friendship.

Deb Bio_Edit

A Resident’s Perspective – My Priceless Christmas Gift

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. December 2016

“Maybe Santa Claus dropped some presents behind the Christmas tree. Les see!” I was six, poking at Jerri.

We popped up off the floor and trod on white tissue paper and scissor-curled ribbons. Mom was sitting on a little stool to the right of the tree, holding three-month-old Candy. Gripping her fingers into Mom’s shoulders, Jerri worked to climb behind, shaking the shiny glass, colored balls and twinkling lights in the prickly tree. Mom hugged Candy tighter in her arms.

“Uh, no, I don’t think so.” Mom helped us back to the front of the tree with her free arm. “The little doll-bed is real special. See? It rocks.” She swayed the 18” cradle left and right. “It’s painted pretty light pink and has a decal that matches the ones Daddy put on your beds.”

We took a second look and shared turns rocking it.

“You can use it when you play with your dolls. You got some new crayons and a color book. Some panties, and socks, too. ”

I knew right then: there was no Santa Claus.

Mom had made the rocking, doll-bed. That’s why she put on her only, long overcoat and bundled up to spend much time in the detached, December-cold garage almost every day before Christmas in 1945 in San Antonio, Texas. She depended on me at six years old to entertain my three little sisters Jerri, 5, Patti, 3, and baby Candy while she was out there.

I didn’t care I figured out about Santa Claus. I knew Mom and Dad had counted pennies with the WWII situation. Even after the war, we struggled since our family had grown so quickly.

In my little chair, I studied Mom still holding Candy close to her by the Christmas tree removing a wad of curly ribbon from Patti’s mouth. Poor Mom. I knew she felt bad having to tell us the doll-bed was special. Even Daddy helped to decorate it. They worked so hard. I felt sorry for them. My sisters didn’t know our parents were Santa Claus. Patti and Candy were too little to know what was going on.

I wished I hadn’t said that maybe Santa Claus had dropped some presents behind the tree. I made Jerri and Patti think there usually were more presents. That’s why we started looking for more. Mom’s heart must’ve hurt inside.

I often imagined little Mom behind the scenes in our garage trying to shape the wood with Dad’s little hand-saw, sanding the splinters and curving the edges to protect our tiny hands, then adding shiny paint–in her long, straight, only coat and bulky gloves! Maybe next-door neighbor, old Mr. Krause, cut the curved part with his electric saw for her to finish. The garage with a dirt floor and two doors that yielded to the winds and cold was not a place for an exhausted 90-pound mother of four tiny ones.

I knew Dad soaked and slid off the decal. He was the pro at that. Everything had a decal if it made our chairs, chests of drawers, tables, or cabinets around the house look a little more big-ticket or helped perk us up. Often our parents were exhausted and had many challenges trying to be patient with us.

I cherished our priceless little rocking doll-bed and played with it often. I loved Mom for the love she gave us in those very early years. I wonder how I would have handled the situations she endured then and later.

As a mother and grandmother myself, I know a mom values and elevates the simplest gift created by her small child. She showers praises and compliments, but the tables were turned.

Today as an adult, Jerri doesn’t recall Christmas in 1945, and I know the others don’t either.

Mary Jo Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – December is Here

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. December 2016

Sometimes we forget the beauty of seasons other than the blooming loveliness of our spring, summer, and winding down into colorful fall here at Panorama. October and November saw more rain, perhaps, than we liked. But boy did December deliver a wonderland. The tall trees were frosted and stately.

Sandy-Snow1Our yards sported a special look as the 4-5 inches continued to fall.

Sandy-Snow2And the ambient night light made things magical.

Sandy-Snow3We walked around in this just to enjoy the quiet you get with this type of event. The best place to view this, if you couldn’t walk and crunch around on the new wet snow, was like our little buddy Mirka….

Sandy-Snow4There were also whimsical animals out and frosted with fresh snow. Perhaps a resting rabbit????

Sandy-Snow5We’ve not gotten into the real 20 degrees freezing nights yet, but they are due. The Panorama crew was out with snow shovels, making paths to our mailboxes. The back hoe from grounds was out snow-plowing small loops and courts with a grinning operator. The bigger plow was out for our main roads/streets, commandeered by our wonderful trash collecting man. 

How lucky we are at Panorama. Our environs are kept navigable even when they aren’t blazing with blooms. We all are grateful.  

Enjoy our campus during this season as we enjoy friends and family. Be mindful of the puddles that may well freeze in days to come. We’ve all landed in the best place in the northwest!!!!!

Sandy Bio

 

 

“A Dying Industry” TV Movie – An Artist’s Perspective

Written by Panorama resident, Mike Turner. November 2016

In the last blog, I wrote about the new adventure Bill Lange and Panorama are taking in doing TV movies to be shown on PCTV.  Here is an accompanying piece on the differences experienced by one of the actors in doing theatre and TV.

I have done a number of theatre plays over the years.  I thought this TV project would be something very new for me, something I never had the opportunity to try and I wanted to see what it was like and what I could learn.  Boy was it new and boy did I learn some new techniques needed to act for the camera.

First of all, I have the ability to what I call “get it to the back row” or projecting.  Projecting isn’t yelling or just talking loud.  It is more the force of voice so that everyone in the audience can not only hear you but hear the emotions of the character as well.  I quickly learned that I needed a new way of speaking and projecting for the camera.  As it was conveyed to me, “Mike, you don’t need to project for the theatre audience, there’s a microphone 3 feet above your head.  We can hear you.”  I needed to get the emotions conveyed not so much from only my voice but from facial reactions and more subtle tones.

Then there are close-ups.  No close-ups in the theatre.  Theatre acting is bigger, TV acting must be smaller, more intimate for the audience and more subtle.  Everyone has their own personal space, you know that space when “invaded” by another person starts feeling awkward.  Well when doing a two person close-up for TV, that space is definitely invaded.  This isn’t two people talking on a large theatre stage.  This has to be two people talking in very close quarters to fit the TV screen.  Amazingly you can get used to it.

IMG_1447

In theatre you rehearse the entire play in sequence for weeks and then comes the one opening night where it has to be perfect.  With TV, every scene you do has to be an opening night and perfect.  There is some rehearsal and blocking for a scene and then it is recorded….”the opening night”.  Each scene is recorded more than once and usually out of order.  We recorded the first scene of the play on one of the last days of production, while the first scenes filmed were the middle scenes of the play.  This made memorizing interesting and each scene needed to be filmed a number of times with the exact emotional and physical parts of the performance matching each other.  This was because for one scene it is recorded as a long shot showing the entirety of the location of the scene, then again closer to film the actors in the scene and then recorded again as a close-up for each actor individually in the scene.  In our case with three actors, each scene was recorded 6 times with each recording having to match perfectly with the previous camera set up.  That’s six opening nights just for one scene.  Not complaining, it was great fun and an interesting new skill.

IMG_1343

One last thing.  I found out quickly how important the crew and technicians are in the making of a movie.  In the theatre, lights, sound and stage are set on opening night and don’t change much, if at all.  For TV, all these things change every time you do a new shot.  They are the ones that make it happen and many thanks to these wonderful people.

IMG_1411

I hope this has given you the idea on what is new going on at Panorama for our residents.  I also hope you watch our play when it comes out, as well as coming out to volunteer for our next production.

Here are just some of the people who helped put this all together.   See any friends or neighbors?

Script Writer                         Martin Waldron

Producer                              Bill Lange

Director                                Bill Lange

Lighting                                Don Whiting

Sound                                  Don Whiting

Script Supervisor                 Nancy Luck

Sets                                     Ralph Dodds    Maurie Laufer

Props                                   Beth Dowsley

Camera                               Roger Roberts

Wardrobe Consultant          Karen Shanower

Make-up                              Claire MacPherson

Actors                                  Lu Hamacek    Helen Spalding    Mike Turner

Assistant Director                Mary Eberling

Technical Support               Ray Johnson

Mike_Edited copy

“A Dying Industry” TV Movie – In the Beginning

Written by Panorama resident, Mike Turner. November 2016

IN THE BEGINNING….of television that is, there were three networks and some local programming.  Not many choices at the start.  But some of the choices were very powerful and very well done.

Do you remember Playhouse 90, Colgate Theatre, Texaco Star Theatre, Kraft Television Theatre, Alfred Hitchcock Presents or Twilight Zone?  All of these shows were half hour or one hour narrative television or television plays.   These were original screenplays, sometimes written by famous writers of the day.  They told one complete story each week, not a series of related stories.

Well this type of narrative television is coming to Panorama!

Bill Lange, a Visual Storyteller here at Panorama, has taken up the project of producing and directing narrative television.  You might know Bill from his Artist’s Profile series on PCTV.

Bill has been involved in video and photography work for sometime, but has always had the dream of doing narrative television.  Bill has started to live that dream.

Bill contacted the Olympia Film Collective, a group of South Puget Sound directors, producers, lighting and sound people, camera operators and other technical positions.  It is a group of people who just have the love of making movies.  He asked for their mentoring and advice and was welcomed enthusiastically.  Bill also contacted Thurston County Media (TCM) or TCTV as it was called, for advice and help as well.  These are the same people who now mentor and aid the PCTV studio and crew.  They were also enthusiastic about the project.

The plan was to always have Panorama residents be the producers, directors, crew, technicians and actors for the project.  To that end Bill had a number of introductory meetings with residents to take the temperature of interest for this project.  Each meeting exceeded Bill’s expectations in attendance and interest.

The next step was the most important.  In real estate the saying is “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION”.  For a play, movie or in our case a TV play it’s “STORY, STORY, STORY”.  Everything starts with a story but it is almost impossible to obtain the rights to produce previously created material.  And we were working on a very small budget (read that as zero budget).  Luckily for us the Olympia Film Collective came to our rescue.  Part of their organization includes a group of writers.  They offered to write a TV play for us.  It actually ended up being three plays that were offered with minimal licensing costs, right in our budget.  Since this was our first foray into this type of movie making, Bill did ask facetiously that there be no car chases or explosions.  They obliged.

The biggest hurdle had been jumped, we have a story.  Then the call went out to Panorama residents for volunteers for the technical positions and actors.  All technical positions, lighting, sound, continuity, sets, camera, props were quickly filled by interested Panorama residents.  A call for actors went out and auditions were held and the cast was chosen.  The technical positions had great help in learning these new tasks they had volunteered for from both the Collective and TCM.  They were there to train and mentor our people and stayed with us in the studio or were on call when needed.  This could not have been done without their support and understanding.

IMG_1168

We now have a story and the people but where to record it?  Aren’t we lucky that Panorama has its own TV studio?  Bill, a member of the TV Team, met with the PCTV group and shared his idea.  Bill asked to share the limited PCTV studio space.  They were enthusiastic about its possibilities and their ability to include the finished tele-play in the scheduled broadcasts they show on PCTV.  Now we have the where.  With some help from the Barn, the home remodeling department and the woodshop volunteers, we were able to obtain props we needed to build a living room and kitchen set.  These were built in the PCTV studio in such a way that regular Panorama programming could continue as well as our filming.  It’s tight but worked like a charm.

IMG_1423

Now the recording is done and Bill and the post-production crew are in the process of editing our first Studio 370 Playhouse TV play “A Dying Industry”.  I won’t give away too much but it does involve a murder (or two).

As I mentioned “A Dying Industry” will be shown on PCTV but TCM was also interested in showing it on their station as well.

If all goes well and there is an ongoing interest in making more TV plays we still have two more waiting in the wings to be produced.  When the final editing is completed and we have a show date, look for the announcement of “A Dying Industry” on PCTV and the Bulletin.

Mike_Edited copy

A Resident’s Perspective – What Are We Missing Here?

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. Photos by George Bush. November 2016

Over the years (3) that we have been here, we always get the strange question: “What are you missing here?”  It follows closely on the heels of “what do you NOT like about living at Panorama?”

We’ve not found anything we do NOT like about living here at Panorama, so that is easy to answer. What is harder is what might be missing?

Administration has worked and is working hard to provide us with a pleasant and safe community to live in. There are so many opportunities for learning in retirement, exploring the great South Puget Sound area, meeting fellow residents, enjoying free movies and classics, ease in accessing restaurant/meal service, pharmacy, library and multitude of crafts,  workshops and affinity groups. A big amenity is the exercise and pool complex. Fitness equipment lives in most of the buildings and many of us have our own.

But, what is it with those stairs………. We’ve realized what I call “elder code,” for lack of a better descriptor, has eliminated stairs. Only a few living arrangements have stairs internal to them. The tall apartment building and both Chalet and Chinook have stairwells, but also sport elevators to accommodate residents with mobility issues.

What has been fun for us is climbing the 5 flights of stairs in the south or north stairwells that empty out on the 5th floor of Quinault building. On a clear day, Mt. Rainier is in all its glory from the north set of stairs. Some days the cloud cover, rain or fog engulfs our mighty neighbor to the east. But sometimes at sunset on a clear or partially cloudy day, the alpenglow of the west side of Rainier is just spectacular. Sometimes lenticular clouds seem to tease the peak and sometimes the peak is poking out above the land fog. We have so many photographs, that we have quit taking them. Last week, after a nasty day of rain, a peculiar yellow light appeared at dusk and Mt. Rainier sported a giant and bright double rainbow between us and it. So very special.

Sandy Bush - Mt. RainierMt. Rainier in Alpenglow and clear day view from 5th floor Quinault

Sandy Bush - Mt. Rainier 2

Most of us can’t see Rainier due to tree growth in surrounding communities, so we use the stairs to treat ourselves and give us a destination. Why? Well, about 6 months ago, we decided we need the stair climb to help invigorate heart muscle and lungs.  It is a cardio workout of sorts, not unlike what our gym-users strive for on the equipment here in profusion at Panorama.

Being a scientific type and lover of graphs and spreadsheets, my guy fashioned a grid to sign up if you DO climb the stairwell. There is a place for name and blanks to put in dates and numbers of flights climbed. We thought it would be fun to log what we do. Then we found that many other folks were actually signing in to the clipboard that holds the months tally on the top-most railing in both stairwells.

We also thought as part of general fitness that is promoted here, it might be interesting to J. Leyva, our fitness coordinator. So, at months end, we take the sheets to her and she has been keeping a tally. It is like walking to Indiana or New York by counting your steps or some such in a recent fun exercise program.

Sandy Bush - South Stairwell

 Logging in at south stairwell

The biggest caveat to this is wearing our SARA buttons and knowing what our heart and lung status is. Another important thing to consider is it might be best if you have a buddy with you. None of us should over-do exercise. But working up to more flights over time will help heart health. Some residents we have talked with find climbing the flights best but then take the elevator back down. Balance issues and leg strength are both important to consider. Others we have “run into” on the stairs take the elevator up and the stairs down by their doctor’s suggestion. Railings are available and should be used.

Sandy Bush - Stairs

Wishing you some happy views of our magnificent campus and to the east, the mighty Mt. Rainier!!!

Sandy Bio

 

A Resident’s Perspective – Autumn Leaves

Written by Panorama resident, Bob Bowers. November 2016

This morning I sat reading the Olympian in our sun room.  There was no sun, of course, because it is usually dark outside at 6:30 am—especially since I turned the clock back Saturday night to comply with the time change. My body complained to me: “You know it is really 5:30, don’t you!” I don’t make the change as well as the clock!

When light began to illuminate the lawn, I noticed that the great old broadleaf maple tree was 90% devoid of leaves. Rain and wind during the past week had quickly loosened the huge leaves.  The diligent work of the grounds folks dispatched the leaves into piles with a blower and then into trucks to be hauled away.  All that was left outside was a smattering of bushes at the base of our friend, the tree; a green lawn stretching toward Cardinal Lane; and, above us our friend’s massive bare limbs stretched skyward toward the clouds.

Julia and I missed the leaves.  They’ve been hanging from the tree since April.  We enjoyed them for six months as they appeared, morphed through the stages of their life, turned from green to gold, fell off and were whisked away.  They made a comforting backdrop for our comings and goings from that room.  Our solace is, that, if we’re still here next April our old leaf friends will be replaced by a new fresh crop.  The cycle of renewal, excitement, enjoyment and decline will repeat itself for us next year.

Bob Bowers - Cactus

Bob Bowers - Cactus Flower

Our bonus for this day is that our Christmas cactuses have each one decided that this time of turning back clocks is a time for turning on blooms.  Each of our five hybrid cactuses have burst into huge magenta and pink blooms.  Who cares what time it is!  It is the time to bloom.  What else matters?  And, that’s a lesson for us septuagenarians, octogenarians, nonagenarians, and centenarians (Look ‘em up!):  Life is cyclical. Whatever our age—if you’re an OLD CACTUS—it is the time to bloom!

 

Bob Bowers Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – God Blessed America in Assisted Living

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. November 2016

I was ending my twice-a-month piano entertainment for about twenty residents in Panorama’s Assisted Living day room. A sheet of music slipped from a stack of music on the piano. When I reached from the piano bench to recoup it from the floor, the sheet yelled, “Play me next!”

I held the piece above my head, “We need God’s blessing on America, so I will now play God Bless America. You may simply listen, sing, hum, or pray the song.”

As the first note sounded, fragile gentleman in the back of the room stood as tall as his body allowed. His quivering wrinkled fingers reached for his cap, which he held gently against his thin chest. With his head bowed in deep devotion, he lowered his eyelids.

I wondered whether the faint hum floating around the room was from him.

Finally, the ending, “…Ame-ri-ca, my ho-me, sweeeet ho-me.” The gentleman replaced his cap, wiped a tear, and struggled to take his seat.

Everyone was silent. I continued to pack up my music books, but looked up. “Thank you, sir. Thank you for standing for the playing of God Bless America. We appreciate your respect to this patriotic prayer, and it’s not even the Star Spangled Banner.”

Betty, in charge of the entertainment, reiterated, “Yes, John (fictitious name), thank you.”

Asking him questions, we learned that he had flown bomber-missions in WWII. I was admiring one of the last of a few heroes in America from that era.

I pat my good byes on each resident’s shoulder and lastly to the veteran. “Thank you for your service to keep our country safe. We can’t let our grandchildren, great-grandchildren and future generations ever forget those horrible years. I notice the tiny little gold wings on your cap.”

He nodded his head and pointed to his friend in a wheel chair to his left, “This my buddy, Joe (fictitious name). He served in the Air Force, too.

Recognizing the friend’s Veteran cap, I bent down, “I see you have your wings, too! Thank you, sir.

We deeply appreciate your service. We can’t imagine what you two went through to keep us safe. God bless you.”

As I returned back down the first floor of our Convalescent/Rehab Center, I prayed, “Lord God, I place those two veterans and all other vets into Your hands. Help me not ever take them for granted. Please bless our country, despite many times of forgetting You in our daily lives. We have so much for which to be thankful.”

Mary Jo Bio - Test

A Resident’s Perspective – Panorama Cider Press

Written by Panorama resident, Charlie Keck. October 2016

Currier and Ives would have loved to paint this annual Panorama event.   The scene:  a soft maritime light and mist enhancing the still beautiful colors of fading dahlias, marigolds and asters surrounding the Garden House.  Sitting by long tables in the house, thirty-one happy villagers were working hard to prepare six hundred pounds of apples for pressing.

P1070244

The apples were washed in bleach water and then freed of rotten spots and obvious worms. Jim Crabtree and Bob Markey had used a drive-by gleaning technique to pick needed apples from neighbors’ trees.  We got lots of apples and the owners were relieved of the guilt of wasting food.

Most people wanting a cider press would visit a garden store. Jim Crabtree, the circus-master of the event, had built his press starting with wood he milled in 2008 from a downed fir tree.  He adapted a British design to build his apple grinder utilizing a mounted kitchen garbage disposal unit.

P1070234

P1070232

In the mashing annex, the all-star Jim trio, plus Fred, Bob and Jerry toiled to push the apples through the grinder and then the apple press. Spent mash was distributed to gardeners for compost who hauled it away in wheelbarrows.

P1070237 EDIT

Each worker took home a jug of cider with an attractive clarity and bouquet.  My childhood memories of the cider we made on the farm from unwashed, unsorted apples from trees in the cow pasture may have had a bit more thigh.

Charlie Keck

A Resident’s Perspective – Thoughts on Learning Limits….

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. September 2016

We found when we moved to Panorama three years ago that there was an active program for hikers and walkers and general doers. Historically we have hiked in England, Wales, N. Scotland, and parts of New Zealand. We find that with aging has come some lessening of endurance and perhaps a physical glitch or two.

Here at Panorama, the many activity and growth in retirement offerings have been a wonderful experience. We have found places to hike and/or walk that we never would have found without the leader of these outings. The ease/difficulty of various outings is explained in the monthly activities descriptions in our “Panorama News” edition.

Recently, we find that my husband has become altitude sensitive, though healthy. He had some difficulty completing a falls hike in Mt. Rainier environs. I have been pretty able to march along, usually. So we’ve found we need some of our hiking questions clarified. The leader has been available and helpful in sorting out what the offerings entail.

Sandy & George Bush

Now I find that I have reached some limits in what I can manage comfortably. We started using hiking poles about a year ago and they have been wonderful in the downhill legs of various outings. These provide stability and also some braking to ease the stress on knees. The poles didn’t help me recently at altitude on a hike on a quite warm day. Experiencing some dizziness, I was way too warm and elected to return to the trail head…..there are always lesser options offered on these outings.

Sandy Bush - Hiking

As we age, we find that there are things that are just not comfortable or safe to do. It takes awhile to understand that this isn’t a failing, but a learning of what our bodies are capable of and prepared to do in our 70’s and soon-to-be 80’s. The term “we aren’t 30 anymore” is a fun saying, but oh so true. You never want to be the one collapsing on the trail and causing a big effort from others.

Sooooo…..we are striving to find a balance while we keep moving. This has been an activity we enjoyed all our lives. What is ever so important to us is that Panorama offers so many different levels of activities. This will be increasingly important for the “boomers” we keep hearing about, who are chomping at our heels. As we move into less strenuous outings, we make way for the more active folks who have heard about these offerings.

Recently active walkers completed the third summer of “Walk the Loop” on campus and we can get miles under our feet all summer on Tuesday evenings. This was capped off with a celebration with root beer floats!! We have also added climbing the five flights of stairs in the Quinault apartment building daily to manage lung and heart health. Many use the amazing collection of gym machines to keep fit, but we never were “gym rats” …preferring fresh outdoor air. There may come a time……

Retirement is always a learning experience and learning limits is just part of that continuum. Now that we “aren’t 30” anymore, life is good in our adaptive community.

The art of aging gracefully is a big endeavor.

Sandy Bio