A Resident’s Perspective – Free In-Home Exercises?

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. February 2018

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.” Not this time!

Every morning Jenny Leyva, Aquatic & Fitness Coordinator, and resident Reath wake Chris and me up in time for 9 o’clock exercises in our own apartment– it’s FREE!

Actually the best part: we are in our jammies or showered and ready for the day. Our own TV screen shows two videos filmed by Greg Miller, Marketing Retirement Advisor. Other residents across the campus are sharing the experience at the same time!

Jenny teamed up with Reath who demonstrates the modified version of each exercise so residents can have options.

Video #1: Exercise for Independence – about 15 minutes

*  Total body exercise

*  Simple, functional exercises designed to help keep us active and independent.

Video #2: Strength & Balance for Fall Prevention – about 20 minutes

     *  Fall prevention exercise

*  Key lower body strength exercises that have been proven to help reduce the risk of falling

Jenny reminds us to breathe deeply and gives us 10-second water-breaks.

What do I like about these exercises? I can do them on my own during the day, watching TV or waiting for our meal in the restaurant. No, not putting my hands over my head, but the simple foot bends under the table. In the elevator, I practice breathing deeply and exhaling. I’ve learned to feel the weight on my heels before getting up from my chair and to take control of myself as I sit down, instead of ploppin’ down as I usually do. When writing on my laptop, I stop a few minutes to do the arms-over-the-head exercises, or stretching forward. I don’t always remember reminders, but I look forward doing them out of habit.

The first day I started, I noticed being more invigorated walking the Quinault halls. Chris and I remind each other to sit and stand tall. What’s nice, too, is on a day we might not be home at the assigned time, we will be able to do the exercises on our own. The schedule time is good…it’s over…there’s no temptation or distraction to stop to check a do-list or email. But then I’m the only one that has that problem!

Jenny says the idea to create the videos began as a direct response to the Quality of Life survey that was given to us by Panorama. The results of the survey indicated that a large percent of residents feel afraid to fall or have experienced a fall recently. The team of Sharon Rinehart, Dr. Behre, Grace Moore, and Jenny Leyva laid out the foundation of the fall prevention video. At that time, they also decided to update the Silver Sneakers video that was currently playing on our PCTV. That was where the idea came to show two different videos.

Another great innovation and example of how Panorama constantly asks for our suggestions and needs, and implements them when feasible for many of the residents!

Thank you again, Panorama, Jenny, Reath and the other team members!

Do We Like Our Move to the Quinault?

Do We Like Our Move to the Quinault?
Written by Mary Jo Shaw, author of Convent to Catwalk

We loved our neighbors, our garden home on Woodland Court, and figured we’d be there a longer time. But, after six years, the time was now. Do we like our new apartment in the Quinault Building?

Although we miss our neighbors, we still are able to see them often. After all, we live only a few blocks away on our Panorama campus. We attend the same events in the large auditorium and Aquatic & Fitness Center, and we walk the Circle Loop on Tuesday evenings during the warm season with other residents for exercise and visiting.

Now, there’s no need to walk to the large Quinault building where I have always played weekly in Assisted Living and where Chris and I attend many events in the smaller auditorium. I take art, weekly Bible, and other classes there. I’m one floor up from Monday Catholic services…reading often and playing piano.  Exercise rooms/classes are on lower level, close to where Chris enjoys the coffee room, movies, and newspaper. I use the Resident Council office and business area where all residents are welcome to run off copies. That same office has a laminating machine, latest computers and other office advantages, always with an expert to help us! I itch as I pass the Weaving Room, Wood & Metal Shop, and the closed-circuit TV studio, also available in the lower level. I can’t wait to participate in those opportunities.

Metal Shop

Woodshop

In the adjoining Panorama Hall building, we have banks and the gift shop where I consign my crafts and books almost daily (and pick up my check once a month)! We also have the convenience of the beauty salons, and the pharmacy with its last minute stop-n-go type foods and necessities. The community living room with a large fireplace offers the activity desk where we can sign up for events; it also features sofas, tables, and the friendly Executive and Lifestyle Enrichment offices. Chris reads and visits there faithfully.

Panorama Hall

Then the best part! Every time we walk out of our fifth floor apartment, we are greeting friends. If time, we visit or search for puzzle pieces together in the many areas with large windows. We are closer to the Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro where we can relish the unusually cordial atmosphere of residents for many organized brunches, luncheons, and dinners. We love impromptu meals, or as an arranged date! What fun to invite other residents to join us and chat as long as we please.

To do all of this indoors, we simply walk the steps or elevator ourselves from our small apartment with the latest flooring, kitchen and bath upgrades, granite counters, light fixtures, and cabinets-and-pantry pull-outs. We have plenty of storage and a nice-sized family room with huge wall-to-wall windows that display our small balcony with patio furniture.

We are able to attend the over 100 published monthly activities on our campus, but now we have the additional Quinault Activity calendar of events planned by our #1 manager, Dodie. Her energy and planned get-togethers and parties include her homemade cookies, huge bowls of homemade foods, including, potato or bean salads, meatballs and spaghetti, pigs in the blankets, apple streusel, campus Bistro brunches, games, planned off-campus trips to restaurants…etc.

Our Resident Council on-campus transit is still available for our use. Panorama provides the late model vans with volunteer dispatchers, drivers, and maintenance.

Then there is the adjoining Convalescent and Rehabilitation building where I play piano in three areas regularly, including a Christian service monthly on Saturdays. I play in the building’s entrance on a beautiful grand Yamaha piano often. Must I continue?

No, we don’t like our move to the Quinault…we love it! Aware of new reasons daily, we thank and praise God for the many blessings for our new home, its friends and advantages.

The Christmas Day Outing

Written by Panorama resident, Sandra Bush | December 2017

Each year, Steve Pogge organizes a lunch walk on Christmas Day. The first few were somewhat sparsely attended, but this year, we were with about 15 walker/hikers.  We did a fairly easy walk through a lovely trail at Priest Point Park, only a short bus ride away – which was newly dusted with the snow we had on Christmas Eve. The trail was good and at 36 degrees, it wasn’t slippery. The parking lot with slush was a place to be cautious.

Fresh air and all bundled up, we did a circle loop trail walk. Ferns and firs were festooned with the now melting snow that was plopping on our heads! We got a bit of everything. Lovely to have no wind which would have made the walk a bit uncomfortable.


The bridges were lovely and the railings were good. Many used poles that Steve usually has for those without. This was not a strenuous outing, though a bit cold. Poles give you another point for balance.

Led by two of Steve’s helpers, we walked for about 30 minutes and then gathered in one of the sheltered communal buildings, open to the fresh air. While we were out, Steve and a helper made a batch of potato/broccoli soup and had a fire going in a kettle that he had brought for outdoor fires. It was warming and lovely. Dark crusty bread made by his friend and hot cocoa, spiced tea or coffee were so very welcome as we trudged in. This was topped off by one of our walkers who brought just lovely tins of homemade cookies and bars!

A warm round of Christmas carols, sung by most of us, to a boombox and words given to us by a helper was a lovely way to share Christmas. There is always room for one more cookie!!!

I hope your Christmas was spent with those you love and you all had a good time. We certainly did!!!

Seeing a Chum Salmon Run

All photos taken by Carolyn Treadway.

Moving to Panorama from the Midwest, I had little idea of what a “salmon run” was, nor of the importance of salmon as a keystone species of the whole Pacific Northwest coast; nor that salmon is essential to the entire way of life of coastal Native Americans. But I kept hearing about salmon.  Intrigued, I wanted to learn much more. Thus I eagerly signed up for an outing to see a chum salmon run, sponsored by the Panorama Green Team.  Twenty residents conveniently rode a Panorama bus to Kennedy Creek, a nature area north of Olympia.  Our trip was expertly facilitated by fellow residents Warren Dawes and Cleve Pinnix, who serve as guides for the countless visitors to this particular salmon run each November.  They led us to observe and understand many amazing sights. How fortunate we were to have such an opportunity!

        Surprisingly, our mid-November outing was blessed with sunshine. The forest was lush and beautiful with giant evergreen trees, mosses, ferns, and tributary streams. Chum salmon abounded! They were returning to the very stream in which they had hatched, probably four years ago, to spawn and die. These amazing fish were born in this freshwater stream, then, after a time in the stream and estuary, had swum into the ocean, where they spent their entire adult lives, swimming as far as 18,000 miles to the Asian oceans and back to return home.  How do they find their way? (There is so much more to learn…)

The creek and streams were alive with salmon: females using their tails to dig holes in the stream’s gravel, males fighting each other for proximity to a female ready to lay a thousand eggs, so that their milt could fertilize those eggs. The streams were also littered with the bodies of salmon that had spawned and were dying or dead, thus completing their life cycle. The salmon provide food for all species that eat them, and their bodies provide nutrients to the forests into which they are carried by those species. Many tons of salmon carcasses are deposited to feed the plants, soils, and creatures of the forest each year.

It’s an amazing, incredible ecosystem, which has been kept in delicate balance by Nature for millennia. But now humans and wastes that we create are greatly impacting that entire ecosystem.  Our wise guides emphasized the importance of clean, fresh water for the salmon and their eggs and young fry, because polluted water makes reproduction even more fragile or kills the fish.  Pollution, habitat loss, and climate change have caused great decline in the numbers of surviving salmon in the Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.  As a result, the resident orca whales (whose food is salmon) are starving and their survival is at risk.  And so on and on.

Ah, yes. As Chief Seattle profoundly said over 150 years ago: “This we know, all things are connected.”  Recent Green Team programs have focused on connections between ourselves and our local environment. For example, local storm water runoff carries toxins directly into the Puget Sound, greatly affecting the health of fish and all species therein. Being present to the majesty of Kennedy Creek with chum salmon churning in its streams, we visitors could connect the dots. Our pollution affects the fresh, clean water these very fish need for their spawning. Let us help their return to their natal home by decreasing our pollution, so that these amazing salmon can birth the next generations.

A 4-Day Trek Through the Northwest Peninsula

Written by Panorama resident, Sandra Bush | September 2017. 
Photos taken by Bill Leppard and Tim and Tam Alden.

Panorama supports and engages our active population in many ways. The outings programs of strolls, walks, and hikes have been augmented by some experimental four-day outings for active residents. This longer type of outings allow more leisurely hiking time instead of hurrying to get back to the bus before awful traffic begins. Steve Pogge and his guide assistant, Wren offered a trip to hike the Northwest Peninsula, and I thought I might share some of what this outing provided. Eight of us came prepared for rain for all four days. We stowed our hiking poles and belongings on the bus and we headed to our destination. We were pleasantly surprised by the weather.

Big Quilcene River

We took a lovely two-hour walk along the Big Quilcene River before lunch. These lunches are usually healthy and prepared by us or Steve out of the back of the bus and on picnic tables in the deep forest or along the Puget Sound or a water source.

This was followed by a visit to Bandy Farms on the way to Sequim. Such a fun surprise! This acreage has been described as unique or unusual. A carver turned his fence posts into works of fun art as well as building a pink castle when neighbors took exception to his various creations. There were so many, I’ve just included a single photo. It surely makes one want to go back to see them all.

Bandy Farms

Before getting to our rooms in Port Angeles, we had stretched our legs by walking down to and along the Dungeness Spit, the largest natural spit found on the West Coast. We dined at a restaurant named “The Cedars” before checking in to The Red Lion with marvelous views of the water.

The Alden’s captured this special sunrise from our hotel the next morning

There is a lovely paved waterfront one-mile trail in front of the hotel that many hikers take advantage of in the early morning.

An amazing ocean figure in mosaic sits by the interpretive center along a walk to a tower overlooking the waterway.

As rain was forecast for the afternoon, Steve decided we’d hike Hurricane Ridge in the morning to avoid a cold, wet and windy afternoon hike. Three hearty souls hiked up a 4-mile steep trail while the rest of us opted for the bus, allowing us to hike to the over-look of the amazing Olympic Mountain range from the Interpretive Center atop Hurricane Ridge. It was hard enough for the rest of us. It was too late in the season to view Olympic marmots as they were getting snuggled for winter. Wren had given us a quick overview of marmots and we learned that they are a distinct group, different from Cascade Range or Vancouver Island populations. But hikers always need to watch for mountain goats as they can get very aggressive and aren’t native to this range.

Our Assistant Guide, Wren, hiking Hurricane Ridge

Panorama Residents hiking Hurricane Ridge

While no goats or marmots were present, the views were just awesome and what did we find at the end of the puff? Steve had prepared hot soup for our lunch along with the usual sandwich making fare. What a guy! This was accompanied by a slight flurry of snow! We were so glad that Steve rearranged our itinerary; it may have gotten more than interesting up there if we’d been there in the afternoon, as planned!

The morning activity was to go on an Underground and History tour of Port Angeles, but we were rescheduled for the afternoon, and we enjoyed some amazing history of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including the elevation of the early outpost city that became Port Angeles. It was built on the mudflats; further up the hill, the British and military owned the higher ground. Town engineers elevated the downtown to avoid tidal flooding of buildings on the mudflats! With no heavy equipment, the entire downtown was elevated one-story. We went under some buildings that then used the second floor for their first floor. The engineering alone was incredible. Red Cedar posts dating from the original construction were in amazing shape. Their oil content has preserved them for over a century.

The usual “happy hour” in the guide’s room was cancelled as we prepared (after a long day) for a wonderful “family style” dinner at a renowned restaurant. Sabai Thai Restaurant, which had rave reviews from best places in the Northwest by Frommer’s Travel Guidebook, served wonderful food. The 10 of us shared nine different dinners suggested by the staff and it was so delicious and special. We had the option of ordering a dish that we wanted specifically, but we all decided to share to taste various dishes. Happy but tired hikers retired back to their rooms and opted not to visit a modern outdoor sculpture park as the night sky was imminent.

After the second night, it was time to bring our bags back to the bus in the morning for our exploration of Marymere Falls and to the Moments-in-Time hike which lead us to Crescent Lake. Delightfully, we got to experience the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center after breakfast. It would have been hard to see the outdoor installations by artists had we gone after the Thai dinner. It was entertaining to wander around that acreage and see things mounted in the trees, under leaves on the ground, and to experience artists’ way of using the out-of-doors for art installations.
(More pictures can be enjoyed on their website: http://www.pafac.org/)

Photograph by Bill Leppard

We headed to the Storm King Ranger Station to hike up to Marymere Falls. We meandered on a wonderful blanket of fir needles with no roots or rocks to trip over. Then we found the way up to the waterfall overlook. Gads, the usual roots and rocks and steps to negotiate brought us to wonderful views of the two-tiered waterfall.

Steve explained a magical exercise in fooling the eye/brain connection. He explained that if you looked at the same segment of falling water for 15-30 seconds and then shifted your eyes to the right, the granite rock actually seemed to move up in the segment as wide as your view was of the falling water. Many of us were able to experience it, but it left you off center for a bit while your brain reorganized its visual input. What was wonderful was that by mid-week, we had so much of the trails to ourselves.

Branching off from the Marymere Falls trail was a lovely, quiet walk amid Moments-in-Time’s large trees. Steve suggested that the walk to lunch be carried out in silence to appreciate what the forest has to offer in serenity. We often do silent walks with no talking and it is a wonderful rest for the mind and body as we walk among the big trees. This trail led us to Crescent Lake Lodge where those interested could rent a kayak or canoe. The views from the picnic table where lunch were arrayed were just amazing. The lunch arrayed by the edge of the lake was lovely and we were visited by a family of cute and persistent ducks that popped out of the water to try and cadge some food, but it is never appropriate to feed wildlife animals.

Then we headed to our final night in Forks. Along the way, we got to hike down to Mora Beach, all 120 steps down and back up. Tidal issues made very little sand available, with many large logs/trees that had been washed up for a long period of time, but many individuals scrambled over these obstacles to get some beach time. Two of us elected to sit in the cool shade of a large log and skipped the scramble. Such a lovely day we had. Sunny, and most of all: NO RAIN!!!

This final evening, we enjoyed happy hour in the guide’s rooms. While Steve’s trips do not promote alcoholic drinking, there were a couple of jugs of “Mississippi Mud” dark ale, various wine and sparkling water while participants discussed the pros and cons of activities for future trip-planning. The Native-owned restaurant he had planned for dinner was closed Tuesday nights, so the pizza parlor on Main Street Forks provided a venue to further the fellowship. A poster on the wall of Ruth Orkin (a photographer) depicts a performance, engendered Wren’s further research which found a woman bucking early stereotypes and working in a men’s world back in the 1950s, traveling alone in Europe!   We always manage to learn a lot from Steve’s outings, even when they are unplanned!

An earlier trip also visited a record-breaking Cedar Tree that had recently fallen not far off the road. It had to give up its status as the world’s biggest Cedar, but to view and walk around it was meaningful and powerful.

On the way to Aberdeen and back home, we also experienced what could only be called a Dr. Seuss forest. This was a segment of coastal trees above Beach #1, (yes that is its name) with amazing burl structures on them. Based on Wren’s research, the burl structures don’t kill the tree and many things cause the tree to burl. This happens along coastal waterways and not far inland. But this was a literal forest of them in a small area. An example of this is below, along with Steve and his wonderful Indian flute, making the experience somewhat other-worldly.

Traveling with Steve is always an adventure!

Steve’s trips are always so well-planned and scouted. A highlight is usually a stop at an ice cream purveyor on the way home. This time, we stopped at Scoops in Aberdeen with way too many selections of ice cream flavors. Learning about the history and enjoying out-of-door places that our wonderful Northwest Peninsula provides is always rewarding.

Treat yourself to one of these wonderful Panorama outings if you can!

Hikes with Steve – Mt. Rainier Wildflower Trip

Written by Steve Pogge. Photos by Panorama resident, Cindy Fairbrook. August 2017

A small group of residents took three days and circumnavigated Mount Rainier. It was a 400 mile trip in search of wildflowers with Steve Pogge and Mark Akins as hike leaders. We left for this adventure on July 30 and as luck would have it, the flowers were in their prime. The colors were fantastic. We saw not only Lupine, Indian Paintbrush and Mountain Heather but Avalanche Lilies, Sitka Valarium, Bistort, Western Anemone (mouse on a stick), Rosy Spirea, Arnica and assorted other beautiful, colorful and fragrant plants.

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We were able to visit the South side of the mountain at the Paradise/Reflection Lake area, the Southwest side at the Ohanopacosh area, the Eastside at Chinook Pass and the Northside at the Sunrise/Borough Mt. area.

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We ate, laughed, hiked, toured and had a grand time on our three day adventure. The restaurants and inns were all interesting and lovely in their own way.  Many options were given each day and each person was able to see and do as much as they desired.  Although the terrain was sometimes steep and the elevation high, the beauty of the area was enough to overcome any discomfort we had.

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The days were warm but not hot, the skies were cloud free and we often went from early morning to dark to do and see as much as we could. It was an experience that many will take with them for years to come. It reminded me once again of just how beautiful an area we are fortunate to live in.

Steve Pogge Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – Walking the Loop

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. July 2017

“Walk the Loop” group has been functioning since June 6th for this 2017 summer season. It began some years ago and then Panorama celebrated its 50th Year and bright yellow t-shirts were printed carrying the message, not only of the walking group, but for the anniversary. After attending two Tuesdays of walking, you can get a T-shirt to join the brightly colored gang. There are also yellow bandanas for all the furry walkers.

CaptureEvery Tuesday through August, starting at 6:30 PM officially, a wonderful array of walkers shows up to walk a loop or five of the circle around McGandy Park. For the second year in a row, the local high school marching band came to lead off the group for one circuit on the first Tuesday of the walks. It is fun to walk/march to a band and we made a colorful group. Three-wheeled bicycles, push walkers, canes, walking sticks and wheel chairs are all very welcome.

Many walkers have found the start time somewhat problematic for dinner times and have either started way early or come to the walk later after dinner. The start time doesn’t matter, really, if you are logging your laps on the four-paneled roster sheet kept and updated by the Bartruffs. Getting there before 7:30 PM closing will let you check off the number of circuits you have done that evening. No, it isn’t a contest and if you get there before the lists are up, just add your checks when it is posted and before you go home. If you are new to walking with the group, do sign in on the new walker sheet at the table.

The added fun is a group of six stations on the light bollards with trivia questions and their answers. These have been diligently researched and posted by the Bartruffs. We learn something every Tuesday that we go. Walkers also get to see, talk with and smile at folks they don’t see day to day in their particular interest groups.

When the weather is toasty and legs in shorts are seen around the loop, there is often a water dispenser and cups at the table at the Aquatic Center where all this is happening. One Tuesday, there was a wonderful plate of fruit to help with energy. And now that it is Pea Patch season, lemon zucchini cookies are a treat. The furry walkers can enjoy water from bowls placed at two homes around the loop.

Walkers should wear their SARA buttons and your name tag will help new and other folks learn your names. It is after all a “talk the loop” group as some have named it.

The campus is abloom now and walking gets you all the colors of the hydrangeas. We enjoy how something is always blooming around campus.

So, bring your new neighbors to introduce them to a fun activity in the summer. The last walk always has a treat scheduled and don’t miss that! Catch up on the news of other neighborhoods. Just enjoy the end of the day with a leg stretcher. Happy walking!!!!

Sandy Bio

 

Hikes with Steve – Olympic Peninsula

Written by Steve Pogge. Photos by Panorama resident, Karen Romanelli. May 2017

On May 7th, ten hearty adventurers took off from Panorama to go on a 3 day, 500 mile journey to the far reaches of the Olympic Peninsula. The trip was planned and run by Steve Pogge with Wren Wolf as his trusty assistant and botany expert. Our mission was simple: to experience firsthand the largest temperate rainforest in the world, walk the beaches of the most pristine coast line known to man, and see a few world record trees that are known to inhabit the peninsula. Not a small undertaking by any means, but one within our reach.

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We were decked out with our full waterproof rain gear: our Gore-Tex pants, water resistant boots, rain proof jackets and hats. With the area getting 12 to 15 feet (not inches) of rain a year, you are pretty likely to get wet. However, our trip fell within a bizarre weather pattern that gave us sunshine, blue skies and 50 degree days (near perfect hiking temperature) for the duration of our trip.

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We focused on three major rain forests: the Quinault, the Hoh, and the Sol Duc. We were not disappointed. The Forests being so close together you would expect them to be quite similar. They are not. They had their own unique special beauty and awe inspiring wonders that marveled our group of explorers.

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Interspersed between these forests, we stopped at 3 renowned beaches that were also jaw dropping in their power and majesty. They were Ruby Beach, Beach #1 (south of Kalaloch) and Rialto Beach.

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We based our adventure out of Forks, WA and stayed at a lovely Inn that offered each of us a bedroom, kitchen and living room. Our choice of restaurants was limited but we tried to pick the best down home eateries we could. On the education side, we incorporated into the trip not only birds and animal life but also history (both Native American and early settlers) geology and of course some facts on the ancient giants that inhabit this forest. Even for seniors, one feels young when you stand next to a 1,000 year old Sitka Spruce, an 800 year old Western Red Cedar or a 350 year old Douglas Fir. There is almost a magical feeling that takes over. Or as Al Walter puts it, “I thought I was in a Harry Potter movie.”

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It was a wonderful trip and I just want to thank the participants of the week for being such great sports to push themselves to get out and experience the peninsula in a way that very few people get to do.

Steve Pogge 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.

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“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.

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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

 

Hikes with Steve – The Great Olympic Peninsula

Written by Steve Pogge. Photos by George Bush. September 2016

Olympic ForestOn Sept 19, 2016  thirteen hearty adventurers took off from Panorama on what was to become one of our most awe inspiring trips of the primeval NW forests and beaches that I have been fortunate to lead.   This was a 3 day/2 night trip that was based out of Forks Washington.   Forks is renown for Vampires, not for its culinary and lodges.  We were however treated to a nice clean little Inn tucked away in the woods for a few nights and ventured out to La Push for a quaint gourmet restaurant found on the Quileute Indian Reservation.

G.Bush_8Having procured housing and food we were set to explore and discover the beauty of this magnificent area.  The Pacific Northwest is the largest temperate rain-forest in the world, getting over 15 ft (not inches) of rain a year.  It is filled with big trees.  I don’t mean the run of the mill big, I mean HUGE Mammoth trees.   Our first stop was to see the biggest Sitka Spruce in the World, located in the Lake Quinault region of the National Park.  This tree is not only big but it is also very old.  The best guess by the experts is that this tree has been around for 1000 years!  It is impossible to describe the feeling of standing next to an ancient living species that dwarf everything around it and was a young tree even before the Crusades.  This was the first of many jaw dropping experiences during the week.

We then stopped at the Lake Quinault Lodge to view the grand old Lodge built in the early 1900’s after the National Park model.  What we didn’t expect was to run into a native American woman, named Harvest Moon, who had been a story teller for 30 years and basket weaver for 40 years.  She just happened to be showing her baskets that day.  She was willing to share a few stories of the “first people” and had us captivated for the rest of the morning.  She also had a fine sense of humor.  We all laughed after she recited the shortest Indian story ever told;  “The salmon swam up the river and said DAM.”

Olympic ForestWe could of stayed longer but had scheduled visits to 3 rain-forests on the Peninsula: The Quinault valley, the Hoh valley, and the Sol Duc Valley, one for each day of the trip.  Our first rain-forest was on the North shore of the Quinault river.  This rarely visited side of the park was magical and surreal.  Walking through the moss laden cedars and hemlock lined paths we expected elves and hobbits to jump out at us.

Kestner HomesteadWe came out at an old homestead that has long been abandoned and taken over by the National Park system but previously had housed and sustained 4 generations of the Kestner family.  After a quick lunch we loaded up and headed towards Forks where we hunkered down for the next few nights.

Rialto BeachDay two, took us to one of the most visited beaches on the NW coast; Rialto Beach.  The walking was difficult on this rocky beach but the sea stacks on one side and the huge driftwood trees on the other side with sea birds to entertain us all the way made the trip far less daunting.  A few of our troupe made it to the famous Hole-in-the-Wall rock that allows a person through the hole, for only a few hours, at low tide.  If caught on the wrong side, you are stuck till the tide changes.  We got lucky and were able to walk through and back only minutes before the tide closed off our passage.  Knowing lunch was back at the bus was incentive enough for everyone to get back without a swim.

Rialto Beach Hole In The Wall

For the afternoon, we headed up for our second Rain forest experience, the Sol Duc Valley.  We got to see salmon spawning on the Sol Duc river along with a memorable hike through an ancient Old growth forest and then on to the beautiful Sol Duc Falls.  Two of us were attacked by Yellow jackets  (myself included) at the trail head.  As with all adventures, there is always the unknown and sometimes it can sting.  In this case, we used ointment, ice and a few choice words and we were able to carried on.

Sol Duc ForestKalayloch_Beach_G.BushDay three took us to the last of the Rain forests we were to visit.  All of us commented on how each rain forest was so different but amazing in their own special way.  The Park ranger gave us a private personal introduction to what we were about to experience. The Hoh did not let us down.  We talked in whispers as we ventured through the Hall of Moses and marveled at the breathtaking beauty of this special place.  We had our last picnic lunch and then set off to see Ruby Beach, a short drive away.  The sun had broken out by this time and lit up the beach like a picture postcard.  After being awe struck by one of the prettiest beaches and most magnificent forests we ever saw, what more could we asked for?  Well there was more to come, we continue down the coast to see another one of the Ancients.  This time it was a Western Red Cedar that was impossible to describe with its incredible mass, height, shape, color,and age.  All we could do was marvel at one of the largest living organism on the planet.  The trip was drawing to a close but not without one last final stop to top off a great 3 days.  ICE CREAM at Scoops in Aberdeen.

I am hopeful this trip will be one that is remembered for a life time.  I want to thank all those who participated for being wonderful traveling companions.  It was the love of nature and the outdoors that came from each of the participants that made this such a special experience.   I am hoping to run this trip at least once again next spring.

Steve Pogge Bio

 

 

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

The Panorama Yoga Team & Embracing Life

Written by Panorama resident and Yoga Instructor, Charles Kasler. August 2016

Embracing LifeOn June 9th the Yoga Team presented to a full house for the daylong Embracing Life Conference at Panorama. Our topic of course, was how yoga and meditation embrace the moment as well as support end of life. Many people don’t realize this is the main purpose of yoga/meditation – attuning to the present with an open heart and quiet mind. It reduces stress and brings equanimity. And it connects us to a greater Presence – something universal that is beyond the personal.  

Yoga in the parkWe divided the participants up for yoga in the park, chair yoga, and restorative yoga. There was a very positive response and people were refreshed and ready for their next workshop. It also gave them a preview of our program at Panorama that continues year after year. 

On June 20 we gathered in the pea patch in a vigil for the last hour of light on the longest day of the year – an annual event for our yoga program. As an extra treat, we saw a double rainbow. 

rainbowOn Aug 27, I taught a free workshop on diet – an essential part of the yoga lifestyle. This was the next in our ongoing workshop series – Living Well With Yoga. 

Our next social gathering will be at Fall Equinox for high tea. We often bond deeply in our shared experience of yoga and meditation – a silent support group. Social gatherings give us a chance to visit, enjoy each other’s company and deepen friendships.  

On October 22 we will continue the yearlong Embracing Life theme with the fall mindfulness retreat – Embracing Life Mindfully. Except for 2 short dharma talks, we will spend the entire time practicing in silence for a direct experience of meditation, embracing the present.

the yoga team

The Panorama Yoga Team of resident instructors – Charles, Jean, and Connie.

 

 

A Resident’s Perspective – What’s Next?

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. July 2016

How often have you heard (or promised yourself), “I am going to write a book sometime,” or “You need to write a book with all those stories in your life?”

Within a few days of moving to Panorama, I tiptoed into a free–Writing Your Life–class in the chapel balcony. Charlotte (the facilitator) and the class of about eight offered me a seat around a large table arrangement.

Edith began reading the next episode story as a wife of a vicar and her move into the two-story, old wood parsonage the same snowy day the transferring vicar was moving out. Transporters needed to save time and money—it was the depression. Both families had small children, and it was lunchtime!

Class members heartily nodded at her scenario–no paper plates, microwaves, or plastic anything.

I felt invigorated to join. Authors who had no time to write since the last class, came just to hear the ongoing stories. We neither critiqued nor edited. However, I had a goal to write and encouragement to “write my story.”

Hungering for constructive criticism, I magnetized to invitations from members of our PanWriters class. What next?

After about a year, I showed up to the class. For a small fee, we received critique and editing from Bryan Willis, an internationally known playwright, and from the nine class members, who received a copy of others’ story. The first day I showed up, I read two pages of My Wedding Nightmare. I left with swollen encouragement.

I continued that class until time to write about the twenty some years of my life that I am keeping a secret here in Washington until publication. Why? I didn’t want to read that section in class. Just about everyone knows I’m writing, and asks the title. If I do, I give away the two areas involved in the book before it arrives on the shelves here, and everywhere, hopefully! A neighbor and author Patricia mentored me and gave me many books to study. Besides writing for marketing, I write for benevolent fund several times a year. Writing many hours a day is recreation for me, not work.

Finally, great news! I finished the book after these five years of daily pounding my laptop until letters on the keys force me to use the seek-and-you-shall-find method. I should have taken stock in printer paper. Busy Bryan, who had just finished a commissioning, was eager to be my editor. A week later, I presented him with my manuscript.

Many assume that a retirement community is a place to keep warm until time to get cold again. If that fits their fancy, fine–we respect individual choices. However, Panorama offers much more. Residents–who never had the time to pursue their talents–enjoy the opportunity here. A great-grandmother, who had never stepped into a television studio, is an expert TV switcher in Panorama’s closed-circuit TV studio.

Now, I eagerly await Bryan’s critiques on my manuscript, so we can get the nitty-gritty details to final print is completed.

Then I can relax, be done, volunteer piano playing more often, write regularly on this blog, work further in my craft room, become a resident transit dispatcher and/or a concierge in Pan Hall.

What next?

Start my next book!?

Mary Jo Bio

A Six Day Odyssey that Dazzled Our Senses

6 day Panorama hiking odyssey

Written by Panorama hiking guide, Steve Pogge. May 2016. Photos by Panorama resident, John S.

Eight hearty Panorama residents, plus myself (Steve Pogge) and my assistant guide, (Mark Akins) set out on an adventure that took in some of the most magnificent scenery found anywhere in Northwest.  We stood on cliffs a thousand feet above the crashing surf, walked on soft pine needle paths through 400 year old giant cedars and firs, hiked into see waterfalls plunging 200 feet off of ancient lava flows, walked in the foots steps of Lewis and Clark, strolled through stretches of beautiful yellow, purple and white wildflowers while listening to a multitude of native birds serenading us.

It started out on May 8 when we jumped into, hopefully the final voyage of the OLD BROWN VAN, and headed to the far northwest corner of Oregon where Lewis and Clark spent the winter at Ft. Clatsop.  We toured the camp with the ranger and sat down at the first of many picnic lunches that featured a variety of meats and cheeses, fruits and vegetables, bread, humus and of course chips, cookies and chocolate just to keep the diet balanced.

Panorama hikers at Ft. ClatsopPanorama hikers at Ft. ClatsopAfter lunch we took a leisurely walk along the Lewis River.   One could imagine Lewis and Clark canoeing down this river 210 years ago on the way to trade with the Indians or make the trek to the coast to watch for passing ships or maybe to see a beached whale.  When we got to Seaside Oregon we continued our walk along the Ocean past a replica of Lewis and Clark’s salt kiln, where 3 members of the corp. spent weeks boiling water to provide enough salt to preserve the meat they would need to get back.

We made it to our Inn late that afternoon and many enjoyed a glass of wine or beer out on the deck, while watching the crashing waves along our secluded cove.  Dinner followed shortly at one of the fine dining establishments of the town.   This would be the first of many scrumptious meals on the trip.  To add to the enjoyment and variety we decided early on that we would order 3 or 4 desserts at the end of the meal and share them.   However there was one caveat, no double dipping with a used spoon.

We all slept well that night listening to the waves and dreaming of our next day hike to Cannon Beach.  We awoke the next morning to a glorious sunny day and cool weather.  Our group was evenly divided into the hard charging Mt. Goats and the beauty seeking nature lovers who came to be referred to as the “Fluters”.  This name was coined after the participants occasionally heard an Indian Flute on the trail.  The haunting melody seemed to almost drift through the forest trees.  The player of the flute, turned out to be just me, a novice trying not to be too off key.

Panorama hikers - May 2016The Mountain Goats were not disappointed about not having a flute player along.  Their focus was on what Lewis described in his journal as one of the toughest hikes of their entire trip.  The trail was not much different after 200 years.  Mark, who led the group, ended up doing a 9 mile hike up and over Tillamook head that took them next to an old lighthouse, massive rock formations, old growth forest and secluded beaches not to mention having to get over 80 downed trees.  The Fluters meanwhile were sauntering down a warm sand beach, next to Hay Stack rock, trying to decide what flavor of ice-cream we would have at the end of our walk.  Needless to say we all had an incredible hiking day.

On to day three, we loaded up the Van and took off for Tillamook Oregon in search of Cheese, but not without stopping at Oswald State park first and walking through a giant old Sitka Spruce grove, we then had to scramble across a suspension bridge before reaching a secluded surfing beach.

Panorama Hikers - May 2016 DSCN2563We followed the 3 cape scenic route to Cape Look Out.  We soon learned how it got its name.  The trail followed a narrow path overlooking the ocean far below, with the wind whipping through our hair and whales and eagles off in the distance.  We were both invigorated and mesmerized.

Day Four brought with it many new and exciting options.  We were staying at the beautiful Oregon Garden Resort in the town of Silverton.   In addition to tours of the Garden, there were spa treatments, tours of a Frank Lloyd Wright house, a mural tour in town and of course one of Oregon’s premier parks, Silverton Falls, featuring the walk of the Ten falls.  Most of us didn’t have trouble finding things to do this day and by late afternoon we were just hitting our stride.  We left that evening for Mt. Angel, a nearby Bavarian village that had an excellent German restaurant.  After dinner we visited a small Catholic seminary a short drive from Mt. Angel.  It is located atop a high bluff overlooking the surrounding countryside.  A circle of 100yr old Sequoias surround the seminary and the sunset that evening was spectacular.  On the way back home we stopped and walked across the Gallon Bridge, one of the many historic covered bridges that are scattered around that part of Oregon.  Most of us slept well under down filled comforters that night.

Panorama Hikers - May 2016The Mt. Goats were still feeling strong the next days so they took the longer hilly route.  The Fluters decided to  scale back and do a peaceful walk along the Salmon river in an old growth forest located at the base of Mt. Hood.  People swore they saw hobbits and fairy hiding in the wood sorrel and wildflowers.  Although it was only a short walk, the memory of the sound of river cascading over the rocks and the smell of pine needles under a canopy of ancient cedar, firs and maples will last a lifetime.

Panorama Hikers - May 2016After the walk we took the short drive to our last lodging of the trip.  It was a complete change from our first two accommodations.   Our last night was at a very peaceful, Spartan religious retreat center.   It soon became several people’s favorite lodging for the week.  It was tucked back into the forest off the beaten path and prided itself on being environmental and eco-friendly.  The staff went out of their way to make us feel at home.  They cooked for us that night using only organic fresh food and served it family style.   We were told that our group would be included in their daily prayers for one week before and one week after.  It was a comforting thought having strangers pray for our well being.

As all trips go, there is usually one or two unexpected occurrences that come up.  Ours occurred on the last day when we had planned to visit Larch Mountain, overlooking the Columbia River with views of 5 of the tallest peaks in 2 states.  The Mountain is a little known extinct volcano and we were going to hike into the crater itself.  Unfortunately the road was closed 5 miles from the top.  So we turned the van around and headed down to the Gorge where we toured several waterfalls off of the Old Columbia Gorge highway in addition to visiting Crown Point, the multi-million dollar bathroom built around the turn of the century.  It made for a good final goodbye.

Panorama Hikers - May 2016We had our last picnic at Bridal Veil falls and headed back to Lacey that afternoon with a sense of kinship, accomplishment and happiness from having had a trip that dazzled the senses.

Steve Pogge Bio