Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

The Beautiful Truth About Us 

A while ago my wife, Jerry, attended a women’s retreat led by a Roman Catholic nun, Sister Susan. A few days after returning from the retreat, Jerry received a letter from Sister Susan which concluded with this prayer, and suggesting that Jerry pray it daily: “Oh God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is.” 

What a prayer! Does it shock you? Most of would have problems praying it. Why? Our Christian faith warns about thinking too highly of ourselves than we ought to think. 

Unfortunately, we have misunderstood that and taken it too far. The message of Christianity, the most affirming of all religions, has come through as self-denial. To be sure, there is a place for self-denial, but that must not be seen as self-depreciation or any form of devaluating self. 

As the pinnacle of God’s creation, not proudly, but humbly we should have a high opinion of ourselves. This old story will put it in perspective. A French Prime Minister said to an eminent surgeon who was to operate on him, “You will not, of course, treat me in the same manner as you would your poor, miserable wretches in the hospital.” The surgeon replied, “Sir, every one of those poor, miserable wretches, as your Eminence is pleased to call them, is a prime minister in my eyes.” 

In the eyes of God we are all creatures of potential greatness. Write the prayer down—memorize it. Pray it daily—it will change your life: 

Oh God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is.”

-Maxie Dunnam  


Congratulations to Our Employee of the Month

Channon Mays

Caring In Place Office Assistant

Describe your family: My family is close, loud, and wouldn’t want it any other way.

Describe yourself in five words: Caring, loving, friendly, energetic and understanding.

What do you do for fun: I love to be with my family and friends, shopping and dancing.

Do you have a pet: A poodle, his name is State. 

Do you have any hobbies or interests: My idol is Selena Quintanilla, so anything to do with her.

What is your favorite thing about your job: Getting to help residents and putting a smile on their faces.

What is your favorite food: Any kind of Chicken or watermelon.  Favorite song: BIDI BIDI BOM BOM by Selena Quintanilla. 

What is something you are proud of: I am proud of myself and how far I’ve come in this life so far. Also my friends and family. 

What would you like people to know about you: I am always available if anyone needs me for anything and I love to joke and laugh.

Channon brings a bright smile to Caring in Place every day! Her consistent positive attitude always boosts our spirits, when we need it most. Channon has always made herself available to assist us, in any way possible. Her commitment to Caring in Place and Kirby Pines is unwavering. We are fortunate to have Channon on our team! 

– Victoria Snelling, Director of Personal Support Services


Dad Jokes? I think you mean Rad Jokes!

How many narcissists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
One. The narcissist holds the light bulb while the rest of the world revolves around him.

I was addicted to the hokey pokey…but I turned myself around.

Why don’t pirates take a bath before they walk the plank?
They just wash up on shore.

Why do you never see elephants hiding in trees?
Because they’re so good at it.

Did you hear about the racing snail who got rid of his shell?
He thought it would make him faster, but it just made him sluggish.

We all know about Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. But have you heard of Cole’s Law? It’s thinly sliced cabbage.

When does a joke become a “dad joke”? When it becomes apparent.

I had a happy childhood. My dad used to put me in tires and roll me down hills. Those were Goodyears.

I know a bunch of good jokes about umbrellas, but they usually go over people’s heads.

The bank keeps calling me to give me compliments. They say I have an “outstanding balance.”

Barbers…you have to take your hat off to them.

What’s a vampire’s favorite ship? A blood vessel.

There’s only one thing I can’t deal with, and that’s a deck of cards glued together.

The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.

Dad: Did you hear about the kidnapping at school? Son: No. What happened? Dad: The teacher woke him up.

What did the evil chicken lay? Deviled eggs.

Why did the man name his dogs Rolex and Timex?
Because they were watchdogs.

My doctor told me I’ve really grown as a person. Well, her exact words were that I “gained excess weight.”

A ham sandwich walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve food here.”

Why do melons have weddings? Because they cantaloupe.

What does a mobster buried in cement soon become?
A hardened criminal.

What did the skeleton order with its beer? A mop.

What did one cannibal say to the other while they were eating a clown? Does this taste funny to you?

Inflation is really getting out of hand, but that’s just my five cents.

Why is grass so dangerous? Because it’s full of blades.

What is the Easter bunny’s favorite type of music? Hip-hop.

Did you hear about the guy who stole 50 cartons of hand sanitizer? They couldn’t prosecute—his hands were clean.

Why do nurses like red crayons? Sometimes they have to draw blood.


Resident Spotlight: Willard Bruce Powell

LIVING A CHARMED LIFE

On October 28, 1929, the worst economic event in American history occurred when the stock market crashed, resulting in THE GREAT DEPRESSION. It was three weeks later, November 20, 1929, that Willard Bruce Powell entered the world. Despite early hardships, Bruce says that he has had a “charmed” life. 

Due to the economy, Bruce’s parents lived with his mother’s parents in an apartment in Brooklyn, New York. His father worked as a projectionist at a movie theater and Bruce was allowed to see all movies for free. Although he had parents, Bruce says he was primarily reared by his grandparents. He recalls two major events which occurred during his preschool years: When he was five years old, Bruce’s grandfather took him to a lecture at Yeshiva University. Afterward, he was escorted to the speaker and prompted to shake his hand. He later learned that the speaker was Albert Einstein! Another memorable event was going with his parents to California where his father’s mother lived. They remained there a year while his father helped to build his grandmother’s new home. 

Returning to New York, Bruce attended elementary school PS 132. His parents divorced when he was about ten years old and he remained with his father. His father remarried and the family moved to Miami, Florida where Bruce attended high school, then graduated Cum Laude in 1952 from The University of Miami with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Bruce had worked at various jobs to help support himself and was fortunate to receive a full scholarship for college. 

Following graduation, Bruce learned of a two-year program offered by Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The program was designed for young engineers. Bruce was interested in power plant machinery and distribution systems so this program was an ideal “fit” for him. According to Bruce, “Allis-Chalmers treated us very well, giving us membership in their engineering society and allowing us to eat lunch every day in the Engineering Club.” They had also provided living accommodations for Bruce in a private boarding house. The lady who owned the house had a friend with an unmarried daughter. A dinner date was arranged where Bruce met Eloda Selbo. They dated for approximately a year, marrying in June 1954. 

The Korean War had been declared but the students at Allis-Chalmers were deferred from the draft for two years because they were involved in work deemed supportive of war efforts. Following his two years of deferment, Bruce enlisted in the Navy and he and Eloda moved to his first base located in California. Bruce recalls that adventure, “This girl who had never been out of Wisconsin went with her husband, whom she had only known for a year, to California. We drove on Route 66, with all of our belongings. I could barely see out the windows!” 

In the Navy, Bruce attended Officers Candidate School and was commissioned as an Ensign in the Civil Engineering Corps (Seabees). Bruce left the Navy after three years as a Lieutenant, Senior Grade. He and Eloda moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. “I immediately found civilian work with the Navy as a mechanical engineer doing essentially the same thing I had done while in the Navy,” states Bruce. 

After a few years with the Navy, Bruce learned that the United States Postal Service (USPS) was beginning to mechanize and needed engineers. He transferred to USPS and worked there for several years in management positions, primarily overseeing the construction of new buildings. On learning of another opportunity to work as the Supervisor of Shipbuilding and Quality Control Engineer, Bruce transferred back to the Navy. According to Bruce, “We built or converted a variety of sea vessels, including the famous Swift Boats that saw quite a lot of action in the Vietnam War.” Yet again, a better job opportunity became available with the USPS. Bruce and his family moved to Dallas, Texas where he filled the position of Space Requirements Officer. Finally, transferring to Memphis in 1971, he retired from the USPS in 1992 as General Manager in the Executive Service. 

Bruce and Eloda are the parents of two children, a daughter, and a son. Bruce says that Eloda “was the perfect wife for me. I enjoyed being a father and I am proud of my children and their accomplishments, especially with their own children.” There are now six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

Bruce and Eloda 1954

Bruce and Eloda moved to Kirby Pines in 2018, having made the decision to move here ten years earlier. Bruce said that Eloda adjusted immediately. However, he admits it took him a while to adjust to the changes. Also, since moving to Kirby Pines, Bruce lost two of his loved ones. First, his daughter died of breast cancer in 2020 and his beloved Eloda passed away in 2021. They had been married for sixty-eight years. Now, at age 92, Bruce lives a somewhat solitary life but enjoys the evening meals with a group of friends. As a long-time member of the Church of Christ, Bruce attends the 8 am Sunday church services and the Saturday morning Men’s Prayer Group at Kirby Pines. He is also learning to play bridge. 

Bruce says, “I have had a wonderful life and been blessed with a wonderful family. I have loved all of my work and it doesn’t seem like I have ‘worked’ a day in my life. I have lived a charmed life.” 

Written by Joan Dodson, Resident, Kirby Pines


The Magic of Water

“There’s plenty of water in the universe without life, but nowhere is there life without water.” ― Sylvia A. Earle

The summer season is one of cool breezes, longer days, outdoor events, trips to the beach, and time in the pool. As we inch closer and closer to summer months, we have an opportunity to celebrate our post-pandemic freedom and spend some much-needed time in the water. Although the pool is indoors at Kirby Pines, there tends to be an uptick in pool usage during summer months, no matter where you live. Time in the water … whether a pool, ocean, river, or lake, provides a sense of joy, laughter, and play, much like that from our childhood. 

Did you know that water has many known benefits for health and wellness? Hydrostatic pressure is pressure that is exerted by or existing within a liquid at rest with respect to adjacent bodies. When you are in a pool, that hydrostatic pressure compresses your skin, muscles, and joints, which can provide a wonderful cardiopulmonary workout, without adding stress or tension to your joints. The buoyancy and resistance of the water can help tone and build muscles while reducing pain. The natural viscosity forces you to move more slowly helping to rebuild muscle memory while also adding an overall sense of relaxation. The lighthearted atmosphere that water promotes is vital to the healing process for both body and mind. 

Kirby Pines has many water classes to choose from, such as Aerobics, Advanced Water Aerobics, and Men’s Water Aerobics. In addition, Functional Pathways is excited to announce the addition of water-based interventions as part of a comprehensive therapy care plan in a 1:1 setting. 

Some of these interventions include: 

  • Aqua Stretch (water based myofascial and manual treatment) 
  • Ai Chi (Tai Chi in water) 
  • How to Fall Safely (water-based) 
  • Stability, Mobility and Function (water-based) 

For more information on Functional Pathway’s aquatics programming and how it can benefit you, please contact our Therapy Team! At the very least, consider dipping your toes (and body) into the water for some quality time with family and friends this summer. 

By: Beth Reigart, Clinical Outcomes Specialist, Functional Pathways and Brittany Austin, National Director of Health and Wellness, Functional Pathways 


What Can I Do About This Belly? 

I get that question more often than any other in the Oasis. Not how can I improve my health? Or what is the best exercise to strengthen my body? 

Belly fat comes in two places: There’s the stuff right under your skin that you can pinch (ugh), called subcutaneous fat. But that’s actually the less harmful kind. It’s visceral fat that poses a real threat to your health. It plumps your middle from the inside out, surrounding organs such as your liver, lungs, and heart—and putting you at greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers, says Kristen Gill Hairston, M.D., an endocrinologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. 

Visceral fat gets worse for all of us as we get older, especially if we’re under a lot of stress or not sleeping well, says nutritionist Sara Vance, author of The Perfect Metabolism Plan. That’s thanks to hormones that make us hungrier even as our bodies are practically hoarding fat. 

Lack of exercise adds to the belly fat problem. Sit-ups may build and strengthen your abdominal muscles, but the real winner is….. Walking: At 11 miles a week, it made no difference whether people in the study walked or jogged, “It’s not the intensity of the exercise that matters,” Cris Slentz, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC says. “It’s the amount.” And you can break it up into 10 or 15 minute increments. Start slow and easy and then work your way up to 15 miles a week over six weeks or more to reduce belly fat. Another simple exercise to flatten your tummy is Core Compressions: Sit tall in a chair with your feet hip-width apart and your belly flattened toward your spine. Place one hand on your upper abs and the other on your lower. Take a deep breath in, then exhale forcefully to draw your abdominal muscles in even tighter, keeping your back straight and still. Continue for five minutes, focusing on slow, complete tightening of the muscles. Do two sets. 

Diet: It’s low-carb, but don’t let that put you off. “Too many carbohydrates spike your blood sugar,” Vance says. Your body converts that glucose into energy or stores it as fat. “When you take those carbs away, it has to get energy somewhere, so it starts burning fat.” The good carbs: Instead of simple carbohydrates (like baked goods or chips), reach for complex carbs. Generally, vegetables are the lowest in grams, followed by beans and legumes, fruits, and whole grains. Stick to 30 grams or fewer at a sitting to avoid spiking your blood sugar. 

Patience: Be patient with yourself. That extra tummy fluff didn’t happen overnight and it will take more than a week to go away. As you improve your walking stamina and develop healthier eating habits: Pounds and inches will fall away and strength, balance, stamina and energy levels will improve. 


Celebrating Our Fathers at Kirby Pines

Father’s Day is the perfect occasion to express feelings of gratitude and thankfulness to every dad, both living and deceased. Though the day is celebrated with enthusiasm in present times, it wasn’t always that way. Father’s Day celebrations had a very modest beginning. In fact, the idea is said to have come from Sonora Dodd who while listening to a sermon on “Mother’s Day” in church, wondered why there wasn’t a special day to celebrate dad. So to pay tribute to her father, Sonora held the first Father’s Day celebration on the 19th of June 1910, on the birthday of her father.

In 1913 a bill was officially introduced and the idea approved by President Woodrow Wilson three years later in 1916. In 1924 a National Father’s Day Committee was formed, however, it took Congress thirty years to give recognition to Father’s Day; and another 16 years passed before President Richard Nixon established the third Sunday of June, as a permanent observance day.

Therefore, in recognition of all fathers throughout the world please enjoy the word of Nicolas Gordon: 

Fathers are forever. Even death, 
Although a distancing, does not divide 
The child from a parent, nor does time, 
However long, nor space, however wide, 
Enduring beyond silence, beyond breath, 
Resonant where hours cease to chime, 
Some yearning inconsolable abide.

 

Michael Escamilla,
Executive Director,
Kirby Pines


Reflections by Maxie Dunnam

Mom Says Everything Is Okay 

I was spending the night in the hospital room with my mother. Fifteen years before, she had won a tough, ravaging battle with cancer. Now it had struck again. 

She had had a mastectomy that morning and had been sedated all day. In the middle of the night 1 was dozing, but her stirring brought me to alertness. I had the feeling that she wanted to talk, and that she wanted to talk about real things, not just make time-passing conversation. How did she feel? What was she thinking? There was a lot of deep sharing. 

I hope l never forget that night and what she said. “When you give your life to the Lord, Son, everything has to be all right—-no matter what happens.” 

lt was her way of expressing confidence that she was okay in God’s hands. She had known God’s love and care in the past, and she could trust him now. 

That night, Momma taught me that trust is a verb. We trust by relying on God to be true to his promises. At our age, here at Kirby, we trust God’s promise, “I go to prepare a place for you,” and we “ready ourselves” to claim that place. 

CRUSADE for CHRIST 

Wednesday, May 4 | 6:30 pm – Reverend Jimmy Latimer

Thursday, May 5 | 6:30 pm – Reverend Jimmy Latimer 

Friday, May 6 | 6:30 pm – Glory Land Singers

May Vesper Services | 6:30pm | Performing Arts Center 

-Maxie Dunnam  


Congratulations to Our Employee of the Month

Mary Hand

Oasis Coordinator

Describe your family: My husband is an Anglican pastor and we’ve been married 38 years. We have two children and five grandchildren.

Describe yourself in five words: Christian, helpful, loving, grateful and compassionate.

What is something you are proud of:  My family.

What do you do for fun: Vacation at the beach.  

Do you have a pet: A cat named Precious.  

Do you have any hobbies or interests: Gardening, Soduko Puzzles and Children’s Ministry.

What is your favorite food: Chocolate.   Favorite song: Too many to list. 

What is your favorite thing about your job: Helping residents stay healthy and strong. 

What would you like people to know about you: God did a miracle 10 years ago, when Cheryl Grimes called me to teach water aerobics at Kirby Pines.

Mary exemplifies Kirby in all she does. She goes above and beyond to cultivate a meaningful place for the residents and staff alike. She is always thinking of new and innovative ideas and always has a positive attitude. You can always count on Mary to get the job and more complete! 

-Allison Nolan, Resident Programs Director


6 Online Safety and Technology Tips Everyone Should Know

The benefits of technology are endless, but constant changes can make it difficult to know when something online is unsafe. Here are 6 online safety tips for seniors that can help you detect suspicious activities online and keep yourself safe from potential scams and fraud.

1. Use good passwords

When choosing a password, don’t use common keyboard patterns, like QWERTY or 12345. Try mixing it up by adding a combination of numbers, symbols and both lowercase and uppercase letters. Keep track of your passwords somewhere safe (preferably not saved on your computer), and try not to reuse old passwords for new accounts. The simpler the password, the easier it could be to hack.

2. Guard your personal information

Think before you give out your personal information online, especially if the website or email asking for your information was unsolicited by you. Pop-up ads and scam emails are often disguised as something that seems real — such as a notification to update your security software — in order to lure you into giving away personal information.

If you are ever asked to enter passwords, credit card numbers or other personal information from an email or an unfamiliar website, take extra care to be sure you know exactly where the request is coming from and why. 

3. Be wary of unrealistic offers

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is an online security threat. Emails and websites that claim you won an extravagant prize or offer “free” giveaways in exchange for your personal information are likely to be scams. Unless you specifically remember entering a contest, it is best to ignore online messages about prizes and special offers. 

4. Don’t post personal information on social media

Even if you have restrictive online privacy settings, it is still a good idea to avoid overly personal posts on social media, especially anything that contains addresses or phone numbers. 

If you’re going on vacation, don’t share the dates of your trip on social media, and wait until you get home to post photos online. Burglars can use social media to see who is out of town to find their next victims.

5. Avoid phishing scams

There is a wide range of ways that scammers will try and steal online information from seniors. One common tactic involves scammers sending emails meant to look like they are from credible websites in order to trick you into sending them personal information. Stay up to date on the latest online fraud tactics, and to check out these tips for avoiding phishing scams go to www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/.

6. Think before opening attachments

Attachments in emails can contain harmful viruses that could potentially infect your computer. Don’t open any attachments that seem suspicious or came from a sender you don’t know. It only takes seconds to infect your computer after opening an infected attachment. Once the virus is on your computer, a scammer could have access to all personal information saved on it.