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Monthly Archives: December 2015


Another year passing, it’s kind of sad.  There was a lot happening in the world in 2015–many tragic, horrible events.  Yet, there were also many good events.  I choose to look forward to 2016, hoping for a better world and many good things to happen not only in the world, but in the lives of my loved ones.  This is how I choose to celebrate the birth of 2016.  And, how did we celebrate!  First off, the decorations were quite fun.   We decorated the entertainment area with banners, balloons, hats and blowers…  and little figurines of Father Time and Baby New Year.  We also placed glitter, stars and candles on every table in the dining area.  All very festive.  We started off the evening with a delicious dinner of  chicken breast, roast beef, stuffed potatoes, veggies, vegetarian eggrolls, hot rolls, and much more.  With dinner we had the option of Champagne and quite a few of us enjoyed a glass of the bubbly.  For dessert, it was one of Chef’s famous double-layer cakes… white with cream cheese icing with strawberry and cream filling and huge strawberries on top with figurines of Father Time and Baby New Year.  What a grand cake and so luscious…  Afterwards, many of us adjourned to the entertainment area for music and live dancing.  Sam brought in a keyboardist for the music and he was quite good, even a few of us got up and danced… including some of our caregivers.  Check out Maria and Cisero!  I first danced with Ben and then Harry.  And, then, I had a wonderful surprise.  My son, David, stopped by to have a dance with his old mom.  That was truly special and he reminded me of his father so much tonight.  After our dance, he scooted off to his wife and family and I had another glass of Champagne with some leftover cake while I chatted up friends and waited for the new year to officially unveil itself.  I cannot say what a lovely evening, we all had… especially  me.  We all felt spoiled and loved.  Here’s hoping for a great 2016 here at Holiday Villa East.  We all and the world certainly deserve it.


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Lots of hustle and bustle here today… it’s Christmas, and everyone was excited to begin the day’s activities.  First, many of our families came over to spend the day with us… even those of us who didn’t officially celebrate Christmas… just to have a fun family day.  We started late morning with our annual “Secret Santa” for all of us residents.   Last week, each of us picked a name out of a hat and today, we gifted that person.  Our limit was only $50 per gift so it’s very interesting to see what we all came up with.  Gifts ranged from Mrs. Field’s brownie and cookie gift boxes to fruit baskets, Mrs. See’s chocolates, wallets and money clips, neckties, watches, picture frames, shirts, sweaters, scarves, sweats, socks, sheet sets, pillows, gift certificates for Macy’s, Pottery Barn, Ben & Jerry’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Massages, Piano lessons, and many, many other gift items.   It was a blast.    Then, it was time for Christmas lunch.  There was tons of food… eggs, ham, turkey, mountains of sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, buttermilk rolls, coleslaw, green beans, cranberries, regular salad and pie… cannot forgot that… three different kinds–apple, pecan and pumpkin with ice cream!  Wow, was it all delicious! We ate until we dropped.   Next, we exchanged gifts with our families.  Some true Christmas gifts for those who truly celebrate it, others with token gifts for our delighted grandchildren.  Personally, I never tire of seeing my children and grandchildren open gifts.  The littler they are, the more delight I have.   After all that excitement, we needed a break so everyone adjourned to the dining room for coffee, tea and hot coco with sugar cookies.  The grandchildren gathered alongside and played with the toys and phones and whatnot.   It was truly a special day that we all enjoyed so very much.  I am so lucky that Holiday Villa East encourages an open-door policy for family… whether it’s a lunch-time visit from my granddaughter, an after dinner, days’ end chat with my son, or events such as today’s that are especially for our families.  I would be very sad at missing out on these precious times… they truly enrich my life.

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Gals versus Guys today… it’s Poker time.  Who’s going to win, the bets are hot and heavy.  We set up 10 tables for 4 players each.  First round, Bob and Carol win.  Second, Bob and Sara, and so on down to the final two winners, surprise, surprise… Sara and Roy.  Prizes, a $15 gift certificate to El Torito for Roy, and a $15 gift certificate for Ben & Jerry’s for Sara.  Talk about delicious.  If they teamed up, they’d have dinner and dessert.  Then, the best part of the evening… dinner… and that was Barbecue.  Chef did a marvelous job of preparing barbecue chicken and fish, corn, buttermilk rolls and cornbread, salad, barbecue beans and… a triple layer chocolate on chocolate cake.  Mouth watering.  The entire meal was delicious.  We all had a truly fun day.


Today, we had a lovely visit with the kids from Crossroad school.  We had special hanukkah cupcakes just for them, decorated with dreidels and gelt.  The kids were so excited.  I find it so touching that these young kids have a real interest in us and obviously enjoy spending time here.



Hanukkah starts tonight… It’s eight days long, and Jewish tradition has us lighting the menorah for each night, with the amount of candles increasing each night.  And, talk about excitement… the children love the holiday because they get presents each evening.  Tonight, we had a family night at Holiday Villa East, a Latka (potato pancake) Party.  Many of our children and grandchildren joined us and that made for a special time.  First at sundown, we gathered around the large menorah that we have.  Sam had the honors of lighting the first candle and said a prayer in Hebrew.  Then, Alan translated it to English so the little ones could understand.  Then, it was time to eat!!   Yum, did Chef do a great job with the Latkas.  All homemade, none of those frozen ones.  We ate them covered with apple sauce and sour cream,the traditional way.  To beef up the dinner, we also had brisket with veggies and a salad.  After dinner, the grandchildren played Dreidel (a spinning top) and Hide The Gelt (gold foil wrapped chocolate coins).  Ben’s 10 year old grandson found the most gelt and won first prize, a blue power bank and ear phones for his iPhone.  He immediately pulled out his phone to start playing with it.  There was silence… the ear phones worked!  Laura, Alan’s 16 year old granddaughter won the Dreidel game, closely beating out Harry for a boxed movie set… something about Vampires.  For everyone else, we had little gifts all wrapped up… toys, dvds, Disney movies, chocolates, cookies, brownies, licorice, Harry Potter books (imagine, books!), etc.  We had everything categorized by age ranges, no easy task.  The little ones tore into their gifts, wrapping paper flying everywhere, some even trading with each other.  Not to be forgotten, dessert was assorted cookies and pastries with hot coco, coffee and tea.  So heartwarming to share this evening with them.  We had a wonderful time, a truly special treat.

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Happy Birthday to Lupe on her 60th.  For those of you who don’t know, Lupe is our Executive Director’s Executive Assistant.  Lupe has worked with Sam for over 20 years, and he would be lost without her.  Notice how nice the table looks, and Lupe color coordinates.  Go Lupe!!

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