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NATIONAL CAREGIVERS’ DAY

Today we celebrate caregivers… some of our residents need a little assistance so they have caregivers. These wonderful people allow them to have more independence… thus, enabling them to stay at Holiday Villa East. And, they are worth their weight in gold. They’re family and part of all of our lives. Here are Cisero and Maria dancing away at our New Year’s Eve party. We love watching these younger people take part in our lives. Many of us would be lost without their kind, loving devotion.

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PRESIDENTS’ DAY

Today, we celebrate Presidents’ Day, honoring George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, two of the most important presidents of our country. Each famous in his own right, being responsible for shaping the direction of our country.  They even share a wondrous stone monument, Mount Rushmore, literally carved in the side of a mountain. And, who can guess the other two presidents alongside them? Why Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt. So, let’s give a cheer for President Washington, the father of our country, and President Lincoln, freer of the slaves. We owe them both a tremendous debt of gratitude.

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VALENTINE’S DAY

The day of love… or like depending on your situation. This holiday is full of memories. So many memories. As a child trading Valentine cards at school. As a teenager, going to my first Valentine’s Day dance with Fred Cohen.  And, finally, getting married on Valentine’s Day under the Chupa to my dear Meyer. It was a beautiful wedding and marriage that lasted 55 years! I still keep the spirit of the day, even now. Here at Holiday Villa East, we’re like kids on Valentine’s Day. The dining and entertainment rooms were decorated with red and white banners, there was even a large Cupid adorning the wall. Each table had a little vase with a one rose and there were little heart candies spread around the table, along with chocolate hearts–one on each place. We had a delicious lunch of baked fish, veggies, sweet potato fries, salad, veggie spring rolls, and for dessert… a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing complete with hearts and Cupid decorations. Boy was it good! I had seconds. Afterwards, we retreated to the entertainment area for board games. Checkers, backgammon, chess and scrabble. The theme being board pieces. It was a free for all, whatever struck our fancy with people huddling in groups for their favorite game. Others cozied up to a comfortable chair or the sofa, reading, chatting… some going outside. It was a beautiful day with a warm ocean breeze, unusual for February, smell of the ocean in the air. What a lovely day ending with a nice hot cup of coffee, tea or coco, depending on your fancy… and of course, left over cake. Couldn’t resist is was so good.

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NATIONAL PIZZA & BAGEL DAY

Yep… that’s right. Today is both National Pizza Day AND National Bagel Day. This is the week for special food and we love it! We just could not resist, even after all that Chinese food yesterday. For breakfast, Chef prepared a delicious bagel spread for all with lox, cream cheese, tomato, lettuce and onion… and fresh fruit. We got to choose our flavors from onion, pumpernickel, rye, egg, everything and plain… boring, but no accounting for taste. I enjoyed two bagels with all the fixings. Just wonderful. For dinner, it was a different story. We had pizza… my favorite–what can I say?! Chef made pepperoni, vegetarian (my choice) and cheese. And, did he make a lot of them. Everyone loved the treat and we ate like we were kids, well, kids with senior stomachs. There was a lovely caesar salad to go along with the pizza, and for dessert… spumoni. I haven’t had that  since I was a kid. Not to be forgotten were the sugar cookies. I’m set for another 6 months until we have pizza again. That’s one of the things that I especially love about Holiday Villa East… they make it fun for us in both deed and food. You’ll not be bored here.

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CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year is a fun holiday for us to celebrate in that we get Chinese food for dinner. Yes! It’s my favorite and I’ve been known to thoroughly pig out to the point of being stuffed silly. Brenda placed a large colorful Chinese Dragon on the wall for decoration and Chef went all out with a delicious Chinese meal of  chicken chow mein, sweet and sour chicken, beef and broccoli, fried rice, mixed vegies, vegetarian egg rolls and a surprise for us vegetarians–tofu eggplant!! It must have taken the staff hours to prepare everything, and it was well worth it. We all enjoyed our meal tremendously and really appreciated it!! And, at the end, fortune cookies were passed out. My fortune read, “It’s time for some real excitment.” A little corny and vague, but we’ll see. We played a game when we read the fortunes. You put the phrase “in bed” after every fortune. So, mine read “It’s time for some real excitement in bed.” Ha… we all had a good laugh. I’ll let you know what happens. After the meal, we retreated to the dining room, for Chinese tea, coffee, and hot chocolate along with orange slices and assorted cookies.

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SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

Super Bowl Sunday–a great day in sports, something to celebrate even if you’re not a football fan. We had a crowd of people over. It’s an excuse for people to watch the game, talk, and eat all sorts of food until they’re stuffed silly, plastered in front of the TV, or off talking in the garden. Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves in a little football madness. To that end, the weather was very nice–a warm ocean breeze–so we had hot dogs, hamburgers, three party-sized subs, coleslaw, potato salad, chips, salsa… there was something for everyone–including the greatest football-shaped cake. It was such a hit last year, that Chef duplicated it. Chocolate with chocolate icing and green and yellow M&Ms. I don’t know how Chef had time to do that. But he did and it tasted as good as it looked. And, what Super Bowl Party wouldn’t be complete without tons of soda, beer… and margaritas! Both young and old, gents and ladies enjoyed the game on our big screen TV, not to be forgotten was the half-time show and commercials. Didn’t Lady Gaga do a fantastic job singing the national anthemn?! Everyone had a great time, even the youngsters. What a fun day and most especially sharing it with our family and friends.

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JIGSAW PUZZLE TOURNAMENT

Today is National Puzzle Day, and our puzzle of choice is a jigsaw puzzle. Here’s a bit of trivia… did you know that John Spilsbury, a London engraver and mapmaker, invented the jigsaw puzzle in 1767 as a map learning tool for children. From there, it was commercialized and children and adults of all ages developed a love for the game. Personally, I was an avid jigsaw player in my youth and got back into it as a senior with more time on my hands. Today, we have 10 puzzles with the same picture and level of difficulty… a lovely ocean scene… how appropriate for our little beach community. Our usual number of teams participated, and then, the fun began.  Each team had two hours to solve the puzzle. Notice Murry in the photo below. He’s so serious and formal–he always wears a tie. He’s difficult to get to know, but once you do, he’s a sweatheart. A real mensch.  The team with the most completed puzzle won. And, our winners were Jeffrey, Nicole, John and Pam with 90% of their puzzle solved, their prizes being… you guessed it… a puzzle! A large, beautiful seascape that will give them hours of enjoyment. Pam is already planning on mounting her completed jigsaw on her wall. We all had an enjoyable day complete with a nice lunch before the tournament. Chef went for a summer theme with hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers (my favorite), coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, chips and salsa, dill pickles .. and a fresh fruit salad and delicious chocolate cupcakes decorated with jigsaw puzzle pieces–how fun! After the games, game tables were cleared away and we all gathered around.  Some watched TV, others went outside to soak in the warm ocean air and read or mingled about. Others slipped into the dining area to sip coffee/tea/hot cocoa and eat leftover cupcakes. It was just a nice relaxing time to wind down the day.

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NATIONAL POPCORN DAY

Popcorn… yeah, one of my favorite foods. All flavors, all shapes, all sizes… I’ll eat it. And, today is National Popcorn Day. Boy, did we have fun with this holiday. First, Sam rented an “official” popcorn maker for us and Chef made popcorn in a variety of flavors. Cheddar, kettle, spicy–for us daring ones, herb blend, and a dessert batch with chocolate chips. I tried to be among the first to taste each batch as the popcorn was nice and hot. Yummm. For today’s event, we decided to have a popcorn & Yahtzee tournament. We teamed up in the 12 teams of 4. 10 were women versus men. The extra two tables were because some of the staff wanted to join in. We all ate popcorn, played Yahtzee and had a hoot of a time during the afternoon. Winners… Jake and I… yes, I won! And our prizes, great big bowls of popcorn… just kidding. We won miniature popcorn makers for our rooms. What a great idea when we  curl up with a good movie or family come to visit. My grandchildren will love this! It’s very heartwarming that the staff of Holiday Villa East truly enjoy our company and want to participate in our lives. It’s more than a job for them and we, residents, truly appreciate them.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY

Today is the birthday of a great man who changed the face of our nation. He was the father of the American Civil Rights Movement and deserves to be celebrated and honored for his part in changing history and making such an impact on millions of lives.

NEW YEAR’S EVE

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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