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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAM

 

Sam, the Executive Director of Holiday Villa East, turned 60 years old today.  He’s the glue that holds us all together.  His compassion, sincere caring for each of us and his love for what he does shows every day with the great big smile on his face.  Sam, we all give you a great big hug!!

 

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NATIONAL PUMPKIN DAY

Today, we celebrate the pumpkin… star of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Xmas holidays and Winter in general.  So, how do we at Holiday Villa East celebrate this silly holiday?? First, we had a pumpkin carving contest.  Sam, our Director, brought over 25 small pumpkins for us to distribute.  The contest is simple.  Carve to your heart’s delight, and the entries will be on display until Halloween at which time we’ll announce the winner.

Meanwhile, remember the saying, “… pumpkin and spice and everything nice.”?  Well, our Chef did.  We had Pumpkin Soup for dinner, along with Caesar’s salad with pumpkin seeds,  Roasted Veggie & Pumpkin Stew with bowls of cooked meatballs on the side for meatier versions, buttermilk rolls in the shape of a pumpkin, and for dessert… why, of course, pumpkin pie.  After dinner, we waddled into the common room for some soothing pumpkin spice coffee and tea.  Some of us stayed around to chat and play a friendly game of cards, others, like me, retreated to our rooms for some quiet time. I was eager to email my grandkids photos of the carved pumpkins, especially mine.  Hope I win.

COLUMBUS DAY

On this day in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue… there was the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria… oh heck, that’s all I can remember… it’s been a long time since I sang that song.  This was an unusual holiday for us to celebrate, filled with controversy.  But, we did out very best.  Since we are having a warm spell, a few of us hopped into the Van and went to the ocean–it’s so close, why not!  It was a pleasure to breathe in the salty ocean air and watch the kiddies playing in the ocean.  Quite a site.  When we returned home, we discovered that for snack time, there was a huge vanilla cake with blue icing simulating the ocean with a little male figurine, three boats and an assortment of other ocean decorations.  Very cute and very delicious!  Some of us retired to the entertainment room for some television and lively conversation.  In the distance, I could see that some others who didn’t go this morning, ventured outside for the warm ocean air.  Whatever your taste, we have it all here at HVE.

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CHINESE & DOMINOES

Today was a treat.  We went Chinese and boy was it fun AND delicious!  First, we spent the afternoon hot and heavy with a Dominoes tournament.  We had 10 teams of 4 players.  Each team’s winner player the others until finally, we had first- and second-place champions.  Ben was the big winner, with a 2 lb. box of Sees Candies.  Boy, go figure…  he has such a sweet tooth!  Eva was the runner up, winning a $10 gift certificate to Ben & Jerry’s.

Then, came my favorite part of the day… hint… food is the way to my heart.  And, this is my favorite food.  Chef put out a wonderful Chinese buffet for supper.  He had all sorts of dishes, both meat and vegetarian.  Sweet and sour beef,  orange chicken, broccoli beef, vegetables with flat noodles, eggplant with snow peas, vegetable egg rolls, chicken won ton, vegetable fried rice, and more.  And, it was all low-sodium and so delicious!  It must have taken the kitchen staff all afternoon to cook.  And, finally, for dessert, we had fortune cookies and orange slices, just like in the restaurants.  My fortune was especially cryptic.  I had a couple of thoughts on what it could mean… but it’s my secret.

After dinner, I retreated to the garden for some quiet time.  I sat under one of the lanterns so I could read and enjoy the warm ocean breeze.

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TEA SOCIAL

Today was a salute to an older, gentler time.  Us ladies got together for a “tea” social.  Just like the old days of our youth.  We enjoyed little sandwiches with the crusts cut off, delicious pastries and biscuits, chocolate, and five varieties of tea. The gathering brought back many memories of years gone by in a slower paced, more delicate world.

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YOM KIPPUR

As the Jewish New Year gets underway, we have another solemn holiday upon us.  It’s Yom Kippur and it’s the holiest day of the Jewish year.  It’s the Day of Atonement where we are to atone for our sins.  I’m not worried in that department.  The Rabbi came by for a prayer service, and we are supposed to fast for the day.  Although the sick and elderly are excused.  Personally, I chose to accept the challenge and fast anyway.  Today, I made it with flying colors.  Evening, we had a wonderful “break the fast” dinner, and boy was it welcomed.  Our choice of brisket or roast chicken, fresh yams, mixed vegies, salad, soup, warm cornbread, and for dessert… assorted pastries with tapioca pudding.  Afterwards, we retired to the entertainment room and played some board games.  My preference is backgammon and I rock in it.  They were friendly games, so no high-pressure tournament.  As I sit here in my room, I realize that I am right where I want to be and can sleep contently knowing that I am at peace today, ready for the promise of a new year.

 

RENOVATIONS

Our renovations are coming along, slowly but surely.  Just wait until we’re through.  It will be stunning.  Here are some sneak peaks of some of the changes to dates.  Further, we have the honor of now having two paintings from artists Susan Hartman and Tom Van Sant.

Tom Van Sant is a world-renown artist whose 1-man exhibitions have appeared around the world.  We are honored to have three of his paintings adorn our walls.

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Susan Hartman is also a renown artist here at Holiday Villa East. She is a talented artist who is honored to call HIVE her home.

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MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s official independence day.  It’s September 16th when the war started that would lead to Mexico’s independence from Spain.  It’s a big holiday for Mexico, much like our Fourth of July.  Here at Holiday Villa East, we celebrated in our own style, complete with traditional dancers (on the right), our very own art teacher, Olivia, all dolled up and gorgeous on the left,  and, the lovely Ms. Shirley Higgins in the middle.  On each table were minature Maracas and red, white and green streamers.  Chef made a traditional Mexican lunch with Chicken Fajitas, Cheese Enchiladas, Ensalada de Verde (green salad) with cheese, pepitas, avocado and a wonderful Cilantro Dressing, tortillas and salsa… and, for those who wished, Corona beer.  Dessert was Churros, both Cinnamon and Chocolate-covered.  We ate and ate and laughed and drank.  It was quite a fun day for all.

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ROSH HASHANAH

Today was the first day of Rosh Hashanah.  It started at sundown last night and continues to sundown tomorrow.  This is the start of the Jewish New Year and should it be a happy and healthy new year for everyone.  It’s one of my favorite holidays as it is a time for reflection, fresh start and making goals for the coming year.  In the morning, we had a visiting Rabbi who performed the service.  He even blew the Shofar, a ram’s horn which is like a trumpet and rings in the new year.  Afternoon, some of our families came for a visit.  My grandkids Jason and Hayley came by for a chat.  The sitting area was all setup with coffee, tea, cocoa, sodas and pastries and fresh fruit for our visitors.  It was a great feeling knowing that I could entertain as if in my own home… only all the work was done for me.  Chef made a great dinner of brisket, roasted potatoes, roasted veggies,  and more.  For dessert, we had apple slices and bread dipped in honey (a symbol of our wishes for a sweet new year) along with sweet apple cake and jelly rolls.  Afterwards, I retreated to the sitting room to read a book and more reflection.  All in all, it was a good day.

 

 

GRANDPARENT’S DAY

I have to admit that today is one of my favorite holidays.  I get to spend time with my grandchildren in celebration of me.  🙂  Today, Caitlin and Ben came by, bearing gifts.  Ben gave me a lovely scarf, and Caitlin a jewelry box.  Both are lovely!  Others around had family visiting, but I didn’t really notice.  It was my special time with my grandchildren.  Selfish, I know, but I’m entitled at my age.  We grabbed some coffee, soda and cookies from the main room and went out on the patio to enjoy the sunshine.  It was a very nice visit.  My, do they have busy lives at such young years.  It’s amazing how the world turns now.  When they left, I felt really special.