Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Archive for the ‘News / Events’ Category

Take Your Pets . . .

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. . .to the 2nd floor theater

at 2 p.m. Monday for

peticures and doggone good service

by a team of professional petcare-ist groomers .

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Seniors Straining Economic Support

The globe is heading toward a challenging population problem that could develop into a calamity. We’re aging.

There were slightly more than 900 million people – about 12 percent — around the world aged 60 years and older in 2015. This number is expected to increase to 1.4 billion by 2030. By 2050, one out of five people – 2.1 billion scattered all over the globe — will be 60 or older.

Almost 90 percent of the Japanese believe this is a problem. Only one out of four Americans think this way.

Since most of these oldsters will be out of the work force, they will have to have fashioned their own retirement plans or be supported by somebody. Most people in most countries think the government should take care of its elderly. This socialism brush could be wider than anticipated and affect how the nations of the world are governed.

This rapidly aging population is creating a mounting set of unprecedented issues, including a rapidly spreading and more diverse set of diseases, increased spending of time and money on health and long-term care, labor shortages, and steadily rising inflation chewing away at old-age income.

Adding calluses to the problem is the fact that the $2.9 trillion in Social Security reserves reported in 2020 is expected to be depleted by 2034. When that happens, benefits payments could be slashed by as much as 25 percent. This is happening because fewer workers are supporting a growing number of Social Security recipients.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 12, 2023 at 8:06 pm

Posted in Finance, News / Events

Tagged with ,

Keep In Mind . . .

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. . . Mary is taking her family

on a Disneyland visit this week

and won’t be back until St. Patrick’s Day

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You Can’t Hide From the Sun

A neighbor who passed by with a bandaged nose reminded me of a life-long friend who died recently.

The outsized bandage was a result of what was simple visit to their dermatologist too have a mole removed. As it turned out, the biopsy indicated there was cancer and it went deeper than everyone anticipated. As a result, the neighbor will require some facial reconstruction after the area heals.

That reminded me of a friend who underwent a series of sometimes painful removal of cancerous lesions, some of which required digging some serious holes in their arms, back, neck and cheeks.

This damage to both those people was caused by exposure to the sun.

Summer’s approach reminds members of mankind to acquire an attractive tan. As long as they don’t get sunburn, they feel all is well. What they’re doing is sauteing their skin.

Exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays can do hidden damage that may take years to emerge. Medical experts expect more than 4 million cases of skins cancer to be diagnosed each year. One out of five adults will develop some form of skin cancer by the time they reach 70 years of age. As many as half of these cases can progress to melanoma, the most serious stage of skin cancer.

You can protect yourself by being sun smart.

You wouldn’t go out in the rain without an umbrella or raincoat to keep you from getting wet, so why do you head outdoors without any protection from the constant outpouring of ultra violet rays. A dermatologist told me long ago that she applies sun screen to her skin, just like lotion, after she takes her shower. She pointed out that those harmful rays pass through the windows of her house, her car, her office and the shops she visits.

A friend told me his dermatologist strongly recommended surgery, “To sew a cap on my head.”

Those skin-damaging rays also pour through the clouds when you think the sun don’t shine. They even sneak through clothing that isn’t sun-protection-factor (SPF) rated.

Sitting in the shade may not be all that safe either. Water, sand, pavement and any other smooth surface reflects those damaging UV rays.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 11, 2023 at 8:15 pm

It’s About Time . . .

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. . . for the rest of the country

to move their clocks ahead one hour

for what is called Daylight Saving Time.

Those of you new to Arizona can drop the habit

because we don’t toy with our timepieces.

Some of us do have to adjust the times

we call our folks in the rest of the country —

and a lot of Canada, too.

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Aquamation Gaining Support

A global awareness of a totally new approach to funeral practice was unleashed when it was announced several months ago that South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu had died and was laid to rest behind his pulpit in Cape Town.

The 90-year-old cleric gained renown for denouncing bigotry and racial tyranny as well as giving speeches and writing articles about the need to take action to combat climate change and protecting the environment.

To cap his environmental crusade, he requested that his body be aquamated, described as a greener alternative to cremation.

Few folks knew what he meant.

Aquamation is a cremation method using water that funeral parlors are touting as environmentally friendly.

The process, known more scientifically as “alkaline hydrolysis,” is simply body disposal by water rather than fire.

The body of the deceased is immersed for three to four hours in a mixture of water and strong alkali-like potassium hydroxide in a pressurized metal cylinder that is heated to around 150 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).

Everything is liquefied but the bones, which are then dried in an oven, reduced to dust and placed in an urn with the coarse, sand-like remains of the body. The water can be processed through normal wastewater-treatment facilities.

This method of body disposal was developed in the early 1990s to discard the carcasses of animals used in experiments. It was used later to dispose of cows during the mad-cow-disease epidemic that lasted until the turn of the century.

Then U.S. medical schools began using aquamation to dispose of donated human cadavers and the practice slowly made its way into the funeral industry, according to a 2014 research paper.

The process also is used to dispose of animal carcasses in slaughterhouses, where it is considered to be more efficient and hygienic.

Advocates claim a liquid cremation consumes less energy than a conventional one and emits fewer greenhouse gases.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 10, 2023 at 7:58 pm


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gets launched and is scheduled for the

second and fourth Friday of each month

Shuttle leaves Verna at Gilbert

3 p.m.    3:30 p.m.    4 p.m.    4:30 p.m.    5 p.m.

Shuttle departs restaurants

3:45 p.m.    4:15 p.m.    4:45 p.m.    5:15 p.m.    5:45 p.m.

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This month you can chow down at


               Chili’s Grill & Bar

                                              Texas Roadhouse

                                                                           Café Zupas

Be at the pickup point ready to hop on because the schedule is tight.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 9, 2023 at 7:37 pm

Posted in News / Events

Tagged with

Sweet Springtime

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It’s the time of year for a ritual that predates by centuries the arrival of European settlers in the New World.

The indigenous folk of this continent had been producing the comfortably sweet product for centuries but how they came to make use of sap running out of maple trees is clouded in several legends. Until the Europeans used a tube to tap into the tree trunks, the native people sliced a tomahawk into the tree and caught the clear liquid in a birch bark bucket.

The maple syrup ingathering season runs from late February to early April, when the days are balmy and the nights freeze.

Snow still covers the underbrush of southern Canada and the northern states when folks gather in maple groves to collect and save the sweetness for their kitchens. Corporate mechanized production that accounts for some 5 million gallons each year has replaced much of the old time fun.

Us kids in northern Ontario used to run into the nearby woods and snag sap icicles to suck on the way to school.

Canada produces more than 80 percent of the world’s maple syrup. The province of Quebec whose border is just an hour from my home town, accounts for 90 percent of that amount.

Memories still linger of a time when we would collect the pails of sap and take them to the boiling kettle where 40 gallons of clear sap was processed into one gallon of caramel colored maple syrup. To keep us kids happy, the adults would toss a ladle-full of the brown bubbling syrup onto the snow and watch us scramble for fists-full of snow-taffy.

The finished syrup would be ladled, scooped and poured into 16-ounce mason jars with the time-honored screw-on caps. When we got the syrup home, our mothers would set aside a pint of the liquid to make a pound of maple sugar they would save for special occasions – or sprinkle over tea when their friends would visit.

Desert dune-buggy treks can’t match the excitement that built up as we climbed aboard a horse-drawn sled heading for the sugar shack, where the scent of  burning cedar logs mingled with the singularly sweet aroma of hot thickening maple syrup.

I could warm my hands and feet over the crackling fire. If I was lucky, the adults would let me swab the sides of the huge boiling kettle with slabs of pork fat lashed to long poles. This prevented the sugar from becoming spongy and bubbling over like bread dough. And it gave me the opportunity to scoop up some hot bubbling sweetness in my long-handled tin cup.

I would dash outside and pour the searing sweetness onto a patch of crystal white snow that hardened immediately into sheets of snow taffy.  I called it my own form of Baked Alaska.

Tribal history has it that some warriors were honing their tomahawk throws for accuracy when one hit a maple tree and a clear liquid began to flow from the gash.

Moqua, the spouse of the mighty Iroquois hunter Woksis, had been resting by a nearby tree on her way to get some water in a nearby creek. When she saw the clear liquid that had formed into a small pool at the base of the tree, she scooped it up and used it for cooking.

Her husband was so pleased with the sweetness of the venison he was served that night that he relayed the word to other hunters and tribes encountered on his hunting forays. They tried it, and liked it.

Some tribes rendered the sap into sugar cakes because they were easier to transport than liquid syrup. They also used it for trade – a form of money, if you will. The sweetness was use to flavor food, in much the same it is used today.

When the first European settlers arrived, they saw the natives transforming sap into syrup by tossing red-hot stones into hewed-out logs filled with the “sweet water.” These pioneers bored holes into the maples and squeezed in small tubes, or taps, to channel the dripping sap into wooden buckets.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 7, 2023 at 7:20 pm

Posted in News / Events

Nice Quiet Week . . .

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. . . but prepare your questions

for the Town Hall meeting at

4 p.m. Tuesday in the 2nd Floor Theater

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I don’t have to be patronized

by physical-health nuts

who show off their six-packs.

I just pat my tummy

and point out I have a keg.

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Penny Earned No Longer Worth It

The penny may soon be only in our thoughts, to paraphrase an old adage.

The wisdom of producing pennies is being questioned because the coin costs more than 2 cents to produce.

Canada quit making pennies a decade ago because it was costing 1.6 cents to produce 1 cent.

This relinquishing of the penny is a reminder of the pressures being exerted to do away with cash.

British lawmakers are mulling laws that would make sure that the less-than-20 percent of their population that relies on cash will receive their change in cash

Promoters of a cashless society argue that maintaining automated teller machines (currently paid for by the banks) is costly. Retailers and other businesses report accepting cash takes more time and costs more than payments made by store card, debit card, credit card or cryptocurrency.

And don’t forget that handy-dandy contactless-payment tool in your hand – the cell phone.

The pressures for change are not going away.

Next in the line of sight of those who want to abolish coins is the nickel. Their argument sounds familiar. It costs more to make a nickel than its worth – about 7 cents.

Britain is abolishing checks slowly but surely. They originally planned to dump checks in 2018 but it’s taking a bit more time to smooth out the wrinkles caused by their demise.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 5, 2023 at 6:45 pm

Early Warning!!!

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Folks relying on

Mary Weaver’s constant support

will have to make adjustments while she’s on

vacation March 13 – 16.

She’ll be back in time to lead our St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

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Do it now.


so you can give it a quick check every morning.

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Snore No More

Snoring can ruin your sleep as well as those sharing your dwelling. Almost half the population snores some time. One out of four people snore regularly. Only half of the people who snore admit to snoring.

The sound of snoring has been reported to hit as high as a car horn or low-flying jet.

Folks who snore regularly are five times more likely to suffer heart disease than those who only snore now and then.

It’s the third major reason given for getting a divorce, following infidelity and financial issues.

A little exercise can help you avoid snoring or, if you’re already a snorer, cut down on its effect on you and those around you.

You don’t have to get any special equipment or join a gym. Developers of these exercises call them throat sit-ups. They report that patients who face surgery or have been wearing mouth guards to curb snoring have been able to discard the devices or avoid surgery after doing these exercises, which take about five minutes, three times a day for six weeks.

The first is a simple tongue press. Push the tip of your tongue firmly behind your upper teeth and drag it tightly back along the roof of your mouth as far as you can. Try saying the five vowels – a,e,i,o,u – at the same time.

While saying the vowel sounds again, suck your entire tongue up against the roof of your mouth. Now try raising it to the back of the roof of your mouth and, if you can’t get the vowel sounds, say aaah.

Repeat each of these throat sit-ups about 20 times.

You should also discuss your situation with your primary care physician, who can recommend therapies or specialists if these exercises don’t work.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

March 3, 2023 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Health, News / Events

Tagged with ,

Chorale Call

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Verena Voices is still open for,

and will continue to seek, more voices — both female and male.

If you enjoy singing in the shower,

take you talent to

the weekly choir practice

2 p.m. Tuesdays – 2nd floor theater.

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Something You All Gotta Check Out

Save yourself the trouble of trundling through airports

and visit your hometown, favorite city or international landmark you’d like to see

by typing in your search engine

“drive and listen” or “live webcam (and the city you’d like to visit)”

and enjoy the trip. It’s captivating and fun.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 26, 2023 at 7:23 pm

Learn Sign Language

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11 a.m. today 2nd floor theater.

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You’ve heard about the

Super Supper Shuttle

Here’s the schedule

2nd and 4th Friday of March

Leaves Verena for restaurants:

3 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Leaves restaurants:

3:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.

No sign-up, just show up

Think of catching a city bus –

be waiting at the pick-up point

Miss one, wait for the next one.

Just don’t miss the last one.

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Healthy Foods All Around You

Mangoes are the most-eaten fruit in the world for good reason: they’re among the superstar health foods, providing us with decent doses of vitamins A and C along with blood-pressure-lowering potassium and fiber.

Other plant products listed among this galaxy of health boosters by some nutritionists include sweet potatoes, broccoli, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), watermelon, butternut squash and leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and Swiss chard.

Along with this array of hale, hearty and healthful food in your larder, you might want to add plain yogurt, wild salmon and oatmeal.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 23, 2023 at 7:09 pm

Super Supper Shuttle, Super Idea

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Beginning next month,

a twice-a-month shuttle

will provide Verena residents

late-afternoon free transportation

to and from nearby restaurants.

Because it’s a shuttle, there is no need to sign up.

Just show up at the times advertised starting at 3 p.m.

If you miss a shuttle, wait for the next one.

Just don’t miss the last one.

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I just realized

I’ve mastered how easy it is to sleep.

I can do it with my eyes shut.

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Coffee A Healthy Break

Coffee might be considered the WD-40 of the food system. It’s been cited as a defensive mechanism against health risks ranging from sunburn to diabetes. Scientific, medical and diet gurus around the globe claim drinking three to five cups a day is a healthy regimen.

While not the source of nutrients found in diets of the health-conscious, an eight-ounce cup of coffee, regular or decaffeinated, contains more disease-fighting antioxidants than a typical serving of blueberries or oranges.

The anti-coffee culture points out that coffee also can cause nervousness, keep you awake at night and boost your blood pressure. To counter these over-stimulating effects of coffee, nutritionist suggest spacing out one’s intake, drinking a cup of coffee every few hours during the day.

A European study also revealed coffee retards the cognitive decline in the elderly.

Caffeine reduces the risk of cirrhosis of the liver as well as lowering the odds of death by heart disease among the elderly. Studies have also revealed coffee drinkers are less likely to develop basal-cell carcinoma – skin cancer – than non-coffee drinkers. Coffee has also been found to reduce pain, protect against strokes, fight depression and a variety of cancers, and protect the liver.

While the consensus is that coffee can be good for you, it shouldn’t be considered a cure-all. If coffee gives you the jitters, try decaf. If that doesn’t work, talk with your doctor.

Go easy on milk, cream, sugar and other-coffee-shop add-ons because they add calories to an otherwise low-calorie beverage. When brewing your own coffee, use paper filters that trap the oils in coffee that can increase your levels of cholesterol.

As with anything that involves your health and well-being, discuss your coffee habits with your primary care physician.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 22, 2023 at 8:08 pm

Posted in A Musing, Health, News / Events

Tagged with ,