Boomers and Beyond Elgin Jan:Feb 2020

and EYOND B Celebrating the 55+ Community of Elgin County January 2020 • Issue 13

Combat clutter in 2020 By Staci Rae

Staying on top of clutter can seem like a losing battle. Often, we start off with the best of intentions, only to be defeated soon after when the clutter monster gets the best of us. Make 2020 the year you finally get control of your clutter with these easy tips. Start small Part of what keeps us from getting rid of clutter in the home is that overwhelming feeling that it is all just too much. Instead of looking at your whole home as a giant project to take on, think small. Try this: Every day for one week, take 10 minutes – yes, just 10 minutes – for decluttering. When the timer goes, stop. The next day, do the same thing. You’ll be amazed and how much you can declutter using just this method and how motivating it will be for you to keep going. Corral paperwork

Tackle clutter in the moment Procrastination breeds clutter. Every time you leave an outfit on the bed to be hung up later, place a dirty dish on the counter instead of in the dishwasher, or pile paperwork on the table to be dealt with later, you contribute to clutter. Train yourself to make decisions in the moment. Hang up your clothes when you take them off. Put dishes into the dishwasher right away. The more you can get into the habit of doing this, the less clutter there will be to deal with later. Using these three simple tips, you can start of 2020 on a realistic decluttering mission that you can sustain all year long.

Paperwork, such as school permission forms, bills, and junk mail is one of the worst clutter culprits. It’s so easy to end up with endless piles of paperwork destined to be “sorted later.” The problem is, “later” rarely comes. Instead of dropping paperwork wherever it lands, dedicate one basket or bin to all your paper clutter and do not drop any mail or school papers from your hand unless they go into that spot. Then, dedicate a specific time to go through the entire basket and deal with everything at once. Sign permission forms, pay and file bills, toss junk mail, etc. until the bin is empty and you can start again.

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Here’s to a healthy new year! By Staci Rae

It’s never too late to get healthy! This year resolve to live your healthiest life, no matter what your age. Here are some tips to help you start 2020 off on the healthiest note possible. Watch what you eat We’re not talking fad diets here. As we age, our bodies need fewer calories but the calories we do take in should be derived from high-quality, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Get moving When we get older, it’s not always easy to stay active, but it’s so important to have some sort of physical activity as often as possible. Gentle yoga, aqua-aerobics, or even just plain walking can be very effective ways to keep moving as we get older. Be sure to consult a doctor before you start any new physical activity, however. See your doctor An ounce of prevention really is better than a pound of cure. Schedule an appointment with your doctor for a physical each year. Discuss any medications you are taking, any concerns you have, etc. and ask your doctor about any screenings he or she recommends you have based on your age and medical history. Limit your alcohol intake Moderating alcohol intake is always a good idea at any age,

but it is particularly important for older adults as it may have a negative interaction with certain medications and increase the risk of falling, for example. Exercise your brain Just as your body needs exercise to keep limber, so does your brain. The more you use your brain, the better. Puzzles, reading, playing cards, taking a course, or simply socializing with others are all great ways to keep your brain busy. Stop Smoking It’s never too late to quit smoking. No matter your age, quitting smoking has an almost immediate noticeable benefit to your health. Ask your doctor for help with quitting. Get good-quality sleep Regularly getting a good night’s sleep is imperative to your overall mental and physical wellbeing. In general, older adults should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep most nights. If you regularly struggle with getting enough sleep, speak to your doctor. Even if you’ve developed some less-than-healthy habits over the years, it’s never too late to make a change. Small changes add up to big results! Make 2020 the year you take charge of your health.

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Boomers and Beyond – Elgin • Jan-Feb 2020 Page 3

The Scoop on Swoop By Marna Berry, Travel Green

Air travel can be expen- sive, especially when you consider all of the extra fees that can so quickly add up on top of the actual cost of the flight.

Looking for a New Shed this Winter? Swoop took flight just 18 months ago and has soared to amazing market heights in such a short time. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you may want to check them out! With one-way fares from London to Edmonton starting at just $49, the idea of going on an affordable getaway, even just for the weekend, is becoming more of a reality for many Canadians. Swoop took a top prize at the 2019 CAPA World Aviation Outlook Summit, winning the Start-up Airline of the Year Award. Their service offers us ultra-low cost tickets with the option of adding on a la carte suite of extras as desired. Swoop offers passengers a free personal item (within specified maximum dimensions), which may include a small backpack, purse, briefcase, or laptop bag. Checked A new airline, Swoop, is aimed at changing the way Canadians travel by offering affordable flight tickets and optional add-ons.

Geoffrey Rae Manager/Sales • 519-495-7177 Staci Rae Editor – Publisher – Barb Botten Graphic Artist – Cathy Wood Photos, community events and article suggestions welcome. Please email We look forward to hearing from you. baggage (up to a maximum of 50 pounds) is costed based on the distance travelled, and passengers can save $20 per bag booking online at the time of flight purchase, and baggage fees increase the closer you get to your departure date. Gone are the days when baggage costs are included in air-only tickets! Swoop also offers passengers a service known as Modifly. With Modifly, an optional fee of $13 to $20 per traveller, per direction can be applied to all travellers on a reservation, allowing them to make a one-time change of time and/or date of travel per direction. Swoop is Canada’s preferred ultra-low cost airline, here’s why. The idea of being able to purchase cheap, unbundled airfare allows us to only pay for the options we want and nothing we don’t. With its popularity comes expansion. Swoop, a subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Ltd., recently released its 2020 summer schedule, announcing increased service and three new destinations. Starting in April 2020, the newest routes will take travellers to two new domestic destinations: Victoria and Kamloops, and one U.S.destination: San Diego.

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Swoop now serves the following Canadian cities:

• London, ON • Hamilton, ON • Edmonton, AB

• Abbotsford, BC • Kamloops, BC • Victoria, BC

• Kelowna, BC • Winnipeg, MB • Halifax, NS

In the United States they fly to Las Vegas, NV, Phoenix (Mesa), AZ, Orlando, FL, Tampa, FL, Fort Lauderdale, FL, San Diego, CA In Mexico destinations include Mazatlan, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and Montego Bay, Jamaica in the Caribbean. The next time you are bitten by the travel bug, consider checking out Swoop for an affordable, new way to travel.

Some highlights of the new Summer 2020 routes include:

• Edmonton-Kamloops up to four times weekly • Winnipeg-London up to four times weekly • Winnipeg-Victoria

up to five times weekly • Edmonton-San Diego up to three times weekly • Edmonton-Abbotsford from 16 times weekly, to 24 times weekly • Hamilton-Winnipeg from six times weekly, to 10 times weekly • Abbotsford to Winnipeg, from four times weekly to daily CURL FOR KIDS Saturday March 14th St. Thomas Curling Club Register your groovy team of 4 curlers for our 70s themed fundraiser that is open to all curlers and non curlers who wish to support our agency!

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Boomers and Beyond – Elgin • Jan-Feb 2020 Page 5

Noticing these symptoms? It could be Alzheimer’s disease By Staci Rae Alzheimer’s disease, by and large, comes on in little ways at first, with symptoms creeping in initially and increasing over time. Because of that, it’s often quite easy to dismiss the warning signs as natural signs of aging. But if you sense that something isn’t quite right, it might be a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Memory loss that affects day-to-day activities: For- gettingeveryday thingsor struggling to retainnew information. Forgetting how to do simple tasks: Often, an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease can manifest itself as forgetting to common tasks you’ve done many times, such as meal preparation or personal care. Language difficulties: People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may sometimes struggle to recall the words they mean to use, or substitute words that are out of place contextually. Losing track of time and space: Getting lost in a familiar place or losing track of what day it is can be common early warning signs as well. Impairments in judgement: Dressing inappropriately for the weather, taking uncharacteristic risks, or neglecting personal hygiene can be indicators of a problem.

Misplacing things: This is a very common symptom. A person may start putting things in places they don’t belong, such as placing a book in the freezer. Difficulty with abstract thinking: Frequently, those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may struggle with abstract ideas, such as no longer having a grasp on what numbers mean. Mood swings and changes in personality: Although people can exhibit changes in mood for a variety of reasons, dramatic changes in mood and temperament can be a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Changes in personality such as heightened anxiety or paranoia can also be a symptom. Social withdrawal: Sudden, noticeable loss of interest in spending time with friends and family and lack of interest in engaging favourite activities can also signal a problem. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it’s a good idea to contact your/their doctor for an assessment. Early diagnosis improves your chance of getting maximum benefit from the available treatment and management options.

If you know someone living with dementia or memory loss and have questions, we are here to help. Please contact our office at (519)633-4396 or visit our website at

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Making the world safer for those living with dementia By Maggie Scanlon, Alzheimer Society Elgin-St. Thomas

• Try to remain calm and speak slowly so that their brain has time to process what you are saying. You may need to repeat what you have said for a second time before they respond, so use the same words that you used the first time before switching it up. • Be patient. Their brains will need more time to figure out what they want to say or do, and if you are interrupting them, it could make them frustrated. If they cannot tell you where they are going or seem really disoriented, you might need to call the police for assistance. If you call, make sure to stay with the person or at least keep an eye on them until the police arrive. We all have a role to play in helping to keep people living with dementia safe in our community. Learning what the signs and symptoms are, as well as how to communicate with a person living with dementia are key. To learn more about what you can do, go to www. or contact the Alzheimer Society Elgin-St Thomas at 519-633-4396 or go to our website at

Each year in Canada, 25,000 new cases of dementia are diagnosed, and it is estimated that by 2031, there will be almost a million people living with dementia in Canada. With the number of people living with dementia in our community rising, it is important for everyone to know some tips on how to keep a person living with dementia safe and supported in their day-to-day life. Would you knowhow to identify someone livingwith dementia who is lost or confused? Would you knowwhat to say or how to interact? If you see someone who is doing something a little strange, standing still for a long time, pacing in a spot, or dressed inappropriately for the weather, they may be living with dementia and might need your help to get to their destination. They may also be confused about where it is that they are wanting to go and might have difficulty telling you. The following are some tips for communicating with someone living with dementia: • First, you want to make sure you get into their line of sight. • Second, make sure you introduce yourself every time (even if you have known the person for a long time). If you are approaching someone who looks lost or confused, say why you are approaching.

GET INVOLVED! Dementia is a disease that affects many in our community and will for years to come!

“To love a person is to learn the song in their heart, and sing it to them when they have forgotten.” Anne Garborg


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City Council and Mayor Joe Preston 515 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-1680

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Boomers and Beyond – Elgin • Jan-Feb 2020 Page 7

Keep the Conversation Going By Stacy McCaw, Dementia Support Strategies There are several reasons to be proactive when it comes to dementia. The more that you understand the disease, the better you will be equipped to and care for your loved one throughout the duration. Dementia is a slowly progressive, degenerative disease and a person can live with it for 6-12 years. There is time, time to educate yourself and others. When we begin to speak openly about dementia, it allows for some of the illusions to be dispelled. There is no shame to this disease. It’s a disease, just like any other.

When communicating with someone living with dementia, here are few helpful tips: • Avoid distraction Set the stage. Background noise can confuse the brain and make it difficult to concentrate. Turn off the tv, let the dog outside and create a space that is welcoming for conversation. One on one interactions will create good results as well. • Create eye contact Look at the person and speak directly to them. If you are distracted while communicating, chances are that the person will miss the words, your tone and facial expressions. Non-verbal communication makes up 90% of the way we express ourselves. If the person is not able to follow, they will most likely end the conversation. • Keep it simple One question or thought at a time. Give the person time to process the words and time for the brain to respond and be patient. • Look for the emotion behind their words It will not matter if they use the wrong words or blend a few stories into one, it will matter more to hear the underlying emotion. It could be a moment of joy, sadness, frustration or fear. Hearing them will help the flow of the interaction. Most importantly, reach out, educate yourself and others, and keep the conversation going.

JEFF YUREK, MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London Here to help you with any of the following provincial matters Monday through Friday, 10:00 - 4:30: Ontario Disability Support Program OHIP Cards • Driver’s Licences Ontario Works • Birth Certificates P: 519-631-0666 • T: 1-800-265-7638 750 Talbot St, Unit 201 St. T h omas, ON N5P 1E2 Email: JEFF YUREK, MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London Here to help you with any of the following provincial matters Monday through Friday, 10:00 - 4:30: Ontario Disability Support Program OHIP Cards • Driver’s Licences Ontario Works • Birth Certificates P: 519-631-0666 • T: 1-800-265-7638 750 Talbot St, Unit 201 St. T h omas, ON N5P 1E2 Email: P: 519-631-0666 • T: 1-800-265-7638 750 Talbot St, Unit 201, St. Thomas ON N5P 1E2 Email: jeff.yur with dementia in our community. Respiratory Home Services Respiratory Home Service

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Because everyone needs companionship By Ellen Cannon, Program Coordinator, VON Dementia Visiting, a program developed by the Victoria Order of Nurses, addresses the benefits

Volunteers often comment on learning so much from their clients in the stories they share. Volunteers provide meaningful contributions to others through simply giving their time to help others. The Middlesex-Elgin site of VON needs you and your willingness to visit. We are looking for volunteers to visit with seniors who experience mild cognitive impairment or those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in Elgin County.

of companionship to a person with cognitive challenges. Volunteers are educated by VON and the Alzheimer Society Elgin-St. Thomas and are matched one on one with individuals who experience mild cognitive impairment or have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Volunteers can share in activities and provide companionship to a person with dementia to improve quality of life as well as providing support for caregivers. Enjoyable activities such as conversation, shopping, encouraging/ assisting with hobbies and interests, cards, letter-writing, reading, walking, recording memories or just enjoying a cup of coffee and each other’s company can be invaluable to our clients and their care givers. These activities can be at the client’s home or out around the town with flexible schedules working for both the client and volunteer. Volunteers understand the necessity of a program like this from the perspective of a client and caregiver, but many feel as though their visits benefit them as well.

If you have an hour or two to provide the gift of companionship, please contact VON Elgin office: 519-637-6408.

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Boomers and Beyond – Elgin • Jan-Feb 2020 Page 9

The lost art of letter writing By Staci Rae

Too often, seniors find themselves combatting feelings of loneliness. Whether it’s because their spouse has passed, their children don’t live nearby, or they are unable to get out and about with other like-minded people their age, loneliness can become a real problem for many older adults. Although in our modern online age there are lots of ways to stay in touch, one of the best ways for seniors to combat loneliness is not a new idea at all. This year, why not become a pen pal? The art of letter writing, of actually putting pen to paper, is sadly becoming something of a lost art. All too often these days, we communicate in soundbites through text and email, leaving the true art of communication and connection to fall by the wayside. Letter writing allows us to be expressive, to take the time to say what we really mean, and to truly reveal parts of ourselves to another person so we can connect in a real way. That can be very powerful when it comes to helping seniors combat loneliness. Moreover, the physical act of writing or typing can keep one’s joints nimble, which can help to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, and regular writing and reading can help with cognitive function as well. A pen pal can become a unique member of a senior’s social circle, which can foster feelings of belonging and social connection, both of which are crucial in combatting feelings of loneliness in older adults.

A pen pal could be anyone. Why not start writing letters to your grandchildren? Young children love to receive mail and seeing something in their mailbox from you will be a lovely surprise. How about a childhood friend of your own? Whether you live in the same city or around the globe from one another, writing letters can be a very special way of connecting with someone from the past. There are even some organizations that will help pair you up with a pen pal from anywhere in the world. This year, why not bring back the art of letter writing by finding yourself a pen pal? Whether you write every day or only once in a while, knowing that someone is out there waiting to hear from you can do wonders for the soul!

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Say “I do” all over again By Staci Rae

Be a Healthcare Hero “On behalf of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation, we thank our donors and community for your continued support for OUR Hospital. We wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year!” For many couples, their wedding day was a time of stress and of trying to do the “right thing,” by following trends, inviting the people your mother wanted you to invite, and ensuring that you bent over backwards to please your guests. This time around, do things your way. Make it about you and about celebrating your love your way. There are no rules! Go big or stay small, stay close to home or travel around the world. Your vow renewal ceremony should be exactly what you want it to be, whatever that looks like. Perhaps you didn’t have the wedding you really wanted the first time. Or perhaps you and your spouse have gone through some marital challenges and found your way back to each other. Or maybe you just want to celebrate your love in front of friends and family all over again to celebrate a milestone anniversary! Whatever the reason, many older couples are opting to renew their wedding vows. If you and your spouse would like to renew your vows, it can be daunting to know where to start, however. Here are a few tips to get you started, but remember: The goal is to have a ceremony that is meaningful to you, so be sure to keep your own budget, preferences, and goals in mind when planning your renewal ceremony. Celebrate your anniversary! A very popular option for a vow renewal is in celebration of a milestone anniversary. What better day to say “I still do” that the anniversary of the day you first made that vow? Whether it’s your 10th, 20th, 30th or 50th anniversary, renewing your vows on your wedding date will make the day extra special. Make it a family affair Involve your family in your ceremony! By the time most couples renew their vows, they have raised their families and they may even be grandparents (or great- grandparents!) Why not involve your adult children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren in your vow renewal? After all, what could be a better representation of your love than the beautiful family you’ve built? Make it personal

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Boomers and Beyond – Elgin • Jan-Feb 2020 Page 11

Dolly, I will always love you by Terry Carroll

the South. His father became Dolly’s friend after he stitched her up following a minor vehicle accident in October 2013. I first encountered Dolly in the flesh when I reviewed her concert at the Peterborough arena for the Peterborough Common Press in October 1975. Before writing this column, I perused that review for the first time in 44 years. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever written. I bemoaned what the acoustics of the arena did to her voice, captured some of what her stage presence meant to her fans, favourably commented on the power of songs like “Tennessee Mountain Home” and “I Will Always Love You” and mentioned her figure without descending into what Dolly herself calls “[boob] jokes.” I turned down the opportunity to go backstage after the show. For 44 years off and on, I’ve occasionally wondered why. At the time, I told myself that I had my story from the show itself and didn’t need to speak to her. True, but not the whole truth.

In 2019, the Dolly-verse expanded yet again. One direction it took was the streaming series Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings which stretches and reimagineseightofhermostsuccessful songs as stories. “Family, faith, love and forgiveness come to life”, according to Netflix promo material. The other is a podcast called Dolly Parton’s America . Here’s the promo for that one: “In this intensely divided moment, one of the few things everyone still seems to agree on is Dolly Parton—but why? That simple question leads to a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons.” After watching Jolene, the first of the Heartstrings stories, I thought, “Okay, I might watch some more of these, but the phrase ‘binge-worthy’ doesn’t leap to mind.” The podcast is another story. If you care about music – and more importantly country music – love, women, men, LBGTQ, forgiveness, bringing people together, and whatever your version of a Tennessee mountain home might be, you shouldgive it a listen. It’s largely the brainchild of a second-generation Lebanese man from Dolly’s part of

I grew up on a farm near West Lorne, attended a one-room school and a church that were the centre of the community. We listened to the Grand Ole Opry on AM radio when my brother could pick it up from Nashville on Saturday nights. On weekends, we occasionally had dances in the school to the music of a fiddle, guitar, piano, and sometimes banjo. Some of the songs were from Scotland and some from the Deep South. My uncle and my grandfather ‘called square dances’. Until Grade Seven, we kids walked to school barefoot

on gravel roads in spring and fall and ran barefoot all summer – my dad’s idea, don’t ask. We may not have been tough kids, but we had the toughest soles for miles around. My background wasn’t all that much different from Dolly’s. Listening to Dolly Parton’s America in 2019, I was struck by something else. She comes across as essentially kind. If I had had the nerve to go backstage and admit I was too shy to ask a question that made any sense, I think she might have given me a huge smile, and said, “Don’t you worry about that, hon. Come over her and let me tell you a little about myself.”

Thank you everyone! With the help of our many community partners, Hometown St. Thomas and Boomers and Beyond Magazines were proud to be able to donate 42 teddy bears to STEGH's Women & Children's Services department!

Page 1 2 Boomers and Beyond – Elgin • Jan-Feb 2020 To advertise here contact

Movie and Television Stars in the Military

Visit the Hometown St. Thomas Facebook Page for the Crossword answers.

Across 1 Here’s lookin’ at you, kid 3 Actor/Director/Writer Mel _____ 6 Black belt missing in action 12 Before he was Ben-Hur 13 Magnum’s original Higgins 14 Gentleman’s magazine mogul 16 Before he was “movin’ on up” 17 Before he tried to escape from Col. Klink 19 Voice of Unsolved Mysteries 21 Served before he went to Washington 22 Served Canada before The Enterprise 24 He served his country for “The Gipper” 26 The original Spartacus

Down 1 Before the price was right 2 They call him Mr. Tibbs 4 Spent some time in Shawshank 5 This Golden Girl served 7 The original Magnum PI 8 The King of Rock and Roll 9 This Spock actor was a Sergeant 10 The voice of Vader and CNN 11 The Beaver was in the reserves 15 Go ahead: Make his day 18 WWII vet missed it by this much! 20 The Rifleman 23 Former actor/wrestler/governor 25 This modern Wonder Woman served Israel

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Boomers and Beyond – Elgin • Jan-Feb 2020 Page 13

Volunteer of the Month Brought to you by Nurse Next Door By Staci Rae Judy Thorner is a former teacher and secondary school principal, having started her career as a teacher at Arthur Voaden Secondary school and coming full circle to retire back where she started, as Voaden’s vice principal! After she retired six years ago, Judy was looking for opportunities to stay busy and to give back to the community. “I’m not a sit-down kind of person!” she says with a laugh. Volunteering was the perfect way to keep active while making a difference, two things she had also gotten from her years of working in education. Today, Judy is in her second year of being Vice President of the STEGH Foundation at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (she has been volunteering with the foundation for four years total), and it’s a role she finds very fulfilling. As part of the volunteer team, Judy plays an instrumental role in many of the foundation’s activities, including helping to tackle the momentous task of putting on the annual Gala fundraiser, an event that consistently brings in significant fundraising dollars for the hospital. “I love the opportunity to meet new people and to give back to the community,” she explains. “I’ve learned a lot about the hospital through volunteering. That’s valuable when it comes to sharing information through fundraising, etc.” For the past five years, Judy has also served the co- chair of the Christmas Shop, a charitable initiative currently in its 29th year, which allows parents in need to purchase approximately $150 worth of new clothes and toys for their child (up to age 12) for just $10 after being referred to the program through a social agency such as Family and Children’s Services.

Judy encourages everyone to find a place to volunteer within the community. “When you volunteer, you can find a cause that means something to you and you can make a difference,” she says.

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Page 14 Boomers and Beyond – Elgin • Jan-Feb 2020 To advertise here contact

Presenting St. Thomas & Elgin County’s Community Events Free listings compliments of Williams Funeral Home Send your event details to by the 16th for the next issue • 45 Elgin Street, St. Thomas (519) 631-0850

Allan Hughson (Owner-Funeral Director)

February 23 Paint Nite: Crimson Cardinal Railway City Brewing Co. 130 Edward St. 4pm Tickets available at Beginning February 27 1-900-Dee-Lite Princess Avenue Playhouse 40 Princess Ave. 7:30 pm Dee, a vivacious widow who experiences life to the fullest, lives with her son Scott, a young man just getting over a romantic breakup. Unbeknownst to him, his mother Dee, is making ends meet by selling phone sex. To further complicate matters Dee meets and falls for a rather staid teacher, who is just getting over the loss of his wife. Scott in the meantime is trying to come to grips with the fact that his longtime neighbour Jennifer wants to be more than just friends. 1-900-Dee- lite shows us that romance has no age boundaries and that sex is fun for all ages. Tickets: Call (519) 633-8530 for more information. February 28 and 29 Railway City Arts Crawl Various venues Friday, February 28, 6 pm to 9pm Saturday, February 29, 11 am to 5 pm Explore our city’s vibrant arts scene during the Railway City Arts Crawl! Visit 10 venues for your chance to win some great prizes! For more info: February 29 Arts Crawl Carnival Railway City Brewing Co., 130 Edward St. 6 pm to 11 pm Celebrate the Art of Magic and enjoy the unique Carnival creations of local artists. Puzzle Building Challenge St. Thomas Seniors Centre, 225 Chestnut St. 1pm to 4pm Register a team of three people and be the first team to assemble a 500-piece puzzle for fame, glory, and prizes! Registration fee is $20 and you get to keep the puzzle after the event. Register at Given Shop (730 Talbot St.) Captain Corbin’s Pirate Party! St. Thomas Public Library, 153 Curtis St. 1 pm to 4 pm Captain Corbin is fighting off the winter cabin fever with a pirate party! Full of fun games and activities the library will become a landlocked pirate ship!

January 7 Vinyl Cutter Drop In St. Thomas Public Library 153 Curtis St. 6 pm to 7 pm

February 19 Paint Nite: Winter at River’s Edge Railway City Brewing Co. 130 Edward St. 7 pm Tickets available at February 20 Effectively Marketing Your Small Business 4 pm to 5:30 pm Geoff Rae from Hometown St. Thomas/ Boomers & Beyond Elgin Magazine will share insight on effectively marketing for your small business. Some of the takeaways will be how to target your ad to your intended audience with a variety of media options and building your brand on a budget. To register: February 21 Escape Room St. Thomas Public Library, 153 Curtis St. Registration required! Register your team of 5 for one of the one-hour timeslots. You have been sent back in time to 1881 to explore St. Thomas’ local history. From the Grand Railway to the prestigious Alma College and the world- famous Jumbo the Elephant, you must work together to find all the clues, solve the puzzle, and get back to now. But be quick! You only have 45 minutes! Open Mic and Art Night Streamliners Espresso Bar 767 Talbot St. 7pm to 9pm Open to everyone, every musician, every artist, anyone who wants to share their talent with the community. First come, first served basis to sign up. Free even for families, friends, kids, everyone! February 22 Coldest Night of the Year Fundraising Walk Start location TBD The Coldest Night of the Year is a family-friendly walk that raises money for charities serving hungry, homeless, and hurting people in our community. Routes measure 2km, 5km, and 10km. Register: stthomas

February 8 Yuk Yuk’s Valentine’s Edition CASO Station, 750 Talbot St. 8 pm (Doors open at 7 pm) Enjoy a night of comedy at CASO Station with Yuk Yuk’s performers: Pete Johansson, Kyle Brownrigg and Keith Pedro! This time around there’s a Valentine’s Day theme, so bring your special someone and enjoy some laughs together! Tickets: $25 per person, available at: 4th Annual Southwold Winterfest Shedden Keystone Complex, 35921 Talbot Line 1 pm Games, Bonfire, Hot Dogs, Cookies, Face Painting by Dotsy the Clown, Photobooth, FREE Community Evening Meal, Barn Dance and more! February 15 The Debut of Hip Too! Back Alley Bar and Grill, 18 Princess Ave. Hip Too is the ultimate live Tragically Hip experience bringing the feel and energy of the The Hip live to all of your favorite hits. You don’t want to miss this show. Only $5 at the door. Murder Mystery Party Wildflowers Farm, 42338 Fruit Ridge Line 8 pm to 11 pm Join in the fun in this awesome Roaring Twenties themed murder mystery night. Register as a key character if you want to really get involved, or a non-essential character if you prefer to take a less- central role. Cost: $25 per person, which includes admission, prizes and nibbly foods. Cash bar available. Hosted by Given Shop and Myrtle Shop (Register at either store). Food provided by Cindy Bircham of Elgin Harvest. February 17 Family Day Open House St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre, 301 Talbot St. 11 am to 2 pm Bring the whole family for a day of activities designed to engage and entertain. Geared toward children up to about Grade 6 and their families. All activities are free. Refreshments provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

If you would like to learn how to use the library’s vinyl cutter, now is your chance. Basic introduction to the vinyl cutter software is provided, so you can create your design! Basic computer skills required. January 10 Grab and Go Chicken Divine Dinner New Vision Community Church, 38 Aldborough Ave. 4 pm to 5:30 pm Pay at the door, $13 January 13 Intro to Photoshop St. Thomas Public Library, 153 Curtis St. 6 pm to 8 pm Brush up (pun intended) on basic tools for photo editing using Photoshop Elements! January 17 St. Thomas Seniors Centre Chicken & Ribs Dinner St Thomas Seniors’ Recreation Centre, 225 Chestnut 5 pm to 7 pm Tickets are $15.00 in advance, with dinner beginning at 5 pm January 18 Saturday Night Dinner Series Streamliners Espresso Bar, 767 Talbot St. Starting at 5:30 pm Ellen Laing of Killdear Food Co. Ellen will be preparing a meal that celebrates the food of Normandy, a region rich with culinary history. January 23 St. Thomas Sports Spectacular St Anne’s Centre, 20 Morrison Drive 5 pm to 11 pm Tickets: $75. https://www. January 24 and February 28 Almighty Roast Beef Supper St. John’s Anglican Church, 20 Flora St. 5 pm to 7 pm $13 adults; $5 children 5 to 12 years. Ticket sales begin at 2:30pm. Eat in or Take out available. Come out and enjoy a heavenly meal! Contact Phone: 519-631-7368.

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Boomers and Beyond – Elgin • Jan-Feb 2020 Page 15

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