October Kitchen - January 2020

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Meet the Team Behind Your Meals JANUARY 2020

OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042


This month, I want to share a story about a wonderful dog named Amigo. He’s a black Lab who’s spent most of his life as a Seeing Eye dog. His handler, Eddie, has been blind since birth and Amigo has been able to bring Eddie a lot of independence. However, Amigo recently turned 10 years old, which meant it was time for him to retire. It can be difficult for guide dogs to retire. They’ve spent their entire lives working and following orders; they need to learn how to be a carefree dog again. Donna, a great gal who helps Eddie out, was asking around to find the right person to take Amigo in. One of my best friends, Jennifer Googins, works with Donna and heard about Amigo. She thought of Ali and me instantly, since our dog Shady was a lab dog at Purdue University before we took her in. Long story short, we adopted a new dog! I’ve been wanting to get a second dog since we first brought Shady home, specifically a boy dog. Shady is great, but Alison is her favorite person and I’d really like to not be the only guy at home anymore. Ali and I are busy with work, so we can’t dedicate time

to training a young puppy these days. That’s what makes an older dog like Amigo perfect for us. Jennifer came into the shop to tell me about him and I was instantly sold. A few days later, we brought it up to Ali and when she saw Amigo’s picture, she said, “I’ll take him!” The first step was a meet-and-greet. We brought Shady along to meet Amigo, Eddie and Donna. Everyone wanted to make sure Amigo was going to a good home. Donna and Eddie were happy to hear about how we helped Shady make the transition from being a lab dog to a regular dog. They hoped we could do the same for Amigo. While we were visiting, Shady immediately grabbed one of Amigo’s toys and they started following each other around. Things were off to a good start. A little while later, we had a 24-hour trial to see how Amigo would do at our house. It went great! On Saturday evening, we took him on a couple of nice, long walks by the riverfront.

Amigo had never been to a dog park

before, so at first, he

didn’t know what to do with himself.

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Lawrence Bagwell’s Lifetime of Music

“After I was diagnosed with diabetes last year, my doctor sent me to a diabetic clinic where I went through classes to learn how to manage my diabetes. One of the first things they told me was that I needed to change my eating habits. As a musician and performer, I don’t have a lot of time to cook meals. The doctor gave me a pamphlet for October Kitchen and told me to check them out. I went in person and was greeted very well. When I brought home some food, I was surprised by how much I liked it. I’ve been eating with October Kitchen for nine months and I feel 20 years younger! My doctors are very pleased.”

performing Handel’s “Messiah” at a very young age. The way Lawrence tells it, he started playing piano as a child and never stopped. However, being a musician isn’t always smooth sailing. “My business as a concert artist means I have contracts to perform. When you have contracts, you need to be ready to perform, even if you don’t feel well. Performing is your means of living. It became a lot harder for me to fulfill my contracts when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago. It was a difficult time, but after two major operations, the doctors were

happy to report that I was cancer-free. While I thank God that I’m cancer-free, my doctors believe the medicine I took after the operations led to me developing diabetes. Fortunately, October Kitchen’s healthy meals have helped me control my diabetes while still being able to eat well and keep my contracts.” The customers who walk into October Kitchen come with different stories and amazing talents to share with the world. Few people are as musically gifted as

–Lawrence Bagwell

For decades, Lawrence Bagwell has been a renowned concert pianist. He graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music, taught a gospel course at the University of Hartford and now, in his retirement, acts at the minister of music at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Bloomfield. This lifelong love of music comes from his parents. Lawrence’s mother and father were at the pulpit all his life.

Lawrence Bagwell and we’re very happy to have him as a customer. Though Lawrence has always had a gift for music, he says his real talent comes from a lifetime of playing. “I’m 76 years old,” Lawrence says. “My kids are in their 40s, and I have grandkids in their 20s. My extensive background has allowed doors to be opened to me and my ability has introduced me to many wonderful people. Music has always been my passion and I do it so well because I’ve done it for so long. It’s a wonderful life, and I am very blessed.”

“My mother threw me at the church musician as a way to calm my bad behavior,” Lawrence explains. “‘Teach this boy something,’ she said. Fortunately, I was fascinated with the keyboard. I was just 11 years old and I learned in leaps and bounds. It became my passion. At 18 years old, I was the only African American playing in the Boston Symphony.” Lawrence grew up in Boston and developed a great love for classical music, thanks to his parents. His favorite composers were Bach and Beethoven and he was

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A TALKING DOG? Sit, shake and speak are some of the first tricks we teach our dogs. Stella, a blue heeler-catahoula mix from San Diego, can sit and shake with the best of them and when it comes to speaking, this clever girl does a bit more than bark.

How Speech-Language Pathologists Teach Dogs to Speak

Stella has been learning how to “talk” for about a year and a half. Christina uses the same techniques to teach Stella that she would use on a child — a lot of time, repetition and practice. Stella’s abilities have surpassed even Christina’s expectations. “Together we can decide how to best live a happy, playful and beautiful life because Stella actually has a say in what happens,” Christina wrote on Instagram. “I am forever grateful for this shared language between us!” Stella’s determination to communicate highlights the bond between dogs and humans. Our canine companions truly want to connect with us; we just have to be ready to listen. If you want to hear Stella “speak” for yourself, check out her Instagram page or visit HungerForWords.com.

_____________________________ Write your name here and fax the completed puzzle to 860-533-0585, send it via empty delivery box or bring it to the shop and receive 10% off your next order . Limit one per customer. Expires Jan. 31, 2020. WORDSEARCH AQUARIUS CHAMPAGNE PAUL SNOW ALISON CAPRICORN Christina started an Instagram account, @hunger4words, to document Stella’s progress. In November, she uploaded a video that showed Stella reacting to a strange sound outside. After her barking didn’t get the reaction the dog wanted, Stella went to her board. In the video, Stella pressed “outside,” followed by the “look” button nine times, before pressing “come” and “outside” again. Within two weeks of being posted, the video had been viewed over 550,000 times. When she was a puppy, Stella was adopted by Christina Hunger, a speech-language pathologist. Christina has used her expertise to teach Stella some pretty incredible tricks. Christina built a soundboard with 29 buttons that play audio recordings of 29 different words. Using this soundboard, Christina has been able to teach Stella how to “talk” to humans. The words programmed into the board include “outside,” “look,” “ball” and, Stella’s favorite word, “park.” By pressing her paw to a button, Stella is able to communicate what she wants, selecting the right words and phrases for Christina to understand. For example, when Stella wants to go outside, she goes to her board and presses “outside.”

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Then on Sunday, we brought him to the dog park. Amigo had never been to a dog park before, so at first, he didn’t know what to do with himself. He spent a while sniffing and assessing the situation, but by the end, he was playing with the other dogs and having a great time. Ali and I were super excited to bring Amigo home with us. He’s spent the last eight years as a service animal. Now he can retire and just enjoy being a dog again. Since he’s an older Lab, we know he’s going to need extra TLC. He has a little hitch in his giddyup. That’s okay, because we’re going to take good care of him. Plus, we’ve got our house veterinarians on call! Audriana was thrilled to hear that we adopted another dog. She and Bryen couldn’t wait to meet Amigo when they visited over the holidays. Amigo is a great fit for our family. He was a terrific Seeing Eye dog. Now it’s up to us to make sure he has a terrific retirement.


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24/7 Emergency Services O tob Kit hen.com 860-533-0588


309 Green Rd. Manchester, CT 06042 INSIDE Our New Amigo page 1

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Have You Met Lawrence Bagwell?

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Stella, the Amazing Talking Dog

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Word Search

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Stay Active During Your Golden Years


the time you’ll spend sharing your passion for sports with young people is more than worth it. Give back as a personal care aide. If you’re looking for an opportunity to stay active and have a more direct impact on people’s lives, you can try being a personal care aide. Personal care aides help elderly and disabled people with everyday tasks, such as shopping, doing laundry and bathing. Many people who require this assistance prefer older aides who can empathize with their struggles, so it’s a great job for recent retirees. Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you can no longer bring value to your community. With all the time you have on your hands, you could become one of your town’s most valuable assets.

Whether you want to generate some extra income during your retirement or just keep yourself busy, getting a part- time job can be a great way to spend your golden years. But why settle for just any opportunity when you could stay mentally and physically active and give back to the community? If that sounds like your ideal way to spend retirement, here are a few options to consider. Pass along your knowledge as a teacher. Many community colleges and community centers offer part-time teaching opportunities for those who want to share their field of expertise with others. Many of these positions don’t require a teaching degree or certificate — just a wealth of knowledge from your years in the workforce. Alternatively, if you want to help younger students with their academics, you could also work as a tutor or a teacher’s assistant at a local school. Share your passion for sports as a coach. Coaching can be a satisfying way to spend your retirement and support younger athletes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to be a coach. You might need to pass a background check and you’ll probably need to know first aid as well. While the pay isn’t incredible,

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