Programs and Activities

Nov. 17, 2017        Hyper Friday: OSU Alumni Band & Cheerleaders

Today the Ohio State Alumni Band and Cheerleaders were here to lead us in celebrating our annual OSU football pep rally before the last home game. The balmy weather that allowed us to hold it outside last November is only a memory, but our lobby provided plenty of room for the alumni cheerleaders to build their pyramids and alumni drum major Shelley Graf to toss her baton high. She even led a march so Gilda could dot the I (without tuba!). OSU alumni band members played from the dining room and an overflow crowd of Forum residents cheered and sang the fight songs. Miss Dee, the balloon lady was here making Brutus balloons and Jeanine was one of the lucky residents to get a finished one. GO BUCKS!

 

 

 

 

 

Nov. 13 , 2017        Greece: Armchair Travel and Dinner

This afternoon resident Jennie McCormick took us to Greece via an armchair travel program. We sailed the islands around the Pelopoinnesian peninsula visiting lovely village harbors, temple ruins, and noting a seafood restaurant that displayed an octopus on its patio fence.

  

In Athens we, of course, visited the Parthenon and enjoyed the Evzoni guards at the royal palace, shopped in the Plaka district, and exhausted ourselves with ruins and museums.

In the North we marveled at the twin peaks of Mt. Olympus that the ancients considered the throne of Zeus and Thessaloniki museum treasures such as a gold chest with the Macedon star on the cover that were recovered in the 1970s from the tomb of Phillip II, the father of Alexander the Great.

 

This evening our dining staff treated us to a Greek dinner that began with lemon chicken soup, a Greek salad, a choice of entrees (many of us chose lamb chops), a choice of vegetable sides, and ended with the sweetest of all desserts: Blakavi, made with phyllo sheets layered with walnut filling and drenched in a honey based syrup. Deeeelicious!

 

 

Nov. 10, 2017        Veteran’s Day Celebration

Because Veteran’s Day falls on Saturday this year, the Forum celebrated today. The colors were presented and retired by cadets of the Air Force ROTC unit at Ohio State. Pianist Andy Launer led the audience in the song of each military branch: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Major Larry Bogan called the roll as ROTC cadets saluted and presented a medal to each Forum veteran individually. Most of our veterans served during World War II or the Korean War and many other residents are spouses or widows of veterans. Several brought memorabilia for an exhibit in the living room – photos, scrapbooks, maps, medals. This evening Marine veteran and Forum maintenance man Jim Murphy invited all veterans, to a free dinner at the Gahanna VFW post. We honor and thank them for their service.

 

 

 

Nov. 9, 2017       Christmas at the White House: Jeri Diehl-Cusack

This evening retired Grandview librarian, Jeri Diehl-Cusack presentied a program on Christmas traditions at the White House. In retirement Jeri has become a recognized presidential historian and has written several books about life in the White House. She shared pictures and information about traditions associated with the White House Christmas tree, greeting cards, staff gifts, ornaments, and first family celebrations. Much has changed since the John Adams family was the first to spend Christmas in the White House.

 

Nov. 7, 2017   First Congregational Church: Harp & Organ Concert

Today our bus took a group of us downtown for the “Tuesdays at First” noontime concert featuring organist Kevin Jones, First Congregational’s Minister of Music, and harpist, Jeanne Norton. a member of the OSU School of Music Faculty and harpist for ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. The program included an aria by Marcel Grandjany, three brief preludes by Carlos Satzedo for solo harp, and “Twilight,” a new work by Dutch composer Ad Wammes who began his career in the 1980’s composing songs for Sesame Street before turning to conventional concert pieces. A delightful lunchtime interlude.

 

Oct. 31, 2017        Dinner, Halloween Eve

Oh dear, our dining room hostess has gone crazy! No, she’s a clown off to join the circus. Wait, stay calm, it’s just Chappelle on Halloween! Just look at the rest of our  staff, cowgirls in classy boots, bottles of McCormick spices, a black-eyed pea (our director, no less, with a large P on her sweater and makeup on one eye) … nothing like having our worker bees in costume for a day.

 

Oct. 28, 2017       Trick or Treat

 

 

What fun we have inviting staff to bring their kids and residents to invite their grandchildren under ten to our trick or treat Halloween party. Even our organizers got into the costume act with Heidi masquerading as the tooth fairy with a crown of toothbrushes! Residents passed out candy as trick or treaters filled their sacks and buckets. Dinosaurs and Star Trek characters were popular this year. We had one huge dinosaur who danced and pranced, but we had quite a variety of scary characters from lions to alligators, Mad Hatters to princesses, a trio of spidermen. and dozens of adorably cute kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct. 20, 2017       Art For Everyone

We were immersed in art all over today. Jim Lacksonen, an accomplished painter in transparent watercolor, opened his apartment/art gallery for us to enjoy forty or fifty of his paintings.

 

In the MRP Barb was offering the opportunity to paint pumpkins to decorate our apartments. Back to kindergarten and great fun!! Set out on the poker table to dry, some of them made a whimsical picture.

For Happy Hour we had delicious artistic hors deuvres from our dining staff and cool jazz from Wade Jones at the piano. A creative and delightful day.

 

 

 

Oct. 19, 2017     Picnic & Tram Ride: Blendon Woods Metro Park

Today was our final Metro Park picnic and tram ride of the 2017 season and we traveled to Blendon Woods between Westerville and Gahanna. This 653 acre park is mostly beach, maple, oak and hickory forest but the trees hadn’t colored up as usual for mid October. But it was a lovely day and we found a nice spot for our picnic. Jim picked up a cute burr oak acorn nestled in its fuzzy cap. Secluded eleven-acre Thoreau Lake was calm but we didn’t see a single duck or even the wild turkeys that are so plentiful here.

 

 

 

Oct. 17, 2017      Oktoberfest Happy Hour & Dinner

Today we celebrated a traditional German style Oktoberfest. Accordion players Ken Nicol and Mary Drake, in German costume, entertained us in the lobby Happy Hour with polkas that had toes tapping. Ken plays a five row ‘button box” accordion and Mary a piano accordion. It was festive scene with balloons in the colors of the German flag. With our beer we munched fried mushrooms, sauerkraut balls and pretzel bites with cheese or mustard dipping sauce.Our dining staff prepared a German dinner beginning with cheese soup with stout and pumpernickel croutons; Cucumber, dill and horseradish salad with sour cream; a choice of Hanchen Schnitzel (breaded chicken cutlet), Forelle Nack Art der Mullerin (rainbow trout), Schlachtplatte (sausage and sauerkraut); a choice of German potato salad, glazed carrots and parsnips, or creamed peas. Dessert was apple streudel. Wunderbar!

 

 

 

Oct. 13, 2017        Lunch out at Spagio

Since Hubert and Helga Seifert arrived in the United States thirty years ago, their Grandview restaurant, Spagio, has become a local favorite and a visitor destination. Yesterday a group of us enjoyed a delicious lunch there with the favorites being the chicken salad plate or a Reuben sandwich with fries.

 

Oct. 13, 2017       Alchemy 4 Exhibit – Ohio Craft Museum

Afterwards, we traveled a few blocks to the Alchemy 4 Exhibit at the Ohio Craft Museum. Organized by the Enamelist Society, this juried exhibition offered over 150 works by 98 artists from around the world. From jewelry to sculptures we were amazed at the creative vision and skill of these artists.

 

  

Oct. 9, 2017    Worthington Christian Eighth Grade Choir

After lunch the Worthington Christian Middle School Eighth Grade Choir was here to entertain us with their music and visit with us about life as eighth graders. They are pretty amazing after only seven weeks of music practice. Community service is part of their school mission and we loved having them here.

Oct. 8, 2017        ProMusica Concert

A loyal group of Forum residents who subscribe to the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra concert series enjoyed the opening concert of their 39th season this evening. The featured soloist was virtuoso pianist Conrad Tao playing Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major. The orchestra launched a series of Beethoven symphonies with a rousing version of Beethoven’s Fifth that earned the second standing ovation of the evening. It may have been raining outside but it was warm and welcoming in the Southern Theater!

Sept. 27, 2017    Central Ohio Glass Masters Exhibit

This morning fourteen of us visited the Concourse Gallery in the Upper Arlington Municipal Building to tour the show by Central Ohio Glass Masters. Our guide was the curator Harold Stevens, a member of the Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Commission. This diverse show featured items from $75 to $5600, from an elegant teardrop sculpture to a whimsical fish vase, by Central Ohio Studio Artists. Glass blowing is taught in Columbus at Ohio State, Columbus College of Art and Design, and the Glass Axis in addition to an active group of glass masters with their own glass furnaces. Their creations are simply lovely.

 

             Lunch at the OSU Golf Course Clubhouse

After our tour we crossed the street to the OSU Golf Course for lunch in the Clubhouse Restaurant overlooking the course. Most of us enjoyed a sandwich, soup, salad, or wrap at a very reasonable price.

 

 

 

 

Sept. 26, 2017      CHAMPAGNE & VIP HEALTHCARE TOUR

After today’s regular monthly town meeting, our bus was waiting to shuttle us to the Healthcare Center for a VIP tour of the recently completed renovation of our Rehab Center. We’ve put up with the inconveniences, the fire alarms while they were connecting and testing the new system, the furniture in the hall as the old moved out and the new moved in, the noise that patients, family and friends experienced during the renovation.

 But it was all worth it! The decor is a calm and clean turquoise and cream, with private patient rooms each with a wheelchair accessible shower bath. The therapy room is spacious with window views of the ravine and a variety of equipment for both physical and occupational therapy. The new dining room is adjacent to a casual living space with TV, a couch and comfortable chairs. And the Bistro open 24/7 has a toaster, microwave, refrigerator and beverage maker for hot and cold food available to patients and family members.  What a blessing if you’re admitted at 10 PM and missed dinner in your discharge from the hospital! We all hope we never need a knee replacement or recovery from a stroke, but when we do, we now have a lovely setting for recovery.

Sept. 22, 2017       Trip to the Wilds

Those of us who went to the Wilds today had a marvelous day for seeing a wide variety of animals. We began with lunch at a picnic shelter overlooking one of more than 100 lakes on the property. We didn’t try the zip line but it looked like a lot of fun. This 10,000 acre wild animal preserve on reclaimed strip mining land is home to over 500 animals of 38 varieties. We had a two and a half hour ride in an open air bus for a close look at giraffes, cheetahs, bison, several varieties of deer and antelope from different parts of the world. rhinos, wild African dogs, ostriches, camels, Persian donkeys, wild Mongolian horses, and more.

  

Sept. 17, 2017          Dog Days of Summer

It was a lovely late summer afternoon as we gathered under the portico to celebrate the Dog Days of Summer. Residents, staff, and family members were invited to bring their dogs to enjoy each other’s company and Glen Parks entertaining us with four-string banjo tunes. There were hot dogs and chips for the humans and doggie treats for our four-legged friends and a good time was had by all. That’s Norma’s daughter and granddaughter with her grand dog, Pumpkin.

 

Sept. 14, 2017      Rick Moon & Doug Fentiman Concert

It’s a special evening when Rick Moon and Doug Fentiman return to perform for us. Rick has sung both leading baritone and tenor opera roles in over 100 cities throughout the United States and Italy. Doug is an accomplished pianist who has succeeded as a soloist, composer, arranger, producer, and music director for productions throughout the northeastern United States. Together they make exceptional music from Broadway musicals to operettas, hymns and 20th Century love songs. And, as always they invite us to join them in ending their concert with “God Bless America.” Glad to have you back, guys.

Sept. 14, 2017    Blacklick Woods Metro Park & Ice Cream

Our visits to Columbus Metro Parks are some of our most popular Forum outings. Today we headed to Reynoldsburg to visit Blacklick Woods Metro Park. This 643 acre park is bisected by Blacklick Creek, so named because the Native Americans noticed that it was visited by a variety of wild animals who licked its black stones for salt. We rode a trail bordered in many places by fall wild flowers – golden rod, two or three types of daisies, lobelia, thistles and touch-me-nots. Poison ivy vines, Virginia creeper and honeysuckle berries provided touches of red. Our naturalist guide stopped at a pawpaw grove to show us ripening fruits. We stopped to admire a magnificent burr oak that must be over 200 years old. The butterflies were out and about but animals such as the deer and beaver who live in the park must have been taking an afternoon siesta. Afterwards we stopped at Culver’s for ice cream. many of us had a dip of the day’s special German Chocolate Fudge – enough to spoil dinner!

 

Sept. 5, 2017      Honda Heritage Center, Marysville

Today a group of us traveled toward Marysville to tour the Honda Heritage Center. This tells the Honda story from the 1977 agreement between former Governor James Rhodes and the Honda president to manufacture some of their iconic motorcycles at a new plant in Ohio. In November 1982 they added cars when the first Honda Accord rolled off the production line at its newest factory. They have since added off-road bikes, the CRV sports utility vehicle, Accuras and Crosstours. Today they have four manufacturing plants in Ohio and 9,500 employees. Our group posed with a red one and Ginny and Marie met the test robot.

Sept. 5, 2017       Lunch at Der Dutchman, Plain City

After Honda we had lunch at Der Dutchman, a popular family restaurant that specializes in Amish and Mennonite favorites. The first Der Dutchman opened in 1969 at Walnut Grove, Ohio and the company headquarters is still there although they now have six restaurants, bakeries and gift shops. Lunch options include soup and salad combos but most of us chose their famous lunch buffet. And yes, we had time to check out the gift shop.

Sept. 2, 2017        Happy Hour with Andy Launer

Pianist Andy Launer was playing for us this evening for Happy Hour. Andy grew up in a musical family, played with a five-piece band in high school, and organized a dance combo while studying music education at Ohio Wesleyan. His varied musical career has involved teaching music, tuning pianos, and playing in various groups from a jazz trio to piano duo. In 2002 he was inducted into the Columbus Senior Musicians Hall of Fame. Andy is happy to take requests and Dick Wharton loves to ask for favorites, especially from Andy who played for his wedding reception.

 

 

August 28, 2017     “Wild Wonders:” Franklin Park Conservatory

Today a dozen of us traveled  to the Franklin Park Conservatory to see their special exhibit, “Wild Wonders.” These topiary animals created by the conservatory staff, both inside and outside, reflect endangered species all over the world. We began with lunch in the Garden Cafe which offers fresh seasonal salads, sandwiches and soups and delicious made-from-scratch pastries in the bright and airy lobby.

Very colorful flamingos greeted us as we arrived. A green peacock with his flowery blue tail dominated the north courtyard, A red panda was at home in the Himalayan mountains, a lowland gorilla in the rain forest, and a prong horned gazelle in the desert. An elephant family was occupying the sculpture garden. Be sure and ask Norma what the baby elephant whispered in her ear. In the bonsai courtyard, an African lion was eyeing the giraffe across the water hole (fishpond).

A sea turtle dominated the Pacific Island water garden and real butterflies flitted among the colorful flowers above the waterfall.

August 25, 2017       Farm to Table Special Dinner

This evening’s chef Pat Born is obviously enjoying serving residents freshly produced local foods.  August is a bountiful time. Our menu featured herbed chicken, beef short ribs, and Lake Erie walleye. We began with a cold blueberry soup, tomato salad, and had options of roasted acorn squash, corn and cheesy grits, and fresh mixed vegetables before ending with peach shortcake. The moment we entered the ‘barn doors’ to our dining room it was a delicious dinner.

   

August 21, 2017       Bridge For a Cure

What a lovely party it was! This afternoon we had a bridge party to support Alzheimer’s research. Both residents and invited friends from outside made a donation to support Alzheimer’s by playing bridge. Guests approaching our front door were greeted by Becky’s creative ‘bridge card’ wreaths. Our dining room was filled with eighteen tables of bridge players and everyone had a wonderful time for a good cause. Even the prizes and favors were donated.

August 18, 2017       Gilda Ferrari’s Italian exhibit

This afternoon prior to our Italian dinner, Gilda set up and exhibit of memorabilia from her eight trips to Italy. Both she and her late husband have Italian heritage and relatives still living in Italy. Pottery, tea towels, household accessories, scrapbooks of pictures, it was a fascinating collection that we enjoyed very much. Gilda also made Pizelles for us to munch as we browsed. Delicious!  For dinner our dining staff went all out Italian from soup to veal osso buco to our sous chef’s mother’s recipe for Italian wedding cake.

 

August 17, 2017         Concert: Johnny Steiner

This evening we welcomed back Forum favorite, Johnny Steiner – performer, conductor, teacher, composer. A week after his annual concert at his alma mater, Otterbein University, whose theme this year was ‘Signature,’ we enjoyed a variety of signature songs from his favorite vocalists – Louis Armstrong, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and many more. Johnny has recently added to his conducting resume becoming the Artistic and Music Director for Vaud-Villities and director of four adult choirs and two children’s choirs at the Church of the Messiah in Westerville. He has made six digital recordings and maintains a roster of twenty-five students weekly at Johnny Steiner Voice Studio.

August 10, 2017    ProMusica Concert:Franklin Park Conservatory

The lawn of the Franklin Park Conservatory is a magical setting for music as the sun sets and the colored lights of the glass house in the background come on. This evening a group of us heard Conductor David Damzmayr lead the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in the Overture and several arias from Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” with soprano soloist Chelseaa Hart Melcher and baritone Carlos Albert Monzon. The orchestra ended the evening with Schubert’s “Symphony No. 2.”

August 9, 2017       Clintonville Community Band

This evening we concluded our concerts under the portico for the season with a performance by the Clintonville Community Band. This band was organized in 1984 and is composed of sixty volunteers from high school and college students to Clintonville business and professional people. The director is Rick Burkart, retired Instrumental Music Director at Whetstone High School. They rehearse weekly, perform at outdoor concerts during the summer such as the Park of Roses, retirement communities such as the Forum, and host the community for an annual Holiday Concert in December. Wonderful music from swing to marches to patriotism!

 

August 8, 2017        Flower Arranging with Michele DeSantis

Michele DeSantis of DeSantis Florists on Kenny Rd. was back this afternoon with gorgeous summer flowers for residents who registered to make a summer arrangement for their apartment or give to a friend. She’s an expert and patient teacher who helped us create arrangements to enjoy or be proud to share. She encouraged us not to be afraid to cut stems or pull clusters apart to get the effect we want. Cynthia, Barb and Florence seem pleased with their results, but every single one was a beautiful blend of sunflowers, lilies, baby roses, daisies, mums, and baby’s breath.

August 7, 2017     Matsiko Children’s Choir

Nothing equals the bouncing enthusiasm of the Matsiko World Orphan Choir. Sponsored by the International Children’s Network, this choir has been touring the United States for several months each year since 2008. ‘Matsiko’ is the Ungandan word for hope and these youngsters radiate it with their huge smiles and energetic dancing. This year’s choir has 26 children from India, Liberia, Nepal and Peru and they dress in their colorful native costumes. They brought some local handicrafts such as jewelry, scarves, and purses as part of their fund-raising efforts for their school.

  

August 3, 2017       Concert: Worthington Civic Band

The Worthington Civic Band returned for this evening’s Concert Under the Portico. Sponsored by the Worthington Parks and Recreation Department, this band was founded in 1973 and since then has made performance trips to Europe several times as well as Hawaii and Australia. They recently returned from performing at Disneyland. Members range from 18 to 85 years of age and a number were college music majors. The Director is Robert Gibson, formerly a member of the US Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Ohio National Guard Band, and Band Director for Dublin City Schools and Ohio Dominican University. Their program this evening ranged from patriotic songs and marches to Broadway musicals, HMS Pinafore and a bit of jazz. A great evening!

July 27, 2017    Dinner on the Town: Boathouse At Confluence Park

A good group of us traveled downtown this evening for dinner at the Boathouse. A rainy day spoiled our plan to sit on the patio but we had a window table that gave us a foggy million-dollar view of the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers with the Columbus skyline in the background. Most of us had cocktails or wine; lobster bisque or crabcake appetizers; scampi & linguine, planked salmon or porkchop entrees; and creme brule cheesecake desserts. And we had plenty of time to watch the egret patiently waiting for fish by the riverbank.

 

July 26, 2017       Concert: Double Play

This evening this popular husband and wife team from Michigan was back to entertain us with their creative tuba and flute duets. The combination of flute and tuba might seem strange but with these talented musicians it works beautifully. Amy Ridings is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and Patrick Scianella is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. This evening’s program of ‘Songs and Dances’ went from Baroque Bach to Hungarian dances to Gershwin swing. Explaining the music as they introduced each number, they delighted us by demonstrating with a twelve-foot garden hose and funnel that brass instruments like the tuba are simply coiled tubes.

July 20, 2017    UA Concert in Park: Columbus Jazz Group

This evening a group of us enjoyed “Jazz in July” at the Upper Arlington Sunny 95 Park. We took lawn chairs and listened to the outstanding Columbus Jazz Group directed by Byron Stipling, former lead trumpeter with the Count Basie Orchestra. This free concert is always the final highlight of the Upper Arlington Parks and Recreation Department summer concert series. It was a beautiful evening with a refreshing breeze, a fiery orange sunset, and lots of cool jazz from the stage.

July 20, 2017     Sharon Woods Park Tram Ride & Picnic

Combine a warm summer day with a refreshing breeze and one of Columbus’ Metro Parks and you have one of Forum resident’s favorite activities. Our bus was full for our trip to Sharon Woods in Westerville. We boarded a tram to explore the park in comfort with a naturalist narrating the sights along the way. This park is primarily woods and meadows and native wildflowers were at peak bloom: Wild Bergamot, Black Eyed Susans, Purple Coneflowers, spikey red Cardinal Flowers, Purple Loosestrife, and Milkweeds for the bees and butterflies. At midday the wild animals must have gone for a nap in the cool woods, but there was a lovely breeze through the shelter house near Shrock Lake where we enjoyed the picnic lunch packed by our dining staff. Nothing like spending a few hours with nature to recharge our batteries!

July 15, 2017      Trombones Plus with Ali Ryerson, Flutist

This morning we were lucky enough to reschedule the concert under our portico planned for Monday evening when the thunderstorm knocked our our electricity for several hours. Trombones Plus have been with us before, but this was special because internationally known jazz flutist Ali Ryerson, a niece of one of the trombone players, was in town visiting relatives and was featured with them. She played both soprano and alto flutes specially designed for her, and the group treated us to a variety from South American rhythms to patriotic American favorites. First time we’ve ever heard a bass trombone and soprano flute duet!

July 14, 2017     Columbus Symphony Woodwind Trio

This evening we had a special treat with a concert by a Columbus Symphony community outreach ensemble. This was a woodwind trio composed of Randall Nester on flute, Robert Royce oboe, and Betsy Sturdevant bassoon. Their program moved from Bach to a tango dance to Verdi opera to the patriotism of America the Beautiful among others. They invited questions on everything from making oboe and bassoon reeds to their musical backgrounds and symphony programming. A lovely evening enjoyed by a full house.

July 7, 2017      Olympic “Putt-Putt” Golf Tournament

The thunderstorm arrived just as our golf tournament was starting, but not to worry – our psychic activities director, Barb, listened to the weather forecast and set up the six-hole putt-putt course in our living room and lobby. A great time was had both by players and their cheering sections, especially for a hole-in-one! Some competed as teams, some individually, and all for a bottle of champagne!

 

July 4, 2017        4th of July Picnic Buffet

We all got out our red, white and blue to celebrate the glorious 4th. As always, our dining staff prepared and served a festive picnic buffet of potato salad, tortellini salad, fruit salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, hot dogs, hamburgers with all of the trimmings, barbeque chicken and berry, berry pie. Independence Day has been a federal holiday since 1941 although the tradition dates to 1776 and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Last night thousands jammed downtown for Red, White and Boom along the Columbus riverfront. Today most of the suburbs began with parades, followed by family picnics, entertainment, and ending with fireworks.

 

July 3, 2014        Steve Ball Concert: Civil War Music

This evening Steve and Lisa Ball entertained us with authentic music of the Civil War era. Steve plays an 1850s guitar and his wife Lisa accompanies him on base and vocals. Since childhood Steve has been interested in the Civil War, inspired by stories of his great-grandfather who left his Ross County home to fight for the Union in some of the wars major battles. He has acquired quite a collection of Civil War sheet music and shared fascinating stories about composers and the stories behind the music from ‘My Darling Nellie Gray’ to the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ Remembering the Civil war on the eve of our 4th of July holiday was the perfect way to pay tribute to the those who fought, died, or were wounded for the freedoms we celebrate.

June 30, 2017     Singer, Guitarist Bob Ford

 

This evening we were entertained by folklore specialist Bob Ford. “The Man from Little Darby Creek” has been described by one reviewer as having “heartwarming songs and hilarious stories.” This evening, in keeping with our June theme of fruits and vegetables, his program had an agricultural focus appropriate to his growing up on an Ohio pig farm. Accompanying himself with either guitar or banjo his familiar selections from “You Are My Sunshine” to “Get Along Home Cindy, Cindy” encouraged us to sing along.

 

 

 

June 29, 2017      Pie on the Patio

What’s more American than apple pie? Last night we ended our dinner with apple pie on the patio. The weather cooperated with a pleasant breezy evening, perfect for lingering and visiting. And so we end the month of June and begin the 4th of July holiday weekend.

June 23, 2017            ‘North Church’ Handbell Choir

Members of the North Congregational United Church of Christ handbell choir — including our own Kay McKee! — were here to entertain us this evening. This group was playing three octaves of White Chapel handbells, alternating at times with hand chimes that produce a sound like a large music box. Have you ever seen one lady pinching hitting for a missing member playing two sets of  handbells? Impressive!

 

June 22, 2017     A Trip to India with Food and Music

This evening our dining staff took us to the Himalayas and back with a dinner theme of Indian foods. This was followed by an evening of traditional music of northern India with Utpola Borah and Hans Utter. Vocalist Utpola Borah earned her PhD in music in Delhi specializing in both Indian classical and folk music. Instrumentalist Hans Utter earned his PhD in ethnomusicology at Ohio State specializing in the sitar and tabla both of which he used in entertaining us. Afterwards several of us gathered around to see and question Utpola about some of the handicrafts she displayed on the piano.

 

June 19, 2017     “The Experience” – Christ Lutheran Touring Choir

This morning we had a special treat and an overflow audience under our portico for a concert by “The Experience,” a high-school-age touring choir of the Christ Lutheran Church at Charlotte, North Carolina. This group of forty-two young people from ten different high schools presented “These Chains,” a selection of religious songs with a definite youthful, modern beat. Accompanied by keyboard, drums and guitar the program featured a variety of soloists, or small groups backed by the entire choir. One highlight was the trumpet soloist. Presenting programs as they go, the group also makes time for fun with a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this afternoon and Cedar Point tomorrow.

June 6, 2017       Three Creeks Metro Park Tram Ride

The trams are running again in the Columbus Metro Parks, so today we headed for Three Creeks with a picnic lunch prepared by our dining staff. We found a shelter house with picnic tables overlooking Turtle Pond. Three Creeks is southeast of Columbus near Groveport and includes the confluence of Alum, Blacklick, and Big Walnut Creeks. At 1100 acres it is one of the largest metro parks and a delight to explore by tram. Rangers say that over over 100 species of birds have been sighted in the park and we were delighted to see a blue heron and colorful Baltimore oriole among several more common species. We were fascinated by a pollinating garden with an ‘insect hotel’ to attract bees. Many weeds and shrubs were in full bloom including the elegant elderberry. A truly beautiful day.

   

June 2, 2017      Happy Hour on Patio

It’s summer again and we can enjoy our regular Friday and Saturday evening Happy Hours on the patio when the weather cooperates. We love it!

June 2, 2017       Stop and Smell the Roses

Today we did indeed stop to smell the roses with a trip to one of our loveliest neighbors, the Columbus Park of Roses. This 13 acre park within the larger 149 acre Whetstone Park was already at or slightly past its peak bloom this year. We didn’t see every one the 12,000 roses, but we admired hundreds – first taking in the entire panorama and then up close to admire the grandeur of many individually. The weather was perfect for just sitting on a bench or wandering the paved paths refreshing our souls!

   

June 1, 2017      Patio Concert: Four Winds

What a lovely evening! The weather was perfect – blue skies, low seventies – the patio was inviting, and the music was mellow with the Four Winds saxophone quartet. For those of us who know the alto or tenor sax well, seeing the full range from soprano to baritone was a real treat. The diversity of their musical selections included the lively Pennsylvania Polka, the iconic Take the A Train and Pink Panther, Glenn Miller’s famous String of Pearls, the mellow sounds of Moon River and Stardust, and several jazz tunes before ending with A Closer Walk with Thee in New Orleans style from funeral march to celebration in the bar. Definitely an evening to remember. 

May 29, 2017        Memorial Day Buffet Picnic

Today was our traditional annual Memorial Day Buffet Picnic. This year it featured Bratwurst, Barbequed Hamburger Sliders with Bacon, Fried Chicken thighs, Macaroni & Cheese, Corn, Stir-fried Mixed Vegetables, Potato Salad, Pea Salad, Cole Slaw, Fruit Salad, beverages and Cherry Pie for Dessert. Some preferred to eat in our scenic dining room dominated by a huge American flag while others preferred to take theirs out on the patio and enjoy the gorgeous weather.

 

May 25, 2017       Columbus International Program Chinese Visitors

The Columbus International Program (CIP) promotes international understanding through youth and adult international exchanges where participants live with families and absorb local culture related to their special interests. Today a group of professional Chinese social workers visited us, learning about senior living lifestyle options in the U.S. Paki, our regular Tai Chi class leader invited everyone to participate in a Tai Chi session that made our lobby resemble a very active Chinese public park.

May 22, 2017        Resident and Staff Talent Show

What a joyous, fun afternoon this turned out to be with Kay keeping the show moving as MC. Marilyn and Bill dancing to Glenn Miller’s “Pennsylvania 6-5000” brought back many memories and a few tears.

Tracy’s piano rendition of the gospel song “Amen” turned into a singing, clapping audience participation number.

The Singing Seniors accompanied by Sylvia at the piano responded with “Amazing Grace” and A.J. recited a poem about growing older that he learned as a boy.

Peg sang the version of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music that Julie Andrews altered to honor seniors when she performed for an AARP convention. Chris has been playing harmonica since he was ten and the audience couldn’t resist joining him in “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Alyssa on guitar and Chelsea as vocalist presented the Rock and Roll classic, “Games People Play.”

 

Charlie, accompanied by Tracy brought the audience in singing Burl Ives’ “Don’t Mess with Mr. In-Between.” Pete Anderson, our longest resident, reminisced about what the Forum was like 25 years ago, and Tracy closed with a rousing version of the great gospel song, “How Great Thou Art.” How we do enjoy and appreciate each other!

May 15, 2017     Houses of Faith: Broad St. Presbyterian

Today our Houses of Faith series continued with a visit to the East Broad Street Presbyterian Church. This Romanesque style building was designed in 1887 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places 1987. It was expanded early in the 20th century when the congregation became one of the largest in the city. Our guide gave us an excellent history of the church and its exquisite collection of Tiffany windows, including the Resurrection window in the chancel and Christ Blessing the Children at the rear of the sanctuary. These and those at Greenlawn Cemetery are the only Tiffany windows in Columbus.

May 13, 20117      Roll Out the Red Carpet for Moms

Today we rolled out the red ‘carpet’ and set the stage to honor the ‘stars’ – our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and the concept of motherhood. Musician/entertainer extraordinaire, Johnnie Steiner, entertained an overflow crowd with a medley of songs from joyous to sentimental.

Afterwards we moved to the dining room for an elegant selection of sweets from our marvelous chefs, accompanied by colorful flutes of champagne or Shirley Temples. Then to the living room to have a professional photo commemorating the occasion. Memorable day indeed!

 

May 7, 2017      Spring in Bloom all Around the Forum

Gorgeous spring days are the perfect time to walk the Forum grounds and admire the lovely flowers offering a changing display week by week. John & Jackie’s pansies and roses, Joyce’s peonies literally pulsing with color, Ginny’s dainty blue and white iris, Dorothy’s commanding clemitis, Jim and Bev’s delicate French lilac – we dare you not to love them all.

  

  

May 5, 2017           Cinco ‘de Mayo

Cinco ‘de Mayo commemorates the improbable victory of 2000 Mexican soldiers over the much larger 6000 man French army on May 5, 1862 in the Battle of Puebla. Today we joined our neighbors to the south in celebrating with a specially themed Happy Hour with Margaritas, chips and salsa. The dining staff outdid themselves with a south-of-the-border menu highlighting Tira de Asado (barbecue beef short ribs), Chipotle Shrimp, or Arroz con Pollo accompanied by colorful Latin soup, salad, sides, and dessert.

April 27, 2017       Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

The theme of today’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon was Lawrence Welk’s famous saying “Wunderful! Wunderful!” Volunteers are indeed wonderful. They compose the committees that work with staff in welcoming newcomers, suggesting programs, providing feedback on dining services. They conduct a variety of programs and activities from Bible Study to Current Events, calling Bingo, or staffing the gift shop. Life at the Forum is enriched by their time and effort. We enjoyed a delightful lunch of mushroom soup, chicken salad, fruit, topped off by lemon ribbon cake and coffee or tea. Ken and Mary were here to entertain us afterwards with a lively accordion performance of Lawrence Welk standards, and everyone one left with a box of chocolates! 

April 17, 2017      Concert: Friday Night Live Music

Yes, it’s the meteorologist Ben Gelber who we see on WCMH-TV giving weather reports, who is also the founder of “Friday Night Live Music.” Nine of them were with us this evening playing evocative and enchanting Jewish melodies. Ben plays keyboard. He took piano lessons as a child and played with groups while attending Penn State University. But music took a back seat to his professional career until his mother developed cancer and his father dementia. Music was a language in which they could communicate. Although Friday Night Live Music plays many venues, senior living communities have a special place in Ben’s heart.

April 12, 2017      Redbud in the Ravine

Our beautiful ravine is a joy to us in all seasons – even with a winter coat of pristine snow. But it comes into all of its glory when the redbud and crabapples bloom. Don’t underestimate the healing and restorative powers of nature when you are choosing a senior living community.

April 8, 2017         Easter Bunny Visit & Easter Egg Hunt

This afternoon featured the Forum’s annual visit from the Easter bunny. The entire building was decorated and overflowing with those special Easter eggs filled with candies. Staff members brought their children and residents invited their great-grandchildren age two to ten. Kids get a hug and have their picture taken with the Easter bunny and join the scramble for eggs with prizes for the winners and cookies and punch for everyone. It makes you feel young again!

 

April 3, 2017       Tour: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral

  

This afternoon fifteen of us toured the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral as part of our “Houses of Faith” series. The traditional Byzantine architecture of this building is modeled on the 6th century Hagia Sophia in Istanbul in the shape of the Greek cross with all cross pieces of equal length. The large dome above their cross point portrays Christ in the center Four corner arches feature the apostles. The half dome behind the altar features a mosaic icon of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child. Our guide gave us an excellent explanation of the meaning of the iconostasis and the mosaic workmanship containing millions of small pieces of colored glass. Colorful stained glass windows feature various Biblical stories such as St. George killing the dragon.

 

This shrine will soon be covered with fresh flowers and paraded around the block on Good Friday.

A special treat was the current exhibit of colorful wedding attire in the unique styles of various regions of Greece. Note the bride wearing her dowry of coins in her necklace and head dress.

  

Mar. 31, 2017       Resident ‘Quilt Share’

 

What better way to end our March focus on quilts than an exhibit to allow residents to share their own treasured quilts with other residents? Eighteen residents shared heirloom treasures, their own creations, or special gifts from family members or friends. Mary Lou Drake’s ‘crazy quilt’ was the oldest, made by her husband’s great-grandmother from 1884 to 1886; John & Charlene Graber’s ‘Family photo quilt’ was a 50th anniversary gift from one of their daughters; Sylvia McKinney’s ‘Christmas Star’ was a gift from a friend for her husband’s birthday on December 23rd and it decorated their bed every year from November to New Years; and Maxine Gerber’s ‘Dresden Plate’ quilt was made from her sewing scraps with many memories of dresses past. Every treasured quilt has a story and we’ve celebrated them this month.

 

Mar. 30, 2017      Full Sound Concert

Full Sound, our favorite Chamber Music Group, was back this evening with a Bravo! performance. The Loritch family string quintet includes brothers Shalem and Chesed on violin, Chayah on viola, Rachsam on cello and Tsidqah on double bass — full sound! The special treat of this evening was Tsidqah’s performance as piano soloist for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-Flat Major. He not only plays bass but arranges many of the selections this quintet plays and is a virtuoso pianist. It was a delightful evening.

Mar. 28, 2016         Weeping Cherry in Bloom

The minute you walk into our dining room these days your spirits get a lift from the weeping cherry tree in full bloom. Like a bride in her white wedding gown coming down the aisle in all her glory, this tree is silhouetted in front of the big window, demanding that you admire her attire. It is a memorial to a former resident and we thank the donor for a beautiful annual reminder that spring always follows winter.

 

 

Mar. 24, 2017          Magic Show: David Lehman

Last evening we were treated to a show by magician David Lehman. He entertained some of us last year at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon and it was such fun we recommended that he be invited back for the whole Forum community to enjoy. He was assisted by skilled volunteers from the audience who, with his guidance and magic words, put scares into a hat and pulled out flags or found them all tied together. Barb looks a bit leery of his knife sharp enough to cut carrots but we are happy to report her hand is fine this morning. And the grand finale involved a live rabbit from the master of illusion.

 

Mar. 17, 2017         St. Patrick’s Day: Richens Timm Irish Dancers

Ah, it was a lovely day for wearin’ o’ the green – just like the old country, snow squalls, a peak of sun, and showers! Our celebration began at Happy Hour with green beer or wine. After dinner we were entertained by dancers from Richens Timm Academy founded thirty-five years ago by Ann Richens, a Dublin Ireland native. In 1993, her prize student and Senor Men’s World Champion, John Timm, became her partner. After her death in 2011, his wife Heather became his partner. Richens Timm students compete in Irish dancing worldwide, collecting 38 top medals and two men’s championships. From beginners to national competitors, they were delightful!

          

Mar. 15, 2017       Dinner on the Town: Anna’s Greek Cuisine

This evening our party of fifteen from the Forum enjoyed a dinner out at Anna’s. With its decor of hand-painted murals and authentic Greek food, Anna’s is the closest Columbus comes to offering a typical Greek island taverina dining experience. Anna was born on the Greek island of Evola and moved with her family to Columbus where her parents operated a gyro restaurant at 11th and High, across from the OSU campus. Since 1997 Anna’s Greek Cuisine has been fulfilling her dream of a restaurant featuring traditional Greek food and family recipes. Some of us started with hummus and tzatziki with pita bread, Tiropita, Spanakopita, Domathakia, or Greek Farmer’s salad. Lamb was a popular entree from gyros to lamp chops or Lamb Parnases. And a few had room to top it off with a sweet Baklava.

 

Mar. 14, 2017       Tour of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church

This afternoon was the first of the “House of Faith” tours we are planning this spring. We visited St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Westerville. This Catholic congregation began in 1913 as a mission with seven local families and has grown to the 6th largest parish in Ohio with over 14,000 members. The current church building was built in 2011 and is highlighted by 164 stained glass windows, all donated by members of the parish. A number of them were restored from closed parishes in the Cleveland area.

  

Mar. 10, 2017       ‘The Great Hopewell Road,’ Dr. Bradley Lepper

This afternoon we had a fascinating presentation on “The Great Hopewell Road” by Dr. Bradley Lepper, Curator of Archaeology at the Ohio History Connection. The Hopewell are prehistoric peoples who lived in Ohio from c. 100 BCE to 400 CE, more often known as the “moundbuilders” for the many earthen mounds that still survive. Brad Lepper, who earned his PhD at Ohio State and has written a monthly column for the Dispatch has long researched these people. One of his research interests is ‘The Great Hopewell Road’ between the cluster of mound formations at Newark to another cluster sixty miles away at Chillicothe. Aerial views and infrared photographs reveal parallel earthen embankments three feet high and two hundred feet apart creating a perfectly straight line between these two points. Similar roads have been found among the Anasazi in New Mexico and Mayan culture in Central America. Dr. Lepper suggests that the Great Hopewell Road was a pilgrimage road, not unlike Mecca, between prehistoric ceremonial sites. Artifacts found at these sites contain obsidian from the Rocky Mountains and mica from the Carolinas, ceremonial offerings from far distant geographical communities.great-hopewell-road

Mar.10, 2017      The Daffodils in the Ravine are Blooming

The daffodils started coming out a week ago, much earlier than usual. Yesterday they were basking in the warmth of a 60 degree March day. But this morning they woke up to a dusting of snow! Welcome to March in Ohio!

Feb. 28, 2017        Mardi Gras with Trombones Plus

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mardi-gras-5We were only in New Orleans in our imagination but we had quite a Mardi Gras celebration. Our festively decorated lobby with New Orleans jazz on the sound system was the place for punch and spicy nuts before dinner. The dining staff outdid themselves with corn and clam chowder, spring salad, a choice of barbequed brisket, shrimp gumbo or French Quarter chicken with cheese grits, tomato and okra stew and Banana Foster beignets for dessert. And did you catch Britnae’s hat! After dinner “Trombones Plus” – six trombones plus piano, bass and drums – were here to entertain us with live toe-tapping New Orleans jazz.

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Feb. 24, 2017        Recycling: Kristi Higgenbothem, SWACO

swacoThis afternoon Kristi Higgenbothem, Outreach and Programs Manager of SWACO (Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio) presented a excellent program to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The Franklin County landfill accepts approximately 4000 tons of waste every single day and about 70% of it is potentially recyclable. We had lots of questions for her to answer. What should we recycle? Where do our recycled items go? What happens to them? How can the Forum residents and staff do better?

Feb. 23, 2017         Encore Band Concert

encore-bandThe Encore Band composed of trumpet, drums,guitar, piano and vocalists was back tonight entertaining us in the lobby with music from ‘our era.’ The members of this group have had other careers throughout their lives but are enjoying an Encore in their combined musical career.

Feb. 22, 2017       Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory Tour

A group of us had a marvelous tour today of the Anthony-Thomas factory whose famous buckeyes – chocolates with a peanut butter center – have been a tradition for over 75 years. Our excellent tour guide took us through from cacao beans to chocolate Easter bunnies being poured into plastic molds on the factory floor. And, of course, we ended in their extensive showroom where our $2 tour ticket could be redeemed in chocolate!

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Feb. 16, 2017         An Evening at the Opera

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opera-paola-sempriniTonight Grand Opera came to us!  Our gala evening began with a champagne reception before dinner and by the time we came out our lobby was a dramatic stage setting, transformed by red velvet draperies and a candelabra on the piano. The performance by soprano Paola Semprini literally quivered the chandeliers. She was born in Verona, Italy, but the City Opera of New York City was her home for over thirty years. She has performed famous roles such as Madame Butterfly, Tosca, Mimi, Norma, Carmen, and Aida  all over the world. Some of her costumes made a colorful background for her performance. Our program this evening was heavy on Puccini and Rossini arias, but wove in the Italian popular favorite, “O sole mio,” and ended with Bizet’s rousing ‘Habanera’ from Carmen. What a treat! opera-stage-2-16-17

Feb. 15, 2017           Soul Food Lunch

soul-food-1 soul-foodsoul-food-2In honor of Black History month, our dining staff prepared a Soul Food Buffet for lunch today. Those of us who have been here a year or more look forward to this annual tradition and newcomers really enjoyed this special treat: barbecued ribs, fried chicken, oxtail stew, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, collard greens, biscuits or cornbread muffins, potato salad, coleslaw, mixed fruit and a variety of pies and cookie bars to choose from. Uuummmmm GOOD!soul-food-3

Feb. 14, 2017      Valentine’s Day – Gingersnaps

gingersnaps-peg-singingIt’s Valentine’s Day, and we celebrated ours with a special dinner in the dining room preceded by entertainment by the Gingersnaps. This group of senior dancer/singers has been performing dances, songs, and comedy routines in nursing homes and senior centers for over twenty-five years. Our own Peg Wehner has been a member for years and we’re proud of her both as a dancer and soprano soloist.

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Feb. 11, 2017            Happy Hour: Dulicmer Player Ray Brooks

ray-brooks-2-11-17Award-winning hammered dulcimer player Ray Brooks was with us again this evening at Happy Hour. Brooks studied musical composition at Capital University and has diverse musical talents from playing guitar with jazz and old-time bands to working as a pipe organ technician in Victorian village. His dulcimer performances range from weddings to the Worthington Farmer’s Market, to Liberty Presbyterian Church, and retirement living communities like the Forum.

Feb. 2, 2017        Allison Portnoy Sings

allison-portnoyThis evening after dinner Allison Portnoy entertained us in the living room with songs we know from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley. When we first knew her, she was a high school student with a beautiful voice and incredible musical maturity. Now she is a student in the School of Music at Ohio State University. We wish her well in her career and are glad she still has time for us.

Feb. 1, 2017         Dinner at Mozart’s

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Ten of us went out for dinner this evening at Mozart’s Piano Cafe. Our big round table invited sociability with the piano right around the corner playing favorites from “our era.” We enjoyed a variety of entrees: beef stroganoff, chicken paprikash with spatzle, veal schnitzel sandwich, or garden vegetable quiche and chose desert from their famous display of sweets: rum cake coconut balls, raspberry chocolate truffles, chocolate eclairs. Some of brought treats home for tomorrow. Lovely evening.

Jan. 31, 2017       Sing with Joanie’s Kids

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On Tuesday mornings the Forum living room overflows with joy as Joanie Calem, assisted by a variety of hand puppets and soft cuddly animals, leads intergenerational singing. A dozen or so preschoolers, their parents, and Forum resident “grandparents” join in songs with fun motions. Today Grandpa Groundhog was hibernating but wondering about spring, frogs and fishes were sleeping but waking to jump and swim when the sun came out, and a ‘river’ of colorful parachute cloth invited everyone from small fishes to whales to swim as they sang. Such fun for everyone!joanies-kids-1-31-17

Jan. 30, 2017      Flower Arranging with Michelle DeSantis

flower-arrangement-feb-2017In the closing days of January, there is nothing like a cheerful bouquet to perk up our spirits. Today Michele DeSantis was here bringing roses, daises, carnations and a bit of greenery to highlight the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Even those of us with ten thumbs end up with cheerful bouquets under Michelle’s helpful guidance. Everyone creates an arrangement for their apartment, or gift for a friend, or in Jean McMillan’s case on the table outside her door where everyone on their way to the lobby can enjoy its cheerful promise of springtime.

Jan. 27, 2017       Hawaiian Luau

luau-2017-entryJust as the weather turned wintery again, we returned for a one-night escape with our annual Hawaiian Luau. Barb set the scene with island decorations:luau-2017-lobby luau-2017-bar

A large crowd – some in muumuu dresses and colorful Hawaiian shirts – in the lobby enjoyed spicy meatballs, coconut shrimp, cheese won tons, and fruit kebabs while watching our hulu dancer and listening to the steel drum player. And, of course, Natasha was tending bar among the orchids. Perfect recipe for a mid-winter escape.

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Jan. 24, 2017        Town Meeting

becky-chappelle-town-meeting-1-24-17What a delight it was for residents to share in the recognition of Chapelle McClure, Dining Room Lead Server as 2016 Employee of the Year. Chapelle has been with the Forum for eighteen years and has widespread appreciation from both residents and staff colleagues for her dedication to making our dining experience a pleasant one. Well deserved, Chapelle. The flowers and champagne are simply tokens of the gratitude we feel daily.

Dec. 31, 2016        New Year’s Eve

new-years-hors-doeuvresWhat better way to say goodbye to 2016 than with friends at our Forum special Happy Hour. The dining staff provided a lovely array of hors d’oeuvres from shrimp to veggies to pita and hummus and champagne at the bar. Andy Launer entertained us at the piano, including OSU fight songs among old favorites that encouraged us to sing along — and, of course, Auld Lang Syne. Dinner was a ‘Land and Sea’ theme from seafood bisque to a beef tenderloin and scallops entrée. Too bad the OSU football team didn’t rise to our expectations for a perfect year’s end.

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Dec. 28, 2016       Tom Burns, Perkins Observatory

tom-burnsWe had an interesting program this afternoon by Tom Burns, Director of the Perkins Observatory at Ohio Wesleyan. We learned a number of fascinating things like the fact that humans won’t be going to Venus because its temperature of 900 degrees would consume us quickly if its atmosphere didn’t crush us like a pancake first. He also showed us how to find some constellations and major stars in the winter sky.

Dec. 14, 2016        Employee Appreciation Day

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The checks are ready! Today was our annual employee appreciation day — although we really do appreciate them every day. The housekeepers who clean our apartments weekly. The dining room servers who wait on us twice a day and the cooks who prepare delicious meals. The bus and car drivers who take us to the grocery and on shopping excursions, special program events, and individually scheduled trips to doctors. The maintenance men who can fix anything from a leaky faucet to a misbehaving thermostat and more. And so many others from receptionists multi tasking daily to nurses and therapists when we need them. Rather than tipping for each service, our staff receive a December bonus check from resident contributions and we celebrate with a special lunch — buffet style with disposable plates and eating utensils — so staff and residents can eat together and get better acquainted informally. Happy Holidays!

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Dec. 13, 2016        Winter Arrived

Winter was a bit late this year but today it arrived in all of its glory — if we can enjoy it through the window and have no need to walk or drive in it. Several inches of snow turns our ravine into a fantastic wonderland, clinging to every branch and twig. It does make you wish you were a kid again and able to get out the sled and enjoy it. If someone’s great-grandkids are visiting maybe we’ll be lucky enough to get a snowman.

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Dec. 5, 2016        Decorations all through the House

Every year between Thanksgiving and our Holiday Open House, Don and Judy Long transform the Forum into a wonderland of holiday decorative scenes. What a joy it is to live amongst such beauty without the hassle of unpacking boxes, bringing out ladders, untangling strings of lights and everything needed to transform everyday spaces into a holiday wonderland. When you enter our lobby you’ll be greeted by a cluster of colorful nutcrackers standing at attention and lighted trees bracketing the door to the dining room topped with icicle lights. As you step into the dining room Santa peers down from his perch on a wreath on the tall window overlooking the ravine. By dinner time it is dark and the angel on the patio backed by the lights of a weeping cherry tree is pure magic.

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Santa had a special perch on the huge wreath in our big dining room window and outside on the patio an angel was silhouetted against our weeping cherry tree.

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Walk into the living room and you’ll be awed by our large tree dazzling in gold ribbons and balls. Or turn in the opposite direction and be warmed by the fireplace with a mantel and wreath in rosy tones that echo the flames.

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Every nook and cranny contains an eye-catching display worth pausing for a closer look. In the corner by the library stands ‘Julenissen’ – Santa’s name in his native Norway. The crèche in the hall by elevator one, the gift of a former resident, rewards a close look of each person and animal with intricate wood carving.

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xmas-tree-with-antique-ornamentsOn the second floor by elevator one you’ll find a marvelous tree decked out in the Peterson’s collection of antique ornaments. You’ll be well rewarded if you stop for a close look at each.

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xmas-doll-treeOn the first floor by elevator two don’t miss the gorgeous tree featuring the Wright’s collection of international dolls acquired during years of travels. Bring your great grandchildren for a close look!

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Dec. 3, 2016       Holiday Bazaar

Residents always look forward to our holiday bazaar the first Saturday in December as the perfect time to invite family and friends, do a bit of shopping and sample cookie treats. There were a nice variety of crafts venders for different tastes and ages. For those planning holiday parties there were pottery serving dishes. For residents with three-year-old great-granddaughters there were girlie-girlie outfits perfect for a family gathering. For the sports minded there were miniature trees for Buckeyes, Browns, Bengals, or even that ‘team up north.’ And for everyone who appreciates handcrafted woodworking, there were dishes, plates and kitchen accessories.

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open-house-santaThere were lots of staff children and resident’s great-grandchildren telling Santa what they really wanted for Christmas. Before lunch, members of the Bishop Watterson choir filled our lobby — and everywhere around with the sounds of beautiful music of the holiday season.

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Nov. 18, 2016       Hyper Friday

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This afternoon was one for the record books. The thermometer hit a sunny 73 degrees and we celebrated Hyper Friday outside under our patio for the first time ever. As the crowd waited for the buses carrying alumni band members and cheerleaders, our own staff cheerleaders built up the enthusiasm.

hyper-friday-bandBut there is nothing like the real live band with our own ‘Best Damn Band in the Land’ alum, Dave Schwertfager, on snare drums. Shelley Graf, who in 1981 made history as the first Big Ten female drum major, still looks like she could go out and lead the band tomorrow — and ours was the band’s 9th performance of the day!

Not to be outdone, the alumnhyper-friday-shelley-grafi cheerleaders were still making pyramids like they were teenagers again. Good sport, Mary Jane Stein, dotted the ‘I’ with Shelley and we all joined in singing a heart-felt Carmen Ohio.

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Nov. 17, 2016         Guess Who

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Wouldn’t it have been fun to know what our friends at the Forum looked like when they were kids, graduating from high school, getting married, or in the service? We had the most fun today, looking at pictures residents contributed and guessing who was who. It was part of our November theme “Still Me.” We were competing by floors and the second floor winners get a pizza party in addition to all the fun we had guessing and discussing what we looked like in years gone by.

Nov. 15, 2016       Concert: AAUW Chorus

aauw-chorusThe American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a national organization founded in 1881 to promote equity and education for women and girls. The AAUW Choral Group, founded in 1949, is affiliated with the Columbus Branch of the national organization. Lori Hagerman has been the Director since 2009. Their songs this evening honored Thanksgiving, and the 40s and 50s that bring back memories. We ended up joining them in America the Beautiful, celebrating all that we are thankful for in this season.

Nov. 11, 2016           Veteran’s Day

veterans-day-andy-launerToday we celebrated Veteran’s Day by honoring our very own resident veterans of World War II and the Korean War. Cadets from The Ohio State University Air Force ROTC conducted the color guard. Patriotic music was provided by Andy Launer.  Gary Sontag and Major Bogan served as masters of ceremonies. Perhaps the best part came at the end as ROTC members lingered to talk with veterans who fought in wars they only know from the history books. This evening our dining staff thanked our veterans for their service with a special Veteran’s Day dinner.veterans-day-rotc-with-brax

Nov. 10, 2016         Dublin Flute Choir Concert

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The Dublin Flute Choir is the flute section of the much larger Dublin Wind Symphony which is too large to perform on our premises. As you might suspect, their selections tend to have an Irish theme honoring their hometown. We were delighted to welcome them to our living room.

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