Sept. 20, 2018 Concert: Folk Singer, Bill Cohen
Tonight we had a concert guaranteed to be good for our social and emotional health. Bill Cohen focused on “The Joys and Oys of Growing Old.” Some of us remember Bill as the state house reporter for Ohio Public Radio for many years. In retirement, Bill is doing what he loves – making music. Tonight he took us down memory lane with “Those Were the Days” and “I’ll be Seeing You in all of the Old Familiar Places.” There were silly childhood songs like “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” interspersed with witty quotes on growing older. His version of “Danny Boy” brought a tear to more than one eye. And we ended on a note of appreciation for our time and place, “What A Wonderful World” and “This Land Was Made for You and Me.”
Sept. 19, 2018 Blacklick Woods Tram Ride and Picnic
Today we headed to the Reynoldsburg area with a picnic lunch by our dining staff to tour Blacklick Woods Metro Park. We began by enjoying our lunch and the beautiful day at one of the picnic areas. Then we boarded the tram with Beth, one of the park naturalists, for an open-air ride that brought us close to the trees, butterflies, and blooming wildflowers. This 643 acre park is a typical mixture of woods, fields, prairie, and seasonal ponds. We saw lots of blooming goldenrod and boneset, a few asters and milkweed, and a few butterflies, but all of the coyotes and deer must have been taking naps. Lovely day.
Sept. 13, 2018 Concert: Rick Moon & Doug Fentiman
A large crowd gathered in the living room this evening to welcome back Forum favorites Rick Moon and Doug Fentiman. Rick has performed professionally in both leading baritone and tenor opera roles in over 100 cities throughout the United States and Italy. Douglas is an accomplished pianist who has successfully performed as a soloist, composer, arranger, producer, and music director for productions throughout the northeastern United States. Together they make beautiful music from Broadway musicals to operettas, hymns and 20th Century love songs. This evening was their 145th concert together and it was delightful!
Sept. 13, 2018 Healthy Eating
The focus of this afternoon’s program was healthy eating, a key prelude to physical health as we age. Our dietitian, Kim Pierpoint, with the assistance of dining services showed us some of the power foods and recipes that offer a healthy food choice – and best of all we all got to eat the result!
Sept. 12, 2018 Dinner at Lindey’s
Several of us enjoyed a great dinner out last night at Lindey’s in German Village. Lindey’s has been a Columbus favorite for years and surely did not disappoint our group list night. Several of us began with a cup of lobster bisque, and popular entrees were the pork chop, crab cake or scallops – each with its carefully matched vegetable sides. Creme brule was hands down the favorite dessert with those of us who couldn’t resist. We had such a long table we had to take one side at a time. Thanks, Don.
Sept. 9, 2018 Pizza Party with Gary & Linda Sclafani
Well, it’s raining again and our pizza party moved from the patio to the dining room but it didn’t spoil our fun one bit. We had our choice of cheese, pepperoni, or vegetarian pizza and then stopped by the beverage station before making our way into the dining room where to join a large crowd of friends and families. A young entrepreneur had ice cream bars for dessert from his bicycle wagon. And we settled down to enjoy vocalists Gary and Linda Sclafani accompanied by Gary’s acoustic guitar. This husband and wife couple have been writing, performing, and recording music for over thirty years. Originally from the New York City/New Jersey area, they now live in Columbus and perform for church groups, senior centers and senior living communities throughout central Ohio. What a delightful Sunday evening!
Sept. 7, 2018 Pep Rally with Buckeye Blend
This barbershop quartet has a special angle. Can you guess what it is? Yes, they’ve entertained OSU presidents, coaches, and spirited fans — including our Forum audience today. Keith Shuck, John Dudrow, Dave Kindinger, and Larry Wolfe are carrying on the group’s musical tradition. For more than 20 years they’ve been bringing the Ohio State University spirit through musical harmony. We can’t think of a better way to get in the spirit for tomorrow’s game. We hoped to be under the portico but showers this evening sent us into the lobby with an overflow crowd.
Sept. 3, 2018 Labor Day Picnic Buffet
It surely still feels like summer with a temperature of 94 this afternoon and enough humidity to feel like 101! But it’s Labor Day and our last picnic buffet of the 2018 season. We began with salads – potato, tomato with feta, and watermelon with berries. Then came our hot dishes – baked beans, super good corn-on-the cob, hot dogs, pulled chicken barbeque, and hamburgers with all the sliced cheese, tomato, and onion trimmings. And we topped it off with Snickers ice cream bars. Made you want to go through twice! But we all stayed in our air conditioned dining room rather than brave our hot patio.
August 30, 2018 Gary Emmitt Sings
This evening we were treated to singer Gary Emmitt’s debut performance at the Forum. Gary is a self taught musician who has been singing since high school. Working in construction and sales, Gary still found time to sing for fun, performing as a soloist with church choirs and Vaudevillities where he was inspired by Johnny Steiner. He has a varied repertoire from Broadway to country but some of our favorites this evening included Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me,” Camelot’s “If Ever I Would Leave You,” Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs,” and Michael Boule’s “All of Me (also recorded by Sinatra). Gary has a great voice and we predict a very successful second career and hope he puts us on his schedule again.
August 24, 2018 Highbanks Metro Park: Picnic and Tram Ride
Today a busload of us headed for Highbanks Metro Park with picnic lunches packed by our dining staff. This 1200 acre park north of Worthington runs from Rt. 23 to the Olentangy River with a variety of environments from woods to prairie to river bank. Highbanks is named for the 100-foot-high shale bluff rising from the east side of the river. Tributary streams cutting across the bluff have created a number of deep ravines, some containing large concretions left by the glaciers. There were lots of blooming wildflowers attracting butterflies – Queen Anne’s lace, thistles, ironweed, milkweed, golden rod in bud. Our naturalist Jen pointed out hawks and buzzards and told us about the pair of eagles that have a nest high on the giant sycamore overhanging the river. After our tram ride and picnic lunch, we stopped at the nature center where we walked on the shale river bed (covered by glass), admired the model of the huge hollow sycamore 132 ft. high and 28 ft. in circumference that Norma and Marie proved allowed two to stand comfortably. We watched birds at the feeders and a box turtle in an aquarium having lunch. Perfect weather and a great day communing with nature.
August 23, 2018 Move It or Lose It
We had a fascinating program today from architectural historians Nancy Recche and Jeff Darbee. They have had a historic preservation consulting business in Columbus since the 1980s and shared their experiences with a number of historic renovation projects such as the Ohio Capitol, LeVeque Tower, and Central High School (now COSI). They also showed pictures and discussed the challenges in moving a couple of historic 19th century homes that were going to be demolished unless they could be moved – one in Columbus and the other in Granville.
August 14, 2018 Birthday Luncheon
Yes, it happens every month, but today’s birthday lunch group was having such a good time we just had to take a picture to share with everyone. When you get to our age birthdays aren’t something to take for granted – they’re something to celebrate! Everyone who has a birthday that month in invited to a special luncheon – with champagne for toasting, a special entree and dessert, and a rose to take home. Plus we have all that good visiting, finding out who’s the oldest, etc., and having the entire dining room singing “Happy Birthday.”
August 13, 2018 Dinner Out: Olive Garden
This evening a group of us went out to dinner at the Olive Garden. This popular Italian restaurant chain has an extensive menu with all of the Italian standards – salads, pastas, seafood, chicken, beef, special recipes, desserts, beverages and wines. We all enjoyed their endless salad bowl and bread sticks and our most popular entrees were eggplant parmesan and shrimp scampi.
August 11, 2018 ProMusica Concert, Franklin Park Conservatory
It poured rain at noon but the weather was perfect this evening as several of us traveled to the Franklin Park Conservatory for the annual ProMusica concert on the lawn. This magnificent setting in front of the John F. Wolfe Palm House glows at dusk as lights from green to blue, yellow and red light the glass palm house. French Horn player Sepahanie Blaha was the featured soloist for the Mozart horn concerto No. 3. The orchestra, conducted by David Danzmeyer, serenaded the audience with a trio of movie favorites including the theme from the Pink Panther and ended with a rousing edition of Beethoven’s 8th symphony.
August 10, 2018 Jim Davis: ‘My Experience on Jeopardy’
All the Forum Jeopardy fans had the opportunity this afternoon to hear a fascinating program by Jim Davis, a 2008 two-day Jeopardy champion who won over $60,000. Jim has a bachelor’s degree in music from Capital University and a Master’s in music education from Ohio State. He has had a variety of teaching and speaking experiences, but his Jeopardy experience proves he knows a lot more than just music. He shared his experiences behind the camera on Jeopardy – how one becomes a contestant, how you prepare to compete and hit the buzzer, what happens behind the scenes, and the fact that Alex Trebek is really nice guy. Great program!
August 9, 2018 Glacial Ridge Metro Park
It was a beautiful day for a Metro Park tram ride and today we visited one of the newest. Glacial Ridge got its name from its location on the moraine of ancient glaciers in the central Ohio area 12,000 to 17,000 years ago which deposited rocks and carved out ponds. We rode the tram with a naturalist to learn about this unique 1,037 acre park. Much of it is prairie that provides natural environment for deer and a variety of colorful birds from yellow finches to orange Baltimore Orioles. It also has woods and extensive wetlands that are home to a variety of water fowl, turtles, and small animals like minks.
August 7, 2018 Toni’s Flower Garden
We’re definitely into the ‘lazy, hazy days of summer’ and many of our residents are enjoying their flowers. Most of us are confined to potted plants and window boxes on the railings of our porches or balconies. But some first floor residents have lovely gardens for all of us to enjoy. If we gave an award for the “Most Luxurious Flower Display,” Toni Rausch (with a little help from her neighbor Jim Marquand) would win hands down. How handy that she lives just a little to the left of our portico entry – an easy stroll for any of us to walk by and enjoy. Make all of her weeding and deadheading worthwhile and let her know you stopped by to look and enjoy.
August 6, 2018 ‘Seeds of Caring:” Lunches for the Homeless
Seeds of Caring is a program for parents and children that encourages them to volunteer to help their community. Today they came to the Forum to work with residents in preparing lunches for a homeless shelter. The first job was to use markers and crayons to decorate the bags with a few words and pictures of inspiration. Then everyone joined in making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and finally we formed an assembly line to fill the bags with a double sandwich, an orange, a bag of chips and a dessert bar. About 150 lunch bags were packed in boxes to be delivered to the homeless shelter. What a fun way to make a difference in people’s lives.
August 2, 2018 ‘So To Speack,’ Dispatch Columnist Joe Blundo
General features columnist, Joe Blundo who writes ‘So to Speak’ three times a weekfor the Columbus Dispatch, was here this evening talking about “Six Things I’ve learned about column writing in Twenty-one Years.” The scope of Joe’s column ranges across many interesting people and places in Central Ohio. Recent columns include the volunteers who run a thrift store to support the cancer society, playing an instrument with the Columbus symphony, a family’s unique house pet pig that grew to 180 pounds, a swimming teacher with a teaching style to eliminate fear, and his reflections on the Beatles song by that title when he turned 64 this spring. One of the things he’s learned is that Central Ohio is a funny place.
July 30, 2018 Concert: Worthington Civic Band
This evening we gambled with the weather and won – cloudy but no rain. The Worthington Civic Band returned for their annual concert under our portico. This group was formed in 1973 under the sponsorship of the Worthington Parks and Recreation Department. Their director is Robert Gibson, a trumpet player who began his musical career with the U.S. Marine Band. For the past sixteen years he has been band director with the Dublin Schools. Current band members range in age from 24 to 85 and their program was equally diverse moving easily from Fiddler on the Roof to Glenn Miller to John Philip Sousa to George M. Cohen and more. They have traveled to Europe several times as well as to Hawaii and Australia. We’re just grateful that this excellent musical group includes us on their summer schedule.
July 27, 2018 Jim Lacksonen: Edible Wild plants
Any one who has been on a metro park tram ride with Forum resident Jim Lacksonen knows that he’s the expert on everything natural from birds to insects to trees. Today he gave us a slide program on edible plants – not tomatoes and sweet corn, but edible wild plants. About a dozen of them picked along Zimmerman Rd. behind our building were displayed on the table. Very interesting Jim, but I think we’ll stick with what our dining staff prepares.
July 26, 2018 Pie on the Patio
The weather was perfect tonight and Barb and the dining staff had set up a buffet of pies, lemon meringue or peanut butter and chocolate, to offer dessert on the patio after dinner. How lovely! Everyone hung around to visit and enjoy the summer evening.
July 19, 2010 Knightsbridge II Renovation Open House
For the past year we’ve been hearing about the marvelous renovations being made in Knightsbridge II, our sister building across the street for assisted living and memory care. Only a few of us who had spouses in memory care and those who voted in the elections last fall and this spring saw the disruption of the process. Today we and the general pubic were invited to a Grand Re-Opening of both KB II and the Health Care Center in Knightsbridge I (go to Sept. 26, 2017 for pictures from the VIP tour for residents). Festivities began with a ribbon cutting in the new fenced courtyard by Jim Marquand representing the families of residents. Director Becky Converse presented Jim with a broom in remembrance of his wife Lil, an Alzheimer’s patient for two years who loved to sweep leaves off the walks of the small old patio.
The Bridge to Rediscovery area for dementia residents has various stations such as a baby crib, vanity table and sewing machine to help them recall events from their lives.
A model room in Bridge to Rediscovery is cheerful and has a private bathroom, but there is also a spa bathing area available for use with personal assistants.
For the Open House a variety of entertainment options throughout the buildings offered guests a pianist, guitarist, harpist, violinist, a photo booth, massages, an artist drawing caricatures, and the balloon ladies creating animals. It was also an opportunity to admire the new decor and furniture such as tables in lounge areas and the new artificial fireplace in the main lobby.
Of course the many more residents in assisted living have a variety of enhanced options because of the renovations. This includes the decor in their dining room, a well equipped physical therapy room, beauty salon, gift shop, and an actual movie theatre complete with lounge chairs with cup holders in the arms.
And we must not forget to mention all the gourmet flood stations throughout the buildings. The dining staff really outdid themselves with elegant hors d’oeuvres highlighted by ice scultptures, a seafood buffet, carving stations offering roast beef or turkey, wine and craft beer, and elegant desserts.
And to top it off we had limousine service with a glass of champagne(!) to transport residents between independent living, assisted living, and the health care center. Maybe the months of construction mess was worth it after all.
July 18, 2018 Trip to Amish Country
The weather was perfect for a ride in the country and the corn was so high we expected Curly to ride by singing “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'” The farms were tidy and green. We began our day in Amiish country with lunch at Der Dutchman in Walnut Creek. Way too much food but a couple of us had room for their fresh peach pie which looked delicious.
After lunch we visited the Coblentz Chocolate Factory which had all the standard chocolate caramels, chocolate creams, chocolate peanut clusters, chocolate truffles. . . and a few specialties like the chocolate horse and buggy or a horse’s head on a lollipop stick. Then we visited the Walnut Creek Cheese Company which has over 50 varieties of cheese including the Walnut Creek Smoked Cheddar, which is smoked right there in the store. But they have much more including baked goods, 75 varieties of deli meats, pickled vegetables, jams, jellies and spreads, cooking utensils, and a super market’s worth of fresh garden vegetables.
July 13, 2018 “Big Little Band” with Ali Ryerson
We planned to have a concert under the portico this afternoon but with temperature in the 90s moved into the lobby to hear the “Big Little Band featuring special guest artist, Ali Ryerson. Ali is an international touring and recording jazz flutist who has appeared in many venues from Carnegie Hall to the Forum at Knightsbridge! We loved our old jazz favorites from ragtime to blues. Thanks for cool jazz on a hot afternoon!
July 10, 2018 Dinner out: Tucci’s of Dublin
This evening a nice group of us went out to dinner at Tucci’s of Dublin. Unfortunately the rain kept us from enjoying their beautiful patio, but they gave us a lovely private dining room with walls of wine storage and conversation was easy. Tucci’s prides themselves on their extensive wine cellar, their steaks, and their seafood offerings. We enjoyed all of them with scallops, shrimp, salmon, steak or beef shortribs being most popular. HUGE scallops!
July 9, 2018 Dr. Douglas Scharre: Memory Loss
Do you find yourself forgetting things and wondering whether this is just old age with full brain files of information or signs of approaching dementia? Today Professor Douglas Scharre, Director of the OSU Wexner Medical Center for Cognitive and Memory Disorders was here to share some of the latest research regarding memory loss. He gave excellent examples of normal memory lapses and memory loss that should be treated. Everyone had the opportunity to take the 15 minute SAGE test of early cognitive loss (Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination) and have it scored by a member of the OSU team. Early detection of dementia symptoms leads to better solutions for treatment and delaying loss. It pays to test yourself and nearly all of us did.
July 6, 2018 A Happy Surprise!
Sometimes neat things happen at the Forum just out of the blue. This evening at Happy Hour it was an impromptu concert by Betty’s daughter, who was here to celebrate her Mom’s 97th birthday. Anne Marie Binder, known professionally as ‘Anni McCann’ in honor of her grandparents, began heading toward the piano even as a pre-schooler. She began vocal training in high school, and graduated from Bowling Green with a degree in opera and theater. Her older brother was being discharged from the Air Force in California and she went out for a visit, and according to Betty, “Never came back.” She became a vocal soloist and a member of a quartet called “Backwoods Jazz,” sometimes playing guitar as well singing and for the past forty years has performed throughout northern California and even several trips to Europe. What a treat to have her share her talent with us!
July 5, 2018 Viola & Piano Concert: Ken and Tanya Matsuda
Violist Ken and pianist Tanya Matsuda were back this evening to entertain us with a program of light classical music. Ken is a native of Japan who studied there before immigrating to the US and earning his Bachelors and Masters degrees in music at Northern Illinois University. He joined the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in 1987. He also plays with the High St. Four String Quartet, is an adjunct lecturer at Capital University School of Music and conducts the Japanese Women’s Chorus. Tanya also earned Bachelors and Masters degrees at Northern Illinois where she met Ken. She teaches piano and specializes in the Suzuki method. She is also the accompanist for the Japanese Women’s Chorus.
July 4, 2018 4th of July Buffet
Happy 4th of July!!! As usual our dining staff prepared a festive buffet luncheon that we enjoyed under our big American flag, with many of us wearing red, white and blue. It began with potato salad, pasta salad, and slices of watermelon. We had hamburgers with all the trimmings, barbeque chicken or ribs, corn on the cob, zucchini casserole and baked beans. And we topped it off with apple and berry pie and our choice of beverages. Lots of good food and lots of good visiting.
July 3, 2018 Celeste Friedman: ‘Revolutionary Tea’
Celeste Friedman was back today with a special patriotic concert to celebrate the 4th of July. Vocalist, song-writer, recording artist, radio and TV performer, and founder of “Celestrial Voices,” Friedman has won numerous performance awards including a Grammy nomination and one for the Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts. Today she shared songs and stories beginning with the 3 pence tax on a pound of tea that caused our Declaration of Independence against tax without representation. From “A Grand Old Flag” to “This Land is Our Land” she invited us to join her in songs of patriotic pride.
July 2, 2018 Trip to Granville Inn for Lunch
Our first adventure this month was a trip to Granville for lunch at the famous Granville Inn. The inn was built in 1924 by John Suphen Jones, who became wealthy in the 19th and early 20th century Ohio coal industry. Its Jacobean Revival style is the work of Columbus architect Frank Packard. It is now owned and operated by Denison University who recently restored it completely. They pride themselves on their classic Quiche Lorraine and the original Lazarus Chintz Room Chicken Salad which many of us had. It was a lovely outing despite a heavy thunderstorm on the way home which Don drove us through safely.
June 28, 2018 Four Winds Concert on the Patio
Oh what a lovely evening! The weather was perfect and the Four Winds, a talented saxophone quartet, entertained us on the patio. The sound of mellow saxophone music echoing through our ravine is not to be missed. Many of us aren’t well acquainted with the range of soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones so this was a real treat. They played a delightful group of melodies from ‘our era’ – Take the A Train, Moon River, String of Pearls, Pink Panther, Satan Doll, Stardust, and so many others. In honor of the upcoming 4th of July they offered a delightful version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. And they closed with a New Orleans jazz version of A Closer Walk with Thee, mournfully following the casket to the cemetery and then joyfully heading back for a round at the bar! We enjoyed it all.
June 27, 2018 Trip to National Air Force Museum
Today a group of us traveled to the National Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Base. Four large hangers on this site contain more than 360 vintage aircraft and attract over a million visitors each year. We began with the Korean War exhibit since that is the war that involved the most current Forum residents. Bob Smith, an Air Force pilot in Korea was delighted to reunite with an F94, one of the planes that he flew. It’s awesome to walk through one of those really huge cargo planes.
It’s impossible to see everything here in one day, but we did enjoy seeing their newest exhibit, the newly renovated “Memphis Belle,” the first ‘flying fortress’ bomber to complete its required twenty-five missions in 1942-43. It returned to the US and toured to encourage buying war bonds. It became the subject of a famous documentary movie.
June 22, 2018 Patty Carver: A Tribute to Doris Day
Connecticut vocalist, actress, and writer Patty Carver’s was at the Forum for the first time this evening presenting “A Tribute to Doris Day.” Patty has sung nationally and in regional theaters in a variety of musicals and served as Artistic Director of Connecticut Children’s Theatre. Her tribute to Doris Day for more than thirty years singing with big bands, on radio and TV, in movies and making recordings. Patty mixed details of Doris’ life with some of her favorite songs such as Sentimental Journey, On Moonlight Bay, and ending appropriately with Que Sera Sera. She invited residents to join her at the mike and highlighted some good Forum voices and a neat story from Bob Smith about dancing with Doris Day when he was in the Air Force in the 1950s. We hope to see you back soon Patty.
June 18, 2018 Bridge to 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 thirteen tables of bridge players and everyone had a wonderful time for a good cause.
June 16, 2018 Father’s Day Round-Up
We celebrate Father’s Day on Saturday at the Forum so that families can celebrate together on Sunday. A country Western theme was set with our lobby bar becoming the ‘saloon’ and the dining room window sporting a mountain view at sunset.
Mini buckets of peanuts in the shell decorated the tables and made delicious munching. A dining room of checkered tablecloths made a cheerful scene.
Our buffet was loaded with coleslaw, watermelon, baked beans, corn on the cob, hot dogs with all the trimmings, fried fish, barbeque drumsticks, and, of course, our cook’s famous cowboy cookies.
We had numerous family groups celebrating our Forum fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers. And we were entertained by Cowboy Bob and JoJo’s country music.
June 15, 2018 Happiness Is . . . .
Our June Lifestyle 360 theme is Pursuit of Happiness and we all know there is no better authority on happiness than Snoopy. Snoopy spends a lot of time on the roof of his doghouse thinking about what happiness is,and he invited Forum residents to share their thoughts. Now his doghouse roof is being papered with ‘post it’ note shingles defining happiness for various residents: Good health, Family; Friends; Swimming in an outdoor pool in the sun; No more wars; A cottage by the ocean; Hearing the birds sing in the morning; Family, friends and a woof, woof; Bread pudding; Being old enough to see life in perspective; A good book; In touch with God; Having a daughter who enjoys being with me; Contentment; Music and Laughter; and more. Obviously happiness is many things and we have much to be grateful for. Happiness is composed of different things for different people and we’re all welcome to share our own thoughts — you still have fifteen days!
June 14, 2018 Talbot’s Trunk Show
Today a dozen of us had a fun trip to the Shops on Lane for Talbot’s July trunk show of new styles and trends. Narrated by Barb Benesh, fashion stylist from the home office in Massachusetts. a half dozen models showed some of the new looks and colors for this summer. She did an excellent job of describing ways to pair pieces for different looks from casual to dressy and accessorizing for maximum effect. All of us enjoyed and some of us shopped.
June 12, 2018 Mah-Jong Demonstration Game
This evening Marilyn Campbell arranged for her Mah-Jong group to give us a demonstration of this Chinese game that has become quite popular among seniors. It is normally played by four players who use a set of 144 tiles with Chinese characters and symbols. We had an interested group eager to learn and hopefully we’ll be able to start a new group here.
June 10, 2018 Pizza on the Patio
What a lovely Sunday evening! The weather was perfect – the pizza was delicious and so were the cookies our cooks baked! We had a nice crowd of neighbors to visit with. What a perfect way to take advantage of our beautiful patio overlooking our lush ravine.
June 6, 2018 Dinner at Barcelona
A gorgeous patio, weather in the sunny seventies, delicious Spanish food, and good friends for visiting. A dozen of us had that recipe for a perfect evening with dinner at Barcelona in German Village tonight. Most of us at our table went very Spanish with a variety of small plate tapas – gazpacho or peach soup, Caesar salad with anchovies, shrimp, scallops, mussels, dry cured ham on flatbread, soft-shell crab, and of course desserts such as almond cake or sweet cherry flan. It was an evening to remember.
May 30, 2018 A Visit From the Columbus Zoo
This afternoon we had a delightful visit from Devan and Angela and several ‘animal ambassadors’ from the Columbus Zoo. The rain forest background was a reminder that half of the animals in the world are native to the rain forests. Two of its representatives could not be more different. The two-toed sloth barely moves and is content to simply hang from a branch all day while the kinkajou, a distant relative of raccoons, is an active gymnast who uses his strong tail like a third arm.
The opossum is the only North American marsupial (carries its baby in a pouch) and its 52 teeth are the most of any mammal. Geoffrey’s cats are the size of ordinary house pets but these South American wildcats are actually miniature members of the leopard family.
The hairy armadillo has a bit of a wight problem which the zoo is trying to solve by giving her more exercise, but one wonders if the avocado ‘treats’ she is given for performing are part of the problem.
The noisiest ‘animal ambassadors’ were two members of the bird family. The red faced macaw is a real attention seeker who wants to be the center of attention and is beautiful enough to get it. The red-legged seriema is a South American native that in full song can be heard a mile away. What a learning experience we had!
May 29, 2018 Lunch at Cracker Barrel & Battelle-Darby
Today a group of us had lunch at the Cracker Barrel restaurant on our way to the Battelle-Darby Metro Park. Cracker Barrel prides themselves on “good country cooking since 1969.” Our group divided nearly evenly between salad and sandwich entrees – all super sized!
From there we headed to the southwestern corner of Franklin County near Galloway to visit Battelle-Darby Metro Park. This is the largest of the Columbus Metro Parks at a little over 7000 acres stretching 13 miles along both Big and Little Darby Creeks. These are designated Ohio Scenic Rivers. It is size that gives Battelle-Darby the distinction of being home to a herd of native bison – the large animals that roamed the plains of central Ohio when the first white settlers arrived. The metal sculpture bison near the Nature Center was easier to see than the herd resting around a pond in the pasture. We spent most of our time at the nature center with a living stream constructed with real stones and native creatures from tadpoles to fish to turtles that had been taken from Darby Creek to let visitors see them up close. Fascinating!
May 28, 2018 Memorial Day Picnic Lunch
Today we joined the entire country in celebrating our 150th Memorial Day. It originated after the Civil War as “Decoration Day” with family members and neighbors gathering in cemeteries to memorialize and decorate the graves of those who gave their lives in that conflict. Today we remember all who have given their lives in service to our country. We celebrated with a picnic buffet lunch and even ‘Le Mop’ knew to wear his red, white & blue for the occasion. Our buffet table featured barbeque chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, stir fry mixed vegetables, potato salad, pasta salad, cole slaw, and mixed fruit. And we topped it off with a red, white and blue dessert of cherry pie with a dollop of whipped cream crowned with a blueberry.
May 25, 2018 Bake Sale for Alzheimer’s Research
Today was our annual bake sale to raise funds to support Alzheimer’s research. Our kitchen as well as many staff members and residents contribute baked goods and everyone is welcome to buy cookies, muffins, sweet rolls, pies, etc, for themselves or as gifts to family and friends. It’s a win-win for everyone and all for a worthy cause.
May 21, 2018 April Showers Bring May Flowers
We all know the saying that “April showers bring May flowers” and that never seemed more true than this spring. If you haven’t walked around and checked out the blooms you really should do so. There are the perennial shrubs like the azaleas and lilacs and clematis showing off their annual glory. The violas our landscapers planted last fall came out of the snows as beautiful clumps of dainty blossoms. Nothing is more lovely than Ginny’s iris. And don’t miss all the crocks, hanging baskets and porch railing planters that have been popping up since Mother’s Day with a variety of mixed annuals. Do take a walk and enjoy them all.
May 15, 2018 Concert: Wellington Middle School Choir
Today we were treated to a spirited concert by two Wellington Middle School choral groups. This private co-educational school in Upper Arlington was founded in 1982. It serves children from pre-school through high school. We’re delighted that the Middle School choral groups from 5th to 8th grade offered to end their school year performing for us. They sang several numbers from the ‘The Greatest Showman,’ including a delightful rhythm number that had half of the group on the floor creating the beat with clapping and plastic cups. They closed with a lilting ensemble from ‘Anne.’
May 14, 2018 Dinner on the Town: Columbus Fish Market
This evening a group of went out on the town for dinner at the Columbus Fish Market. Lobster bisque and Caesar salad complete with anchovies were popular appetizers. Flo’s salmon, Gus’s broiled oysters on the half shell, and Jean’s triple shrimp were typical entrees. And creme brulee won the dessert prize hands down. Good visiting and good food are just the right mix for a delightful evening out.
May 12, 2018 “Moms are Tea-riffic!”
Today we celebrated all Forum mothers with a delightful Mothers Day tea. Our dining room overflowed with mothers,their daughters and granddaughters. Barb and the dining staff outdid themselves with lovely decorations and a delicious menu. It was an elegant English tea with smoked salmon on multigrain bread triangles, miniature cream cheese tarts, strawberry mousse and a chocolate covered strawberry – all accompanied by tea, of course. We were entertained by ‘Essential Pieces,’ a women’s barbershop quartet.
May 3, 2018 Redbuds blooming in the Ravine
What a treat it is to watch spring’s changing landscape from our dining room windows. There is something about having breakfast, lunch or dinner with this glorious view of the redbuds in our ravine that soothes the soul. It’s not unusual to find one of us just standing and staring at the beauty of it all. They’re about three weeks late this year but perhaps all the more appreciated. ENJOY!
April 27, 2018 CMA Tour: Art in Bloom
Today a group of us went to the Columbus Museum of Art for their annual spring “Art in Bloom” event. Each year the museum curators select an interesting variety of paintings and sculptures in their permanent collection and invite a group of local florists and garden clubs to produce a floral arrangement that interprets a particular piece of art. It is a delightful way for visiters to see the museum collections in a new light and develop new perspectives on art that you may or may not have appreciated before. And the beauty and sweet scent of the flowers are a wonderful cure for spring fever.
April 20, 2018 Concert: CEAR – notes
This afternoon, the CEAR-Notes, a choral group new to the Forum was here for a concert. They are members of the Columbus Educators Association Retired – a group of over 2000 members who enjoy a variety of trips, programs, and special interest groups together. Their director is retired educator Bobbie Mills who spent much or her career teaching special education at Northland High School. The group from various schools and grades from kindergarten to high school share a common interest in singing and we were delighted to have them entertain us.
Apr. 19, 2018 Volunteer Recognition Luncheon
Today was our annual luncheon to recognize volunteers – both residents and outsiders who enrich the Forum community with their work. Of course this includes members of our standing committees: resident council, food, program and welcome committees. But it also includes the crew of volunteers who keep our gift shop open and many program assistants for everything from Bible study to current events to calling bingo. We’re deeply grateful for what they do. Our dining staff prepared a delicious salad lunch with chicken, pasta, and fruit salads with a yummy muffin and strawberry rainbow cake for dessert. Darcy Hussman received an “Above and Beyond” award for the many hours she spends making purchases, arranging attractive displays and supervising volunteer sales persons for our gift shop.
Michele DeSantis, who does monthly flower arranging programs demonstrated making tall or short arrangements and then everyone received a container and bunch of flowers to create an arrangement to take back to our apartments.
Apr. 16, 2018 Spring?
I know, I know. The calendar says it has been spring for nearly a month but 32 degrees and a biting wind filled with snowflakes doesn’t feel like it. But the weeping cherry tree outside our dining room window looks like a beautiful bridal bouquet and and Mac and Marilyn’s dog, ‘Le Mop,’ is wearing his straw hat. Spring must be around the corner somewhere nearby.
Apr. 2, 2018 APRIL FOOL!!!!!
That’s right. Look what arrived over night. Should we be getting out the Christmas decorations instead of the flower pots? Nope. This is just spring in Ohio. According to legend we’ll have four snows after the forsythia blooms and the weather man is predicting our early morning wonderland will all be gone before noon. Our daffodils are under there somewhere.
Mar. 28, 2018 Daffodils in the Ravine
We may be having April showers a few days early, but the daffodils in the ravine outside of our dining room are blooming bravely and brightly. They are always our first major sign of spring and herald magnolias, red buds, tulips and dogwood to come. How welcome they are!
Mar. 26, 2018 Art Quilt Exhibit at Riffe Gallery
This afternoon several of us went downtown to the Riffe Gallery to see the Ohio Arts Council exhibit of 36 quilts from the Quilt National 2017 International Juried Art Quilt Exhibition produced by the Dairy Barn Arts Center at Athens. This is the 20th anniversary of this biennial international exhibition now in its 40th year of attracting the most creative art quilters across the US and the world. We marveled at the creativity and the workmanship of these quilts. It stretched our image of what quilts can be.
Mar. 23, 2018 Easter Bunnies
Easter is coming and so are the bunnies! Our lobby, living room, and dining room are overflowing with cute furry creatures. Bunny banners lining the fireplace mantels, bunnies riding on bicycles, bunnies nurturing a basket of baby chicks, bunnies picking flowers or eating carrots, a bunny lounging on the mantel with a butterfly tickling his ear, a see-through grass bunny, and a tall bunny guarding the door to the gift shop night and day. Pretend you’re a kid again and enjoy the fun!
Mar. 22, 2018 Concert: Four Cellos
This evening we had a special treat with a concert by a cello quartet. The violincello is considered one of the most romantic instruments in the world because of its mellow tone, but its size makes it a rare choice for women musicians. The members of this quartet are from Women in Music Columbus which has been educating and entertaining the citizens of Central Ohio since 1881. The Four Cellos are one of a number of small ensemble groups who perform public concerts at the art museum, at area schools – and at the Forum! Their selections this evening ranged from Carmen to tango to Ragtime and ended with the theme music from Ken Burns Civil War series, the ‘Ashokan Farewell.’ Lovely.
Mar. 17, 2018 St. Patrick’s Day
Ah, it’s the day when we’re all a bit Irish and wear a bit of green to celebrate. Today we even had happy hour before lunch with green beer or orange punch and potato chips with a touch of Guinness. And Harriet took the prize for being the cutest leprechaun. Check out that miniature top hat!
Dinner was Irish all the way from Shamrock soup to Grasshopper desserts. Those who had the fish and chips said they were great and I can honestly say the corned beef and cabbage was perfect with colcannon and spiced carrots. Can we be Irish every day?
Mar. 12, 2018 Tour: Pontifical College Josephinum
Today a group of us had an excellent tour with a seminarian of the Pontifical College Josephinum at Worthington. This liberal arts college and seminary for educating Catholic priests is the only pontifical college outside of Italy. It’s magnificent Gothic building was completed in 1931 and contains unique architectural elements such as the inlay of the wooden wainscoting and the marble floor in the entrance foyer. A recent restoration project brought out the beauty of the alter mural in the main chapel and the unique German Art Nouveau stained glass windows. It is truly a central Ohio landmark and we enjoyed learning about its history.
Mar. 10, 2018 Swing Therapy Happy Hour with Scott Brooks
Mar. 9, 2018 Candide: OSU School of Music
A group of us went down to Ohio State this evening for the School of Music performance of Candide. This was a celebration of the hundred anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. The semi-staged operetta featured the School’s symphony orchestra and about two dozen singers from the opera theatre program. Voltaire’s satiric novel about a young man who discovers the world is not always a happy place but within its absurdities he can find his own happiness.
Mar. 8, 2018 Concert: Gary and Linda Sclafani
Accompanied by his electric guitar, vocalists Gary and Linda Sclafani presented a concert of country music this evening. Although this was their first visit to the Forum, they have been performing together over thirty years and have played to a variety of venues from cafes to churches, conventions, and senior centers. They grew up in the New York/New Jersey area but now live in central Ohio where they are performing and recording.
Mar. 1, 2018 Alcohol Painting Activity
Tile painting with alcohol is a new technique sweeping the art world. Tonight Becky and Barb held an “Art and Music” program that was lots of fun and produced some really lovely ceramic tiles to feature as art or use as coasters. This is one of those projects with no right or wrong, just whatever you like. What a colorful exhibit we had at the end.
Feb. 27, 2018 Dinner Out: The Whitney House
This evening a group of us enjoyed a great dinner out at The Whitney House in downtown Worthington. The owners pride themselves on using fresh local ingredients and a number of their mother’s recipes. Several of us had their Tuesday special fresh tomato soup and Mom’s Stroganoff. The fresh tomato soup was a delight compared to canned and and the flavor of the stroganoff won raves. Jean’s smile says it all for the stroganoff, but Gus was really pleased with his scallops and little neck clams and Sandra was a bit overwhelmed by her supersized hamburger and fries. We all want to go back!
Feb. 22, 2018 Steven Foster Concert – Steve & Lisa Ball
Steve and Lisa Ball did a great program on Civil War music for us last year. Tonight they were back with a delightful program of Steven Foster’s music. Steve plays a 19th century Martin guitar and a vintage tenor banjo. Lisa plays bass and sings harmony for their vocals. Steven Foster wrote over 200 pieces of parlor and minstrel music including many that have remained favorites well over a century: Beautiful Dreamer, Camptown Races, Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, My Old Kentucky Home, Oh! Susanna, Old Folds at Home (Suwanee River), We’re Coming Father Abraham. What makes their program special is Steve’s detailed knowledge of Steven Foster’s biography. It adds poignant details of a sad life to such beautiful music.
Feb. 22, 2018 Soul Food Lunch Buffet
Today residents and staff celebrated Black History Month with a delicious soul food lunch buffet prepared by our dining staff. The menu included fried chicken, barbequed ribs, fried catfish, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, mixed vegetables, cornbread, biscuits, cole slaw, and mixed fruit. A beautiful dessert table contained a wide variety of delicious treats from decadent brownies, to pecan or cherry pie, red velvet cake, or lemon bars. Whoever said delicious food is good for your soul surely should have been here today!
Feb. 20, 2018 Tour of Columbus Metropolitan Library
Did you know that the Columbus Metropolitan Library has been ranked #1 among large-city libraries in the United States four times since 1999, and has been among the top four every year since then? Today a group of us toured the main library building downtown which was built in 1907 with a donation from Pittsburg steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. We walked through the Carnegie aart gallery but we focused on the new addition that opened in June 2016 to increase the space and offerings and take full advantage of the view from the view from three-story windows overlooking the adjacent Topiary Park. And our excellent guide took our picture beside the main staircase with Aminah Robinson’s colorful drawings of the Sells Brothers Circus’ winter home in Grandview.
Feb. 15, 2018 Travel Memorabilia Roundtable
In keeping with this month’s travel theme, this afternoon we had a roundtable with residents invited to bring a special memento from their travels to share with everyone and explain why it brings special memories. Some residents just described memories from a special trip, but the world map in our multipurpose room makes the perfect background for Jennie, Cynthia, Flo and Sara to display a handcrafted tote bag from Thailand, a miniature oil lamp from Spain, a miniature teapot from England and a stainless steel hand crafted bracelet from southeast Asia.
Feb. 14, 2018 Valentine’s Day Lunch
With Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day back to back and Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s Day, it didn’t seem right to have another special dinner tonight. So we celebrated with pink pancakes for lunch smothered in strawberry sauce. And we still have our Valentine balloons bobbing everywhere. Very festive!
Feb. 13, 2018 Mardi Gras Dinner & Allison Portney Concert
This evening our dining staff hosted our annual Mardi Gras dinner. Although our celebration of ‘Fat Tuesday’ didn’t rival the extended parades of New Orleans or Brazil’s Carnival, we began with happy hour and a very special New Orleans style meal before the Lenten season begins. Dinner was followed by a jazz concert by Allison Portney, a talented Ohio State student who we have enjoyed before.
Feb. 8, 2018 Concert: Mark Gaskill
Tonight guitar and keyboard playing vocalist Mark Gaskill, in tuxedo and a snappy red tie, presented a Valentine program of love songs from the 1940s and 50s hit parade. Mark has a wide ranging repertoire from the 1930s through the 90s. In addition to his performance schedule, Mark sings bass in the Columbus Symphony Chorus and was for several years the guitarist and lead singer for One Riot One Ranger, a local country and bluegrass band. Tonight was his first time here, and we’re delighted to welcome Mark to the Forum. We enjoyed the information he gave us about the writers and singers associated with each of the songs.
Feb. 7, 2018 Great Courses: Santorini – Volcanic Eruptions
Today more than a dozen of us began our Great Courses lecture series on Geological Wonders of World with the Greek island of Santorini. It is the remnant of a volcanic caldera that 3600 years ago had a cataclysmic explosion. This destroyed the Minoan city of Akrotiri, an advanced civilization that excavations show constructed three-story residences with hot-and-cold-running water. Many think this was the city of Atlantis that Plato described a thousand years later. Other scholars believe it is the source of the Exodus story in the Bible where the Israelites escaped Egypt by following a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night until they reached the sea and found the water rolled up leaving dry land. A volcanic explosion and tsunami creating a beautiful tourist mecca and legends of ancient peoples?
Feb. 4, 2018 Aida in Concert
This afternoon a number of us were treated to the Columbus musical extravaganza of the season – a performance by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Opera Columbus, and the Columbus Symphony Chorus of Verdi’s beloved opera, Aida. It even included the trumpet section of the OSU Marching Band and a donkey, two camels, and small animals including a skunk from the Columbus zoo. These were presented to the Egyptian king as trophies during the triumphal march celebrating the defeat of the Ethiopians. Aida transported the audience musically to ancient Egypt for the tragic love story between Egyptian military commander Radamès and the enslaved Ethiopian princess Aida. These roles were sung by internationally known American tenor Marc Heller and soprano Michelle Johnson.
Feb. 1, 2018 Richard Barrett: Columbus in Vintage Postcards
This evening was a trip down memory lane for many of us who have been long time residents of the Columbus area. Local historian Richard Barrett is believed to have the most extensive collection of Columbus vintage postcards in existence and has written a book about them. It features the period from 1898 to 1950 which was the golden era of postcards. This evening he shared evolving views Presutti’s restaurant, Fort Hayes, Ohio Field to Ohio Stadium, and many more. Fascinating!
Jan. 26, 2017 A Reel Black and White Evening
Oh, what a party it was! We were all invited to dress in black and white and the decorations complimented the era of black and white movies – especially Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. We began with Happy Hour and tasty hors d’oeuvres that included cheese and crackers, pita with hummus, and shrimp cocktails – all with Fred & Ginger in “Shall We Dance?” playing on the wall!
It was progessive party that moved us into the dining room for an elegant dinner accompanied by music from harpist, Lydia Haywood. Litling tunes like Edilweiss, Clare de Lune, and Danny Boy set an elegant atmosphere.
And then we moved into the living room for a lovely dessert table of varied cookies and chocolate covered strawberries, coffee and Fred and Ginger dancing in “Swing Time.”
We ended our evening in the multipurpose room with a showing of “Top Hat,” the 1953 film nominated for the Academy Awards Best Picture that many consider the best Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie.
Jan. 24, 2018 New Residents Reception
Our bi-monthly reception for new residents is always a fun time to welcome new residents who have moved in during the past two months, learn a bit about their biography, and visit over punch and cookies. Today we welcomed seven new residents, all of whom have lived in the Columbus metro area for some time. This is rather unusual because quite a number of our residents move to be near adult children and grandchildren. We always look forward to making new friends, and they soon turn out to be just that.
Jan. 23, 2018 Gene Gilliam: China Off the Beaten Path
Our international dinner this month was China and this evening Gene Gillion, Emeritus Professor of Education at Ohio State shared “China Off the Beaten Path.” This was the 19th trip to China that Gene has led and he shared a part of this trip last September little known to Western tourists. This was in the mountains of southeast China that has natural wonders beloved by Chinese tourists. Some of the challenges his group faced were a cliff-clinging glass skywalk and a gondola crossing nearly 5000 feet above a gorge that offered spectacular views and gorgeous pictures.
Jan. 16, 2018 OSU Historic Costume Exhibit: Dior in Ohio
Today a group of us traveled to the Ohio State campus for an excellent tour by the curator of the historic costume exhibit celebrating the 70th anniversary of Christian Dior’s ‘New Look.’ Titled “Dior in Ohio: 1947-1997,” the fifty outfits in the exhibit, plus some accessories such as shoes and hats, focus on evening gowns, cocktail dresses, day dresses and suits worn by Ohio women. A number of the outfits in the exhibit were worn by Elizabeth Parke Firestone of Akron and Mary Peters Bolton of Cleveland. In addition to items in the OSU collection, others were loaned by Western Reserve Historical Society, Kent State University and the Henry Ford Museum. For those of us who never owned a Dior outfit, it was a delight to see the elegant craftsmanship of designer clothing up close.
Jan. 16, 2018 The Forum’s Winter Wonderland
Overnight our snowy ravine gained three inches of fresh snow to the four from last Saturday, creating a winter wonderland in the ravine we view from the dining room. Thank goodness for our wonderful staff who brave slick roads to come and take care of us. We’re free to watch the squirrels scurrying back and forth to find the nuts they buried in the fall and the lone robin on a tree branch with his feathers fluffed up to keep warm. Thank goodness for Ohio’s variety. This is more snow on the ground than we had all last winter.
Jan. 11, 2018 Carrie Keller, Columbus Metro Parks
We love our tram rides to tour Columbus Metro Parks in the summer, but tonight Carrie Keller, their naturalist for metro park outreach programs was here to give us an overview of the nineteen Columbus Metro Parks. She described each briefly and highlighted the special features of each one and the variety of programs they offer. From forests to prairies, cliffs to swamps, climbing walls to children’s playgrounds, bird watching to hiking and bike trails, blue herons to buffalo, we are so fortunate to have these green spaces to explore.
Jan. 5, 2018 Columbus Museum of Art: Beyond Impressionism
Thanks to Judy Long we have visual evidence of how much our group enjoyed visiting the Columbus Museum of Art this afternoon. We had an excellent docent-guided tour of their current exhibit: Beyond Impressionism. Curated in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain, CMA is the only U.S. venue for this extraordinary exhibition. Featuring approximately 100 paintings, drawings, prints, and works on paper, the exhibition explores the Parisian art scene, focusing on the most important French avant-garde artists of the late 19th century, including Paul Signac, Maximilien Luce, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Félix Vallotton, Odilon Redon, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. As we exited we grabbed the opportunity to dress for the avant-garde 1890s. What fun!
Dec. 31, 2017 New Year’s Eve with Nicole Johnson
We began the evening with hors ‘duevres and toasted 2018 with champagne. We just didn’t do it at midnight. Nicole Johnson, vocalist and children’s dance teacher, was here to perform a holiday program from “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” to “Auld Lang Syne” with plenty of our favorites from the 40s and 50s in between. Nicole trained in voice in the Musical Theatre Department at Otterbein and performs an eclectic musical repertoire of Big Band and Broadway tunes. She has performed with various bands throughout Ohio and as a singer/vocalist/dancer with Columbus Vaud-Villities. We were delighted to have her spend New Year’s Eve with us.
Dec. 27, 2017 Sing-Along with Sylvia
Joy to the World! Do you remember the “good old days” when we would gather around the piano to sing Christmas carols? Well this afternoon we had our own Sylvia McKinney playing piano in the living room and song sheets to be sure we knew the words. What an exclamation point ending to the Christmas season. It was good for our spirits!
Dec. 21, 2017 Johnny Steiner Christmas Concert
What a treat this evening to welcome back Forum favorite, Johnny Steiner – vocalist, conductor, teacher, composer. Johnny is an Otterbein University music and theater graduate whose Christmas concert is orchestrated to perfection. 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. We’re delighted that he still makes time for the Forum and wish him a Merry Christmas.
Dec. 18, 2017 Holiday Lights Downtown & Easton
This evening our bus took us downtown to view the holiday lights. The Columbus Commons is a fabulous display that we circled to see from all sides.
We also went out East Broad Street to see this years State 85th annual nativity display and on east to Easton Town Center to circle their all blue Christmas tree.
Dec. 16, 2017 A Toasty Holiday Celebration
Party, party, party the entire month of December. Today residents invited their families, particularly children, to share a “Toasty Holiday.” Perhaps this is the beginning of a new Forum holiday tradition? In addition to visits with Santa Claus, there was a craft table to keep the little ones busy and happy. Lunch featured toasty comfort foods: three versions of toasty cheese sandwiches, soup, a salad bar and several varieties of s’mores (chocolate cookies topped with toasted marshmellows). The Clintonville Songsters, a small a cappella choir that is part of the Clintonville Community Choir, ended our celebration with a program of favorite holiday carols.
Dec. 15, 2017 Sharing and Tasting Holiday Recipes
Knowing that few of us cook or bake at the Forum but occasionally enjoy entertaining friends, our dietitian Chelsea Schaefer came up with three tasty holiday treats with only three ingredients each – a crab dip or a pesto and feta cheese dip to be served with crackers or baguette slices, and a candy cane fudge made with white chocolate chips, condensed milk and crushed candy canes. Add some wine and good friends and it is sure to create a lovely party.
Dec. 13, 2017 Concert: Trombones Plus
This easy listening jazz ensemble featuring five trombones, plus piano, bass and drums was back this evening with a holiday program. Trombones Plus was formed in the 1970s by a group of former OSU Marching Band members and although the group has changed over the years this continues to be a source of new members as others retire or move from central Ohio. Thank you for sharing the holiday spirit with us.
Dec. 13, 2017 Employee Appreciation Day
We really do appreciate our staff members every day, but today is special when each employee receives a holiday bonus from residents’ combined tips for the year. The housekeepers who clean our apartments, the dining room staff who serve our lunches and dinners, the cooks who prepare delicious meals, the drivers who take us to the grocery and special program events, the maintenance men who can fix anything from a leaky faucet to a thermostat, nurses and aides if we need rehab, and always our multitasking receptionists. Best of all, our dining staff provides a special lunch buffet with all the trimmings – salad bar with fresh shrimp, main dishes including ham, fried chicken, roast beef, macaroni and cheese with vegetable sides, a waffle bar with all the trimmings from strawberries to whipped cream, and a dessert bar with assorted pies and cookies. Residents and staff dress in their holiday outfits, eat together, and share big hugs to show our appreciation. Happy Holidays everyone!
Dec. 12, 2017 Centennial HS Choir & Orchestra
This afternoon we had the delightful experience of a concert by the Centennial High School string orchestra and a cappella choir. This school is our neighbor at the corner of Kenny and Bethel Roads but we don’t know the students well. We should, because this high school’s student body includes 60% who chose it in the Columbus High School lottery and they are a diverse group who represent 35 nationalities. They featured music of the holiday season closing with a rousing Hallelujah chorus. No wonder their music program wins state awards!
Dec. 11, 2017 Dinner Out: The Refectory
Having dinner at this restaurant in an old church on Bethel Road in December has become a Forum tradition for some of us. Offering upscale French style food and wine consistently earns The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro awards in Columbus and beyond. They are known for their beautiful artistic presentations. They let us order from either the main menu or the bistro menus and pork chops or lamb terrine were popular choices. Chocolate bread pudding or creme brule where the most popular dessert choices. We all enjoyed a lovely holiday dinner.
Dec. 9, 2017 First Snow of the Season
Congratulations to the Columbus weather forecasters who promised us the first measurable snow of the season this afternoon. It arrived on schedule and was still snowing when I stepped out to take a picture. Do you remember how much you loved the first snow as a child? It’s possible to still have that sense of wonder that the world has changed completely, but we’d rather just watch it through the window and not have to go out and risk falling.
Dec. 8, 2017 Very Personal Christmas Decorations
We’re so lucky to have residents and staff who share personal holiday decorations with the whole Forum community. Sharon Mueller, one of our dining room servers made the gingerbread dollhouse in the lobby. Be sure to check out both the exterior and interior views.
The Wright Family doll tree on the first floor by elevator two features their international doll collection that was started by Jacque’s mother over seventy years ago. Residents John and Jacque Wright have added to it in their travels. Be sure to share it with your visiting great-grandchildren. On the first floor by elevator one, the lace covered white balls tied with ribbons and tiny flowers were handmade by resident Lillian Swan and are elegant enough for a Christmas wedding.
Dec. 7, 2017 A trip to Israel
Today we imagined ourselves taking a short but delightful trip to Israel. Beginning with a program by Merov Livneh-Dill describing life in modern Israel through the experiences of her family. She is on a three-year program as an emissary primarily to the US Jewish community. This was followed by our friend Joanie Calem, the talented director of our inter-generational music program, playing and singing Israeli folk songs. Our dining staff treated us to an Israeli dinner that was a fusion of Mediterranean and traditional Jewish cuisine. We began with Tomato and chick pea soup with basil, an Israeli salad of tomatoes and cucumbers, and a choice of beef brisket, chicken Sharma, or shrimp and scallops for an entree. Accompaniments were a choice of potato Latkes with sour cream, Tzimmes (sweet potatoes, carrots and prunes baked with honey and lemon), or roasted vegetables with cous cous. And it ended with shortbread topped with chocolate sauce and a red raspberry. A nice addition to our holiday celebrations.
Dec. 2, 2017 Gift Shop Open House + Santa Claus
Today our overflowing gift shop invited all residents and staff to come by and shop their many bargains. Small decorative trees, wreaths or swags were individually designed by Judy Long. Cuddly plush talking animals are great presents for the little ones in your life and sold out quickly. Sparkling pins, necklaces and bracelets; stocking stuffers from decorative ornaments to fuzzy footies; colorful scarves to create a party outfit; and a nice variety of Christmas cards were all at bargain prices since we have a volunteer staff. Santa was present to hear the requests of staff member’s children. Barb and Chris were popping corn and offering Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. And Murphy’s Law, a four-piece band, kept us in the spirit of the holidays with their music.
Dec. 1, 2017 Ohio State School of Music Celebration Concert
Whether you are an OSU student celebrating the end of the semester or a Forum resident celebrating the holiday season, this musical extravaganza is special. It features all of the School’s larger musical groups – symphony orchestra, symphonic band, men’s and women’s glee clubs, wind symphony – as well as soloists and small specialized groups – jazz, horn, percussion and trumpet ensembles, saxophone and clarinet choirs, and CellOHIO (a dozen cellos). Over 500 different students participate. If this doesn’t give you the holiday spirit, nothing will.
Dec. 1, 2017 A Day in the life of an Honor Flight chaperone
Steve Husmann was with us today to share his experiences as a chaperone for Columbus Honor Flight. He described the daily schedule of flying to Washington to view the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam memorials and what an emotional experience it is both for the veterans and the volunteers to assist them. They have a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery and in all of these locations are honored by people who greet them and thank them for their service. Honor Flight Columbus sponsored six trips for 493 veterans in 2017. Veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam are eligible with priority to oldest first. Steve had a memorabilia table with some great pictures.
Dec. 1, 2017 Holiday Decorations
Thanks to our wonderful decorating elves Don and Judy Long, and Barb Holliday, the Forum is unbelievably festive for the upcoming holidays. Our living room tree must be twenty feet tall and the fireplace mantel is surely one of the prettiest to greet Santa.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a nativity scene and we have one in the living room and another in the hall.
Our lobby glows welcome with icicle lights and nutcrackers standing at attention.
The dining room mantel boasts a photo of our own snowy ravine a couple of years ago, and Santa perched in the big window watching to see whether we’re all being good.
Too many decorations to post them all, but don’t miss the lovely small tree in the multipurpose room, Santa’s sleigh and reindeer outside the gift shop, and the angel on the patio. And it’s always well worth walking the halls – and great exercise – to check out your neighbors’ creative doorways.
Nov. 28, 2017 Lunch Out: Anna’s Greek Cuisine
Ending this month’s focus on Greece and Greek food, a group of us went out to lunch at Anna’s Greek Cuisine, rated by many (including our own Gus Kademenos) the most authentic Greek restaurant in Columbus. Anna grew up on the Greek island of Evoia cooking with her mother and many of their favorite recipes are included in the menu. Several of us began with with Avgolemono (chicken lemon soup) or Spanakapita (filo triangles stuffed with cheese and spinach). Popular entrees included Dolmathakia (grape leaves stuffed with ground meat and topped with lemon sauce); Mousaka (eggplant layered with potatoes and meat topped with Bechamel cream) with Tabouli salad (cracked wheat, tomatoes and parsley); Lamb Parnasos (lamb and vegetables over rice); grilled Chicken Pita with mushrooms, onions and green peppers and Tzatsiki (cucumber & yogurt); Makaronia Me Kima (spaghetti with meat sauce). Desserts were over the top: Bakalava (filo layered with ground nuts and honey); Rizogalo (Rice pudding), Kafaifi Ekmok (filo with custard and pineapple topped with whipped cream and almonds)
Nov. 20, 2017 Dinner on the Town: The Barn at Rocky Fork
Tonight a small group of us went out to dinner at Cameron Mitchell’s newest restaurant, the Barn at Rocky Fork. We were delighted to find they had put up their Christmas decorations this past weekend and it made a warm, cozy environment. Their website describes it as a destination steakhouse, but their menu includes a variety and no two of our group had the same meal. Don’s barbequed pork chop must have been at least two inches thick and Norma said her blackened scallops were absolutely delicious. We all agreed we would enjoy coming back.
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
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.
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.