Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 29, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 29, 2013 



Dear Savvy Senior:

What resources can you recommend to help seniors 
with financial problems? I hate to admit it, 
but I’ve fallen behind on my house payments and 
have accumulated quite a bit of credit card debt 
over the past few years. Where can we get help? 
Indebt At 70

Dear Indebt:

There are actually a number of free and low-cost resources available today that can help seniors who 
are struggling with credit card and/or mortgage debt. Here’s where you can turn to for help.

Credit Counseling

To help you get a handle on your credit card debt, a good place to start is at a credit-counseling 
agency. These are non-profit agencies that offer free financial education and advice on how to handle 
financial problems. 

And if your debt is significant, they can set you up in a debt-management plan (DMP) that allows 
a counselor to negotiate with your creditors to lower your interest rates and eliminate any late fees 
and other penalties. The agency will then act as a consolidator, grouping your debts together into one 
payment that you would make, and distributes those funds to your creditors. Most agencies charge a 
one-time $30 set-up fee and a monthly maintenance fee of around $20 for a DMP.

To locate a credible agency in your area, use the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website 
at or call 800-388-2227. 

Do not use a for-profit debt settlement company that claims to settle all your debt, or cut it in half 
for a fee without counseling. Most of these companies use deceptive practices and will only leave you 
more in debt then you already are. 

Foreclosure Help

If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, or if you have already received a letter or phone 
call about missed payments, you should contact your lender immediately to explain your situation 
and see if you can work out a payment plan. Be prepared to provide your financial information, such 
as your monthly income and expenses. 

You can also get help from a housing foreclosure avoidance counselor. These are HUD-approved, 
trained counselors that will work with you, examining your financial situation, and offer guidance on 
how best to avoid default or foreclosure. They can also represent you in negotiations with your lender 
if you need them to. 

To find a government-approved housing counseling agency in your area, use the National Foundation 
for Credit Counseling website or phone number previously listed. Or for a larger selection of 
housing counseling options, see the Department of Housing and Urban Development website at hud.
gov – click on “Resources” at the top of the page, then on “Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling,” or call 

Another helpful resource you should know about, and one your counselor can help you explore, is 
the Making Home Affordable program. Created by the Obama Administration in 2009, this program 
offers struggling homeowners the opportunity to modify or refinance their mortgage to make their 
monthly payments more affordable. 

It also includes the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for those who are interested 
in a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. To learn more about these programs and their eligibility 
requirements see or call the Homeownership Preservation Foundation’s 
HOPE Hotline at 888-995-4673.

Financial Assistance

You also need to make sure you’re not missing out on any financial assistance programs. The National 
Council on Aging’s website ( contains a database of more than 2,000 federal, 
state and local programs that can help seniors with prescription drug costs, health care, food, utilities, 
and other basic needs. The site will help you locate programs that you may be eligible for and will 
show you how to apply. 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor 
to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

By Pat Birdsall



 Falls are one of the leading causes of accidental injury and death among Americans, particularly 
with children, seniors and the elderly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
(CDC), each year 1 in every 3 adults ages 65 and older falls and 2 million are treated in emergency 
departments for fall-related injuries. Four basic fall prevention tips are recommended by the CDC 
and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is as follows: 1) Get regular exercise: lack 
of exercise can lead to weak legs and increase the chances of falling. Walking and exercise programs 
(e.g. Tai Chi) can increase your strength and improve your balance. 2) Ask your physician and 
pharmacist to review all your medications: Some medications or combinations of medicines can 
have risky side effects like dizziness or drowsiness that make falling more likely.3) Have your vision 
checked:Make sure you are seeing clearly by having your eyes examined annually; verify that your 
glasses and/or contact lenses have the correct prescription strength. 4) Make your home safer by 
eliminating potential fall hazards: About 50 percent of all falls happen at home. Conduct a home 
safety check with a trusted friend or relative to identify potential hazards that need to be addressed, 
like poor lighting, clutter and electrical cords in walking paths and stairways, worn or loose carpet, 
etc. Some home improvements or repairs may be necessary to reduce fall risks depending on one’s 
particular situation, like installation of grab bars inside and next to tub or shower and next to toilet, 
etc. Check the website of the CDC as well as AARP at 


HELPFUL HINT: Use a magnet to find nails and studs in your walls.



 On a business trip to New Orleans, my son-in-law bought a set of expensive kitchen knives for 
his wife. His coworker was surprised. “You shouldn’t buy such an expensive gift for your wife on a 
business trip,” he said. “She’ll think you’ve been up to something.” “If I’d been up to something,” Mike 
replied, “I wouldn’t be bringing knives.”

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … June Birthdays

Nellie Haynes, Dorothy McKay, George Enyedi, Theresa Daley, Ann Dugerian, Marilyn 
McKernan, Pat Fujiwara, John Shier, Beth Smith-Kellock, Mary Carney, Ann Disbrow, Joan 
Ellison, Ruth Kirby, Irene Kudirka, Anne Montgomery, Trini Ornelas, Martha Spriggs, Pat 
Starkey, Kathleen Coyne, Suzanne Decker, Halcyon Koerber, Jacque Persing and Jeanne Peterson and 
Grace Sanders.

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not 


Quote of the Week: “Let freedom never perish in your hands.” ~ Joseph Addison


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart Park House 

(Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre


 YMCA San Gabriel Valley Intervale Senior Café: Monday-Friday at 12:00 Noon 

(Participants are urged to arrive no later than 11:45 A.M.) 

All seniors 60 and up can take part in the lunch program. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 for 
those 60 and over and $3.75 for non-senior guests. Daily

 reservations are necessary as space is limited. 

 Please call 24 hours in advance...626.355.0256

Free Balance Class: Every 3rd Monday for 11:00 am to 11:45 am with Shannon Vandevelde. A 
variety of balance exercises are practiced; all ability levels are encouraged and welcomed. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: On the 2nd Tuesday of the month 11:00 am-12:00 pm: A nurse from 
Methodist Hospital, Arcadia volunteers to do the readings. No appointment necessary.


Bingo: Every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm Cards are only .25c each! 

Free Chair Yoga: Every Wednesday morning from 110:30 am to 11:15 am. Join Paul Hagen for this 
free class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. No reservation is necessary!

Free Legal Consultation: Pasadena attorney Geoffrey Chin volunteers on the 2nd Wednesday of 
the month. He focuses on estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, conservatorships and business law. 
*Appointments are a must! Please call: 626.355.7394 to make yours* Conflicting court schedules 
can occasionally cause cancellations.

Lunch and Learn: Wednesday, June 26th, 12:15 to 1:00 pm

Come listen to the great services offered by Humana, a widely known company throughout 
our community and the country. Their motto entails: “Healthy People, Healthy Planet, Healthy 
Performance.” They promote seniors and their well-being.

Birthday Celebrations: The 2nd Thursday of the month the Senior Center celebrates the birthdays of 
our patrons at 12:30 pm. Please join us for free cake and ice cream and “celebration.” (The cakes are 
provided due to a generous donation from the Sierra Madre Civic Club.)

Game Day: Every Thursday at 1:00pm. Poker is usually the game of choice, or should I say chance? 
Board games and other card games are also available. Outside, on the patio, a beautiful, one-of-a-kind 
chess table is anxious for players.

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 1:00 pm -1:45 pm Conducted by long-time 
volunteer, Lisa Brandley. The class utilizes light weights for low-impact resistance training. Weights 
are provided by the Sierra Madre Senior Center. It’s a great way to stay in shape and to

 socialize with your peers. 

Senior Citizens Club: Every Saturday at the Hart Park House (Senior Center). Brown bag lunch at 
11:30am; Club meeting at Noon; Bingo 12:30- 3:30 pm. Only .25c per card… For more information 
call Pat Birdsall at 626.355.7290.


Save the Dates!

Friday, July 12, 2013- Pageant of the Masters (evening excursion)

Friday, August 16, 2013- USS Iowa (San Pedro)

Registration can be done in person at the Hart Park House Senior Center & Community Recreation 
Center or online at Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. Make 
checks payable to “City of Sierra Madre.” Payment must be made at the time of registration.


Senior Movie Program: FREE movies are chosen by the seniors themselves and shown on the 
1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., Sierra Madre. ~ Start time is 1:00pm ~

 July 3rd: Miss Potter (2006)

 The story of Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children’s book, “The Tale of 
Peter Rabbit,” and her struggle for love, happiness and success.

 Rated PG Start Time: 1:00 pm (run time is 92 minutes)


 Last week I was so excited to get together 
with my friend and former carpool buddy, 
Annett (not her real name). Not only is she 
a great friend, but she’s an interesting person. Annett’s into 
Tai Chi, cooking, swimming, art, and gardening. For Annett, 
gardening isn’t just watering petunias or deadheading roses. 
She’s out there lugging around big rocks in her bare feet. Her 
suggestion to go hiking was a nice alternative to the typical 
lunch or coffee most friends do when they get together. 

 Hiking along the paths in the Monrovia Canyon park, Annett 
started talking about the new health recipes she’s tried. There 
was one that called for a pound of garlic, a pound of ginger, and 
other things I don’t recall. Completed, it has the consistency 
of applesauce. You take a spoonful or two, taste buds allowing, 
every day to prevent disease. Then she took a short class in 
making fruit enzyme. Fruit what? My last encounter with 
enzymes was in biology at PCC.

 Annett explained that to make fruit enzyme, you get a starter 
(like for sourdough bread), different fruits by the pound, put it 
all in a large sealed container, and let it age (ferment) at room 
temperature for about a month. Then you take it in a small glass 
every night to help you sleep better. 

 When we finished our hike we returned to her house 
and cooled off in her kitchen. “Have some of this,” she said 
unscrewing the top off a jar she took from her fridge. “This is 
the one I told you about.” She had told me about many different 
recipes, so I wasn’t sure which one this was. “Is this a good 
amount for you?” Annett held out a heaping spoonful. “Sure,” I 
said, taking it all at once.

 Wow! Equally strong, the garlic and ginger battled each other for flavor dominance. I might not 
make it myself, but I’ll try anything once, and I felt as if that spoonful was enough prevention to last 
me a while.

 “And here’s my fruit enzyme,” she said, pointing under the dining table. “You can see it bubbling!”

 I squatted near the massive “enzyme” crock. Layers of plastic wrap covered the opening, fastened 
tight with rubber bands. The liquid was deep blood red, with what looked like onions and potatoes 
bobbing around. But Annett assured me it was all fruit. At the top, trails of little bubbles rose to the 
surface. “Yup,” I agreed, “It’s sure bubbling!”

 “Here,” she said, opening her fridge again and bringing out a glass bottle similar to the ones used 
for taco and oyster sauce. “My friend made this one a few months ago.” She listed the fruits her friend 
used and mentioned that she had added honey. Annett got a tumbler and started pouring me a hefty 
portion. I waved for her to stop, so she poured some of it into another glass for herself and held hers 
up to me. “Cheers!”

 I must admit it was pretty good, and that’s not just because it helped get rid of the garlic-ginger 
taste in my mouth. “What do you think?” she asked, “Too sweet, huh?”

 “No, it’s good,” I said, taking another sip. It had bits of citrus pulp floating around, and reminded 
me of a dessert wine, like a late harvest chardonnay. “My mom would like it.” 

 I recalled a raspberry “wine” my mom really liked on one of the few times she’s gone wine tasting 
with us. People talk about some wines as having “legs” that run down the sides of the glass. Mom’s 
favorite didn’t run down the sides, it coated them! The wine shop owner explained that it was actually 
brandy with a lot of raspberry and other sweeteners added in. We asked what vineyard produced 
it. He laughed, and told us there’s no vineyard. A guy in Irwindale makes it using a European style 
copper pot still. So, it’s essentially raspberry moonshine!

 “Mine will be ready July third,” Annett said. “Well, we’ll have to try it then!” I said. “We could 
make labels with your name and picture on it.” I doubt we’ll go that far, but I do look forward to trying 
Annett’s flagship vintage enzyme!


 The Sierra Madre Farmer’s Market hours have changed to 3:00pm through 8:00pm 
every Wednesday in fall and winter. Vendors include Dry Dock which has fresh 
and wild caught fish, Rustic Loaf with artisan breads, Cutie Pie with fresh pies and 
much more!

 For those interested in being a vendor contact Melissa Farwell with Raw 

Inspirations at 818-591-8161 ext. 806.