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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Friday to Tuesday, Example number two

Hi All-

Well Friday turned to Monday and Monday went to Tuesday just as quickly.  I hope some of you are waiting for example number two!

Please, especially those of you in India who are following this blog, press "follower" to the lower right.  Don't be shy!

Okay, here it is, example number two of our caring:

For years we have worked with a few different cooks.  We have a lot of residents who are excellent cooks themselves.  When they take a break from that (we have full kitchens in our apartments) they expect a meal prepared well.

After a while, I summed up our needs to the people we chose to have cook for us:  I told them, it matters to me that the residents preferences matter to you.

Well, our cook asked me to print something for another cook filling in for her.  Without namimg anyone, let me share a few remarks she made.  They show how she DOES know the residents AND care!  I was tickled!  No wonder there are no complaints coming to the office about the meals!

First:  "There will be anywhere from _ to _ people"  (she is prepared for anyone deciding last minute-nice!)

"best to leave Mr. and Mrs. _______in the fridge with a note if they do not come to the dining room.

"_______ and _______ usually call later in the afternoon to see if there's room...I bought enough for them too..."

"Mr. and Mrs.______ friend, _____ usually joins them for dinner but has missed the last few, so he's a maybe/maybe not.  Again, plenty to go around."

"Knock on _____ door around 5:00 with a t-minus 30 minutes 'til dinner advisory"

"_________side of horseradish, _________side of white vinegar" get the idea.

This really made me SMILE!  She really cares for the resident needs :D

Thanks for listening :D

Friday, September 16, 2011

A big-hearted helper

Hi Folks :)  It's Friday :)

Today I am reflecting on something I'm sure I've said before, but it is amazing how we help each other here. 

The staff is in sync, and the service is astounding.

A regular apartment around the corner, without services and utilities included, costs the same amount as we charge!  That too, is truly amazing!

So, while our van drives all around town dropping people to their appointments, I'll give you two examples:

Yesterday I said to our Maintenance person, "pssst., come over here a minute".  I pointed out a resident working outside along the fence, picking up sticks and twigs. He and I discussed that this resident does a lot of little things for people around here and it adds up to a big- hearted helper around the grounds.  Our Maintenance person suggested I offer him a free dinner in the dining room, which I did.  Our Live-In Attendant said, "Nice of the cook to give this resident a dinner last night, he went into the dining room with the other residents and enjoyed himself".  I thought to myself, the perfect example of why Canterbury "works".  We are smaller and the staff looks out for each and every person.

Example number two (for today)...awwww....sorry...You'll have to wait for number two.  It's about our cook :)

Saying bye to a staff member's her birthday tomorrow!

See you soon,

Monday, September 12, 2011

After September 11th

Hi Everyone-

It is September 12th.

Canterbury residents were glad to have each other to watch the memorials with yesterday.  Having people around to turn to and to be with is a great benefit for anyone, many of the residents who previously were isolated in their homes really appreciate having people around (more than they thought they would).  We noticed too, the many stories of kindnesses shown during the tragedies of September 11th, 2001.  One act of kindness goes a long way.  I went to a Habitat for Humanity site in Hartford on Saturday morning.  The kindness of all those volunteers hammering away, and all the people who donated food for the event was amazing.

Yesterday, having people to watch the memorial with made a big difference.  Mr. Mark Twain said, "To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world".  If you are having an emergency, or are feeling a little down, you can easily find someone to help or just to talk to here at Canterbury.  No one is excluded in a community.

Today we are thinking about kindness.  If you have a good heart, a good life will follow, I think.

Winston Churchill said it best; "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give"

There are so many talented people here, and they know how to give back.  A former ER nurse was in the office this morning, wanting to be sure our residents are prepared for emergencies and wondering when the next resident's meeting is scheduled so she could do just that; remind everyone they need flashlights and the like.

Three of us met in the office this morning about our gardens.  A resident is getting her watering can as I am writing, to water the mums she purchased and donated from a sale at her church Saturday.  She is anxious to get them planted in the ground (we are re-doing all the front landscaping).

From Emerson: "One of the most beautiful compensations in life is that no man can help another without helping himself".

"Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness" said Seneca, and our residents seem to instinctively know this.  They are interested in each other!  They want to know each other's stories and they support each other in many ways.

I'm glad I stopped while writing this.  In my head I thought without even realizing;  "I want to get this blog finished", but a resident wanted to tell me a story about the Griswold Inn in Essex (she was suggesting we go there for a van trip).  I am here writing about kindness and being a friend, so I stopped writing and listened. 

What I heard was a story reiterating that life can be short, so it is important to take the time to listen and be there for each other.
While she was at the Griswold Inn for a sing-a-long with her sister many years ago, she said a man there had the most beautiful voice they'd ever heard.  He came over and asked her and her sister to sing.  Turns out he was the VP of a big company in the area.  Singing with him, she described; "you couldn't miss".  The people who had come in from the boats thought they were professionals!

A week later her sister called and said "don't look at the paper".  That very man had perished in an auto accident.

Life can be short, or it can be long.  We do not know.  So let us make the most of each day we are given by being kind to each other!

Good seeing you again :)  Glad we have each other!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy September First!

Hi Everyone!

It has been busy here at The Canterbury!  We've had seven people move in in the last month and a half.  We are almost out of room!  With new residents come new welcome packets, updates to the birthday list, names on the mailbox and a myriad of other details to attend to.  I have had fun getting to know everyone.  We are LUCKY to have such fine people living here!

I hesitate to say it already, but it will be nice for these folks not to have to worry about snow!  We tend to get busy this time of year.  Now with hurricanes it sure is nice to be together and safe.

I passed a gal with a double stroller on the way in and invited her to come visit sometime.  I told her "I'm the director here, and my mom used to bring me to visit older people.  It was a nice moment when she gave a knowing smile.  She said she knows someone who just  moved in to The Holiday next door. 

Many moms will miss their kids as they head back to school.  Our Property Manager has two beautiful girls, and his wife said exactly that.  Their girls are absolutely lovely to be around.  They are in our Facebook photo album helping with the animals their mom and dad brought from their farm to the Canterbury front lawn!  There are some wonderful visiting grandchildren and pets that truly add life to our years. Here's Maggie's latest victim, Saul:

I'd just told her Saul was her "Grampy"

Hear no evil, see no evil, and bark no evil says "Grampy"

We had visitors over from the Holiday for a Sing-A-Long yesterday afternoon.  Our resident and board member invited her sister to play the piano and one lady from next door absolutely outdid herself singing the gospel hymns.  The moment was unforgettable according to the attendees; "There was love in the room" said one.

Arthur Rubenstein said, "If you love life, life will love you back".  That is what I think of when I think of us here at The Canterbury.  One of our Facebook friends recently posted that quote.  Please do friend us on Facebook, and we'd love to see you as a follower of this blog.  It's nice to see we have followers from as far away as Germany, Saudi Arabia, and more!

Next week we are headed out to the Pequot museum.  Right now, some residents are going through their storage areas, and one resident is teasing, "hurry up the bus is going" to a fellow resident.  Our van is headed to Shop-Rite.  I asked our driver just now, "anything to say for our blog" and he replied "full van today".

I think the gardening ladies should be taken out to dinner soon.  They have outdone themselves!  We have several residents running activities too; Bible study, Crafts, Wii, daily Exercise class, Karaoke, antiques appraisal and more.  What fun, smart and talented people who live here. 

I'm all over the place this morning...I guess a blog should be shorter and more frequent, then I wouldn't feel like I had to cram everything in at once.

I wanted to thank Susan Hulliet from the Town of West Hartford, who called us on Friday to give a telephone number for the Town of West Hartford Emergency Operations center set up for the storm.  That was REALLY NICE.  Our staff had their own extra people in so we didn't have to use that number, but it was nice to have just in case we had a worry about someone.  Thank you!  They refer people to us also, and I appreciate it.  It feels like an honor.

Okay!  Enough.  I am so sentimental.

"It is my nature...when in trouble sing, and it helps"...what a new resident just said when I told her it was so good to have her around here.  I'll end with that :)

Until we meet again,