Updates from the Orcas Senior Center

The following was submitted by the Orcas Senior Center.

Rx Assistance Program

The Orcas Senior Center nonprofit is pleased to announce the start of a new program designed to help seniors who qualify obtain prescription medicines at reduced or no cost.

The Rx Assist Program provides help finding, completing and submitting online applications to companies like GoodRX that provide medications at reduced costs. Although OSC assists, it does not retain personal or medical information. Clients must apply (in paper or online) themselves. Most participating pharmacies are off-island, but several will ship some medications by mail.

Melissa Lowry piloted the program during the summer of 2017. This year Melissa updated the program in preparation for its fall debut, serving 30 clients and saving them $24,605 in 2018. New staff member John Slater runs the program.

To find out more about the OSC’s Rx Assistance Program or to make an appointment, call Slater at 360-888-0510 or email Slater at orcasrxassist@gmail.com Sessions are private and confidential. The program offers regular office hours on Tuesdays in the Hearts and Hands Office, Room 29, at the Orcas Senior Center.

Island entrepreneur

As part of a series of small after lunch trips to local businesses, the seniors visited the Girl Meets Dirt enterprise on Lover’s Lane. I wish I could have photographed the smell of pepper and fruit simmering in the copper kettles to share it with you here. Imagine tangy, spicy and sweet.

We learned from the owner Audra Query Lawlor that she grew the business from the soil on the island. Through hard work and grit, the product is now placed in many markets including QFC and PCC in Seattle. The business has a colonial approach to jam making; small batches, carefully selected fruits and lots of attention to detail. An early 19th century graphic inspires the logo, and the brick and mortar store, which is doubling in size, has an artisan vintage feel.

Girl Meets Dirt does a vibrant online business. The business began as a cook’s blog, and as the website states it has been “a journey in steps, stems, pear seeds, plum pits, and apple flesh.” We encourage you to buy at the store or online and share the fruits of our home with those you love. Lawlor wants to remind you that she offers a 20 percent locals discount for shopping in person at the store.

Art with Carla

Welcome the autumn through laughter and fun with our native Islander artist Carla Stanley. She is a mainstay at the local Farmer’s Market with her doodle style of art that playfully captures the spirit of our island home.

Stanley will be introducing her art class at the Senior Center Coffee Time on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and will instruct a class starting on Friday, Nov. 16 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The class will be about process not product, with an emphasis on doodling, colorist montage and creative expression. First class is free!

‘Toxic Plankton in the Salish Sea’

Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. in the Lundeen Room

Lynnette Wood, PhD., will present on the SoundToxins program. By monitoring marine plankton, early warning of potentially harmful blooms can be identified before they begin to affect shellfish or, in some cases, even before they show up in shellfish flesh. The detection program operates throughout the Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca, but there are currently only two active sampling sites in all of San Juan County. They are both on Orcas Island. Following the presentation is a hands-on demonstration where you can view live plankton through a microscope.

Holiday card crafting with artists on Mondays

Monday, Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room

Join us for card crafting with Marylou Cobb. She has a wide assortment of stamps and scissors to create unique, one-of-a-kind cards for you to share with your family and friends. Bring your creative side and your friendly conversation to grace our space with holiday delight. All faiths welcome.

Next, Mondays, Nov. 19 and 27 — Crafting with Sue Lamb — Mono Print Cards at 1:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room. Join us for card crafting with Lamb. Make one-of-a-kind cards using watercolor and metallic paints to create your unique design.

Advanced Directives Workshop

Wednesday, Nov. 14

Join us for a hands-on tutorial for step-by-step instructions in filling out an Advanced Directive/Living Will. The workshop is led by RN Libby Garcia who has spent most of her career in emergencies where she has glimpsed the near-to-last moments of many lives.

After 16 years in those trenches, she worked as a hospice nurse. Bearing witness for the process of dying in these diverse settings brought her usually introverted self to speak out about planning for the end of life. Garcia volunteers to assist people with tough concepts and conversations, translating medical jargon and illuminating what happens in emergencies. She brings compassion and practicality to end of life discussions, helping people navigate these tricky waters using their values as the compass.

For fun, Garcia plays a banjo-uke, fixes old boats, and makes some good hard ciders. Some may remember her grandmother Helen Buchan at Obstruction Pass, also an RN. We welcome Garcia to the senior center for this important workshop and hope that you and your loved ones take advantage of this opportunity, contact the front desk to sign up.