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February 2015
Cottonwood Villa
Assisted Living for a Great Life!
450 S Main St ~ Ainsworth, NE 69210
402-387-1000 ~ 402-387-1015 ~
Canned Food Month
Time Management Month
African American
History Month
Groundhog Day
February 2
Thank a Mailman Day
February 4
Valentine’s Day
February 14
Pancake Week
February 15–22
Mardi Gras
February 17
Chinese New Year
February 19
Single-Tasking Day
February 24
International Sword
Swallowers Day
February 28
Carnival Around the World
The Lenten season arrives on Ash Wednesday,
February 18. It is traditional to participate in a
symbolic and ritual fast during the 40 days of Lent,
akin to the 40-day fast Jesus made in the desert when
he endured temptations by the Devil.
The days leading up to this fast, however, have turned
into a party known around the world as Carnival.
Perhaps the most well-known day of this festival is
Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” which falls on February
17. New Orleans hosts one of the largest Mardi Gras
celebrations, complete with parades, masquerade
balls, beads, music, and plenty of overindulgence.
After all, if sins are washed away during the season of
Lent, what’s the harm in committing a few more on the
Tuesday before Ash Wednesday?
Carnival is Brazil’s most popular holiday, and Rio de
Janiero hosts the largest Carnival in the world. Two
million spectators crammed into stadium-style seats
watch a lavish parade with massive floats and wildly
costumed dancers swaying to the samba beats.
Not to be outdone, the Caribbean island nation of
Trinidad begins its Carnival at 4 a.m. on the Monday
morning before Ash Wednesday. Called J’Ouvert,
French for “day open,” the day begins with revelers
taking to the streets under cover of darkness, covered
in chocolate, mud, oil, and paint, and acting the role of
mischievous devils, demons, and monsters.
Binche, Belgium, is similarly famous for the clown-like
Gilles performers, who wear costumes, wax masks,
and wooden clogs as they beat away evil spirits with
sticks. However, Italy is the birthplace of all Carnival
celebrations. The day is firmly rooted in the ancient
Roman festival of Saturnalia.
February 2015
Good to the Last Drop
Judges in Berkeley Springs,
West Virginia, treat water like
wine on February 21. Local
connoisseurs will examine
waters from around the world
and declare the world’s best
water based on taste, aroma,
appearance, mouth feel, and
aftertaste. Not all water is made
equal, so water is divided into
categories: municipal (tap),
bottled, purified, and carbonated. A separate
category for package design is voted on as a
People’s Choice award.
Berkeley Springs has always attracted those
interested in water. George Washington owned
land in Berkeley Springs and visited often,
perhaps lured there by the warm mineral springs
believed to have medicinal qualities. Visitors can
still marvel at his bathtub, a stone-lined basin
dug into the earth that draws water directly from
the mineral springs.
Saturday night brings high anxiety at the Country
Inn of Berkeley Springs, where judges sip and
sample before a crowd of spectators and water
purveyors. Last year drew stiff competition in all
water categories. More than 100 different waters
sourced from 14 countries representing all six
inhabited continents entered the competition.
The best tap water in the world was awarded to
Clearbrook, British Columbia, already a two-time
gold medal winner in the category. Castle Rock
Water of Dunsmuir, California, narrowly edged
out bottlers from Colorado and Greece as the
world’s best bottled water. The title for sparkling
water went to Canadian Gold Sparkling Mineral
Water of Marchand, Manitoba, with runners-up
coming from New Zealand and Bosnia. It was
only fitting that the best purified water hailed
from Berkeley Springs, purified by Mountain
Drop out of Linthicum, Maryland. Was it
hometown favoritism? Unlikely. The famed
waters of Berkeley Springs have attracted
international attention for more than 250 years.
Resident Council Minutes
The Cottonwood Villa Resident Council met on
Tuesday, January 20th, at 10:30 AM. Heidi
O’Dea facilitated the meeting. Nine residents
were present. Feedback was received on the
following departments.
Housekeeping- Good, no issues.
Maintenance- Good, no issues.
Administrations- Good, no issues.
Medication Aides- Good, no issues.
Bath Aides- Good, the new bath aide, Jessica,
is doing a good job.
Activities- Good, no issues. It was a long two
weeks without Nancy and everyone is glad she
is back.
Kitchen- Good, overall. It has been a change
for everyone involved with the new menu
options. Everyone likes that they are now able
to have a choice for their meal.
The new changes around Cottonwood were
discussed and everyone thought the new paint
was looking nice and the new furniture
arrangement is well liked.
Cottonwood Villa will be celebrating its 15th
Anniversary on February 8th with an open
house from 2-4 PM.
There were no further comments.
Meeting adjourned.
Too Many Valentines
While February 14 is widely
celebrated as Valentine’s Day,
there is some confusion as to
which Saint Valentine this day
refers to. According to the
Roman Catholic Church, 14
different saints are named
Valentine. Some believe
Valentine honors the Bishop of Terni, in central
Italy, who was condemned by the Roman
Emperor Claudius. Others believe Valentine
was a Roman priest who secretly married
Christian couples until he was discovered by
the Roman authorities and sentenced to death.
Perhaps the real identity of St. Valentine is
unnecessary since what is truly important is his
enduring legacy of love.
February 2015
Notes from Nancy
Cookie Power
We have had such
fun this first month
of 2015! If you
happened into our
Activity Room you
saw 15 pictures of
some real cute little
ones! We had a
challenge to see if we could identify the baby
pictures of residents and staff. It was toughand we had to wait the entire month for the “Big
Reveal”. Looking at our pictues brought back
so many memories of our childhood- lots of
laughter and stories to share!
It’s the weekend you’ve been waiting for all
year: February 27–28 is Girl Scout Cookie
Weekend! The “Super Six” flavors are all
coming back: Thin Mints, Samoas, Trefoils,
Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, and the 100th
anniversary cookie, Savanna Smiles. Two
additional flavors are being offered in 2015:
Rah-Rah Raisin, which is an oatmeal raisin
cookie with yogurt chunks, and a gluten-free
option called Toffee-tastic, a buttery cookie
packed with toffee bits.
We also celebrated Activity Professionals Month
with the theme of hats- we each wear many!!
There were many hats on display in the lobby.
Each contestant had a great time tossing 5
baseball caps into the hula hoop 14 feet away.
After three rounds
Clayton Bejot won first
with a score of 320.
Lorene Kernan, Bernice
Kuchera and Ruth Smith
all tied for second with a
score of 250 and Nancy
Gable was third with a
score of 230. We enjoyed some coffee while
discussing “Hatisms”- sayings & phrases such
as “Eat your hat.” We learned a bit of history
surrounding each saying.
A new game “Dice & Strikes” was played. It
was scored like bowling but dice were rolled to
score. Roll “snake eyes” and it was a “gutter
ball” or roll two sixes and it’s a strike. Winning
the highest score and first place went to Carol
Chase with 182,
second to Eunice
Wulf who rolled 155
and Nancy Gable in
third with a score of
As you can see- we have been busy!!
This year, the price of Girl Scout Cookies will
increase by one dollar to five dollars a box.
Amazingly, the cost of cookies has not
increased for 11 years. And every extra dollar
will benefit a program that is dedicated to
building our next generation of young female
leaders. Furthermore, the Girl Scout Cookie
program teaches Girl Scouts five invaluable life
skills: goal-setting, decision-making, money
management, people skills, and business
ethics. Not to mention, scouts build courage,
confidence, and character. It’s a wonderful
feeling knowing that you can help achieve all
this through eating delicious cookies.
Winter Wonderland by Rail
Perhaps one of the
greatest sightseeing
adventures in the world is a
four-hour train ride on the
Bernina Express from
Switzerland to Italy through
the Alps. There may be no
better time to travel the route than in February,
when the land is glistening white with snow.
What makes the journey so special? The
railway, which opened in 1904, crosses 196
bridges, passes through 55 tunnels, and climbs
more than 7,000 feet. This marvel of
engineering is designed to open isolated
mountain villages to the rest of the world. For
these regions, the rail line has been granted
status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
February 2015
Beware the Calendar
As if triskaidekaphobia, the
fear of the number 13, were
not enough, this February will
also strike fear into the hearts
of those suffering from
paraskevidekatriaphobia, or
the fear of Friday the 13th.
Why is the number 13 considered unlucky?
Some Western Christian traditions believe that
the number stems from Judas, who betrayed
Jesus and was the thirteenth person to sit down
to the Last Supper. Fear of 13 may also have
originated with the Vikings, for whom Loki was
the thirteenth god in their pantheon. Loki often
caused mischief for all the other gods and was
even believed to have instigated the murder of
Baldur, the god of light and purity. When Loki
arrived at Valhalla as an uninvited thirteenth
guest to a banquet, he goaded another god into
murdering Baldur. Coincidentally, hosting 13
guests for dinner is also considered unlucky by
Hindus and Italians.
When did people begin to consider Friday as
unlucky? Again, Christian tradition tells that
Friday was the day that Adam and Eve were
banished from the Garden of Eden.
Furthermore, Jesus was crucified on a Friday, a
day since called, ironically, Good Friday. Not to
be outdone, the Norse again offer their own
origin story of unlucky Friday. The word Friday
comes from the name of the Norse goddess
Freya, who powerfully ruled over beauty, love,
fertility, gold, war, and death. Out of fear of
Freya, Friday was considered extremely
unlucky, especially for weddings.
It was not until the 19th century that the notion
of an unlucky Friday the 13th became
widespread. Of course, not all cultures fear
Friday or the number 13. In Spain, for example,
Tuesday the 13th is unlucky. Fear of the number
4 is widespread in East Asia.
If you miss Friday the 13th this month, not to
worry—there is another one in March.
February Birthdays
If you were born between February 1–18, you
are Aquarius, the Water Bearer. Witty, clever,
and honest, Water Bearers desire
independence above all and are not afraid to
deviate from the crowd to pursue their own
interests. Those born between February 19–28
are Pisces, the Fish. Selfless, spiritual, and
intuitive, Pisces swim on an inner journey.
They are emotional, compassionate people
who are always willing to help others.
June Kelly- 2/10
Bev Scheer- 2/12
Irene Schelm- 2/17
Clayton Bejot- 2/22
Ann Fiala- 2/6
I Cannot Tell a Lie
On February 23, 1940, Walt Disney released
Pinocchio. In honor of the little wooden boy
who could not tell a lie without his nose
growing, enjoy the quiz below. Can you
determine whether the statements are true or
Sugar makes children hyperactive.
Diamonds form in coal.
Bulls hate the color red.
You can see the Great Wall
of China from outer space.
5. Napoleon was very short.
ANSWERS: 1. False: Medical tests show no difference
between children given sugar-full and sugar-free diets.
2. False: Diamonds do form deep underground under
extreme pressure and intense heat. 3. False: Bulls can
see red, but they charge because they feel threatened
by the matador. 4. False: Many astronauts have
debunked this myth, though other man-made structures
can be seen from space. 5. False: Napoleon was
actually five feet, seven inches tall, which was
considered tall for his time.