St. Elmo News-Dec. 9, 2010

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Wednesday, Dec. 8
• Century Culture Club, 12:30 p.m., Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• The Avena Township Park Board will meet in the St. Elmo Community Park and probably will put up the Christmas decorations in the park and the Centennial Building.
Thursday, Dec. 9
• The Lunch Bunch will meet at noon at Mary Ann’s Restaurant. They will have a $10 gift exchange and the gift should be for either a man or woman.
• The St. Elmo Library District Board will meet at 7 p.m. at the St. Elmo Public Library.
• Effingham Chapter #110 Order of the Eastern Star will meet at 7:30 p.m. in the Effingham Masonic Temple.
Saturday, Dec. 11
• Cub Scout Pack #444 St. Elmo Community Pinewood Derby Race, 1 p.m., St. Elmo Grade School gym. Everyone is invited to take the derby car from their Scouting days and display it.
• Santa Claus will be in the St. Elmo Community Park Centennial Building from 5-7 p.m. (It originally was set for 2-4 p.m.,but Santa couldn’t make it then). Hot chocolate, coffee and cookies will be served. People wanting to donate cookies or brownies should have them at the Centennial Building by 4 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 13
• This is the day the Caring and Sharing donations of non-disposable food (canned goods, boxed items, etc.) and other items (toys, gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, etc.) will be accepted for the Caring and Sharing boxes that will be packed this week.
• The American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held from 1-6 p.m. in St. Mary’s Catholic Church parish hall. Loved ones often tell us the best holiday gifts are those that come from the heart. Yet, we spend hours struggling to find the perfect gift. What if, for just one day, you forget the sales and choose to save a life instead?
Tuesday, Dec. 14
• Post-Polio Survivors and Friends of East Central Illinois will meet at 11 a.m. at Ryan’s Family Steak House in Effingham.
• The Friendship Quilt Club, 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
• The Fayette County Board, 7 p.m., Fayette County Courthouse, Vandalia.
• American Legion Post #420, 7:30 p.m., American Legion Home.
Thursday, Dec. 16
• Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education will go to the Vandalia Ponderosa at 11:30 a.m.
• The St. Elmo Unit of Home and Community Education will go to the Effingham Raintree Restaurant at 11:30  a.m. To share rides, they are to meet at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church parking lot.
• Exxon/Mobil Annuitants, noon, Vandalia Ponderosa.
Caring and Sharing
The St. Elmo Lions Club sponsored Caring and Sharing donations is underway and they will be accepted through next Monday. The Avena Township Hall is the collection and distribution point.
Donations accepted are the following:  Non-perishable food items (in cans, boxes, bags, etc); new and like-new toys, puzzles, games; mittens, hats, gloves, scarves, socks; teen items; Christmas decorations; disposable dinnerware.
Monetary contributions to purchase perishable foods and special gifts can be made at the Caring and Sharing fund at Fayette County Bank.
Arrangements for pickup and delivery to the collection site can be made by calling any St. Elmo Lions Club member or 829-9729.
Caring and Sharing will provide deserving families with a Christmas dinner complete with all the trimmings plus gifts for the children.
Santa’s Secret Elves Tree
At the St. Elmo City Hall, a name (or names) can be taken from the Santa’s Secret Elves Tree. Each name will have information needed to buy a Christmas present for the person. This is one way to make Christmas a little brighter for those in need.
St. Elmo Lions Club
Applications for the St. Elmo Lions Club sponsored Caring and Sharing have been received and are being screened. The box distribution date at the Avena Township Hall is Saturday, Dec.18, and applicants will be notified of pick up time by mail prior to Dec. 18.
The Lions Club Christmas Dinner and Scholarship Awards will be on Monday, December 20 at 6 p.m. at Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
These items were discussed at the Lions Club meeting held the evening of Nov. 22 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant. President Dave Maxey opened the meeting with all giving the pledge of allegiance and Pee Wee Denton gave the meal blessing.
Others present were Don Crawford, John Crawford, Lewis Crawford, Roger Fulk, Mark Lash, Richard Lowe, LeMar Marchman, Charles Moore, Dee Newberry, Lloyd Stanley, Bob Wells and Randy Wolf.
Masonic Lodge
At the meeting of the St. Elmo Masonic Lodge held the evening of Nov. 23 in the Masonic Temple, the following donations were given:  $100 to the Santa’s Secret Elves, $100 to the food pantry, $100 to the St. Elmo PTO, $50 to the Scout Pack #444, $50 to the Scout Pack #118 and $50 to DARE.
Discussed was a work day, the Grand Lodge, and a past master and widow supper that will be held in the future.
Before the meeting, chili and hot dogs were served by Roger Sperry and Chuck Bosomworth, then degree work was practiced.
County HCE Board
The Fayette County Board of Home and Community Education met the morning of Nov. 22 at the Vandalia Extension Office.
The county HCE had three new members join recently – Nancy Shipman joined the Sefton Unit in November, and Debby Segrist and Jean Frieders joined the Vandalia Day Unit in October, but it was announced that Frieders died on Nov. 21.
The Sefton Unit took to the meeting 77 little dresses made for the African children. Community Outreach Anita Smith took them to mail.
First Vice President Phyllis Pryor gave out patterns to show how to make a cloth Christmas tree ornament.
The county HCE Get-Acquainted Day will be held on Thursday, April 14, at the Brownstown Golden Years building, and Public Relations Panzi Blackwell was asked to check on a speaker for the event.
Family Issues chairwoman Irene Reed reported on a list of items needed to send to Afghanistan for those who serve our country.
Also, the 138 signed Christmas cards will be sent by her to Friends of Our Troops at Fayetteville, NC.
International Chairman chairwoman Shirley Klitzing reported that there was a good response to the HCE International Night held in October.
President Flo Allen gave a Thanksgiving reading. Those present sang “Happy Birthday” to Flo, whose birthdate is Nov. 24.
The county HCE Board will go to the Vandalia Ponderosa at 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 20, for the annual Christmas party. They will not have a gift exchange, but those attending can take $5 for a donation to the Pregnancy Center.
Those present at the meeting were Evelyn Probst of the Bingham/Ramsey Unit, Karen Denning of the St. Elmo Unit, Dorothy Harpster of the St. Peter Unit, Flo Allen, Panzi Blackwell, Shirley Klitzing and Phyllis Pryor of the Sefton Unit, Anita Smith of the Vandalia Day Unit, Karen Hyde and Joyce Moore of the Wheatland Unit, and Irene Reed and Mary Smith of the Wright’s Corner Unit.
Eating lunch at Robbi’s Restaurant in Vandalia were Flo Allen, Karen Denning, Dorothy Harpster, Karen Hyde, Shirley Klitzing, Evelyn Probst, Phyllis Pryor and Mary Smith.
Wright’s Corner HCE
Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education met at 11 a.m. on Dec. 1 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant for the Christmas luncheon. Those attending were Ina Abendroth, Carol Austin, Janice Garrison, Jo Nell Hill, Kate Jennings, Rosemary Owen, Irene Reed, Shirley Smith, Mary Smith, Una Tish, Helen Wright and Leona Wright. They took items for the Caring and Sharing baskets.
After the meal, they played a couple of games, and Garrison read a funny story. They also put candy and fruit in treat bags for the Friendship Manor Nursing Home, and the bags were taken to the home that evening.
Women’s Civic Club
Sixteen members of the St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club met the evening of Dec. 2 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant for the club Christmas party.
The social committee was Libby Kessel, Ann Rowland, Lucille Koeberlein and Elizabeth Stoner.
Each place setting was decorated with a festive napkin and a Christmas treat bag containing a cookie from The Cookie Jar in Altamont and several pieces of wrapped chocolate candies.
Others present were Susie Belden, Neva Carter, Karen Denning, Norma Engeljohn, Shannon Engeljohn, Sharon Howard, Tammy Lash, Noma Moore, Mary Myers, Pat Porter, Peggy Stolte and Carolyn White.
After the dinner, President Porter had a short business meeting. A few more orders were taken for nuts and candies.
The club has a few bags of pecans at Lash’s Country Cupboards, located south of St. Elmo, and there also are a few 1-pound loaves and tins of the almost 2-pound Deluxe pecan fruitcakes the club is selling.
Most of those who attended took canned goods for the Caring and Sharing baskets and those who didn’t made a cash donation for Caring and Sharing. In addition to the cash donation, the St. Elmo Women’s Club wrote a check for $100 for Caring and Sharing.
On December 1 members of the Women’s Club, Pat Porter, Karen Denning and Norma Engeljohn decorated the Christmas tree at the Friendship Manor Nursing Home.
Hot chocolate and doughnuts were served, and Jo Hutson led in singing Christmas songs. Before they left, the Women’s Club members went down the halls to greet those who were not able to be in the dining room.
RhodesSide Gleanings I
Guests in my home Thanksgiving week were my family. My son Steve of Chicago came by train to Effingham on Tuesday, and took a taxi and arrived here around 1 p.m. My daughter and granddaughters, Phyllis Lea, Soo Jin and Chae Rin, of Green Oaks, arrived later Tuesday afternoon with Ginger, a 4-year old cocker spaniel (who loves them and also me).
I had planned to take the family out to eat Wednesday for the Thanksgiving meal, but Phyllis called after she left the Chicago area and told me she was bringing food for the dinner.
Phyllis brought with her a cold chest with a 14-pound turkey and items for all the trimmings – dressing, mashed potatoes, lima beans, apple salad, fresh cranberry sauce, rolls and pumpkin pie. She cooked a Thanksgiving a meal for the dinner on Wednesday – the only thing I had to do was cut the grapes in half and dice the apples, celery and pecans for the apple salad that included mini-marshmallows and a dressing that had mayonnaise and Kool Whip in it.
My son-in-law, Prentiss Lee, superintendent at Libertyville, couldn’t leave for St. Elmo until the early afternoon Wednesday. The rain, fog and traffic were so bad that instead of an hour, it took him two hours to get through Chicago.
Because I-57 became a little slick, he called Phyllis to tell her not to wait for him to serve the meal.
So, the rest of the family had eaten before he arrived – but he enjoyed the leftovers.
Because Steve works 12 hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Anixter in Glen View, he had to go back to Chicago on the 9:10 a.m. train Thanksgiving Day, so Phyllis took him to the train station.
The Leas intended to leave for home around the middle of the afternoon on Thursday, but the weather forecast for north of here wasn’t good, so they didn’t leave for home until 9 a.m. Friday.
I have some of the leftovers in the fridge to eat soon, but most of the leftovers are in the freezer for future meals.
We all enjoy playing games – Clue, Scrabble, Yahtzee – with my granddaughters, Soo Jin who is in the seventh grade, and Chae Rin, who is in the fifth grade.
RhodesSide Gleanings II
On Sunday morning, Nov. 28, I woke up with a little pain in my left side, and it kept getting worse.
A little after 9 a.m., I called the ambulance and went to St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital. It takes several hours to find out what is wrong, but the CAT scan showed I have a kidney stone. This is the first time I have had this problem and hope it doesn’t come again. I returned home by ambulance close to 5 p.m.
Monday morning, I woke up feeling different. I called WPMB to tell them I couldn’t give the St. Elmo News that morning, and I called the ambulance again. I had to have a head CAT scan and it showed I had a TIA (a light stroke).
After 4 p.m., I was put in the hospital (you think the beds are going to be much better – well, they are a little better, but not much). I thought I would get to return home on Tuesday, but wasn’t discharged until late Wednesday afternoon, so it was around 6:30 p.m. when I got home. I wasn’t on the radio again Wednesday.
Thursday morning, I was a little week but I am slowly recovering. I talked to the van place at Champaign to see if my wheelchair that had arrived before Thanksgiving was installed.
He said he needed to bring them to me Thursday morning to adjust the chair placement that I needed in the van (I had to get in the new wheelchair, go down the ramp in the garage, drive into the van and turn into the driver’s side, so the steering wheel and foot controls could be adjusted for my height and the chair locks would be in the right place).
He said he would have to take them back to install the chair locks for the van so I can drive from the wheelchair. I thought they could bring it back Friday, but no.
They were supposed to deliver the van and chair Monday, and the wheelchair fellow will follow in a another van to pick up the loaner chair – and show me how to use everything on the new chair.
Also, I will have to learn to drive a van from a wheelchair.
I wanted them by the middle of October. No. Then I wanted them by the middle of November. No. I expected them by Dec. 1. No. It better be by Dec. 6!
I have had to miss church and so many organization meetings. And I am missing Christmas events – I had to cancel my ticket for the dinner/theater at the library. I hope the weather doesn’t change for the worse when I get the van and chair, so I can start getting out.
Oh, I said I had a lot of leftovers to eat from Thanksgiving. When my community care worker came Friday morning, we pitched them in the garbage disposal – sure hate to see good food go to waste, but it was getting too old to take a chance on.