October was not short and sweet, but, oh, was it busy!

We enjoyed the changing colors, going on foliage rides, and looking out our windows. We decorated pumpkins, played some Halloween-themed word games, celebrated Yom Kippur, and made Rum Cake. We made spider ornaments, reminisced about “the pumpkin patch,” made mini witches’ hat cookies, and made some Dunkin’ Pumpkins. These were mini-pumpkins that we painted to look like frosted doughnuts. It was so much fun!

I think we had the most fun at the end of the month when we had our annual Halloween costume contest and party. To top off the excitement, we had the children of our nursing home family came in for Trick-or-Treat. We had so many residents passing out candy and so many children trick-or-treating that, for a minute, I thought we would run out of candy. We used our hidden candy cart stock just to make sure we didn’t, and a fun time was definitely had by all!

In addition to all of that fun, the residents, who always take their civic responsibility seriously, met the Laconia mayoral candidates, Andrew Hosmer and Peter Spanos. November elections came and, as fully informed voters, they voted, fulfilling their civic duty.

November also found us looking forward to Thanksgiving. Our theme was a “Toast to November.” We’ve done some “Breaking Bread” trivia, learned about Daylight Savings Time and made Loaf Pan Centerpieces.

We are doing something new, watching Ted Talks. We’ve already watched one on Autism and will be watching one on Alzheimer’s. The residents are learning in a new way and are very excited about all the topics available to us!

We’ve gone to the 104 Diner and Walmart, are looking forward to the Country Cookin’ at the Lakeside, Hobby Lobby, and the “Fez”tival of Trees at the Shriners in Concord. We roasted sugar pumpkins and will be using the real pumpkin we got to make pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie. We will also be making pumpkin pie door decorations as well!

In the middle of all this, we were getting ready for our annual Craft Fair that was held on Saturday, Nov. 16. We had 20-plus vendors selling unique items, from crocheted animals and wreaths to fudge. The residents sold crafts that they had made, including hats, scarfs, and blankets, as well as their “Pot Holes Dream Cookbook.” We had more than 50 raffles, consisting of both donations from community partners like Irwin Zone, Smitty’s and our vendors, and themed baskets that were donated by friends and staff. We had hot food, including corn chowder, meatballs, chili, chicken soup, and hot dogs. Baked goods such as mini loaves of cranberry orange bread, gingerbread, mini apple pies, cookies, whoopie pies, cupcakes and muffins rounded out the food items. We are hoping to add pork pies for next year, as many people requested them. A white elephant table provided perfect opportunities to pick up great items. A perfect place to get holiday shopping completed!

The BCNH Shooting Star for October was Kayla Champagne, LNA. Congratulations, Kayla! Thank you for all that you do for our residents and the facility, every single day. The Shooting Star is a program to recognize staff members who go above the call of duty. Residents, visitors, family members, or staff can nominate someone they feel is deserving. Individuals wishing to nominate someone can find nomination ballots near the front desk. Ballots are dropped in the box, and one person is chosen each month. Thank you to all of our Shooting Stars for all the wonderful things you do for our residents and our facility!

Does it look like we have fun? Want to join us? Do you have some extra time? Do you want to give back to your community? Come volunteer with us at Belknap County Nursing Home! Help a resident in a wheelchair do some shopping or assist us as we take a group out to eat, help prepare some crafts, or read to someone. Make a difference in someone’s life today! Volunteers are always wanted! Contact the Belknap County Nursing Home Activity Department to sign up today.

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