Parkinson Social Network

Quite the collection(s)!

Carol's miniature garden farm

Cafe Fairfax – August 15

I knew it! Our friends are collecting some Very Interesting items! Thank you to everyone who brought their treasures and shared their stories about them.

At our Cafe Fairfax on Wednesday we learned about antique sugar nippers that were used to cut up sugar back when it was sold in a cone-shaped loaf. I forgot to take a picture of the pair that Edward brought as part of his collection of antiques, but I found a photo online as well as an interesting article if you’d like to read up on them:
Georgian antique sugar cutter

We also saw part of Karl’s collection of shark’s teeth polished naturally by the sand, and black because they absorb minerals from the sediment where they are buried. Did you know that a shark can lose 50,000 teeth in a life time?

Chuck shared his collection of boxes – literally. First, he showed us his collection of boxes from various places such as India, Romania and China, and with various uses like holding incense, a Dreidel, jewelry or silverware. Then he then gave them away because he’s downsizing. We each had a number and could pick our favorite box to take home. Some of us had very definite favorites but I think everyone went home happy. Chuck also showed us some old postcards from his collection and gave me one to add to my collection of flamingo items. Thank you, Chuck!

Ruth Ann brought a couple of her Byers handcrafted figurines that were dressed to spend some relaxing time at the beach. You may be familiar with Byers carolers. Click here to check out the website where you can even design your caroler figurine!

Some of our friends create their collections. Our resident cartoonist, Rich, showed us some of the greeting cards he creates for family and friends. Carol showed us photos of a couple of her miniature gardens.Carol's miniature garden dessertLastly, I brought some more of my flamingos including a variety of pens and one wearing a Santa Claus hat that plays the Macarena. Strange but true.

We were also visited by Mutasim D. Alharbi, Doctoral Student, Department of Rehabilitation Science, College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. Mutasim talked about his research study examining movement efficiency and fatigability in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. I shared his message with you in last week’s newsletter and also posted it on our Community Events page (click here), but if you’re interested in learning more, please contact Mutasim at: E-mail:   |   Phone: 703-479-8505

Two cafes next week!
Next week we’d love to see you at Cafe Ashburn or Cafe Alexandria or both! For details about our cafes click here and to RSVP please click here!

Hope to see you out and about soon!


Mushrooms, Elephants, Young at Art, and a New PD Movement Study

monster mushrooms

Sorry about the this week’s title, but I really couldn’t figure out how to tie it all in together in a few words! I hope you find something of interest to you, or someone you know.

Cafe McLean
We heard about some very interesting collections at our cafe on Wednesday, namely – mushrooms and elephants! Our mushroom collector collects mushroom shaped jewelry but was also knowledgeable about the different kinds of mushrooms, and has even traveled to Europe to hunt for mushrooms with other enthusiasts. It was fun learning so much about them, particularly as we’ve had 4 different kinds growing in our backyard this summer. The photo above is of one kind – almost the size of dinner plates.

Our elephant collector brought several of her favorites, each with it’s own story, which led to stories from a couple of our friends about their rides on elephants. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the various items people collect at our other cafes this month! Click here to find a cafe location near you!

Here’s a message about a George Mason research study examining movement efficiency and fatigability in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.
My name is Mutasim Alharbi. I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Rehabilitation Science Department at George Mason University. I am conducting a research study examining movement efficiency and fatigability in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease in comparison to age-match healthy control adults. Participants will be asked to visit the Functional Performance Laboratory at George Mason University for one testing session, which will last approximately 90-120 minutes. They will be asked to complete surveys that include questions about their physical activity level and their perceptions of how fatigue interferes with physical activities and social functioning. The surveys are anticipated to take no more than 30 minutes. In addition, they will perform one submaximal test, using a constant work rate exercise test on a cycle ergometer at two different workloads: bout 1 consists of 6-minute of pedaling on the cycle with a workload that can be considered as light to moderate intensity. Bout 2 consist of pedaling on the cycle with a workload that can be considered as moderate to heavy intensity until the point of volitional exhaustion or 30 minutes, whichever is achieved first. The aim of the test is to estimate their movement efficiency and fatigability at different exercise workloads. During the test, they will wear a fitted facemask, which is connected to analyzers that measure inspired and expired gas flow. we will also monitor hearts response to exercise while they are exercising. The test is anticipated to last around 60 minutes. Participation in this study is voluntary. Their identities as participants will remain anonymous during and after the study.

For more information about this new study, and to register your interest, please contact:
Mutasim D. Alharbi, Doctoral Student
Department of Rehabilitation Science, College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University
E-mail: | Phone: 703-479-8505

**Dr. Alharbi will visit Cafe Fairfax on Wednesday August 15 at 10:00 am to talk about his study. Last year we were visited by Dr. Clinton Wutzke from George Mason about a study that he and his students were working on and several of our friends participated in it, so we wanted to give you the opportunity to hear about this one, too.

Calling all Artists!
The 32nd Juried Young at Art Show for Artists 55+ is coming this Fall to the Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street in Old Town Alexandria. This annual exhibition, cosponsored by Senior Services of Alexandria and Goodwin House Foundation, is open to all metropolitan areas residents 55 and older.
Artists must deliver their works of art to the Durant Center on Monday, September 10 from 10 am to 12 noon to be considered for the exhibition. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, September 13, 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Durant Arts Center. The exhibition runs through November 8th.
For more information about the exhibition and how to register go to Young at Art or call 703-836-4414, ext. 110. Spread the word!

Something to check out on the APDA website
We had a message from Susan Dietrich, Coordinator, American Parkinson Disease Association Information & Referral Center of Virginia:
“I am excited to re-introduce you to the APDA website: This site is one of the best that you can go to for a lot of good information. I’d like to especially direct you to the blog by Dr. Rebecca Gilbert, APDA Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer (just click on the Blog tab). She impressed me at the meeting with her knowledge, and with her easy to understand way of communicating that knowledge. In the blog, she discusses all the “hot topics” that we are hearing with regards to Parkinson’s. I hope that you will take a look at the website, which has a lot of good information – but definitely read through Dr. Gilbert’s blog.”

Hope to see you out and about soon! Perhaps at Cafe Fairfax next Wednesday? For more about what’s happening at our cafes this month, click here!


Dog Days of Summer are Here

Racal & Sophie

As you can see, the furry members of our household have slowed down considerably lately and I’m pretty sure the weather has something to do with it. It’s not too hard to get them up and going though – just dangle their leashes and they’re up and ready for their next adventure! We’ve found lots of things for you to do this month including an adventure camp for ages 55+, and of course, our cafes!  But first we’ll start with some inspiration . . .

Alan Alda
Did you see in the news this week that Alan Alda revealed he is living with Parkinson’s? He was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago but decided to speak up about it when he thought people might notice symptoms such as when his thumb twitches. He thought someone might do “a story about this from a sad point of view, but that’s not where I am.” His message is one of hope to other people living with Parkinson’s.

With such an emphasis on the medical side of Parkinson’s we often forget that patients are people too with families, friends, interests, skills and talents. As Alan Alda said, “You still have things you can do”. If you haven’t seen his interview on CBS This Morning, click here to check it out. I hope you are inspired and encouraged to, as he says, “take action” and “keep moving!” And check out the juggling!

A message from the Senior Center of Leesburg 
(This looks like so much fun!!)
You are invited to participate in 2nd Annual Adventure Camp for Seniors ages 55+.
Four Days- August 21-24 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Leesburg.
Themes include: Birds, Butterflies, Bees and Native Plants of Virginia.
Outings include: Fishing at the Lake and A Tour of the Virginia State Arboretum.
Daily Lunch and Snacks Provided.  (Click here to see the flyer)
Indoor facility and restrooms available at the Nature Preserve.
$110 per person. Registration now through August 7, 2018.
Questions call 703-777-0209

Golden Gazette
Do you subscribe to the Golden Gazette? It’s a free monthly newsletter that you may have seen at the library or maybe you receive it in your inbox every month like I do? The September issue had a couple of articles that may be of interest to you. One is about the Access Services Library, something we heard about when Ken Plummer visited us at Cafe Fairfax back in March. There’s another article about Avoiding Tech Support Scams, and others about gardening and bears, as well as lots of announcements for classes and resources available in Fairfax County. Click here to subscribe to lots of interesting reading each month.

Fairfax 50+ E-News
This is another newsletter from Fairfax County and includes information about a number of programs and services. Click here for more information and to subscribe.

Culpeper – Cycling for Parkinson’s
Do you know anyone in the Culpeper area interested in cycling? I learned of a program offered by the Powell Wellness Center called FitScripts. Participants will require a referral from their doctor. More information on their website at

Cafe McLean next Wednesday!
We’re talking about things that we collect at our cafes this month and I’m curious to hear about other people’s collections. Because I call my balance and fall prevention program Flamingos in Training, I seem to have amassed a rather large collection of  . . . you guessed it! Flamingos! The “twins” in the photo are the two that started it all for me. I’ll bring photos and a couple of unusual flamingo-y items to show and tell. And I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about your collections!

Hope to see you out and about soon! Maybe at Cafe McLean on Wednesday? Click here to RSVP and help us plan for lunch.


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