Elite News – September 2016

Fanno Creek

Summer is nearly over! We all had great fun at Fanno Creek this August. Our busy month included an outing to Swan Island Dahlias in Canby, where we viewed the beautiful Dahlia fields as we sat in the shade eating ice cream.

We also took a tour of the Oregon Humane Society where Barb gave us a wonderful tour of the facilities and educated us on its history. Can you believe the Oregon Humane Society is 148 years old? It was founded in 1868 by noted humanitarian Thomas Lamb Eliot, and it is the third oldest humane society in the nation!

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our outing to Antique Powerland due to one hundred degree weather, but it is back on the agenda in September. We made up for it by going to Live Laugh Love Art in Tigard where we made fused glass projects that turned out amazingly well!

We have our walking club every Sunday where we walk the Fanno Creek trail to downtown Tigard. We enjoy taking a break on one of the benches and people watching before we turn around and head home. Occasionally, we walk up to Woodard Park and sit and for a few minutes and enjoy the weather and the children playing.

For our lunch outings, we visited both Hayden’s Lakefront Grill and Stanford’s in Tanasbourne where we dined on exquisite cuisine as our waiters treated us like royalty. Our dessert outings were to the famous Rose’s in Sherwood and to Shari’s in Beaverton for some of America’s best pie ala mode (although, a few of our residents decided to order banana splits this time).

Here are a few random photos of our residents!

Dick receiving a lesson in glass blowing!


Making an Octopus during Sunday Arts & Crafts

Enjoying all the love…

From the Founder

August had many passages.

First, I would like to announce that Jamie Campbell, our operation’s manager for one year, has left. She was very important to help us get our house in order after we made major management changes last year in August. We appreciate all the hard work and guidance Jamie provided.

In the meantime, I am happy to announce that Kelly Nickerson has joined our company again. Kelly started working for us as a bookkeeper in 2001, she also was one of our first live-in families. She worked her way into marketing and was instrumental in keeping Oatfield Estates filled for several years. Her true goal, though, was to become a nurse. After she was admitted to the OHSU nursing program, she left us to become a nurse, she also worked for 5 years at Kaiser as a hospice nurse. Through a string of luck, Kelly has come back home to us. With all her past and new knowledge, we are excited to have her as our Director of Care Operations.

Moving forward, we are going once again back to the future. We are organizing towards the original 2 house model. Often times I visit Fanno Creek, which is a standalone 2 house model and I marvel at how well it runs, how calm it is. Over the years the prior management decided to be more centrally organized and run Oatfield Estates like a big campus. Even though we have 8 houses on campus, Bill and I still always wanted them to be organized with 2 sister houses working together.

We are in the process of finalizing our Organizational Chart, if you would like to see a copy, we will have some available for you in the office, just ask Mychal.

Ashland and Jefferson

This month we celebrated Marilyn’s Birthday in the Ashland house! All of the residents joined in to celebrate her special day. Marilyn so enjoyed everyone singing to her and she loved her presents; a new water bottle and a new nightgown. Marilyn’s favorite birthday treat, being a chocolate lover, was her S’mores chocolate pie. Marilyn said, “I could eat this entire pie.”

We had a great time!

Jefferson and Ashland had a great outing to an old fashioned Soda Fountain inside of an Antique store. Everyone loved the ice cream and so many of the residents enjoyed touring the store to see all the vintage items. Mary especially enjoyed looking through the store; she could relate to so many things that her parents had and that she had as a child. She had so much fun she asked if we could come back another time.

We would like to welcome our new resident in the Ashland house. Her name is Anne and she moved here from Vancouver, Washington. Anne was raised in Pennsylvania. Anne was married for 65 years and her and her husband loved to travel. Their favorite place was Victoria, Canada. Anne has 2 children, a boy and a girl. Anne has 1 grandchild and 1 great grandchild. Anne loves to do puzzles and loves the beach and enjoys sewing.  Anne loves to do activities, and she’s excited about meeting new people.

We wish her much happiness in her new home here at the Ashland house!


Hood and Adams

This last month was a scorcher but that didn’t stop us from exploring the city and inviting a bit of culture and fun into our lives. At the start of the month, we ate dessert at a local favorite, Tebo’s, and the following week drove down memory lane through the Columbia River gorge and viewed Multnomah Falls while sipping on hot cocoa, (it was strangely cold that day).

Numerous residents requested to go to the various flower farms in the area so to honor that request we went to Peninsula Park in Portland to visit the rose gardens. While it was beautiful and everyone enjoyed the scenery we quickly realized that it wasn’t getting any cooler so we hopped back in the bus and went to get ice cream. What better way to beat the heat, right?

Later in the month we visited the Portland Art Museum, where we observed the latest gallery showing, Native Fashion Now. Everyone was enraptured by the color and beauty of the combination of traditional native dress and high fashion gowns and jewelry. At the end of our tour we stopped to look through the gift shop and then drank some water outside the museum cafe as we rested after all the walking we had done.

To continue our downtown exploration we went to the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Old Town Chinatown in downtown Portland. The garden looked as though we had stepped out of Portland and into China. We walked along the covered bridges, through the temples and viewed art done by local artists in classical Chinese style and contemporary art. The ambiance radiated calm. After touring the garden we ended our journey in the teahouse where we enjoyed some refreshing iced tea and cookies.

As we come into this next month we have an assortment of activities and outings planned, including going to the movies, The End of the Oregon Trail Museum, visiting a local soda parlor/antique shop and much more. Though fall is upon us we will continue to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible by visiting the campus chickens, picking the last of the garden produce and sitting by the koi pond, before heading inside.


Table Top Bowling

“Great job Richard! You got a spare!”

Looking down the makeshift bowling lane, Richard grinned and said, “See, I told you I could do it.  Let’s see if you can beat that!”

Sitting opposite each other, residents are divided into teams. As I was assisting Susan with instructions, she throws the ball down the table receiving a Spare.

“Did I do well?” she asked.

“You got a spare,” I informed her.

“Is that good?” Susan asked.

I told her it was “Great!” A giggle escaped her lips and she gave me a hug as she went back to her seat.

Cheers, laughter, and clapping erupted through the breezeway.  The staff even got involved with assisting the residents that needed that little extra TLC.

Gloria is a pro at this event! “I used to be a bowler,” she informed us.  “This is nothing, the only thing different is that I am sitting down.”  Throwing the ball down the lane, a crash ignited the silence as the crowd watched with enthusiasm. I was delighted to hear and see roars of joyous laughter!


Chef’s Corner

This recipe came into my repertoire after a resident’s family asked me to make a graham cracker cake for their mom’s birthday, since that was a family tradition. After doing a bit of searching I came across some recipes, which I tweaked, and the result is a light and delicious cake that my resident and her family loved.

Graham Cracker Cake (Adapted from AllRecipes.com)


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup ground pecans
  • 1/2 cup sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup white sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line with parchment two 9 inch round pans.
  • Combine the crumbs, pecans, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and the light brown sugar until fluffy. Slowly beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately add the milk and the crumb mixture while beating on low.
  • Beat the egg whites in a bowl until foamy. Add the sugar slowly, and beat to soft peaks. Fold into the crumb batter, and pour into the pans.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a rack about 10 minutes, then invert and cool completely.

(This cake goes well with many frosting combinations. A few suggestions are Vanilla Buttercream with a Salted Caramel Drizzle, or Mocha Frosting with Sliced Bananas in between the layers)


Michael Peter Larson – Tabor House

Michael Larson, aka “Mikey” (or Michael Peter Larson when he’s in trouble), is one of the original residents of Tabor House at Oatfield Estates and has lived here since 2014.  He has a sly sense of humor, an infectious laugh and is a joy to be around.  The twinkle in Mike’s eyes and his facial expressions make it easy to know what is on his mind, whether he’s amused or feeling stubborn.

Mike was born in 1943 and is a lifelong resident of the Portland area; he most recently lived in Lake Oswego.  He was a salesman for an electronics company for many years and is a proud veteran of the United States Army where he was stationed in Germany. His experience overseas spawned a love of travel, especially to the tropics and Asia.  His favorite destinations are Hawaii and China, and he still has a sense of wanderlust, loving to go on drives in the surrounding countryside.

Mike’s family means everything to him and he is a very proud father and grandfather.  His face beams when he speaks of his daughter, Andrea, and her husband and grandchildren who live in Oklahoma. Mike is always happy to share a book of paintings by his son-in-law, Desmond, a successful artist since he retired from the NBA, a former Seattle Sonic and Slam-Dunk Champion.

Mike’s friends are important to him as well, especially David, a former business colleague, who visits regularly and always brings delicious treats for Mike and his Tabor House family.  Mike has made many new friends on campus and is always game to partake in activities.  He never misses the annual visit from the Japanese nurses who do calligraphy for our residents.

Mike loves sports, especially soccer, basketball and football, and always roots for Oregon State.  Mike also loves movies; his favorite actor is Liam Neeson, especially in the “Taken” series.  But Mike is a softy and loves the romantic comedies best, especially “Leap Year,” his favorite movie.  Is it the happy ending, the Irish setting, or the female lead, Amy Adams? Probably all of the above, considering that Mike is such a romantic.  He wears his heart on his sleeve, enjoys the shenanigans of Tabor House and is loved by all.

                                                                                 – Gretchen Cole

Helens and Rainier

During the month of August, our Residents experienced the joy of painting and and other fun activities in an open art studio.

Then, we took a trip to the movies! We saw Kubo and the Two Strings, a story about a ragtag team of misfits fighting to save a village with unexpected powers. It is a stop-motion animated film, with some Japanese animation influences, each micro-expression produced by a single snapshot of a puppet’s face. Each movement is adjusted by a tiny little amount, and then when you play all the pictures together in quick succession, you have an animated film! Wow!

We had tons of fun doing some dance fitness, and got to visit with one of the staff members dogs. We love it when we get visits from our fluffy friends!

We celebrated the life of Lucille Phelps during the celebrations, and some of the Residents participated and lead the ceremony in a few songs.

For the month of September, we can look forward to going to the bowling alley, doing a little shopping at the Sellwood market, and visiting The End of the Oregon Trail museum. We are all looking forward to fall colors this month and hope you can join us for some of our outings.


Welcome Home, Kelly Nickerson

There’s nothing more exciting than welcoming one of our employees back to Elite Care

Not just any employee, one who helped build not only the foundation, but helped Bill & I create our unique philosophy.  She understood how to cultivate an environment in which our elders could thrive and experience independence for as long as possible.  Without further ado, we’d like to welcome Kelly Nickerson back to Oatfield.  I love hearing Kelly tell her story.  Not only was she our top sales and marketing representative, Kelly lived our mission, vision, and values and through this new way of living she became the poster child of Oatfield Estates.  Kelly shared our vision and helped us create simple, consistent, routines; otherwise known as SCR.  She understood BIP and if you ask her today she’ll share with you, it is the philosophy she raised her kids with.

Kelly started as a temporary employee working as an accountant. Soon thereafter, she and her baby moved into the Rainier House and assumed the role of a “live in”.  She shared her off hours with the residents; mealtimes, evening walks, movie nights etc.  She spent her weekends playing with the residents and building a sense of community for all of those around her.  Oatfield became her village, fostering the model of extended family at its finest.  One particular weekend a couple stopped by to tour and she was playing outside with her little one.  She informed the couple, marketing wasn’t available but she was happy to share where she lived.  Kelly plopped the baby in the stroller and off the two went…. to share their very own 6 acre back yard.  Kelly will tell you herself, living here reminded her of the movie, Cocoon.  However, instead of a cocoon, it was the moon the residents were drawn to; people were moonlight dancing, falling in love, laughing and having fun.

That weekend Kelly became our star marketing representative.  It wasn’t from a degree in marketing rather her love and strong sense of belonging which made all the difference in the world.  Change is inevitable and nothing lasts forever; in 2008, Kelly was accepted into OHSU’s school of Nursing Baccalaureate Program and off she went to fulfill her dreams.  Sadly, we watched her leave the nest with high hopes, someday she would return.  Well, timing is everything, Kelly returned right when we needed her most!  She now has her BSN in nursing coupled with years of Hospice experience not to mention her life experience; she has a wealth of knowledge to share with all of us.  If you have the chance, please welcome Kelly back to Elite Care: home is where her heart is!