Hammertime: I got my free flu shot and it didn’t hurt a bit

Save some trouble, take a flu shot. In this week’s Ponoka News’ Hammertime

Mike Rainone


Two of the most important things on my ‘to do’ list last week was to go out and get a free flu shot that will hopefully help keep that miserable bug away all winter, and then to purchase a bright red poppy in support of the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual vital programs for our veterans and other projects.

I even got a chocolate chip cookie for taking the influenza shot this time around, which reminded me of the days when congenial Alberta Hospital Health Nurse Karen Klinker would bribe us with chocolate treats to take the mandatory needle, or of far too many years ago when we all had to line up in our Ponoka Elementary classrooms to get our annual immunization shots for measles, polio, and all the rest, and were then awarded with a revel for our troubles.

Once again as is the case every fall, the free influenza shots are now available for all Albertans six months of age and over at the community clinics listed in the Ponoka News or on posters around town, and by appointment at your local pharmacies.

Health officials are reporting that 1.1 million Albertans got the shot in the last campaign, which represented only 27 per cent of our population, but they are vigorously setting their goals at a 40 per cent turnout for this year. There were 64 flu-related deaths in 2016-17, and Alberta Health Services are now already stressing that our Province is already in the early stages of what could be a serious influenza breakout. Thank you for sitting down and getting your influenza shot to help protect the health of yourself, your family, and your community. For clinic dates, times, and locations visit: ahs.ca/influenza or call 811.

Watch for the Poppy trays

The traditional poppy trays are now available at businesses and other locations all around town, and many are hosted by congenial Ponoka Legion Branch #66 members and volunteers, who really appreciate your generous ongoing donations to the ‘Veteran’s causes.’ It is interesting to note that the poppies now come with a tiny plastic tip that is placed on the end of the pin once it is in your lapel and will help to keep it in place.

Plans are now underway for the annual Remembrance Day parade and wreath laying ceremony on Saturday morning November 11th at the Royal Canadian Legion along Highway 2A, Ponoka, and everyone is welcome to attend and pay their respects to our soldiers of yesterday and today.

Now let’s have a little fun

• My weekly dieting tip. I try to avoid things that make me look fat, like scales, mirrors, and photographs. I have always had an ‘hour-glass’ figure, but lately I have noticed that it contains some extra sand.

• When I get a headache I take two aspirins and keep away from kids, just like it says on the bottle.

• I tried cooking with wine last night, but after the 5th glass I forgot why I was in the kitchen.

• Quickie facts. We can judge others only when we are perfect. Hating people takes far too much energy, so just pretend that they don’t exist. Sometimes I just hate my moods because they never ask permission to change. We don’t lose friends…we just learn who the real ones are.

• As we grow older we can be very proud: Wrinkles mean we laughed, grey hair means we cared, and scars means that we have lived.

Hopefully all those fabulous Halloween costumes have been safely put away to be used again by the next generation of spooksters and that all the yummy treats that they collected have been hidden by mom to be handed out to the kids and dad only for lunch kits and special occasions. Let’s go ahead and get ready to face winter with a smile and the belief that it will only last until spring. Even though a lot of Albertans disagree Day Light Savings Time is still in effect and we will be turning our clocks back one hour on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 1:00 a.m., so let’s just carry on and have a great week, all of you.

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