Letter to the members

Happy New Year everyone.

I hope you are staying well and following the Covid-19 safety procedures. The vaccinations are now underway in hospitals, long term care homes and retirement residences so we are not far behind.

ANNOUNCING: Your Annual General Meeting is being planned for April. The Board of Directors anticipates that it will, once again, be held via Zoom. This was quite successful for our 2019 meeting which was held in October. Directors are elected, at the AGM, for a 2-year term. There are 5 positions to be filled. The Board is looking for members who are able to commit to a minimum of 2 hours a month to attend monthly board meetings. What did you do in your pre-retirement life?  Would you like to use those skills again?  Were you in finance, marketing, social sciences, or law to mention a few? If you are interested in finding out more or running for office, please call or email the office or any board member. I can be reached at 416-781-5173 or at flexible@bell.net.

A friend gave me an egg slicer. I was so excited. I examined it to see where it opened. There was a little doohickey on one end. I pushed it in. I tried to flip it up. I tried to hook my nail under it to lift it up. Nothing worked. This was a real challenge. I looked on the box, there were no instructions. I examined it once again, still nothing. I picked it up by the lid and suddenly the bottom fell and it was open. The doohickey was the hinge.

There was a Coopers Hawk or a Short-Shined Hawk sitting on a tree branch outside my living room window. It stayed for the longest time, looking around. It flew away when I turned my back to move and the floorboards creaked. I have lived here for over 40 years and this has never before happened. I hope it comes back to rest on my tree branches. Until then I will enjoy the Cardinals that come to visit daily.

Christmas was very different for me this year. In fact, I didn’t realize it was so close until the Friday before although I had been listening to Christmas carols since the beginning of November and planning on having Chinese food on Christmas Day. Normally I wrap presents for days which keeps me focused on the timeline. I didn’t have anything to wrap. I tried online shopping. What a fiasco!

I wanted to order an insert for my appointment book from Staples, so I went on their webpage. After looking at several pages I realized I had to narrow my search from the 2904 possibilities. I did narrow it down and eventually found what I needed. I filled in the order form but there was no “submit “button. That’s when I discovered I had to create an account first. Meanwhile I had lost my item as I didn’t think to write down the item number. I found the product number in my book, but when I submitted the number it was something entirely different. It was not the Staples number, it was the publisher’s number. I had to find the item again. This time I wrote it down. When I first started this exercise there were 4 inserts in the store. By the time I finished there were zero, none. I still don’t have a 2021 insert for my appointment book.

I purchased a box of chicken drumsticks from some grocery store a while ago. There was limited room in my fridge freezer so I took the stuff out of the box and put it into a clear plastic bag along with the cooking instructions before putting them in the freezer. A couple of nights ago I decided to have those chicken drumsticks for dinner. I followed the cooking instructions for the chicken exactly. Unfortunately, I forgot to cut out the name of the chicken dish. It did specify chicken in the instructions but it sure wasn’t chicken drumsticks. I wish I knew what it was because it was very tasty.  I never thought to put the label in with the cooking instructions. I have a few more mystery packages in my freezer along with the cooking instructions. This will be an interesting month full of surprises of exactly what I shall be eating. I will survive.

I love Christmas carols but they are now off the music channels for another year. I am now back to jukebox oldies and classical.

January is a sad month; bills from Christmas come in, the sun doesn’t come out much, it’s cold and generally snowy. This year is different – less bills as less Christmas shopping, the sun hasn’t been out much but – WHERE IS WINTER? – the temperature hasn’t been too cold and there isn’t much snow and BEST OF ALL our vaccination is coming. My mom got hers the other day and said it was “a piece of cake”. She is in a retirement residence, not a long-term care facility. I have also heard from other members who have had their shot. Of course, if any of us are feeling the January blues we can phone each other or call Syme and staff will call you back for a chat. And we can go on the Syme web site for interesting tidbits; recipes, quizzes/jokes and exercises. Plus daylight is getting longer.  Feeling bright and upbeat is important in beating covid-19!

Our exercise classes started again. The program has been expanded. It is never too late to sign up and sign in via Zoom. Zoom can even be done over the phone. We are also having workshops. There is one on January 29th  on Covid-19 vaccinations. Phone Syme to register and for help getting on Zoom.

Wash your hands often. Wear your mask. Socially distance yourself from others. We will see one another again when this is over.


Donna Tettmar,

Board President,

Syme 55+ Centre




Winter 2021 Zoom Class Schedule
These classes will run from January 11 – March 26, 2021.

Pilates with Diane @ 10:00 am

Fit & Fun with Katrina @ 11:00 am


Co-Ed Fitness with Sylvia @ 11:00 am


Osteo Keep Fit with Julie @ 11:00 am


Flex N Stretch with Gabriela @ 10:00 am

Co-Ed Fitness with Luba @ 11:00 am


No Classes





Summer Update

Hello Fellow Syme Members,
My goodness, whoever thought we would continue to be in this state of lock down 4 months after it began. It is tough being isolated from friends and relatives.
I had an appointment at St. Josephs during the closure but had finally rescheduled it for mid-June. It was so exciting to be going somewhere other than a grocery store. I took 20 minutes to decide which earrings to wear. It was the first of many hot days so what to wear was no problem, but the earrings…what a dilemma! It reminded me of the joke about people having to decide what to wear to put out the garbage.
I had my hair cut in January prior to visiting my friend in Florida so everyone who saw me on Zoom exercise classes or meetings will know it was getting quite long, in fact it was below my nose. After hair salons had been open for a week I phoned my hairdresser. There was no answer on either the first or second day of phoning. Thinking the worst (maybe she had closed the business) I drove by to see if it was open. She greeted me at the door. I really hustled getting the car parked and getting inside so my hair could be cut before her appointment arrived. No longer am I running my hand through my hair to keep it out of my eyes or off of my neck. What a wonderful feeling.
I am feeling much better about the exercise classes. For quite a while after I started exercising at Syme I found myself huffing and puffing and sweating and breathing hard when I thought the class nearly over only to discover that a mere 15 minutes had passed. I am doing much better now. Now when I check my watch, in a state of near exhaustion, I discover that 30 minutes has passed. Classes are 1 hour.
Your Board continues to meet via Zoom, to look after the affairs of Syme 55+ Centre. Stratford has cancelled the rest of the season so our Spamalot theatre trip is cancelled.

Don’t forget to give Syme a phone call if you have an issue or concern or just want to chat. The number is 416-766-0388
Stay safe and practice hand washing, wearing a mask and social distancing.

Donna Tettmar,
Board of Directors, Syme 55+ Centre

Message From The President – May 2020

Hello Syme Members,
I hope you are all healthy and keeping well and interested.
I am having some trouble with the latter. The other day I tried to phone someone and after dialing the number, I discovered there was no dial tone. It took a while but suddenly I realized that, when I thought I was activating the call, I was actually deleting the number. Oh dear!
Thank goodness for computers, as I have read all my newer books. Now it is time to go to my library which only has stuff that was published in the 60s and 70s. I was bemoaning this to a friend who said that she was rummaging around in her closet and, lo and behold, she found a jigsaw puzzle. Now I have never done a jigsaw puzzle but I am up for a new experience. I was doing some food shopping at Giant Tiger and I picked up a puzzle. I figured that the 1500 piece would be too difficult and the 300 piece not challenging enough so I bought the 500 piece. I still am cat- sitting my friend’s cat and the downstairs cat has the run of the house. I spent all day getting the border down on the jigsaw puzzle, frequently thinking the picture on the box did not resemble this border I was completing, and then I realized that it was upside down. Anyway, the cats like to move things around so not wanting to lose any pieces I covered my handiwork with a towel. When I went to remove the covering many of the 500 pieces were stuck to the towel. So back to reading old books.
For those of you who have access to a computer there is a free jigsaw page at www. Thejigsawpuzzles.com. Naturally I tried. There were 50, 100, 150 and 200 piece puzzles. Of course, based on my experience and knowledge I tried the 100 piece. After 4 hours I had the border completed and was starting on the inside. I accidentally hit a button and the whole thing disappeared, never to be found. But I am not a quitter so I tried the 50 piece. It only took 30 minutes to complete. I felt quite satisfied.
Have you ever watched grass grow? I have not but I have watched the leaves on the maple tree outside my living room window take shape. When this situation began I believe they were only small specks on the end of the twig or branch. Then they became buds, after a while they started to become larger and now they are a cluster of greenery, soon they will be leaves.
Your Board of Directors is becoming more proficient attending meetings via Zoom, but we are not experts yet. We appear to still be a fairly clean cut bunch. We are extremely pleased to have Kelly, Cleriese and Julie still with us. Thank you Prime Minister and government. Staff has reached out to some of our instructors and will be offering limited exercise sessions via Zoom; meanwhile Julie is conducting an exercise class on Facebook which can be seen through our webpage or Facebook. I was able to view it and in fact tried the exercises. If I can find it, so can you.

Don’t forget to call Syme, 416-766-0388, if you need to hear a friendly voice or have a concern.
No one knows how long this will go on but we will meet again at our Syme55+ Centre.
Stay strong, stay safe, stay healthy.

Donna Tettmar, President, Board of Directors, Syme55+ Centre