Ms. New Hampshire Senior America

Barbara's journey

Growing up, Barbara was always tiny so she was nicknamed Peanut.  She was the smallest one in her class so when they had to line up by size she was always first.  In high school the departing seniors gave her the honor of being the shortest person in the class. Barbara is still the shortest of her the name Peanut follows her where ever she goes.  Barbara doesn't mind because everyone knows that the best things come in small packages
****WEB News!! Read all about Barbara!!!**** (Click Web News)
Please Click  on the each name in the list below to read about her adventure

July 25, 2013
, hours after my coronation as Ms NH Senior America 2013, I sang with the Wellsping chorus at Hospice Community House  in Merrimack, NH.  This was perfect because a coronation can be an ego trip and helping the ease the transition from life to death via music ... realigned my perspective to what is really important in life. As a Hospice volunteer, one of the things that I do is sing with the Wellspring chorus.  This is a special accapella four part harmony group that goes to various faciclities where hospice patients reside.

July 25, 2013 The Birth of Dear Peanut:  Because Barbara had not heard of Ms. Senior America before receiving her invitation to apply, her first goal was to increase the visibility and recognition of Ms. Senior America in New Hampshire.  In addition to increasing the number of articles in newspapers, radio, and television, she decided to start a "Dear Peanut" forum for women to hare their challenges, dilemma's and concerns of aging. 
Because the forum is linked to the Ms. NH Senior America page, everyone that joins is exposed to the existence and mission of Ms. Senior America.  Please click "DEAR PEANUT" PLEASE JOIN MY FORUM.

July 28, 2013 Kingston lake 6th annual Regatta  . Barbara Danais place 3rd. in the Female Masters category which is for women 50+.  Not bad considering that many of the women had a 20 year advantage over Barbara. With rain soaked hair Barbara still shined with her crown.  The best part is the association allowed Barbara to address the 100+ people that participated in this event.  She was able to share the mission of Ms. Senior America, and her personal philosophy of combing a positive attitude with the art of thinking out of the box, and why the women over the age of 60 need to share their skills by applying for the 2014 state title.  Many people googled her on the spot and took pictures with her.  She said she was and an "unexpected hit" of the day and got the crowd rockin' and cheerin" for seniors!!!!!

July 2013 Barbara went line dancing at the Windham Senior Center .  After wards she spoke to the members about the importance of Ms. Senior America and reasons why they should consider applying for the 2014 title.  Barbara played her guitar and sang "BERKLEY WOMAN" and A GUY IS A GUY.   The members took a vote as to which one she should sing at Nationals.  The majority vote was for "BERKLEY WOMAN"

July 2013 BARBARA went to the Pelham Senior Center .  afterwards speaking with the members about the important contributions that can be made by senior she played her guitar and sang "BERKLEY WOMAN" and A GUY IS A GUY.   The members took a vote as to which one she should sing at Nationals.  The majority vote was for "BERKLEY WOMAN" with one strong vote for A GUY IS A GUY.  After performing, one member brought out his tambourine so he and Barbara could jammed for a bit. group picture and Barb & Doris

July 2013 Barb went to her doctors  for a TB test for her volunteer work at Hospic House.  She talked to his staff to encourage them to apply for the 2014 title.

July 2013 One of Barbara's sponsors are the Manchester Area Wine Lovers  meetup group.  Here is Barb with some of her friends and another one with her and the mayor.  What Mayor?  Why the Mayor of British Beer Company of course.

August 2, 2013 we went to Greenbriar Nursing Home in Nashua, NH .  The focus that day was to comfort Alzheimer and dementia patients through music therapy.  Some of the patients were able to sing along with us and many requested their favorite songs.

August 7, 2013 I went to the Judy Collins concert at Prescott Park in Portsmouth, NH .  I mingled with the crowd before the concert so I had the opportunity to meet some of the women in the Portsmouth area.  I gave out some business cards and invited them to join my Dear Peanut forum. 

August 9, 2013 I performed with the Ms. NH Senior America Cameo club at the Mark Wenworth Retirement Home in Portsmouth .  this was my first performance with my cameo "sisters."  I was very impressed by the professionalism of the performers.  They made me feel so welcomed that I was able to converse with the audience with ease.
  My first number was a tambourine dance to the song called Dixie.  It consists of bouncing the tambourine off various body parts such as knees, elbows, and feet.  This lively dance is the same tambourine routine that is performed by the Original Florida Follies and it is the same routine performed at the Ms. Senior America Pageant.  I would love to teach it to the Cameo Club members because the impression increases in proportion to the number of people dancing. 
My second number was my alternate song for the national pageant.  I sang "A Guy is a Guy."  The audience loved it and so did the Cameo club.  I bet the audience that they could fiugre out why I was wearing white before the end of the song.  Most of them did and I played the wedding march on the kazoo at the end of the song for the ones that didn't.
  The audience was very attentive and very awe struck by the crown.

August 11, 2013, I performed at the Belknap County Fair . The crowd was extra friendly and they were genuinely interested in learning more about Ms Senior America.  I distributed a lot of business cards and encouraged women to either consider entering the 2014 pageant or to pass my business cards to someone who might be interested.   They had a professional sound system with back faced speakers and a mixer that was controlled on a tablet.  I felt like a real celebrity because they enhanced the sound to make me sound real good. I sang the Berkley Woman and a Guy is a Guy.  I asked the audience to help me decide which song to sing at Nationals.  The entertainment director of the Fair and the other musicians preferred Berkley Woman, but the rest of the crowd chose a Guy is a Guy.  I have to admit that since this was a family crowd, that they were right.  
The highlight of my day was when I observed Kathy and her boys.  The oxen are huge and Kathy is so petite, so it was amazing to see her control them with a flick of her wrist.  Kathy and I had our pictures taken with us standing between Jake and Chip.  Kathy said that now she understands why I am called Peanut.  Check out the pictures of Kathy and I with the Oxen and with some of the fair goers.  The family is one that I talked with for quite a while.  The girls had so many questions and promised to be in the pageant when they "got old." 

August 13, 2013 -Here is link and your photo and press release for Peanuts 

August 14, 2014, I had a 45 minute interview with Molly Donahue from National Public Radio .  Molly read an article about me in the Manchester Union Leader.  She contacted me by joining my on line Dear Peanut forum.  She also saw the article in yesterday's Windham Patch, entitled "Find a Peanut."   
   Although Molly was very young and doing her internship at the radio station, she really knew her stuff.  She was a pro at running the recording equipment and many of the questions she asked were great practice for the interview portion of the national pageant in Atlantic City in October.   
  Like me, Molly had never heard about the Ms Senior America competition, so I told her about my Dear Peanut forum and how every time someone went to the forum, they were exposed to information about the mission of Ms. Senior America.  The forum is one way that I am exposing women to the program.  Hopefully, it will catch on so that women from across the country can help each other find solutions to the pesky challenges of aging.  
  Molly asked what did I expect to get from this experience.  I explained that being Ms NH Senior America gave me an official reason to speak with seniors.  Because of my TITLE, they share their challenges of aging more freely.  I am learning so much more from them then I am able to give.  So one of the benefits for me is that I get the inside scoop and can share their ideas in the forum so that we can all learn from each other.     The NPR program will air before next Tuesday.  Molly will let me know in advance and I will pass on the information.

August 14, 2013, I went to the Senior Night kick off dinner and concert sponsored by the Town of Londonderry Old Home Day committee .  The local Lyons club treated the seniors to a BBQ dinner.  I mingled with the crowd and talked to many of the women about how seniors are the corner stone of society because along with age, we acquired a lot of wisdom and life experience. I encouraged them to join my forum and to help me find delegates for the 2014 pageant in November.  
  Many of the women knew about Ms Senior America because their friend Peg Johnson was the NH delegate in 1998.  Peg did a great job promoting the pageant in her home town and she has inspired me to do the same in Windham and all across the state.

Aug15,2013 I performed with Ellie Risley's sliver Lining chorus  from the Nashua Senior Center.  I was hoping that Ellie would invite me to wear my sash and crown so that I could officially mingle with the crowd before the concert...maybe next time.  I did have a chance to speak with a few women before I left.

Aug. 17, 2013
I auditioned for the Silver Stars 
who will perform a holiday extravaganza at the Palace Theater in Manchester this coming December.  Since this is a senior cast, this was a wonderful opportunity to share the goals of Ms. Senior America and the encourage them to apply for the 2014 title.  Two of the former queens, who also perform with the Cameo club, also auditioned.  I tried for the chorus, a solo, a general dance group and the tap dance troupe.  I am anxiously waiting to find out how I did.

Aug. 20. 2013 The director of the "Forever Young" chorus in Manchester , invited me to join his group at the Sweeney Post, in Manchester.  A Big Band gave an outstanding performance. Before the show began and during intermission, I visited every table and touted the mission of Ms. Senior America.  To my delight, I ran into a friend from Bedford NH who said her husband would be in touch with me to arrange for me to participate at a function with his organization.  There was a group there from Vermont.  I asked them to encourage candidates to go to the national website to find information about applying in Vermont. 

Aug. 22, 2013 I have handed out over 250 business cards so far!!! 

August 22, 2013 I am standing with 11 other members from the Wellspring chorus  at the Hospice community House in Merrimack.  Each patient has their own suite with real furniture in the private bedroom and living room.  The bed faces double french doors that open to a private patio.  The bed can be pushed outside so that they can enjoy the wonderful gardens.

August 23, 2013 I met with NH Governor Maggie Hasson .  she was very interested in the Ms. Senior America program and it's focus on finding the best role model to help seniors reach their optimal level of contribution, fulfillment, and enjoyment of their senior years.  We discussed medical costs, Insurance coverage, and the impact of Obama Care for seniors.  watch for the links to the press releases and go to Dear Peanut to read all about it!

August 28, 2013, I went to Incredibrew in Nashua NH , with some of my sponsors from the Manchester Area Wine Lovers.  Look the picture of me mixing in the clarifying clay that will remove the sediment as the wine ferments.  More pictures to come!!!  In addition to making Moscoto wine, I gave out my business cards and invited new members to join my "Dear Peanut" on line forum.  I am so thrilled that Karen accepted the invitation so look for her comments and add your own.

August 29, 2013 I sang with the Wellspring Singers  at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack.  Many of the members told me that they read the article about my adventures as Ms. NH Senior America in today's Nashua Telegraph.  I encouraged them to check out the state and national websites to find out more about the program.

September 5, 2013, I started a new blog called "THINKING OUT OF THE BOX. " The purpose of the blog is to invite men and women of all ages to join the quest to find creative solutions to everyday challenges.  click here to fellow the link to my blog on line in the Windham Patch

September 6, 2013, I preformed with the Silver Lining Chorus at Langdon Place in Nashua, NH.  Can you guess the name of our opening song? Why it is "Look for the Silver Lining" of course.  I am doing an upbeat version of that song, with modifications in the melody and lyrics, for my talent in Atlantic city.  The residents sang along with us and especially enjoyed the tambourine routine.  After the concert, the director, Ellie Risely, graciously allowed me to wear my crown and banner while I visited with the residents.  While none of them were well enough to be a candidate, they wanted my card so that they could tell their family members that they met the "Queen."  Who knows, maybe someone in their family will join the forum or submit an application for 2014.

September 6, 2013 I went to the Women's Club of Concord  for their September First Friday Social Gathering.  They are an amazing group of women"  The club owns their own house that they used for all kinds of activities.  It was donated to them from the Town of Laconia, who originally inherited it from a women name Chamberlin.  while the Chamberlin House came with all kinds of wonderful antiques, dishes, wallpaper, woodwork, etc., some areas are need refurbishing.  They have been writing, applying, and receiving grants, such as the one for a new front porch.  I think that I found Ms. NH Senior America 2014!!!!  Two of the women TAP DANCE A THE LOCAL PRISON! Now that's unique.  Check out the photo of me with the two tap dancers.  They invited me to come back tomorrow for their Spa Fundraiser so for my next posting to see my before and after pictures.

September 6, 2013 One of my favorite stores is All About Moi,  in Salem New Hampshire.  The owner, Anne, has been a real asset in helping me select the right accessories for the National competition in October.  The customers are equally helpful.  Every time I go there, I introduce myself to everyone and ask them to help me pick my accessories.  My secret agenda is to get them invested so that they remember what Ms. Senior America is all about.  Look for our picture standing next to the star logo painted on the wall.  One of the customers that I met there is a sweetheart named Connie.  Ironically, a mutual friend brought Connie and her husband Tim, on my MID Day - MID WEEK hike that you will read about in my next journal entry.  I just love it when life gives me one surprise after another. 

September 7, 2013 I went back to the Women's Club of Concord to participate in their Spa Day fundraiser.   The women were very friendly and many of them wanted the details of the Ms. NH Senior America Program.  One woman asked for suggestions of how she could present quilting as her talent.  I suggested that she make a slide show and then explain how she quilts for specific cause, such as for homeless children.  I had the pleasure of meeting a woman named Linda who wants me to send her best regards to Windham's former Ms. NH Senior America Mary Griffin.  After getting a lesson in Mary Kay make up from Kathleen Holmberg-Botelho, I had my hair done Queen style and crown ready form Paula who is the owner of Salon Envy.  The topic that most women were interested in discussing was redeining ELLEGANCE.  They promised to join the forum and help me find the right answer for when the judges ask how I knew that I am elegant.  What a wonderful day with wonderful women doing wonderful things to help each other be the best that they can be!  Look at he last spa day picture and you will see what I found....NO... It's not a peanut... It a future NH Queen...forty years fro now!

September 9, 2013 It is important for seniors to stay physically active so I try to motivate them by leading MID-DAY MID- WEEK hikes.  Today we went to Benson's Park, in Hudson, New Hampshire. We walked the trails for about 90 minutes, stopping for breaks to enjoy the Butterfly Garden and the revival of the Chestnut trees in our state.  Afterwards, we went to my place for a cookout and some socializing.  As you see from the pictures, I found two future queens.  There is something about wearing a crown that inspires women to become one.  At least that is what I am counting on!  The last picture is my war story for the day .... the bumble bee won!  Unfortunately, I was supposed to sing with Ellie Risley's Silver Lining Chorus the next day but I could not close my fingers enough to button my nifty tuxedo shirt.  Likewise, I had to cancel my performance with the Wellspring Singers on Wednesday.  I am all better now!!!!

September 12, 2013 I went back to All About MOI for  a rhinestone necklace to wear with my black dress for the opening number for the finals in Atlantic City next month.  As usual, Anne had some great ideas.  After making my selection, Anne told me that we wanted to give me a good luck charm for the pageant.  She walked with me to a counter that had the most awesome rings .... the one that I had my eye on was a rhinestone CROWN RING that was above my price range.  Anne generously, gifted the ring to me.  Isn't it beautiful! ... minus the puffy bee stung fingers, of course.  Thank you so much Anne, for all your help, support, and belief in my ability to represent New Hampshire. 

September 14, 2013  Today was Old Home Day in Pelham , New Hampshire.  I lived in Pelham in 2008 and I still worship there at St Patrick's Church.  Way back in July, my coronation was in the Pelham Windham Newspaper.  Shortly after that Tom Seniow, the coordinator of the Pelham Old Home Day Parade, invited me to be in the parade.  I rode in a bright red 58 Chevy Impala convertible that was generously donated by a local resident.  The crowd was cheering as I waved and shouted "Seniors Rule."  In response they yelled "Yeah Seniors" and "Go Seniors Go."  What fun!!!  I am so honored to have the opportunity to represent New Hampshire and to let everyone know that even though I am 70 years old ... that I still have what it takes to generate excitement.  What an awesome day.
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