Norma Toussaint on Friday joined an exclusive club -- becoming a centenarian. "I feel pretty good, I really feel good," she said.
Toussaint said the secret to living a long life -- staying positive. "I think attitude had a lot to do with it -- not being pessimistic, being optimistic and being, no matter how bad things are, there's always something good," she said.
Born in Maine, Toussaint spent most of her life in Vermont. She got married and had five children. When her husband died in his late 50's, she went to work at a department store. She's now legally blind and hard of hearing but her mind and tongue are sharp. "Well, if I have a cocktail it's when the kids are home, so I might say my kids drive me to drink," she said.
And Friday she will celebrate with a whiskey sour with her family who have come from all over the country.
According to the Center For Rural Studies, in 2000 there were 100 people over a hundred and in 2010 it was up to 133 -- with women out numbering men 10 to 1. "That may have to do with issues that occur earlier in life expectancy, with more deaths due to trauma with men more than woman," said Dr. William Pendlebury, Director of the University of Vermont's Center on Aging.
Simply put -- women have a better chance to reach 100. Dr. Pendlebury said many in the aging boomer generation will someday hit the century mark. "And just the fact that the number of people who are getting older -- people over 65 are increasing dramatically -- so the one statistic that is really eye opening is that every single day for the next 17 years 8,000 people are going to turn 65," he said.
Doctor Pendlebury said the advances in health care and the knowledge of what's bad for you has increased the life expectancy.
Norma Toussaint confesses it's not her diet that has kept her going. "Potato chips, Moxie and rhubarb," she said. But again -- it goes back to attitude. "I call it PLUM disease -- Poor Little Unfortunately Me. I say, thank God for the blessings I have," she said.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>