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DECember 2017 An exclusive magazine serving the residents of Columbus

Coming Home

The Barnes Family Photo by Creative Images

• Keeping Christmas Simple • Youth and Stress • Fun Christmas Crafts!

A Note from your Content Coordinator...

expert contributors

Merry Christmas Columbus! Hoping your holiday season is filled with light, love and laughter! This month features the Barnes family, as well as Affordable Overhead Door! We also have great advice from our expert contributors, including a hysterical article from Drain Surgeon on how to help your plumbing survive the holidays! Tammy Hempstead, with Accent Floral has included a super fun and easy Holiday Craft too! I hope that the holidays are filled with peace and joy for all of you! Andrea Kuhl, Content Coordinator

Flooring & Home Decor Damon Vogt - Owner Dave Johnson & Craig Whitmore 402-564-5588

Physical Therapy Columbus Physical Therapy, PC 402-564-5456

Hospital Columbus Community Hospital 402-564-7118

Financial Thrivent Financial 402-606-4410

Assisted Living The Heritage at Meridian Gardens Rachelle Congdon 402-564-6300

Healthy Living Kimberly Harm, PhD, APRN-NP 402-276-0294

Heating & Air Conditioning Steve Simmons Air Comfort Heating & Cooling 402-564-2255

INSURANCE Annette Alt Annette Alt State Farm 402-564-8581

Plumbing & Pumping Service Rick Tate & Zach Tate Drain Surgeon & DS Pumping Services 402-563-2213 & 402-564-5048

Real Estate HOME Real Estate 402-563-4663

Connect with us! Proud member of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. columbusneighborsbvm

Publication Team Publisher: Kelcie Keeling Content Coordinator: Andrea Kuhl Designer: Jody Zipp Contributing Photographer: Creative Images Content Contributors: Steph Klein, Kimberly Harm, Jill Tate, Makenna Frenzen, Renee Mueller, Mandy Lauck, Liz Zillig, Jill Goedeken, Jen Brownlow, Tammy Hempstead

Advertising Contact: Kelcie Keeling, 402-250-7606,

Submission Deadline: Content due on the 15th of each month.

Feedback and Submissions: Have feedback, ideas or submissions? We are always happy to hear from you! Deadlines for submissions are the 15th of each month. Go to www. and click “Submit Content.” You may also email your thoughts, ideas and photos to:

Important Phone Numbers: Emergency ............................................................................................................................... 911 Police Department ............................................................................................402-564-3201 Fire Department ................................................................................................402-564-8129 City Clerk’s Office ...............................................................................................402-562-4224 Crime Stoppers ..................................................................................................402-563-4000 Library ...................................................................................................................402-564-7116 Park Maintenance ..............................................................................................402-562-4271 Animal Control ...................................................................................................402-564-8839 Central Community College ..........................................................................402-564-7132 Columbus Christian School ...........................................................................402-562-6470 Columbus Public Schools ...............................................................................402-563-7000 Immanuel Lutheran Church and School ...................................................402-564-0502 Scotus Central Catholic Jr/Sr High Schools ..............................................402-564-7165 Lakeview Community Schools .....................................................................402-564-8518

To learn more about becoming an Expert Contributor, contact Kelcie Keeling at or 402-250-7606.

Any content, resident submissions, guest columns, advertisements and advertorials are not necessarily endorsed by or represent the views of Best Version Media (BVM) or any municipality, homeowners associations, businesses or organizations that this publication serves. BVM is not responsible for the reliability, suitability or timeliness of any content submitted. All content submitted is done so at the sole discretion of the submitting party. © 2017 Best Version Media. All rights reserved.


Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017


underwriting into sales, and they agreed that this would be a great move…however it would include a move to North Carolina in order for that to happen.

Coming Home The Barnes Family

By Andrea Kuhl Across the country and back again…that’s the journey Steve and Traci Barnes have taken to come home again to Columbus. The adventure they took at the start of their marriage was exciting, but coming home has proved to be a priceless decision.

the day fishing in a canoe with a “cute girl,” even though she easily caught more fish than he did. Two years later they were married. Steve had earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and served in the Columbus National Guard throughout college. Following graduation, he worked as Assistant Manager at the Columbus Sherwin Williams Paint Store. Traci earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education/Early Childhood Development from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Steve and Traci originally met at a house party here in Columbus, but it wasn’t until six months later that they reconnected at the Lark Bar here in Columbus. After Steve let Traci beat him at shuffleboard, she asked what he was up to the following day. He was ecstatic to spend

Steve and Traci moved to Omaha where Traci taught at Rockwell Elementary, while Steve was the store manager for Sherwin Williams. After two years, Steve began working in the insurance field as an underwriter at Empire Fire and Marine, a Zurich NA company. As the young couple began thinking about starting a family, they knew that they would need to make some changes in order to allow for Traci to stay at home. Steve talked with his superiors about switching from


After two years in North Carolina, and the birth of their first son, Cameron, the young family knew it was time to come home. The call to be closer to family was one they couldn’t ignore. Steve was able to transfer back to Nebraska with Universal Underwriters Group within the Zurich Corporation. Over the next sixteen years, Steve and Traci lived in Elkhorn and grew their family, with the birth of Kiara and Keaton, as well as Steve’s expertise in the insurance and financial industry, working for Zurich, Holmes Murphy and Associates and GMAC/ Ally Financial Services. Three years ago, Steve and Traci knew they were ready for another change…a time to slow things down and live life a bit differently and away from the corporate hustle. They chose to move to Columbus. In August of 2015 Steve and fellow insurance partner purchased the Hometown Insurance Agency here in Columbus. With the purchase, Steve knew he was getting a great community name with great clientele. As the business has grown, Steve and Traci also wanted to find a location with more visibility and access for the community. Over the past few months, they have spent countless hours renovating their new building between HyVee and Columbus Motor Company. The move was complete in August and they are in full swing at their new location.

When the family returned to Columbus three years ago, they chose a home on Wagner Lakes, which gives them the moments to enjoy the numerous water activities. Besides swimming, fishing, and boating they bask in ice-skating and playing ice hockey on the frozen lake. They savor the quiet, peaceful neighborhood. Steve and Traci have had the opportunity to help coach their kids in multiple sports, as well as volunteer their time for Habitat for Humanity and other charitable events around town. They enjoy the welcoming spirit of their church, Trinity Lutheran. While moving home has allowed for the family to feel more grounded in their roots, they still love their going on adventures, both big and small. They try and get back to North Carolina when they can, as they feel such a connection to the area that was once their home. The family also loves to make it to games to support the Huskers, UNO Hockey and the Denver Broncos. Two summers ago, the family took a road trip in an RV through Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho before arriving in Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to visit family. It was an epic experience for the family where unforgettable memories were made. Moving home has given the family so many possibilities that the bigger city just couldn’t provide. They have the opportunity to participate in multiple activities and make great friends along the way that will last a lifetime. They are blessed to spend time with their parents, siblings, a new baby nephew and other relatives and life-long friends right here in Columbus. Even though they have only been back for just over three years, it feels like they had never left. The community has been warm and welcoming and full of fun things for them all to do. For them, Columbus is just perfect for how they want to live their lives. • Do you know a neighbor who has a story to share? Nominate your neighbor to be featured in one of our upcoming issues! Contact us at

Moving home to Columbus has given the family the opportunity to settle down and take stock of the important things in life. Traci enjoys being able to stay home and raise the kids, but finds time to substitute teach and give her time to various charities and community activities. The family is able to spend countless hours with their extended family, whom all live in Columbus. Cameron has enjoyed his time at CHS, playing football and baseball for his dad’s alma mater. He became a National Honor Society Member his sophomore year. He enjoys the opportunity to hunt birds and hang out with his family and friends. And while he is looking forward to college next year, he is taking time to enjoy his senior year at CHS. Kiara is a seventh grader at Columbus Middle School and has enjoyed playing volleyball and basketball for her school, as well as playing Swish basketball and AYSO soccer over the years. She plans to run for the track team this spring and is working towards her Confirmation at Trinity Lutheran Church. She loves finding time to hang out with family and friends, make funny videos, and concoct slime. Keaton is a fifth grader at Columbus Middle School and is busy playing Mariner baseball, Anchor Hoops basketball and football for the Columbus Area Youth Football Association. He also loves to hunt birds, fish, swim and cheer on his brother and sister in their athletic endeavors.

Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017


Community Happenings

By Liz Zillig

The American Heart Association's Columbus

Go Red for Women Movement

Every 80 seconds, a woman dies from heart disease and stroke. But it doesn’t have to be that way. United – we can change that staggering statistic. Here are a few ways you can make a change today: Be part of the movement all year long with Columbus Circle of Red generously sponsored by Great Plains State Bank. Thirty members strong, the group fights heart disease and stroke together. Women in the Circle of Red contribute significant resources and influence to fund lifesaving research, education and advocacy for heart health on a local level. The group comes together

throughout the year to keep the Go Red for Women mission alive through events and education opportunities. To learn more, contact Liz Zillig,, 402-875-7382, corporate events director, American Heart Association. Join us at Columbus Go Red For Women Presented Locally by Columbus Community Hospital on Thursday, February 8th. The event features a silent auction, dinner and survivor stories. Themed Start the Conversation, the Ladies Night Out hosts hundreds of Columbus’ businesses, medical and social community members. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the office at 402-875-7382. And lastly, you can visit to learn what you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Encourage your family and friends to take small steps toward healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke, too. Questions or to learn more about the opportunities above, contact Liz Zillig,, 402-875-7382, corporate events director, American Heart Association. •

Laser Hair Removal

Expert Contributor

By Kimberly Harm, PhD, APRN-NP Harmony Health and Wellness, LLC Certified Laser and IPL Specialist

exposed to summer sun. Columbus laser hair removal services offer both laser and IPL for hair removal among other skin rejuvenating treatments.

The smell of burning hair can be so exciting!

If you are considering laser (or IPL) hair removal there are some considerations:

Laser hair removal is a safe, effective treatment for the reduction of unwanted hair for women and men. Nearly all body parts can be treated. All skin tones can be treated. However it is only effective on brown hair. While research has shown it can work on blonde and red hair, results are not consistent enough to be sure it will work for an individual. The term laser is used in discussing laser hair removal but it includes both lasers and intense pulsed light devices. Laser is an acronym of Light Amplified Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers have been used for cosmetic purposes for several decades. Experimentation with lasers for cosmetics started in the 1960s and the use has continued to grow since. Lasers direct infrared, long wavelengths of light to penetrate the skin and are targeted at a chromophore. Typical chromophores with cosmetic lasers are melanin, protein in red blood cells, and water. Active growing hairs produce melanin, which gives the hair color. When the target or melanin absorbs laser light it causes the target to heat up and will destroy that hair follicle. The energy settings are adjusted for the laser to destroy the target before the heat can spread to and potentially damage the surrounding skin. This allows for laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation treatments that are safe while minimizing damage. While safe, treatments with laser are not without risk. Precautions must be exercised to protect the skin from damage such a blisters or burns.

• Hair removal can be done on any skin tone with consideration of the type of device used. • It is only effective on brown hair. Do not wait until your brown chin hairs are turning gray! • Hair grows in several phases and the laser/IPL treatments will only work on active growing hairs. This means multiple treatments will be required to obtain significant reduction or permanent hair removal. The interval of treatments is usually around every 6-8 weeks depending on the area treated. If treatments need to be postponed it does not interfere with efficacy of treatments. • Taking blood thinning medication is not advised while being treated • Taking medications or supplements that increase your sensitivity to the sun should be stopped prior to and during treatments • Hormones and genetics may interfere with hair loss • Treatments are not able to shape eyebrows but uni-brow can be treated • Treatments are effective for women and men In office consultations are best to further discuss hair removal! •

While lasers use invisible light, alternative treatments use visible light and are called intense pulsed light devices (IPL). Treatment with IPL uses light therapy targeting several wavelengths instead of the single wavelength of lasers. They are used for hair removal, treatment of brown spots, and red blood vessels. The energy of the IPL is attracted to dark pigmentation and therefore cannot be used with darker skin tones and tanned skin. Particular wavelength lasers are instead for those with more color in their skin. Fall, winter, and early spring months are the best for timing IPL treatments to the areas that are


Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017


December 2017

Calendar of Events

December 3

Scotus Craft Boutique

@Scotus Central Catholic High School 9am-3pm. Admission is $4 for Adults. For more event information go to December 7

First Fridays at Urban Farm Boutique “What a Man” Shopping Night

@Urban Farm Boutique Stop in to Urban Farm Boutique on Friday from 5-8pm and check out all the local Direct Sales Vendors and Artisans who have set up in the store! You can also shop all the great, unique items that UFB has to offer! Enjoy fresh refreshments while you shop UFB and these amazing vendors! December 9

Kolache Class

@ Columbus Public Library Mary Hruska is coming December 9th, Saturday at 2 PM to the Columbus Library auditorium to teach us how to make

kolaches. She will bring copies of her recipe for you to make this yummy treat at home. Mary will come to the class with pre-made kolaches, served with coffee, so we can have a taste of this wonderful dessert. This is the perfect skill to learn for holiday entertaining to impress family and friends. Participants can enter a drawing to win the kolaches made in class. There is no registration and participation is free. Bring a friend! December 9-10

Christmas Rush Creative Crafters Craft Show

@ 30 Center Mall Saturday from 9am-5pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm Contact Sharon Pohlman at 402-564-1845 for more information December 13

Peace Lutheran Church Bell Concert @Peace Lutheran Church 7pm

December 16-17

Youth Basketball Tournament

@ Various sites throughout Columbus Come check out the exciting youth basketball games and support our local teams! December 17

Christmas Craft Fair

@ The Ramada 10am-4pm For more information call 402-564-1492 December 28-29

Holiday Basketball Tournament

@ Scotus Central Catholic High School Come support your favorite local basketball teams! For more information on game schedules, please call 402-564-2769 January 11-14

Platte Valley Playhouse “The Savannah Sipping Society”

@ CCC-Columbus Campus Theater Thursday – Saturday 8pm and Sunday 2pm For ticket information please call 402-564-STAR

Columbus Community Foundation Is Raising Funds for

SonoSite Ultrasound Equipment

By Mandy Lauck The Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) Foundation Board chooses its fundraising campaigns based on the direction of hospital administration. The foundation’s most recent campaign for SonoSite portable ultrasounds, not only has the administration’s support, but the backing of CCH physicians and nurses, as well. “The project was strongly recommended as one which would improve patient care, comfort and satisfaction,” said Carol Keller, executive director of the CCH Foundation, “All of these medical professionals strongly encouraged us to take on this fundraising effort.” At this point, CCH already has one SonoSite portable ultrasound in its Emergency Department where there was an immediate need for it. However, CCH hopes to add two more of these devices, one each in its Same Day Services and Surgical Services departments. SonoSite portable ultrasounds will allow CCH doctors to rapidly diagnose patients, scan organs that are easily injured, assess how much blood is in vessels, identify nerves and structures and localize veins for targeted surgeries. The SonoSite portable ultrasounds can do all of this at patients’ bedsides. “The portability of these devices allows point-of-care ultrasound to aid in quicker diagnostics and on-target accuracy that will improve the quality of care and patient safety,” said Tom Jarecke, CCH Foundation board chair. The portability of the ultrasounds also makes them especially beneficial for the hospital’s pediatric patients. “It can be done at the bedside, so the child is kept close to the parent,” said Keller. “Or the parent can safely go with the patient to do an ultrasound, since there is no radiation exposure.”

Community Happenings putting that ultrasound on, we can get an awful lot of information that really guides us to take better care of the patient,” said Mark Howerter, M.D., medical director of CCH’s Emergency Department. Providing quality patient care is important to CCH and the purchase of this equipment will allow the hospital to continue to do that, said Keller. The foundation has pledged to raise $98,500 for the purchase of SonoSite portable ultrasounds. So far, the foundation has raised about $15,000. With the fundraising campaign for SonoSite ultrasounds set to end in late December 2017 or January 2018, now is the perfect time to donate to the campaign. “By donating to the CCH Foundation your investment is contributing to the high-quality care that our community-owned hospital offers your family, friends and neighbors,” said Jarecke. “With your generous support, we will continue to bring the latest state-of-the-art technology to Columbus Community Hospital.” There are two convenient ways to make a donation to the Columbus Community Hospital Foundation. Start by visiting foundation’s page on the hospital’s website From here, you can donate online with a credit card or you can print out a donation form and mail your donation to the Community Hospital Foundation at 4600 38th Street, Columbus, NE 68601. For more information about the campaign or how to donate, contact the Columbus Community Hospital Foundation at 402-562-3377 or by email at foundation@ “With your help, Columbus Community Hospital will remain ready to provide hope and healing,” Jarecke said. •

The SonoSite portable ultrasounds aren’t just helpful for pediatric patients though, improved ultrasound technology has applications throughout the hospital. “It’s not just for people who have orthopedic problems. It’s not just for people who have breast cancer or it’s not just for moms and babies. It’s for almost everyone,” said Jeremy Albin, M.D., general surgeon, Columbus General Surgery. The SonoSite portable ultrasound in CCH’s Emergency Department is already being used to rapidly diagnose patients and the department has been pleased with the results. “It’s a tool that within about three or four minutes of

Neighborhood Classifieds:

Have something to sell or give away? It might be just the thing your neighbor is looking for! To place your free classified, go to and click “Submit Content.” For free listings, ads must be 40 words or less, nonbusiness related. You will receive email confirmation.


For Sale: Eight place settings of like-new cream China dishes with flowered border for $40. Five matching serving pieces for $25. Please call 402-563-2456 if interested.

Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017


Expert Contributor

Easing Lower Back Pain and Sciatica By Steph Klein, DPT

Too Hard? Try This…

Do you have Lower Back Pain and Sciatica when bending forward, sitting, lifting , coughing and twisting?

1. Same position.  

Is your pain relieved when standing or bending backwards? You may have signs of a Herniated Disc. What can you do at home?

2. Lay on a pillow under your chest with arms at your side. What Should I feel?  If your pain is coming from a herniated disc, you should feel less pain in your legs and more in your lower back. EXERCISE #2: PRESS UP ON STOMACH 1. Lying on your stomach, hands in push-up position.

TOP 3 EXERCISES for a Herniated Disc

2. Keep hips and pelvis on floor, press upper body, head and chest up. Hold 5 seconds, repeat 10 times.

These exercises are for you if:

Too Hard? Try this….

1. You have lower back pain or sciatica

Instead of placing hands underneath shoulders, move them forward or up 6 inches and decrease how much you bend back.

2. Your pain comes on or gets worse with sitting, bending forward, lifting, coughing and twisting. 3. Pain is relieved when standing or bending backwards. EXERCISE #1: PROP UP ON STOMACH 1. Lying on your stomach, prop up on your elbows. 2. Keep breathing.  Hold for up to 2 minutes

EXERCISE #3: STANDING BACK BEND 1. Standing with hands placed on the small of your back. 2. Bend backwards.   Repeat 10-20 times. Do these exercises 2x/day.  They should NOT increase your leg pain!  They should make your leg pain less.  STOP if they increase your leg pain. •

Juggling It All By Makenna Frenzen I am Makenna Frenzen, a sophomore at Lakeview High School. High school can be rough, all of us students struggle with many different things during these four years of our lives, this could be our grades, our jobs, or even sports we participate in. Lately, it has become very apparent to me that it is hard for many of us to concentrate on school work when we have so many other things in our lives we have to find time for. All high school students are so unique and all these kids treat school differently. Some kids work extremely hard in school and their grades make that very obvious. Others work hard and try their absolute best, but it does not seem to matter because school can be incredibly difficult at times. Some students are so smart and so gifted that they do not have to try very hard at all in school, but will succeed average standards anyway. Other students are extremely gifted, but do not care and do not want to go above and beyond to achieve what they are capable of. School can be very stressful for all students, no matter how smart they are.

Youth Feature

Many teenagers get a job when they are in high school. I believe it is important for all high school students to work because it helps us become responsible young adults, and it will benefit us in the future. If we decide to receive a college education after high school, money is definitely needed to pursue that dream. Many jobs require interviews and social interaction, both of these things will help in the future when we settle down and start working somewhere that will provide enough for our future families. Although, high school jobs can be hard and cause a lot of stress because teenagers have so many other things they worry about, sometimes it becomes difficult to find time to spend with friends and have fun. Sports can be a great way to spend time with friends, and a great way to develop teamwork skills. Participating in a sport can be a lot of fun, but it can also help you become more reliable and respectful. Athletes learn how to communicate better on and off the court, they learn how to step up and become better leaders. Taking part in sports teams has made me a better person in general. I know that it helps me think things through a lot more, which makes me more patient and understanding. Sports can be very stressful though, it can be very easy for pressure to build up and overwhelm us. It becomes a problem when all that seems to matter anymore, is success. Yes, success and winning will make it a lot more enjoyable, knowing all our hard work has paid off, but that should not be why we participate in sports. We should participate because we want to have fun and enjoy ourselves. I believe it is important to remind ourselves and our teammates of this often. It is very obvious that many high school students struggle with time management and that it can be hard for many of us teenagers to find time for fun. We all have different lives, we all have unique situations, and we all struggle with different things. So, instead of judging one another, or making fun of one another, we should all be here for each other. One simple smile could make someone’s day. •


Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017


Business Profile

Plumbing Prep Strategies

Affordable Overhead Doors

for the Holidays

By Andrea Kuhl Affordable Overhead Doors of Columbus is founded in the belief that their customers will always receive a quality product at a reasonable price. As Bob Lewis has served the Columbus area for the past sixteen years, he has held firm to this belief as he has outfitted the residents, businesses and farms of the Columbus area. Affordable Overhead Doors sells, installs and services any type of overhead doors and operators on residential and commercial buildings. They do a great deal within the Ag Market, installing doors on new buildings and retrofitting doors on existing buildings, as well as replacing sliding doors with overhead doors. Bob has four associates that work with him: Luke Humpal, Kyle Brestel, Paul Hansen, and Clint Kapels. Together they bring many years of experience to the business and their customers. They enjoy the opportunity to work with their customers in town and the farms that surround the community. Bob grew up in a farming community, so he truly enjoys seeing the changes and progress of the farming industry through the years. Bob graduated from Kearney State College with a business degree and spent seventeen years working as a Construction Manager with Country General Stores, managing the buildings and maintaining their retail stores across the Midwest. He then spent five years running his own full-service lawn care business in Grand Island, followed by another eight years selling Overhead Door products in Columbus and the surrounding counties. Opening Affordable Overhead Door in 2001, has given him roots here in Columbus. He and his wife Carol have been married since 2011 and have four grown daughters and soon-


Expert Contributor

By Jill Tate Believe it or not, the Holidays are here! If you are planning to play host to your family and friends, here are a few tips to help keep your plumbing flowing smoothly. Kitchen Tip:

to-be-eleven grandchildren. Carol has spent the past forty years working for the State of Nebraska at DAS/OCIO in the data processing department. When the couple isn’t busy with work, they enjoy doing gardening and yard work. Bob enjoys his antique tractors and giving the grandkids rides on them. Carol loves the opportunity to cook for family gatherings and sewing different family projects. They love catching the Huskers play and are members at Trinity Lutheran Church. Each summer the couple takes their families to Mahoney State Park for a few days of relaxation. They also love the opportunity to take bus tours to see the sights throughout the Midwest. Bob and Carol enjoy the community they call home. They love that they are surrounded by great neighbors and embraced by a community that is so supportive of its local businesses. They make every effort to hold true to their motto of “a quality product at a reasonable price’ for everyone in Columbus and the surrounding area. •

Contrary to popular belief, your garbage disposal is not actually for disposing of garbage. It is for the small bits of food that get rinsed from your plate that would otherwise clog a drain. It grinds up that food and with enough water, moves it on down the line. A common mistake, especially when peeling those 65lbs of potatoes for Christmas dinner, is to run any and all food down the garbage disposal. Lots of food simply doesn’t do well in garbage disposals. Those items include potatoes and potato peelings, stringy veggies like celery, raw or cooked meat, rice, which swells and sticks to the pipes, and eggshells, which becomes absolute cement. In fact, cement is made from eggshells to increase its strength! Fats and oils, pumpkin innards and non-food things like cigarette butts, paper and plastic are also terrible things to put down the disposal.

If you have a house full of folks who are hungry, the last thing you want to do is make them wait longer because you had to call the plumber to unclog your drain. If you find that Great Aunt Sadie has shoved a bunch of food down the disposal, your best defense is to run the disposal until it is all clear and then continue running water for a long time…a very long time. Longer than you think is really necessary. You want to move that food as far down the line as you possibly can. Water is relatively inexpensive when compared to holiday plumbing bills. Run the water. Bathroom Tip: Firstly, do not buy that plushy, cushiony, triple strength toilet tissue for the day your house is full to overflowing or chances are, your toilet will be as well. If you need that tissue, keep it in your master bath, under lock and key. Nobody else needs to know. When you have a house full of folks, your sewer system gets a workout. Be kind to it. You know those kids are going to use 17 times more tissue than they need. Be proactive and purchase your toilet tissue accordingly. When in doubt, flush twice. If you have overnight guests, ask them to limit showers to 10 minutes or less. Maybe they won’t have time to shave their legs in there, but it’s cold out and they can wear pants. Nobody will know. With a typical 50 gallon water heater, you can get about 20 minutes of hot water before it has to re-heat. Shower strategically. Also, on the topic of showers, getting a strainer to cover the drain will greatly reduce the chances of clogging that sucker up at the least opportune time. Your sweet niece with the lovely locks is going to do a number on that drain and a strainer will be your best defense. The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. Be proactive and save your self the hassle of plumbing problems by being prepared. You, your guest and especially your home repair budget will thank you. •

Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017


Local Contributor

3. Youth need to experience failure in a safe way. Adults need to help youth face failure, learn from it and be better equipped in the future. The same adult who is pressuring their child to perform at certain levels may be prohibiting failure in a safe environment to happen.

Youth and Stress:

Adults want youth to develop skills so they are successful in the future. One of those skills needs to be resiliency, or the ability to overcome challenges presented to you. Most youth develop physically and emotionally as they get older. It is through this development and interaction with adults that they need to experience failure, which enables resiliency. Facing failure in a safe environment will actually alleviate stress youth experience later on and will contribute to developing this life skill for the future.

What Adults Need to Know By Jill Goedeken, Extension Educator, 4-H & Youth Development Stress is defined as a function of the demands placed on us and our ability to meet them. It is commonplace to consider adults as being stressed, but the reality is that children and youth face stress as well. A variety of things can cause children and youth to experience stress in their lives. Unlike adults, youth are limited in their ability to critically think and problem solve based on their age and development of their brain. Youth development experts know that brains do not fully develop until at least age 20 or 21, sometimes later. Different factors cause stress to adults than to children and youth. Thus, adults may be stressing out their children without realizing it. What causes stress? There are many things that can cause children and youth stress such as divorce, moving schools, hearing adults discuss stress in their lives, natural disasters and more. These things seem natural causes of stress for children, however, studies show that a variety of factors have changed the way adults parent their children. It is odd to think that adults are actually the ones stressing out youth, however, consider a few factors:


Helping Students Overcome being “Over” Everything Over stressed, overwhelmed, over-scheduled, over-committed and the list goes on. Adults play a critical part in helping their child overcome the stress they feel. Some ideas include:

1. Adolescence can sometimes be nicknamed as the “storm and stress” phase of growing up. While everyone goes through it, it cannot be ignored by adults because everyone will experience it differently. The most natural cause of stress for youth are the physical and emotional changes that occur during this stage of development. 2. Social media allows for adults to be over-connected to their peers. This level of connectivity allows parents to always see what their peers’ children are achieving. This causes adults to be more apt to make sure their child is performing as well -- in the classroom, on the court/field or any other activities they participate in.

1. Simplify: Adults need to enable their child to balance their schedules. There are certainly things children and youth must do such as attending school and family responsibilities. However, children were never intended to be overwhelmed with commitments. Adults can have a conversation with their child to help them understand what they have to do versus what they want to do and then decide what is the best use of their time. 2. Make a plan: Is the child still feeling stressed after simplifying their schedule? Equip them with tools to make their load manageable such as keeping a planner, a calendar or creating a to-do list. The method doesn’t need to be fancy. Just find a method that works for your child.

3. Become intentional with food choices and sleep: Adults need to monitor the amount of sleep their child gets each night and ensure they are feeding their bodies and minds with proper nutrition. Sleep enables youth to perform better and reduces stress. Consuming a healthy diet and plenty of fluids can have the same affect. 4. Be a good role model: Adults can be a good role model for reducing stress in several ways. If adults are stressed and overwhelmed, children pick up on this and if it goes on long enough, will start to consider this the expectation for themselves. The ability to demonstrate a balanced agenda for work, social and civic commitments will be a great example to youth. Additionally, demonstrating healthy eating and sleep habits is important as a role model. 5. Find their strengths: Children can tend to become stressed when worried about their weaknesses. Enable your child to be aware of their strengths and use them to perform better in school and other areas of life. 6. Encourage them not to take the easy way out: Teaching your children to tackle challenges that may cause them to struggle a bit through the process will enable them to become resilient when they are faced with hard tasks later in life. Being able to handle stress is a life skill. Enable them to learn this skill through finding or providing age-appropriate challenges for them to tackle. For information on other youth related topics, contact Jill A. Goedeken at the Nebraska Extension - Platte County office at 402-563-4901 or •

Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017


Craft Corner

Toilet Paper Tube Wreath (Yes, another toilet paper craft) By Tammy Hempstead Materials Needed: • Toilet paper tubes • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks • Scissors • Paint of your choice (spray or liquid) • Paint brush (if using liquid paint) • Small round ornaments (I purchased mine in a tube at Dollar Tree) • Ribbon (Optional)

Keeping the Season

Merry & Bright

Step 1: Cut tubes in half and glue into a circle of your choosing. You will need as many round ornaments as you have half tubes. Step 2: Paint both the inside and outside of each tube of your formed wreath. Step 3: Insert ornaments to your liking. Step 4: (Optional) Attach a bow for hanging.

By Megan Mahlik

That’s it! Just a few simple steps and you are done.

For everyone the holidays mean something different. For some, it’s snow covered streets lit by reflections of lights on roofs. For others, it’s putting candles in seaside windows and enjoying a warm breeze. Whatever your circumstance this holiday, the warm wishes and thoughts of the season are always universal. We go out of our way to be generous, good natured, and even reflective during the holidays. We strive for better, in our communities and in our homes.

To see a how-to-video of this activity check our YouTube channel, Accent Floral and Galleria! •

However, as crowds grow in shopping malls and on the expressway, we curse the season and the flood of people it brings. It seems no matter the time the traffic is slow, the cash register line is long, and there are so many ringing bells. We’ve all heard how to stay fit through the holidays, how cook the best stuffing, and what gifts are trendy this year. What we don’t hear is how to stay sane when people are stepping on our heels in Target or driving 10 miles per hour through our neighborhood. So, how can we manage our stress this year? Have Patience Beginning the day after we give thanks for what we have, many will flood for more. The crowds crawl on each other in order to score a deal they may or may not need. During this busy time keep in mind the nature of the holiday season—it’s a celebration and a chance to be with friends and family. This can become a moot point during the stress and crowds, but remember, everyone else will undoubtedly be busy as well. They, like you, are looking to make memories with their loved ones and get


from point a to point b. Plan ahead and give yourself extra time for everything from grocery shopping to getting to the gym. Don’t give yourself the chance to be overwhelmed or feel hurried. Have Respect Respect those around you in all areas of your life. For some the holidays are about celebrating with loved ones, for others, it’s about remembering them. Never make assumptions about what someone else is going through as the holidays pull many emotions to the surface and you can unintentionally offend someone. The same goes for retail, public service, and restaurant employees as they are probably sharing in your stress. Working in customer service is difficult, and even more exhausting come holiday time. Keep in mind that it’s not the employee’s fault if an item is sold out, the line is long, or a restaurant overbooked. It’s the nature of the season! Have Compassion The holidays are a time to reflect and work on something bigger than ourselves. Maybe we start donating time to an organization, or helping those around us. It will not only feel natural to help out in the community, but feel good too, as we all look for a little extra over the holidays. Sometimes needs are not just monetary but emotional as well. Make yourself available, have a listening ear, and help those who need your time and support. With your patience, respect and compassion, you will be sure to keep this beautiful holiday season merry! •

Happy Holidays!

Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017


Local Contributor

Tips to Creating a Rental Portfolio By Renee Mueller

pay taxes on their cash flow and can wait for capital gains on the sale of the property in the future, unless they utilize a 1031 exchange as aforementioned! 4. The tax write-offs against your other income. Having a rental property affords investors with another incredible opportunity to convert personal expenses to potentially valid business deductions. Also, depending on your classification as an Active Investor or Real Estate Professional and your income level, there is a good chance that your rental property will give you an overage of tax deductions that you can use against your other income. With that said, this is something you will want to discuss with your tax professional before investing so that your expectations are realistic.

I realize it may be unrealistic to purchase an investment or rental property before yearend. However, I want to get you thinking about this strategy and encourage you to start shopping now and make it a priority next year if nothing else. As entrepreneurs find success with their primary business ventures, many search for the proper investments for their profits. With that said, after working with several clients over the years who have done so, along with my own investments, I am convinced that more entrepreneurs should consider real estate as an important part of their portfolio. Now, you may shrug off the concept of owning a rental property and having tenants, due to the time and skills it may take to manage a rental portfolio. But let me list a few reasons that may change your mind:

2. Tax deferred growth. Buying rental property based on speculation of its value is a dangerous tactic since cash flow is the key. However, appreciation over the long run is certainly realistic and at the least, you should be considering a tax-deferred strategy. In the future, you may even consider a 1031 exchange, charitable trust or installment sale to lessen your tax liability further and keep growing this nest egg. This is another article entirely! 3. Tax-free cash flow. It’s no secret that because of depreciation and mortgage interest deductions (if you leverage your capital), your cash flow should be tax-free. That’s right! The far majority of the time, an investor will never


• Learn to manage your property manager. Unless you are a full-time real estate investor and one tough cookie, get a property manager! If you don’t have the temperament to be tough and start eviction proceedings three days after a tenant is late, have a personal intervention with yourself. You may not have the time, skills or system to be your own property manager, even if the property is local. Be a realist. Your time could be better spent looking for other rentals, doing the books and earning income with your day job or operational business. So with that said, always, and I mean always, put a budget in your rental property analysis for a property manager (approximately ten percent of gross rents). Even if you have visions of grandeur and start managing, you will want the budget to add a property manager if that need arises. • Don’t use a shotgun approach. I recently met with a client that had five properties in three states. They were great properties, but seriously? Look at the inefficiency of registering an LLC in three states, three state tax returns, three different property managers, three different trips to at least occasionally check on your rentals and several different markets to understand and follow. Now when you have 25-plus rentals and you can afford to make your full-time job managing your rentals and property managers, then tackle three or four markets. But if not, consider the alternative: Bundle your properties in one or two markets, maybe three. Get to

1. The use of leverage. Real estate is one of the few investment vehicles where using the bank’s money couldn’t be easier. The ability to make a down payment, leverage your capital and thus increase your overall return on investment is incredible.

It’s okay if you don’t buy local. It’s far more important to buy quality rental properties, rather than local. But, if you are lucky, and you truly live in an area such as this, where there are good returns and rental markets, where the return on investment is legitimate without having to own it outright or put down a fortune …then consider yourself lucky. Gain some experience, put in some sweat equity and shop ‘til you drop!!

know your property managers, get to know the areas and try to be efficient with your tax and legal planning. Save time and money with “bundling.” • Have a master rental property analysis spreadsheet. Create an Excel spreadsheet to analyze any and all possible deals. That’s right-you’re not going to buy the first rental you see this year! Run every property through the gauntlet of your spreadsheet. Own your spreadsheet. Know every column. Start with fair market value, money down, improvements and mortgage/carrying cost, then move it through rental income and expenses, and wrap it up with a cash-on-cash return on-investment figure. Base your decision on this key factor generated by your spreadsheet. • Remember, you are buying numbers. Too many investors get emotional about their purchase and can even envision themselves living in the rental property they are analyzing. This is a terrible mistake. In these situations, the investor often over improves the property, investing far too much time or capital and blows their return on investment out of the water. You aren’t buying a property - you are buying “numbers.” Consider: What do your dollars get you in dollars and cents? Not, what cute neighborhood or yard do they get you? • Do your research. Do your research and then do it again. Don’t look at a property as to Why shouldn’t I get this? Look at it as, Why should I get this property? Make the numbers prove it to you. The far majority of us will never get rich overnight. It takes long-term investing and a diverse portfolio to build true wealth. Bottom line, these are the key themes, strategies and approaches to real estate that have proved to be successful time and time again. Don’t underestimate the power of real estate on your tax return in your portfolio of wealth. •

5. Rental real estate is a forced retirement plan. Americans are terrible savers. We lack the self-discipline to put a monthly deposit into our IRA, SEP or 401k as small-business owners. However, buying a rental property is a significant commitment that you are required to commit to and maintain. It builds future wealth and of this you will be thankful! Based on this fact and the list above, I have consistently urged my clients to buy one rental property a year or invest in some other form of real estate and many of them have seen wealth building as they had never imagined possible. Now, finding the right property for you in your situation can be a challenge. Over the years, I have purchased properties myself and also work with clients each week, if not daily, to structure their real estate portfolios: Here are six strategies I have learned and applied over the years that can help you find the best rental property for you in your situation. • Buy local if you can. This is a good rule of thumb, but don’t get hyper-focused on buying local so you can “check on the property.”

Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017



Local Contributor

By Jen Brownlow When you think of the word “fit” what do you think of? As I get older and experience more things in my life, my word “fit” is starting to change. It is starting to evolve. I am starting to think the word “fit” can mean healthy, happy and whole. When someone comes to the Y and wants to be healthy, in my opinion, this is what I would talk to them about.

Local Contributor

Keeping Christmas Simple...

By Andrea Kuhl It is no secret that in today’s world, we are inundated and overwhelmed by too much of everything. It is way too easy to go overboard and over-budget on our Holiday gift giving. Below are some fun ways to keep things on track for the Holidays! It is also a great way to sit and reflect on the person receiving the gift and the things that make them unique. • Something They Want…the big ticket present! • Something They Need…sports equipment or hobby tools? • Something to Wear…this can be things that are fun and different, maybe some fun accessories or funky socks!

1. Cardiovascular training for your heart is still very important. I want people to be able to accomplish 30-60 minutes with some type of cardio workout at least 3 days a week. It could be swimming, cardio machines, fitness classes, etc. I want them to sweat a little.

• Something to Read…there are so many great books and magazines that touch on everything possible subject!

certain muscle group and not been able to alieve that tightness? Stretching is so important for us to do daily. When you meet with a physical therapist, what do they have you do during your sessions? If you said stretches you are correct. They usually want you to work on stretches on your own in-between sessions as well. I believe we would all feel a little better if we stretched more. 4. Another big component of health is drinking water. As I am sitting here writing this article I just looked at my 24 oz. water bottle and realized, I should not be only finishing my first one, I should be finishing at least my second one. Water helps with so many things. Water can make your skin look better, it can control daily calories and it can energize your muscles. So drink up. I would recommend drinking 4-20 oz. bottles a day. 5. Move. If we would only keep playing those fun playground games our whole life, I believe we would be able to play those games forever. We were exercising and we didn’t even know it. The problem is we stopped moving and playing and then when we try it 10 years later, our body doesn’t move like it used it. I believe that only happens because we stop. Move your wrists, fingers, ankles, hips, knees, legs and arms every day.

• Something to Do…this is my favorite new gift to give! Movie tickets, concerts, roller skating and laser tag, pottery and art classes…the list is endless! • Something from “Me”…these are the keepsakes we share with those we love…photo albums, letters and ornaments that remind us in the years to come of 2016.

6. Try to get some sleep. Getting enough sleep will help you be more productive every day. Try for at least 6 hours of sleep. When we are tired, we tend to exercise less, drink less water and not eat as well.

• Something for the Family…another favorite of mine. I love the gifts we can all enjoy like a new board game (or maybe an old-school one from my younger years), family movie night bundles or a fun family outing or vacation. •

7. Be mindful of what you are eating. The more we eat while we are doing other things like watching tv, driving, reading email, the more calories we consume without realizing it. Enjoy your food and don’t try to multi-task when eating. Try to include more fruits, veggies and whole grains.

2. Strength training is another big component of anyone’s workout routine. Strength training can help us stay strong as we age. It is not just a “guy thing” anymore, it is beneficial for everyone. Resistance training or using one’s own body weight can be used for strength training. 3. Another component that seems to get skipped more often than not is stretching. Stretching is so important to keep people flexible and balanced. Have you ever been tight in a

8. Be Happy. We tend to make sure we fit everything into our daily routines, but forget to do something that makes us happy or take the time to laugh. Laughing is the best medicine. Life is too serious sometimes and we all need some down time. I started this article with the word “fit” and wondering what it means to you. I don’t want anyone to ever feel discouraged because they aren’t a bodybuilder or a marathon runner, I want your “fit” to mean what you want it to mean to you. Try one of the eight ideas on this list and then maybe try another one a couple weeks later. Let me know if you have any questions. •

VISIT OUR NEW LOCATION AT THE VILLAGE CENTER MALL 2455 1st Ave., Suite 103, Columbus 402.564.7529


Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017


Grandma’s Christmas Gingersnaps

Recipe Corner

By Madison Farkas These lightly spiced cookies are the perfect combination of crispy and chewy, and they always remind me of my grandmother, who made them every year. In the unlikely event that you end up with extras, they freeze well. Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Cream margarine, sugar and eggs together, then stir in molasses. 3. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. 4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring only until combined. Do not over-mix. Ingredients: • 1/2 cup margarine • 2 cups sugar • 2 eggs • 1/2 cup molasses


• • • •

4 cups flour 2 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp ground ginger 2 tsp ground cloves

• 2 tsp baking soda • 1 tsp salt • 1/4 cup sugar, for garnish

5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then coat them in the extra sugar by rolling them in a small bowl. Add more sugar to the bowl as needed. 6. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet and press lightly with a floured fork. Bake for 12 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Columbus Neighbors DECember 2017



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1178 columbusneighbors dec2017 final2 (1)