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Face everything and RISE
PLANT spring bulbs
Walking for your
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WALKING FOR YOUR HEALTH
Autumn is here!
Are you ready for fall? I am. After one of the hottest summers I’ve ever experienced, I’m excited for some sweater weather. To get you ready for fall, we’ve got Andy’s Choice writer Andy Mellgren giving you some great cocktails to make with real maple syrup, and Lowell Anderson brings you tips on improving your learning skills in The Learning Life. Cheeseburgers and wine? Yep, Al Edenloff highlights the search for the perfect cheeseburger and wine combination and we added in some tips for grilling the perfect burger. Speaking of grilling, with the start of the fall season and football, we highlight some important information on throwing a great tailgate party and have included a checklist for some important things to remember. Karen Tolkkinen talks about how buying local can help the planet in Finite Planet and in Celeste Edenloff’s Real Chicz of Douglas County feature, she brings you an uplifting tale of Missy Hanson’s battle against cancer and her amazing outlook on life. There are stories about planting fall flower bulbs, how to begin a walking program for your health, several DIY project, Melanie Danner’s Mommy and Me projects and so much more. We hope you enjoy this issue of Chicz!
Enjoy! Lori Mork, Chicz editor
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PLANT BULBS THIS FALL
Inside this issue
Finite Planet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Mommy and Me. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Learning Life. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Andy’s Choice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT CHEESEBURGER & WINE
Food and drink
Tips for grilling the perfect burger. . . . . . . . . 6 It’s apple time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Sun-dried tomatoes make this pasta dish delish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Make your own sun-dried tomatoes. . . . . . 14 Harvesting and storing home garden produce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
FALL CHECKLIST FOR CLEANING
Halloween movies for the ultimate fright night. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Setting up a home office. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3 tips to make your outfits fall ready. . . . . . 17
Start your walking program on the right foot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Turn a normal walk into fitness . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Autumn is tailgate time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Tailgating checklist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Puzzles and games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Shop downtown Alexandria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Pumpkin spice foaming hand soap. . . . . . . 11 This and that: quick and easy craft ideas for fall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Chicz contributing writers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Hardy bulbs for zones 3-4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 MAKE YOUR HOME FEEL LIKE FALL
Real Chicz of Douglas County
September/October 2021 Chicz 3
WALKING for your health
Track your progress
By Lori Mork
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become an advocate for walking to stay healthy. I used to be a runner, knocking out 50 miles a week or more until I injured my knee. Even after I recovered from my injury, I couldn’t seem to get back into my running mode. I took up walking instead and, although it takes longer to get in a workout, I’ve found I enjoy it even more. I just tie on a quality pair of shoes, put in my ear buds, turn on my book and hit the road. Just a
note – even with my ear buds in, I can hear vehicles coming from behind me. I make sure that I wave to everyone so that they see me and they know I am aware they are there. I also wear a bright, reflective vest to make me more visible. I’ve been logging miles for several years now, walking all year round. I have clothing and shoes/boots for all seasons, which also makes it easier to stay motivated. I do head to the gym if the weather is bad, but not much keeps me from walking outdoors.
Here in midwest Minnesota, the lakes are plentiful and the wildlife is all around. Walking gives me the opportunity to take advantage of the peace of the outdoors, get in my exercise and maintain my health, not only physically, but mentally. Being outdoors boosts my mood and helps relieve stress and tension. Although I miss my running days, I find that walking helps fill that void and is easier on my entire body, allowing me to continue to exercise as well as reap the benefits of being outdoors.
It’s okay to start slowly
TURN A NORMAL WALK INTO FITNESS You can turn a normal walk into one that helps improve your fitness by using good posture and using deliberate movements. Here are some tips to keep in mind: KEEP YOUR HEAD UP. You should be looking ahead of you, not at the ground. STAY RELAXED. You should make sure you’re not holding your neck, back and shoulders stiffly. SWING YOUR ARMS. You should allow your arms to swing freely, but slighty bend your elbows. You can also pump a little with your arms for some added benefit. TIGHTEN STOMACH. You should make sure your stomach muscles are tightened a little and that your back is straight. Don’t arch forward or backward. STRIDE SMOOTHLY. Try to walk with a smooth gate, landing first on your heel and rolling your foot to your toe.
4 Chicz September/October 2021
Start your walking
Set realistic goals BENEFITS OF A BRISK WALK Maintain healthy weight and lose body fat Help manage or prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and Type 2 diabetes Improve cardio fitness Strengthen bones and muscles Increase energy levels Improve mood, cognition, memory and sleep Strengthen immune system Reduce stress and tension www.mayoclinic.com
Aim for 30 minutes of activit y a day
program on the right foot
To get your walking fitness program started right and keep you motivated, plan ahead. Keep these tips in mind as you hit the road: Select shoes that have the proper arch support and have thick, flexible soles to help absorb shock when walking. They should also have a firm heel to help with proper walking form. Make sure to wear moisture-wicking socks to help prevent hot spots and blisters. Wear clothing that is comfortable and fits correctly, adding layers in cooler weather and moisture-wicking clothing in hot weather. It’s also important to wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you walk when it is cloudy or darker outside so that you are visible to traffic. Sunscreen is a must all year round. Don’t forget t o wear a hat and sunglasses during the day.
You can use a fitness or activity tracker, pedometer or fitness app to help you keep track of your distance, time, heart rate and calories. Make sure you choose your outdoor route carefully to help you avoid cracked sidewalks, uneven ground and other obstacles. You can head to the gym if the weather isn’t conducive to walking outdoors. Don’t have a membership? Shopping malls often have open times for walkers. Warm up before getting into the heart of your walk. A slow 5-10 minute walk will help you warm up your muscles and help prevent injury. Don’t forget to cool down. You should slow down again at the end of your walk, using those 5-10 minutes to help your muscles relax. After you cool down, gently stretch your muscles. This will help post-exercise muscle and joint stiffness.
can help the planet Fifth of six columns looking at ways to live more sustainably on our beautiful planet. By Karen Tolkkinen You’ve heard it before: “Buy local.” But what does it mean, and does it help the planet? Buying locally is seen as a way to help local business people, to keep money in the local economy, and to cut down on the fossil fuels burned during transport. There’s a difference, however, in buying a skirt made in Bangladesh from a local vendor, and in buying honey from a local beekeeper. The skirt is manufactured in another country and still needs to travel quite a ways to get here. The honey is produced by local bees, and possibly quite near the place where you buy it. To buy local in a way that helps the environment, check labels or ask where the item was manufactured, and how far it had to travel to get here.
Many local farmers and crafters produce goods within a few miles of your home. Wooden bowls and furniture might be created from local trees. Bread is sometimes made from grain grown locally. You can order beef from cattle that grazed just a few miles from your dining room table, or pork, poultry and eggs from the same county where you live. Farmers markets are top notch for finding produce that barely traveled to get to your table — and the produce is likely to be fresh, often having been harvested the same day. Craft fairs, too, are great places to find vendors that make things from local materials. You’ll help the planet even more by bicycling or walking to these events. Other locally grown or manufactured items you can buy locally: Wine, beer and whiskey, apples, berries, Christmas trees, soap, jewelry, CBD oil, cabinets, hand-crafted clothes, candy, pet treats,
cheese, glassware, pottery, butter, milk, air freshener, and many more. One of the difficulties is connecting local makers and growers with customers. Customers may have to find these items via word of mouth or an online search. But a little effort will help not just you and the seller, but your neighbors. Buying locally can protect local land and wildlife, as the University of Waterloo in Canada points out that farmers who are well compensated for their products are less likely to sell their land for development.
Doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
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In search of the perfect
cheeseburger & wine Try these pairings on Sept. 18
By Al Edenloff If you need an excuse to indulge in a big cheesy burger, Sept. 18 is National Cheeseburger Day. And what better accompaniment with that burger than a glass of wine? But which kind of wine? It all depends on the cheese, of course. The website Food52 delved deep into finding the best cheese to top your burger. They meticulously tested eight different cheeses and graded them on the cheese’s meltability, texture, consistency and, of course, how they tasted with the burger. The winning cheese came as a bit of surprise – brie. According to Food52 author Marissa Mullen, brie melted the best of all the cheeses. “With the rind still intact, these little slices melted in a gooey, creamy layer over the burger,” she said, adding that brie has notes of crème fraîche, cultured butter, and sometimes earthy notes of mushroom and cabbage. Finishing a close second and third were mozzarella and American cheese. So what’s the best wine to sip with these cheesy delights? Here’s some advice, with a caveat: We’re talking basic
burgers with simple toppings here, not all those other creative concoctions out there like jalapenos, a fried egg, peanut butter, etc. Those kinds of burgers can be delicious but very tricky to pair with wine. Brie – Try a fruity red wine, such as pinot noir or a merlot. A Beaujolais is also a fine choice. Other possibilities are a dry rose or a chardonnay that’s not too heavily oaked. If you want to splurge a little, break out a bottle of champagne. Mozzarella – Add an international touch to your burger meal with a glass of sauvignon blanc, a chenin blanc or a cablis, all made in France. That way, you’d be able to combine a Germanyinspired hamburger that evolved into an
American classic topped with cheese that was first made in Italy. Or you could keep it simpler and go with your favorite pinot grigio. American cheese – All right, we know cheese snobs diss American cheese because it’s processed, typically made from a blend of milk, milk fats and solids, other fats and something called whey protein concentrate, but it’s hard to beat on a burger. The way it melts is heavenly. Try it with a pinot noir. Those are our suggestions, but of course, feel free to experiment. Make it a goal to come up with your own perfect cheeseburger/wine pairing to celebrate on Sept. 18.
8 tips for grilling the perfect burger
DON’T CUT THE FAT. Fat is important for adding flavor and moisture. The best burgers are usually around 85 percent lean beef.
CHILL AFTER PREPARATION. Burgers stay together better when they have been refrigerated ahead of time. Also, don’t overhandle the patties. You don’t want the meat compressed or the fat to begin melting.
3 4 5 6
STICK YOUR THUMB IN IT. Make a divot in the center of your patty before grilling to keep it nice and flat rather than rounded in the middle.
BRUSH WITH OIL BEFORE GRILLING. Using a little oil on the outside of the burgers keeps them from sticking and gives a nice outside sear.
DON’T SQUISH A BURGER WHEN GRILLING. When you press down on a burger while grilling, you squeeze out the juices that keep the burger moist and flavorful. TURN ONLY ONCE. Try to minimize the number of times you turn a burger. Many grill experts recommend allowing your burger to grill for 2-3
6 Chicz September/October 2021
minutes on a hot grill to sear the first side, then turning it and finish cooking it on the opposite side. It helps keep burgers intact and allows them to stay juicy.
CHECK INTERNAL TEMPERATURE. The safest way to know if your burger is done is to use an instant read thermometer. The internal temperature for a safe burger is 160 degrees. And remember, burgers continue to cook after they are removed from the grill.
REST BURGERS BEFORE SERVING. Allowing the burgers to sit for 5 minutes before serving lets the juices re-absorb into the meat, keeping the burger one piece and juicy.
HALLOWEEN MOVIES for the ultimate fright night When October rolls around, you know that it’s time for pumpkin carving, candy and all things Halloween. No celebration of Halloween is complete without a movie marathon with some of the best spooky movies of all time, and we’ve gathered a list of the spooky and not-sospooky films you can enjoy. So, gather up your popcorn and your best buddy, and check out our list during your movie marathon night.
Hocus Pocus Casper Monster House The Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas Monsters Inc Edward Scissorhands It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Halloweentown Return to Halloweentown Paranorman Harry Potter Coraline Ghostbusters Frankenweenie Hotel Transylvania The Goonies The Addams Family Gremlins Beetlejuice Scooby Doo 1 & 2
The Little Vampire Goosebumps Corpse Bride Coco Sweeney Todd Sleepy Hollow Psycho Practical Magic Twitches and Twitches Too The Exorcist Silence of the Lambs The Village The Shining It The Sixth Sense House on Haunted Hill A Nightmare on Elm Street Young Frankenstein The Mummy Carrie The Rocky Horror Picture Show
September/October 2021 Chicz
real chicz of douglas county
Face everything and
Cancer survivor relies on faith, positive attitude By Celeste Edenloff For nearly 15 years, Missy Hanson of Brandon has been participating in Relay for Life. The breast cancer and cervical cancer survivor says it is hard to put into words just exactly what it really means to her, but the event is important. “Relay is an experience,” she said. “It means so much to me and my family.” Cancer is a part of her life, as well as the lives of numerous other family members. Her sister, Tracey Krueger, and her mother, Yvonne Brede, were both diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Krueger was diagnosed in April and Brede was diagnosed in August. Just like Hanson, they are both survivors. But Hanson has also lost numerous family members to cancer. The Relay for Life event, she said, is a way to not only honor those who are still living and possibly in
the process of still fighting, but it is also a way to remember all who fought so hard, but ultimately who lost their battle. When wearing her survivor shirt at the event, she hopes and believes it provides hope to those who are in the process of the battle and maybe having a bad day. “When they see my shirt and know I am a survivor, I hope they think, ‘I can do this, too,’ ” she said. Each year at the Relay for Life event, cancer survivors take what is known as the survivor lap when they all walk together around a loop. Afterward, it’s a tradition for those survivors to walk a lap with their caregivers, which is known as the caregiver lap. Hanson said she always makes it through the survivor lap, but when she is walking the caregiver lap with her family and friends, her emotions get the best of her and the tears freely flow. The reason? She says it’s because she was blessed with the most amazing network of people, who she said were and are her “system of go-to people.” “I am so fortunate to have my
Once you have cancer and you make it through it, you do everything you can to help someone else who’s going through it. I truly believe that I am blessed and I have said that from day one.
Facts and Figures
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the U.S. for 2021 are: About 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. About 49,290 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ will be diagnosed. About 43,600 women will die from breast cancer. At this time, there are more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.
8 Chicz September/October 2021
Cancer survivor, above, with her mother Yvonne Brede, also a cancer survior
go-to people,” she said. “My family and friends rock. I have the most amazing husband and most amazing support system.” Life has been good for her, she said. As long as her family and friends remain healthy, not much else matters. She lives by an acronym she chose for her journey – FEAR, which stands for Face Everything And Rise. And every morning when she wakes up, she does just that. HER JOURNEY Everyone’s cancer journey is different, said Hanson. Hers began in 2009 when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She ended up having a complete radical hysterectomy. While she was celebrating her five years of being cancer free, Hanson heard the C word again. This time, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer causes
Missy Hanson, center, with her sister, Tracey Krueger, left, and mother Yvonne Brede, right, at the Relay for LIfe of Douglas County Event. (Contributed photo) Hanson’s mom and sister both opted to have complete mastectomies after they were diagnosed with breast cancer and Hanson did the same thing. And although she has been cancer free since March 2014, she still lives with the side effects of her cancer.
Studies continue to uncover lifestyle factors and habits, as well as inherited genes, that affect breast cancer risk. Here are a few examples: Several studies are looking at the effect of exercise, weight gain or loss and diet on risk. Studies on the best use of genetic testing for breast cancer mutations continue. Scientists are exploring how common gene variations (small changes in genes that are not as significant as mutations) may affect breast cancer risk. Gene variants typically have only a modest effect on risk, but when taken together they could possibly have a large impact. Possible environmental causes of breast cancer have also received more attention in recent years. While much of the science on this topic is still in its earliest stages, this is an area of active research.
HANSON continued on page 28
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Setting up a
The need for home office spaces has increased as more people work from home. Many people have retrofitted various spaces around their homes into areas to get work done. Individuals can follow these guidelines to create effective, organized home offices.
SPACE TO WORK. You may not have a room for a private office, but you can create space by thinking creatively. A seldom-used closet, guest bedroom, space under the stairs or quiet area of a larger room can be converted into a workspace. Make sure there is enough room for a proper chair to move comfortably as well as a space dedicated to a printer. DESK AREA. A desk is your primary need – a place that can hold your computer, pens and pencils, baskets and bins for larger items such as files, as well as a surface to write
on. You can go as simple as two cabinets with a wooden surface spread across them to a full-fledged desk. PLENTY OF SHELVES. To keep your workspace clutter free, make sure you have plenty of shelving that is sturdy but functional. COMFORTABLE SEAT. Find a chair that is comfortable, the right height and provides back and arm support. LIGHTING. Proper lighting is very important to help reduce eye strain. Make sure any lighting is installed over your reading area, on the computer and behind to eliminate reflection. By planning your home office space, getting it organized correctly and decorating it in your style, you’ll work better and enjoy it more. 001517702r1
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Pumpkin spice foaming hand soap It’s autumn and what’s smells more like fall than pumpkin spice? If you love the aroma of pumpkin and spices, why not make your own foaming hand soap with essential oils that captures the smells like your favorite pumpin pie. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own foaming hand soap. Castile soap – Dr. Bronner’s is widely available at local stores. Essential oils – nutmeg, ginger root, cinnamon bark and clove bud. You could also use a pumpkin spice essential oil blend rather than combining the four others.
Empty foaming hand soap bottle – you can use one you already have on hand or purchase a new one. Water
Add 1/4 cup of castile soap to your empty bottle, then add five drops of each of your clove, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg essential oils, or 20 drops of a pumpkin pie spice blend. Fill the rest of the way with water and shake gently until everything is combined. Now, each time you wash your hands, you’ll get a whiff of autumn!
Vegetable glycerin, optional – glycerin can give your soap a smoother, thicker texture.
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September/October 2021 Chicz
WATER PETS SUPPLIES: Water bottle Googly eyes Colored paper clips Straws Glue/glue stick Scissors Water
By Melanie Danner
(Pinterest) INSTRUCTIONS: Cut straw at the bend to create a U shape and insert a paper clip into both ends of the straw piece using the straight ends of paper clip. Add a few more paper clips to create a chain. Glue googly eyes to the top of the bend in the straw. Insert into the water bottle and add water an inch or two below the top. Glue the lid. Squeeze the bottle for the animals to rise to the top or flip upside down. Great 1st pet or calming bottle.
BOTTLE ROCKETS SUPPLIES: Bottles (Gatorade mini bottles work great) Craft paint Paint brushes Cardboard/cardstock/ construction paper Clear tape
INSTRUCTIONS: Paint the bottles. Cut long triangles from the paper. Tape the paper to three sides of the bottom of the bottle. Get ready to blast off into space!
RACE CARS (Pinterest)
SUPPLIES: Toilet paper rolls Craft paint Paint brushes Cardboard/cardstock/construction paper Milton clamps Glue/glue stick Scissors Cardboard cutter/sharps knife Pencil
INSTRUCTIONS: Paint the outside of the tubes.
Cut wheels from the cardstock. Cut hubcaps for the wheels and glue together. Poke two holes in each side of the tube (sharp scissors). Secure a wheel to each hole with Milton clamps. Make a U shape cut on the top, fold in half and glue. (This creates the back of the seat) Cut handlebars from the cardstock and glue in place. Line up the cars and get ready for the big race!
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It’s apple time!
Autumn brings crunchy leaves, sweater weather and crisp air. It’s also apple season, so here’s a different use for those tasty treats that combines smooth caramel, firm apples and tangy cheesecake for a delicious dessert.
APPLE CRISP CHEESECAKE PARFAITS INGREDIENTS: Apple Pie Filling: 3 apples, peeled and diced 3 Tbsp. brown sugar 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. allspice Pinch of salt 1/3 cup water 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 1/4 cup of water 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract Cheesecake: 4 oz. cream cheese, softened 1-1/2 cups plain or Greek yogurt 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon Granola and whipped cream for topping DIRECTIONS: Add apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, spices, salt and 1/3 cup water to saucepan. Cook over medium heat until combined and boiling, then reduce heat to simmer and cover with lid. Cook until apples are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Whisk together cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup water in small bowl and pour into apple mixture and
stir together until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla; remove from heat and let cool. To make cheesecake, add all cheesecake ingredients to mixer bowl and beat until smooth. Layer cheesecake and cooled apple pie filling in Mason jars or glasses. Top with granola, whipped cream; sprinkle with cinnamon. To add extra flavor, layer in caramel or salted caramel ice cream topping.
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Sun-dried tomatoes make this pasta dish
By Lori Mork
I love sun-dried tomatoes, especially in a salad or with pasta. I came across this wonderful recipe when browsing through my Pinterest feed and decided to give it a try. I wasn’t sorry I did! The sweetness of the tomatoes paired with mozzarella sauce, sautéed chicken and red pepper flakes created a flavorful meal perfect for anytime. CHICKEN PASTA WITH SUNDRIED TOMATOES INGREDIENTS: 3 garlic cloves, minced 4 oz. sun-dried tomatoes 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins , sliced 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. paprika 1 cup half and half (or use 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk) 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 8 oz. penne pasta 1 Tbsp. basil 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water or more 1/4 tsp. salt to taste DIRECTIONS:
Lightly coat sliced chicken in paprika and season with salt. Sauté garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 Tbsp. of olive oil or oil reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar for 1 minute on medium heat in large skillet until the garlic is fragrant. Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from the skillet, leaving the olive oil. Add sliced chicken and cook on medium high for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat. Cook pasta, reserving some cooked pasta water. Drain the pasta. Slice sun-dried tomatoes into smaller pieces; add back to skillet with chicken. To make sauce, add halfand-half and mozzarella cheese to the skillet; bring to a gentle boil. Reduce to simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until cheese melts and creates creamy sauce. Add cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the cream sauce, stirring to combine. Add basil and red pepper flakes, to taste. Stir to combine.
If sauce is too thick, add some reserved pasta water a little at time until sauce reaches desired consistency. Add more salt and red pepper flakes if desired. Simmer for 1-2 minutes to combine flavors. NOTES: Salt the dish just enough to bring out the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
If using jarred sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drain tomatoes, reserving 2 Tbsp. of oil.
Make your own sun-dried tomatoes I usually buy my sun-dried tomatoes, but I decided to see just how much work it would be to dry my own. I found these directions that sounded fairly simple, especially for a beginner. Just a note – dried tomatoes shrink down quite a bit. In fact, 20 pounds of tomatoes shrink down to about 1 pound after drying.
14 Chicz September/October 2021
OVEN SUN-DRIED TOMATOES INGREDIENTS: 1 pint cherry, grape or other small tomatoes Fine sea salt
INSTRUCTIONS: Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and dry tomatoes, then cut smaller tomatoes in half and larger ones in circular slices or lengthwise, removing seeds and juice. Place tomatoes, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a rack that lifts tomatoes off cookie sheet. Racking them will dry both sides at
the same time so that they don’t need to be flipped during cooking. Sprinkle with sea salt, or toss in a bowl with herbs and olive oil. Bake 2-1/2 hours, then use a spatula to press out any leftover liquid. Flip tomatoes and bake approximately another 2 hours or until tomatoes are dried. The longer they bake, the chewier they’ll be. Cool tomatoes to room temperature, then store in airtight container and refrigerate or freeze in a ziplock bag. You an also pack tomatoes in a mason jar, then cover with olive oil. Add herbs and garlic cloves, if desired.
Fall checklists for
cleaning and decluttering Fall is a great time to do some deep cleaning and purging around your house, getting everything ready for the upcoming winter months. GENERAL Dust and wash light fixtures Dust ceiling fans Wash windows Vacuum and dust blinds Wash walls and dust corners Touch up damaged paint Dust lamps and shades Vacuum and spot clean furniture Wipe out and wash kitchen cabinets Clean top and under fridge Wipe out and clean fridge Dispose of expired condiments and dressings Vacuum fridge condenser unit Clean oven and stovetop Dust and clean stove vents Clean baseboards and floor seams
Clean carpets Clean wooden floors Clean and rotate mattresses Dust bedroom furniture Wash summer bedding and replace with winter bedding Replace air filters Clean inside of washing machine Clean inside of dryer Clean out dryer hose Mop floor around appliances Clean out drain in laundry room sink Purge expired items Organize shelves Combine like bottles of laundry soap, etc. OUTSIDE Check weather stripping around doors and repair if needed Wash door threshholds Clean gutters and downspouts Wash windows Wash screens
Wash outdoor lighting Remove cobwebs Clean and cover or store patio furniture Winterize the yard DECLUTTERING Whether you recycle items, sell or give them away, here are some ideas on what you can purge from your home this fall. FROM LINEN CLOSET: Old, torn or ill-fitting sheets Stained towels Items that haven’t been used in a year
Expired toiletries Unmatched pillow cases Ripped or permanently soiled blankets FROM CLOTHING CLOSETS: Outgrown jackets or coats Ripped umbrellas Items that haven’t been used in a year Broken hangers Outgrown shoes Unused purses Clutter Outgrown clothing Get rid of broken laundry baskets
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LEARNING SKILLS By Lowell Anderson
It has been said that one of the main purposes of school is to teach us how to learn. If that’s true, then we should all be experts on learning when we graduate. But often we aren’t. We may have developed bad habits or maybe never really learned how to learn at all and just did whatever seemed to work at the time. Regardless of your level of learning skills, we can probably all improve and learn new things. If you love learning, or are embarking on a large educational project, here are some things you may want to brush up on first.
BOOK LEARNING Although there are many ways to learn, learning from a book is still one of the best ways. Sure, you could just start at the beginning and read to the end, but you might be better off having a strategy. The book, “How to Read a Book” by Mortimer Adler and Charles van Doren is a classic guide to reading more effectively. It includes information on different kinds of reading, general reading tips, reading strategies and how to get the most out of a book. READ FASTER Although there are times when we need to read slowly and really absorb the material,
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The Learning Life most of us could probably improve our effective reading speed. Reading quickly can also give us the ability to skim and scan material and can be useful for finding certain information or getting a general overview of a subject. You can learn to read more quickly through books or apps, as well as by developing your own reading exercises.
REVIEW Studying is much more than just re-reading or re-watching the same material over and over. A much more effective method is to take notes, use flashcards, or somehow use the information in a practical way. The goal is not just to keep getting information in, but instead to practice getting it out of your head.
REMEMBER MORE Although some people have better memory skills than others, we could all probably improve in this area. Obviously, the goal of learning is to not only get new information, but more importantly, to retain it with as little review as possible. Improving your memory through the use of books, apps or self-made exercises, will not only speed up your future learning, but help you to hang on to the information longer.
GET ORGANIZED Your learning will progress a lot faster if you have a plan, including when to study and how much, where you will store notes and related materials, and how you will review. Keeping all your study materials and supplies together and organized will also help you learn faster and more efficiently.
3 fall-ready tips to make your outfits
As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, it’s time to rethink your outfits so you can stay stylish and warm this season. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
OPT FOR LAYERS. To ensure you’re comfortable all day long, dress in layers so you can add or remove pieces as the temperature changes. Additionally, don’t be afraid to mix textures. Women, for example, can pair a blouse with a cardigan or wear a long knit sweater over a sundress. For men, consider the classic combination of a collared shirt with a wool jacket. USE ACCESSORIES. If you have timeless pieces such as a well-cut pair of jeans or a
classic black dress, all you have to do is swap out your accessories to suit the season. In the fall, use hats, scarves and gloves to vary your style and stay warm. Complete the look with a large tote bag that you can use to carry an umbrella or extra sweater. PRIORITIZE COMFORT. From knit dresses and oversized sweaters to flannel jackets and leather ankle boots, you can mix and match various pieces to create both casual and formal outfits without compromising on comfort or style. If you want to upgrade your wardrobe for the fall, be sure to visit the stores in your area.
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TIME By Lori Mork Autumn brings the start of football season, and with that comes tailgating – a time to get together with friends and fellow fans before the big game. If you’ve never been a part of a tailgate party, here are a few tips to make sure your get-together is a success:
PLAN AHEAD The most important part of your tailgate party is to find out what the venue allows. Some stadiums don’t allow tailgating in the parking lots, so you want to keep that in mind. You also need to find out what the stadium’s policies are on open flames. You don’t want to plan to grill
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and find out you can’t use your charcoal grill on the property. You should check into what the policy is on open containers as well. Finding out what time the gates open for the game helps you decide when you want to be in your seats and helps you plan when to find your tailgating spot and start your grill. Don’t forget to allow time
to clean up before you head to your seats. After you’ve invited your friends, let them know how to find you. Do you want to get there early and set up? How do you mark your spot? Maybe you’d rather meet them at the entrance and head in together? If you plan on using charcoal, you need to allow plenty of
time for it to get hot and to cool down after grilling, and still leave enough time to clean up and find your spots in the stadium. If you plan on drinking alcoholic beverages, you need to make sure there are some designated drivers to help keep everyone safe. Along with beer and other beverages, pack plenty of water to help people stay hydrated. You should also try to avoid any glass containers. FOOD If you are planning on having others bring food, it would be a good idea to specify what you’d like them bring. If you don’t, you may end up with nothing but chips and dip! When you plan the menu, think simple: finger foods, burgers, sausages and other easy to eat foods. It’s not a bad idea to rely on reusable plastic plates and cutlery, along
with plastic containers and thermoses, to cut down on trash. Handling your food safely is important during tailgating, especially if the weather is warm. You need to keep raw meats cold. You should also keep meats separated and packed tightly to avoid contamination. Keep an eye on how long your cooked food sits out and only grill what will be eaten quickly, since food that sits out too long might be unsafe to eat. Most importantly, enjoy the cameraderie, the party and the game with your friends.
Tailgating checklist It’s too late to run home and grab things you might have forgotten once you’re at the stadium, so here’s a list of items you might need: EXTRA ICE. Extra ice is always a necessity, especially when it’s hot outside. SUNSCREEN. No matter the weather, sunscreen is important to avoid sunburn. BUG SPRAY. Evening games in the fall can bring out the insects, so don’t come empty handed. GARBAGE AND RECYCLING BAGS. You’ll need to clean up your trash after the party, so bring bags for both trash and recycling. NAPKINS. Drips and spills are inevitable. Make sure to have plenty on hand. HAND SANITIZER. Give everyone a chance to clean up.
COLLAPSIBLE SEATING. Bring extra camp chairs – someone always forgets theirs! BLANKETS. Days might be warm, but the evenings can get chilly. SEPARATE COOLER FOR RAW MEAT. No one wants raw meat bags in with their drinks! PLASTIC CUPS. Be prepared in case glass containers aren’t allowed. FROZEN WATER BOTTLES. These do double duty as ice for your cooler as well as water for drinking. A TUB FOR USED DISHES. Help keep your mess contained. A METAL BUCKET FOR LEFTOVER COALS. Just in case the grill’s still a little hot by the time you have to get to your seats.
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Be ready for spring by planting bulbs
this fall HOW TO DECIDE WHERE TO PLANT BULBS Flower bulbs don’t like wet areas. Avoid places where water sits, such as at the end of a downspout or the bottom of a hill. Make sure your bulbs get 6-8 hours of sun. Don’t forget, in the spring, many shady areas get plenty of sun before the trees bloom, allowing you to plant some of the earlier blooming bulbs. Group plants together to create solid areas of color. Make sure to purchase bulbs that are large and firm.
One of the first signs of spring in Minnesota has to be blooms popping up out of the cold earth, sometimes even emerging through snow. Once planted, these flower bulbs return year after year. But to enjoy this wonderful sight, you need to plan ahead, planting those bulbs in the fall. Bulbs need to be planted before the ground freezes. The best time for planting these flowers is between mid-September to mid-October, approximately 6-8 weeks before the ground freezes, when the evening temperatures are between 40 and 50 degrees. This allows them to develop a healthy root system.
HOW TO PLANT BULBS Your soil should be loose and workable after you prepare it. You can add some peat moss compost to help with the condition of the soil. Don’t forget to remove any weeds or rocks. Make sure to check the directions for how deep to plant your bulbs. Most large bulbs need to be around 8 inches deep with smaller ones planted about 5 inches deep. Bulbs should be planted with the pointed side up, although if you can’t figure out which is the right way, most flowers will still find a way to the top.
Fill the hole with dirt and lightly compress it, then water it thoroughly. It’s not necessary to water it continuously. Cover your plantings with 3-4 inches of mulch to insulate the ground. You can use dry leaves, grass clippings, hay or straw for your mulch. SPRING PREPARATION When spring returns, rake the mulch to expose the new shoots, but don’t get rid of it completely. You may need to put some back in case of a late frost. After your flowers have bloomed, cut
HARDY BULBS FOR ZONES 3-4 (COLD HARDINESS ZONES FOR MOST OF MINNESOTA) Purple allium Giant allium Greek anemone Glory of the snow Snow crocus Autumn crocus Trout lily, dogtooth violet Fritillaria, checkered lily Common snowdrop
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Hyacinth Tiger lily Grape hyacinth Daffodil Striped squill Tulip
back the stalks, but not the leaves. That greenery allows the bulbs to store enough energy to help them stay s t r o n g until the next season.
Autumn cocktail ideas using maple syrup . . .
Real maple syrup By Andy Mellgren
Are you already craving cool nights around the fire pit? First, we will warm up with classic Irish coffee, which includes just four ingredients: hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar and whipped cream. I suggest substituting maple syrup for the sugar. Brew your favorite coffee. Pour Irish whiskey into a mug Add 1-2 oz. of maple syrup, then fill the mug with coffee and leave space for whipped cream. Top with whipped cream. A whiskey sour is a classic drink, but here’s twist on the original that should delight most bourbon whiskey afficionados.
The recipe calls for using maple syrup as a sweetener amd brings a more complex flavor to the whiskey sour, as does the cinnamon. Make a big batch of this refreshing cinnamon maple whiskey sour if you’re expecting several guests.
CINNAMON MAPLE SYRUP WHISKEY SOUR INGREDIENTS: 1-1/2 oz. bourbon (or whiskey of choice) , 1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) fresh lemon juice, 1/2-1 oz. (2-4 tsp.) maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. Fill cocktail shaker, or better yet, a mason jar 2/3 full of ice. Add in bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and cinnamon. Shake well. Pour fresh ice into cocktail glass and strain the mix into glass.
All right, personally I have issues with all of the pumpkin spice lattes. However, this pumpkin spice latte calls for maple syrup and bourbon. PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE INGREDIENTS: 12 oz. whole milk, heavy cream or unsweetened almond milk, frozen into cubes, 3 oz. bourbon (or whiskey of your choice), 2 shots of espresso (coffee will work just fine as well) 2 oz. real maple syrup, 2 Tbsp. canned pumpkin, and 1 tsp. pumpkin spice.
Do ahead: freeze the milk or cream or almond milk into ice cubes. Add everything to blender and blend on highest setting until fully blended. Pour into glass and top with almond milk foam or plain whipped cream. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg or a pinch of cinnamon. Invite some friends over for some cozy drinks that will warm you from the inside out. Skål! Andy
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This & that: quick and easy craft ideas for fall
PUMPKIN SPICE POTPOURRI SUPPLIES: 2 cups apple cider (apple juice will work too) 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks 1 Tbsp. whole cloves 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract 1/2 an apple or dried apple slices
WAXED FALL LEAVES
DIRECTIONS: Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. As the liquid evaporates continue to add more liquid, whether that be cider or water.
PINE CONE BIRD FEEDERS SUPPLIES: Pine Cones Peanut Butter Bird Seeds Plastic Spoon, Popsicle stick, or Spatula (to spread the peanut butter) Paper Plate DIRECTIONS: Place the pine cone on a paper plate. Using a plastic spoon or spatula, spread peanut but-
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SUPPLIES: Colorful fall leaves Paraffin wax Mini crock pot
ter around the pine cone. Try to cover as much of the pine cone as you can with a thin layer of peanut butter. Once the pine cone is covered in peanut butter, roll the pine cone around in the bird seeds until the pine cone is covered with bird seed. Tie a string at the top of the pine cone and hang from a tree in your yard.
DIRECTIONS: Heat the wax in the mini crock pot until melted. Lay a piece of waxed paper on your work surface. Dip leaves in wax, being careful not to burn yourself on the hot wax. Lay the leaves on the waxed paper to dry. It will only take a minute. Dip the leaves a second time, making sure to dip the stems as well to keep stems from breaking. When finished, you can use leaves for table decorations or make them into garlands.
CREATE A BEAUTIFUL TABLE SETTING WITH JUST A FEW SIMPLE ITEMS Artificial oak leaves with acorns Raffia, your choice of color Napkin Craft wire
SUCCULENT PUMPKIN CENTERPIECE To make this cute centerpiece, carefully cut off the top of a small white pumpkin or gourd, then hollow it out, scooping out the seeds. Fill with a little soil, then place your succulent inside the pumpkin. To make it easier to remove when the fall season is over, you can keep your succulent
in the pot it came in, and use a pumpkin large enough that the planter will fit inside. Just tuck the container in the pumpkin and tuck some spanish moss around the edges to cover up any exposed edges. You can also use the same process using an artificial pumpkin.
Cut several strands of raffia 12-14 inches in length. Tie strands together in a bow at the middle. Wrap a piece of craft wire around the artifical leaves/ acorns, then wrap wire ends around the center of the raffia bow tightly and tuck ends into leaves carefully, cutting off any extra wire. Fold napkin into thirds. Wrap raffia around the napkin and tie ends together on the back side. Place napkin on plate and arrange as desired.
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Make your home feel like Decorating your home for the 2021 fall season is a great way to welcome fall. From color palettes to finishing touches, fall items bring a cozy feeling to any room. COLORS There are so many wonderful autumn colors that are easily incorporated into your home, especially if you already have a neutral color scheme. Earth tones such as browns, greens and cream combined with a soft ivory give an organic feel to your room. Rich, strong colors like deep green, dark red, blue, yellow
and orange are all colors to use in small quantities to add an eye-catching focal point. Terracotta – shades of red, orange and brown – brings the feel of fall to a room. Blush is once again a popular accent color for your home with its rosy tones. TEXTURES Rustic rugs, brushed brass and elegant velvet can bring your unique style to a room by mixing and matching to your heart’s content. Brushed brass or gold accent pieces add warmth to a room, while distressed or unfinished items, whether they are furniture or decor, are making a comeback. Velvet accents like a chair or pillow bring a luxurious feel to your home, and wicker, rattan or cane elements add visual interest.
INDOOR DECOR Cozy and warm are perfect for this fall’s indoor decorating. It’s easy to add a feeling of autumn to any room. Chunky knit blankets give a bedroom or family room a comfy feel. You can add a bold color to brighten a room or a neutral color to soften the look. Candles can create an atmosphere all on their own with earthy scents that remind you of autumn and the outdoors.
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Add to your indoor decor by bringing in natural elements such as branches, leaves, pumpkins, pine cones and houseplants. A gallery wall displaying baskets and trays is still a great pick for decorating. Bring some fall elements into the display with pumpkins, candles or macrame.
OUTDOOR DECOR Decorating the outside of your home is just as fun as sprucing up the indoors. Fall garlands of leaves and branches brings autumn to a porch railing, and you can create a beautiful setting with pumpkins, lanterns and potted fall flowers. Mix up faux pumpkins and gourds in green and white to give a different look.
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Harvesting and storing
home garden produce There’s nothing better than home-grown vegetables, but how do you know when to pick them or the proper way to store them? HARVEST Harvest only vegetables that are high quality to store. It’s also important not to handle your picked vegetables too much and you need to take care not to break, nick or bruise them so that they won’t spoil. Produce that’s rotting doesn’t keep very long and can spread that rot to other stored vegetables. STORAGE There are different storage conditions for different vegetables with temperature and humidity the main things to consider. According to the University of Minnesota Extension Office,
there are three combinations for long term storage: cooleand dry (50-60 degrees F and 60 percent relative humidity), cold and dry (32-40 degrees F and 65 percent humidity) and cold and moist (32-40 degrees F and 95 percent humidity). The ideal temperature for cold conditions is 32 degrees, but it’s not an easy temperature to maintain in most homes. The shelf life for vegetables as this temperature fluctuates shortens by up to 25 percent for every 10 degrees that the temperature increases. Your best option for storing vegetables here in the midwest is in the basement, since most are cool and dry. If you do store your produce there, make sure they have some ventilation since they require
oxygen to maintain their high quality. For cold and dry storage, refrigerators are fine for garlic and onions, but everything else doesn’t do as well. You can store produce in bags with perforations in the refrigerator but not for very long. Bags that have no holes usually end up having too much humidity and food begins to grow mold or bacteria. Some homes have root cellars and they allow for cold and moist storage, but pro-
duce still needs ventilation and needs to be kept safe from mice and other rodents. To provide some insulation, you can use straw, hay or wood shavings, but make sure it’s clean and isn’t contaminated. If you’re trying to store cucumbers, peppers or tomatoes, you need cool and moist storage, which is difficult to create. These vegetables will only last a short time.
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CLUES ACROSS 1. Numbers cruncher 4. Creator 10. A type of center 11. About spring 12. Equal to 64 U.S. pints (abbr.) 14. Precursor to the EU 15. Something that can be cast 16. Gold-colored alloy 18. A salt or ester of acetic acid 22. A hard coating on a porous surface 23. A type of detachment 24. Filmmakers need them 26. Promotional material 27. __ Blyton, children’s author 28. Short, sharp sound 30. Feeling of intense anger 31. Popular TV network 34. Island entry point 36. Disfigure 37. College army 39. One who’s revered 40. Long, winding ridge 41. Football stat 42. Stealing 48. Hawaiian island 50. More raw 51. In one’s normal state of mind 52. Daniel LaRusso’s sport 53. Tropical American monkey 54. Measures heart currents 55. Midway between south and east 56. Knotted again 58. Born of 59. Value 60. Soviet Socialist Republic
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CLUES DOWN 1. Mother tongue 2. Removes potato skins 3. True 4. Early multimedia 5. The making of amends 6. Discovered by investigation 7. Small arm of the sea 8. More seasoned 9. Atomic #81 12. Type of pear 13. Chemical compound 17. One’s mother 19. Vietnam’s former name 20. Snow forest 21. Church officer 25. Hardens 29. Ancient 31. Advertising gimmick 32. Subatomic particle 33. Not fresh 35. Loosens 38. Religious symbols 41. Film 43. Orthodontic devices 44. Grilled beef sandwich 45. Journalist Tarbell 46. Brooklyn hoopsters 47. Japanese social networking service 49. Romantic poet 56. Dorm worker 57. Poor grades
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HANSON from page 8 Hanson said she now has type 1 diabetes and gives herself insulin shots four times a day. Some people sail through their cancer journeys with flying colors, she said, while others struggle with side MISSY HANSON effects like she Cancer survivor has had. But regardless of how their journeys play out, Hanson said people have to stay positive. And they have to have faith, she said. However, as positive as she’s been throughout her cancer journeys, Hanson said she’s had days where she would cry for no apparent reason and that it was OK. It’s OK to cry and it is OK to ask for help. Even better, Hanson said if someone knows someone
going through cancer, instead of asking what can be done, she said to just do it. “Don’t just offer to bring a meal over, just do it,” she said. “Don’t ask what you can do, just do it and check on the caregivers, too.” A PAST HONORARY SURVIVOR In 2016, Hanson was an honorary survivor for the Relay for Life event. As much as it meant to her, she said it wasn’t so much about her as it was about her mom and sister. In an Echo Press article before the event that year, Hanson said, “These two women showed me it’s OK to lose your hair and it’s OK to not think your job is the most important thing in life. My mom always taught me that God takes your hand and walks you through everything. My mom and my sister are my go-to girls.”
Things to know about getting a
Missy Hanson, cancer survivor, looks back at the Echo Press from 2016 when she was chosen as one of the honorary survivors for the Relay for Life of Douglas County event Throughout their entire cancer journey, Hanson said her mother always told her there is always someone who isn’t so lucky and she believes it. “Once you have cancer and you make it through it, you do
everything you can to help someone else who’s going through it,” Hanson said. “I truly believe that I am blessed and I have said that from day one.”
Mammograms (breast x-rays) are the best screening tool to find breast cancer early, when it may be easier to treat. After you and your health care professional establish a screening schedule, it’ll help to know what to expect so it can go as smoothly as possible. Here are some things to know:
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that’s used to find breast changes. X-ray machines used for mammograms produce lower energy X-rays and expose the breast to much less radiation compared to those in the past. It’s best to schedule your mammogram about a week after your menstrual period. Your breasts won’t be as tender or swollen, which means less discomfort during the X-ray. cancer.org/ FightBreastCancer
Do not apply deodorant, anti-perspirant, powder, lotion or ointment on or around your chest on the day of your mammogram. These products can appear as white spots on the X-ray. The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes. The breast is compressed between two plastic plates for a few seconds while an X-ray is taken. It’s repositioned and compressed again to take another view. This is then done on the other breast. Flattening the breast can be uncomfortable, but is needed to provide a clearer view. If doctors find something suspicious, you’ll likely be contacted within a week to take new pictures or get other tests. But that doesn’t mean you have cancer. A suspicious finding may be just dense breast tissue or a cyst. Other times, the image just isn’t clear and needs to be retaken. If this is your first mammogram, your doctor may want to look at an area more closely simply because there is no previous mammogram for comparison. Visit cancer.org/FightBreastCancer for more breast cancer information and support.
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contributing writers Al Edenloff of Alexandria and his wife, Celeste, were married in the heart of California wine country and enjoy sipping wine on their weekend date nights.
Lori Mork of Lowry is a mother, grandmother and dabbler in all things food, photography and decor related. Lori Mork
Melanie Danner of Alexandria is an at-home mother and craft lover. Melanie Danner
Celeste is a reporter for the Echo Press. She enjoys perusing her social media accounts, running and participating in races with her husband, Al.
Lowell Anderson is a photographer at the Echo Press newspaper. Lowell Anderson
Karen Tolkkinen is a reporter at the Echo Press. She enjoys writing, gardening and reading to her 8-yearold son.
Andy Mellgren is the Director of Operations for Plaza and Downtown Liquor. Andy Mellgren a Magazine for FUN women
e for FUN
Coloring Easter eggs?
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