Honoring veterans through Honor Flight.
CHR IS T M A S
CHO O SE & C U T T R E E FA R M S E N H A NCE HOL I DAY T R A DI T IONS PAGES 20–22
from the editor
It takes just three words “I appreciate you.” Three words. Three impactful words. We need to use them more. And mean them when we do. As we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving that was shared by Plymouth colonists and Native Americans this month, why not verbally honor the people around us who may not realize they’re making an impact? They could be co-workers who make your life easier by sharing the workload. They could be health care workers who comfort you when you’re frightened and feeling your worst. They could be young children who’ve created drawings just for you just because. They could be strangers who are kind to you when you’ve had a stressful day. Or, they could be strangers who you’re kind to when you sense they need a boost. Though “thank you” is a perfectly acceptable phrase to show appreciation, I think “I appreciate you” means so much more. I know when I receive the sentiment, I’m affected to the core. I feel recognized, valued, humbled. It’s like I’ve earned a gold star that I didn’t even realize I wanted. And when I say those words, I can see their impact on others’ faces. Appreciation is powerful. During this season when we reflect on our blessings and our gratitude, think about who you’re thankful for. Tell them how you feel. It just takes three words.
EMILY SCHILLING Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
On the menu: February issue: Noodles, deadline Dec. 1.
March issue: Recipes featuring potato chips, deadline Dec. 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.
Giveaways: We have three outstanding giveaways this month for our readers!
Enter this month to win a chance at one of these prizes: Four tickets to the Bob Ross Experience in Muncie, a prize package from Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette and a $100 gift card from The Homestead (this month’s Indiana Eats profile). For details and to enter, visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests. Entry deadline: Nov. 30.
Three ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, event listings, letters
and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website indianaconnection.org; email email@example.com; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.
VOLUME 71 • NUMBER 5 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 304,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 firstname.lastname@example.org IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Digital and Layout Design Specialist Taylor Maranion Senior Brand and Visual Design Specialist Lauren Carman Communication Coordinator Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; amp.coop Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number.
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03 FROM THE EDITOR 05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative. 10 ENERGY Does daylight saving time help conserve energy?
Indiana eats 14 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Tippecanoe County. 16 INDIANA EATS Home sweet Homestead: More than just a restaurant. 18 FOOD Pumpkin to talk about.
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cover story 20 COVER STORY Christmas ‘Tree’ditions. 24 SAFETY Shooting near electrical equipment can be costly and deadly. 25 OUTDOORS Rocky and his friends.
26 CALENDAR 27 TRAVEL Seeing a happy world thru Ross-colored glasses. 28 PROFILE Valedictory art is a tour de force. 30 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS
On the cover Toddler Max Holton enjoys his family’s traditional Christmas tree farm visit atop his father Travis’ shoulders. If your family opts to pick its perfect tree at one of our state’s 200 tree farms — as Max’s family always does — you’ll want to read the cover story beginning on page 20 so you’re all set for the choose and cut experience. PHOTO BY TAYLOR MARANION
Expressing gratitude 2021 has been a year of many changes here at KREMC, and there is much to be thankful for. www.kremc.com CONTACT US Local: 574-267-6331 Toll-Free: 800-790-REMC EMAIL email@example.com OFFICE HOURS 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday-Friday ADDRESS 370 S. 250 E., Warsaw, IN 46582 SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS To report a service interruption after hours, please call 267-6331 or 800-790-REMC. BOARD OF DIRECTORS William Stump Jr., Chairman Dan Tucker, Vice Chairman John Hand, Secretary/Treasurer Kim Buhrt Terry Bouse Tony Fleming Pam Messmore Steve Miner Rick Parker
PREP YOUR HOME FOR THE UPCOMING WINTER CHILL Save energy and stay comfortable by caulking and weatherstripping areas that typically need sealing. Start by sealing around windows and doors. Seal plumbing, ducting, and areas where electrical wiring comes through walls, floors and ceilings for additional energy savings. — U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Use your Co-op Connections Card to save at local businesses Blue Heron Guest House 10% off a room from November through April.
FOLLOW KOSCIUSKO REMC ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER
Though we are still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were grateful for the ways that we got to reconnect with you, our members, this year after everything shut down in 2020. From our record-breaking drive-through annual meeting to our big day at the Kosciusko County Fair, it was wonderful to see and talk with you in person again. Many of our large-scale youth programs had to be canceled, but we were still able to give scholarships to 10 4-H participants and 10 students seeking to further their education. We also had the chance to celebrate two local students who were recognized in the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest. We are thankful for the students who participated in these programs, and for the parents, teachers and 4-H leaders who encouraged them along the way. The biggest change we saw this year came when we officially launched our internet subsidiary, Kosciusko Connect. This project has stretched us in unpredictable ways, but our team has gone above and beyond to make it happen. We have made great progress on our fiber-to-the-home internet network, and we are looking forward to connecting our first members! Our KREMC team has expanded and changed significantly this year, and we have begun hiring employees who will be specifically dedicated to Kosciusko Connect. We have brought on some wonderful new people, and we have seen some familiar faces earn well-deserved promotions. It has been a pleasure to watch our team grow. Our members are at the center of everything we do, and I am excited to see how these changes impact our service to you in years to come. Thank you for making what we do possible.
KURT CARVER President and CEO
KREMC rates and rebates RATES
Residential and farm service Service charge ............................$24.50 per month Kilowatt-hour (kWh) charge ......@$.0922 per kWh Tracker charge .................... @$0.001487 per kWh
Electric water heaters 50 gallons or larger: • Gas to electric replacement — $125 • New construction water heater — $125 • Geothermal desuperheater — $50
Outdoor Lights* 40w LED........................................$8.75 per month 70w LED......................................$12.25 per month
HVAC: • Geothermal system installation — $250 • Air-source heat pump system — $150 • Programmable thermostat — up to $25 Visit www.kremc.com for complete guidelines and restrictions. Additional rebates can be found at powermoves.com.
NEW EMPLOYEES Nissley joins member services team
Join us in
TWO NEW TO KOSCIUSKO CONNECT Kosciusko Connect is growing its team as it gets closer to fiber internet home installations!
welcoming Nissley to the KREMC
Wendy Salgado was a member
JOHN LINDSAY FIBER-OPTIC TECHNICIAN
WENDY SALGADO CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE/DISPATCHER
was working as a
for almost six
years before making the switch to
Nissley was born in raised in
Kosciusko Connect. She has an in-
Leesburg, and she is excited
to be moving back into the
area. She and her husband are building a home on Lake
depth knowledge of our systems and our membership, and she is looking
He was interested in fiber internet,
forward to applying that knowledge to
and he liked the idea of working on a
Tippecanoe, where she grew
project tied to a cooperative.
As a fiber-optic technician, Lindsay
customers with their accounts and
will play an important part in home
help keep the home installation
installations. According to Lindsay,
process running smoothly.
Before coming to KREMC, Nissley worked in customer service at a bank — first in Warsaw, then in Columbia City. She is excited to see familiar
In her new role, Salgado will help
he is excited to be a part of bringing something “awesome” to people who need it.
Salgado has taken a special interest in Kosciusko Connect since the project began, and she is excited to
faces and reconnect with the
Lindsay is currently a resident of
help improve the lives of members
local community through her
Wawaka where he lives with his wife
who need access to reliable internet
work here at KREMC.
and four children.
“Kendra has great experience and a great attitude,” said KREMC Manager of Member Services Stephanie Scott. “We are thrilled to welcome her to the KREMC team.” OUR OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED ON THURSDAY, NOV. 25, AND FRIDAY, NOV. 26, FOR THANKSGIVING.
The addition of Wendy and John to the Kosciusko Connect team is great news for our members. They bring years of great experience to their respective positions, and they will each play an important role in connecting our community to fiber. — CURT BARKEY, KREMC VICE PRESIDENT OF TECHNOLOGY AND BROADBAND
THROUGH HONOR FLIGHT VETERANS DAY IS NOV. 11
s we take time this month
media, friends, family, and even
Honor Flight Northeast Indiana, our
to honor and thank the
strangers who stop to cheer for their
local hub in the greater Honor Flight
men and women who have
arrival in Washington, D.C., and back
Network, which spans across the
home in Indiana.
country. In a typical year, Honor Flight
bravely served in our Armed Forces, we want to highlight an organization that is supporting veterans in a very meaningful way: Honor Flight.
Each vet flies with a guardian — usually a family member or friend — who accompanies them
Northeast Indiana takes four flights – two in the spring and two in the fall. Though COVID-19 has interfered with recent flights, they plan to start back
The Honor Flight Network was
throughout the day. Many volunteers
founded to provide veterans with a
are needed to make the flights work
free, round-trip flight to Washington,
— from guardians for vets who do
If you would like to learn more about
D.C., and a guided tour of the
not have anyone to take them, to
Honor Flight – whether you would
memorials that were created to honor
photographers who capture the day
like to volunteer, donate, or apply for a
their service and sacrifice. While on
and create lasting memories for them.
flight, visit www.hfnei.org.
their trip, the vets are treated with the utmost respect and honor; they are greeted with crowds, bands, news
KREMC partners with other electric cooperatives in Indiana to support
GIVE THE GIFT OF A H.U.G.! Have you started your holiday shopping yet? A H.U.G. (Household Utility Gift) from KREMC is like a gift card for electricity, and it is a great way to share the love this winter. You can purchase a H.U.G. for any amount that you would like. They are easily redeemed by sending them along with a monthly bill payment or bringing it in to our office. Want to give someone a H.U.G. this holiday season? Stop by our office to purchase yours!
up again in the spring of 2022.
Can’t change the time? change your energy use As the time shifts,
here are two things you can do to help reduce your home’s energy use. If you are replacing equipment, be sure to look at the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). The
Highly debated, does the time shift help conserve energy?
SEER tells you how
Daylight saving time
pass through seven time
found that observing
will be at using energy.
has had a rocky past
changes according to
daylight saving in
The higher the number
in the U.S. In 1918, the
Indiana equates to
a 1-4% increase in
As you heat and cool
shift in time was first observed — often seen as a World War I effort. Following the war, the time change was repealed in 1919 leading to a variety of times being observed across the nation. The same thing happened again during World War II.
In 1963, Time magazine published an article about industry leaders and farmers calling for bills to reform what was labeled “a clock chaos.” Their voices were heard and the chaos was mitigated through the 1966 Uniform Time Act that standardized when
residential electricity demand. Research finds
to two degrees or less. The more
longer in the afternoon
you ask your HVAC
and evening. This
system to meet large
growth in residential
HVAC use offsets the
will increase your
benefits of using lights
less due to longer hours of daylight.
saving time remained a
take place in standard
No matter when the
challenge into the 1960s
time zones. We now
sun rises or sets,
because changes in time
spring forward and
daylight saving time will
were set by individual
fall back each year but
continue. At least we
states. At one time, a trip
does the time shift help
don’t have to go through
from eastern Ohio to the
multiple time changes
would cause travelers to
A three-year study published by MIT Press,
and cooling their homes
daylight saving would
— a 35-mile journey —
your home, keep
consumers are heating
The adaption of daylight
edge of West Virginia
efficient the equipment
when traveling from Loogootee to Osgood!
Communication Specialist Daviess-Martin County REMC
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HANG AWARD-WINNING STUDENT ART ON YOUR WALL The 2022 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art is available at participating electric cooperative offices across the state. • Bartholomew County REMC • Boone REMC • Carroll White REMC • Clark County REMC • Dubois REC • Fulton County REMC • Harrison REMC • Heartland REMC • Hendricks Power Cooperative • Henry County REMC • Jasper County REMC • Jay County REMC • Johnson County REMC • Kankakee Valley REMC • Kosciusko REMC
• LaGrange County REMC • Marshall County REMC • Miami-Cass REMC • Newton County REMC • Noble REMC • Northeastern REMC • Orange County REMC • RushShelby Energy • Southeastern Indiana REMC • Steuben County REMC • Whitewater Valley REMC • WIN Energy REMC
ORDER YOUR 2022 CALENDAR TODAY! SEND US A CHECK AND A NOTE WITH YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS. COPIES OF THE COOPERATIVE CALENDAR OF
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The voyageurs land at Fort Ouiatenon Historic Park for the 2017 Feast of the Hunters’ Moon.
PHO TO BY ANG ELA BRUN TLE TT, CO URTESY O F THE TI PPECANO E CO UNTY HI STO RI CAL ASSO CI ATI O N
“Tippecanoe” is easily the most poetic and fun-to-say county in the state. But its meaning has nothing to do with capsizing a boat. Tippecanoe is the anglicized word for a Miami Indian term meaning “place of the succor fish people” — because succor (also known as buffalo fish) were abundant in the waters in the area. The county takes its name from the Tippecanoe River that flows into the Wabash River northeast of the county seat, and also from the historic battle that occurred near the confluence of the two rivers 210 years ago this month. The clash and ultimate confluence of two cultures — Native American and European explorers/settlers — are commemorated in historic sites around the county. Like the two rivers, one culture added to the other but its individual identity ended, while the other carried on. Every early autumn, the Feast of the Hunters’ Moon celebrates the county’s early history of generally peaceful and mutually beneficial relations between the Native and European cultures with reenactments, programming, crafts, and food on the grounds of the Fort Ouiatenon Historic Park. The park is a 1930s re-creation of the original fort that was established on the banks of the Wabash by French fur traders in 1717. Remains of the original fort, abandoned in 1791, were discovered in the 1960s just a stone’s throw farther down river from the recreated historic park. Relations between Native Americans and the encroaching settlers from the east coast and
Europe deteriorated steadily through the latter 1700s. Finally, the two cultures came to a bloody confrontation Nov. 7, 1811, at the Battle of Tippecanoe. Soldiers, led by William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory, defeated a confederation of Native Americans, led by the Shawnee leader The Prophet. The confederation, organized by The Prophet and his brother Tecumseh, who was away recruiting more forces, never recovered. The Battle of Tippecanoe is seen as the beginning of the end of the indigenous peoples’ way of life in the Midwest. The battle also helped launch Harrison’s political career. Given the nickname “Old Tippecanoe,” he won the U.S. presidency in 1840, with running mate John Tyler, using the memorable “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” slogan. Today, Harrison stands out to most people as the president who served the shortest term; he died a month after his 1841 inauguration. The Tippecanoe Battlefield is now a National Historic Landmark that includes a museum, a memorial marker to Harrison and his soldiers, picnic grounds, hiking trails and a nature center.
County Facts FOUNDED: 1826 NAMED FOR: Tippecanoe River and the Battle of Tippecanoe (after Kethtippecanoogi — “Village of the Succor Fish People”) POPULATION: 199,562 (2021 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Lafayette INDIANA COUNTY NUMBER: 79
South of Battle Ground, along the Wabash River, is Prophetstown State Park. The park commemorates the Native American village founded there in 1808. The park also features the open-air Museum at Prophetstown, with living history exhibits including a Shawnee village, and a 1920s-era farmstead.
For more information about Fort Ouiatenon and the Tippecanoe Battlefield, please visit: tippecanoehistory.org
ENTER TO WIN A PRIZE PACKAGE FROM VISIT L AFAYET TEWEST L AFAYET TE
SEE PAGE 3
For info about Prophetstown State Park, go to: prophetstown.org or in.gov/dnr/state-parks/parks-lakes/ prophetstown-state-park
Home Sweet HOMESTEAD
Serving homestyle food in so many ways
When is a restaurant not a restaurant? When it’s so much more than that. The Homestead, with locations in Remington and West Lafayette, definitely fits the bill as a food industry unicorn. • It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, offering homemade soups, sandwiches, desserts and a large salad bar amidst a farmstead chic décor. • It’s a bakery, selling delectable pies,
their locations … and they want them to enjoy home-cooked meals like Mama used to make. Sandwiches shine at The Homestead. The Homestead Stack — ham, turkey, salami, melted Colby cheese and Thousand Island dressing on a Ciabatta bun — is a restaurant specialty. Fans Homestead’s version, piled high with corned beef, Guggisberg Baby Swiss, Dressing. The Reuben’s signature flavors are replicated in the Reuben Bake Casserole, available on the frozen
variety of deli meats so you can make
delicious sandwiches at home.
With the holidays approaching, consider
and small. • It’s a place to buy bulk products like candies, pasta, pretzels, spices, jams and jellies, and local honey. • It’s your sanity saver if you’re looking
stocking up on The Homestead’s Dressing, Holiday Cheeseballs and pumpkin pies, breads and cake rolls — as a Christmas gift to yourself. And if you’re holiday shopping in the Remington or West Lafayette area take a coffee or smoothie break at The
casseroles, soups and sweets that
Homestead, and pick up some gifts
are full of flavor — not preservatives
while you’re there.
Homestead, the overriding goal of owners Mike and Jody Bahler and their staff is to simplify and enhance their customers’ lives with tasty, foods that hearken back to the good ol’ days.
PUMPKIN CAKE ROLL
seasonal specialties — like Holiday
to speed up meal prep with frozen
No matter what brings you to The
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE
of Reuben sandwiches should try The
cookies, cakes and more.
• It’s a catering service for events large
LEARN MORE ON PAGE 3.
to feel at home whenever they visit
sauerkraut and Thousand Island
Troyer Cheese products including a
a $100 gift card to The Homestead.
Simply put, they want their customers
breads, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts,
• It’s a deli where you can pick up
ENTER TO WIN
FROSTED CINNAMON ROLLS
THE HOMESTEAD 36 S. Ohio St. Remington, Indiana 219-261-2138 homesteadbuttery.com
1550 Win Hentschel Blvd. West Lafayette, Indiana 765-838-1590
PUMPKIN FLUFF DIP Gale Rhodes Battle Ground, Indiana 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
Mix pumpkin, dry pudding mix and
1 (3.4 oz.) package vanilla flavor instant pudding
spice in a large bowl with whisk until
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
Refrigerate one hour. Serve dip into
1 (8 oz.) tub non-dairy whipped topping, thawed Small pumpkin Cinnamon graham crackers or gingersnap cookies for serving
blended. Stir in whipped topping. a small hollowed out pumpkin with crackers or cookies.
food PARMESAN PUMPKIN FRITTERS Marilles Mauer Greensburg, Indiana
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl. Stir to combine well. The mixture should
Oil for frying 1¼ cups shredded pumpkin 4 T. flour 1 egg 2 T. milk ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1 t. baking powder ¼ t. salt 3 dashes pepper Thai sweet chili sauce for serving
barely bind together and not be wet or watery. Using a spoon, scoop out the mixture and drop it gently into the hot oil. Fry in batches until both sides turn golden brown and the inside is cooked through. Remove the fritters from the oil with a strainer and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve hot with Thai sweet chili sauce.
ENJOY FALL’S SIGNATURE FLAVOR
to talk about
DAIRY FREE ‘PUMPKIN’ PIE
Barbara Scott Markleville, Indiana
3 cups kabocha squash (prepare by baking, cooling and pureering)
2 (12.2 oz) cans evaporated coconut milk
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2-3 unbaked pie shells
2 T. flour
Mix eggs and pre-cooked/pureed kabocha squash. Stir in brown sugar, flour, salt and spices. Stir in evaporated coconut milk. Pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then 350 F for 3540 minutes. To test: knife inserted in middle should come out wet but clean.
1 t. salt 2 t. cinnamon 1 t. nutmeg 1 t. ginger ½ t. cloves
Cook’s note: You can also substitute evaporated milk for evaporated coconut milk and kabocha squash for pumpkin in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.
FO O D PREPARED BY I NDI ANA CO NNECTI O N STA FF PHO TO S BY TAYLO R M ARAN I O N
CHRIS T M A S
'tree'ditions IF CHRISTM AS TO YOU is all about celebrating faith and savoring experiences with family and friends, then let the festivities begin with the centerpiece of most holiday gatherings: the Christmas tree … the lordly evergreen … the old “O Tannenbaum” … the Noble Fir, the Scotch pine, the spruce and the cedar.
Whether your family is young and you are wanting to start a tradition, or is seasoned and you’re hoping to recapture the smells and memories of Christmases past, traveling over the river and through the woods to a nearby Christmas tree farm is a great way to start the season, and Indiana has some 200 tree farms you can visit! “There’s just something magical about seeing that big, beautiful tree out in the wild before bringing it home,” said Stacey Holton, marketing director at Tipmont REMC. “I’m a sucker for traditions, and we like to make a whole day of the affair.” She and husband Travis have started the holiday season with a tree farm visit ever since they were married in 2008. This will be the third Christmas they’ll be joined by their now 2-yearold son, Max. As soon as they get the tree home, she said they crank up the Christmas carols as they string lights and decorate. “Then, we sit in the dark enjoying the glowing lights of the newly decorated tree and a fire in the fireplace,” she added.
Max Holton scouts out the perfect tree with his dad, Travis, at Dull's Tree Farm in Boone County. PHO TO BY TAYLO R M ARANI O N
What to expect at a choose & cut farm
PL AN AHEAD Before heading out, measure from the floor to ceiling and the horizontal space where the tree is going. Tree size is sometimes hard to judge in the open field. Measure the height of the tree stand and topper, too.
B E P R E PA R E D F O R A D AY I N T H E C O U N T R Y
EQUIPMENT TO BRING
Wear comfortable shoes and old clothes. Bring rain gear if the weather is threatening. The “cutter downers” and the “loader uppers” should also have gloves.
Saws are usually provided by the farm operator, but call ahead. Bringing your tape measure might also be handy. Be careful carrying the saw.
C U T T I N G YO U R T R E E
T R A N S P O R TAT I O N
Select the tree that fits your space. Check the trunk to be sure it's sufficiently straight (pine will usually have at least some crook). Also check that the tree has a sufficiently long stump to accommodate your stand.
In the fall, all conifers shed some of their oldest needles. This is normal as the tree prepares itself for winter. Most tree farms provide shaking or blowing services so that you will depart with a perfectly clean tree.
Cutting the tree is easiest as a two-person project. The “cutter downer” usually lies on the ground while the helper pulls lightly on the tree opposite the side of the cut to ensure that the saw does not bind in the cut.
Bring the tree to the processing area where it will be cleaned and netted. Netting makes transporting and handling the tree much easier. Most farms will have helpers to assist with cutting and loading.
PRICING Some farms measure and price trees individually, others sell them by the foot. Ask about the pricing policy before heading out in the field.
Now you’re ready to load up and head home to decorate your Real Christmas Tree. SOU RCE: National Christmas Tree Association www.realchristmastrees.org
A young child riding on dad’s shoulders, little mittened hands clinging tightly to mom’s … these are the memories tree farms provide as you wander the lanes among the stands of trees under an open sky. And if the snow flies? Even better! Most farms offer hot chocolate and snacks and maybe even a firepit to stay warm and cozy as you wait for your fresh
pick to be shaken clean of dropped needles, netted and tied to the roof of your vehicle. Some farms also offer a gift shop and a chance to meet Santa and even his reindeer. During the COVIDcrimped Christmas of last year, tree growers noted a silver lining: increased sales and visits to tree farms nationwide over previous years. With the
pandemic protocols and COVID's health concerns still lingering, that may mean another good year for real tree sales as folks look to get outdoors and find the simple things that really matter. “Clearly, the thought process is leaning toward experience, toward making the holiday a bright part of the year,” said Marsha Gray,
executive director of the National Christmas Tree Growers promotion board. “Consumers tend to turn toward things that make them feel good and happy.” “We hope to continue this tradition yearly, especially as Max gets older and we can explain to him the importance of supporting local businesses,” Holton added. “When we have
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continued from page 21 family in town over the Thanksgiving weekend, we even include them in the tradition. My brothers like to joke that I go to the farms to pick the tree so I can be sure I’m choosing the biggest one they have. They’re probably not wrong!” If you are planning your first — or your “Nth” annual — outing to a tree farm this year, Indiana Connection has gathered some tips from
the National Christmas Tree Growers Association and from the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association to help you bring home a tree you’ll always remember. Be sure to visit the Indiana Christmas Tree Grower's website to find growers near you. And while you’re at a tree farm, ask about the 2021 “Trees for Troops” that provides real Indiana Christmas trees and other donated support for families in the military.
How to safely decorate your tree Whether your real tree comes straight from a tree farm or from a retail lot, putting it in water as soon as you get it home and keeping it watered throughout the holidays is key to a fresher, safer tree. If your tree has been precut, make a fresh cut at least a half inch up on the trunk before placing it in water. Display the tree indoors away from heat sources that may cause it to dry more quickly. At least close and cover any nearby heat register. Avoid placing your tree near a woodburning fireplace. Display your tree in a sturdy stand with adequate water capacity – at least 1 quart for each inch of trunk diameter. Check the water at least once daily and replenish as needed to maintain the water level above the base of the tree trunk. Trees are very thirsty. If the water level drops below the fresh cut on the base of the tree, a new seal will form and the tree will not be able to take up any more water. Only use lights that produce low heat. Check all electric lights and connections before decorating your tree. Don’t use lights with worn or frayed cords. Don’t overload electrical circuits. Turn off all lights and decorations before going to bed and any time you leave your home. SOURCE: Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association
safety SHOOTING NEAR ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT CAN BE COSTLY AND DEADLY
HUNT WHAT’S IN SEASON Hunting season brings outdoorsmen
Indiana Electric Cooperatives
of all skill levels and experience into
encourages all hunters and gun
and keep clear of electrical
rural Indiana, often to unfamiliar
owners to be aware of electrical
areas. While most hunters follow safe
equipment in their surroundings while
hunting practices, Indiana’s electric
enjoying the great outdoors. Here are
cooperatives remind all those afield to
things to keep in mind:
be mindful of their surroundings and to be aware of electric power lines and equipment in the air and electrical equipment on the ground.
“Skilled hunters understand the potential hazards of discharging a firearm and would never shoot blindly toward electric infrastructure. But there have been instances over the years of accidental damage and intentional vandalism to some power poles and hardware.”
• Never shoot near or toward
the poles can conduct electricity to anyone who comes in contact
equipment. Sometimes the
with them, causing shock or
damage, such as to an insulator,
isn’t noticed until it rains. Then it can cause an outage or a fire. • Familiarize yourself with the
“We want everyone to enjoy the great outdoors and all rural Indiana has to offer,” noted Gasstrom. “Electrical
location of power lines and
equipment can be found even in
equipment on land where
remote areas and is sometimes hard
you are hunting. Landowners
to see. Please just be aware of what’s
are encouraged to remind those
hunting on their property to be aware of power lines and other electrical equipment. • Damage to the conductor can
the electricity goes to ground, there is the possibility of electrocution and fire. • Be especially careful in wooded areas where power lines may not be as visible.
or for supporting deer stands.
bullet can cause damage to
line from its perch. If it’s dry and
damage can even spark a fire.
used in your hunting activity
poles or substations. A stray
happen, possibly dropping a
customers relying on that power. The
towers to support equipment
Energized lines and equipment on
CEO OF INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES
gunshot is costly to the utility and to
• Do not use utility poles or
overhead power lines, power
Electrical equipment damaged by
• Take notice of warning signs
THIS HUNTING SEASON, ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES ENCOURAGE ALL CONSUMERS TO BE AWARE OF ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT AND TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS WHILE HUNTING.
‘Rocky and his friends’ …
Over the years of writing my column,
he noted it didn’t look quite like a
butter, he reported, and he had one
I have received many letters and
“regular” squirrel. It had what looked
even nibbling peanut butter off the
emails from readers. On occasion,
like extra skin between its front
tip of the knife he was using to fill a
the correspondences can be a little
leg and back leg. A little research
woodpecker feeder that the squirrels
squirrely; however, one of the latest
revealed the little irregular squirrel
feed from. “We have seen as many
I received was way squirrely… but in
was a flying squirrel. The extra skin
as four or five squirrels at one time.”
a really neat way.
was what spreads out so it could
It was an email from husband and
glide between the tree limbs.
You can tell the Allens are fellow wildlife lovers as Randy finished his
wife Randy and Terri Allen of West
Flying squirrels only come out after
story, “Our flying squirrels are our
Lafayette. They have the good
dark and are much smaller than
cheap nightly entertainment.”
fortune of living next to a huge old
other squirrels. Randy reported the
maple tree which has some unique
largest they have seen was only
about 10 inches the tip of its nose
Randy wrote that they started noticing them in 2018 when Terri heard some scratching up in the
to tip of its tail. “They don’t seem
till next time,
very shy, and a camera flash doesn’t seem to bother them,” he said.
tree that is about eight feet from the
The Allens named the adult ones
front porch. Then she watched a
Rocky and Rachael. Randy said they
very small squirrel come down the
have big eyes, but from the photos
tree to the couple’s bird and squirrel
he sent, apparently, they don’t wear
feeders, and she called for Randy to
aviator helmets or goggles like
writer and a member of
come out to take a look.
Rocky the Flying Squirrel of “Rocky
and Bullwinkle” fame. They do seem
Readers can contact the
“At first, I thought it was a baby gray or fox squirrel,” he wrote, except
to like sunflower seeds and peanut
is a syndicated state outdoors
author by writing to this publication, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Spaulding’s books, “The Best Of Spaulding Outdoors” and “The Coon Hunter And The Kid,” are available from Amazon. com as paperbacks or Kindle downloads.
Due to the ever-changing coronavirus situation, please note that the events below may not occur at their originally scheduled times. Be sure to reach out to the event contacts below to ensure that the programs you are interested in are still taking place.
CHRISTMAS AT THE CANAL, Delphi (Carroll), Wabash and Erie Canal Park. Crafters and artisans, demonstrations, gifts, food. Tour the Pioneer Village decorated for the holidays. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 765-564-2870. wabashanderiecanal.org
Through “A CHRISTMAS STORY” COMES HOME, Hammond (Lake), Indiana
Welcome Center. Scenes from “A Christmas Story.” Special events, contests, photos on Santa’s Mountain and gift shop. Free. 219-989-7979, southshorecva.com/a-christmas-story/
Nov. 19-20, 26Dec. 31
SEASONAL TREASURES ART AND CRAFT FESTIVAL, Lafayette (Tippecanoe), Arrowhead Bowl. Artist/crafter collaboration featuring unique Christmas pieces. Fri: 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. 765-743-0552. email@example.com
CHRISTMAS IN THE CABIN AND PARADE, Lebanon (Boone), Lebanon Memorial Park. Hot chocolate and cookies, Santa and Mrs. Claus, carriage rides around the park, evening parade. Free. 765-482-8860. seashorewaterpark.org/187/Christmas-Parade
TRAVELING TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER, Salem (Washington), Salem Armory. View a scale model of the original located in Washington, D.C. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org FERDINAND CHRISTKINDLMARKT, Ferdinand (Dubois). German heritage market with over 200 booths of handcrafted items, antiques, food, and wine. Live Glockenspiel, Black Forest Organ Grinder, Marionette Theater, Reindeer Reserve Meet-n-Greet, free concert by musicians from the Evansville Philharmonic, free tours of the Monastery Immaculate Conception, shuttle service to all six market sites, etc. Sat: 9 a.m. -5 p.m. EST, Sun: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. EST. Free. 800-968-4578. email@example.com. ferdinandchristkindlmarkt.com
This calendar is published as a service to readers and the communities electric cooperatives serve. Indiana Connection publishes events free of charge as space allows, giving preference to free community festival and events in and around areas served by subscribing REMCs/RECs. While Indiana Connection strives for accuracy, please note that events, dates and time may change without notice. Indiana Connection advises using contact phone numbers or internet sites to check times and dates of events before making plans.
DOWNTOWN PERU CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE, Peru (Miami). Parade, shopping, prizes, food sampling, Santa. Free. 765-472-1923. enjoymiamicounty.org
SHIPSHEWANA LIGHTS OF JOY, Shipshewana (LaGrange), Shipshewana Flea Market. Drivethru light experience featuring more than two million LED lights. Admission charge. 260-768-4129; shipshewanalightsofjoy.com
ESA 31ST ANNUAL ARTS AND CRAFTS MARKET, Seymour (Jackson), Girls Inc. office. Handcrafted home and holiday items including baked goods, jewelry, paintings, wood crafts, hand-woven rugs, and hand-sewn items. Candles and fragrance products. Lunch available. Free. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 812-445-3815. firstname.lastname@example.org. LIGHT UP CORYDON, Corydon (Harrison), Downtown. Browse the stores, live entertainment, carriage rides, and Santa visits. Free. 888738-2137. thisisindiana.org
To add events to Calendar, please use the “Submit and Event” form under the “Talk to Us” or “Calendar” buttons at indianaconnection.org; or mail your info to: Calendar, Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240. Please submit info two months before the date of the event.
SEEING A HAPPY WORLD
COLORED GL ASSES Bob Ross was a man who could move mountains at a whim. He could conjure clouds from a pale sky and raise lofty pines with waves of his hand. And he inspired and convinced many others they could do the same. The soft-spoken artist with the bushy hair became a Public TV icon in the 1980s-’90s through his show, “The Joy of Painting.” In each half-hour class, he taught viewers how to create beautiful landscapes. And though Ross died in 1995, his gentle demeanor, calm voice and upbeat attitude ensured his enduring popularity. “This is your world,” he’d tell viewers as he’d stand at his easel, “and you can create anything you want in it.” Now, his fans and followers can stand before that very easel in the exact spot where he stood as they enter his “happy” world — the “Bob Ross Experience” — at the Minnetrista museum in Muncie. Ross filmed every episode of the “The Joy of Painting” at Muncie PBS station WIPBTV. And from the show’s beginning in 1983 to 1988, the WIPB studio was the
living room of the former home of Lucius L. Ball. The home today is part of the Minnetrista campus, a 40acre museum and gardens. For each show, Ross would stand before an empty canvas mounted on an easel and greet his TV audience. A black curtain was the background. Then, he’d quietly paint, instruct and chat about art and life. Seemingly after a few dabs of paint here, daubs there, and thwackings of his big brush against the easel for cleaning, he’d have a finished work. More importantly, viewers were encouraged to try it, too. Phase I of the Ross exhibit opened Oct. 29, 2020, which would have been his 78th birthday. It recreates that living room studio — black curtains, TV cameras and easel. Displayed is an original Ross painting and the brushes he used. The interactive exhibit continues to a recreated 1980s living room where visitors can plop down on a couch with a console TV and continue learning his story. Ross was a native of Florida who traveled the country giving seminars on his
simple approach to painting and sharing his philosophy of “fearless creativity.” Ross happened to be in Muncie giving multiple sold-out seminars when he approached the folks at WIPB-TV about bringing his instructions to a broader audience through a TV show. The station agreed. And, from the heart of Muncie, within just a few seasons, Ross had become another endearing, kind of quirky, PBS personality nationwide. He was like the grownup’s answer to Mr. Rogers.
Phase II of the Bob Ross Experience opened this Oct. 29, expanding to the home’s second floor. Visitors can now view a larger gallery of his paintings and paint in workshops in the same home where he painted for his show. So, if you go, as Ross might have said, “Happy traveling, and God bless.”
ENTER TO WIN
FOUR TICKETS TO THE BOB ROSS EXPERIENCE. LEARN MORE ON PAGE 3.
FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ABOUT HOURS, TICKET PRICES AND AVAILABILITY, PLEASE VISIT: www.minnetrista.net/BobRossExperience or call 765-282-4848.
Danielle Sommerman, now a DePauw University freshman, won her second Best of Show award in the 2022 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art Contest.
Valedictory art is a tour de force
anielle Sommerman’s valedictory submission for the Indiana Electric Cooperative student art contest was a tour de force. Her senior work from the contest not only won her grade division — which was her seventh first place award — but also earned her a Best of Show for the second time. The mixed media illustration of colored pencils and Copic Markers will illustrate December in the 2022 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art, joining winning works from all grades, from the contest judged last April. Danielle’s illustration itself, red and green shiny Christmas ornaments resting on a bed of seashells, combines a few of her favorite things — favorite things to illustrate, favorite holiday memories, and favorite subject of study. The first one is obvious: the Christmas ornaments. “I absolutely love drawing reflective objects. I love tiny detail and not huge expanses of one color,” said Danielle, now a freshman at DePauw University in Greencastle. Reflecting on the work completed last March, she added, “I
definitely wanted to use a Christmas ornament because I love staring at them when I pass them at different stores or on my own Christmas tree. I thought: ‘OK, how can I do just basic Christmas ornaments, but make them unique?’
science — especially geology, environmental geoscience, environmental biology, archaeology, and anthropology — are her pet subjects and where she sees her future. So hidden among the seashells, she noted, she tucked a Petoskey stone.
“I thought: ‘Hmm, what if I do multiple small objects with them?’”
“I thought a Michigan rock amidst a sea of Florida shells was hilarious and sneaky.” It also has sentimental value; it came from Michigan’s Christmas Cove Beach where her family has vacationed in summer. (The pebble-sized stone is actually a combination of fossil, rock, and coral found along Lake Michigan).
That leads to the second favorite thing: Christmas memories … in case you were wondering what seashells have to do with December’s calendar artwork. “Oh, I go down to visit my grandparents every other year in Florida,” she noted, “a lot of shells down there.” So, she illustrated ornaments on the beach. But to the sharp-eyed observer, Danielle wasn’t done. She loves art. But
The Cooperative Calendar of Student Art, now in its 24th edition, will be available at participating electric cooperatives around Indiana and by mail through Indiana Connection (please see page 12 for details on
where to get the 2022 edition). Some 1,300 pieces of art were entered in all grades, kindergarten through 12, for the 2022 calendar. In addition to the first-place winners selected for each grade, 13 honorable mentions were also selected and will appear in a special section of the calendar. Cash prizes are awarded for first-place and honorable-mention winners, and a bonus $100 prize is given to the artist who wins Best of Show. The contest to illustrate the Silver Anniversary 2023 calendar is now beginning and has a March 18, 2022, deadline. For details, please visit IndianaConnection.org. Danielle completed her years of participation in the art contest as the most prolific winner. While the 2021 calendar’s winning senior, Evan Olinger, who served as a judge for the 2022 calendar contest, won three Best of Show honors on his way to amassing seven consecutive grade division awards (2015-2021), Danielle’s work appeared in nine calendars. Along with her Best of Show for the 2022 and 2020 calendars; and first place awards (fifth grade in the 2015 calendar and consecutive seventh-12th grade wins in the 2017-2022 calendars), she also earned an honorable mention in third grade and sixth grade for works appearing in the 2013 and 2016 calendars. “It was the best way to finish out such a long time of doing this contest,” Danielle said, “and it made my two months of working through extreme migraines really pay off.” The detail work on the some 120 shells was painstaking — with an
Danielle earned an Honorable Mention in the art contest as a third grader.
Danielle’s 12th Grade Best of Show-winning artwork emphasis on the “pain.” “I tend to hyperfocus on what I'm drawing,” she said. “So, I end up putting my face too close to the page, and then I get headaches. It's worth it, though. It's so worth it when you achieve the realism that you get.” Looking to the future, Danielle, who was the Class of 2021 valedictorian at Crawford County High School last May, has not declared her major. “As of right now, it’s not set in stone fully what I want to do, but definitely something science related.” she noted. “I want to learn everything; I want to do everything; I want to be everything. “It’s just a steady process of trial and error and figuring out what you want your life to be and what you want to do with it because success doesn't necessarily mean money, doesn’t mean fame. It means being content with what you’re doing with your life.”
While a high school sophomore, Danielle won her first Best of Show award.
As a valedictorian, Danielle Sommerman offers some advice for younger student artists coming after her.
It is not cheating to look at things to learn how to draw them. Use reference photos, pose different things, stare at them, to fully learn how something looks so you can draw it. Don't just go off memory if you're trying to do something realistic.
Wabash Valley Power news
SMART STUFFERS: Some holiday stocking ideas will teach you about your energy use This holiday season you’ll probably see lots of advertising for “smart” home this and “smart” home that. Commercials will highlight gadgets that make your life better because they make your home so dang smart. Rather than make promises about how “smart” these devices are, let’s talk about how they can be more helpful in your home.
HOME ENERGY MONITORS These devices come in two different types. Both types of home energy monitors provide you with helpful information about how your home is using electricity, though there are unique advantages and challenges to each. One kind monitors each circuit of your home’s circuit breaker box to tell you how much electricity is used at each circuit. SiteSage is an example of that type of monitor. Circuit level devices are often a more expensive kind of sensor, but if your circuit breaker box is well-labeled you can quickly see how much even the tricky appliances are using. The downside is that if there are several small appliances plugged into the same circuit. Those circuit level monitors are not able to separate those smaller loads. The other type uses electric harmonics and machine learning to detect appliance patterns to “learn” what devices are using electricity in your home. The Sense home energy monitor is an example of that type. The devices powered by machine learning are usually more affordable, and have been on the market long enough that they can identify many common appliances fairly quickly. Monitors using electric harmonics can struggle with some appliances, making it a challenge for the monitor to ever “see” those appliances.
WI-FI OUTLETS & POWER STRIPS Wi-Fi outlets are a way to help a Sense-style energy monitor “see” the electric use of those tricky appliances and vampire loads running all the time. Some, like Kasa and Wemo, work with some energy monitors to let you tell the monitor exactly what is plugged into the smart plug. The energy monitor then knows that information, and will be able to share it with you as well.
WI-FI THERMOSTATS Wi-Fi thermostats are a proven technology. Nest, Ecobee, and Honeywell offer Wi-Fi thermostats you’ve probably seen advertised. Unlike programmable thermostats that came before them, these Wi-Fi thermostats are much easier to set up a schedule or adjust on the fly. Some models utilize machine learning to figure out how deep of a setback your home can handle to maximize energy savings. Similarly, some have a “Max Savings” setting that will turn the heat pump on before the scheduled time to prevent the heat pump’s auxiliary heat from energizing, maximizing heat coming from the more efficient and affordable heat pump.
Any of these devices will be helpful in making you smarter about your home — because you should be the smart one, not the gadgets plugged into your home. For more energysaving tips and advice, contact your local electric co-op’s energy advisor or visit PowerMoves.com.