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Volume 9 | Issue 3 | June & July 2020

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


features 26

Kindness, Heroes Hope & Faith By Grace Hirdes Steffanie Immerfall Cindy Sebring Adams Bridgette Waldau

26 42

From Grass to Glass Milking R Dairy By Steffanie Immerfall



Geocaching Central Florida's Largest Treasure Hunt By Kristy Harris

June & July 2020


CONTENTS Volume 9 | Issue 3 | June & July 2020

noteworthySTORIES 76 Gratitude Circle

By Rebecca Maglischo

inspired by the SOUTH



Southern Chef By Layne Prescott

heartland SCENE


City of Sebring Fire Department By Hannah Tucker

88 departments

12 Letter from the Publisher 18 Behind the Scenes 22 From Our Readers June & July 2020

Cover Cover Design by Bridgette Waldau

54 8

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Kindness Heroes Hope Faith


— Cosmetic & General Dental Services — Laser Treatment and Digital Imaging Orthodontics — Invisalign® — Same-day Crowns, Root Canals, Bridges & More — Zoom!® Whitening — Sedation

June & July 2020


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June & July 2020 11


etter fromTHE PUBLISHER Life is filled with highs and lows - happiness and struggles that will test your resilience and integrity, push you to overcome challenges and leave you with lessons that will make you even stronger through the challenges. Rumi, a 13th century poet and philosopher, once said, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” A couple of months ago life was different for all of us. Here at Heartland LIVING, we were working on the April & May Issue with our advertisers and finishing our feature stories that we were so excited about. Then it was like our world stopped. An unknown virus not only changed our lives but our world. Without hesitation, we were not going to let something we knew nothing about stop the publication of the magazine. We had you, our dedicated advertisers and readers that have trusted us going on nine years and we weren’t going to disappoint you. " We Stayed Strong with You" and will continue to do so until all this craziness is over. Yes, I said craziness because that is the only way I know how to describe it as it is continuing in different ways as I’m writing this. Looking to the Positive! I don’t know about you, but this time has given me quiet time to reevaluate my life. Time to regain perspective on what is important and things I can do without. I know I’ve seen through this trying time the outpouring of love and help in so many different ways. We wish we could have listed all of the positive things going on in our Heartland Communities but it would have gone on and on. We are proud and thankful to each and every one of you for your kindness, giving and patience. I think moving forward we will all have a new “normal”, but I always say normal is overrated. It is my prayer that we are stronger and kinder as we come back together. I’m so thankful for my team who stepped up and has done what was needed to bring you the exciting and heartfelt stories we have in our Summer Issue. We feel we have a combination of stories for everyone. Thank you to the ones that gave a helping hand to those in need during this pandemic. We have only scratched the surface sharing the stories of all the good deeds and selfless acts of kindness that took place in our Heartland Communities. We thank you for all your support and ask that you support not only our dedicated advertiser’s businesses but also all of our local businesses. We are all “Coming Together”.


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

God Bless,

Cindy Sebring Adams

June & July 2020 13


June & July 2020


June & July 2020 Volume 9 | Issue 3

Kindness Heroes Hope Faith


Published by CEO | Publisher Cindy Sebring Adams Editorial Director Jessica Pleger Contributing Editor Gianna Immerfall Creative | Art Director Bridgette Waldau Writers Kristy Harris Grace Hirdes Steffanie Immerfall Rebecca Maglischo Hannah Tucker Contributing Writer Layne Prescott Photography Director Rafael Pacheco Feature Photographers Kristy Harris Gianna Immerfall Emily Plank Hannah Tucker Cover Design Bridgette Waldau

Contact: 412 Rest Haven Road, Zolfo Springs, FL 33890 863-781-0344 E-mail

Cindy@Heartland-Living.com Become a fan on facebook


Florida Magazine Association

Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc.

Awards Winner of 16 FMA Charlie Awards 2014 - 2018

Charlie Awards

2017 Best Department Design 2018 Best Feature Design Silver Awards 2014 Cover Photo Illustration 2015 Best Self-Promotional Ad Best Feature Design Best Table of Content 2017 Best Feature Design Best Photography Image 2018 Best Overall Writing Best Photography Image Gold Awards 2015 Best Feature Design 2018 Best Overall Design Best Feature Design Best Traditional Illustration Best Department Design Best Photography Image

Heartland Living Magazine is published bi-monthly by Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc. Copyright 2020, all rights reserved. Reproduction of contents in print or electronic transmission in whole or in part in any language or format must be by expressed written permission of the publisher.

All articles, descriptions and suggestions in this magazine are merely expression of opinions from contributors and advertisers and do not constitute the opinion of the publisher, editor or staff of Heartland Living Magazine, and under no circumstances constitutes assurances or guarantees concerning the quality of any service or product. Heartland Living Magazine specifically disclaims any liability related to these expressions and opinions. Heartland Living Magazine is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions. The advertiser agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the publishers from all liability.


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behind the SCENES Behind the Scenes

Creative | Art Director

Photography Director



BRIDGETTE WALDAU has been a graphic and fine artist for over 30 years. She received her A.A. from the Ft. Lauderdale Institute of Art and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Stetson University. She moved to Okeechobee in 1994 where she opened her art studio. Bridgette has been creative director for several publications, working with Heartland Publications & Marketing as art director since 2011, winning eleven Florida Magazine Charlie Awards (20152018). She is Arts & Culture Alliance Director (13 years) for Okeechobee Main Street. Bridgette is married to James Waldau, a retired firefighter from the City of Hialeah.

RAFAEL PACHECO I am a Pisces and was born on the island of Puerto Rico. My dog thinks I am crazy for locking the door so many times in 10 seconds and my cats think I am made of catnip. Everything I wear is black, gray or blue. If I put on something colorful I must have been in a hurry. Photography is how I have let my artistic visions come to life since the early 90’s. Patience, kindness, sharing, sacrifice, love and not to judge I saw my mother practice these and they stayed within me. We are collective energy and all from the same Source. I don’t see the world through my eyes. I see it through my soul.

LAYNE PRESCOTT Layne was born into a military family, has lived overseas but did most of her growing up in Arcadia. After meeting and marrying Mike Prescott, she moved to Wauchula in 1979 and now calls it her home. She and Mike raised their three children there and now are reaping the benefits of their labor with six sweet, beautiful and perfect grandchildren. Her cooking style is eclectic and best described as “Southern comfort cuisine”. Her greatest joy comes from three things: her faith, loving on her family, and getting in the kitchen and “whipping” up something good.

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Editorial Director

JESSICA PLEGER is a wife, mother, editor, writer, and caterer. She attended the University of Central Florida where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Finance. Before working full-time at Heartland LIVING, Jessica was a paralegal for over 15 years. She is also the owner and operator of Pink Pineapple Catering. Jessica enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and participating in community events throughout the Heartland. A lifelong resident of Florida, Jessica was raised in Hardee County and now resides in Avon Park with her husband, Jonathan and daughter, Finley Grace. GIANNA IMMERFALL is the active journalism content editor at Okeechobee High School and is an alumni of the UF Summer Media Institute. She is a collector of Vinyl, loves to run, cheer, and create digital design projects. She plans to peruse her Journalism education at a higher level upon graduating in 2021.

Contributing Editor Photographer



GRACE HIRDES is happily married to her wonderful husband and is a fulltime teacher at Winter Haven Christian School. She received her diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature and has been pursuing her passion as a freelance writer for the past 5 years. She has also published her first children’s book and loves anything outdoors.

REBECCA MAGLISCHO is a wife and mother of two boys. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Human Movement with an emphasis on Corrective Modalities. She has completed a two year study in Full Body Systems through the Holistic Nutrition Lab and a certification in Functional Range Condition through the Functional Anatomy Systems. Rebecca opened

June & July 2020 STEFFANIE IMMERFALL is a Chicagoland native who currently works in Marketing for Seminole Gaming. In her free time she and her kids spend time exploring Florida, visiting historical sites and traveling. Steffanie enjoys photography and writing anything from short stories to professional pieces related to business and marketing.

Writer Photographer


Writer Photographer

KRISTY HARRIS is a graphic designer and artist in Sebring, FL. Originally from Michigan, Kristy and her husband moved in 2007 to Highlands County where she received her BFA Degree from Northern Michigan University. Kristy has owned her own freelance business, Kristy’s Kreatives for the past three years. Starting her own business gave her the opportunity to stay home with her daughter, Olivia and work with Knotty Girl Loves, Inc., a non-profit organization. In her spare time, Kristy enjoys painting, taking photos traveling and spending time with friends and family.


HANNAH TUCKER is currently a senior at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL. She is working towards a Bachelors in Advertising and Public Relations, as well as a minor in Integrated Marketing Communications. Hannah was born and raised in Sebring and enjoys attending college so close to home. Her biggest passion is to spread her faith through the creativity of the work she designs and writes.

EMILY PLANK has a photography business rooted in her hometown of Lakeland, FL. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art where she focused on drawing and painting. She fell in love with photography while at UF, studying film and digital photography. She loves to tell a story, whether it’s that of a person, place or space she is dedicated portraying her subject’s beauty. Personally she loves to give back and serve her community, she loves her Lord Jesus and being with her family and friends.

June & July 2020 19

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From Our

Readers Makes the City More Colorful by Supporting Local Art By Grace Jicha Photography Courtesy of Local Artist

Lakeland, Florida has become a hub for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and some would even describe the city as arts-driven. With murals and sculptures scattered throughout the town, independent artists regularly releasing music, craft coffee and food joints opening up; art in its many forms is seemingly everywhere. The support for art and artists, comes not only from the citizens, but from the City of Lakeland itself as well as both small and large-scale businesses. „

April & May 2020 45


Beautiful! I know that mural and there is a big cat one across the road on a building isn’t there? I wanted so bad to stop in traffic and take pictures. - Roberta Beattie

OMG!!! Just saw the magazine. It made me cry!!! So beautiful. You out did yourself. I cannot thank you enough! -Nancy McDuffee



has inspired more young children to grow up with dreams of performing on stage like the art of ballet has. It is a form of dance that not only requires great strength and physical abilities, but it also requires great discipline and dedication. Many young people do not have an opportunity to perform with professional dancers or in professional ballet productions with professional instructors, however a very lucky group of young dancers and instructors from Highlands County and surrounding areas have been given this opportunity for years now. „


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Back To The

Heartland LIVING April & May 2020

stage, the twinkling lights, the beautiful costumes, the grace and elegance Tofheballet dancers have all captivated audiences for centuries. No form of dance

By Steffanie Immerfall Photography by Gregory Jones and Kevin Kyzer

April & May 2020 27




By Rebecca Maglischo

Gorgeous! - Chanea Losee Turner This months cover is gorgeous, stunning, Joanna Gaines with Magnolia Journal could take a lesson from you. - Joan Simpson

Walking the aisles of a grocery store, one is faced with a panacea of beautiful packages. Each package is thoughtfully designed to draw the eye of the consumer, to tickle their taste buds, and to play on the ever-present nutritional confusion of the first generations of humans that have a choice in what they eat- lots and lots and lots of choices, actually. „


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

This fabulous magazine is beautifully and has wonderful articles about every topic imaginable. Even better, it focuses on the counties of The Heartland - Central Florida. - Rebecca Wroten Maglischo

Beautiful cover and thank you for continuing during this tough time. - Kelsey Smith

Send us YOUR Thoughts

Love this! - Kathy Day I love that mural! -Pam Fentress

If you would like to share your thoughts, please leave a post on our Facebook page or email us at Cindy@Heartland-Living.com. Submissions may be edited for space.


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

April & May 2020 61

June & July 2020 23

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June & July 2020 25


Kindness Heroes Hope Faith


Small acts of kindness can make a big difference during tough times. The focus for months has been on COVID-19, how to prevent the spread of the virus, the latest actions that the government is taking and health officials sharing the rising number of cases throughout the country. However, the Heartland communities has found ways to bring people closer together during this difficult time. Our communities are full of local heroes, not only our health care and essential workers, but also heroes delivering food for the hungry, volunteers who’ve made hundreds of face masks, helping local businesses, taking care of our students and even local farmers providing fresh produce. At a time of so much uncertainty, these acts of kindness — for those committing and receiving them — gives us hope and faith. The unifying act of humanity reminds us that we are all in this together. And together we are getting through this. Heartland LIVING would like to highlight a few acts of kindness that saturated the Heartland communities over the past few months. We wish we could list all of the multitudes of kind acts but there were just too many to fit within these pages. „


POLK COUNTY Polk County have shown that love conquers all as they have come together during this pandemic and really supported their neighbors in every way imaginable.

Kay Kasser, her husband Dave, along with their ministry partner Harry Walter started the local outreach, Combee Connection, during Hurricane Irma when they felt God leading them to get the local homeless to shelters. Kay states that this pandemic has exploded their Food For Families program. Within the first 3 weeks the number of households has risen exponentially, from 30 to 84, with more requests coming in each week. The ministry’s focus has now shifted almost exclusively to meeting this rising level of hunger. They have been working with individuals and communities around the area to meet this need, and as Kay tells us, “Every week it is loaves and fishes. We face a mountain of hunger each week and each week there is always just enough.” Kay shares that nonperishable food items are extremely difficult to purchase due to availability and quantity limits. The local community helped greatly by organizing nonperishable food drives, and/or donating funds to help them have the means to purchase products when they are available. If you’re looking to get connected with this ministry, there are plenty of opportunities for you to help. Contact Connection Ministries at CombeeConnection@gmail.com to get more information or call 863-617-5824.


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

This pandemic has not only affected individuals but many local farmers as well. Many farms have millions of dollars rotting in the fields and have opened their product for pick up and delivery to those in need, etc. Oponay Farms is one of those farms in need of our support. Oponay Farms has been in production for many years and have been able to sell to local chain stores but due to this pandemic their farm has been hit hard and they are trying desperately to survive. Louis King and his family have gotten creative and found new ways to get their produce out to the consumers. A produce box filled with items can be found on their farm and consumers can now come through a pick-up drive thru and choose their box. These boxes started with blueberries and peaches, but now contain a variety of produce such as potatoes, corn, and strawberries.

Everything they sell is American grown, whether it’s from their own farm or their local neighbors. Their drive-thru is a first come-first serve basis, and King tells us that he has been blown away with how the community has stepped up. He says, “ The local community support has been unbelievable.” Even though they have been creative and making the best out of this pandemic, they are still in need of your support. Visit them on Facebook at “Oponay Farms, LLC” to find out when the next pick up date will be and support your local farmers. If you have any questions they can be reached at 863-698-7994.

The Mission of Winter Haven has been serving their local community since 1977. Their ministry has continued to grow and today they are now able to meet the daily needs of those in their community through meals, showers, laundry, as well as clothing and hygiene donations. During the Covid-19, they have experienced an increase in need as they are now serving their regular homeless as well as several families who have never had to ask for help before. They have also volunteered their mission as a pick-up site for school lunches and to help these families with any other needs. David Berry says, “I am constantly amazed at the outpouring of generosity from our community. We’ve had local chefs volunteering their time to prepare meals for the hungry, businesses and churches sponsoring meals, and individuals who’ve really stepped up and donated perishable and non-perishable foods.” They even had a local business who raised funds to cater a meal so they could support a small business as well as feed those in need. You can connect with The Mission on Facebook at or in person at 180 E Central Ave, Winter Haven. „

June & July 2020 29

Anchors in the Storm founder Tracey Dannemiller, along with her granddaughter, are amazed at how their community outreach in Lakeland has absolutely exploded. It all started with a sign in the front yard and walking around the neighborhood to pass out toilet paper, but has exploded into a Facebook group with more than 2200 members who have given items such as clothes, masks, gift cards, washers, dryers, A/C units and microwaves. Dannemiller said, “It’s so fun! Every day brings its own surprises. We’ve woken up to boxes at the front door with diapers, wipes, etc. We’ve received unexpected packages at the post office, my kids are just as in awe as I am at the generous folks that donate.”


The community around Dannemiller has stepped up and met so many needs. She puts it best when she says, “It’s a beautiful thing.”


If you would like to support this growing community contact Dannemiller or visit their Facebook page "Anchors in the Storm" to search the needs and to see if there is any way you can help. If you or someone you know has a need, reach out on their Facebook page. No item needed or donation is too small or too big.

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com


Kindness could be found everywhere in Arcadia, the county seat of DeSoto County. Individuals, businesses and even the DeSoto Sheriff's Office stepped in to uplift the community, creating a cycle of hope and faith.

Sheriff James F. Potter of the DeSoto Sheriff’s Office reached out to community parents and guardians early on in March as schools were shutting down. He knew that many parents missed being able to send their children to school. Potter decided to take advantage of social media and provided support with the student’s e-learning reading requirements. Potter, each day at 3:00 pm, invited parents to log into story time as Potter read a book. According to a study cited by PBS, kindergarten children who are read to at least three times a week had a “significantly greater phonemic awareness than children who were read to less often". So, Potter invited parents or guardians to tune in at least three times a week and enjoy some short stories for their children. Giving back to the Sheriff’s Office, a kind and generous DeSoto County resident, who has asked to remain anonymous, donated 20 plus handmade face masks for the men and women of the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office. DCSO staff wore the donated masks as a supplement to the already issued N95 surgical masks. They were extremely thankful for the thoughtful and much needed donation to help the staff stay protected.

As with many of communities around the country, it has been heart wrenching for High School graduates. The DeSoto County School District, along with the community celebrated the graduates by making personalize yard signs for each of the 300 seniors. The signs were put on display at the courthouse and then later distributed to the seniors by the DeSoto County High School. „

June & July 2020 31


DeSoto Memorial Hospital has been the recipient of kind gestures from the community. Girl Scout Troops 053, 057 and 1077 wanted to show their appreciation by donating 22 cases of Girl Scout cookies, which included artwork that was hung on the wall for everyone to see. Kentucky Fried Chicken, DMH Foundation and the DMH Auxiliary, and KSweet Farms also supplied food to the staff. Even the gesture of music uplifted the staff at the Hospital. Montreal Peterson, Marcus Green and Rkeith Shannon set up outside the hospital and performed gospel music for the healthcare workers.


Partnering with the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) in their #CreditUnionsCareChallenge. MidFlorida Arcadia's employees received $25 to spend or donate however they chose to show support for local businesses. Because of MidFlorida’s kindness to the community, McDonald’s paid it forward and treated the team at MidFlorida Credit Union to lunch.

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY When Okeechobee local business owner Scott Dawson coined the phrase #heretostayokee in early March, he had no idea how much that phrase would resonate with not only the people of Okeechobee but small business owner’s countywide. Through innovation and resourcefulness residents of Okeechobee were examples of how good old American ingenuity perseveres.

As spring break approached Executive Director of Our Village, Leah Suarez, knew that there would be kids in the county who would be hungry. As the county extended spring break for an additional week to evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on Okeechobee County Schools, some families were reaching a point of desperation for basic nutritional needs for their family. Suarez and her team at Our Village quickly jumped into action putting out the call for donations, shopping for food and delivering to those in need. A non-profit community organization made up of local volunteers, they focus on education and healthcare to make a difference to families for the long haul. The organization provided over 100 meals on several occasions to neighborhoods and mobile home parks. Our Village also partnered with United Against Poverty, an organization that provides produce and eggs at a fraction of the retail cost. „

June & July 2020 33


Okeechobee resident Shayne Clayville started a Facebook group called Okeechobee Sewing Masks for Unity. The group’s mission was to provide free masks and supplies to those who needed it. Anyone sewing for the group would only need to post what they needed and it would be supplied. Local business owner Matt Buxton offered his assistance without hesitation. Buxton had eight laser printing machines available to cut material to anyone wanting to sew masks. Soon enough the group was providing masks for the community.


Buxton and local Lake Okeechobee News writer Cathy Womble began coordinating and distributing masks for larger Okeechobee groups such as local nursing homes, fire stations, sheriff’s departments, hospitals, etc. The group produced over 400 purple and black face masks for all graduates of Okeechobee High School. The group cut out more than 7000 masks. Small business owner Scott Dawson posted a Fa c e b o o k v i d e o acknowledging the fear and panic many people of Okeechobee may be feeling in response to the Corona Virus. He also acknowledged the impending impact it would have on our local economy. Dawson said, "Times are tough, we just have to be tougher.” Dawson and his team at East Coast Printing designed a small sticker that said, “I washed my hands- #coronavirussucks2020.'' They printed the stickers for free and distributed them to local businesses in an effort to drive residents to the business to pick up a sticker and maybe purchase lunch or a cup of coffee. The team also produced yard signs that read, “We’re open for carry out,” for any local restaurant that wanted to get the word out to the community that they were still open. Dawson also launched a campaign to support local businesses by creating a T-shirt that read “Shop Local #heretostayokee” and printed over 400 graduating seniors T-shirts and gave them out for free. I just wanted to help,” said Dawson. “It was important to keep my employees working.”

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Throughout town there was a great outpouring of community strength and residents found ways to inspire hope. Angie Griffin owner of Staffords Salon and The Outpost displayed hundreds of hearts in her shop windows on Park Street. Griffin said, “The hearts are in support of all the essential workers on the front line of the pandemic. She and her staff wanted to show their thanks and to bring something to smile about when you pass by.” Griffin went on to say that seeing something positive in a time when all you see and hear is negative was important to her. Other businesses on Park Street followed her lead and also placed hearts on their windows. Doug Vest, owner of Pogey’s Family Restaurant wanted to find a way to support other local restaurants. He decided that he would order lunch everyday for his staff from another local restaurant. Vest made it a point to try and order from every restaurant in town and he said it took him nearly three weeks to hit every restaurant. He said it was a way to do something nice for his team, as well as support local businesses in a time of need. Because of his kind gesture, other restauants in the area paid it forward.

Okeechobee High School, although not open, was able to complete their 2020 OHS yearbook titled "Same But Different" during spring break to ensure the yearbook would be published and available to students. The project led by journalism instructor Carey Pung helped to ease the minds of students and allowed some normality. Okeechobee City Manager, Marcos Montes De Oca, worked with community on coordinating a special way to honor Okeechobee High School seniors. Every graduating senior had a sign with their name and senior photo on it displayed in Flagler Park the week of graduation. The signs were displayed for two weeks to honor seniors and all their accomplishments. Once the two-week period was over, the seniors were able to take the signs home.

The call to action, coupled with the inspiring actions of many small businesses and organizations in Okeechobee, is something this small town is known for. Okeechobee understands that together they are stronger and in times of uncertainty it is the hope and commitment to the future that is important. Positive stories in the community were incredibly powerful and lead others to action, creating a cycle of kindness and an overwhelming sense of community. „ June & July 2020 35

HIGHLANDS COUNTY At the core of every small community is a group of small business owners, community leaders and organizations that not only shape the community but pour their heart and soul into the work they do. A sense of community is something that these folks inspire amongst their peers, children, family members and neighbors. Highlands County is a great example of when times get tough, community members come together to support each other.

When Tonya Kahn and Stephanie Nelson of Organically Local first opened their doors, it was their goal to take advantage of the close-knit small-town community of Sebring. As Covid-19 became a reality, Organically Local naturally became a place where community members turned for healthy, natural and locally grown produce. In the middle of March, Organically Local had a huge calling for fresh produce from their customers and knowing that it was important to source local growers, they reached out to their produce vendor, Farmer Jack Produce of Winter Haven. They also put a plan in place to offer drive-up service, where customers would stay in their vehicles and shop for products, fruit and vegetables from their car window. During the weeks that followed they started offering non-staple items and other food products. As the demand increased, they started selling in bulk. Organically Local also partnered with Dakin Dairy of Myakka City who added a variety of fresh dairy products to their mobile milk truck. The milk was available with no limits on purchases. Jennifer Osterling, also known as the Dakin Dairy milk maid, managed the milk truck deliveries and distribution. As the quarantine market became even more in high demand they needed volunteers. Tonya and Stephanie reached out to the community, and businesses next to them stepped up. Cut N’ Up Styling Salon offered her children, Bob & Tiffany Casdow, and owners of Faded Bistro came and also volunteered helping with the line up and take orders. The community came together.


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The Covid-19 motto of Sebring Soda & Ice Cream Works was “when the going gets tough, the tough get ice cream.” In the middle of March the small business added curbside delivery. In an act to pay it forward, individuals and businesses made generous donations to provide a uplifting treats to frontline workers throughout the community. Sebring Soda & Ice Cream Works encouraged community members to donate any denomination to keep the goodwill going. The motion set in place by Chad P. Dubose’s initial pay it forward recognition of essential workers resulted in a phenomenon of over 30 local business and private donors providing meals, snacks and treats for numerous frontline medical workers at local facilities such as AdventHealth, Lake Placid Health Care Center, Highlands Regional Medical Center, Highlands Dialysis Center, Patel Pulmonary as well as several individual doctors offices. Essential workers and first responders were also not forgotten.

Highlands County also saw other acts of kindness and displays of support for its residents. Sugar Sand Distillery partnered with US Sugar to produce and distribute hand sanitizer to private consumers and companies as needed. The hand sanitizer was made at Sugar Sand Distillery, which uses sugarcane molasses to distill alcohol used in the hand sanitizer. Sugarcane is a powerful plant, and recognizing the increased demand for hand sanitizer, Sugar Sand Distillery shifted its focus away from making spirits for awhile to helping fulfill a vital need in the Heartland area during Covid-19. The youth of the Highlands County also found innovative ways to help. Seeing the need to ease the ear comfort of wearing facemasks, Joey Chen of Sebring made facemask ear shields on his 3D printer and provided them to those who were in need. Chen printed 108 shields and mailed them all over. „

June & July 2020 37


Dr. Melissa Kindell, with Everglades Pediatric Dentistry located in Sebring and Okeechobee, stayed in touch with her patients and kids by reading them a virtual bedtime story. Parents and kids dressed in their favorite jammies, pulled up some comfy covers and joined Dr. Kindell for bedtime stories. Anyone could join through her Facebook page at the scheduled times. After Dr. Kindell read Tooth Poop, told with light-hearted wit and brutal honesty, Tooth Poop had every kid laughing out loud and then racing to the bathroom to brush and floss! Avon Park High School and Sebring High School parents and administrators rallied behind graduating seniors by placing yard signs in each graduate's yard as a way to show pride and support for their graduating class. Avon Park High School also honored their teachers with teacher appreciation yard signs. The entire county participated in the “Be the Light� movement on April 23 to show support of those students who had lost their ability to finish the spring sports season.

Sheriff Paul Blackman was so grateful to Desmond Meade and Neil Volz of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition for donating 1,600 surgical masks and 500 N-95 masks to help keep the detention deputies, jail employees and inmates protected against the spread of COVID-19. We have been fortunate to not have a case inside the jail, and this donation will hopefully help us keep it that way. Sheriff Blackman said some of these masks will be set aside to give to inmates who are being released so they can be safe when they are back in the community.


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Kindness and sharing was in abundance throughout Hardee County during the past few months. Local businesses were generous with their donations and local non-profit organizations worked tirelessly to keep the community informed, as well as support and promote the small businesses. The kind hearts of this community continues as the county begins to recover.

During the COVID-19 to help our healthcare workers, Send Me Missions in Wauchula set up Meal Train in Hardee County. They reached out to individuals, church groups and business asking to offer support to our local healthcare workers. They shared that sometimes it may feel like there is not much we can do to help inside of medical facilities; we can alleviate the burden of cooking or purchasing food by providing meals to those inside. Meals were delivered twice a week for four weeks from our community. Northside Baptist Church Wauchula sponsored meals for Hardee Manor Healthcare Center and AdventHealth Wauchula. Florida’s First Assembly of God also donated. Send Me Missions appreciated the donors willingness to support local restaurants and local Heroes through their Meal Train for Healthcare Workers initiative.

Main Street Wauchula understood the difficulties of their downtown Main Street businesses and through social media came up with ways to help support the businesses. They started #outsidethebox, which was a way to showcase the creative ways businesses met their customers' needs and kept their employees working. Main Street also encouraged others who saw a business using #outsidethebox, to share it. A few examples of those thinking outside the box included offering free classes on a Facebook page, making and selling hand sanitizer, social distance jazzercise and even Send Me Mission hosting a virtual 5k. You can go to Main Street Wauchula’s Facebook page to see the many creative ways the organization utilized to help the businesses during the difficult times. „

June & July 2020 39

The community of Wauchula celebrated the Hardee Senior High School graduates with a "social distancing" graduation parade on May 23. The school coordinated the event with the Wauchula Police Department, with promotional help from the Hardee County Chamber of Commerce. The parade began at the Wildcat Stadium, continuing along downtown Main Street and ending at Stomston Avenue.


Main Street Wauchula, with their many volunteers, decorated downtown Heritage Park and Wauchula, along the main street parade route. Senior yard signs lined the route and in the park. Family and friends were encouraged to beep, shout and wave as the graduates took their final Hardee Senior High School stroll.

"We are thankful to live in such a great community." - David Singletary State Farm Insurance

Heartland Living knows that there are so many other organizations and people in our local communities that have been working wonders during this time so we would really like to encourage you to find those organizations and get involved. Great joy can be found in being a helping hand in any way that you are able. It doesn’t have to be an extraordinary action to be an encouragement to someone nearby, a simple smile can also go a long way. Stay Strong!

Thanks to all the organizations for providing the photos for this story. Writing credits: Grace Hirdes, Steffanie Immerfall, Cindy Sebring Adams and Bridgette Waldau


June & July 2020 41


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

From Grass to

Glass Milking R Dairy

By Steffanie Immerfall Photography by Gianna Immerfall and Milking R Dairy

A little glimmer of happiness has emerged out of a local dairy in Okeechobee in the form of ice cream. In early March the Milking R Dairy started producing handmade ice cream for sale to the public which took the county by storm. In a time of uncertainty and with dismal news on every channel, ice cream has taken the spotlight as the county’s newest hot commodity. People by the thousands are hooked on the brand of small batch flavors. The dairy has been producing ice cream for some time now, but it was a treat only for those who had taken a tour of the dairy farm. Ice cream has always been in the grand plan for the expansion of Milking R Dairy but in many ways has paved the way for a much bigger endeavor for the Rucks family. „

June & July 2020 43

The Rucks family: Garrett, Kris, Lindsay and Sutton


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Sutton Rucks and his wife Kris own the Milking R Dairy in Okeechobee. They, along with their children, Lindsay and Garrett, had a vision larger than ice cream or just a dairy farm. The family’s vision was to process and bottle milk in Okeechobee County at their very own creamery. In early May, the Milking R Dairy proposed to the county a plan to lease a building at the Okeechobee Industrial Park for a milk processing plant. Products produced at the plant will be fresh pasteurized milk, flavored milk and of course, ice cream. The milk will initially be sold in plastic bottles but will quickly be available in returnable recyclable glass bottles. With the completion of the creamery in the spring of 2021, Milking R Dairy will have the ability to provide farm fresh dairy products to consumers in South and South-Central Florida. Garrett went on to explain that milk from the dairy will have the ability to be processed and on the shelf within four hours, leaving consumers with the most fresh and natural milk option available for miles. The family’s passion for providing farm to table dairy products is fueled by Sutton’s desire for people to truly know and understand where their food comes from. The Rucks family is a fourth generation dairy farming family that has been in the Florida Dairy business since 1923. The family moved their dairy business to Okeechobee in 1955. Sutton said that his 1,138-acre dairy farm has 1600 mature cows and produces 14,000 gallons of milk per day. He explained that Okeechobee County is the largest dairy county in Florida. The Covid-19 crisis exposed the need for a local processing plant as many Okeechobee dairy farms have to ship their milk out of the county to be processed. The disruption in the steps between supply and demand left stores rationing out milk while dairy farms were dumping milk on the ground. „

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Garrett explained that his family's plan to expand into milk processing was decided in 2017, the same year they began promoting Agri-tourism. The farm expanded into doing school tours and has since moved to private tours by appointment. The family plans to continue tours of the farm and will include the milk processing plant and creamery. The hope is to eventually be able to process all the milk produced at the farm at the creamery but explained that upon opening they may still need to process some of the milk at other facilities. He said that the local creamery will add economic stimulus to the county not only in retail sales, but in offering another 30-35 jobs. The Milking R Dairy has won the state of Florida’s award for sustainability. The Rucks’ family feels an urgent need to educate people about where their food comes from, with farms around our country facing economic challenges it becomes increasingly important to educate people. The family feels with a grass to glass concept of milk and dairy products people will feel a personal connection to their food. Also, with the local processing plant Okeechobee County will never again have a shortage of dairy products available as they will be able to quickly respond to the communities needs. Garrett mentioned that he has been testing the Milking R Dairy herd for the A1 and A2 protein. Cows with the A2/A2 protein do not cause allergic reactions to those who have a milk allergy. It is the hope of the Rucks family to be able to in the future provide milk from only A2/A2 cows to accommodate those with milk allergies. „

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The Rucks family hopes to develop their dairy products as a boutique niche offering for the dairy consumer, Kris explained. The families continued commitment to high quality natural ingredients is evident in their ice cream. The family decided to only sell ice cream because they had made some for upcoming tours and many of them were canceled in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Lindsey said that she and her mom Kris decided to post on Facebook that they had ice cream to sell. The first day nearly 200 people showed up to buy their ice cream. The family was overwhelmed and decided to keep making small batches of ice cream to offer to the public. Lindsay said “Since day one we haven’t stopped making ice cream.” Kris explained that Lindsay, her aunt and her grandmother all love to cook. Through their creativity and love of cooking they have come up with some amazing flavors. The 20 ice cream flavors on the menu with the top requested flavors being Banana Puddin’ and Cookie Butter. They also have some really unique combinations such as “SIN”namon Bourbon, Nutty Milkmaid and 24 Carrot Gold. A mystery flavors option is added every week to try out new recipes and get feedback on future flavors. “We are trying to use as many fresh Florida products as we can, we want the quality of our product to come through in every bite while trying to use as much natural flavor as we can” said Sutton Rucks on the production of the beloved ice cream. Milking R Dairy is currently using a mix from a processor to make their ice cream but the goal is to use milk from their own dairy once the creamery is available. The key to the creaminess and amazing rich flavor of the ice cream is its fat percentage. They have also worked diligently at making dietary information readily available for those who need to avoid eggs, nuts, gluten and other allergens. „ 48

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June & July 2020 49

Milking R ice cream is currently available online through their Facebook page Milking R Ice Cream Fan Club, where Lindsay will post weekly flavors, order times and pick up times. “Milk was once a staple in every household, it provides basic nutrition needed to survive,� said Kris. The Milking R Dairy hopes to become a staple once again in the homes of nearby consumers. The target market for their products will be a 125-mile radius spanning anywhere from Orlando to Miami. Sutton wants his product to have limited food miles, meaning it would be a part of our local communities and create a culture allowing people to feel connected to the farm. The Rucks have a commitment to stay local to be a part of their community and to also pay close attention to the detail of their products.


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are trying to use as many

fresh Florida products as we can, we want the quality of our product to come through in every bite while trying to use as much

natural flavor

as we can�

-Sutton Rucks

June & July 2020 51

Thank You to Our Health Care Heroes At the start of each day, there you are. An agent of comfort. Ready to take on every challenge. Driven with compassion, trust and expertise. We honor your service. Forever grateful for the light you shine and your extraordinary dedication to hope and healing.

Thank You. 52

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June & July 2020 53

City of Sebring

Fire Department Story and Photography by Hannah Tucker

History is something that Downtown Sebring holds very close. When we have the opportunity to honor that history and showcase how far we have come, we definitely make it special. „

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June & July 2020 55


time-honored tradition was carried out at the City of Sebring Fire Department at the beginning of May. After receiving funding and approval from the Sebring City Council, the fire department was able to start looking for a desperately needed new fire engine. A special truck committee was put together by Fire Chief Bobby Border in order to choose the best truck to fit the necessary needs for the department. This committee consisted of not only administration, but members of the fire department that work with the trucks everyday. The search started in November of 2018 and the truck was ordered in August of 2019. Possession of the new 2020 Pierce Saber which consists of a 1500 gallons per minute (GPM) pump along with a 750-gallon water tank was taken in April of 2020. “I’m excited to be able to take a truck that has had so much thought, planning and time put into it. To actually be able to get out to the drill field and train the young firemen and prepare for the times when we unfortunately have to put it to work is also an exciting feeling,” said Lieutenant Carlos Rivera. The last purchase of a fire engine was in 2008. The new 2020 truck will be replacing this 2008 truck which has been the truck that is sent first out from the historic Downtown Sebring station. So what’s different in the 2020 truck than the 2008 truck? “The biggest thing we accomplished was building a truck with close to the same dimensions as our last truck but we utilized every inch of space available. This will help to make sure that we can carry more equipment, water and ultimately be more efficient,” stated Captain Austin Maddox.


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wash down and push-in ceremony was celebrated to welcome the new fire engine. Also in attendance was Dr. Derek Lambert, Senior Pastor from First Baptist Church of Sebring who blessed the truck before it was pushed into the station. Having such a big celebration was important to the fire department so that Mayor John Shoop, members of City Council and citizens could see the hard work that was put into purchasing this new fire engine and join in on the honored traditions. The wash down consisted of spraying the new fire truck with water from the 2008 fire truck. This is to show that the truck spraying the water is being replaced and is passing it onto the new truck in a way of passing the honor. Once the new truck was sprayed down, citizens that were present assisted the firefighters in drying the truck. “I thought it was very neat to see the mayor and council come out to help put the new truck in service as well as my fiancé and children. The history here in Sebring runs deep and to be able to add another piece to the books gives you a sense of pride in this,” said FF/EMT Robert Price. „

June & July 2020 57


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ith the truck being dried and ready to push in, everyone assisted in a historic honor of pushing the new truck into the bay. The reasoning behind a push-in is because it is used as a way to pay homage to when firefighters used fire carts that were pulled by horses. Once they got back to the station the firefighters would have to unhook the horses and push the fire carts back into the station. Following this tradition, the City of Sebring firefighters wanted to honor those days of pushing in the carts and do the same with their new fire truck. George E. Sebring, the founder of Sebring itself, started the City of Sebring Fire Department in 1912. Sebring purchased two wheeled carts and donated them to the city, along with 800 feet of hose. These two carts were housed in the Sebring Fire Station located at the end of East Center Street. The fire station we all know now as Station 14 was built on Mango Street in 1927 and is still in use today. „ June & July 2020 59


nother aspect of history came from those in attendance for the ceremony, “I was excited to hear that we were having a ceremony for the new truck” said FF/EMT Keegan Allbritton “My grandpa retired as a lieutenant here at the city and to be able to share the experience with him today is something that we will both cherish for a long time.” History runs deep through the walls of the Downtown Sebring fire station when you have generations passing through to help protect our community. To witness these two washing down the new truck together and pushing it in together, it shows the honor that this department holds in their families. The City of Sebring Fire Department is a staple to keeping the history alive and growing in Downtown Sebring. They are a strong organization that holds community at its core. With this new fire engine they are excited to help our community in more ways than they have been able to serve and protect us. Be sure to let these firefighters know when you see them how much they are appreciated and how amazing the new addition to their fleet looks!


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The History here in Sebring runs deep and to be able to add another piece to the books gives you a sense of pride in this." FF/EMT Robert Price

June & July 2020 61


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Heartland for Children, Inc. is the lead community based care agency that has been serving Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties since 2003, redesigning the local foster care system. Growing the foster home network so children and teenagers can remain in their communities and reach their full potential continues to be a top priority.

Our current foster caregivers continue to be our best recruiters in Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties. We currently have an engaged network of 235+ foster caregivers that understand that the greatest need Heartland for Children has, is to build our foster home network so that when children from this community need a temporary place to live, we have options for these children. Children that are placed in foster care want to stay in their same schools, near their current neighborhoods, and around their familiar friends and family members.

Great progress has been made in recruiting quality foster caregivers, preparing interested individuals and couples to be the best foster caregivers they can be for local children who have experienced trauma, and ensuring that once homes are Currently we have an urgent need foster licensed, support services are offered to caregivers who can care for children with foster caregivers when needed. developmental disabilities, autism, teens & large sibling groups. Can you help us meet The training curriculum was redesigned to the need? focus on parenting children who have experienced trauma; the licensing and Please consider learning more about home study process has been closely how to become a foster caregiver in examined to see how we could reduce Polk, Hardee, and Highlands Counties paperwork for all training class participants; by calling us at 863-519-8900 ext. 289, and current foster caregivers are engaged or visit www.heartlandforchildren.org to mentor new foster caregivers. Also, and like us on Facebook to learn about upcoming training current foster caregivers help in the training more classes and the local need for foster classes and in our local recruitment efforts. homes.


June & July 2020 63


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Central Florida’s Largest Treasure Hunt Story and Photography by Kristy Harris

Geocaching (‘geo’ + ‘cashing’) is a fun, outdoor treasure hunt that utilizes GPS-enabled devices, like your smart phone, to locate hidden containers or “geocaches” based on a specific set of GPS coordinates. Believe it or not, something this exciting is free and requires very few materials to begin! The term Geocaching combines geographical and cache, derived from the French word that means to conceal. This real-life treasure hunt began when the U.S. Department of Defense stopped scrambling signals back in 2000 from the Global Positioning System or GPS. This quickly got the attention of technology fanatics as they embraced a new treasure hunting game using GPS and special coordinates to find creatively hidden ‘caches’ out in nature. „

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Simply visit www.geocaching. com and sign up for a basic membership, there are other membership plans available for a small fee, but are not required to find your first geocache. Then visit the Hide & Seek a Cache page, enter your zip code and get ready for your adventure to begin! Choose which geocache you want to find first, enter the coordinates into your smart phone or hand-held navigational device and start looking! Most listings will give you some clues to help you in your search. There are a few rules though…if you take something from the cache, be sure to trade it out for something of equal or greater value, many folks choose trading cards or small trinkets like dice, Hot Wheels cars, Lego guys or key chains. Always leave the cache the way that you found it so that it can be discovered by other geocachers. Then sign the logbook inside the cache and document your experience on the Geocaching website. It’s that easy!

PRO TIPS Make sure your phone or navigational

device is full charged. Some things you might want to keep handy while geocaching include ink pens, bug spray, sunscreen, closed toe shoes, plastic sandwich bags, binoculars, trinkets for trading and a camera. With nearly 40,000 geocaches in the state of Florida and Central Florida hosting over 10,000 of those, you are sure to find several caches near you. Let’s take a dive into why Geocaching might be your new favorite hobby and just in time for summer. „ June & July 2020 67


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Even if you have lived in your city your whole life, with Geocaching you are bound to discover something new in your hometown and its surrounding areas. When you search for caches via your zip code, it’s easy to pin point specific areas you wish to explore further. Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, for example, has several caches to try your hand at finding.

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The great thing about Geocaching is that you can make it as simple or as extravagant as you want. Maybe that after dinner ice cream run can turn into a scavenger hunt along the way. Many geocaches are hidden in plain sight and are classified as “park and grab.” You might be surprised to know that a spot you drive by all the time has a hidden cache or two! Be sure to check geocaching.com frequently as new caches are being added every day.

Have Fun while Staying Healthy

If “park and grab” isn’t your speed and you want to get more involved, no problem. Florida and its many state parks and scenic areas are home to miles of trails perfect for hiking, biking, running and walking all while searching for caches.

Get the Family Involved

Geocaching can be fun for kids and kids at heart, because after all, who doesn’t love the thrill of treasure hunting?

Learn Fun Facts

Learn Fun Facts: Whether you visit a monument rich in history, land conservation or the boat launch down the street, Geocaching will often present learning opportunities for the whole family. Perhaps your cache is located near a river full of prehistoric shark teeth, on a trail that leads you to a unique bird’s nest or even to a pasture of cattle… inquisitive minds will be full of unanswered questions to research. „ June & July 2020 69


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Take the Road Less Traveled

Sometimes going off the beaten path will lead you to some amazing discoveries.

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Not all caches will be an obvious air tight container like ammo boxes or Tupperware contains, some will be… creative, inventive and might even just fall from a bird house in a tree or be disguised as a flower in a tree. Keep your eyes open for everything and anything, because you never know what you’ll find.

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Geocaching will stretch your mind and body as you try to think and acrobat your way, grabbing that next cache. Some caches will be easy to find, others will give you a set of riddles in the listing clues to help you and others will require climbing and crawling your way to the caches hiding spot.

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Let your worries melt away as Geocaching helps you wander off to find peace and serenity in nature.

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June & July 2020 71

No matter if you are new to geocaching or you are ready to take your caching game to the next level, this list is sure to get you excited about giving Geocaching a try. If you haven’t already, visit the Geocaching website to get started finding and logging caches in Florida’s Heartland!


The Highlands County Tourism Development Council (TDC), also known as Visit Sebring, will be launching its very own collection of geocaches, named the Sebring Area GeoTour: Florida’s Hidden Gem. Treasure hunters will have an opportunity to find a series of 37 caches, two Adventure Labs and eight posters that will be hidden throughout Highlands County, making it one of only three GeoTours in Florida. Broken down into four Geotrails: Ranch & Harvest, Parks & Recreation, Historic, and Art & Culture, the Sebring Area GeoTour will lead seekers through an exciting journey while discovering the history, great outdoors, museums and even some local tasty treats the area small towns are known for. “We are really excited to offer an official GeoTour in Highlands County to help people explore the entire destination and discover things they did not know about this part of Florida!” said Casey Wohl Hartt, Marketing Consultant for Visit Sebring and the TDC. “Partnering with Geocache Expert Ruth Fletcher is a great fit as Ruth has so much knowledge of and experience with geocaching.” Once the GeoTour is officially launched this fall, you will be able to download a special passport to collect the code words from the various caches, labs and posters along the GeoTour. Once you have completed the passport, you will be offered a GeoTour trackable coin as your reward. To stay up to date about the Sebring Area Geo Tour, follow Visit Sebring on social media or visit their website at www.VisitSebring.com/geocaching.


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Circle By Rebecca Maglischo Photography by Emily Plank

My son's face flipped from a smile to a grimace and the soundtrack of the night screeched to a halt. The silence felt heavy.

“Well, I was having a great day but now I can’t because those people took the last strawberry popsicle! I wanted strawberry.” „



y motherly instincts raged inside of me. Just a moment earlier, my family was having a magical evening. The kind that feels like it’s part of a Hallmark Christmas movie. We had done all the things. We laughed, We played, We connected deeply in special ways. And we even decided to go get popsicles. Clearly, that did not go as planned, but it should not have been a game changer. As we often do, we were closing out the experience by sharing our gratitude with each other in a family Gratitude Circle, voicing it to honor the blessings. This had never happened. Never once had such a negative attitude entered our Gratitude Circle. With smoke coming out of my ears, I took a deep breath. How has my child gotten here? We modeled gratitude, practiced gratitude, and shared gratitude. It had been a perfect night. What was I supposed to do? I wanted to scream and yell. I wanted to punish him, but in a rare moment of parental clarity, I took a deep breath instead. A person must choose Gratitude. 78

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Gratitude requires practice, lots and lots of practice. It also requires the freedom to share your feelings

when you are blinded to all of the blessings in your life. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for all the good bits and pieces that make up life, whether tangible or intangible. It’s an acknowledgment of the goodness in anything- a day, a place, a moment, or a person. In the process of noting these positives in life, a person usually recognizes that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. It shifts the focus externally and helps a person connect to something larger. By simply stating one single thing that is good, the brain shoots off on a new trajectory noticing everything that is good. After all, how do you pick just one gratitude to write down or share? „ 79


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

Photo courtesy of Rene' Montgomery

Gratitude Circle is one of the best

practices we have introduced into our family. It’s quite simple and we do it often… as a family, with friends, after a hike, or just whenever the mood strikes. Everyone stands in a circle with hands out to the side. Each person puts their right hand on top of the left hand of the person to their left. So you have one hand on top of someone else’s and one hand underneath the hand of another person. One person states their gratitude for the day or activity. Then they take their right hand across their body to slap the right hand of the next person. That person passes it on, etc. etc. until it reaches the original person again. The next person does the same and it continues onward. Gratitude Circle is a literal passing of the gratitude to each person in the circle, physically inviting other people to experience your positive feeling. University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman, a leading advocate in the field of positive psychology, has described a core philosophy as a "build what's strong" approach that can augment the "fix what's wrong" approach of more traditional psychotherapy. In other words, find the good and amplify it! An Attitude of Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, focus on their personal strengths to use them, and build strong relationships. Alone or with family, taking time daily to share the highs and lows, and pausing to honor the moments that brought a smile to your face, nourished your body, improved your health, or blessed someone else is a boost for the mind and a boost for the soul. It’s overwhelming, actually, to see the blessings laid out one after another. On the worst day, you likely can still find the blessings stacked in your favor if you just take a moment to notice. Without this practice of reflection, it would be easy to forget. It would be easy to lose sight. It would be easy to get stuck. „

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Entering Gratitude Circle is a moment of humility, a dropping of your guard, an acceptance of what someone else valued the most, and a recognition of perspective that may not mirror your own. It’s also a place to be supported when you feel big feelings. We’ve all had a whole day “ruined”, we’ve all bathed ourselves in our own negative thoughts before. We’ve all watched the seeds of negativity grow into something bigger. We’ve all lost sight of the bigger picture at some point. The hope is to never get stuck in that space. Gratitude Circle is a place to be gently redirected towards the positive. It’s being shown by others what you can’t see for yourself. It’s the gift of a big shiny thank you when you don’t feel like you have one of your own.

I slowly exhaled my deep breath and knelt to the ground. I understand disappointment. I know the dark haze it can cast on a day, a week, a life. I also know I can't fix it; I can only teach my son to fill that darkness with light. "How amazing is it that our day was so incredibly wonderful that a missed popsicle was the worst part?" And I folded him in a hug. As I released him, he gave me a resolute nod and turned to walk away. "I'm thankful for my house, and my car, and my bike, and my parents, and my baby brother…" He turned and smiled one last time, "...and the popsicle I'll probably get tomorrow…"


June & July 2020 83

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June & July 2020 87


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By Layne Prescott Across the South, barbecue will play a starring role in the upcoming July 4th weekend, with newspapers, magazines and websites chock full of recipes, tips and tricks to help you prepare. Here at Heartland Living, Southern Chef Layne Prescott has a few ideas about what to serve. Celebrating the 4th with barbecue is actually a very old Southern tradition, one that dates back to the beginning of the country. Just after the Revolution, Americans marked Independence Day with public dinners, and in the South those dinners quickly grew into large outdoor barbecues. So if you're dining on barbecue this holiday weekend, you're continuing a long, proud Southern tradition. So, fire up the grill! Try out these mouthwatering recipes if you’re playing party host this year (even if it's just for immediate family).

GLAZED COUNTRY STYLE RIBS 6-8 Country Style Pork Ribs (bone in or boneless) (Clean with damp cloth or rinse to remove any bone dust) Allow to come to room temperature before grilling. salt & pepper lightly Glaze This is the sauce that my grandmother, uncles and my father and brothers used when cooking pork. 1 cup fresh lemon juice 1 cup butter (two sticks) 1 - 0.7 ounce container onion powder 1 – 0.7 ounce container garlic salt 1 – 0.7 ounce container black pepper Place glaze ingredients in small saucepan and simmer until all ingredients are well mixed. Place ribs on grill, turning to cook on all sides. Begin brushing or spooning glaze over ribs. Flip ribs and keep basting to completely coat all sides and ribs are thoroughly cooked. Remove ribs from grill and baste with glaze one last time. Enjoy. „

June & July 2020 89

GRILLED CORN 8-10 ears corn on the cob 2 tbsp. Olive Oil Salt & Pepper 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 tsp. chili powder 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated Shuck corn and remove silk. Place in microwave dish. Sprinkle Olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover dish with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes. Mix mayonnaise and butter, chili powder and cayenne powder. Place in bowl. Place Corn on Grill, turning to char, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from grill and place back in microwave dish. Brush mayonnaise/butter mixture on each ear of corn and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve

LEFTOVER GRILLED CORN SALAD WITH LIME MAYO 4-6 leftover grilled Corn 1/2 each red, green, orange and yellow Bell pepper 1/2 red onion, chopped 2 slices bacon, chopped 1/2 cup mayonnaise 4 tbsp. lime juice 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 1/4 tsp. cayenne Brown bacon in skillet. Place peppers and onions and sautĂŠ just until tender. Allow to cool. Cut corn off cob. Combine bacon, peppers, onion and corn in bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Good at room temperature or chilled.

CHEESY GRILLED TOMATOES 4-6 medium sized Beefsteak tomatoes 1 pkg. dry Italian Dressing mix 1/2 cup Provolone cheese, shredded 3 tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, grated 2 Spring onions, finely sliced Wash tomatoes and dry. Cut in half and arrange in aluminum pan or cooking grate (for grill). Sprinkle dressing mix over tomatoes and distribute cheeses over. Grill 12 minutes on grill until cheese is melted. Remove from grill and sprinkle chopped spring onion over. (or any fresh herbs) „ 90

Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

June & July 2020 91


Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com

LEMON CAKE WITH LEMON BUTTERCREAM AND LEMON CURD Cake 2 boxes lemon cake mix 2 small boxes instant lemon pudding (Can substitute 1 large instant vanilla) 1 cup fresh lemon juice 1 cup water 1 cup oil 6 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well blended. Prepare 4-8 inch or 9-inch cake pans with baking spray.

Microwave Lemon Curd 1 cup sugar 3 eggs 1 cup fresh lemon juice 3 lemons, zested 1/2 cup butter, melted

In microwave safe bowl, combine sugar and eggs until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Microwave on high for one-minute intervals, stirring between each. Approximately 4 minutes total. Curd is ready when it coats the back of a metal spoon. Allow to cool completely then refrigerate.

Lemon Buttercream (single recipe) Note: depending on size of pans, may be doubled 3 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup butter, softened 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Beat butter, lemon zest and lemon juice in mixer on medium speed. Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat 2 minutes until fluffy.

Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes; or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to completely cool.

Assemble cake: 1-layer cake, thin layer buttercream, 2 tbsp. lemon curd. Repeat. Garnish with fresh berries (Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) and lemon wedge. June & July 2020 93

Happy Birthday America - July 4, 1776!

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HP Trailers HP Trailer is a company with 30 years of trailer manufacturing experience. Wauchula is our newest addition and will be our Southeast US distribution center. We are the manufacturer and sell at true dealer cost to the customer, direct. Thereby saving people some serious money. Hull Porter 2020 Model Dump Box Trailers 2020 Model Hull Porter 18 foot bed length M/T Tilt Trailer.

18’ M/T Tilt as shown is only $2,595.

 Full 18’ of bed length  Full 7’ bed width between fenders  2 5/16” coupler  Dual extra long self locking safety chains  7,000 lb dropleg jack.  Heavy thickness 5” channel steel frame, tongue and full length tongue wrap to front of suspension.  3” channel steel crossmembers on 24” spacing  Heavy wall steel tubing in tubing swivel system is grease able, strong and easy to maintain. 3 ton hydraulic tilt jack. Just pump it up in about  30 seconds to load, then release it to let the bed back down when you want and as fast or slow as you want.  Multiple stake pocket tie downs, chain keyholes D ring tie downs for easy securing of nearly any load.  Low profile 9” high fenders for easy car door clearance.  Fenders are steel braced front back and center... strong enough to walk on.  Bed front headache rack.  Tapered tail for easy loading and unloading  Full LED lighting system with thinline LED tail lights protected inside trailer structure


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 11 total LED Lights FULL commercial DOT legal trailer throughout  FOUR wheel electric brakes STANDARD  On board battery brake breakaway system with on board battery and charger  7 prong RV plug with extra long light plug cord wiring enclosed in PVC conduit for longer life. #1 grade ACQ treated wood floor is fitted and bolted in place with nearly 70 separate fasteners!  10 year frame warranty and 10 year floo warranty std.  Standard black color-optional Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green or Charcoal  Gray colors available.  Available in lengths from 18’ shown as well as 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 or 30 feet!  Std 7,000lb GVWR suspension with Dexter axles and EZ lube spindles!  Optional GVWR packages of 9,990, 14,000, 16,000 and even 21,000 triple axle available.  Three different fender options available  Built by us in our Iowa plant (New plant coming to Wauchula in 2021!)

Complete 14,000lb GVWR models $6,895 and up!  Professional grade trailer. down both sides and across front for  Full 6” channel steel frame and tongue easy side board installation.  Adjustable height coupler std. Pick  New greasable billet steel rear hinges! from three different 2 5/16” coupler  2-way gate! Split or bottom designs, pintle ring or even clevis swing out. hitch! FREE.  Easy one handed rear gate lock bar!  Dual self-latching safety chains  Spare tire mount already installed free.  12,000lb spring loaded dropleg jack  Heavy 3” channel 5’ long ramps set back in tongue.  Hidden under bed ramp storage  Locking control box/toolbox in tongue included  3,000 PSI power up and down  10-gauge hard steel fenders std hydraulic pump system with 15’ long  4 corner D rings on floor std magnetic corded remote included.  Twin 7,000 lb easy lube axles  Full 750amp Interstate brand deep  4 wheel electric brakes cycle battery hooked up charge from  Easy lube spindles tow vehicle std.  Heavy service 9/16” stud 8 bolt  Larger cylinder scissor hoist std!! hubs std  84” wide inside box dimensions std.  Heavy service 16” wheels and  20” tall box sides are tough, low profile ST235/80R-16 E rated 10 ply and more than tall enough to haul all radials std of the dirt your rock you need without  This is a complete, ready to use any side boards. trailer that is capable of hauling,  Full 7 gauge (3/16” thick) steel floor lifting and dumping up to 6 tons  Super tight cross member spacings of dirt, rock or debris day in and  Tube box support cage with 12 gauge day out! sides std.  Full CarboncoatDM enamel paint  Full tube steel double door frame system. Tough, yet REPAIRABLE! system  Full 2-year hydraulics warranty  Corner brackets and stake pockets  10-year frame and floor warranty

Hull Porter Trailers Toll Free: 844-913-3100 | Office: 863-445-9001 We manufacture all series of open bed design trailers, from golf cars up to skidloaders, backhoes and various equipment and cargo. 2020 Model Hull Porter 16’ plus 2’ dovetail car hauler.

Single Axle SS Utility Trailers Model shown is a 76 in by wide bed by 12 foot bed length. $1,450

Model shown is only $2,795

A proven design for 22 years.  Full 2,990lb GVWR rating.  2,000lb in bed load capacity.  1,500lb max ramp capacity.  Dexter brand easy lube axle. 3,500lb capacity.  Strong 6 bolt pattern hubs.  New factory warranted ST205 75R-15 6 ply radial trailer tires.  Strong Dextar steel mod wheels in white or black  Super strong 52” tall ramp gate with heavy wall steel tube uprights and heavy steel mesh surface for low wind drag and great traction for loading and unloading.  3 way gate design. Stands up, lays down on the ground for loading and even folds forward to lay flat in the bed for an incredible decrease in wind drag while running empty.  5,000lb rated 2” posi lok coupler with security padlock tab built in.  Dual bright plated extra long safety chains with self latching hooks.  4 prong flat wiring plug tied into shielded and enclosed wiring harness to give you longer service life.  100% LED lighting throughout!  2,000lb rated, easy pull pin swivel up jack with 15” of travel and large sand pad on bottom of jack.

Our original design developed over 24 years ago. Proven, tested and reliable hauler for decades to come. Check out the list of std features below… Always 84” between fenders.

 Full 12 gauge Hi tensile body creates the strongest trailer for the least amount of weight.  12” high steel sides on front and rear keep small items much more secure while towing.  Multiple d ring tie downs inside, plus super strong tie loops are four corners give you multiple attachments points for a variety of loads.  #1 grade ACQ treated Southern Yellow Pine decking is 2x structural dimension for strength and is guaranteed for 10 years against rot.  Floor is set, fitted and bolted down with dozens of high grade type F flooring bolts to keep floor in place for years.  Complete chassis is hand prepped, acid washed and phosphate before final 3 coats of PMI CarboncoatDM Polyester Hybrid op coat.  Heavier thickness rock guard on both fender fronts to help keep rock chips to a minimum.  90 day nose to tail warranty, 2 year components, wheel and tire warranty and ten year frame and floor rot warranty standard.

1115 Hwy 17 | Wauchula, FL 33873 Just south of the Wal Mart on the West side of the highway.



 Low 9” fender height for easy car door clearance.  Full 5” Schedule A36 channel steel frame, tongue and full tongue wraps for an incredibly rugged design.  3” channel steel crossmembers on 24” centers  Super strong 14,000lb rated 2 5/16” coupler with padlock port for easy security.  Dual heavy duty, extra long, bright plated safety chains with self latching hooks.  7 prong RV style lighting plug flows into a shielded and conduit enclosed lighting system for trouble free lighting.  8,000lb dropleg tongue storage jack is set back in the tongue nearly 2 feet to eliminate any clearance issues with your truck’s tailgate.  Jack has super large sand pad foot, pull pin drop leg and a total of 30” of available travel for easy hooking and unhooking.  9” high bed front headache rack keeps things on the bed, even under extreme braking.  Multiple stake pocket tie downs along both sides (the longer the trailer, the more pockets you get!) for easy tie down of cars or equipment to a solid point. Also perfect for building side boards on if need.  Steel fenders come braced on both ends, as well as inside for impressive\ strength. Our fenders are strong enough to sit or walk on without worry.

 Extra thick fender front rock guard to keep rock chips at a minimum on both fender fronts.  Tandem 3,500lb DEXTER brand axles.  Easy lube hubs  Stronger 6 bolt pattern hubs std.  4 wheel electric brakes std.  Rugged perma lube bushed tandem leaf spring suspension. Smooth riding, sturdy and easily serviced.  On board brake safety breakaway system with battery and charger included and already wired.  New ST205/75R-15 6 ply radial trailer tires on extra strong 6” wide Dextar brand wheels come with a direct to the manufacturer 2 year warranty!  100% LED lighting system with Thinline LED tail and rear clearance marker lights for a super clean look and hard to damage location.  Front corner, front fender, rear fender and rear corner LED marker lights std.  All HD flatbed trailers come std with dual 5’ long pull out ramps in their own under floor, lockable carrier.  Full width rear ramp hook allows you to place your ramps anywhere across the tail of the trailer for easier loading of small cars and equipment.  Every trailer is hand built, then hand prepped before being acid washed, phosphate coated and then treated to our exclusive PMI CarboncoatDM Polyester Hybrid finish in three final coats.  Frankly, feature for feature, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, this trailer cannot be beaten by any other company.

June & July 2020 97


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Heartland LIVING June-July 2020 Issue  

Heartland Living is published bimonthly by Heartland Publications & Marketing. Serving the Heartland of Florida - Sebring, FL - we highlight...

Heartland LIVING June-July 2020 Issue  

Heartland Living is published bimonthly by Heartland Publications & Marketing. Serving the Heartland of Florida - Sebring, FL - we highlight...

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