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Russ Naden, Webster County Veteran Affairs director, has assisted veterans in the county since 2007.

www.freemanjournal.net

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012


Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

SERVING OUR VETS Naden lends a helping hand to those who defended the U.S. Story and photos by JESSE HELLING

Russ Naden, Webster County Veteran Affairs director, serves more than 2,800 former members of the U.S. armed services who live in Webster County.

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More than 2,800 current Webster County residents have heeded the call to national service. For military veterans who return to the home front, an array of programs are available to provide health care and ease the transition to civilian life. Since 2007, Russ Naden, as director of Webster County Veteran Affairs, has been the point man for the county’s veterans, helping them to wade through paperwork and educating them on their options. Many vets, particularly those who have served in earlier time periods, are unaware of what’s out there, according to Naden, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1970. “Any veterans out there can give me a call or stop in,” said Naden. “I’m happy to talk to any of them.” Often, an initial, informal conversation can prove a great deal of useful information, Naden said. In one recent interest, a Vietnam veteran was interested in applying for vet-


Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 erans’ health benefits to obtain hearing aids. In learning a bit more about the man’s background, Naden was able to Webster and Hamilton County Period” inform him about other aspects of health care available. Veteran Affairs offer assistance Application must be made in In addition to federal and state-fundfor veterans, service members person. ed benefits, the county has funds availand their families. This includes able to those who qualify, Naden said. federal and state benefits as well Webster County: The Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, which as temporary county benefits to 723 First Avenue South, Fort receives proceeds from designated qualifying indigent veterans and Dodge scratch-off lottery games, also helps Monday and their families. County benefits Hours: provide such services as assistance with vision, dental care , hearing, durable include rent, utilities, trans- Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; medical equipment and prescription portation for medical care, Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to drugs, as well as counseling, housing medictions and burial expenses. 4 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to repair or transitional housing to those 1 p.m. who apply and qualify. Eligibility for county benefits: Recent legislation from the state man∫ The individiual must be a Hamilton County: dates that the Webster County Veteran Fairmeadow Drive, legal resident of the county in 500 Affairs must be open at least 30 hours a week. Webster City which they apply Every county in Iowa has an accredit∫ Have been discharged from Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ed director who is obliged to complete the US Armed Forces under Tuesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 16 hours of continuing education each 12 p.m. Wednesday. “Honorable Conditions” year to remain well-informed, Naden ∫ Served during a “War Time said. According to Naden, as more troops return from conflicts in Iraq and ter equipped to return home smoothly. “They do a better job of keeping track Afghanistan, a greater emphasis has “As troops are demobilized, they go of paperwork than in the past.” been placed on making sure they’re bet- through the services offered,” he said.

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Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

A foster grandparent for all occasions I watched my granddaughter and a friend having a race the other day. They were arguing over who had a “head start” and whether or not that was an advantage. The discussion made me laugh because I had just visited the Foster Grandmothers who serve in YOUR Inc. Head Start classrooms here in Fort Dodge, and I can tell you that having an official Head Start does give local children an advantage. On the day I visited, the Grandparents were busy helping pre-school age children with social, life and academic skills. Grandma Juanita Bell’s children were lining up for a bathroom break and their teacher reminded them to be sure and pull their feet in so that Grandma could walk along side them while using a walker. Sometimes Grandparents teach not by being helpers, but by allowing children to be kind to them. Grandma JoAnn Farber was busy with her students making sure that they finished the task they had started and paying attention to the teacher. JoAnn came to our program from Kansas City where she had worked in a Day Care. She was very happy to find this opporpage

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tunity to get back into the world of preschoolers. G r a n d m a Margaret Davis was helping her table full of young students learn to help themselves during their morning snack. Margaret is a new Grandmother and her teacher says that she’s been an easy fit in their classroom and is a valuable addition. Down the hall, Grandma Frances Merrill’s class was also having their morning snack. One little girl was trying very hard to spread some kind of sauce onto a tortilla shell. She looked up at me and kindly asked, “Will you HELP me?” At that moment I realized why it is so hard for some of the Grandparents to teach by just sitting back and encouraging the students to learn to do it themselves! Grandma Cheryl Johnson was on the classroom carpet with some of her students when I visited. They began their day by looking at the calendar, discussing the days of the week and counting how many days in the month had passed. While the teacher was having this discussion with the

children, one of their classmates entered the classroom a little late. Grandma Cheryl was able to go over, greet the child and have her join the discussion that was taking place on the carpet without disrupting her classmates. This also allowed the teacher to continue with the lesson. Last, but certainly not least, I visited Phyllis Clymer’s classroom. Grandma Phyllis is a quiet presence in the classroom and her teacher tells me that the children just love to work with Grandma. Grandma Phyllis served in a Kindergarten classroom for many years when she first became of Foster Grandparent, but the assignment in Head Start has really enabled her to use her talents and skills to help kids get ready to enter Kindergarten. After my visit at Head Start I also understood why so many of our Grandparents look forward to a nap in the afternoons. The work they do is exhausting but oh so rewarding! They will witness a lot of growth in the children they assist this year, and based upon what I saw I know that they are

Jeanine Nemitz, Coordinator Fort Dodge 55+ Volunteer Initiatives

The Foster Grandparent Program 617 Central Ave. Fort Dodge, IA 576-5401

definitely giving kids an important head start. The Foster Grandparent Program is currently accepting applications for people interested in applying for placement in a future training class. The dates of that class are yet to be determined, based upon a variety of issues, but we welcome applicants who are willing to be placed on a waiting list. For an application, please call our office at 576-5401 or check out our website at fortdodgeiowa.org. You can find us under Departments. Then just click on Parks and Recreation to find our application and view photos of some of our Grandmas having fun. You can also keep up with program announcements on our Facebook page at Fort Dodge Foster Grandparents.


Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

Walt Stevens casts 19th presidential vote -Photo submitted by Paul Stevens

The absentee ballot cast Wednesday by Walter B. Stevens, center, editor emeritus of The Messenger and a resident of Friendship Haven, was the 19th consecutive presidential election in which he has cast a ballot, dating back to 1940. It was only the second time that Stevens, 96, had voted absentee. His first absentee vote was cast in 1944 somewhere in southern France where his U.S. Army 77th Field Artillery unit, fresh from breakout at Anzio and liberation of Rome that summer, moved toward Germany. His first presidential election vote was in 1940 in Brainerd, Minn., where he was a young editor at the Daily Dispatch – the candidates, Wendell Willkie vs. Franklin Roosevelt. Stevens was assisted by Dawnie Danner, left, and Jim Metzger, co-chairs of the Webster County Special Precinct Board.

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November

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

November

Thursday — 8 500, 9:30 a.m., Webster City Senior Center. n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134

p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N. Sunday — 11 Potluck, 12:30 p.m., Eagle Grove Senior Center Monday — 12 Cribbage, 9:30 a.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments. n

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Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center.

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500, 1 p.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments.

Blood pressure check, 11 a.m. to noon, RSVP, Webster City. Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m., Citizens Central. n

SHIIP counselors, by appointment, Van Diest Medical Center. n

Hamilton County PHS foot clinic. Friday — 9 Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center. n

Community Bingo, 2 p.m., Fort Dodge Rehabilitation and Health Care (formerly Careage of Fort Dodge).

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Bingo, Eagle Grove Senior Citizen Center, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday — 13 Webster City Diamond K Kiwanis, 8:30 a.m. breakfast, 9 a.m. meet. n

River Valley Woodcarvers, 9 a.m., Citizens Central. n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

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Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m., Citizens Central.

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Senior Bowl, 1 p.m., Webster City Bowl.

Birthday party, 2 p.m., Eagle Grove Senior Center. Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30 p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N. n

Cards, 7 p.m., Emmetsburg Senior Center. Saturday — 10 Blood drive, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sacred Heart Parish Center. n

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Bridge, 1 p.m., Webster City Senior Center. Wednesday — 14 RSVP Workday, 9 a.m. Senior Center, Webster City. Golden K Kiwanis, 9:30 a.m., Citizens Central.

Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30

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Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

500 cards, 1 p.m., Algona Senior Center. n

Senior Citizens 500, 1 p.m., Webster City. Thursday — 15 500, 9:30 a.m., Webster City Senior Center. n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

Blood pressure check, 11 a.m. to noon, RSVP, Webster City. n

Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m., Citizens Central. n

SHIIP counselors, by appointment, Van Diest Medical Center. n

Hamilton County PHS foot clinic. Friday — 16 Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center. n

Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30 p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N. n

Cards, 7 p.m., Emmetsburg Senior Center. Saturday — 17 Boone River Valley Woodcarvers, 9 a.m. to noon, RSVP building, Webster City. n

Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30 p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N. Sunday — 18 Monday — 19 Cribbage, 9:30 a.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments. n

Calendar

Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center.

500 cards, 1 p.m., Algona Senior Center.

Penny bingo, 1 p.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments.

Senior Citizens 500, 1 p.m., Webster City. Thursday — 22

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Happy Thanksgiving

Bingo, Eagle Grove Senior Citizen Center, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday — 20 Webster City Diamond K Kiwanis, 8:30 a.m. breakfast, 9 a.m. meet.

Friday — 23 Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center. n

Community Bingo, 2 p.m., Fort Dodge Rehabilitation and Health Care (formerly Careage of Fort Dodge).

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River Valley Woodcarvers, 9 a.m., Citizens Central. n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m., Citizens Central. n

Senior Bowl, 1 p.m., Webster City Bowl. n

Bridge, 1 p.m., Webster City Senior Center. Wednesday — 21 RSVP Workday, 9 a.m. Senior Center, Webster City. n

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River Valley Woodcarvers, 9 a.m., Citizens Central. n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m., Citizens Central. n

Senior Bowl, 1 p.m., Webster City Bowl. n

Bridge, 1 p.m., Webster City Senior Center. Wednesday — 30 RSVP Workday, 9 a.m. Senior Center, Webster City.

Cards, 7 p.m., Emmetsburg Senior Center. Saturday — 24 Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30 p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N. Sunday — 25 Monday — 26 Cribbage, 9:30 a.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments.

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134

Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center.

500 cards, 1 p.m., Algona Senior Center.

500, 1 p.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments.

Senior Citizens 500, 1 p.m., Webster City. Thursday — 29

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Webster County Genealogical

118 South 25th Street, Fort Dodge, IA (across from the mall) Mon.-Fri. 9-5:30 • Sat. 9-1 515-955-8500 800-383-8500

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Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30 p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N.

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Golden K Kiwanis, 9:30 a.m., Citizens Central. n

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Bingo, Eagle Grove Senior Citizen Center, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday — 27 Webster City Diamond K Kiwanis, 8:30 a.m. breakfast, 9 a.m. meet.

Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center.

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134

Penny bingo, 1 p.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments.

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Blood pressure check, 11 a.m. to noon, RSVP, Webster City. n

Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m., Citizens Central. n

SHIIP counselors, by appointment, Van Diest Medical Center. Friday — 30 Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center. n

Community Bingo, 2 p.m., Careage of Fort Dodge. n

Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30 p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N. n

Cards, 7 p.m., Emmetsburg Senior Center.

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December

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Saturday — 1 Senior potluck, noon, Webster City Senior Center

Golden K Kiwanis, 9:30 a.m., Citizens Central.

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• Respiratory Equipment • Sleep Disorder Therapeutics • Mastectomy Supplies • Ostomy Supplies

500, 9:30 a.m., Webster City Senior Center.

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Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30 p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N. Sunday — 2 Monday — 3 Cribbage, 9:30 a.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments. n

• Urological Supplies • Diabetic Supplies • Wound Care Supplies • Enteral Feeding Supplies

n n

Bingo, Eagle Grove Senior Citizen Center, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday — 4 Webster City Diamond K Kiwanis, 8:30 a.m. breakfast, 9 a.m. meet. n

River Valley Woodcarvers, 9 a.m., Citizens Central. n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m., Citizens Central. n

Senior Bowl, 1 p.m., Webster City Bowl. n

Bridge, 1 p.m., Webster City Senior Center. Wednesday — 5 RSVP Workday, 9 a.m. Senior Center, Webster City. n

Golden K Kiwanis, 9:30 a.m., Citizens Central. n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

500 cards, 1 p.m., Algona Senior Center. n

Senior Citizens 500, 1 p.m.,

• Commodes • Bath Benches • Hospital Beds • Seat Lift Chairs • Bath Aids • Oxygen Therapy

Webster City. Thursday — 6 500, 9:30 a.m., Webster City Senior Center.

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500, 1 p.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments. n

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Bingo, Eagle Grove Senior Citizen Center, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday — 11 Webster City Diamond K Kiwanis, 8:30 a.m. breakfast, 9 a.m. meet.

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River Valley Woodcarvers, 9 a.m., Citizens Central.

n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 Blood pressure check, 11 a.m. to noon, RSVP, Webster City. Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m., Citizens Central. n

SHIIP counselors, by appointment, Van Diest Medical Center. Friday — 7 Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center. n

Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30 p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N. n

Cards, 7 p.m., Emmetsburg Senior Center. Saturday — 8 Blood drive, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sacred Heart Parish Center. n

Rabiner Bingo early birds 6:30 p.m., regular sessions 7:15 p.m., 2253 Second Ave. N. Sunday — 9 Potluck, 12:30 p.m., Eagle Grove Senior Center Monday — 10 Cribbage, 9:30 a.m., Crestview Senior Living Apartments. n

Bingo, 10 a.m., Algona Senior Center.

n n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

Bingo, 1 to 3 p.m., Citizens Central. n

Senior Bowl, 1 p.m., Webster City Bowl. n

Bridge, 1 p.m., Webster City Senior Center. Wednesday — 12 RSVP Workday, 9 a.m. Senior Center, Webster City. n

Golden K Kiwanis, 9:30 a.m., Citizens Central. n

Webster County Genealogical Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave., Room 134 n

500 cards, 1 p.m., Algona Senior Center. n

Senior Citizens 500, 1 p.m., Webster City.

• Crutches • Canes • Wheelchairs • Walkers • Incontinent Supplies page

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Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

The season of giving is near Now that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, the holiday season will soon be in hyperdrive. Often it appears like people are trying to squeeze a year of goodwill, time spent with families and warm memories into the weeks between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Don’t get me wrong: I love everything about Christmas, the decorating, baking, food, large Santa and snowman inflatable figures, family get-togethers and being remembered with a thoughtful gift. In the nursing home and similar settings the holiday season can be overwhelming to the elders living there. The environment becomes a holiday wonderland of colorful lights, Christmas trees, decorations, parties, lots of visitors and strange faces, constant holiday music, sweets, special foods, groups of Christmas Carolers and gifts from various charitable groups. This is also the time of year when resipage

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dents with a small appetite are given and then hoard plates of cookies and candy in their rooms given by visitors with the best of intentions. It’s easy to understand why it can be the most confusing overwhelming time of the year when compared with memories Elders share of Christmas in their childhoods, and their own families when their children were young. For many the only Christmas gift(s) received during hard times in the 1920s and ‘30s was an orange, maybe a pair of socks and, if they were lucky, a peppermint stick or other candy. I’ve often heard how those oranges were a very special treat. An evergreen branch or tree was cut down right before Christmas, decorated with glass balls, and homemade items like paper chains, strings of popcorn, cranberries and candles lit once. They in comparison must think we are all a little out of control with the excesses of the holiday observances of today. As a part of the holiday season those who work with seniors are asked for ideas of what to get elders for gifts. As people age, material possessions

become less and less important. They long ago went through the phase and accomplishment of being able to obtain material possessions and now worry about what to

Diane Rollins, a social worker, dementia care practitioner, and Nursing Home Administrator at Stratford Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She can be reached at 955-8919.

Trinity Trin r ity Medical Equipment Services Services Trinity Trinity Medical Equipment Equipment Services provides provides a broad broad selection of home medical equipment, products, products, services and related related education and is conveniently conveniently located inside the main entrance entrance of Trinity Trinity Regional Regional Medical Center. Center. Medicare, Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance insurance plans accepted. accepted. Oxygen s CPAP CP PAP AP s BIPAP BIP PAP AP s Nebulizers Compression Compression socks and stockings s Bracing s Walking s Wheelchairs lki aides id h l h Bath safety aides s Breastfeeding pumps and accessories s And more Coming Soon: Women’s Boutique featuring

post-mastectomy apparel including bras and camisoles, prosthetic breast forms and certified fitter to help select the right products.

515-574-8540 Trinity Medical Equipment Services, 802 Kenyon Road, Fort Dodge, IA 50501


Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 do with and where to put them. Recommendation 1: Give elders things that they use up or that wear out that might bring them pleasure (examples are scented soothing lotions, after shave or perfume, gift certificates for hair care at the facilities hair salon, a phone card, handkerchiefs, a warm soft blanket or throw in their favorite color, a small amount of their favorite candy, a subscription to their home town newspaper or favorite magazine). Recommendation 2: Give them things that trigger old memories or give them new memories; photos from the past, current family photos with names and descriptions, books, favorite music and

S UPPLIES & S ERVICES • 24 hour oxygen delivery • Oxygen concentrators and accessories • Lift chairs • Wheelchairs • Ostomy supplies • Hospital beds, rails and accessories • Nebulizers • Bathroom safety aids • Ambulatory aids

movies and scrapbooks that you can view with them on visits, Recommendation 3: Give them the gift of your time and presence throughout the year not just the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years, or when other family members and friends might not be visiting. Learn to feel comfortable with just being together, even in silence. Also there is no rule that constitutes a long enough visit. Short visits are more appropriate for some elders, so if they tell you it’s time for you to go home don’t be offended. And when you do visit during the holiday season find out what memories your elder has of holidays past. And if they

• Urinary incontinence management supplies • Compression hosiery • Breast pumps and supplies • Urologicals • Daily living aids • Orthotics and braces • CPAP/BiPAP machines and supplies

2350 Hospital Drive | Webster City, IA 50595 | 5 1 5 - 8 3 2 - 7 7 8 5

remember getting an orange or peppermint stick, bring one on your next visit and savor the simplicity of that holiday memory as well as the complexity of new holiday experiences in 2012.

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Call now for a tour: 515-832-2727 2401 Des Moines St., Webster City, IA 50595 page

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Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

Thank you. Thank you very much!

Having second thoug o gh ghts about w whheerre yyoou madde your prearrannggeme e ennts? s?

We hhoonor prearrangeem mennts made aatt any other ffuuneraal hhoome. If you’re concerned aabbout changes at the ffuuneral home where you’ve made prearrangements, we have good news…we’ll honor them. If you would like information regarding transfeerring your prearrangements to our firm, or any other way we can help, please call us.

—P Peeople le Y Yoou K Kn now And T Trrust —

(515) 576-7128 www.guundersonfuneralhome.com

© ad finit y

1615 North 15th Street, Fort Dodge, IA 50501

www.messengernews.net page 12

The above is a quote, not from the lips of a great philosopher or a great orator, but from a famous person in the music world. You probably know who I’m talking about. It is Elvis, no need to give his last name. Elvis and I grew up together. Remember the parental panic he caused when he first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show? It wasn’t his singing that caused the commotion but the bodily gyrations that went with it. Elvis and I have a couple of things in common. We are about the same age and both have January birthdays. We both love America and neither of us were ever afraid to express our patriotism and pride in our country. I remember that he joined the Army when many in the entertainment field did not. He was offered a chance to enlist in Special Services to entertain the troops and have better housing and other privileges, but he chose to serve as a regular soldier. I remember his being in wholesome “G” rated movies, always portraying one of the good guys. He had a wonderful voice. His rock and roll and Blue Suede Shoes were ok, but his quiet ballads and traditional Christmas favorites were the best. What really made me an all time Elvis fan forever was his singing of America. I have it on my computer and play it most nights before I shut down. I know you are going to tell me about his problems and how he ended up and you

SixTy & Then Some mary Feldman

is a freelance writer living in emmetsburg

will be right. His was a sad ending. But he also did a lot of good in his life. So, Elvis: THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. This month we will join with friends and family, stuff ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie, and hopefully say grace. Some of us will be uneasy asking those that are gathered with us to take time to say a prayer of thanksgiving for all of the wonders, the blessings that we Americans have. There may be some in the mix that consider prayer an outmoded tradition. It can be awkward. A friend of mine found himself in that situation and he put a small typewritten note at every plate, asking that each person express out loud thanks for something in his or her life . It worked. There are so many instances when a kind act meant a lot to us and a thank you would be in order. When someone lets you go first in the grocery check out line or holds a door open for you. Smile big and say “thanks” Chances are you’ll get a big smile in return.


Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

I remember the first time I got a letter from someone telling me how much they liked something I wrote. It made my day. Way back when I first moved to our farm near Ruthven, I was a shy and quiet person and not very sure of myself I didn’t say much. I didn‘t know many people. There was this one woman who right from the start, was very friendly. She made a point to stop and chat when I’d see her around town and at church. She helped a lot to build my confidence and from her I learned what a difference a smile and a kind word can make. A friendly look and a smile can do marvelous things. . Why is it so hard to say thank you? It seems pretty easy to say please when we want something. Is it easier to be grateful for the big things because we feel obligated ? Is it harder to say those words for everyday kindnesses.? Thank you, two little words that can make both the sender and the receiver feel good. . We give a gift because we want to, not because we expect anything in return. Still it is nice to receive a note of thanks when one sends a little something for a birthday, Christmas, other occasions. Maybe you ‘re still waiting for a thank you from last June’s graduation. Does that sound petty? Who’s

the bad guy here? Is a cancelled check a proper thanks? I wonder. When my kids were little, my sister who lived in another state always remembered each special occasion with a card and a dollar bill for each one. I made them sit down and write a note to her. They were short and to the point and sometimes I had to hold a club over their heads. I found out years later that she saved every one of those letters She put them in a loose-leaf notebook and sent them back to me. Here are a few examples of their efforts. “Dear —————— “ Thank you for the dollar you sent me for Christmas. I got a basketball game and a football game. From grandma I got a nice truck. I got some clothes too. I and lots of boys in my grade played the fifth grade. They are a year older that us. The score was 4-4 Kelly “ Thank you for the dollar. I am writing for Barb too because she can’t write yet. I got some other stuff too and we got a sled for the hole family. With love, Jenny” “Thank you for the dollar . I can really use it My sister Katy has the chicken pox and is itching a lot. I have a broken hand so I can‘t write much. Tom.” “ how have you been? It sure

has been a long time since I seen you,. We all miss you. When are you coming up here again? I Hope you enjoyed Christmas. We did. Thanks a lot for the money . I just wanted to write a short note thanking you for the money sorry it is so late. Mom says I have to go to bed now. your love, Eenie.” “Thanks for the money I used it for a good purpose. (She spent it on the 26th of December.) Happy Valentine’s day. (Better late than never) Thanks again,Theresa “Thank you for the money. I got a football from Grandpa. When the window got broke, Kelly did It but the football was mine. Thanks again, Mike” My favorite. “ Thank you for the dollar you gave me. It is nice to have some money. I am selling magazines now. Let me know if you want to buy some. I am saving money for a guitar. There is two people who asked to teach me. One is my best

friends mom. Love Jim” The writings were not fancy or even spelled right but I did not change a thing. The fact that my sister kept those letter all these years illustrates how much they meant to her . It is so easy to say thank you these days. It doesn‘t have to be gushy and long winded and you don‘t have to spend almost 50 cents to mail it. We have cell phones, text messaging and computers. We have email and Facebook. It takes very little time and effort to say thank you . To the lady who was so friendly to me in the old days, thank you and to each person who ever sent a letter to me commenting on my writing, (good or bad), THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND GOD BLESS YOU.

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Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012

Egg-celent art Stearns creates unique masterpieces Story and photos by JIM KRAJEWSKI

One of Eloise Stearns’ eggs features a carousel mechanism, which plays music and spins when activated. Stearns said she likes this egg because of the movement and the use of seperate cut eggshells attached around the rim.

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Artists dabble in a vast number of media, but Eloise Stearns of Webster City puts all her eggs in one basket. Stearns has created egg art for 31 years. She became interested in the craft after her daughter received a wedding invitation on an egg from her great aunt. She then took lessons from a store, Eggs and Things, in Des Moines. Stearns drove back and forth every two weeks for years as she honed her skill in egg art. While Eggs and Things is now out of business, as Stearns said the owners were 75 when she first began learning there, she has not stopped searching for opportunities to improve her skill. After some research, Stearns found egg art seminars all over the country. She attended seminars from Seattle to Philadelphia up to three years ago. Stearns works with many

kinds of eggs, although not the ones people are most familiar with. She said chicken eggs are too fragile for her work. She mostly uses quail eggs, but she uses finch, parakeet, emu, duck and ostrich eggs, among others. She uses a dremel tool with a quarter inch diamond blade to cut the eggs. With large, thick ostrich eggs, Stearns said she can wear out a blade in a single project. Each blade costs her about 20 dollars, and she said there are more hidden costs in crafting such intricate pieces. Most of her work is done in her “egg room,� a side room with a workbench adjacent to her garage. Stearns starts work on an egg with initial design markings and cuts places for hinges or other attachments. She then cuts the egg in her garage and adds her artistic touches to the shell. Working with such a delicate


Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 medium can be difficult. Stearns said all eggs the size of a goose egg or smaller are coated at least six times on the outside, and two to three times on the inside for protection. She uses six different kinds of glue to keep everything together. But, they can still be difficult to handle. “They’re just like people. If it hits on a weak spot, it probably will break,” Stearns said. “It can be surprising how durable they are though. I’ve dropped an uncut quail egg on the garage floor and it didn’t have one scratch.” Each egg varies in the time it takes to create. Stearns said she can spend anywhere from an hour to a week on a single project. The cost also varies widely. Stearns has sold eggs from $15 to $500. Many of her eggs are given to her grandchildren, who all received eggs for Christmas last year.

• • • • •

However, many have also been sold at craft sales. Stearns has attended a craft sale every year, but stopped this year when she gave into her children’s pleas not to travel so much. This year, she held an open house for buyers. “There were 18 people at the open house. That doesn’t sound like much, but they were all good buyers,” Stearns said. Stearns has also taken up the task of teaching egg art to five students. A couple of them have been studying under her since she lived on a farm 20 years ago. She said it was nice to be able to pass down her knowledge of egg art to others as her teachers did more than 30 years ago.

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This ostrich egg piece depicts a winter scene. Eloise Stearns said Christmas themes are her favorite to create. Stearns said the figurines in this piece have been in her collection for years. She has collected so many things to use in her eggs over the years, she no longer buys new ones.

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Active Living November 2012