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Official publication of your electric cooperative



Candymakers’ holiday secrets


Also Inside: Trump’s energy plans Finding that perfect, unusual gift Your local co-op pages

4 8, 23, 28 19-22

FOCUSED ON YOUR STREET. NOT WALL STREET. Think of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives as your energy advisor. We represent your local, not-for-profit electric cooperative, which is owned by you and the other members of your community. You’ll always have a say in how your co-op runs. To learn more, visit



16 SPREADING CHEER Making holiday sweets and delivering them around the community — it’s a family affair in this Darke County household.



President-elect Donald J. Trump has offered some hints as to his coming energy policy — both in his speeches and by those who surround him.



Happy kids, an appealing, eco-friendly product — what’s not to like about a cut-your-own Christmas tree operation?

14 HISTORY AND MYSTERY OF MISTLETOE Next time you want a romantic kiss under the mistletoe, keep in mind you’re luring that “special someone” under a parasitic, poisonous plant.


Co-op members show their festive spirit.



From soil-testers to sturdy footwear, gardeners always appreciate a little something to make their lives easier.


These unique Ohio destinations offer planes, trains, and RC vehicles, as well as gaming tables where enthusiasts can work on miniature models or dive into an RPG.


The gift shop is always the last stop when people visit a museum — but during the holidays, they're full of first-rate gifts.


These gifts are the answer to that age-old question: What’ll they think of next?












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Our mission is constant No matter what policy changes come from our leaders, we stay dedicated to advocating for you, our members

As 2016 comes to a close, we can look back on a year dominated by competing political ideas, which led to a close and contentious election. Of course, the big news is that our country will soon have a new, and very different, leader. While the Trump administration will certainly have an effect on the state of the electric utility industry, it’s difficult to project the extent of the impact. Time will tell, but, on page 4, Spencer Waugh, Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives’ manager of government affairs, offers insight on some of President-elect Trump’s stated energy policies. Regardless of the course that our government takes, your electric cooperative will continue to represent the interest of our member-owners and advocate for common-sense solutions to the issues we face, just as we always have. The delivery of clean, safe, affordable, and reliable service to our members will continue to be the hallmark of Ohio’s electric cooperative network. Cooperatives will advocate for simpler, more



flexible, and more sensible regulations that effect the electric industry in particular, and the energy industry in general. We’re encouraged that many of the more complex, more costly, and least compelling environmental regulations that have been advanced in the past several years may be reviewed and possibly revised. We’re also hopeful that some of the needed energy infrastructure construction projects that have been impeded in recent years will have a clearer path for analysis, and ultimately, approval. We’ve experienced major changes in the production of power throughout the past decade, and that has made the generation of electricity cleaner than ever, but we also need to address the reliability and affordability of the vital services that we provide. Personally, I wish each of you, your loved ones, and your family a safe, blessed, and merry Christmas. While 2016 saw many disagreements surface across the nation, let’s hope that the holiday season brings peace, forgiveness, and understanding to all. 

December 2016 Volume 59, No. 3

Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives 6677 Busch Blvd. Columbus, OH 43229 614-846-5757

Patrick O’Loughlin President & CEO Patrick Higgins Dir. of Communications Jeff McCallister Managing Editor Samantha Rhodes Associate Editor

Contributors Cheryl Bach, Celeste Baumgartner, Colleen Romick Clark, W.H. “Chip” Gross, Jeff Reed, Damaine Vonada, Spencer Waugh, Kris Wetherbee, Margie Wuebker, Diane Yoakum COUNTRY LIVING (ISSN 0747-0592) is the official public­ation of Ohio Rural Elec­tric Co­op­eratives, Inc. With a paid circulation of 294,359, it is the monthly com­mun­ication link be­tween the elec­­­­tric co­operatives in Ohio and West Virginia and their mem­bers. Nothing in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without specific written permission from Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. All rights reserved. Check out the mobile-friendly website and digital edition of Country Living, as well as other timely information from Ohio electric cooperatives. Online exclusives More recipes for holiday sweets Shirley Francis’ Darke County home is the base of operations for a sweet holiday family tradition — making sugary treats to hand out during the winter months. Food Editor Margie Wuebker shares some favorite candy recipes from four generations on pages 16-17, and even more online.

Follow Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives on social media Search for Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube to learn about careers with co-ops and how co-ops make a difference in communities across Ohio.

Alliance for Audited Media Member

National advertising representatives: NATIONAL COUNTRY MARKET, 800-NCM-1181 State advertising representatives: Sandy Woolard 614-403-1653 Tim Dickes 614-855-5226 The fact that a product is advertised in Coun­try Living should not be taken as an en­dorse­ment. If you find an advertisement mis­leading or a product unsatisfactory, please not­ify us or the Ohio Attorney General’s Of ­fi ce, Consumer Protection Sec­tion, 30 E. Broad St., Col­um­bus, OH 43215, or call 1-800282-0515. Periodicals postage paid at Colum­bus, OH and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to editorial and advertising offices at: 6677 Busch Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43229-1101

Cooperative members: Please report changes of address to your electric cooperative. Country Living staff cannot process address changes.

DID YOU KNOW? Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. He began his NASA career in the Buckeye State.

In this issue: Hamilton (p. 6) Mansfield (p. 12) Fremont (p. 10) Greenville (p. 16)

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Lancaster (p. 24) Milan (p.25) Zanesville (p.26) Troy (p. 26)




ENERGY and the next PRESIDENT Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

Trump’s actions and words give insight into his administration’s likely energy policies BY S P E N C E R WAU G H

Donald J. Trump was elected as the next president of the United States last month, capturing victories in 30 states and a commanding 306 Electoral College votes (a candidate needs 270 to win). He carried Ohio by a margin of 8.5 percentage points, winning 81 of the state’s 88 counties. His surprising victory will have major implications for public policy in Washington, D.C. — especially in the areas of energy and the environment — as well as in the Buckeye State. 4


While energy and the environment were never headlinegrabbing issues for either candidate during the election, President-elect Trump did shed insight into his plans during the campaign, both through his advisors and surrogates and in his own speeches. The president-elect’s “100-day plan” calls for ending restrictions on “job-producing American energy reserves” and to “cancel billions in payments to United Nations climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water

and environmental infrastructure.” President-elect Trump’s campaign laid out a vision for an “America First” energy plan that would focus on removing regulations and barriers to responsible energy production and moving the country toward greater energy independence. While the bulk of his plan has focused on the development of oil and natural gas, particularly from shale and offshore drilling, he has also repeatedly promised to end the “war on coal.”

Trump’s advisors have stated that regulations in the pipeline at the EPA — which would include the Clean Power Plan — should be examined. The CPP calls on the utility industry to reduce emissions by 32 percent of 2005 levels by 2030. The fate of the plan currently sits with the D.C. circuit court, which likely will issue a ruling next year. Even if the court upholds the law, Trump now holds the ability to nominate a potential tie-breaking vote if the CPP is appealed to the Supreme Court. Trump’s Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, notably promised on the campaign trail to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Some analysts have pointed to that statement as one reason for her lack of support in rural parts of the country, and it certainly is a stark contrast to Trump’s promise to save the coal industry.

The President-elect has been a skeptic of climate change, going as far as to call it a “hoax.” That is a huge pivot from the current administration. In fact, Trump has vowed to “cancel” the United Nations’ Paris Agreement, a non-legally binding accord that calls for the reduction of U.S. emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. The effect he can have on the agreement is up for debate, as President Barack Obama has already signed on. Additionally, Trump has selected Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute to head his EPA transition team. Ebell is a longtime outspoken skeptic of climate change and has called global warming “alarmism.” A Trump presidency is also likely to see the end of moratoriums on energy production on federal lands, to remove hurdles for hydraulic fracturing to

harvest oil and natural gas, and to see an increase in permits for pipeline infrastructure such as the Keystone XL. Additionally, a Trump administration would look to increase drilling in the Alaskan arctic and the Gulf of Mexico by clearing the way for permit approvals. With any new presidential administration in Washington, a certain amount of uncertainty will prevail until agencies begin their work. But it seems clear from Trump’s comments, written statements, and political appointments that in the world of energy and the environment, we will see a dramatic shift away from the current administration’s policies and views.  SPENCER WAUGH is manager of government affairs at Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives.

Cardinal Station, Buckeye Power’s primary baseload generation asset, almost certainly will be affected by President-elect Donald Trump's energy policies. He campaigned on the promise to end the “war on coal.”

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Trees are just part of the Christmas experience at

Judy and Steve Bartels show off the sign inviting visitors to their family farm in Hamilton.

BARTELS FARM Happy kids, an appealing, eco-friendly product — what’s not to like about a cut-your-own Christmas tree operation? It’s a win-win situation, says Brian Bartels, who with his wife, Kara, and parents, Steve and Judy Bartels, operates Bartels Farm in Hamilton. The operation features fresh-cut Christmas trees, a live Nativity scene, tractor rides, and a Christmas shop. “You can have people come out — and from our experience everybody is in a good mood — the product is good, it’s good for the environment, it’s an all-around win,” says Brian, who also is a firefighter and EMT. Agriculture has been in the Bartels family for generations. Steve’s father, Ralph Bartels, farmed the 124 acres where Christmas trees now 6

grow, and Judy’s father, Bill Schenck, also farmed. Because of their influence, Brian wants the farm, on Butler Rural Electric Cooperative lines, to be as good as it can be. “Judy and I are helping Brian out,” Steve says. “He is the main force — this is his passion.” Steve Bartels retired in 2009 after 35 years as an Ohio State University Extension educator in Butler County. Judy has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years. The Bartels family planted the farm's first trees in 2008. Their “bread and butter trees,” Brian explains, are Canaan firs — currently the most popular Christmas tree in Ohio. They also have Scotch pines, white pines, and blue spruce. Judy and Kara Bartels are involved,


too. Kara manages the website and does other design work, while Judy supervises the Christmas Shop — a lambing barn transitioned into a retail store. “I try to have unique gift ideas; I have little farm animal ornaments, candles, and wreaths made from our farm-fresh greens,” she says. Clint and Theresa Combs, with their kids, are loyal customers. “It’s wonderful to shop there for a tree,” Clint says. “The staff is knowledgeable. You get a fresh tree that will last for the whole season. The kids like the hot chocolate and the tractor ride. What is great, too, is you get to support a local farm, and that is important to us.”  CELESTE BAUMGARTNER is a free-

lance writer from Hamilton.

Live Christmas Trees?

YES! Of course, the Christmas tree farm features trees by the acre, just waiting to be cut (above), while the Christmas Shop has been a more recent addition.

IF YOU VISIT WHERE: 4427 Cotton Run Road in Hamilton (between Oxford and Trenton)

HOURS: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon–5 p.m. Sunday

WHEN: Open Friday, Nov. 25, until Sunday, Dec. 18


Environmentally, live Christmas trees have it all over their plastic counterparts. Real trees sequester carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, and if you are a human being on the planet, those are two nice things, says Bill Cackler, president of the Ohio Christmas Tree Association. “The other thing is that it's a renewable natural resource, Cackler says. “If you cut a tree in late November or December, here in Ohio we will usually replant that tree sometime in April, so it is sustainable.” Also, many live trees are recycled — the Cacklers compost theirs. “We’re not filling a landfill after the tree is discarded,” says Cackler, a member of Consolidated Rural Electric Cooperative in Delaware County. Canaan firs are currently the favored trees in Ohio, Cackler says. "Firs probably have the best fragrances," she says. “I tell people, if you want the fragrance, just go to the back of the tree on a limb and scratch. That helps release the fragrance in the house.” Before buying a tree, size up the room where it will be displayed. A tree in the field can look smaller than it does in a room. When you bring the tree home, Cackler advises keeping it away from heat sources, and before putting it inside, cut an additional quarter- to half-inch off the bottom of the trunk; that fresh cut gives maximum water uptake. “Whatever tree stand you use, make sure it holds plenty of water, and never, I repeat never, let it run out,” Cackler says. For information on Christmas trees or to find a farm in your area, visit  — Celeste Baumgartner

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Essential gifts for gardeners Finding the perfect gift for those with a green thumb While most of us gardeners appreciate a gift certificate to our favorite nursery, you can bet we are always in need of a quality tool or something to make gardening a little easier. The following outdoor items make ideal gifts for beginner and experienced gardeners alike.

Soil savvy

Testing one’s soil gives any gardener the upper hand when it comes to growing healthy and productive plants. Plants need the right pH levels to absorb nutrients, and a pH Soil Tester brings fast and easy results. This NPK Soil Test Kit tells you exactly which fertilizer you need — nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium. Both items are available from Gardener’s Supply Company ( Photo courtesy of Gardeners' Supply Company

Monitor the environment

Eliminate water worries with a Garden Soil Moisture Sensor from Gardener’s Supply Company ( The high-tech meter is solar powered and connects to your Wi-Fi network so you can continuously monitor the environmental conditions in your garden, including light, humidity, temperature, soil nutrition, and moisture. Similarly, the high-tech Wireless Rain Gauge from Oregon Scientific ( monitors precisely how much rain is falling in your area. Expanded features include daily, nine-day historical, and total rainfall records, as well as a digital clock and outdoor temperature. The unit even eliminates collected precipitation via the selfemptying rain collector.

Photo courtesy of Oregon Scientific




Garden essentials and tools

Photos courtesy of Fiskars

Convenience, durability, simple installation, and ease of use are the hallmarks of plant protectors from Gardener’s Supply Company ( The Pop-Up Plant Protector can protect vulnerable perennials from winter’s cold, or they can be stacked to accommodate shrubs up to 48 inches high. These 5-by-7-foot shrub jackets feature drawstrings at the top and bottom to keep the cover in place, and the leaf motif fabric easily blends into the landscape.

A composter is a gift appreciated by most every gardener, and the Eco Bin 75 gallon Composter (right) from Fiskars ( makes composting easy, effective, and also very portable. Setup and storage is effortless due to its innovative spring-loaded design, and the open bottom provides access for worms and microbes to speed up the composting process.

Whether digging, weeding, planting, or cultivating garden beds, Fiskars 3-Piece Softtouch Garden Tool Set (left) with its innovative handles and durable heads make basic garden tasks easier than ever. Available where Fiskars garden tools are sold, or at

Sturdy footwear can make or break your day, and shoes that keep your feet from getting wet and dirty are a garden essential. Western Chief (www. has a wide variety of comfortable boots, clogs, and other footwear perfect for gardening and working in the yard, like their three-season Garden Play Neoprene Mid Rain Boot (above). Protect your knees from wear and tear with Fiskars Contoured-Fit Knee Pads (www. The contoured design, thick foam padding, and nylon cover provide comfort and protection for your knees whether kneeling, sitting, or standing. A garden hat with three-season appeal needs to stand up to rough weather conditions — including the heaviest of downpours — and all while keeping your head nice and dry. The Seattle Sombrero by Outdoor Research (www. offers the ultimate waterproof protection, yet is also breathable and whisks away perspiration.

Don’t forget the birds and bees A bird feeder is always a welcome addition, and even more so when the feeder is squirrel proof. This Edwardian Bird Feeder from Gardener’s Supply Company (www. is both stylish and very effective at keeping out squirrels due to its external cage designed with openings that only smaller birds can enter.

Cole’s Wild Bird Feeds (www. offers a premium line of all natural feed based on what birds like and actually eat. The line features cream-of-the-crop seeds, with a variety of single seed offerings, custom-designed blends, and hot products that birds love but squirrels do not.

Photo courtesy of Gardener's Supply Company

Garden gear

Don’t overlook the importance of the blue orchard mason bee. These non-stinging native bees are highly effective pollinators. A great way to attract them to your garden is to set out mason bee nesting houses, like this Mason Bee House from Gardener’s Supply Company ( Made of long-lasting bamboo, this decorative house is exclusively designed to attract only blue orchard mason bees.  

AUG UST 2016 20 16 D ECEMBER


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The Christy Knife Company Fremont Location: In the Fremont workshop of H.R. “Randy” Christy. Provenance: After inventing a nickel-plated, serrated bread knife, Russ J. Christy formed the Christy Knife Company in Fremont in 1889. Within two decades, Christy Knife was manufacturing a complete line of cutting instruments and selling them internationally. Over the years, Christy family members not only operated the company but also developed new products that ranged from mayonnaise mixers and bottle openers to safety razors and blades for surgical instruments. In 1936, Christy Knife introduced a pocketknife with a retractable blade that the company’s founder literally dreamed up. “The idea for the knife came to my great-grandfather in a dream after he was retired and living in Florida,” says H.R. “Randy” Christy. “He sketched the design in the middle of the night and carved the prototype out of wood the next day.” Since the slim Christy pocketknife was easy to carry and could be operated with one hand, it became popular with American servicemen during World War II. Policemen and firemen also appreciated the “handiest pocketknife ever designed.” Although foreign competition severely affected Christy Knife in the 1960s, it remained in business by manufacturing only one product — its sliding-blade pocketknife. Significance: Before the Christy Knife factory that had once employed 400 people was torn down, Randy Christy salvaged its 1930s machinery for his workshop. The retired machinist now perpetuates his family’s legacy by hand-making Christy pocketknives with surgical 10

H.R. “Randy” Christy (left) shows off the sliding-blade knife that literally came to his great-grandfather in a dream, and that he still produces today in his Fremont workshop.

niversary, Christy is making a special rose-gold version with an engraved blade. His pocket knives also are available in brass and with various types of nickel-plated handles. Prices range from $19.95 to $37.95.

steel blades that can be adjusted to three different lengths. “It takes 52 separate operations to produce each pocketknife, and I do them all,” says Christy. “The only thing I job-out is the plating.” Currently: Since 2016 marks the sliding-blade pocketknife’s 80th an-

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It’s a little-known fact that: Although Christy uses 1930s technology to make the sliding-blade pocketknives, their convenience is timeless. “People love the fact that they can open the knife without breaking their fingernails,” he says. 

The Christy Knife Company, P.O. Box 1611, Fremont, OH 43420. For additional information about the company and ordering Christy pocketknives, call 419-332-8281 or visit



Hobby shops offer something to fill just about every enthusiast’s wish list

Radio-controlled vehicles such as this 1/5-scale monster truck are a staple at Cyclone Hobbies in Columbus (photo by Damaine Vonada).

Whenever Cyclone Hobbies manager Kyle Belman fires up a mini-drone, Harley, the shop’s friendly Yorkshire Terrier, immediately jumps to her feet. As soon as the drone is airborne, Harley gives chase, excitedly scampering after the radiocontrolled (RC) vehicle as he deftly maneuvers it around the shop. “Harley gets a lot more exercise chasing drones than she ever gets running after a ball,” says Belman. He grew up flying RC airplanes and helicopters with his dad,

Keith Belman, a Consolidated Electric Cooperative member who resides near Marengo. Their RC expertise is what prompted Keith Belman and Stuart Gray to start an exclusively RC hobby shop in the showroom of Sound Ideas, Inc., their professional audio business, in 2007. Cyclone Hobbies soon mushroomed into a popular destination for radio-controlled aircraft, cars, trucks, and boats, and today the hobby shop and Sound Ideas occupy adjoining storefronts

in a Columbus strip mall. Even though Cyclone Hobbies sells products that use modern technologies, Gray notes that much of its success stems from old-fashioned customer service. “We communicate with customers and try to educate them before we’ll even start up a drone,” he says. “Since everything we sell is hobby grade versus toys, people are going to have lots of questions, and they’re going to need answers.”


(Continued on page 12)



(—continued from page 11)

Indeed, for independent hobby shops like Cyclone Hobbies, sharing information is essential to competing with big-box and online retailers, especially for something as complex as drones, which come in all shapes and sizes and with a variety of blades, lights, and controllers. “When you buy local,” says Keith Belman, “you get parts, service, and support.” Another advantage is experiencing local flavor, whether it’s the shop owner’s personal attention or unexpected pleasures like meeting Harley and her canine companions — Leo, a Pomeranian, and Daisy, a deer head Chihuahua — at Cyclone Hobbies.

In a digital world, hobbies also can offer an antidote to smartphones. Folks are buying everything from traditional model kits to slot cars to RC vehicles because they want kids to get off the couch and pursue pastimes that involve real objects and interactions with real people. According to Kyle Belman, RC cars are one example of a great family hobby. “They get everybody outdoors,” he says. “People with all skill levels can use them.” Want to learn more about what’s in store at Ohio’s hobby shops this holiday season? Here’s a closer look at Cyclone Hobbies and a few other locally owned hobby retailers.  DAMAINE VONADA is a freelance writer from Xenia.

Cyclone Hobbies, Columbus The shop’s RC inventory ranges from $25 drones that fit in the palm of your hand to a gas-powered, 1/5-scale Monster Truck that can go 30 mph and sells for about $1,200. Technological advances have made motors, tires, and other RC vehicle components interchangeable. “Part of the fun is figuring out what you can do to make something go faster or farther,” says Kyle Belman, 614-586-1717; (photos by Damaine Vonada)

Visitors to Cyclone Hobbies in Columbus often are greeted by owners (from left) Stuart Gray, Keith Belman, and Kyle Belman.

John’s Hobby Shop, Mansfield

Customer Ben Bissman checks out the train selection with owner John Sutter at John’s Hobby Shop in Mansfield. 12

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Although owner John Sutter is a Firelands Electric Cooperative member who lives in the lovely countryside near Lucas, his full-service, general hobby shop is in downtown Mansfield near the city’s family-friendly Richland Carrousel Park. Sutter, who has an industrial arts degree from Miami University, started the shop nearly 40 years ago, and it’s an authorized Lionel service center. “People from around the U.S. send me trains,” he says. Sutter also repairs cameras and sells and develops film, but he is proudest of his customer service. “I always go the distance to get people what they want,” he says. 419-526-4426; (photo by Damaine Vonada)

Junction Hobbies and Toys, West Chester When Don Oeters was a kid, he became enamored with the American Flyer trains his dad put under the family Christmas tree. Now he owns the world’s largest indoor train display — EnterTRAINment Junction, a railroad-themed amusement center that includes Junction Hobbies and Toys. While the 5,000-square-foot store carries nostalgic and educational toys such as Thomas the Tank Engine, it caters to railroad hobbyists with an excellent assortment of G-scale, HO-scale, and N-scale trains. “People who like model trains,” says Oeters, “are really happy to find a full-fledged train shop that has all the supplies, scenery, and accessories they want.” 513-898-8000; (photos courtesy of Bill Balfour)

Junction Hobbies and Toys is just one part of EnterTRAINment Junction. It caters to train enthusiasts but has a wide selection of Smithsonian educational products, Shopkins, Lego building sets, and dollhouses (top).

Wings, Wheels and Waves, Massillon

Customers at Wings, Wheels and Waves can gather at the shop’s worktable to examine miniature figures and new games.

This general hobby shop in downtown Massillon is known for its huge selection of military model kits and miniature games such as Flames of War. Owner Mike Guest even provides a table where customers gather to work on projects and play with toy soldiers and weapons. In addition to acquiring the MCW Automotive Finishes that match car manufacturers’ colors, Guest has created a line of military paints. “We mix all of our own colors,” he says, “and they’re specific to actual ships and aircraft.” 330-830-7755; (photo courtesy of Mike Guest) DEC EMBER 2016




BY W. H . “ C H I P ” G R O S S

The history and mystery of

mistletoe — everyone’s favorite parasite

If you’re anticipating a bit of a challenge in the romance department this Christmas season, you may be tempted to try a sprig of mistletoe. Just keep in mind when employing this technique that you will be luring that “special someone” under a parasitic, poisonous plant. I’m not smart enough to know if there is an analogy there concerning true love or not, but probably so. Heck, I’ve only been married 43 years; I’ll get back to you when I know something more definite. Though not common in Ohio, mistletoe, an evergreen plant, grows wild in the southern part of 14

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the state and is best seen during winter when deciduous trees are bare of leaves. Most of the plants look like green, basketball-size or larger clusters in the tops of trees — not to be confused with squirrels’ leaf nests, which are brown and made up of dead leaves. Host trees can be of many species, and seeds of the mistletoe plant are most often carried to trees by birds, on their feet or bills or through droppings. Once a sticky seed adheres to a tree branch and sprouts, its specialized roots — known as haustoria — work their way beneath the bark where they tap into the tree’s moisture and nutrients. Mistletoe

rarely kills a host tree, but death can happen if the infestation of plants gets too overwhelming. Mistletoe also produces some of its own food through photosynthesis, which is why the plant is technically described by botanists as hemiparasitic, meaning partially parasitic. “Mistletoe is native to the Ohio River Valley and states south, and can be surprisingly plentiful,” says Jim McCormac, a biologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “Chesapeake, in Lawrence County, is probably the Ohio epicenter, and there is tons of it in the trees all through town there. I have seen a bit of it growing in

Mistletoe in the wild (above) can sometimes be mistaken for a squirrel’s leaf nest, but mistletoe stays green year-round — in contrast to the brown nests. If an infestation gets too severe, it could kill the host tree. (photos by W.H. “Chip” Gross)

Pike and Jackson counties, too.” Temperature, he says, probably dictates the plant’s northern limits — the Buckeye State being on the northern fringe of its range. McCormac went on to say that mistletoe blooms late in the year, mid-November into December, and that observing the flowers is difficult in the wild because the plant grows so far off the ground, usually high in a tree’s crown. For collecting mistletoe, some old-timers claim that using a shotgun to shoot down a clump of the plant works just fine. At least that method is safer than climbing. Just make sure you have permission of the landowner before trying this particular collection method. Though mistletoe is noxious to people if ingested (it likely won’t kill you, but you may feel like dying), wildlife seems to love it. Birds, especially, eat the berries and seeds, seemingly showing no ill effects. However, mistletoe may benefit humans in the near future. Extracts of the plant are now being used in cancer trials to ease the negative side effects of chemotherapy, and studies are showing some encouraging results. How did mistletoe become associated with Christmas? Mistletoe is one of the few plants that remains green year-round, so people through the ages believed it must have some special powers. As a result, the plant became associated with fertility and vitality, especially during the shortest, darkest days of the year in December. The custom of lovers smooching beneath mistletoe came from late 18th-century England. The tradition dictated that a man was allowed to kiss any woman standing under mistletoe, and that bad luck would come to any woman who refused the man’s kiss. One variation of the tradition stated that with each kiss a berry was to be picked from the mistletoe, and that the kissing must stop after all the berries had been removed.

Got that? All kissing must stop after all the berries have been removed. Many a September baby has resulted from violating that last important tenet during December. Mistletoe: Please use responsibly! And Merry Christmas 2016.  W.H. “CHIP” GROSS is Country Living’s outdoors editor and a member of Consolidated Electric Cooperative. Have an outdoors story idea you might like him to investigate or photograph? He can be reached at or by visiting







Holiday sweets are a family affair in this Darke County household It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Darke County home of Shirley Francis as she and her daughters gather to make candy and bake cookies destined to become holiday gifts for family, friends, and co-workers. The holiday tradition began more than two decades ago with several varieties of cookies as well as peanut brittle and buckeye candy. It has evolved into an ambitious undertaking that now takes place the first weekend in December. “I initially followed in my mother’s footsteps,” Francis says. “Then the girls came along and added their two cents. Now we turn out an unbelievable amount of cookies and candy in the course of a weekend.” Francis and daughters Stephanie Goubeaux, Rachel Puthoff, and Valerie Francis watch grocery store ads in October and November as needed ingredients go on sale. They all have favorite brands, Shirley Francis says, pointing out some manufacturers make better products than others. “We save a lot by taking advantage of sales,” Valerie Francis says. “But I guarantee there is always something missing, because I’m the one who ends up making at least one run to the store on baking day.” Preparing dough for peanut butter blossoms, monster cookies, and chocolate chip cookies a day ahead has streamlined the process. However, Saturday still evolves into a 10-hour work session with the remaining work being completed the following day. With Christmas music playing and two KitchenAid mixers whirring in the background, there is no time to relax over a cup of coffee. The women follow recipes that 16

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From left, Valerie Francis, Shirley Francis, Stephanie Goubeaux, Corynn Goubeaux, and Rachel Puthoff. (photo by Margie Wuebker)

have been tweaked over the years — such as those for Turtles, Peanut Butter Patties, and Brownie Gifts. Even the grandchildren help by unwrapping chocolate kisses or rolling cookie dough in red and green sugar. The list of goodies changes from year to year based on what appreciative recipients leave on the carefully arranged gift trays. There are always new recipes to try. Although they toy with the idea of forgoing all the work, the thought of disappointed family, friends, and co-workers makes them cling to their holiday tradition. “People often say their cookies and candy don’t turn out like ours,” Shirley Francis says with a smile. “That’s because we make everything in a family group with lots of love.”  For more holiday recipes, see CountryLiving.


1 14-oz. package Kraft caramels 1 8-oz. package pecan halves 1 24-oz. package chocolate almond bark Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place unwrapped caramels on parchment paper and place in 200-degree oven until caramels soften (2 to 3 minutes). You want them just soft enough to flatten with your fingers. When they are soft, remove from oven and flatten with your fingers to the size of 50-cent pieces. Place two pecan halves on top of caramels and press down to make them stick. Melt almond bark according to package directions. Dip the caramel/pecan patty into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper to cool and set. After turtles are set, place in airtight container. Makes about a dozen.

Peanut Butter Patties

2 24-oz. packages chocolate almond bark 1 16-oz. jar creamy peanut butter 1 box Ritz crackers Colorful sprinkles (optional) 1 24-oz. package white almond bark (optional) Melt almond bark according to package directions. Spread at least one teaspoon peanut butter between two crackers and press together. Using tongs, dip cracker sandwiches into melted almond bark and place on wax paper. Optional: Decorate with colorful sprinkles if desired or drizzle

with melted white almond bark. Once chocolate is cool and set, store in airtight container. Makes 40.

Brownie Gifts

Brownies: 1 pkg. brownie mix ½ cup vegetable oil ¼ cup water 2 eggs Icing: 1 6-oz. package semisweet chocolate chips 1 container chocolate fudge frosting 1 tsp. vanilla Decorator frosting (various colors) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper, extending over sides of pan. Grease bottom only of parchment paper. In bowl, mix brownie ingredients and spread in lined pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Freeze cooled brownies 30 minutes. Remove brownies from pan by lifting parchment paper. Cut into 11/4-inch squares. Return to freezer while preparing icing. In microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips. Add frosting and vanilla; mix well to combine. Heat until desired consistency. To coat each brownie gift with icing, place brownie on fork over bowl; spoon icing over brownie, coating all sides except bottom. (If icing thickens, heat until desired consistency.) Decorate as desired with decorator frosting.





BY D I A N E YOA K U M , R D , L D





The tantalizing sweetness of sugar has tempted our species since medieval days. With the holiday season in full swing, it becomes even more apparent just how significant sugar becomes as we spy the familiar sights of candy canes and Santa lollipops on store shelves. Stockings are just begging to be stuffed with sugary goodness, so why not go the route of homemade confections to please all those candy cravers, while also controlling the ingredients used? Healthier versions of candy that can be made at home incorporate wholesome ingredients and more nutritious sweeteners. Some recipes can be adjusted by using natural sweeteners such as honey, real maple syrup, agave nectar,

Mounds Bars

3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1/4 cup coconut oil 1 Tbsp. agave nectar or honey Melt chocolate in double boiler over low heat. Using a small pastry/paint brush, coat the bottom and sides of a candy mold with the melted chocolate. Place mold in freezer for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to harden. In a small bowl, combine shredded coconut, coconut oil, and agave. Remove mold from freezer and fill with coconut mixture. Paint chocolate over coconut mixture to cover bars. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to harden. Remove from freezer and turn mold upside down to release candy. (Makes about 9 Mounds Bars, depending on size of your candy mold.) Alternate method: Shape coconut mixture into balls or small logs. Freeze for 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and dip in chocolate.


or 100 percent fruit juice. Blackstrap molasses, fruit purees, dates, and coconut sugar are also options for some recipes. Fruit snacks, gummies and fruit leathers are comprised of a large percentage of gelatin, derived from collagen found in animal bones. The health benefits acquired from gelatin are many, including healthy skin and digestive tract, strong bones, arthritis support, and improvement in allergies. The following recipes are just a taste of what you will find if you begin searching for healthier candy options. Dive in — you’ll be glad you did!  DIANE YOAKUM is a registered and licensed dietician.

Maple Magic Candy 2 cups real maple syrup

In a sturdy saucepan with high sides, bring maple syrup to a boil. Turn heat to very low and allow the syrup to continue boiling without stirring until a candy thermometer reads 233 degrees. (Be careful that the syrup doesn’t boil over!) Remove from heat and allow to cool, still without stirring it, until the thermometer reads 110 degrees. Beat the reduced syrup vigorously with a wooden spoon for several minutes. As you beat, the syrup gradually turns a pale caramel color and becomes stiff enough to hold a shape. Place in candy molds or form into patties on a plate or baking sheet. Allow to cool completely before unmolding. Makes about 1 pound of candy.

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Homemade Fruit Gummies 2 cups fruit juice 1/4 cup honey or real maple syrup (optional and to taste) 1 cup defrosted frozen berries, pureed 8 Tbsp. (1/2 cup) gelatin powder

Have all ingredients ready before you begin so that you can work quickly once you start. Place juice and honey or maple syrup in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until warm and starting to simmer, but not hot or boiling. Add puréed fruit. Start sprinkling gelatin over the juice mixture while whisking or using an immersion blender. Continue doing this until all gelatin is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. (Adding the gelatin too quickly will make it more difficult to get the mixture incorporated.) Once smooth, pour into molds or a greased/lined baking dish. Place in refrigerator or freezer until firm.

Giving back is the co-op way



OFFICE LOCATION & HOURS One Energy Place, P.O. Box 32 New London, OH 44851-0032 Monday – Friday: 8 A.M. – 5 P.M.

OUTAGE HOTLINE • 800-533-8658

Cooperatives across the globe adhere to the same seven principles that guide all our decisions, from how we run the co-op to how we engage with our local communities. “Concern for Community” is the seventh principle, and it’s one that all employees of Firelands Electric Cooperative value year-round. But during the holiday season, concern for community is crucial. Electric cooperatives have a proud history of giving back. Firelands’ commitment to community is evident in our youth programs, funding $10,500 in scholarships for graduating high school seniors and sponsoring the annual Youth Tour experience, for high school sophomores and juniors. We also April Bordas contribute annually to the Ashland and Huron General Manager, County United Way agencies. Firelands Electric Firelands Electric has served as a collection site for the United Service Organizations (USO) of Northern Ohio’s “Step Up For Soldiers” campaign for the past nine years. The cooperative has also served as a regional pop tab collection site for the Ronald McDonald House of Akron since 2009. To date, over 800 pounds of tabs have been donated to the local chapter — roughly one million tabs. Educating the next generation of community leaders about using energy efficiently is our responsibility. Firelands Electric teaches kids about electrical safety and energy efficiency by visiting local schools and supporting youth programs. We are also a corporate sponsor of school sports teams, community events, holiday parades, county fairs, and 4-H organizations. Firelands Electric members help us give back, too. Through the cooperative’s Operation Round Up® program — where members allow their electric bills to be “rounded up” to the next dollar — extra change has gone toward helping those in need, right here in our community. Our commitment is also global. Since its inception, National Rural Electrification Association (NRECA) International has brought safe, reliable, and affordable power to more than 110 million people in 42 countries — some in the world’s most isolated communities. This year, Firelands’ lineman Rick Bowers and volunteers from several of Ohio’s other electric cooperatives traveled to La Soledad, Guatemala, as part of a two-week rural electrification project that brought electricity to the mountaintop village. We have also donated equipment and sent line workers to assist in restoration efforts throughout Ohio after severe weather strikes the Buckeye State. So many families go without on a daily basis, struggling to make ends meet. This struggle can be especially hard during the holiday season, but there are many ways you can give back to the community that go beyond dollar donations. Take some time to go through your closets and find clothes that no longer fit or have lost their use. Bag them up and take them to your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or church clothing drive. Volunteer for a local food or toy drive, deliver meals to the sick and elderly, or simply make a meal for a neighbor in need.


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ENERGY matters Digital devices can impact energy use Ah, the Digital Age. We have gadgets galore, the ability to manage our homes in new and innovative ways, brilliant modern entertainment options, and of course, the Internet. Clearly, digital devices reign supreme. But these cool new capabilities come with a couple of pitfalls: “vampire” loads and the issue of “technology reincarnation.” Over the course of the Digital Age, electricity use has continued to increase. Families have multiple televisions, computers, cellphones, gaming devices, and cable or satellite boxes. Major appliances aside, most digital devices do not use 120volt power, the standard voltage of a home outlet. They actually use a lot less. So trying to plug your brand new smartphone directly into an outlet is going to lead to a fried device. This is why low-voltage devices come with a power adapter. These “wall warts,” as some term them, take the 120-volt electricity supplied by Firelands Electric Cooperative and convert it to, say, 5 volts. Unfortunately, most folks leave their adapters plugged in to make recharging easier. The problem is that the seemingly innocuous wall wart uses power even when it isn’t charging a device. This invisible energy consumption is often called a vampire load. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 5 to 10 percent of the average home’s energy use is from vampire loads. The only way to stop this is to unplug the power adapter when it’s not in use or to use smart power strips. These look like the typical power strip but with a twist — only one socket gets power all the time. When the device or appliance connected to it turns on and starts using power, the remaining sockets receive power too. This is perfect for home entertainment 20

systems, computer setups, and a variety of other situations. Technological advances have steadily increased energy efficiency and reduced purchase prices. This sounds like a good thing, but when replacing a product at the end of its life, the tendency is to go bigger while continuing to use the old tech — technology reincarnation. For example, flat screen television prices have plummeted, like the amount of electricity they use. Consumers wander into the big-box store and are dazzled by walls of giant, brilliant TVs. What they used to pay for the paltry 32-inch model now might net them a 50-inch giant. And who doesn’t want to see their favorite show or sports event in near-life size? But if you spring for the bigger TV, you won’t benefit from the increased energy efficiency of the newer technology. The bigger model uses as much juice as the older, smaller TV, which likely ends up in another room — reincarnated in another setting — still using power. The same can be said about refrigerators that often end up in basements or garages. To avoid the effects of vampire loads, invest in smart power strips or make a point to use outlets where you can conveniently unplug power adapters when devices are not in use. Don’t oversize your replacement appliances and entertainment gear, unless family needs dictate the larger capacities. You can still enjoy the Digital Age for a lot less money. Firelands Electric offers a variety of appliance and energy conservation programs to help you save energy and live more comfortably. Helpful tools and resources are available on the co-op’s energy efficiency page at or by contacting your energy experts at 1-800-533-8658.


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ACRE Co-op Owners have a STRONG voice! Joyce Ritchie of New London is proud to be an ACRE® Co-op Owner. For over eight years, Joyce has helped to keep the voice of rural electric cooperatives heard in the political process by participating in ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action®. Firelands Electric’s grassroots efforts have proven to be quite effective as Congress continues to debate emission standards. Regulations should be fair, recognizing regional differences in how electricity is produced, and they should be affordable and achievable, since only a realistic plan can ensure long-term success. You can strengthen our political presence by being a member of ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action and support elected officials who: Help your co-op keep electric service reliable Keep your electricity bill affordable because it improves your quality of life Make renewable energy affordable Help your co-op rebuild after a major storm Protect our economy and jobs when making energy laws Contact Firelands Electric Co-op if you want to help keep the voice of rural electric cooperatives heard by joining ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action.


MEMBERS OF SCAMMERS! Co-op members are reporting they have received calls asking them to sign up for a discounted electric rate. Some members have even been told they must sign up, or their electric account will be put in default or even disconnected. Firelands Electric wants members to know that these callers are not affiliated with the co-op, and that the cooperative never uses a third-party to collect bill payments. DO NOT, under any circumstances, give out your information to someone other than a legitimate representative from your electric utility. Once scammers have your personal information, they can use it to commit identity theft and steal your money by making charges to your existing credit cards; opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts; writing fraudulent checks; or taking out loans in your name. To report suspicious activity, or if members have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Firelands Electric at 1-800-533-8658 or send an e-mail to

ANNIVERSARY DRAWINGS COME TO AN END Firelands Electric has been celebrating its 80th anniversary this year with monthly contest drawings. Members locating Willie Wiredhand on the co-op’s website,, were entered in monthly drawings for a $25 bill credit. Congratulations to our October contest winner, Howard Hahler of Willard, and November winner, Freda Barnes of Mansfield. Thank you to all who participated in this contest throughout 2016. If you have an idea for future contests and promotions, please share them with Firelands’ member services department by calling 1-800-533-8658 or sending an e-mail to


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High School Seniors... Are your parents Firelands Electric Co-op members?

You could earn up to $5,000 in scholarships Academic Scholarship • Available in both boys’ and girls’ divisions. • Applicants must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale. • Finalists in the Firelands Electric scholarship competition will be interviewed on Feb. 20, 2017. • First-place Firelands Electric Cooperative scholarship is $1,500. Runners-up will also receive scholarships. • The two first-place winners are eligible to compete for up to $3,500 in additional scholarships from Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives.

Touchstone Energy® Achievement Scholarship • Applicants must have a cumulative grade-point average of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale. • Applicants must be able to describe the unique and substantial personal challenges that he/she experienced, which made achieving academic success difficult. • First-place Firelands Electric Cooperative scholarship is $500. • Winner will be eligible to compete for an additional $2,100 scholarship from Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives.

Application deadline is Feb. 1, 2017 Complete rules and applications are available by visiting the Scholarship Opportunities page at, contacting the member services department at 1-800-533-8658, or by visiting your high school guidance department. 20 B


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l .


The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour is an annual leadership program coordinated by Firelands Electric Co-op and Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives. It’s a weeklong, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., that gives high school students the opportunity to meet with their Congressional leaders at the U.S. Capitol, make new friends from across the country, and see many of the famous sights in and around our nation’s capital. Electric cooperatives from 43 states will send nearly 1,600 students on the 2017 tour. Firelands Electric will choose up to two students to represent the co-op on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Applicants for Youth Tour... • must be a high school sophomore or junior. • must be a son, daughter, or legal ward of a Firelands member living on the cooperative’s lines and receiving electric service from the cooperative at the time of selection. • must submit a completed application, including an essay, which is available on the Youth Tour Experience page at

June 9-15 Application deadline: Feb. 1, 2017

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Firelands Electric Co-op wishes you and your family a

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As a reminder, our office will be closed Dec. 23 - 26 and Jan. 2 so our employees may enjoy the holidays with their families. Emergency service is always available by calling 1-800-533-8658.

STEP UP FOR SOLDIERS CAMPAIGN This year, the USO is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and Firelands Electric Co-op is proud to support the United Service Organizations (USO) of Northern Ohio “Step Up for Soldiers” annual drive. The cooperative will be collecting donated items for the USO of Northern Ohio until Dec. 12. The holiday season is always difficult for people who are located far from home, often missing special times with loved ones. USO centers around the world work to make the holiday season bright for service members and their families. Whether it’s an American soldier stationed abroad or returning home from deployment, the USO provides nonperishable items and supplies to the soldiers and their families. Volunteers also prepare care packages for military families who have recently added a new member. Volunteers sew gift bags, make blankets, and provide diapers, bottles, fluffy toys, and other items for the new bundle of joy. “This is our ninth year collecting for the USO, and Firelands Electric Co-op is honored to support the brave men and women serving our country,” says Andrea Gravenhorst, Firelands’ director of member services and communications. “We appreciate what our American soldiers have done for us and the sacrifices they have made. The USO is an amazing nonprofit organization, and it’s a privilege to work with them.” Care package items can be dropped off until Monday, Dec. 12, at Firelands Electric’s office in New London during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A complete list of suggested donation items is available on Firelands’ website,, and Facebook page, FirelandsElectric. 20 D


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SAFETY matters

Generator safety: Our lives are on the line The safety of our employees and members is a top priority at Firelands Electric Cooperative, especially during dangerous times. When storms hit our area, we rush to your aid as soon as weather conditions allow our line crews to travel and make repairs safely. Firelands’ crews take necessary precautions before they work on downed power lines. First, they verify a circuit has been de-energized and that proper switches are opened and tagged to isolate the circuit from the system. We ground the circuit — on both sides of the workers — to make sure the line cannot be energized while work is being done. But even after these measures, our workers’ lives remain in your hands. Firelands Electric is proud of

our outstanding safety record, but sometimes, no matter how many steps we take to keep everyone safe, the very people we are there to help unknowingly put the lives of our crews — and their own — in danger. Portable generators, widely used when power lines are down, can prove fatal to lineworkers and your neighbors when used improperly. Of course, no one would ever purposely cause the death of a lineworker. Nevertheless, a generator connected to a home’s wiring or plugged into a regular household outlet can cause backfeeding along a power line and electrocute anyone who comes in contact with it — even if the line seems dead. Firelands’ employees are not the only ones in danger when a portable generator is used

improperly. Generator owners themselves may be at risk of electrocution, fire injury, property damage, or carbon monoxide poisoning if they do not follow the necessary safety rules. Portable generators can be very helpful to consumers during outages, but we urge you to follow safety guidelines when using a generator. We encourage you to protect the well-being and safety of your family during outages and to safeguard those who come to your aid during emergency situations. When we work together for the safety and the good of our communities, we all benefit. To learn more about generator safety, please visit our website,, or contact your member services department at 1-800-533-8658.

STATEMENT OF NONDISCRIMINATION Firelands Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer. If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at, at any USDA office, or call 1-866-632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter by mail to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; by fax to 202-690-7442; or e-mail to

In addition to traditional printed media — such as Country Living magazine, bill messages, and mailers — Firelands Electric Co-op keeps its members informed of the latest news through numerous online outlets. Find us on the web at And don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, SmartHub, Twitter, and YouTube!


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STEALING ELECTRICITY AND METER TAMPERING ARE CRIMES! Stealing electricity or tampering with a meter is serious business. And it’s against the law! Theft of utility electricity is a firstdegree misdemeanor if the value of the stolen electricity, plus any utility equipment repairs, is less than $150. It’s a fourth-degree felony if more than $150. Tampering crimes carry similar penalties. Tampering is defined as “to interfere with, damage, or bypass a utility meter, conduit, or attachment with intent to impede the correct registration of a meter or the proper function of a conduit or attachment.” Conviction of tampering can mean from six months in jail and a $1,000 fine up to five years and a $2,500 fine. Meter tampering costs all of us. And it’s downright dangerous. If you witness someone tampering with an electric meter, please contact Firelands Electric Co-op at 1-800-533-8658.



Firelands Electric Cooperative’s Board of Trustees met Sept. 27 and covered the following items: • Board President Dan McNaull reported there were 38 new membership applications for approval by the board. • Continuing an annual tradition, the board decided to match employees’ contributions to the United Fund in October. • General Manager April Bordas reported that line loss (electricity lost due to resistance during transmission) year to date is 5.04 percent. • Director of Finance and Accounting Tabi Shepherd reviewed September financials and reported on billing department activities. • The board reviewed the cooperative’s current discount rate applied to capital credits refunded to decedents’ estates. Following discussion, the board decided an appropriate adjustment to the rate for one year. The board advised management to bring the discount rate to their attention annually for review and possible adjustment. • April Bordas provided an update on the cooperative’s new metering system. • The board reviewed the cooperative’s gun policy. • April Bordas discussed construction of a new headquarters facility and updates provided by the building committee appointed by the board. • The board discussed filling the board vacancy created by the resignation of John Copley and appointing a qualified candidate to represent District 9 as an interim trustee. Management advised letters would be mailed to all members residing in District 9. The responses would be reviewed during the October board meeting. • Director of Electric Operations Denny Marugg reported on recent projects in the operations department. • Line Superintendent Don Englet reported on recent line crew activities in September. • Director of Member Services and Communications Andrea Gravenhorst reported on recent communications pieces and discussed upcoming activities involving the member services department. Firelands Electric is democratically controlled and governed by local people committed to policies that result in a safe and reliable electric system, fair rates, financial responsibility, and superior member service. The cooperative’s next board meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22, at Firelands Electric’s office, located at One Energy Place, New London.



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Holiday at the museum These distinctive retail destinations offer unique experiences and fun merchandise When people visit a museum, its gift shop is usually the last thing they see. During the holidays, however, museum stores should be your first destination for gift ideas. These very special stores reflect the collections of their parent institutions, and they carry a

wide range of items — regional publications, landmark photos, works by local artists, tasteful toys, and elegant accessories — that are sure to inspire, surprise, and delight everyone on your list. Here are some of our favorites.

Air Force Museum Store, National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base This spacious shop is located inside the world’s largest military aviation museum and accordingly contains a topflight assortment of merchandise related to air and space. That includes a superb selection of military, history, and aviation books; leather A-2 pilot’s jackets and green nylon B-15 jackets; Air Force One backpacks and bookmarks; Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman music; kid-pleasing space ice cream; patriotic flag ornaments; and even camo Christmas stockings. 937-256-6245; (Photos by Damaine Vonada)





Columbus Museum of Art Museum Store Located near the Ohio Statehouse, the recently expanded art museum also has a smart new store dedicated to “Creative Goods and Good Design.” Its global inventory includes Shinola watches; chic socks patterned after the museum’s colorful Schokko painting; and an inimitable umbrella displaying a detailed map of Columbus. 614-221-6801; (photo by Damaine Vonada)

A Christmas Story House and Museum Gift Shop, Cleveland Fans of A Christmas Story love touring the house where Ralphie lived and viewing props from the beloved 1983 movie. They also love the gift shop’s nostalgic memorabilia — pink bunny suits, Parker family figurines, and leg lamps just like the one in the house’s front window. 216-485-2320; www. achristmasstoryhouse. com (photo by Damaine Vonada)


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Decorative Arts Center of Ohio Museum Shop, Lancaster Lancaster’s historic Square 13 is a veritable textbook of 1800s architecture, and the classic Greek Revival residence that houses the center is one of its treasures. The eclectic museum shop has locally made products ranging from designer Eric Burchwell’s original jewelry to teacher Jane Hill’s organic soaps. 740-681-1423; (photo courtesy of Jordan Baily, DACO)

Edison Birthplace Museum Gift Shop, Milan Fittingly enough, the small shop at the home of the mighty inventor who created the lightbulb, phonograph, and movie camera sells ingenious items — think lightbulb-shaped ornaments and T-shirts brandishing clever quotes (“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”) from Thomas Edison. 419-499-2135; (photo courtesy Lois Wolf )

Ohio Glass Museum Gift Shop, Lancaster Focused on Fairfield County’s glass industry, the museum boasts an in-house studio, and its artisans provide the shop’s blown glass vases and bowls, flameworked bead jewelry, and gorgeous glass ornaments. Another option: Take a studio class to give ornaments or paperweights you’ve made yourself. 740-687-0101; (photo courtesy of Mary Travis)

Ohio History Connection Store, Columbus Because the Ohio History Connection is the state’s ultimate archive, its museum store likewise is a prime resource for anything and everything related to the Buckeye universe. From Adena Man pipe replicas to Charley Harper wildlife posters to cookbooks with Cincinnati chili recipes, it has something for every Ohioan. 614-297-2330; (photo by Damaine Vonada)

Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum Store, Canton Since the Pro Football Hall of Fame salutes America’s gridiron greats, its store stocks clothing and collectibles for every NFL team and Hall of Famer. “Legends” shirts and replica team jerseys are popular, while autographed helmets and footballs score with the signatures of enshrined players. 330-456-8207; www. (photo by Damaine Vonada)




Molly’s Shop and Café, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, Akron The pleasures of Stan Hywet’s annual “Deck the Hall” event include warm gingerbread cookies made from Gertrude Seiberling’s recipe. Seiberling and her husband, Frank, who co-founded Goodyear Tire and Rubber, built the grand estate that now ranks among America’s finest house museums. Named for the draft horse that pulled yule logs into Stan Hywet’s Great Hall, Molly’s sells an array of affordable fashions and accessories, commemorative books, and holiday goodies that include festive ornaments and frozen gingerbread dough to bake in your own oven. 330315-3267; (photo by Damaine Vonada)

Zanesville Museum of Art Museum Store The museum has outstanding American art pottery and Ohio galleries, and its shop features pretty and practical items from Ohio artists. Look for Maddy Fraioli’s exuberant, floral-patterned redware; Jessica Gray’s ceramic pieces; wool dryer balls by fiber artist Jane Evans; and dinosaur-shaped crayons hand made by the shop’s personnel. 740-452-0741; (photo by Damaine Vonada)

WACO Air Museum Store, Troy Located on an airstrip, the museum celebrates the famous civilian biplanes that were manufactured in Troy. Its store sells the most uplifting present you’ll ever find — gift certificates for $100-per-person rides in a shiny, open-cockpit WACO plane. 937-335-9226; (photo by Damaine Vonada) 


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calling 800-423-2567. Cannot or or by LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original be used with other discount Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original day. purchase with original receipt. through 3/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per Valid coupon must be presented.

At Harbor Freight Tools, the “comp at” price means that the same item or a similar functioning item was advertised for sale at or above the "comp at" price by another retailer in the U.S. within the past 180 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of "comp at" should be implied. For more information, go to or see store associate.

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• • 800-423-2567

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ITEM 69006 ITEM 47873 shown 60715/60714 69005/61262

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LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 3/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day. coupon must be presented. Valid through 3/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R PE ON SU UP CO Includes one 18V NiCd battery and charger. Customer Rating

On All Hand Tools

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SAVE 66%

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ITEM 66537 shown 69505/62418


$ 99



$ 99

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SAVE 228

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ITEM 60363/69730 ITEM 68121/69727 shown CALIFORNIA ONLY


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GADGETS asGIFTS Our annual roundup of high-tech gift ideas BY J E F F R E E D

High-tech gadgets can be as helpful as they are imaginative; some innovative items can help enhance your quality of life, while others can help support the environment, help improve your health, or make a task easier and you more productive. Saving you some of your hard-earned cash is helpful, too. Here’s our annual look at some high-tech gadgets available this holiday season.

The Black+Decker SteamAdvantage Traditional Steam Iron has steam-surge, spray-mist, and anti-drip features, plus a Comfort Grip handle, a 3-way auto shutoff and a pivoting cord. $25.99 (IR1070S-3). 800-54-HOW-TO;

The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Sonic Electric Toothbrush with App sends your brushing data to the Sonicare app via Bluetooth technology, then offers feedback and personal coaching. $199.99 (HX9192/01). 888-744-5477; www.usa.

The Eureka SuctionSeal 2.0 Pet Vacuum Cleaner with Air Speed Technology sweeps up cereal, crumbs, and other debris with its Scatterproof Crumb Cleaner. Its Pet Power Paw and Turbo Brush remove pet hair from stairs, carpet, and upholstery. $179.99 (AS3104A). 800-282-2886;

The Brookstone PancakeBot Custom Pancake Printer with Electric Griddle dispenses batter onto its griddle in shapes you design or from designs from the included software or from a regularly updated online community. $299.99 (316718p). 800-846-3000; www.

The Hammacher Schlemmer Star Wars Stormtrooper Toaster confirms your allegiance to the Galactic Empire — it’s shaped like a stormtrooper’s helmet and browns what it toasts with the Galactic Empire’s Imperial crest, including bread, split buns, muffins, and waffles. $59.95 (89821). 800-321-1484;

The firststreet Shiatsu Foot Massager with Optional Heat Therapy has 14 rollers that rotate 360 degrees to reach every inch of your tired and aching dogs. Order one for every room in your home. $149.95 (03372). 800-704-1209; www.firstSTREETonline. com. The Toro 1500 Electric Power Curve Snow Thrower has a 15-inch cleaning width and a 25-foot throwing distance, with controls geared for either hand. $209 (38371). 888384-9939; The Black+Decker Double Burner Portable Buffet Range has a separate control for each burner and a power indicator light to help cook or keep food warm at the right temperature. $39.99 (DB1002B). 800-54-HOW-TO;

Photos courtesy of Black and Decker; Eureka; Hammacher-Schlemmer; Phillips USA; Brookstone; Firststreet; Toro; DeWalt; and Belkin


C O U N T RY L IV IN G    DECEM B ER 2 0 1 6

The Black+Decker Café Select Dual Brew Coffeemaker with Travel Mug can brew 12 cups of java for home or a single serving — as much as 20 ounces — for the road. $129.99 (CM6000BDM). 800-54-HOW-TO; www. The DeWalt ToughSystem Music + Charger puts out crisp, clear sound either through its built-in radio or wirelessly through Bluetooth to any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or music device up to 100 feet. It’s also a portable, stackable, and durable battery charger. $199 (DWST08810). 800-433-9258; www.

The Belkin Travel RockStar Battery Pack + Charger + Surge Protector has a mobile battery pack for USB devices, a dual-outlet charger for one outlet, and a surge protector. $59.99 (BST301tt). 800-223-5546; www.

The firststreet Balanced Spectrum Floor Lamp reduces eyestrain, fatigue, and headaches thanks to its 27-watt, energy-efficient full-spectrum lightbulb that’s as bright as a 100-watt incandescent bulb. $59.95 — buy two for $49.99 each (26041). 800-7041209; The Toro Power Sweep Lightweight, 2-Speed Blower weighs 4.5 pounds and can generate an air force of 160 mph. $44.99 (51585). 888-384-9939; The Eureka ReadyForce Total Canister Vacuum Cleaner has an all-surface adjustable nozzle and uses cyclonic separation technology to increase airflow for maximum suction. $199.99 (3500AE). 800-7735212;

The firststreet LED Desk Lamp shines bright light where you need it, thanks to a pivoting head and 12 super-bright LED bulbs. $14.95 — set of two. (33150). 800-7041209; The firststreet Parking Alert Sensor’s ultrasonic gauge and three-light warning system help you park safely in your home garage. $59.95 (33144). 800-704-1209;

The Hammacher Moisture Enhancing Facial Nanosteamer emits ultra-fine steam that penetrates pores to refresh and regenerate skin. $179.95 (88657). 800-321-1484; The firststreet Desktop Evaporative Air Cooler has a two-speed fan and a 28-ounce water tank to help keep your room — and you — cool for up to 10 hours between refills. $39.95 (33140). 800-704-1209; www.




The firststreet Triple Cooker uses halogen, convection, and infrared heating to roast, grill, bake, broil, steam, barbeque, and fry just about any vittles. $129.95 (04281). 800-704-1209; www.firstSTREETonline. com. The Hammacher Schlemmer Any Device Charging Dock has four interchangeable adapters that can accommodate pretty much any modern portable device. $149.95 (88582). 800-321-1484;

The Toro 22-Inch Electric Hedge Trimmer can cut through branches up to a half-inch thick and has a cord lock to prevent accidental unplugging. $59.99 (51490). 888-3849939; The Brookstone Crosley CD Jukebox is a reproduction of the classic 1947 Crosley jukebox and made of hand-crafted wood — the unit also has an AM/FM radio and an input for a smartphone or other audio devices. $149.95 (899228). 800-846-3000; www.

The Eureka The Boss Upright Vacuum Cleaner adjusts to various carpet types and weighs less than 11 pounds, making it easy to clean hard-to-reach places. $129.99 (1934B). 800-773-5212; www.eureka. com.

The Black+Decker 6-Slice Dining-In Digital Countertop Oven’s intuitive digital controls make it easy to set cooking time and temperature and to select one of seven cooking options. $89.99 (TO3280SSD). 800-54-HOW-TO;

The Belkin Ultimate Surge Protector with 6-Foot Power Cord provides protection for eight outlets, in addition to protecting your telephone, cable, and satellite connections. $34.99 (BV108230-06). 800-223-5546;

The Brookstone 15-Watt Salad Chef Vegetable Chopper and Slicer has five cone attachments — thick, thin, coarse, fine, and grater. $49.99 (951283). 800-846-3000;

The DeWalt 20-Volt Max XR Lithium-Ion Half-inch, Cordless, Brushless Compact Drill/Driver is dust and moisture resistant, weighs 3.4 pounds, and delivers 460 watts of power. $199/full kit (DCD791D2). 800433-9258;

The Philips Norelco 5100 Wet & Dry Electric Shaver shaves you smoothly standing in front of a mirror or soaking in a tub or shower with three, five-direction flex heads. $89.99 (S5210/81). 888-744-5477; www.

The Black+Decker 7-Quart Slow Cooker has a dishwasher-safe stoneware pot and three heat settings — low (8-9 hours), high (3-4 hours), and warm. $39.99 (SC2007D). 800-54-HOW-TO;


C O U N T RY L IV I NG    DECEM B ER 2 01 6

The Hammacher Schlemmer Smartphone Charging Automotive Emergency Escape Tool not only charges your smartphone as you drive, but, in case of emergency, a built-in razor can cut through a seatbelt strap, while a built-in metal pin can shatter a window. $49.95 (87433). 800-321-1484; The Brookstone 14-Inch Rapid-Heat Electric Skillet heats quickly to 450 degrees and has cool-touch handles and a ceramic surface for healthful cooking and easy cleanup. $49.99 (951247). 800-846-3000; www. The Black+Decker Slice Right Electric Knife has an easy-to-use-and-remove stainless steel blade and a Comfort Grip handle. $19.99 (EK700). 800-54-HOW-TO; www. The Hammacher Schlemmer VHS-to-DVD Converter transfers a VHS or camcorder recording to a DVD with the touch of a button. $299.95 (84007). 800-321-1484; www. 

JEFF REED is a freelance writer and editor from Grove City.


How a Chicago Doctor Shook Up the Hearing Aid Industry with his Newest Invention

New nearly invisible digital hearing aid breaks price barrier in affordability - 90% LESS Reported by J. Page

Chicago: Board-certified physician Dr. S. Cherukuri has done it once again with his newest invention of a medical-grade, ALLDIGITAL, affordable hearing aid. This new digital hearing aid is packed with Nearly all the features of $3,500 competitors at a mere Invisible! fraction of the cost. Now, most people with hearing loss are able to enjoy crystal clear, natural sound—in SAME FEATURES AS a crowd, on the phone, in the wind—without EXPENSIVE HEARING AID suffering through “whistling” and annoying COMPETITORS background noise.

Digital Hearing Aid Outperforms Expensive Competitors This sleek, fully programmed, light-weight, hearing aid is the outgrowth of the digital revolution that is changing our world. While demand for “all things digital” caused most prices to plunge (consider DVD players and computers, which originally sold for thousands of dollars and today can be purchased for less), the cost of a digital medical-grade hearing aid remains out of reach. Dr. Cherukuri knew that many of his patients would benefit but couldn’t afford the expense of these new digital hearing aids. Generally they are not covered by Medicare and most private health insurance plans. The doctor evaluated the high priced digital hearing aids on the market, broke them

Mini Behind-the-Ear hearing aid with thin tubing for a

nearly invisible profile Advanced Noise Reduction to make speech clearer Feedback Cancellation eliminates whistling Wide Dynamic Range Compression makes soft sounds audible and loud sounds comfortable Telecoil setting for use with compatible phones, and looped environments like churches 3 Programs and Volume Dial accommodate most common types of hearing loss even in challenging listening environments

   

Can a hearing aid delay or prevent dementia?

A study by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging suggests older individuals with hearing loss are

significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing. They suggest that an intervention—such as a hearing aid—could delay or prevent dementia by improving hearing!

“Satisfied Buyers Agree AIR is the Best Digital Value!” “I am hearing things I didn’t know I was missing. Really amazing. I’m wearing them all the time.” —Larry I., Indiana “Almost work too well. I am a teacher and hearing much better now.” —Lillian B., California “I have used many expensive hearing aids, some over $5,000. The AIRs have greatly improved my enjoyment of life.”

down to their base components, and then created his own affordable version - called the MDHearingAid AIR® for its virtually invisible, lightweight appearance.

Affordable Digital Technology Using advanced digital technology, the MDHearingAid AIR® automatically adjusts to your listening environment — prioritizing speech and de-emphasizing background noise. Experience all of the sounds you’ve been missing at a price you can afford. This doctor designed and approved hearing aid comes with a full year’s supply of long-life batteries. It delivers crisp, clear sound all day long and the soft flexible ear domes are so comfortable you won’t realize you’re wearing them.

Try it Yourself at Home With Our 45-Day RISK-FREE Trial Of course, hearing is believing and we invite you to try it for yourself with our RISK-FREE 45-DAY HOME TRIAL. If you are not completely satisfied, simply return it within that time period for a full refund of your purchase price.

For the Lowest Price


800-807-5201 Buy a Pair and SAVE $50 Use Code

CZ38 to get

FREE BATTERIES for a Full Year!

—Sam Y., Michigan

“I would definitely recommend them to my patients with hearing loss.” —Amy S., Audiologist, Indiana ©2016





NORTHWEST THROUGH DEC. 31 – Lights Before Christmas, Toledo Zoo, 2 Hippo Way, Toledo, Sun.–Thur. 3–8 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 3–9 p.m. 419-385-5721 or www. THROUGH DEC. 31 – Firelands Festival of Lights, Sawmill Creek Resort, 400 Sawmill Creek Dr., Huron. 419-433-3800 (ext. 784) or THROUGH JAN. 1 – North Pole Express, 12505 Co. Rd. 99, Findlay, Fri. and Sat. 5–9 p.m., Sun. 5–8 p.m. $3, C. $2. 419-423-2995 or

PLEASE NOTE:  Country Living strives for ac­curacy but strongly urges readers to confirm dates and times before traveling long distances to events. Submit listings AT LEAST 90 DAYS prior to the event by writing to Country Living, 6677 Busch Blvd., Columbus, OH 43229 or events@ Country Living will not publish listings that don’t include a complete address of where the event takes place or a number/website for more information.

DEC. 3, 9, 10 – Holiday Lantern Tours “Yuletides of Yesteryear,” Sauder Village, 22611 St. Rte. 2, Archbold, 4–8:30 p.m. $13, C. $7. Reservations required. An interactive look at American Christmas traditions from 1850 through the 1920s. 800590-9755 or DEC. 8 – “Christmas Collections: Ethnic Food Traditions and Nutcrackers,” Wood Co. Historical Museum, 13660 County Home Rd., Bowling Green, 2 p.m. $15, C. $5. Part of the museum’s 2016 Tea Series. 419352-0967 or http://woodcountyhistory. org.

THROUGH JAN. 8 – Hayes Train Special Exhibit, Hayes Museum, Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 12–5 p.m. $7.50, Srs. $6.50, C. $3. 419-332-2081 or NOV. 30-DEC. 4 – Christmas Tree Festival, Allen Co. Museum, 620 W. Market St., Lima, Wed., Thur., Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. 12–5 p.m. Theme is “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.” 419-222-9426 or www.

DEC. 10 – “Bells, Brass, and Bows,” 7 Town Square, Lima, 7:30 p.m. $25/$30. The Lima Symphony Orchestra and the Lima Symphony Chorus join together in this beloved holiday classic featuring traditional favorites, sacred carols, and familiar standards. 419-222-5701 or

DEC. 3 – “All I Want for Christmas Is a Cure” Craft Show, Bellevue VFW, 6104 St. Rte. 20, Bellevue, 12–6 p.m. Vendors, food, and raffles benefit American Cancer Society. 419-6815328.


DEC. 2-4, 9-11 – Candlelight Holiday Tours of Malabar Farm, 4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas, Fri. and Sat. 5–9 p.m., Sun. 12–5 p.m. Tour Louis Bromfield’s Big House all decked out for the holidays. $5, C. $3. 419-8922784. DEC. 15 – “Christmas Nutcracker Collections,” Wood Co. Historical Museum, 13660 County Home Rd., Bowling Green, 2 p.m. $15, C. $5. Part of the museum’s 2016 Tea Series. 419352-0967 or http://woodcountyhistory. org. DEC. 16-17 – Neos Dance Theatre’s “A 1940s Nutcracker,” Marathon Ctr. for the Performing Arts, 200 W. Main Cross St., Findlay. 8 p.m. $20–$45. The timeless tale re-imagined in 1940s Findlay. 330-595-4650 or DEC. 17 – Ugly Christmas Sweater 5k Run and Walk, Gibsonburg, starts at 9 a.m. Entry fee is a new and unwrapped toy or non-perishable food item for local families in need. Awards to the adult male, adult female, boy, and girl with the ugliest sweaters! 419637-2634 or DEC. 26-31 – Sleigh Rides in Spiegel Grove, Hayes Library and Museums, 1337 Hayes Ave., Fremont, 1–4 p.m. $3. 419-332-2081 or DEC. 31 – “Madness at Midnight” Walleye Drop, N. Madison St., Port Clinton, 6 p.m.–midnight. 419-635-7470 or

DEC. 1-26 – Lake of Lights, Saulisbery Park, 13344 St. Rte. 67 W., Kenton, 6–9 p.m. $5.00 per car. Special events on Sat. and Sun. evenings. 419-675-2547 or www.facebook/ Lake of Lights. DEC. 3 – Homespun Howlidays 2nd Annual Craft Fair, Junior Fair Bldg., Wood Co. Fairgrounds, Bowling Green, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts, enjoy holiday music, great food, and raffles. Presented by Friends of Wood Co. Dog Shelter. 419-494-5436 or



DEC. 10 – Christmas Carousel RideA-Thon, Merry-Go-Round Museum, 301 Jackson St., Sandusky, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Visit with Santa 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Wood carving and ice carving demos, kids’ crafts, and more. Free admission with $1 carousel rides; ride packages available. 419-626-6111 or

C O U N T RY L IV I NG    DECEM B ER 2 01 6

THROUGH DEC. 31 – “Glass: Selections from the Kent State University Museum Collection,” Rockwell Hall, 515 Hilltop Dr., Kent, Wed.–Sun., hours vary. Collection spans the Roman era to the 20th century. 330-672-3450 or museum. THROUGH JAN. 8 – Steubenville Nutcracker Village and Advent Market, 120 S. 3rd St., Steubenville. Over 75 life-size, hand-painted nutcrackers in an outdoor display. 866301-1787.

DEC. 2-30 – International Tree and Model Train Display, Black River Transportation Ctr., 421 Black River Lane, Lorain, Thur.–Sat. 5– 9 p.m., Sun. 3–7 p.m. Closed Dec. 24, 25, 31. 440-282-2790. DEC. 3 – Christmas in the Alpaca Barn, 16800 Cowley Rd., Grafton, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 440-477-4300 or www. DEC. 3 – Christmas Down on the Farm, Tis the Season and Schrock’s Amish Farm, 4363 St. Rte. 39, Berlin. Bring the kids out for sleigh rides, gingerbread house decorating, Christmas cutout cookies, great food, and much more! 330-893-3232 or DEC. 3-4 – Christmas in Zoar, Historic Zoar Village, 198 Main St., Zoar, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $15, C. $10. Live holiday music, juried craft show, and historical demos. Sat. church service and tree lighting ceremony. 800-2626195 or DEC. 10-11 – “Breath of Heaven” Live Nativity, Grace Lutheran Church, 310 W. Lorain St., Oberlin, 4–8 p.m., walk-through every 15 minutes. Free. Canned food donations are welcome for local food banks. 440-225-9775. DEC. 11 – Massillon Train and Toy Show, 988 Cherry Rd. NW, Massillon, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. $5, free for 12 and under. 148 dealer tables. All gauges and parts, running layouts, farm and vintage toys, NASCAR items, and more.

NOVEMBER 2016 CALENDAR THROUGH JAN. 2 – State Auto’s Christmas Corner, 518 E. Broad St., Columbus. Free. Historic life-sized Nativity display. Choirs Fri. and Sat. evenings until Christmas. Lighting times: Mon.–Thur. 6–8 a.m., 5–11:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat until 12:30 a.m.; Christmas Eve 6 a.m. till 8 a.m. Christmas Day. 614-464-4946 or www.

DEC. 16-18 – The Nutcracker, Holmes Ctr. for the Arts, Millersburg, Fri. 7 p.m., Sat. 2 and 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Featuring professional guest dancers Megan Stuart and Ramon Gaitan. 330-473-2879 or

THROUGH JAN. 5 – “A Storybook Christmas,” Zanesville and Muskingum Co. locations, Sun.–Thur. 6–9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 6–10 p.m. Drive by or walk to view the storybook-themed decorations at nearly 100 participating businesses. 740455-8282, 800-743-2303, or www.

DEC. 18 – Christmas Train and Toy Show, Lakeland Community College, AFC Main Gym, 7700 Clocktower Dr., Kirtland, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. See Santa 12:30–2 p.m. $6, Family $15, C. $3, under 6 free. 440-256-8141 or www. DEC. 26-FEB. 28 – After Christmas Sale at Tis the Season, 4363 St. Rte. 39, Berlin. Save 50% storewide (collectibles not included) at Ohio’s largest year-round Christmas shop. 330-8933604 or www.tistheseasonchristmas. com. DEC. 31 – End of the Year Sale at Gramma Fannies Quilt Barn, 4363 St. Rte. 39, Berlin. Save 25% on fabrics, books, stencils, patterns, and notions. 330-893-3243 or

CENTRAL THROUGH DEC. 25 – Christmas by Candlelight, Marion Co. Fgds., 220 E. Fairground St., Marion, Thur.–Sun. 6–10 p.m., except week of Christmas. Drive-through holiday light display featuring animated characters. Live Nativity on Sat. and Sun. nights. $6 per car. 740-382-2558 or THROUGH JAN. 1 – Annual Collison Festival of Lights, 5601 Westfall Rd. SW, Lancaster, Sun.–Thur. dusk to 10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. dusk to 11 p.m. 740969-2283.

NOV. 30-DEC. 2 – Festival of Trees, 205 N. Fifth St., Zanesville, 5–8 p.m. Beautifully decorated trees and holiday decorations on display. Live auction of over 200 festival entries on Dec. 2, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. 740-455-8282 or 800-743-2303. DEC. 2-3 – Christmas in the Village, downtown Canal Winchester, Fri. 6–9 p.m., Sat. 5–8 p.m. Annual storybook Christmas celebration. Santa Parade Fri. 5:30 and Sat. 4:30, followed by tree lighting and other activities. 614837-8276 or DEC. 2-4 – Christmas at the Palace, Palace Theatre, 276 W. Center St., Marion, Fri. and Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. Annual stage production features hundreds of community members. $18-$22, C. $12. 740-383-2101 or DEC. 3 – Holidays at Heritage Hall, 169 E. Church St., Marion. 740-3874255. Book signings with local authors 1–4 p.m.

DEC. 3 – Christmas Crafters’ Event, Roscoe Village, Lock Landing (located at the bottom of the Visitor Center), 600 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Displays and demos of handmade crafts. 740-622-7644, 800-877-1830, or HistoricRoscoeVillage. DEC. 3, 10, 17 – Christmas Candlelightings, Roscoe Village, 600 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton, 6 p.m. Share in the evening’s tradition of lighting the Christmas tree and your own candle as everyone softly sings “Silent Night.” Candlelit guided tour of the Village at 7 p.m. 800-877-1830 or DEC. 8 – Annual Under the Christmas Tree Auction, Park Place, 143 W. Center St., Marion. 740-8027329 or DEC. 9-11, 16-18 – Dickens of a Christmas, Ohio Village, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, Fri./Sat. 5–9 p.m., Sun. 12–5 p.m. $7, C. (6–12) $4, under 6 free. Capture the spirit of holidays past. Charles Dickens’s festive and enduring vision comes to life through jolly carols, decorations, and traditions inspired by his colorful tales. 800-6861541 or DEC. 10 – Annual Cookie Walk, Fairfield Co. Genealogical Research Library, 503 Lenwood Dr., Lancaster, 1–4 p.m. 740-653-2573. DEC. 10 – Care Train Benefit Concert, Marysville H.S. Auditorium, 800 Amrine Mill Rd., Marysville, 7:30 p.m. 937-738-7946 or www.caretrain. org. DEC. 10 – Care Train of Union Co. Live Auction, McAuliffe’s Ace Hardware, 1299 W. 5th St., Marysville, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. 937-738-7946 or www. DEC. 10 – Pickerington Community Chorus: Songs of the Season, Peace United Methodist Church, 235 Diley Rd., Pickerington, 3 p.m. $8, Srs./C. $6. 614-370-4199 or DEC. 11 – It’s A Wonderful Wurlitzer Holiday Sing-a-Long, Marion Palace Theatre, 276 West Center St., Marion, 3 p.m. 740-383-2101. Organists will play a selection of favorite holiday tunes on the theater’s Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. Join in and sing along or just sit back and savor the music. Donations accepted for the organ repair fund.

DEC. 11 – Sheridan FFA Alumni Farm Toy Show, Sheridan H.S. Commons, 8725 Sheridan Rd. NW, Thornville, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. $2, free for 12 and under. Pedal Pull 1 p.m. 740-743-2401, 740-404-5115, or 470403-0677. DEC. 17-18 – Scott Antique Market, Ohio Expo Ctr., Bricker Bldg., 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free admission, $5 parking. 800–1,200 exhibit booths. DEC. 18 – Lancaster Community Band Holiday Concert, Faith Memorial Church, 2610 W. Fair Ave., Lancaster, 2 p.m. Free. 740-756-4430. DEC. 31 – New Year’s Eve Popcorn Pop-n-Drop, downtown Marion, 11:30 p.m.–midnight. Watch as the lighted popcorn ball drops at the stroke of midnight, followed by a fireworks display. 740-802-7329 or

SOUTHEAST THROUGH DEC. 11 – Holidays at Adena, Adena Mansion and Gardens, 847 Adena Rd., Chillicothe, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 800-319-7248 or www. THROUGH DEC. 18 – Santa Train, Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, Nelsonville Depot, 33 W. Canal St., Nelsonville, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 740249-1452 or THROUGH JAN. 2 – Dickens Victorian Village, Wheeling Ave., Cambridge. Outdoor display of Dickens-era scenes and life-sized, handmade mannequins wearing real vintage clothing. 800-933-5480 or THROUGH JAN. 2 – Guernsey Co. Courthouse Holiday Light Show, Wheeling Ave., Cambridge, 5:30–9 p.m. 800-933-5480 or DEC. 2 – Christmas Down on the Farm, Bob Evans Farm, 10854 St. Rte. 588, Rio Grande, 6–8 p.m. Free. See the Christmas lights and decorations, visit with Santa, and more. Please bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the local food pantries. 800994-3276.





DEC. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 – Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, 685 North Whitewoman St., Coshocton, 8 p.m. A twist on the classic tale — a journey of laughter and terror, redemption and renewal. 740-622-2959.

THROUGH JAN. 1 – Holiday Lights on the Hill, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., St. Rte. 128, Hamilton, Mon.–Thur. 6–9 p.m., $20 per car; Fri.–Sun. 6–10 p.m., $25 per car. 513-868-1234 or

DEC. 3 – Gallipolis Christmas Parade, Second Ave., Gallipolis, 1 p.m. 740-446-6882.

THROUGH JAN. 3 – Christmas at the Junction, EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Court, West Chester. Take a “Journey to the North Pole,” where you’ll meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. 877-8984656.

DEC. 3 – Lancaster Winter Carnival, downtown Lancaster, 12–4:30 p.m. Free. Horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown, pictures with Santa, a day full of holiday fun! Followed by downtown tree lighting ceremony, 4:45 p.m. 740-2776607 or DEC. 3 – Christmas Parade, Logan, 2 p.m. This year’s parade will feature a Bicentennial theme. Route runs down Main St. through downtown Logan. 740-385-6836 or

DEC. 2 – Christmas on the Green, downtown Piqua. Community caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, children’s activities, and live entertainment. Free. 937-773-9355 or DEC. 3 – Christmas at the Johnston Farm, 9845 N. Hardin Rd., Piqua. Call for pricing. Reservation required. Event begins with a dinner featuring a traditional seasonal menu from John Johnston’s era. Tour his home to see the holiday decorations and meet special surprise visitors and neighbors. 937-773-2522, 800-752-2619, or DEC. 3 – An Evening of Lights at Charleston Falls, 2535 Ross Rd., Tipp City, 6–9 p.m. Free. Stroll down the luminary trail that leads to the 37foot lighted falls. Visit with Santa and his helpers. Donation of a nonperishable food item for a local food pantry is encouraged. 937-335-6273 or www. DEC. 3 – Tippecanoe Christmas in the Village, downtown Tipp City, 12–5 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 day of event. Self-guided tour of homes decorated for the holidays. 937-667-8631 or www.

DEC. 3 – Ohio Valley Symphony: The Christmas Show, Ariel Theatre, 426 Second Ave., Gallipolis, 7:30 p.m. $24, Srs. $22, Stds. $12. 740-446-ARTS or DEC. 10 – Christmas Tea and Tour, The Castle, 418 Fourth St., Marietta, 2–4 p.m. Enjoy Victorian Christmas sweets and tea. A tour of The Castle is included. $15, reservations required. 740-373-4180 or DEC. 10 – Merry Tuba Christmas, Ariel Theatre, 426 Second Ave., Gallipolis, 2 p.m. Free. 740-446ARTS or DEC. 30 – Bicentennial Ball, Urban Grille, Hocking Hills Golf Club, 14405 Country Club Lane, Logan, 7 p.m. Fashion your ball gown to reflect your favorite fashion era from the last 200 years. 740-385-2750 or


DEC. 3 – Lebanon Horse-Drawn Carriage and Christmas Festival, downtown Lebanon, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Carriage parade at 1 p.m., candlelit parade at 7 p.m., with over 100 decorated carriages pulled by minis, Clydesdales, Percherons, and more. Enjoy shopping, entertainment, food, and crafts between the parades. 513-932-1100 or DEC. 4 – German Village 25th Annual Christmas Walk, 131 Village St., Hamilton, 12–5 p.m. Tour historic buildings, businesses, and homes decorated in full Victorian splendor. Local musicians, Santa, live reindeer, and petting zoo. 513-288-4688 or 513-892-4904. DEC. 3, 4, 9 – Ornament Blow, 11925 Kemper Springs Dr., Forest Park, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. $35. Professional glassblowers teach you how to blow your own ornament from hot glass. 513-751-3292 or

THROUGH DEC. 31 – Light Up Middletown, Smith Park, 500 Tytus Ave., Middletown, 6–10 p.m. daily. Driving tour of holiday light displays covering 100 acres. Donations appreciated. 513423-1877 or


C OU N T RY L IV I NG    DECEM B ER 2 01 6

DEC. 10-11 – Christkindlmarkt, 1400 East Fifth St., Dayton, Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 12–4 p.m. Celebrate the centuries-old Christmas market tradition that originated in Germany. 937-223-9013 or DEC. 10-11 – Christmas on the Corner, Monroe Historical Society Museum, E. Elm St., Monroe, 5–8 p.m. Live music, vintage decorations, unique gift ideas. 513-539-2270 or DEC. 21 – Lighting the Serpent, Serpent Mound, 3850 St. Rte. 73, Peebles, 4–10 p.m. Celebrate the winter solstice by helping light more than 1,000 candles surrounding the serpent effigy. Bring a taper candle and flashlight. 877-232-6764, 937205-0094, or

WEST VIRGINIA DEC. 1-31 – Christmas Fantasy Light Show, Krodel Park, Point Pleasant. 304-675-3844. DEC. 1-31 – Holiday in the Park, City Park and Southwood Park, Parkersburg, 6–9 p.m. A holiday light drive-through display. 304-480-2655. DEC. 1-JAN. 8 – Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights, Oglebay Resort and Conference Ctr., 465 Lodge Dr., Wheeling, Sun.–Thur. until 10 p.m., Fri. and Sat. until 11 p.m. World-famous light show covering 6 miles and featuring 80 larger-than-life displays. Per car donation is requested and is valid for the entire festival season.Trolley tours offered. 877-436-1797 or html. DEC. 2-3, 9-10 – Christmas Village, Heritage Farm Museum and Village, 3300 Harvey Rd., Huntington, 5–9 p.m. Holiday Market, live music, and Santa Claus. $15, C. $10, free under 2. 304522-1244 or DEC. 17 – Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, North Bend State Park Lodge, 202 North Bend Park Rd., Cairo, 8:30–10:30 a.m. Buffet $8.95 for adults, free for kids 12 and under. 304-643-2931 or DEC. 25 – Christmas Day Buffet, North Bend State Park Lodge, 202 North Bend Park Rd., Cairo, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. $21.95, C. $10.95, under 7 free. Reservations recommended. 304-643-2931 or



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Great Commemorations, 2016 BY DAMAINE VONADA

This month’s quiz recognizes Ohio people, places, and organizations that observed landmark anniversaries in 2016. We’ll supply the clues about these commemorations, and you provide the answers about who or what was celebrated. For example, if the clue is “225th anniversary of this general’s disastrous defeat by a Native American confederation near “present-day Fort Recovery,” the answer would be “Arthur St. Clair.”


1. 230th anniversary of this log structure that was built by the First American Regiment on the Ohio River site where Steubenville now stands. 2. 200th birthday of the Hocking County seat, founded by Ohio Governor Thomas Worthington. 3. 135th birthday of this Cuyahoga County native who became the 20th U.S. president. 4. 125th anniversary of this Lake Erie village that shares its name with an iconic Ohio lighthouse. 5. 120th birthday of the Pulitzer Prize-winning founder of Malabar Farm. 38

C O U N T RY L IV I NG    DECEM B ER 2 01 6

6. 115th birthday of this Massillon native, college football Hall of Famer, and Notre Dame quarterback who was one of the legendary “Four Horsemen.” 7. 100th anniversary of the opening of the nation’s first presidential center – today’s Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums – in this northwest Ohio city. 8. 80th anniversary of this Zanesville institution that displays works by Cassatt and Renoir as well as prime pieces from regional potteries. 9. 70th anniversary of Delaware County’s “triple crown” harness race. 10. 70th anniversary of this Columbus-based magazine whose slogan is “Fun with a Purpose.” 11. 60th anniversary of West Liberty’s sweetest shop. 12. 40th anniversary of Archbold’s popular living history destination. 13. 35th anniversary of Ohio Village’s vintage baseball team. 14. 25th anniversary of this lengthy bike path stretching from Springfield to Cincinnati. 15. 15th anniversary of the quilt trail craze that began in this southern Ohio county.


My Best


Margaret (Peg) Schweitzer Midwest Electric Cooperative member “My best holiday decoration display wasn’t expensive, and has no glitz or lights, but it is very unique. As a youngster, I would constantly badger my parents about what I was getting for Christmas. They would tease me and say I wasn’t getting anything, or that I would find a lump of coal under the tree. Imagine my surprise one Christmas Eve when I opened a gift, wrapped as prettily as the rest, and it WAS a lump of coal! “For years it was forgotten. But one season, while I was rooting through our totes of decorations, I came across an old shoebox. On one end of the box my mom had written, ‘Peg’s lump of coal.’ It’s no longer tucked away in that old shoebox, but prominently displayed each Christmas in a clear acrylic case with a big red ribbon. It is my favorite and most treasured holiday decoration to display.”

Chuck and Patrice Spinner Pioneer Electric Cooperative members “We had some dead trees cut down on our property in Cable, and my wife came up with this idea. The result left us with a pleasing display along with sore backs!”

Janet E. Tyler Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative member “My Department 56 Christmas Village. I spend weeks putting it together every year. I always place it under the tree, but it has definitely expanded over the years.”




Jodi Ely Northwest Electric Cooperative member “Our dog, Cooper, is amazed by our Christmas tree.”

Nedra Hall Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative member Christmas décor

Ohio Quiz

(Answers from page 38)

1. Fort Steuben 2. Logan 3. James Garfield 4. Marblehead 5. Louis Bromfield 6. Harry Stuhldreher 7. Fremont 8. Zanesville Museum of Art 9. Little Brown Jug 10. Highlights for Children 11. Marie’s Candies 12. Sauder Village 13. Muffins 14. Little Miami Scenic Trail 15. Adams County


C O U N T RY L IV I NG    DECEM B ER 2 01 6

Tonya Moran Bess South Central Power Company member Festive picture frame

Send us your photos! If we use your photo, you’ll get a Country Living tumbler. For June, send us photos of your most memorable family vacation by March 15; For July, send us your favorite patriotic pictures depicting the American spirit by April 15. Guidelines: 1. One entry per household per month. 2. Upload your photos at or by U.S. mail: Editor, Country Living, 6677 Busch Blvd., Columbus, OH 43229. 3. Include your name, mailing address, phone number or e-mail, the name of your electric co-op, the month you’re submitting for, and who the person(s) in the photo is, as well as an explanation of the photo. If you do not provide this info, we cannot print your submission. 4. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want anything returned.

VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIP Cooperatives are voluntary organizations open to anyone who is able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.


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Country Living December 2016 Firelands  

Country Living December 2016 Firelands

Country Living December 2016 Firelands  

Country Living December 2016 Firelands