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E D I TO R’S L E T T E R

Maintaining Independence Requires Planning Theodore Roosevelt coined the phrase, SHARE WITH US! “Old age is like everything else. To Have an event you would like to run in Around Kansas? make a success of it, you’ve got to start A story idea or comments you want to share with the young.” His words couldn’t be more editor? A recipe and photo for us to consider publishing? true today. Let us know: We plan almost ad nauseam in life: vacation details to ensure the ffevents@kansascountryliving.com family has place to stay and hot meals; ffletters@kansascountryliving.com grocery lists and trips to the store to ffphotos@kansascountryliving.com avoid running out of milk and cereal for the kids; and parties to celebrate ffeditor@kansascountryliving.com life’s milestones—birthdays, holidays, ffrecipes@kansascountryliving.com and the beginning of retirement. But have we made plans to facilitate our independence as we age? making the most of our seniority. The article on Few of us want to trade the comforts of our page 12 describes three steps to help maintain lifelong home for institutional living later in life. independence beyond retirement, and the feature It’s where our children took their first steps. It’s on page 14 offers a personal perspective on where we huddled around the dining table for helping parents age in place, in this case a quirky family meals, feeding peas and unwanted veggies farmhouse. Additional related articles can also be to the dog. It’s where our hearts learned to live found in our department sections. with—and without—loved ones. Living well the rest of our lives will take Both of my grandmother’s lived to age 95. more than financial resources and good intenAs opposite as night and day, one a sweatertions. It will take a bit of planning, something we wearing, rule-following, Polish powerhouse and have done throughout our lives for the benefit of the other a free-spirited, fanciful-hat wearing others but now need to do it for ourselves. KCL Irishwoman, they had one common attribute: they remained active—physically and mentally, which I believe was key to their long-lived independence. This issue focuses on aging, specifically VICKI ESTES, EDITOR

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KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017


(ISSN 0091-9586) APRIL 2017 VOL. 67, NO. 4 © KANSAS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES, INC., 2017 WWW.KEC.COOP

Bruce Graham

Chief Executive Officer

Doug Shepherd

Vice President, Management Consulting GETTY IMAGES

Shana Read

Director of Communications

Vicki Estes Editor

APRIL

Carrie Kimberlin

Manager of Creative Solutions

Jackie Moore

Communications Specialist

Grace Lindman

Communications Intern Officers Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.

Kathleen O’Brien President

Keith McNickle Terry Hobbs Secretary

Craig Kostman Treasurer

Cooperatives You receive Kansas ­Country Living as a communications service of these electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Cherokee, OK Bluestem, Wamego Brown-Atchison, Horton Butler, El Dorado CMS, Meade Caney Valley, Cedar Vale DS&O, Solomon Flint Hills, Council Grove FreeState, McLouth & Topeka Lane-Scott, Dighton Lyon-Coffey, Burlington Ninnescah, Pratt Pioneer, Ulysses Prairie Land, Norton Radiant, Fredonia Rolling Hills, Beloit Sedgwick County, Cheney Sumner-Cowley, Wellington Tri-County, Hooker, OK Twin Valley, Altamont Victory, Dodge City Western, WaKeeney Wheatland, Scott City Kansas Country Living (ISSN 0091-9586) is published monthly for $10 per year (tax included) by Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., P.O. Box 4267, Topeka, KS 66604. Periodicals postage paid at Topeka, KS and additional entry offices. For members of Kansas rural electric systems, subscription cost is $5.88 per year. This cost is part of your electric service billing. Editorial offices: P.O. Box 4267, Topeka, KS 66604-0267. Phone 785-478-4554. Fax 785-478-4852.

12| Aging in Place

C onsider these three steps to maintain your independence beyond retirement.

D E PA RT M E N T S

Kansas 4| Around Car shows, egg hunts and more

14| Forever Farm

6| Commentary Farm Bill essential for co-ops

A child’s perspective on planning for her parent’s future on a notable homestead in Reno County.

Talk 8| Guest Co-op annual meetings

16| Maximizing Assets

Your Utility Bills 10| Cut Replacement window basics

Make the most of your money and your personal skills after retirement.

Place in the Garden 18| Your Creating accessible gardens Briefs 22| News Solar farm; Watkins inducted

12

My Way Home 24| Cooking Meringue tales

26| Marketplace Find products, services you need GETTY IMAGES

Vice President

“LIKE” Kansas Country Living on Facebook.

Address Changes Please report any change in address to your local electric cooperative. Postmaster Send address changes to Kansas Country Living, P.O. Box 4267, Topeka, KS 66604-0267. Advertisers Contact National Country Market: 512-441-5200, or see www.­ nationalcountrymarket.com. Acceptance of advertising by Kansas Country Living does not imply endorsement by the publisher or Kansas’ electric cooperatives of the product or services advertised. Kansas Country Living assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Submissions must be accompanied by self-addressed envelopes with sufficient postage to be returned. The publication does not guarantee publication of material received and reserves the right to edit any material published.

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APRIL 2017 

28| Safety Prevent slips, trips and falls Recipes 29| Monthly From breakfast to dessert ON THE COVER Daryl, Pat and Amy Williams on the front porch of their family farm in Reno County. P H OTO BY K AT I E M O R F O R D

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

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T H I N G S TO D O

THROUGH MAY 11Women Investment Education Program, Wichita.Workshops run Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and are for women who would like to know more about investing and finances.Sunflower Room of the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 7001 W. 21st St. N. www.sedgwick.ksu.edu, 316-6600100, ext. 0127.

APRIL 29Main Street Drags & Car Show, Norwich.Get your motor running and head over between 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. for an outstanding car show, then stay to watch those cars race 150 ft. down Main Street. Call Melanie at 620-478-2106 or email melanie.wood@fbfs.com.

APRIL 1Tree Festival, Wichita. Event features information on choosing, planting, and maintaining trees, and informational seminars in 4-H Hall at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. plus demonstrations by Sedgwick County Extension Master Gardeners at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.7001 W. 21st St. Call Matthew at 316-660-0140. APRIL 3-MAY 12Barbara Stevens Art Exhibit, Ellsworth.This exhibit at the Ellsworth Area Art Center will feature a collection of mixed media paintings and ceramic pieces relating to her spiritual journal as an artist and a Christian. Open Monday-Friday from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. 223 Douglas Ave. Contact Sharon at 785-472-5682. APRIL 5-12Budgeting Basics, Wichita. K-State Research and Extension is offering the Budgeting Basics workshop from 1 - 5 p.m. Participants will have simple tools to start on the right financial path.200 S. Walnut. Call Elizabeth at 316-660-0100 ext. 0114. APRIL 5Hays Area Job Fair, Hays.Event held at Big Creek Crossing from 3-3:30 p.m. for veterans and their families and then open to the public from 3:30-6 p.m. This event will feature employers from Barton, Ellis, Gove, Rooks, Russell, Rush and Trego counties. Dress professionally and bring a résumé.For more information call KANSASWORKS 785-625-5654. APRIL 8, 9, 22, 23Spring Cellar Tours, Alma.Tour the arched roof cellars and locations around Volland and Alma. Tours begin and end at The Volland Store. Tours start at 1 p.m. 24098 Volland Rd. Visit thevollandstore.com or check out their Facebook page. APRIL 8KDP Lace Up for Literacy: The Amazing Race, Emporia.From 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. teams will solve clues, complete challenges, and travel the course until the end. The top

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KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017

three teams completing the course in the least amount of time win a prize!ESU Memorial Union. Call 785-893-2397. APRIL 8Newton Second Saturday Acoustic Jam, Newton.Held from 1-4 p.m. at East Side United Methodist Church. Bluegrass, gospel, country-western, folk. Acoustic instruments only, please. Listeners welcome.1520 E. Broadway. For more information contact Joan or Phil 316-283-0134. APRIL 8Indian Artifact Show, Holton. Show starts at the N.E. Kansas Heritage Complex from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Collectors are encouraged to display prehistoric authentic artifacts. 12200 214th Rd. Call 785-364-3238 or email dschock@ embargmail.com for more information. APRIL 9Easter Egg Pool Hunt, Emporia. Starting at 1 p.m., hundreds of colorful, plastic eggs will be dropped in the pool for your youngsters to collect. After gathering the eggs, children can exchange their eggs for a special Easter surprise.313 W. 4th Ave. Call 620-340-6300. APRIL 13-15Spring Plant Sale, Douglass. Hosted by the Douglass Friends of the Library and DHS sophomore and junior classes. Each day is filled with variety of plants, food and library books for sale. Come see us April 13 from noon to 7 p.m., April 14 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., and April 15 from 8 a.m. - noon.206 South Forrest. APRIL 15Spring Crank Up! Tractor Show, Alta Vista.Show starts at Ag Heritage Park with Parade of Power at 9:30 a.m., and tractors on display for viewing at the park from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Park exhibits open and barn quilt drawing.103 S. Main. Full schedule at www. agheritagepark.com and Facebook or call 620767-2714.

APRIL 15Wind and Wheels Festival, Leoti.Bring the family to enjoy bouncy houses, model rocket launch, Grampa Pokey balloon twisting and a Spring Market, plus kite demonstrations, live performances, and food. Visit www.windandwheels.org or “like” the event on Facebook. APRIL 20 Frontier Kansas Jails Author Event, Emporia.Gunslingers, gamblers and outlaws vastly outnumbered sheriffs and marshals in the cattle towns of the Kansas frontier. From the squirrel cage of Wichita to the iron jail of Lawrence City, tour early Kansas prisons with author Gerald Bayens. 5 - 6 p.m. 110 E. 6th Ave. Call 620-340-6462. APRIL 22 The Quilted Table, Emporia. This program is a combination quilt show, auction, and luncheon with a chance to win a quilt from each of the two quilt guilds in Emporia. Contact Rosaetta at 8paws@ cableone.net. APRIL 22 Nitty Gritty Dirt Dash, Emporia.The Dirt Dash will begin at 9 a.m. on the campus of Emporia State University. The course will contain 15 obstacles that will push your body and your abilities to climb, crawl, and jump.Visit emporia.edu/recsport/events/ nitty-gritty.html. APRIL 22 The Taste of Emporia, Emporia.Many of the finest Kansas wineries, breweries and restaurants will be featured. 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.Civic Auditorium Little Theatre. Call 620-340-6430. APRIL 25 A Musical Kaleidoscope, Emporia.Our final concert of the 2016-2017 season will finish with A Musical Kaleidoscope with a work commissioned by Dr. Gary Ziek, segments from La Boheme Che gelida manina and Si, mi chiamano Mimi sung by Dr. Scott


Point & Go Joystick Steering Wichael. Emporia State University Albert Taylor Hall. Call 620-341-6378. APRIL 27The Russian National Ballet “Sleeping Beauty,” Emporia.Resplendent performances with ornate and lavish sets and costuming, traditional scores, and the ability to transport audiences to another world through the majesty of dance. Performance starts at 7:30 p.m.Emporia State University Albert Taylor Hall. Call 620-343-6473. APRIL 29-30Kansas Horse Council Campout, Hillsdale Lake.Enjoy a weekend of riding, eating and fellowship. Registration includes Saturday evening and Sunday morning meals. Make your own camping reservations at www.reserveamerica.com, Hillsdale State Park. For reservations call KHC office 785-776-0662 or email Jim at thomasjc68@gmail.com. APRIL 29Kansas Storytelling Festival, Downs.The festival celebrates stories of all kinds with professional storytellers, local legend portrayals, tall tales contest and workshops to learn more about sharing one’s own stories. Memorial Hall and other downtown stages are sites for the event. Visit www.kansasstorytelling. com or contact Glennys at 785.545.5105. APRIL 29Benton Days Marketplace, Benton.Enjoy family fun at the Benton Church and shopping through our amazing vendors at the Benton Days Marketplace. Vendors of all kinds—food trucks, crafters, artisans, vintage goodies and direct sales all in one place. 14300 SW 20th St. Call 316-778-1001 or email bentondaysmarketplace@gmail.com. APRIL 29150th Anniversary of Hancock Expedition, Fort Larned.Enjoy a full day of programs and see the site of Indian village burned by General Hancock in 1867, causing “Hancock’s War.” Meal reservations available (deadline April 18).Call 888-321-7341 for program details and meal reservations. APRIL 29Spring Smorgasbord, Mayfield. Enjoy all you can eat pit smoked barbecue pork, beef, lamb and turkey, salads, dessert and drinks at the local Mayfield Federated Church to raise money and support their global missions; 5 to 7 p.m.310 N. Hutchinson. Email kellyford67103@ yahoo.com for more information.

Continued on page 21 

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Miller Welding 354 W Hwy 24 (785) 454-3425

Winchell’s Inc. 1727 Hwy 183 (785) 543-2118

G&R Implement 417 S Douglas Ave (620) 732-3245

Jim’s Sales & Service 179 Miller St. (913) 471-4338

Watkins Family Mower Care Boettcher Supply 22385 US 75 Hwy 1540 NW Gage Blvd (785) 364-3431 (785) 234-9492 D&L Service Inc. 1301 Oak Ave (785) 675-3972

Heinen Repair Service 13424 Edwards Rd (785) 945-6711

Anderson Equipment Denton True Value 2021 21st St. 723 4th St (785) 944-3370 (620) 795-2331

Heck’s Small Engine 25952 NW Barton Road (785) 893-1620

Continued on page 23  APRIL 2017 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

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C O M M E N TA RY

Farm Bill and Fires Affect Co-ops and Members BY B R U C E G R A H A M

On February 23, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts

Bruce Graham

When rural areas suffer, electric cooperatives suffer and, more importantly, the country as a whole suffers.

6 

and Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow hosted a Senate Agriculture Committee field hearing on the campus of Kansas State University. The afternoon event took testimony from Kansas Agriculture interests as Congress prepares a 2018 Farm Bill. The electric cooperatives in Kansas were invited to participate in one of two panel presentations that day and we were represented by Kathy O’Brien, general manager of NemahaMarshall Electric Cooperative in Axtell, Kansas. O’Brien is also president of the Kansas Electric Cooperatives Board of Trustees. In her testimony, O’Brien noted that while our first business priority is to deliver reliable, affordable electricity to our members, electric cooperatives are more than just poles, wires and electrons. “We also work with our communities on social and economic opportunities—and with declining population in many parts of rural Kansas, that’s as important a job today as it ever has been. When rural areas suffer, electric cooperatives suffer and, more importantly, the country as a whole suffers. That’s why the Farm Bill is essential for co-ops, for Kansas, and for the country,” she stated. Her comments went on to note that since 1936, loans from the REA, now the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), have helped build, expand, and improve the rural infrastructure necessary to provide power, deliver clean water, and other quality of life requirements. “It’s been the most successful public-private infrastructure investment program in the history of the country,” said O’Brien. The RUS lending program is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which carries out the mission of most Farm Bill provisions. Some of our readers will state that the RUS mission is complete—that we’ve electrified rural America. Just like our highway system though, the electric utility network requires regular maintenance and upgrades. RUS loans help electric co-ops reduce costs and boost reliability for our members by financing the replacement of poles

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017

and wires as well as improvements that make our systems more modern, efficient, and secure. Unfortunately, extensive rebuilding of the electric system has also been necessitated by Mother Nature in parts of Kansas this year. The January ice storm caused significant utility damage in much of Kansas and 18 counties were declared disaster areas by President Trump. That was followed by a memorable weather day on March 6 with tornadoes in part of the state and winds that fanned another devastating and historic wildfire. This most recent blaze covered an estimated 656,000 acres from Texas to Hutchinson, Kansas. It moved so fast that many homes, businesses and other structures could not be protected. Utility poles burned like matchsticks from the ground to the wire approximately 35 feet in the air. CMS Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Meade, has had to replace an estimated 600 poles. CMS was also impacted heavily by the January ice event. CMS Electric Cooperative Manager Kirk Thompson put things in the proper perspective. “People here have lost their homes, their belongings, and some have lost the way they make their living. It makes a pole seem so unimportant.” As is our practice when an event like this happens, electric cooperatives immediately sent crews to help rebuild. Other industries are responding with donations of hay and materials to rebuild homes, farms and livelihoods. The Kansas Legislature chipped in by approving sales tax relief for affected landowners. One of the most touching stories has to be the response of 4-H Club members who have mobilized to care for orphaned calves until the owners are ready for their return. Through the good times and the tough times, I’m glad electric cooperatives enjoy a productive partnership with government and the communities we serve to promote the health of rural Kansas. KCL BRUCE GRAHAM is Chief Executive Officer of Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. in Topeka.


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G U E S T TA L K

Be a Co-op Voter Year Long, Starting with your Annual Meeting

Justin LaBerge

Whether your candidates won or lost, we should all be proud of rural America’s strong turnout in the election. Now we must keep the positive momentum going.

In January, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. On Capitol Hill, members of the 115th Congress took their oaths of office and began their work as well and Kansas elected nearly 60 new state legislators in the November 2016 elections. The United States Elections Project estimates turnout in the 2016 general election was 58 percent, about the same as the 2012 presidential election. Though turnout numbers held steady at a national level, it appears that enthusiasm and participation among urban voters waned, while rural voters made a strong showing at the polls. Whether your candidates won or lost, we should all be proud of rural America’s strong turnout in the election. Now we must keep the positive momentum of civic engagement going. The first step is for all of us to keep talking about the issues that matter to rural America and electric cooperative members so the new Congress and President feel pressure to take action. The next step is to remember we have elections every year and to exercise your right to vote every time you have the chance. We do a pretty good job showing up at the polls every four years to pick our president, but our turnout in non-presidential elections is generally quite low. The great irony is that these lower-profile elections typically have a much greater impact on our day-to-day lives. Yes, selecting the leader of the free world is an important responsibility. But as a practical matter, you’re much more likely to feel the impact of a major change to the school budget adopted

by the board of education, or a new zoning ordinance passed by the county commission. These vitally important local and state elections are often decided by a small fraction of our citizens, and the faithful few who show up for every election tend to be the most loyal voters from both major parties. Over time, that leads to polarization, which is bad for our democracy, bad for our government and bad for the prospects of peaceful holiday dinners with our relatives. Our democracy is at its finest when our citizens are most engaged. That’s true for selecting our national leaders in Washington, our state leaders in Kansas and our local leaders in your community. It’s also true for your electric co-op’s board of directors. Some Kansas electric cooperatives have already held their annual meetings and elections in 2017, but a majority will take place in April and May and later this year. (See list below.) We encourage you to get involved. As rural Americans, we take pride in our independence and our right to local self-determination. Democratic control is what makes our cooperative, our community and our country strong. I hope you’ll contribute to that continued strength by casting a ballot in every election. KCL JUSTIN LABERGE writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Virginia-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, notfor-profit electric cooperatives.

KANSAS ELECTRIC CO-OP ANNUAL MEETING DATES

8 

ffAPRIL 4 – Prairie Land, Norton

ffAPRIL 10 – Sedgwick County, Wichita

ffAPRIL 21 – Rolling Hills, Beloit

ffAPRIL 4 – DS&O, Salina

ffAPRIL 11 – Ark Valley, Hutchinson

ffMAY 10 – Western, WaKeeney

ffAPRIL 6 – Radiant, Fredonia

ffAPRIL 11 – Victory, Dodge City

ffMAY 11 – CMS, Meade

ffAPRIL 7 – Alfalfa, Cherokee, OK

ffAPRIL 19 – Wheatland, Leoti

ffMAY 11 – KAMO, Branson, MO

ffAPRIL 8 – Sumner-Cowley, Wellington

ffAPRIL 20 – Twin Valley, Altamont

ffJULY 18 – Lane-Scott, Dighton

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017


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C U T YO U R U T I L I T Y B I L L S

Selecting the Proper Replacement Window for Your Home Dear Jim: Our old, inefficient windows

W E AT H E R S H I E L D

Dear Ron: Selecting the right replacement window is not only dependent on the design characteristics, but also your specific house and family’s lifestyle. What is best for your neighbor often is not best for your home. You may desire a view of a special outdoor area or natural ventilation whereas neighbors may air-condition continuously. Three main decision criteria when selecting replacement windows are the frame material, style of window and glass type. For energy efficiency, the glass type and style of window are more important than the frame material. Various frame materials have a greater impact on functionality, durability, maintenance and appearance. The typical frame materials for residential windows are vinyl, fiberglass, wood, and clad wood, and there are advantages of each. Vinyl window frames are energy efficient and virtually maintenance-free. They also are made to

Double-hung windows have hidden latches that allow each sash to be tilted in for easy cleaning.

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KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017

W E AT H E R S H I E L D

should be replaced. Each company’s ad makes their product sound the best. How can I determine which glass, style and frame are really best for my home?—Ron H.

The cavities and webs inside a vinyl window frame improve insulation and strength.

the precise dimensions of the window opening instead of having to shim out standard sizes. In order to attain adequate rigidity, the vinyl frame extrusions have many internal chambers inside. These chambers create natural insulation plus the vinyl itself is not a good conductor of heat. For greater R-value, choose ones with foam insulation injected inside the chambers. Look for sash frames with welded corners for strength. Since the outer window frame is screwed rigidly into the window opening, welded corners in it are not as important as with the sash frames. Vinyl frames for large windows, especially dark colors in hot climates, should have internal steel reinforcement. When vinyl gets hot in the sun, it loses strength. Fiberglass window frames are very strong and can be painted any color to match the interior or exterior. Since the primary component of fiberglass is glass, these frames expand and contract at about the same rate as the glass panes. This minimizes stresses between the glass and frame as the temperature changes. This characteristic is an advantage for dark Continued on page 20 


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Aging in Place GETTY IMAGES

Steps to maintain independence

Home is where the heart is for most Kansans. It’s comforting and it’s where we’ve made memories with our spouses, children, friends and neighbors. It’s no wonder that a survey by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that 84 percent of baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, would like to stay in their current homes during their retirement years. For those wishing to remain in their home as long as possible, ensuring a safe environment and maintaining physical and mental health through staying active will be key. Home Modifications

The AARP survey also found that only 16 percent of those baby boomers eager to stay put have taken steps to adapt their home for safe and accessible living for their golden years. Home modifications to help seniors age in place can range from something as simple as replacing cabinet doorknobs with pull handles to full-scale construction projects that require adding wheelchair ramps, widening doorways and lowering countertops.

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Most homes have not been designed to accommodate the specific needs of those over age 65. A house built to meet the needs of a 55-yearold may have too many stairs or potentially slippery flooring for someone who is 70 or 80 or an individual who relies on a cane or walker. The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) suggests if you are looking to adapt living spaces to meet your future needs or those of a loved one, home modifications should improve the following aspects of a home: ffACCESSIBILITY– such as widening doorways, rearranging spaces to allow a wheelchair to pass through unobstructed, lowering countertops for easier access to sinks and kitchen cabinets, and placing light switches at heights that are easier to reach. ffADAPTABILITY– these are features that can be made quickly without having to completely redesign a home, for example installing grab bars on bathroom walls and adding movable cabinets under the sink so someone wheelchair bound can access them.


Before dragging out the toolbox or hiring a remodeling contractor, take stock of each room and evaluate your current and future needs. Several checklists are available online, at local libraries and through assistance organizations to help walk you through each room to identify the features you might consider modifying. One such resource is the AARP’s HomeFit Guide that offers home modification solutions to help people live out their senior years in the homes they love, as well as checklists to help seniors begin the process. The guide includes the HomeFit List, a room-by-room checklist to help get started. (Visit www.AARP.org/HomeFit). A few examples from the checklist to consider include: ffADDING handrails to both sides of all steps; ffINSTALLING lever-style door handles; ffAPPLYING nonslip adhesive strips to uncarpeted steps; ffREPLACING knobs on cabinets and drawers with easy-to-grasp D-shaped handles; ffREPLACING traditional toggle light switches with easier-to-use rocker-style switches; and ffCHECKING that the light bulbs used for fixtures are the proper rating, are of the highest allowed wattage and do not produce an excessive amount of glare.

Stepping Out

Modifying a home to help seniors age in place is important; however, independence in the golden years also requires additional steps—walking, exercising and socializing. “It’s not just about modifying your home. If you stay active, you are more likely to be able to stay in your home,” said Monica Cissell, director of information and community services for the Central Plains Area Agency on Aging. The agency, which is one of 11 Area Agencies on Aging organizations in Kansas (also known as the local Aging and Disability Resource Centers or ADRCs) provides a variety of services including counseling and assisting people in making informed choices about longterm care needs and helping them identify their individual needs and options available. Cissell recommends local senior centers as good places for people of all ages to access physical activity programs.

For questions about state or local support and services or information regarding your options, the Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Centers is a knowledgeable source with offices that serve all areas of the state. Call 855-200-2372. “Folks don’t always think about their local senior centers because they think ‘they are for old people,’” she said, noting that several offer a variety of activities including dancing classes. “Those line dancing classes are not for wimps.” Social engagement is another key to maintaining independence as we age. Remaining socially active reduces the risk of encountering mental health obstacles and also ensures seniors will have a support system of peers who can relate to tough times and age-specific issues. Cissell said her agency’s trained experts also encourage seniors to stay socially active by volunteering in their communities. (Read more about volunteering on page 16.) “Social isolation is really something older adults have to avoid,” Cissell said. “The more they can stay social and participate in physical activity, the more apt they are to be able to stay in their home.” KCL

GETTY IMAGES

Where to Begin

In addition to financial planning and determining a place of residence, planning for life beyond retirement should include strategies for staying physically and mentally fit. APRIL 2017 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

13


My parents fulfilled their lifelong dream of retiring to the country, returning home to Safe Haven Farm after temporarily moving to Wichita to care for their aging parents. The farm is where I had lived by myself waiting for them.

FOREVER

FARM A daughter’s perspective on parents aging in place BY A . C . W I L L I A M S P H O T O S BY K AT I E M O R F O R D

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Well, not just waiting for them. This crazy old house is my home, where I chose to stay after I finished college. In my parent’s absence, I held down the fort. I left the door open. Because this amazing life had been their dream before it was mine. People in this area know Safe Haven Farm as the Old Collmann Place. That’s the family who built this solid blue farmhouse back in 1915. My family inherited its quirky legacy in 1994 when I was 11 years old. The “Big House” at Safe Haven Farm has a personality all its own. Nowhere else has ever felt like home, but living here takes stubbornness, a strong back, and at least one good knee. When my parents decided to retire here, we knew we had some work to do, so while they were still in Wichita, we started having open, honest conversations about getting older and living together. Some projects we could start immediately, while others would take time and planning. But we were confident that if we put the effort into our goals up front, we could build a comfortable life for them in our creaky old farmhouse.

Immediate projects

At the time, the back porch was only accessible by a set of tall, awkward steps and a crooked, jagged sidewalk. The steps were too tall for my mom, who stands at a petite 5’2”, and my dad had already tumbled off the steps once or twice. We thought of putting in a wooden deck, but we found a contractor who offered a far more affordable option with molded concrete. We had the steps and the sidewalk ripped out and replaced, and we had the new steps made shorter and the new sidewalk leveled.


Their bedroom had always been on the main floor, but since they’d been gone, my work projects had spread out to the rest of the house in towering stacks of paper and boxes. That’s a bad idea for people who can’t see well in the dark. To avoid creating obstacles for them, I created a little office for myself on the second level where I work during the day, which keeps the main level free of my clutter. In the kitchen, we’ve modernized what we could with a vast array of cooking utensils and gadgets, including electric can openers, blenders, a Keurig coffee maker, and an assortment of meat stirrers and spatulas. We’re planning to purchase a new set of cookware soon too, pots, pans, and skillets that are durable yet lightweight for easy lifting. The oven has a selfcleaning feature, and the refrigerator is wide and well-lit. We’ve also replaced most of the windows in the house, which help keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer. Plus, they keep the dust out during the harvest months. Less dust and pollen means fewer allergy flare ups, and that usually means fewer medications

Eventual projects

This house is about 3,200 square feet, and there is one—count ‘em, one— bathroom. It has a shower, but if you aren’t claustrophobic before you go in, you will be when you come out. We’ve managed it for 23 years, but when I say a second bathroom is at the top of the list for our remodeling projects, now you know why. But we can’t just put in a bathroom wherever we want it. It will be for my parents’ later years, and that means it must be on the main floor. It also needs rails, wide doors, and a walk-in bathtub. Part of adding a second bathroom means a whole-house plumbing renovation. The house’s current plumbing solution is cobbled together with differing pipe sizes and jerryrigged draining systems. Once we have

new plumbing in the house, the list of planned projects expands rapidly. Also on the list of future projects to ensure my parents’ safety: ffNew garage building that stands closer to the house; ffNew laundry area, potentially with a stacked washer/dryer unit to save space; ffDishwasher and garbage disposal installation; ffEasy-to-open kitchen cabinets; ffContinued replacement of existing home windows; and ffHeating/Air conditioning on the second floor. Even so, there is only so much renovation you can do to a 100-yearold house. No matter how much we alter it, the house will still be 3,200-square-feet of worn hardwood flooring, brown recluses, and lath-andplaster dust. None of those are good options for an aging couple. For that reason, our eventual goal is to build a little cabin on the lawn across from the Big House. A house will cut down on the dust levels and provide new, updated appliances. We would also want an easily accessible safe room, rather than a basement. A smaller, one-level home will be easier for mom to keep clean on her own, which is an important aspect of her feeling independent. Yet I’ll still be just a few hundred feet away to help when I’m needed. In preparation for this project, we’ve started researching different pre-fab home websites. Our preference would be to select a local vendor, mainly because in our experience only Kansas builders can build for Kansas weather, but not many pre-fab builders are local. That being said, we are currently researching bids for the construction of a new garage, and if that project is successful, building a small house from the ground up may be a potential option. We’ve also had to research zoning restrictions within our county, which we’ve discovered may make this

venture a bit more complicated. Fortunately, this project is still many years out as my parents enjoy relatively good health and mobility.

Change your mindset

Thoughtful planning is important for your aging parents’ future, but more important than planning is the adjustment of your own mindset. Your personal awareness is key. Pay attention to what your parents are doing. If they’re coming home from the grocery store, help them carry bags. If the weather is icy, meet them at the door to help them inside. If heavy objects in the house need to be moved, be available to lend a hand. Sure, you can wait for them to ask, but it’s better if you take the initiative. Don’t make them come to you for help. Be there to help anyway. Then it’s not charity; it’s teamwork. Your family is a team that’s simply working together, and there’s no need to feel shame or guilt in asking for help. Instead, there’s just friendship and grace and a whole lot of laughter. KCL is a writer in living in Kansas, with published works in both fiction and drama. The Williams’ are members of Sedgwick Electric Cooperative.

AMY WILLIAMS

Amy Williams and her parents, Daryl and Pat, in the claustrophobia-inducing bathroom.

APRIL 2017 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

15


MAXIMIZE Your Assets MONETARY SKILLS No matter how diligent you may have been about saving for retirement, unexpected life changes and economic realities can negatively impact your retirement budget. Sustained low interest rates have suppressed yields on income from bonds, and rising health care expenses have affected retirees of all ages. Many retirees are surprised to learn that one of the most valuable assets in their portfolios may be a life insurance policy that they no longer need. It’s not uncommon for people to outlive their need for life insurance, and if you no longer need the policy or can no longer afford the premiums, you could consider selling the policy through a life settlement. This is a financial transaction in which a policy owner works with a company to determine if they qualify to sell their life insurance policy. The policy seller receives an immediate cash payment while the buyer assumes all future premium payments. Most life insurance policy types qualify, even convertible term life policies. Consider this story about a financial adviser who retired

from a long, successful career. He decided the money he was spending on the rising premiums for his $799,975 life insurance policy could be used to help fund his retirement. After researching, he learned he had an option other than simply letting the policy lapse. He sold his policy through a life settlement for $25,000, which was more than four times the value he would have received if he surrendered the policy back to the insurance company. If you don’t own a life insurance policy or still need your coverage, you may want to evaluate the real estate you own. Think about downsizing to a smaller home or selling other property you no longer need. Many retirees discover that they have significant equity tied up in real estate—equity that could be used to help fund expenses. Another useful exercise is reviewing your investments. If your retirement income is failing to produce the amount needed to maintain your lifestyle, you may need to rebalance your portfolio to meet your changing needs. If you find your retirement income is insufficient, there are options available to maximize your assets. For many retirees, an existing life insurance policy may be a hidden asset that can be used to generate cash. KCL

PERSONAL SKILLS

From self-expression to self-direction, there are countless ways to enjoy retirement. Some of the most rewarding involve passing on experiences, wisdom and skills to others. Everyone has something to share, and these ideas from the Administration of Community Living can help you get started. f fCREATE. Pick a medium and use

GETTY IMAGES

art to express yourself and share your perspective. Example: Paint, draw, sculpt, play music, dance, make crafts —whatever suits you. f fENGAGE. Visit a senior center or organize a gathering focused on connecting with others. Example: Book

Share your wisdom for the benefit of others.

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KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017

clubs attract participants of all ages and encourage the exchange of ideas. f fMENTOR Use professional or personal experiences to guide a child, young adult or peer. Example: Visit Senior Corps at nationalservice.gov to learn about becoming a foster grandparent. f fSPEAK. Sign up for speaking engagements, paid or unpaid, as well as storytelling events. Example: Openmic events, often at theaters and libraries, welcome speakers of all ages. f fTEACH. Impart expertise via formal or informal education and tutoring opportunities. Example: Check with schools that need reading, math or science tutors.

f fVOLUNTEER. Put skills to use

while giving back to your community. Example: Sign up to collect food or clothing donations, serve meals at a local soup kitchen or help older adults with daily tasks at home, such as paying bills. f fWRITE. Pen an article, op-ed or even a book to communicate wisdom and lessons learned. Example: Start with something you know the most about, such as a career, hobby or historical event, and submit a column to your local newspaper These ideas and many others can help amplify the voices of older Americans and raise awareness of vital aging issues in communities across the nation. KCL


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YO U R P L A C E I N T H E G A R D E N

Modifications Make Gardening Safe for Any Age, Ability

BY C Y N T H I A D O M E N G H I N I , P H . D .

Gardening can offer numerous health ben-

Cynthia Domenghini, Ph.D.

Vertical gardens are a creative option for increasing garden accessibility while limiting the amount of maintenance required.

18 

on wheels can double as a seat and a tool caddy. efits including physical activity, access to nutriWearing gloves while in the garden will protect tious foods and improved mobility. Time spent your skin from potential infections that can enter gardening can help reduce symptoms of depresthrough abrasions common to gardening. Ergosion, increase self-esteem, and improve overall nomic hand tools are designed to allow larger well-being. However, there are also risks with muscles to do the brunt of the work and prevent traditional gardening. The repeated patterns of stress from occurring in wrists and hands. kneeling to the ground, back-bending positions, Gardeners must be aware of overexposure to and physical labor along with the fall risks can be the sun. Adding a gazebo or a patio umbrella to dangerous for older gardeners in particular. The the garden with a bench underneath offers a shady good news is modifications can be made to the place to rest. Water features can enhance this garden making it a safe prescription for health time with the peaceful rhythm of trickling water. for anyone seeking a natural supplement. Include a table to accomplish tasks while resting Raised planter beds bring the garden to a your legs. This is a perfect workspace for potting, higher level enabling gardeners to work while planting seeds and creating labels for plants. seated or standing. Planters can be elevated just Know the characteristics of the plants before a few inches above the soil surface up to waist you add them to your garden. Be sure you’re up height with benches built alongside to allow safer for the care required. If you’re not, find a lower gardening positions. Table-height planters can be maintenance species as an alternative. When designed to accommodate a wheelchair pulled gardening alone be sure to keep a phone close underneath. The width of the planter should be in case of emergency. It is important to listen determined considering the gardener’s reach to to your body and know when it’s time to take ensure he/she can access all areas. Large cona break. Working beyond that point could be tainers can serve as raised planters and offer the dangerous and could counteract the wonderful benefit of mobility. benefits of gardening. Turn your garden into a Vertical gardens are a creative option for safe escape that allows for restoration rather than increasing garden accessibility while limiting the a dreaded chore. KCL amount of maintenance required. Vertical gardens can be created out of pallets, rain gutters, and CYNTHIA DOMENGHINI is an instructor and coordinator for Kansas State University’s horticultural therapy multiple other possibilities. Many pre-made prodgraduate certificate program. ucts that can be attached to fences are available to create a living wall. Vertical gardening is a great opportunity for older gardeners to work alongside, or above, their children or grandchildren, each maintaining the planters at their own height. Gardening tools are another important consideration for gardening safely. For watering, a soaker hose or drip irrigation can be installed to minimize garden chores while also reducing the trip hazard Pocket planters can be attached to a wall or fence at any height to accomcreated while dragging a modate the needs of the gardener. Create a lush vertical garden by hanging multiple planters at varying heights. garden hose. A garden cart

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017


A DV E RT I S E M E N T

Drug Companies Fear Release of the New AloeCure Big Pharma stands to lose billions as doctors’ recommend drug-free “health cocktail” that adjusts and corrects your body’s health conditions.

Drug company execs are nervous. That’s because the greatest health advance in decades has hit the streets. And analysts expect it to put a huge crimp in “Big Pharma” profits. So what’s all the fuss about? It’s about a new ingredient that’s changing the lives of people who use it. Some call it “the greatest discovery since penicillin”! The name of the product is the AloeCure. It’s not a drug. It’s something completely different. And the product is available to anyone who wants it, at a reasonable price. But demands may force future prices to rise. TOP DOC WARNS: DIGESTION DRUGS CAN CRIPPLE YOU! Company spokesperson, Dr. Liza Leal; a leading integrative health specialist recommends AloeCure before she decides to prescribe any digestion drug. Especially after the FDA’s stern warning about long-term use of drugs classified as proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec®, Nexium®, and Prevacid®. In a nutshell, the FDA statement warned people should avoid taking these digestion drugs for longer than three 14-day treatment periods because there is an increased risk of bone fractures. Many people take them daily and for decades. Dr. Leal should know. Many patients come to her with bone and joint complaints and she does everything she can to help them. One way for digestion sufferers to help avoid possible risk of tragic joint and bone problems caused by overuse of digestion drugs is to take the AloeCure.

Acemannan has many of other health benefits?... HELPS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM TO CALM INFLAMMATION According to a leading aloe research, when correctly processed for digesting, the Aloe plant has a powerful component for regulating your immune system called Acemannan. So whether it’s damage that is physical, bacterial, chemical or autoimmune; the natural plant helps the body stay healthy. RAPID ACID AND HEARTBURN NEUTRALIZER Aloe has proved to have an astonishing effect on users who suffer with digestion problems like bouts of acid reflux, heartburn, cramping, gas and constipation because it acts as a natural acid buffer and soothes the digestive system. But new studies prove it does a whole lot more. SIDE-STEP HEART CONCERNS So you’ve been taking proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) for years and you feel just fine. In June of 2015 a major study shows that chronic PPI use increases the risk of heart attack in general population. UNLEASH YOUR MEMORY Studies show that your brain needs the healthy bacteria from your gut in order function at its best. Both low and high dosages of digestion drugs are proven to destroy that healthy bacteria and get in the way of brain function. So you’re left with a sluggish, slow-to-react brain without a lot of room to store information. The acemannan used in AloeCure actually makes your gut healthier, so healthy bacteria flows freely to your brain so you think better, faster and with a larger capacity for memory.

Analysts expect the AloeCure to put a huge crimp in “Big Pharma” profits.

Doctors call it “The greatest health discovery in decades!”

The secret to AloeCure’s “health adjusting” formula is scientifically tested Acemannan, a polysaccharide extracted from Aloe Vera. But not the same aloe vera that mom used to apply to your cuts, scrapes and burns. This is a perfect strain of aloe that is organically grown under very strict conditions. AloeCure is so powerful it begins to benefit your health the instant you take it. It soothes intestinal discomfort and you can avoid the possibility of bone and health damage caused by overuse of digestion drugs. We all know how well aloe works externally on cuts, scrapes and burns. But did you know

SLEEP LIKE A BABY A night without sleep really damages your body. And continued lost sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems. But what you may not realize is the reason why you’re not sleeping. Some call it “Ghost Reflux”. A lowintensity form of acid reflux discomfort that quietly keeps you awake in the background. AloeCure helps digestion so you may find yourself sleeping through the night. CELEBRITY HAIR, SKIN & NAILS Certain antacids may greatly reduce your

by David Waxman Seattle Washington:

body’s ability to break down and absorb calcium. Aloe delivers calcium as it aids in balancing your stomach acidity. The result? Thicker, healthier looking hair…more youthful looking skin… And nails so strong they may never break again. SAVE YOUR KIDNEY National and local news outlets are reporting Kidney Failure linked to PPI’s. Your Kidney extracts waste from blood, balance body fluids, form urine, and aid in other important functions of the body. Without it your body would be overrun by deadly toxins. Aloe helps your kidney function properly. Studies suggest, if you started taking aloe today; you’d see a big difference in the way you feel. GUARANTEED RESULTS OR DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK Due to the incredible results people are reporting, AloeCure is being sold with an equally incredible guarantee. “We can only offer this incredible guarantee because we are 100% certain this product will work for those who use it,” Says Dr. Leal. Here’s how it works: Take the pill exactly as directed. You must see and feel remarkable improvements in your digestive health, your mental health, in your physical appearance, the amount inflammation you have throughout your body – even in your ability to fall asleep at night! Otherwise, simply return the empty bottles with a short note about how you took the pills and followed the simple instructions and the company will send you...Double your money back! HOW TO GET ALOECURE This is the official nationwide release of the new AloeCure pill in the United States. And so, the company is offering our readers up to 3 FREE bottles with their order. This special give-away is available for readers of this publication only. All you have to do is call TOLL-FREE 1-800-748-4119 and provide the operator with the Free Bottle Approval Code: JC025. The company will do the rest. Important: Due to AloeCure’s recent media exposure, phone lines are often busy. If you call and do not immediately get through, please be patient and call back.

THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.


C U T YO U R U T I L I T Y B I L L S Continued from page 10 

frame colors exposed to the sun, which can create a substantial temperature range throughout the day and night. The strength of fiberglass frames is also an advantage for smaller windows because narrower frame cross-sections are acceptable. With other frame materials, a thicker frame reduces the glass area too much. Wood window frames have been around forever and, when properly maintained, have a very long life. Wood frames are also most attractive. This is true even if you choose to paint the frames. It is easier to cut more complex and sharp detail into wood frame surfaces. The drawback of wood is there is some regular maintenance required for good appearance and energy efficiency. Exterior vinyl- or aluminum-clad wood frames reduce the maintenance requirements. Natural wood can still be exposed on the indoor surface so they look like wood windows. Some vinyl and fiberglass window frames are available with natural wood indoor cladding to provide the appearance of real wood frames. The best window style depends on the appearance and features you desire more than its efficiency. People often select double-hung windows because they can be tilted in for easy cleaning. Windows that close on a compression seal, such as casement and awning windows, tend to provide the best long-term airtight seal. Also, casement windows can catch cross breezes for better natural ventilation. Since it comprises the maximum amount

PEACHTREE

Windows that close on a compression seal, such as casement and awning windows, tend to provide the best long-term airtight seal.

This aluminum-clad wood replacement window can have efficient low-emissivity glass with a special coating for easy cleaning.

of overall window opening area, the glass type is the key to the efficiency of a window. Double pane-glass with low-E (low-emissivity) coatings and inert gas (krypton or argon) in the gap between the panes is adequate for most climates. Triple-pane glass makes sense for very cold climates, but is it more expensive and heavier. KCL Send inquiries to James Dulley, Kansas Country Living, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com.

DEAR JIM: There are several gaps where the garage door meets the

uneven floor. It lets a lot of cold air blow in when I work on my vintage sports car in my attached garage. How can I seal the gap? - Mark J.

GETTY IMAGES

DEAR MARK: Much of that cold air coming in also makes it through the walls and ceiling into your house. First try to adjust the door opener stop limit switch so door goes down a little farther and the seal is more compressed. If that does not help, buy a generic rubber weatherstripping seal for garage door bottoms. Another option is to nail a strip of 3/4-inch foam pipe insulation under the door. Attach it with the slit facing downward.

20 

KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017


         

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NEWS BRIEFS

Earl Watkins Inducted into Cooperative Hall of Fame Retired Sunflower Electric Power Corpo-

ration President and Chief Executive Officer Earl Watkins was inducted into the Kansas Cooperative Hall of Fame on March 15 at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. The Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Kansas Cooperative Council, (KCC) is valued for recognizing the contributions of co-op pioneers and honoring those who have gone “above and beyond the call” in advancing the cooperative philosophy. “Earl’s career left an indelible mark on more than just Sunflower and its employees. He dedicated time and energy to improving the quality of life in rural Kansas, national projects of importance such as ACES, and many legislative initiatives,” said Bruce Graham, CEO of Kansas Electric Cooperatives and KCC board member. “He is a deserving choice for the Kansas Cooperative Hall of Fame.” During his 34 years at Sunflower, Watkins moved from the position of legal counsel to president and chief executive officer and was a leader in the ever-evolving electric industry. “Earl took very seriously the responsibility entrusted to him by Sunflower’s Board to be

one of the co-op voices at the local, state, and national levels and to protect the way of life in rural Kansas,” said Stuart Lowry, Sunflower’s President and CEO. Lowry nominated Watkins for the Hall of Fame. Watkins was extensively involved in the construction of Holcomb Unit No. 1—Sunflower’s coal-fired generation facility. The plant Earl Watkins was inducted into the Kansas Cooperative was completed on Aug. 16, Hall of Fame on March 15. 1983, and was ahead of its time in regards to environmental controls. Watkins continually used his leadership roles as a platform to be an advocate for Kansas rural communities and electric cooperatives. He dedicated his time to statewide organizations, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and KEC; regional co-op organizations, Western Fuels, ACES, SPP; and many national co-op organizations. KCL

KEPCO CUTS RIBBON ON PRAIRIE SKY SOLAR FARM Kansas Electric Power Cooperative celebrated the opening of its 1 megawatt Prairie Sky Solar Farm on March 14. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by approximately 150 guests including Gov. Sam Brownback, KEPCo company officials, electric cooperative guests and neighbors of the facility located northeast of Andover.

From left: KEPCo Vice President of Engineering Mark Barbee, Rolling Hills Manager Doug Jackson, Gov. Sam Brownback, KEPCo President Kevin Compton, KEPCo CEO Marcus Harris, KEPCo Secretary Dean Allison, Rep. Joe Seiwert, and Butler Manager Dale Short officially dedicate Prairie Sky Solar Farm.

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KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017

Marcus Harris, Executive Vice President and CEO of KEPCo, welcomed the guests and reviewed the project and KEPCo’s commitment to continuing to diversify its power sources. “We want to be sure we are being at least as forward-thinking as the best utilities out there,” Harris said. “We want this solar farm to be the next step as to what KEPCo looks like in the future.” The solar farm, when generating electricity at full capacity, can supply the energy needs of about 164 homes. KEPCo generates electricity for 19 rural electric cooperatives that cover roughly half of Kansas. KCL


T H I N G S TO D O

Continued from page 5 

THROUGH MAY 31Local Artists and Authors Exhibit, Blue Rapids.The Blue Rapids Historical Society is displaying work of artists, composers, photographers, craftsmen and authors.#36 Public Square. Call 785-363-7949. EVERY SATURDAY MAY 6 THROUGH DEC. 9 Salina Farmers Market, Salina. Located

at the Waters TrueValue. 460 S. Ohio. Call Gary at 785-614-5309 for more information.

MAY 3-4 K  -96 Mobile Job Fair, various

locations. Local employers will have applications available and workforce staff will assist applicants with job searching, résumés and online applications. May 3 - Tribune, 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. (MDT), 513 Broadway. May 3 - Leoti, 3 - 5:30 p.m. 106 W. Broadway May 4 - Scott City, 9 - 11:30 a.m. 113 E. 5th St. May 4 - Ness City, 1 - 3:30 p.m. 120 W. Main St. For more information contact KANSASWORKS, 785-625-5654. MAY 5-6 R  ed Line Cruisers Cruise

Night & Car Show, Plainville. Cruise night on Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. with a poker run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Car show downtown on Saturday with registration from 8 to 11 a.m.; awards at 3 p.m. Also enjoy citywide garage sale, vendors, food and music. Call 785-4258181 or email clkhagan@ruraltel.net.

Entry.com (search for event 66941), or check out the event on Facebook. MAY 6 C  inco de Mayo in the Square, Great Bend. B egin with the parade at 11 a.m. and continue the fun at Jack Kilby Square for Queen crowning, food vendors, dancing, singing, raffle prizes, piñatas and more! 1400 Main St. Visit www.ExploreGreatBend.com. MAY 6-7 K  ansas Sampler Festival, Winfield. H  eld at Island Park, the festival is designed to provide the public a sample of what there is to see, do, hear, taste, buy and learn in Kansas. For more information visit www.kansassampler.org/festival, email kssamplerfest@gmail.com or call 620-221-2420. MAY 7 D  iscover Salina Naturally, Salina. G  et outdoors and celebrate your place in nature and your community at the this festival at Lakewood Park. For more information visit www.discoversalina.com. MAY 7 2  9th Annual Mid America

Mopar Car Show, Great Bend. Event held at Brit Spaugh Park 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All makes and models welcome. Contact Gary 620-786-7059 for more information. MAY 11 A  rt & Wine Walk, Great Bend. E vent begins in downtown at 4 p.m. Each business will feature works of an area artist. Shoppers are invited to visit each business, view the art, and try free wine and food samples. Silent auction will close at 7 p.m. For more information call 620-793-4111. MAY 13 N  ewton Second Saturday Acoustic Jam, Newton. Jam from 1 to 4 p.m. at East Side United Methodist Church. Bluegrass, gospel, country-western, folk. Acoustic instruments only, please. Listeners welcome. 1520 E. Broadway. For more information call Joan Kennedy or Phil Kimerer 316-283-0134. KCL

Send items for your free listing to events@ kansascountryliving.com as early as possible.

MAY 5-7 G  em & Mineral Club Sale

and Swap, McPherson. Vendors from across the U.S. will converge at the 4-H Building bringing fossils, gems, minerals and hand-made jewelry. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 710 W. Woodside. Camping area available. Email mcphersongemmineral@hotmail.com or call 620-755-5415 or 620-241-7600. MAY 5-7 C  hisolm Trail Festival,

Caldwell. C elebrate the Chisholm Trail with ghost tours, street dance, stagecoach rides and more. Visit www.caldwellkansas.com, email caldwellkschamber@gmail.com, or call 620-845-2486. MAY 6 R  ural Route 13.1 Run/Bike, Esbon. Events include half marathon bike/ run/walk and 10K bike/run/walk. Visit Race APRIL 2017 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

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C O O K I N G M Y WAY H O M E

Meringue Tales: Weep Softy & Carry a Big Whisk

BY R E B E C C A H O WA R D

The last time I was driving around with meringue in my car, I asked myself this question: Why am I again driving around with meringue in my car? It’s been more times than is normal—me, driving snail-like, turning and braking at old-lady pace, all to spare some pale, quivering creature, precariously conjured out of egg whites and sugar, riding shotgun in my little Honda Civic. I have acted as if I know what I’m doing, as far as meringue is concerned. I’ve escorted a Pavlova (a foamy marshmallow-like “tutu” platform for whipped cream and fruit), cracking like a glacier, to a friend’s for her birthday and presented “floating islands”—delicate wispy clouds adrift in creamy custard sauce—to a panel of chef judges for a cooking competition. Who did I think I was? Every time I make meringue, I am as unsure as if I’ve never made it before. Its unpredictable nature scares and taunts me.

And yet, I make it still. Meringue is either beloved or reviled (it does carry—sorry—the rather nasty nickname, “calf slobber”). But I come from a land where “lemon meringue” is a singular term, and where that pie, in particular, was considered unacceptably nude without the standard topping of egg whites whipped to glossy volumes and browned to golden highlights in the oven. Rebecca Howard And considering eggs were never in short supply where I grew up, I should have moved confidently forward on extensive experience of egg whites beaten to a sturdily appropriate stiffness. Still, not long ago, I faced a Thanksgiving morning—and a coconut cream pie needing its topcoat of meringue—with nothing but doubt. What type of bowl was best, again? And would the rainy humidity inhibit the meringue from fluffing or, dare I say it, cause it to “weep”? I asked for help. “I was never that good with meringue,” my mother confessed. So alone I was—me versus meringue, again. I won, despite my tension and sweat over those beaters. Base: Topping: Outside of the experts, I’m ff 4 large egg whites, room temperature ff 1 cup heavy whipping cream not sure anyone is ever sure ff Pinch of salt ff 1 tsp. nonfat dry milk (optional) about meringue turning out. ff 1/4 tsp. cream of tarter ff 2 Tbs. superfine granulated sugar Even with apparent success, ff 1 cup superfine granulated sugar ff 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract I eye my meringue suspiff 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract ff 2 cups mixed fresh berries ciously for signs of deflation (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries) ff 1 tsp. white vinegar or droplets of precipitation. of choice, tossed with: ff 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch Failures have kept me ff 1 tsp. lemon juice ff 2 Tbs. honey dubious. Pie tops dripping with dew. Seven-minute Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper upon which a 7-inch circle has been traced in pencil (flip so pencil side is down). frostings that took 38. The In the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment, add cream of tarter and salt to egg whites. infamous birthday that Beat on medium speed until at soft peak stage. Start adding sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating. started with an earthquake Continue to beat at high speed until the meringue is very stiff and glossy. Meringue should feel smooth, and ended with me shakily sugar dissolved. Beat in vanilla. Fold in cornstarch and vinegar. determined to fulfill my Spread meringue out in the drawn circle, making sure it is higher on the edges and there is a bit of well in the center. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until meringue is a light, golden color. homemade baked Alaska. Turn the oven off and, with door slightly ajar, let it cool in the oven completely. In the freezer, a cake Whip heavy cream with nonfat dry milk (this helps cream to stay firmer longer), sugar and vanilla topped with a dome of until soft peaks form. homemade strawberry ice Remove meringue from parchment to a serving plate; top with whipped cream and berries. Serve cream awaited its cloak of immediately or within a few hours. Note: Baked meringue disk can be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days before serving. Serves 4 to 6. meringue. So I began beating the

Pavlova

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KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING 

  APRIL 2017


Failures have kept me dubious. Pie tops dripping with dew. Seven-minute frosting that took 38.

egg whites, and beating them, for 20 minutes, then 10 more, and I still had nothing but vibrating teeth and watery foam. This time it was me, weeping. I started over, using every egg I had, and it was likely sheer will and something akin to a wrestling match that wrested the proper finish for my birthday dessert. Failing at things usually dissuades me. It should have stopped me with meringue, but for some reason it hasn’t. True, I’ve hesitated many times—if a recipe calls for egg whites whipped to stiff peaks, I give it 24 hours to talk myself out of it. When I saw Diane Keaton present her dessert of floating islands to her neighbor in “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” I kept telling myself, “No.” And yet, years later, I was spending successive weekends dissecting vanilla beans and piping meringue into tiny islands to “float” in cream. I was awarded a first-place win at the local cooking competition for my little egg-white archipelago that somehow survived both my distress and a

hot car ride. This should have made me more confident. But with meringue, I can’t ever be certain, as I prepare to beat egg whites into submission, they will do as they are supposed to. Still, I must confess, there may be homemade marshmallows on my horizon. Here’s why I think I keep going: With meringue, it’s a good, honest fight. You can’t cheat your way into a good meringue—no shortcuts or magic bullets. To my knowledge, no faux version of this majestic treat exists. And success proves the dessert and the maker are not as fragile as they seem. This light, melt-in-your-mouth dessert, created in honor of ballerina Anna Pavlova, is a meringue layer with a crisp exterior and soft interior, covered with whipped cream and seasonal fruit. Cracking is expected—and forgiven! KCL

TIPS

Harangued by meringue? These tips might help: ffBRING WHITES TO ROOM TEMPERATURE: Separating yolks from whites is easier while the eggs are cold, but egg whites

fluff better at room temperature. Also, make sure no egg yolk gets into the whites or it will sabotage the volume (likely my Alaska fiasco). ffSTABILIZE THOSE WHITES: Cream of tarter or lemon juice are most often used. ffUSE THE RIGHT BOWL: Surgically clean metal or glass bowls work best. Plastic bowls contain too many oils that inhibit the meringue. ffSLOW AND EASY WITH THE SUGAR: Beat the egg whites to soft peak stage first, then add superfine sugar slowly, beating it in by the spoonful. APRIL 2017 

  KANSAS COUNTRY LIVING  

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SAFETY

Slip, Trip & Fall Prevention Is it time to fall-proof your parent’s home? Your parents have been living quite well in their own home for decades now. But if you’re thinking it might be time to give their home a fall-prevention assessment, you’re right. The National Safety Council offers some statistics about older-adult falls and some solutions for keeping your loved ones safe. What are the Risks?

Americans are living longer while staying active and healthy. But adults 65 and older are at risk for falls, which can signal the beginning of the end of that active life—and their independence. Injuries from falls can lead to limited activity, reduced mobility, loss of fitness and a fear of falling, all of which increase risk of additional injury. Falls also are the leading cause of injuryrelated death for adults age 65 and older, according to Injury Facts 2016, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council. This is not surprising considering falls are among the most common causes of traumatic brain injury. About 20,400 people died from falls at home in 2014, and the vast majority of them were over age 65. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: ffOne in three older adults falls each year; ffAbout 2.5 million nonfatal falls were treated in emergency departments in 2013; ffOf those, 734,000 people were admitted to the hospital; ffThat year, 25,500 older adults died from unintentional falls; and ffMore than 250,000 hip fractures are reported every year, and 95 percent are from falls. 

The Good News

Falls are preventable and aging, itself, does not cause falls. Some of the underlying causes of older-adult falls, such as muscle weakness, medications that cause dizziness, improper footwear, impaired vision, slick floors, poor lighting, loose rugs, clutter and uneven surfaces, can be improved. While falls can happen anywhere, they most

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often occur at home. What can you do to make your home or the home of a loved one safer? ffRemove clutter, small furniture, pet gear, electrical cords, throw rugs and anything else that might cause someone to trip. ffArrange or remove furniture so there is plenty of room for walking. ffSecure carpets to the floor. ffWipe up spills immediately. ffMake sure outdoor areas are well lit and walkways are smooth and free from ice and debris. ffUse non-slip adhesive strips on stairs. ffUse non-skid mats in the bath and shower. ffInstall grab bars in the tub, shower and near the toilet. ffInstall railings on both sides of stairs. ffProvide adequate lighting in every room and stairway. ffPlace night lights in kitchen, bath and hallways. ffMake often-used items more accessible, like food, clothing, etc., so an older person won’t be tempted to use a stool or ladder to get to them. ffIf necessary, provide personal walking devices, such as a cane or walker, to aid in stability. 

Tai Chi, Anyone?

Harvard Medical School touts the value of exercise in preventing falls and even reversing some conditions associated with aging. Tai Chi, in particular, earned a spot in a Harvard Health publication. The ancient Chinese mind-body practice improves balance and muscle tone, and could be “the perfect activity for the rest of your life,” according to the article. Those with limited mobility can practice seated versions of the exercises. PubMed.gov also conducted a six-month trial to determine the effect of Tai Chi on older adults. During the trial, inactive older adults who did Tai Chi three times a week decreased the risk of falls by 55 percent compared to a control group. In addition to regular exercise, older adults should ask a doctor if their medications may be causing dizziness, and make sure to have regular eye exams. KCL Permission to reprint granted by the National Safety Council.


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Grilled Citrus Rosemary Catfish

Bunny Oatmeal

KANS AS COUNTRY LIVING, APRIL 2017

Fire up the grill for this twist on fish that uses sweet citrus juices for a burst of flavor.

KANS AS COUNTRY LIVING, APRIL 2017

Bring a smile to your child’s face with this charming twist on a breakfast standard.

Graceland Mini Cupcakes

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes & Balsamic

KAN S AS COU N T RY L IVIN G, APR IL 201 7

Enjoy a healthy dose of protein-packed peanut butter with a smidge of bacon.

KAN S AS COU N T RY L IVIN G, APR IL 201 7

Asparagus is abundant this time of year and makes a creative and tasty side dish.


Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes & Balsamic salt, to taste black pepper, to taste reduced balsamic vinegar

Bunny Oatmeal

ff 2/3 small banana ff 2 fresh blueberries ff 1/2 small strawberry ff chocolate syrup (optional)

ff 1/3 cup instant oats ff 3/4 cup fat free milk ff 1/4 tsp. cinnamon ff 1/4 tsp. vanilla ff 1 tsp. brown sugar

ff ff ff

Heat oven to 375 F.

In microwave-safe bowl, stir together oats, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Microwave on high 30 seconds to 1 minute and stir.

ff 2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed ff 1 pint cherry tomatoes ff 4 garlic cloves, minced

On baking sheet, toss together all ingredients, except balsamic vinegar. Roast 15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender.

Cut banana in half crosswise. Cut 1-1/8-inch thick coin slices from flat end of each banana half. Place slices in upper-third of oatmeal bowl, side-by-side, to make eyes. Top with one blueberry on each banana slice.

Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.

ff 4 farm-raised catfish fillets ff 2 lemons ff salt, to taste ff freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Catfish

Grilled Citrus Rosemary Catfish Citrus Sauce

ff 1 lime, juice and zest only ff 1 lemon, zest only ff 1 orange, zest only ff 6 ounces pineapple juice ff 1/2 cup brown sugar ff 1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, chopped ff 1/4 tsp. salt

COURTESY CULI NARY.NET

Transfer catfish to serving plates and spoon warmed citrus sauce over fillets.

Grill catfish fillets, skin side up, 3-4 minutes. Flip over and grill 2-3 more minutes.

To prepare catfish: Place catfish in shallow dish and squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon over each fillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest 5 minutes.

To make citrus sauce: In small saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Heat grill.

COURTESY MILKP EP

Place strawberry in the middle of the bowl to make the nose then drizzle chocolate, if desired, to make mouth and whiskers.

Place remaining banana halves at the top of the bowl, hanging off edge, to create ears.

Transfer asparagus and tomatoes to platter. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar to taste and serve. Serves 6.

1/2 cup brown sugar Frosting:

ff 2 tsp. vanilla extract ff 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

peanut butter

ff 1/2 cup butter ff 1/2 cup creamy

cream cheese

ff 8 ounces low-fat

COURTESY STOUFFER’S

To make balsamic vinegar reduction: In a small saucepan, turn heat to medium-high and bring balsamic vinegar to boil. Reduce heat to simmer (low heat with small bubbles along the edges), and let simmer until vinegar has reduced down (10-20 minutes) stirring occasionally. You will know it has reduced when it coats the back of a spoon. Keep on eye on it because it can burn quickly.

ff 2 large eggs, room temperature ff 1 large egg white, room temperature ff 1 tsp. vanilla extract Peanut Butter Filling: 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter Bacon Topping: ff 4 slices bacon

Graceland Mini Cupcakes

at room temperature

ff 2 cups all-purpose flour ff 2 tsp. baking powder ff 1/2 tsp. salt ff 4 ripe bananas ff 1/2 cup light sour cream ff 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, ff 2 Tbs. canola oil ff 3/4 cups sugar

Heat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and lightly spray with cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine; set aside. In small bowl, mash bananas and add sour cream. Mix well and set aside. Using electric hand mixer, beat butter, oil and sugar until incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs, egg white and vanilla. Mix until combined. Slowly add half the dry ingredients and mix until almost incorporated. Add sour cream and banana mixture and gently fold into batter. Add rest of dry ingredients until combined. Spoon batter into lined cupcake pans. Bake 18-20 minutes; cool. Cut small circle in middle of top of cupcakes and remove plug, creating a well about halfway down cupcake. Add peanut butter to piping bag and fill each hole. Set aside. In medium bowl, dredge bacon in brown sugar. Place on foil-lined baking sheet; bake 10 minutes. Flip and bake another 6-8 minutes. Remove bacon from oven and place on plate to cool; chop bacon and set aside. To make frosting: In large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add confectioner’s sugar and mix until well-combined. Add frosting to piping bag. Pipe a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle with candied bacon pieces. COURTESY SOUTHERN PE ANUT GROWERS

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HOW THE ELECTRIC CO-OP WORKS

If a co-op owns a generation and transmission (G&T) co-op to provide wholesale energy, the distribution co-op board elects a representative to serve on the G&T board.

1. Member-owners elect

board directors for their distribution co-op.

2. Board defines expectations for

the co-op’s general manager (GM/CEO) and provides policies & strategic goals.

BCUOS-O INPE’S SS PLAN

IC NTDESG NT STREA S E L M A GTOE STA POLI

CIES

policies and updates them as needed.

NGS

the board’s expectations to create a plan.

4. GM/CEO delegates

8. Board reflects on

FINDI

3. GM/CEO interprets

Member-owners provide input & feedback to board, GM & staff.

responsibilities to staff who help carry out the plan. CO-OP NEWS

PORRTT

RREEPO

7. GM/CEO shares results

5. Staff develop and oversee programs to accomplish their tasks.

with the board.

6. GM/CEO collects data from staff about their efforts.

Delivering Energy for Life


Kansas Country Living April 2017  

Kansas Country Living April 2017

Kansas Country Living April 2017  

Kansas Country Living April 2017