Zest For 50+ living
Photographer TURNED storyteller Doug Ohman, who photographs historic sites across Minnesota, describes the intrigue of cemeteries and uncovering forgotten stories ▲
Dassel-Cokato Community Theatre’s production wins at MACTFest
Benefit will help keep doors open at Hutchinson Center for the Arts
Uncertain about long-term care? Survey finds you’re not alone
CALENDAR OF EVENTS APRIL
Spring Fling Brunch
McLeod County Master Gardeners’ Education Day McLeod County Master Gardeners will have a Gardening Education Day April 1 at Crow River Golf Club, 915 Colorado St. NW, Huchinson. Checkin is from 8 to 8:45 a.m. Speakers begin at 8:45 a.m., and the event concludes at 3 p.m. Lunch is provided. There will be vendors and displays. Bring a donation for Hunger Free McLeod and receive a free gift bag. For more information, call Karen Johnson at the McLeod County Extension office, 320-484-4334.
Minnesota State Band The 50-piece Minnesota State Band will return to the historic Litchfield Opera House. Tickets are $5 for the 4 p.m. concert April 1. Proceeds benefit the Opera House’s floor and furnace fund. The Opera House is at 136 Marshall Ave. N. For information, call or text 320-5350829, or email email@example.com.
Ecumen of Litchfield will have a Spring Fling Brunch from 8 to 10 a.m. April 1 in the Gloria Dei Dining Room, 200 Holcombe Ave. N., Litchfield. Cost is $6 per person.
Cokato Museum and Akerlund Studio 175 Fourth St. W., Cokato. For information, call 320-286-2427.
Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum
Hospice Dinner & Auction Ecumen Home Care & Hospice of Litchfield will have its annual Hospice Dinner & Auction at 5:30 p.m. April 7 at Peter’s on Lake Ripley in Litchfield. Cost is $60. For more information, call Nicole Larson at 320-373-6604.
901 First St. N., Dassel. For information, call 320-275-3077.
Hutchinson Center for the Arts 15 Franklin St. SW., Hutchinson. For information, call 320-587-7278.
McLeod County Historical Society & Museum
Crow River Singers concerts Crow River Singers will present “A Musical Journey: Germany & Austria Wunderbar” at 7 p.m. April 21 at New Journey-UCC, 31 Fourth Ave. SW, Hutchinson, and at 2 p.m. April 23 at Peace Lutheran Church, 400 Franklin St. SW, Hutchinson. Director is Paul Otte with pianist Brandon Begnaud. Admission is $8. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Refreshments will be served.
380 School Road NW, Hutchinson. For information, call 320-587-2109.
Meeker County Historical Society Museum, G.A.R. Hall 380 Marshall Ave. N., Litchfield. For information, call 320-693-8911.
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ZEST | APRIL 2017
Zest For 50+ living
APRIL 2017 Vol. 9 No. 2
In the news: Dassel-Cokato Community Theatre’s 5 production,‘Voice of the Prairie,’ advances to regional contest
Brent Schacherer • 320-234-4143 email@example.com
In the news: Survey finds Minnesotans aren’t prepared for long-term care
Juliana Thill, editor firstname.lastname@example.org 320-593-4808 Litchfield office 320-234-4172 Hutchinson office
Litchfield Independent Review P.O. Box 307, Litchfield, MN 55355 320-693-3266 Hutchinson Leader 170 Shady Ridge Road NW, Suite 100 Hutchinson, MN 55350 320-587-5000
Kevin True, advertising director email@example.com 320-234-4141 Sales representatives Paul Becker • 320-234-4147 firstname.lastname@example.org Colleen Piechowski • 320-234-4146 email@example.com Joy Schmitz • 320-234-4140 firstname.lastname@example.org Greg McManus • 320-593-4804 email@example.com Sarah Esser • 320-593-4803 firstname.lastname@example.org
story: Doug Ohman 8 Cover photographs cemeteries
and uncovers stories of the forgotten
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Michelle Magnuson • 320-234-4142 email@example.com
In the news: Benefit will help Hutchinson Center for the Arts
Crow River Press 170 Shady Ridge Road NW Hutchinson, MN 55350 Zest is published monthly by the Litchfield Independent Review and Hutchinson Leader newspapers. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior consent of the publisher.
12 Money matters: Tips for being a knowledgeable renter 13 Medicare: Talk to a doctor about your Medicare coverage 14 Recipes: Delicious spring options include Bacon Cheddar Biscuits, and Weekend Brunch Casserole APRIL 2017 | ZEST
A WARM WELCOME
idden in plain view, as Doug Ohman says, are cemeteries of Minnesota. For the past 20 years, as Ohman has photographed cemeteries and graveyards throughout the state and has uncovered stories of the forgotten. Ohman, a photographer and storyteller, shares with readers in this magazine, stories, facts and history behind some of the cemeteries and headstones in Minnesota, as well as focuses on the human stories involved. Read more about Ohman and a presentation he gave recently about cemeteries on Page 8. Also in the magazine is a story about the Dassel-Cokato Community Theatre production, “The Voice of the Prairie,” which earned the Best in Festival award at the Minnesota Association of Community Theatre Fest in March. The cast and crew will perform the play at the regional contest in Brainerd. We wish them well. Break a leg! MACTFest takes place every two years to showcase plays performed by community theater groups. Two years ago, DasselCokato Community Theatre’s production, “The Romancers,” advanced to national competition, where it earned several awards. If you’ve never given much thought to long-term care, you’re not alone. Half of people responding to the Own Your Future annual survey at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair said they are not prepared to deal with the help most
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of them and their loved ones are expected to need some time after age 65. Read more about the survey findings and what you can do about longterm care on Page 6. As older adults downsize and look for a smaller place to live, some opt to rent rather than buy. If it’s been a while since you’ve been a renter, our money columnist on Page 12 offers 10 helpful tips before you sign a Juliana Thill lease. Editor And as another reminder, as we have more snowbirds returning to our area, if you missed our February edition of Zest, be sure to stop at the Hutchinson Leader office or the Litchfield Independent Review office to pick up a free copy for yourself and one for a friend or relative. Each February, instead of printing our regular Zest magazine, we publish a resource guide called Silver Pages for older adults, their caregivers, and others to use. It has a wealth of information, stories, phone numbers, addresses and websites on subjects ranging from state and county agencies to senior housing options, and from hospice care to volunteering. We encourage you to keep Silver Pages in a handy spot and use it as a guide throughout the year.
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IN THE NEWS
D-C Theater’s ‘Voice of the Prairie’ advances to regional contest
he Dassel-Cokato Community Theatre production, “The Voice of the Prairie,” by John Olive, earned the Best in Festival award at the Minnesota Association of Community Theatre Fest in early March. The play will represent Minnesota at the Region V Festival April 27-30 at Chalberg Theatre on the campus of Central Lakes College in Brainerd. The winner of the region contest will advance to the American Association of Community Theatre Fest June 26July 1 in Rochester, Minnesota. The play begins with an old hobo named Poppy — a name given to him by his avid companion, young Davey Quinn. It is the early 1890s and itinerant storytellers like Poppy are the voices of the prairie. Years later, Davey is discovered by a radio entrepreneur while he is telling stories about Poppy and Frankie, a blind girl he rescued from a cruel father. Davey becomes famous on radio as the Voice of the Prairie. In addition to the Best of Festival, “The Voice of the Prairie” cast and crew received the following awards. Outstanding achievements went to Linda Metcalf, costume design; David Metcalf, set design; Scott Hanson, live music, Ron Hungerford, supporting performer; Kurt Schulz, supporting performer; David Metcalf, directing; Peter Dinius, lead performer; and Ellen Mielke, lead performer.
Dassel-Cokato Community Theatre’s production,“The Voice of the Prairie,” advances to the regional MACTFest contest April 27-30 in Brainerd. MACTFest takes place every two years. It’s an opportunity to showcase plays performed by community theater groups. Two years ago, Dassel-Cokato Community Theatre’s production, “The Romancers,” advanced to national competition, where it earned several awards.
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APRIL 2017 | ZEST
IN THE NEWS
Survey results show people uncertain about long-term care The State Fair survey, completed by 2,553 people in 2016, is intended to provide a snapshot of Minnesotans’current thinking on retirement and long-term care planning
In Minnesota, an estimated 92 percent of longterm care is provided by family members.
f you lost your ability to care for yourself because of disability or old age, how ready are you and your family to meet your needs? Half of the people responding to the Own Your Future annual survey at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair said they are not prepared to deal with the help most of them and their loved ones are expected to need after age 65. Half of respondents also said their biggest concern about retirement is losing health and needing care, followed by not having enough money (40 percent) and being a burden to family (11 percent). A quarter said they don’t know how they would pay for such care while others said they would use personal savings or investments (28 percent), long-term care insurance (21 percent), government programs (10 percent) or other resources. “In 13 years, the oldest Baby Boomers turn 85 and the youngest will be 65,” said Loren Colman, assistant commissioner for Continuing Care for Older Adults at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. “We estimate that more than half of these people will need help after age 65 with daily activities such as bathing and dressing as well as housekeeping and other everyday tasks. Yet, many people have not planned for and are unprepared to pay for that help.”
Paying for long-term care Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration launched the Own Your Future initiative in 2012 to promote public awareness of the need to plan for long-term care in later years. More recently Own Your Future has explored affordable long-term care financing options for middle-income Minnesotans. Two options being looked at in greater depth are a home care benefit that would be included in Medicare supplemental plans sold in Minnesota and a term life insurance product that would convert to long-term care insurance as a person ages. The total lifetime cost for the average user of long-term care is $259,000, about half of which will be paid out of pocket, with the remainder paid for by Medical Assistance (34 percent), Medicare (10 percent), private insurance (3 percent) and other sources, according to national studies.
Medicare pays for nursing home care in very limited instances. To be eligible for Medical Assistance in Minnesota, an individual must have limited assets and income.
A family issue Long-term care is a family issue. In Minnesota, an estimated 92 percent of long-term care is provided by family caregivers. Among State Fair survey respondents, 80 percent said they have provided care for a parent, an in-law or another older relative. Yet a total of 60 percent of respondents said they would not expect their children or other family members to play an active role in their long-term care or would not want their children or family members to be involved in their care. “Many adult children of older adults are balancing their own careers with providing care for their loved ones. Planning for how they will manage their needs as they age is more important than ever because family composition will change,” Colman said. “While we explore new financing products, we also have resources to help older adults and their families now.”
Senior LinkAge Line can direct families to services that will help them remain in their homes and can help with prescription drug coverage and other issues. Call 800-333-2433.
Own Your Future website includes a guidebook and other resources to plan for long-term care and other needs as people age. Go online to http://mn.gov/dhs/ownyourfuture.
ZEST | APRIL 2017
IN THE NEWS
Hutchinson Center for Arts plans benefit
utchinson Center for the Arts offers a variety of events and opportunities, from art exhibits and classes to stage productions, live music performances and more. To help keep the doors open, the center hosts an annual fundraiser. This year’s benefit will be at 7 p.m. April 22 at Crow River Golf Club in Hutchinson, and the theme is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It is billed as a “magical evening for imagination, magic and entertainment themed around Shakespeare’s comedy, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’” What to wear? Think garden party. One of the highlights of the evening is the celebrity artist auction. Local people are paired with an artist to create a work of art that is sold during the evening with the money going to the art center. This year’s collaborations feature: • Mary Hodson with Jerry Lindberg. • Valerie Mackenthun and Kayla Alexander with Sharon Rotz. • Eric Lipke with Corey Stearns. • Sara Pollmann with Charlotte Laxen. • Lynette Jensen with Zak Lokovic. Tickets can be purchased online at hutchinsonarts.org, or at the art center. For more information, call 320-587-7278.
— Kay Johnson, contributing writer
APRIL 2017 | ZEST
PHOTOS BY JULIANA THILL
Doug Ohman of New Hope, Minnesota, travels the state taking photos of all kinds of cemeteries, from small family farm cemeteries on the back roads of Minnesota, to expansive cemeteries in the Twin Cities.
Digging into the history of cemeteries Doug Ohman, a storyteller and photographer, has been photographing cemeteries for 20 years. He has come to appreciate the landscaping, the creative headstones and the mystery within. 8
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oug Ohman remembers the cemetery marker that caught his eye and ignited his passion for photographing cemeteries. The cemetery marker is behind a Catholic church in Norwood-Young America, Minnesota. Ohman was in the cemetery at night taking light painting photography — leaving the shutter open on his camera while using a flashlight to illuminate the cemetery markers. By Juliana Thill “I stumbled onto EDITOR this cemetery stone,” he said. It read: Bridget Flood, 1758-1873. He took out his cell phone, used the calculator app to do the math, and discovered she was 115 years old when she died. “There is no one in America today who’s 115 years old,” he said. He contacted Carver County Historical
Society and they didn’t believe him. They had to check the cemetery marker themselves. “They researched Bridget Flood and found she was on the 1860 Census in Minnesota at 101 years old. They found she came from Donegal, Ireland, in the 1840s. She’s in her 80s and fleeing the Potato Famine. She arrived in Minnesota. I’ve never found a 1758 date (on a cemetery marker) ever in Minnesota,” Ohman said. “That stone began my interest in finding more of these mysteries. I look at cemeteries as kind of a clue to a mystery, to a life.” The newly formed Lake Ripley Cemetery Citizens Committee invited Ohman to give a community presentation in February about the beauty and human stories that can be found in cemeteries across Minnesota, including locally. Ohman has been photographing historic cemeteries for 20 years now, and during his presentation, he brought people on a visual road trip to cemeteries across the state by showing photos he has taken at and offering facts about cemeteries and headstones.
Preserving history, memories “I like history. Cemeteries are about memories. They’re about people just like you and I. They’re about stories about those people. A lot of times the cemetery is really the beginning of the story,” Ohman said. Having grown up in the Halloween Capital of the World — Anoka, Minnesota — one might think he would shy away from cemeteries, he joked, but he is drawn to them. “It started with one cemetery stone that I found that turned me on to the subject, and I will do this the rest of my life,” he said. Ohman, a self-described photographer, historian and a storyteller, graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in history and geography. He lives in New Hope, Minnesota, with his wife Krin. He enjoys landscape and historical photography, traveling thousands of miles each year to document his subjects, while at the same time making regular stops at more than 30 art fairs and festivals around the state. He gives presentations and workshops on a variety of subjects that he
Doug Ohman, right, talks about his books with Joe and Nancy Paddock of Litchfield, who are members of the Litchfield Area Writers Group. Ohman gave a presentation recently in Litchfield about cemeteries. has photographed in Minnesota, including historic churches, vanishing landmarks, barns, historic courthouses, historic homes, cabins, state parks, libraries, agriculture, byways, and cemeteries. Many of these he has turned into hardcover books. “I have 23 programs I do for groups, and I think about cemeteries a lot,” he said. “I find any cemetery that I haven’t been to, and I have to stop.” He tells his wife that he needs to leave an hour earlier to a presentation because if he finds a cemetery he hasn’t visited, he will want to stop. “I have the best job in the world. I get to drive around as a photographer and I get to take pictures. And what do I photograph? A lot of different things, but if you want to use one word, I photograph ‘stories,’” Ohman said. “I photograph everything I can find that tells a story,” he said. “Oftentimes, we don’t know too much about the life when we see a stone in the cemetery. Well, that’s where I go — pardon the pun — to dig a little deeper. To find out a little bit about that person, as if that person is still living in our community today because in fact, even though they’re gone, they’re really not gone if we keep their stories alive.”
Keeping stories alive He had spent a little time walking and exploring Lake Ripley Cemetery and noticed a headstone for Jesse V. Branham, 1834-1914, and his wife, Mollie Stark Branham, 1833-1915. The inscription on their shared headstone reads, “Pioneers of Minnesota.” “I like this. It caught my eye because I thought, ‘if I’m going to have something on my cemetery stone someday, I would love it to say, ‘Pioneers of Minnesota.’ What a great title.” The Branhams, indeed, were pioneers, settling in Meeker County in the 1800s. On Aug. 17, 1862, after Native Americans killed members of two families in Acton Township, the Branhams “gathered a few belongings and escaped to Forest City — here, eighteen men signed a contract to stay and protect the frontier, a stockade was hastily built — which formed temporary shelter,” according to an 1862 manuscript in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection that was written by a daughter of the Branhams. When Capt. Whitcomb asked for volunteers to ride to Acton to warn soldiers about Little Crow and other Native Americans who were heading toward a soldier encampment,
APRIL 2017 | ZEST
Branham was the first to volunteer. He and two other men rode out to Acton in the night. At daybreak, Branham was to lead the Company out. When he believed he saw Native Americans in a nearby wheat field, the Company decided to change the route and head to the stockade at Hutchinson. On Sept. 3, “there swooped down upon them, three-hundred Sioux Indians. ... “At once, the utmost confusion prevailed, the soldiers were surrounded, and men and horses were killed. It was at this point Mr. Branham was wounded, shot through one lung, and was thrown into one of the wagons,” the manuscript reads. Branham and others reached the Hutchinson stockade where they were cared for. Branham recovered, “and later was one of the founders of Litchfield.” At the cemetery at Ness Lutheran Church are the graves of the first people who were killed in Acton Township in the U.S.-Dakota Conflict.
Cemeteries in Minnesota “I’m drawn to the story,” Ohman said. He has photographed a variety of cemeteries throughout the years, from small rural ones on a family farm along the back roads of Minnesota, to expansive ones with rolling hills and mature trees in the Twin Cities. “Sometimes, they will have maybe six, eight, 10 graves. But I always stop because I don’t know what mystery I’m missing if I don’t,” he said. The largest cemetery in Minnesota is Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. The oldest one in the state is Pioneer Soldiers Cemetery in Minneapolis. More than 900 people are buried there, he said, but there are records for only about 300. “By the 1880s and 1890s, cemeteries began to change in America. Instead of a flat piece of burial ground, we began to build cemeteries using architectural landscape designers. The idea was to design cemeteries as a park, as a place to go that wasn’t uniform, had gently rolling hills, big trees. Stroll through a virtual garden of memories — that was the idea of a cemetery during the gilded age, the Victorian age in America,” Ohman said. “And you will
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Doug Ohman Doug Ohman operates Pioneer Photography & Services. For information about Ohman’s photography, to order his books, or to schedule a presentation, go to his website, pioneerphotography.com, email him at email@example.com, or call him at 763-543-1049.
Lake Ripley Cemetery Citizens Committee The Lake Ripley Cemetery Citizens Committee is seeking volunteers for its spring cleanup of the cemetery from 9 a.m. to noon May 20. For more information about the clean-up day or the committee, call chairwoman Betty Allen at 320-693-8997. find cemeteries like this in Minnesota, such as Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul. “In the Victorian era, people would go out to the cemeteries in towns and villages and spend the afternoon, bring a picnic lunch, a blanket, the kids. When was the last time you did that? I think you should be able to. It’s a peaceful place to be. Have a picnic at a cemetery. We need to do that more, I think, go out to the cemetery more often,” he said. The difference between a cemetery and graveyard is that, a graveyard is connected to a church, while a cemetery was a municipal entity, he said. Graveyards often were built close to a church, for convenience. “Think about the church. It’s part of life from the very beginning to the very end. From birth, baptism, confirmation, to marriage. The church always plays a role in the big events of life,” he said. “Why would we exclude it in the biggest event of life, when life is over, on this earth, anyway.” Some graveyards are so close to the church, such as one in Polk County, “you can’t walk out of the front door of the church without catching your ankle on one of the monuments, it’s so close,” he said. He also noted that even in death,
people want to be close to family. “That’s a really human thing to want,” he said. “People who buy a burial plot often don’t say, ‘Put me wherever.’ No, you say, ‘put me near my loved ones, my family.’ That’s a natural thing. I’m not sure it matters, but it does to the living, and that’s important,” he said.
Military cemeteries, veterans Another marker Ohman noticed in Lake Ripley Cemetery was for Donald C. Horton, 1896-1918, who was a veteran of World War I. His marker is in Litchfield, but Horton is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. “I’d like to know his story,” he said. It turns out, Horton attended Litchfield High School and graduated in 1915. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1917, and he fought in the same unit as Orville Nelsan of Litchfield. Nelsan, who graduated from LHS in 1917, was killed in action June 6, 1918. Horton was killed in action June 23, 1918, according to the American Legion Nelsan-Horton Post 104 in Litchfield, which is named after the two men. While Minnesota has three military cemeteries — at Fort Snelling, Camp Ripley and in Preston, Minnesota — veterans are buried in cemeteries throughout the state. “We have one, and only one, Revolutionary War veteran buried in Minnesota, in Winona. His gravemarker is in the shape of a fort. He’s the only one we’re aware of who has fought in the Revolutionary War and is buried in Minnesota. There might be others, but we don’t have a record of them,” he said. In Minnesota cemeteries, Ohman has found the graves of about 18 veterans who fought in the War of 1812, a few graves of veterans from the Mexican War, and more from the Civil War. “There is no one living today who served in World War I. They are all gone. But we do have World War II veterans. Sadly, that generation is quickly going,” he said. When you walk the cemeteries. Think about the veterans. We should never forget. Isn’t it a desire of all of us to be remembered? I don’t think it’s asking too much,” he said.
Caring for cemeteries Betty Allen, chairwoman of the Lake Ripley Cemetery Citizens Committee is planning to offer tours of Lake Ripley Cemetery and share stories of some of the people buried there. Allen has walked the cemetery many times. “The more you walk it, the more you really see that cemetery, the more stories there are to be told,” she said. “Cemeteries are for the living. It’s your place to remember, to reflect, to honor. There’s so much history there,” she said. Winton “Mike” Nelson, a member of the Citizens Committee believes it is up to everyone to help care for cemeteries, regardless of whether they are city owned. “There is a lot of history out there that we should appreciate, and they need care, That’s where all of us need to take some ownership for the various cemeteries we’re involved with and our family is represented in,” Nelson said. “When I think about cemeteries,
I compare them to libraries. They’re kind of peaceful places to go to remember our family and friends who have passed away. Cemeteries tell about the history of our community ... the forefathers of our community. “If we take care of the cemetery like a park, people will want to go there, not only to go visit their family’s grave but also some of the other graves to learn about the history of this community. You can ... recognize names of people you have heard about in our community, and learn about our history. I think it also builds a feeling of community because of the fact that it’s made up of members of our community.”
A reminder for the living People put monuments on graves, not for those who have died, Ohman said. “They don’t care. It’s for the living. So, why wouldn’t we want to go out to the cemetery and remember those (who have died)? That’s what they would want,” Ohman said. He has found some interesting epitaphs on headstones, including, the
political statement, “I didn’t vote for Truman.” He has found thoughtful epitaphs, as well: ◆ “Asleep in Jesus. Blessed sleep from which none ever wake to weep.” ◆ “As a star that is lost when the daylight is given, she is faded away to shine brightly in heaven.” ◆ “I hear a voice you cannot hear, which says I must not stay. I see a hand that you cannot see, which beckons me away.” “If you like poetry, walk a cemetery. Read the poems of the epitaphs. It’s amazing what you will find,” he said. “I think our markers should be representative of us. Our stones should represent who we are.” He encouraged people to create a descriptive tombstone or monument, “so, when they walk the cemetery — your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren, complete strangers — they can walk past your marker and want to know more. Let a generation from now know about you. It’s an important story.” ■
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Tips for being a knowledgeable renter After years of owning a home, renting a place to live can be a new experience for some people
n the hunt for a new apartment? A move can be an exciting opportunity to explore a new area or meet new people. However, competitive rental markets can make it difficult to find a desirable place on a budget. Keep these 10 tips in mind to manage the process like a pro. They’ll help you stand out from the crowd, get a good deal, enjoy the neighborhood and manage your rights and responsibilities as a renter. 1. Talk to other tenants. Speak with current or past renters to get a sense for the building and landlord. Ask about the neighborhood, noise, timeliness with repairs and any other pressing questions. Consider looking for online reviews of the landlord as well, and research the neighborhood. 2. Upgrade your application. Go beyond the basic application requirements and include pictures, references, credit reports and a short bio about yourself and whoever else may be moving in. Try to catch the landlord’s eye and show that you’ll take care of the property. You can order a free credit report from each bureau (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) once every 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com. 3. Understand your lease. The lease may list the rent amount, terms of the security deposit, guest polices and other crucial details. Read it carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something. State laws regarding rent control or other regulations can impact your situation as well. If you can afford one, you could hire a lawyer to review and explain the lease. 4. Negotiate the terms. You can’t always negotiate lower rent (it’s worth trying), but there may
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Being an informed renter is especially important in a competitive rental market.Take simple steps to improve your rental and money management skills and you’ll benefit for years to come.
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be flexibility when it comes to the security deposit, parking spaces, administrative fees, or the lease’s length. 5. Learn your rights. Protect yourself by learning about your rights as a renter. They can vary by state, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a directory with links to tenants’ rights websites for each state. 6. Do a walk-through. Walk through the apartment with the landlord, look for damages and document anything you find. You’ll thank yourself later when you move out and ask for your full security deposit back. 7. Consider renters insurance. Renters insurance costs about $15
to $30 a month for a policy that covers $50,000 worth of losses. It reimburses you if your belongings are stolen, damaged or destroyed by a covered cause, such as a fire. The insurance also helps pay for legal fees if, for instance, someone sues after getting injured at your home. 8. Make your own repairs. Prior to signing the lease, ask if you can take on some of the maintenance responsibilities in exchange for reduced rent. You could offer to handle and pay for basic upkeep, such as replacing lights or smoke detectors, and making minor repairs. 9. Pay attention to bills. Evaluate which bills you’ll pay in addition to the rent, such as gas, heat, water, electricity, trash, internet or parking. A more expensive apartment that includes these can save you money overall. 10. Talk to your landlord. Hiding financial trouble helps no one. Talk to your landlord and ask for an extension if you can’t make rent. Good tenants can be hard to come by, and your landlord will likely prefer open communication and a late check to being left in the dark.
People can talk to their doctor about medical services they’re entitled to under Medicare Dear Marci, I just turned 65 and don’t feel like I know very much about what’s covered and what’s not covered under Medicare. How can my doctor help me get the services and care I’m entitled to receive, and how can I be sure her recommendations are in my best interests? — Noreen Dear Noreen, Your health care provider is a good source of information about Medicare and key beneficiary services. Speaking with your doctor is an opportunity for you to guarantee that you get every Medicare-covered benefit you are entitled to at the lowest cost. For example, attend your Welcome to Medicare Visit or Annual Wellness Visit and speak with your doctor about the preventive services you could be eligible for in the coming year. This will help ensure that you can access free Medicare-covered screenings, counseling, and interventions as appropriate. You have the right to seek a second opinion or the advice of a doctor other than your regular provider regarding procedures that you are not positive that you need. Medicare will pay for you to get a second opinion if your regular doctor recommends that you have surgery or a major diagnostic procedure. A diagnostic procedure — like a mammogram or colonoscopy — is used to help diagnose a disease or condition. If your doctor says you need surgery to diagnose or treat a problem that isn’t an emergency, you should consider getting a second opinion. A third opinion might also be covered by Medicare if the recommendations of the first and second providers differ regarding the need for surgery. If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan, your plan might have different rules about second and third opinions. Call your plan to learn the rules. Medicare does not pay for surgeries or procedures that are not medically necessary, like cosmetic surgery. Do not wait for a second opinion if you need emergency surgery. Some types of emergencies may require immediate surgery, like appendicitis, blood clots, aneurysms, or accidental injuries. Having an open dialogue with your providers and their billing offices also creates the space for you to ask questions about services you see on your summary of medical claims. If you are unsure about a claim on your summary of health services, always take that question to your doctor for an explanation. — Marci “Dear Marci” is a service of the Medicare Rights Center, the largest independent source of Medicare information and assistance in the United States. For more information, call the center’s toll-free helpline at 800-333-4114.
APRIL 2017 | ZEST
FOOD & FUN Bacon Cheddar Biscuits
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese 1/4 cup chopped green onions 1/2 cup cooked Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon, diced 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon and extra for rolling, divided 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter 3/4 cup milk Heat oven to 450. In small bowl, toss together cheese, green onions and bacon with 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Use pastry cutter or two forks to cut in butter. Add milk and stir just enough to bring ingredients together. Gently fold in cheese mixture. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead about 1 minute. Pat or roll out dough to 1/2- or 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Makes 12 biscuits.
Crossword puzzle Across 1.Au ___ 5.Tender spots 10. Clearasil target 14.“Cast Away” setting 15.Village 16. Fizzles out 17. Journey 19.Above 20. Less taxing 21. One wife at a time 23. Come together 25. Honoree’s spot 26. Have second thoughts 29. ___ de deux 32. Bore 35. Brews 36. Big end 38.“___ we having fun yet?” 39. Band booking 40.Women’s loose gowns 41. Bug 42.“The Three Faces of ___” 43. Frothy 44. 100 centavos 45. Brief brawl 47.Alkaline liquid 48.Assail 49. Song and dance, e.g. 51.“Fudge!” 53. Sensible 57. Bon mot 61. Cuckoos 62. Unorthodox or radical
ZEST | APRIL 2017
Crossword puzzle answer on Page 15 64. Barfly’s binge 65. Musical show 66.Wizard 67.“Green Gables” girl 68. Swiss capital 69. Checked out
Down 1. Snowman prop 2. ___ Minor 3. Misfortunes 4. System of rule 5. Mixes up 6. Electrical unit 7. Be itinerant 8.“Cogito ___ sum”
9. Devote, as time 10. Slowly, to a conductor 11. A city like Rome and the Vatican 12.Advertising sign 13. Catch a glimpse of 18. Back 22.“Bellefleur” author 24.A helix 26. Earnings 27. Breathing 28. Plant life 30.Anxious 31. Put (away) 33. Clear, as a disk 34. Cache 36.“A pox on you!” 37. Pewter containing 80% tin 40. Former capital of Japan 44. Pseudonym used by authors 46. Sad; sorrowful 48.Two-masted vessel 50. Eat or drink rapidly 52. Montezuma, e.g. 53. Pro ___ 54. Soon, to a bard 55.Affirm 56. ___ lamp 58. Civil War side, with “the” 59. Halftime lead, e.g. 60. Cattail, e.g. 63. Mother Teresa, for one
FOOD & FUN â–˛
April brings signs of spring and the celebration of Easter
Weekend Brunch Casserole 1 8-ounce can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 1 pound sausage 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 4 eggs, beaten 3/4 cup milk 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper Preheat oven to 425. Crumble and cook sausage in medium skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain. Line bottom of greased 13x9-inch baking dish with crescent roll dough, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Sprinkle with sausage and cheese. Combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl until blended; pour over sausage. Bake 15 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares; serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes eight servings.
Answer to Crossword Puzzle published on Page 14
Glencoe, MN 1-800-494-6272
APRIL 2017 | ZEST
For ALL Your Eye Care Needs Serving Hutchinson, Litchﬁeld, Glencoe, Cokato and the surrounding areas
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Regional Eye Center
Physician and Surgeon
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At Regional Eye Center, we are dedicated to serving ALL of your eye care needs. Today, our dedication and focus on cutting edge technology, advanced diagnostics and surgical techniques has only been surpassed by our commitment to quality patient care. From the latest breakthroughs in laser and cataract care – to 24 hour emergency eye care services, contact lenses and prescription eyewear – look to Regional Eye Center for a lifetime of better vision.
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7,000 Square Foot Expansion Opening Soon. Call for more information on one of our new suites.
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