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Zest For 50+ living

A story of

tears &


Karen Gorr and Duane Hickler collaborate on a book about her growing up with cerebral palsy, beating the odds and achieving success ▲

Bill Peltier experiences a moment of beauty

Check our calendar for holiday events

Medicare’s Fall Open Enrollment ends soon





Crow River Singers Winter Concert Crow River Singers’ winter concert, “Joy to the World,” will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at New Journey United Church of Christ Church, 31 Fourth Ave. SW, Hutchinson, and at 2 p.m. Dec. 4 at Peace Lutheran Church, 400 Franklin St. SW, Hutchinson. Admission is $8, and free for children 12 and younger.

Scandinavian Christmas in Cokato The fifth annual Scandinavian Christmas in Cokato will be Dec. 2 and 3 at Cokato Laestadian Lutheran Church, 16144 20th St. SW, Cokato. On Dec. 2, a Scandinavian dinner will be served from 4 to 8 p.m., followed by a cemetery candle-lighting at 5 p.m., choir program at 6:30 p.m., and sing-a-long at 7:30 p.m. The Bazaar and Bakery will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 3. Brunch will be served at 9 a.m., followed by a choir program at 10:30 a.m., and sausage roast from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The bazaar will offer Scandinavian gifts, imported candy and specialty baked goods. Admission is free.

Trees and Traditions Christ the King Lutheran Church will again host a Trees and Tradition event with the theme, “Follow the Star.” The event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at the

church, 1040 South Grade Road SW, Hutchinson, with a light lunch served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. At the event will be Christmas trees, table settings, collections, music, quilts, lefse and krumkake demonstrations, country store, bake shop, coffee bar and refreshments.

Holiday Showcase The 24th annual Holiday Showcase is at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at Bernie Aaker Auditorium, Meeker County Family Service Center, 114 N. Holcombe Ave., Litchfield. Tickets are available at the door or in advance from Litchfield Community Education by calling 320-693-2444.

Forest City Pioneer Christmas Forest City Stockade takes on a winter holiday theme during its annual Pioneer Christmas from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 at the stockade, about six miles north of Litchfield on Highway 24. Step inside 1860s-style buildings to see what life was like for pioneers, see demonstrations and enjoy warm food.

A “Light of Love” Ecumen of Litchfield will have its last tree-lighting ceremony to raise money for hospice care at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Mushroom Building in Dassel. People can make a donation in memory of or in honor of a loved one for “A Light of Love: To Remember Someone Special.” Lights on the trees will stay lit through Dec. 31. For information, contact Nicole Larson at 320-373-6604.

McLeod County Historical Museum dinner, auction McLeod County Historical Museum will conduct a public preview of its silent auction items Dec. 11-18, the week before the annual potluck dinner. Items may be viewed during open hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday, and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The holiday potluck and live auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the museum, 380 School Road NW, Hutchinson.

St. Anastasia Christmas Market St. Anastasia Christmas Market, 400 Lake St. S.W., Hutchinson, is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 10. For more information, call Cathie Wallyn at 320-587-6022.

Holiday Market & Main Street Christmas Holiday Market with vendors showcasing their wares indoors at 11 a.m. Dec. 10 at Depot Marketplace, 25 Adams St. SE, Hutchinson. Admission is free. Main Street Christmas will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 10 also at Depot Marketplace. The event is free.

(62+/ Disabled)

Ecumen Oaks and Pines holiday open houses Ecumen Pines, 1015 Century Ave. SW, Hutchinson, will have a Holiday Open House from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 10. Ecumen Oaks, same address, will have its Holiday Open House from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 11. Admission is free.

Heart of Minnesota Animal Shelter bake sale The annual Heart of Minnesota Animal Shelter bake sale will begin at 9 a.m. Dec. 17 at the Hutchinson Mall and end when the treats are gone. All proceeds go to the shelter.



Zest For 50+ living

Karen Gorr and Duane Hickler of Litchfield write a book about challenges she faced in her life after developing cerebral palsy, and the successes she achieved along the way

PUBLISHED BY 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 PUBLISHER Brent Schacherer 320-234-4143

NEWS Juliana Thill, editor 320-593-4808 Litchfield office 320-234-4172 Hutchinson office

SUBSCRIPTION OR ADDRESS CHANGE Michelle Magnuson • 320-234-4142 PRINTED BY 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 the prior consent of the publisher.


Cover story:

DECEMBER 2016 Vol. 7 No. 10

ADVERTISING Kevin True, advertising director 320-234-4141 Sales representatives Paul Becker • 320-234-4147 Colleen Piechowski • 320-234-4146 Joy Schmitz • 320-234-4140 Greg McManus • 320-593-4804 Sarah Esser • 320-593-4803



6 Senior spotlight:

The Narren from New Ulm entertain the crowd at the Meeker County Senior Expo

The holidays are 13 Health: a good time for compiling a family medical history


Senior viewpoint: Peltier experiences a moment of beauty

12 Medicare: What to do before Fall Open Enrollment ends 14 Recipes: Warm up to winter with Spiced Grilled Ham with Citrus Glaze, Smashed Bacon Ranch Potatoes, and Sugar Cookie Party Mix






aren Gorr’s story is one that makes you shake your head in disbelief at the tragedy she endured, while beaming the next minute at the success she has achieved despite some people not believing in her. Gorr, who has cerebral palsy, believed in herself and persevered through a life many of us can’t imagine. She told her story to Duane Hickler of Litchfield, who typed as Gorr talked. Together, they worked on a book until it reflected Gorr’s recollections from the time her mother placed her in the State School and Home for the FeebleMinded in South Dakota, to the work she was involved in at the state level in Minnesota, helping people with disabilities. The 102-page book is a quick, gripping read that highlights some heartwarming and heart-wrenching stories of Gorr’s life. Read more about her book and about Gorr and Hickler, who started as strangers and came together to share a story worth reading Also in the magazine, we have a guest column from Bill Peltier of Litchfield, who shares what he calls, “A Moment of Beauty.” In addition, we have photos and updates on the McLeod and Meeker County Senior Expos; and tips on compiling a family medical history, which can provide insight into potential health risks you or other family members could face. Finally, for those familiar with the gift of blood — a gift

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needed all year — the American Red Cross is accepting nominations for their 2017 Heroes Awards honoring Minnesotans who through their courage and compassion made significant, positive differences in their communities. Community heroes will be recognized in six categories: Community Hero, Give Life Hero, Good Samaritan Hero, First Responder Hero, Military Hero, Juliana Thill Youth Good Samaritan Hero (under Editor 21). Nominations can be made at Heroic acts and events must have occurred in 2016 to be eligible for 2017 awards. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31. Heroes will be honored at the American Red Cross Minnesota Region’s 2017 Heroes Awards and Centennial Gala on May 19 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. For more information, contact Jacqueline Michaud at 612-872-3241, or email As we wrap up another year of magazines, we thank the businesses who advertise with us and our readers who support us. This month, we say goodbye to 2016, with hope for a peaceful and joyful 2017.

Driver safety courses beneficial in many ways


egardless of how well people think they drive, the older they get, the more they can benefit from a driver safety course, said Dave Kummer, with the Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Center at St. Cloud State University. When people complete a 55-plus driver discount improvement program, they can earn a 10 percent discount on their auto insurance premium. Completion of an eight-hour course qualifies seniors for the discount. As required by state statute, completion of a four-hour refresher course every three years helps maintain the discount. “It (the discount) adds up. If you haven’t done these classes, you really should. And, you might even learn something,” Kummer said. People 55 and older can learn more about traffic safety, changes in traffic laws and modern vehicle technology, he said, “because you got your license at 16 and go until 55 with no additional training in that time.” People can call the Minnesota Safety Center at 888-2341294 to sign up for their classes. AARP Drive Safety Refresher Courses also are available in local communities. People can call their community education offices (Hutchinson 320-5872975 or Litchfield 320-693-2354) to learn more and to register. “We go through books together. There are no tests. Everybody passes,” he said. — By Juliana Thill, editor



Dave Kummer, who works with the Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Center at St. Cloud State University, talks about the importance of driver safety courses for people 55 and older during the McLeod County Senior Expo in September. The Expo’s theme was “SOS: Safety of Seniors, Living Well.” PHOTO BY JULIANA THILL





When a polka is played, dancing commences.Two women get on their feet as Michael James plays the concertina and sings.

Mary Lou Oestreich of Litchfield talks with one of The Narren from New Ulm during the Meeker County Senior Expo in October.

Joyce Aakre and Auggie Anderson don German attire as they serve German chocolate cake to Meeker County Senior Expo attendees, after they finished eating their lunch of bratwurst, German potato salad, sauerkraut, baked beans and pumpernickel bread.

Celebrating seniors


he Meeker County Senior Expo took on an Oktoberfest theme, complete with German food, polka music and German costumed entertainment. The Senior Expo sold out of its 200 tickets, for the first time, and featured 37 area vendors.




The Narren of New Ulm, German wooden-masked characters with colorful costumes, perform at the Meeker County Senior Expo at Church of St. Philip.



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ometimes in a person’s life one is privileged to witness something so beautiful, so touching, so breathtaking that you can hardly wait to tell someone about it. It could very well be seeing a sunset at just the perfect time and place and even capturing that scene with a camera or paint on canvas. Or it could be a sound, music, a Mahler’s 9th in the wee hours while having a eureka awakening. What did photographer, Ansel Adams feel when he took “Moonrise, Hernandez” with a full moon rising in late afternoon above a tiny village in New Mexico Nov. 1, 1941? How did you feel when your baby took her first staggering steps? Can you recall what you Bill Peltier Litchfield resident, felt when you looked into your lover’s eyes and you knew, you just knew that writer, husband, father, grandfather, you would spend the rest of your life retired pharmacist with this person whom you hardly knew. Recently, on a bright fall Sunday morning at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Litchfield, my wife and I were seated behind a young couple whom we had never seen before; strangers. Their clothing, while clean and neat, looked well worn, washed many times somewhere by somebody; hand-medowns or thrift-shop bargains. The young woman was obviously uncomfortably pregnant. Most, but not all Roman Catholic churches in America have kneeling rails or kneelers that are used in the Catholic Mass as part of the liturgy. Kneeling for her was impossible. In fact, even sitting next to her very attentive husband was difficult. As the Mass continued he held the Missal — a liturgical book used in the celebration of Mass — in front of her so they both could read and sing the appropriate songs. There is a place in the Mass sometimes called passing the peace, where each person shakes hands with or greets those around them, saying, “peace be with you.” She stood and turned to shake my hand; her lovely smiling face (she wore no makeup) looked like she hadn’t slept in a week. Totally exhausted. The couple held hands during the Mass, her head against his shoulder, drawing on his strength to help her stand. Two young people about to have their first child. To me, it was like watching Mary and Joseph on their journey from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea where Jesus was born. The love shown between these two people took my breath away. So much in love, so kind and caring. When the Mass ended and we started to leave, I asked when their baby was to be born. They both answered very proudly, “December 11th.” I told them I would pray for them and a healthy baby. They smiled and thanked me. That was a month ago. I haven’t seen them since. Mary and Joseph indeed.


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Karen Gorr and Duane Hickler, both of Litchfield, review a proof of the book they wrote together, “A Life of Triumph,” shortly before it was published.The book is now available at select Litchfield businesses and online.

A story of tears & triumph Karen Gorr, with the help of Duane Hickler, shares her heart-wrenching and heartwarming life story in a new book they wrote together, ‘A Life of Triumph’




ost of Karen Gorr’s child- tions such as not dusting the furniture hood wasn’t filled with well, or for saying hello to her brother, silly playtime with David, in the hallway. And it was there, where staff beat her friends or celebrating birthdays and Christmases surrounded for things she didn’t do, like when another girl poured water by family. on Gorr’s bed to make it Instead, Gorr felt like a look like Gorr had wet the caged animal while living By Juliana Thill bed, an “forgivable sin,” in for 10 years at the State EDITOR the eyes of the building School and Home for the matron. Feeble-Minded in Redfield, “I was beaten often,” South Dakota. There, doors were always locked, bars were secured Gorr said. “I had gotten beaten many on windows, and a high fence surround- times, not just slapped. They didn’t have ed the facility, prohibiting residents to to be that mean.” Now retired and living in Litchfield, leave. “That word still bugs me, just gives Gorr, 79, is sharing her life story with me nightmares. Just the name — feeble others. For the past two years, Gorr has minded — gets me right here,” she said, worked with Duane Hickler, 77, of pressing her hand to her heart. “It’s Litchfield on writing a book about her demeaning. I don’t think it’s a joke at all time at the institution, as well as her life after she left the facility. to say someone is retarded.” Gorr, who has cerebral palsy, was Yet, it was at this institution, where staff would slap her for minor infrac- placed by her mother in the institution.

Ten years later, she convinced her mom to let her move home. There, she learned to walk, roller skate and even ride a bike. She graduated from high school and then from college, became a teacher, got married and had a daughter, despite being told by people she encountered throughout her life that she would never do any of these things. Gorr’s book as told to Hickler, “A Life of Triumph: How a Girl with Cerebral Palsy Beat the Odds to Achieve Success,” was published in October, and is available at select Litchfield stores and online. To recall stories from her past and then share them with Hickler was challenging at times, Gorr said. “It’s better to share with a stranger than with a friend. You can hold the emotion back. I had memories way back in my head for years and years and never spoke about them,” she said. “There were times,” Hickler admitted, that Gorr said, “‘I never told anybody this.’ I felt honored to be able to hear her story.” Through the book writing, the two who started as strangers soon became friends. “He’s a really good guy,” she said. “He is very patient.” “There have been tough moments and tears shed,” Hickler said. “As she believed in our friendship, I would hear a little more pieces of information.”

Her childhood Gorr, which is her married name, was born Karen Huffman in 1937 in Monte Vista, Colorado. Her brother, David, was born two years earlier. When he was 3, he fell out of the family’s Model A Ford and hit his head on a cement curb. After that, she said, he began experiencing blackouts that became more frequent as he got older. When Gorr was 3, she became sick with what doctors said was rickets, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin D. She went from being a cute, cuddly baby to a limp rag doll, she said. She developed cerebral palsy and could no longer walk. In the spring of 1940, her father passed away. Her mother, Mabel Huffman, worked two jobs to support herself and her two children, who both now had special needs.

“She had to work to make any kind of living and then find a baby-sitter for us. She couldn’t find help,” Gorr said. Mabel brought her children to two facilities for help and was turned away. So, Mabel moved the family to South Dakota, where friends lived. When Gorr’s mother learned about the State School and Home for the Feeble-Minded, she and the kids visited. “It had beautiful grounds and a garden. And inside were beautiful marble floors,” Gorr recalled. The institution agreed to accept both children. “And boy, was I mad. David said, ‘it’s OK, Sissy,’” Gorr recalled. However, neither one had any idea what awaited them. “My mom didn’t either. You go in and you think, ‘that’s a nice place,’ you know?’ But you get behind doors, and ‘oh my.’ I fought my way out,” she said. When they arrived, she and David were separated and lived in separate buildings. Her building housed people of all ages, from 3-year-olds to senior citizens, all with different disabilities. On the first day, the staff mixed up her and David’s slippers and refused to make the switch. So, Gorr had David’s red slippers and he had hers. It was one of many memories that Gorr still has a hard time reconciling, why staff couldn’t just exchange the slippers to make her happy. Unable to walk, Gorr slid along the waxed marble floors, pushing herself with her arms like babies do before they learn to crawl. Residents were allowed to bathe once a week. They had to line up in the nude and wait their turn. If they didn’t get their elbows or knees clean, they were scrubbed with a wire brush. Since Gorr could only move by dragging herself on the ground, she became a target for the wire brush. She and David were only allowed to see each other every six months and when their mom came to visit for two to three hours once a year. “It was a long way from home. She would have come more often but she had to work. She just came once a year on her vacation,” Gorr said.




David Huffman and Karen (Huffman) Gorr pose as their mother, Mabel, takes a photo of them standing with their grandparents. The photo was taken on the day their mother admitted them to the State School and Home for the Feeble-Minded in Redfield, South Dakota. David died there, and Gorr lived there for 10 years. “We weren’t allowed to spend Christmas Day together with our mom. There would be some presents, but they’d be opened (by the institution’s staff) before we got them, and things taken out of them,” she recalled. The same happened to their mail, she said. Staff censored what she wrote to her mother and what her mother wrote to her. “Our mail was opened, and they would black things out,” she said. “They didn’t want anyone on the outside to know what’s going on,” Hickler said. The institution had an annual program on Christmas Eve, “and David and I would always sing a duet of ‘Away in a Manger,’” she said. “I still can’t listen to the song or I’ll cry,” she said quietly, getting choked up. “We sang it every Christmas.” While at the institution, David continued to suffer blackouts from the car accident. When he was 13, he developed pneumonia and was taken to the





hospital on campus. Gorr was not allowed to see him. He died by himself on a cold February day. The staff sent David’s body on a train to their mother in Pierre, South Dakota. Gorr wasn’t allowed to attend the funeral and never had the chance to say goodbye to her brother. About the only memento she has left to remember David by are his little red slippers that the staff had given her by mistake when the two entered the institution.

Love, loss and determination

Going home and to school When Gorr was 13 in 1950, she begged her mom to allow her to come home. Mabel agreed, and brought Gorr home for the summer, telling her daughter that if she learned to walk during the few months she was home, maybe she could remain at home. Her mother brought Gorr to see a doctor, who believed in her ability to walk and offered encouragement. She learned to walk on her own through trial and error, she said. At the institution, staff taught her to read to the third grade level. So, that fall, at age 13, she entered third grade at a country school. Her first Christmas after 10 years in the institution, she spent with her mom and relatives. “It was awesome,” she said. She lived with her mom for two years, and then in 1952, moved to Sioux Falls where she lived at the new Crippled Children’s Hospital and School. There, she met the school dietitian, June Foss, who had a daughter, Cheryl, with cerebral palsy. Gorr would attend church with June and her husband, Joe. She came to know the Foss family well. Joe later became governor of South Dakota. After two years in Sioux Falls, Gorr moved back to Pierre to live with her mom and finish junior high school. A doctor told her mom that Gorr would never make it through high school, but to let her try. Foss invited Gorr to live in the governor’s mansion for her sophomore through senior year of high school to tutor Cheryl and to help around the house. After Gorr graduated from high school in 1958 at age 21, she attended Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota.



The 102-page book, “A Life of Triumph,” can be purchased at Open Door Gifts (inside Meeker Memorial Hospital), KLFD radio station, Natural Food Co-op, and online at as paperback or on Kindle. Her dream was to become a teacher. “I love little kids. I knew what it was like to be handicapped and have kids pick on you and make fun of you, and I thought, ‘not in my class,’” she said. In her second year at college, her adviser told her she had no chance of making it as a teacher. “I was supposed to do my student teaching my third year. At the beginning, the teacher I had as an adviser said, ‘you can’t teach. You don’t talk good enough, and don’t walk good enough,’” she said. Instead of being discouraged, she said, “I got feisty.” Gorr took speech therapy and went to physical therapy, baby-sitting the therapist’s young child to pay for her therapy. After completing therapy, she was interviewed by some of her professors and the dean who were to decide whether she could continue pursuing her degree. After the interview, she waited outside the room for their decision, sitting with her boyfriend, Jim. The dean came out of the room and said they agreed she could finish college, which she did, earning a bachelor of science degree in special education.

Jim was Gorr’s first love, and before long, the two were engaged and began making wedding plans. While on leave from the National Guard, he was returning home and was killed in a car accident in California. Her dreams of marrying Jim and having a family together came to an end, and she was devastated. “Losing Jim was tough on her,” Hickler said. Gorr became depressed. Eventually, she called on her survival skills that had helped her through tough times, and pulled herself together, she said. She taught in South Dakota, Iowa and later was hired as a special education teacher at Gaylord Elementary School in Gaylord, Minnesota. There, she joined a bowling team made up of other single teachers. Because it was frowned upon for single female teachers to go into Gaylord’s liquor store, she said, they drove to the Winthrop liquor store. One of the bartenders, Dale Gorr, took notice of her and asked her on a date. Eventually they married and had a daughter, Katie. While teaching in Gaylord, Gorr worked with the Association for Retarded Citizens and the United Cerebral Palsy Association, and helped develop Sibley County Special Olympics. Because of her involvement and her work with Gov. Foss in South Dakota, she came to the attention of Minnesota’s then-Gov. Rudy Perpich. Perpich had adopted the Minnesota State Council for the Developmentally Disabled, which Foss and others had started in South Dakota. Perpich appointed Gorr to serve on the board of directors, which she did for six years. She also served on the Minnesota board of United Cerebral Palsy and helped start the Council on Aging, which allows people with disabilities to receive free rides to their medical appointments. She now uses the service herself. Following Dale’s death in May 2001, Gorr moved to Litchfield in 2006 to be closer to Katie. After Dale died, “I was so lonesome. Katie, my daughter, she lives in Grove City. She said, ‘pack your bags and move up here.’” So Gorr left Gaylord and moved into

Lincoln Apartments in Litchfield. “That’s the most important thing to me is family, and being close to her,” she said. In 2008, Gorr was appointed to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority board in Litchfield, and in 2010, she began serving on the board of directors at Lincoln Apartments. She acknowledged that places like the institution where she stayed are changing as people become more accepting and better trained in working with people with disabilities.

Sharing her story After moving to Litchfield, Gorr met Hickler’s son, David, who was living at the same apartment building. “David and I were close and would share stories,” Gorr said. David told his father about Gorr. Hickler, who has a passion for writing, wanted to share Gorr’s story. When David asked Gorr if she would be willing to work with his father and write a book, her response was, “it’s time my story is told.”


Dale, Karen and Katie Gorr pose for a photo at Katie’s graduation from high school. So, Hickler sat down with Gorr and typed as she talked. “Sometimes, we would talk about more things. And then memories would come back and sometimes they



were tough memories,” he added. “Yes, they were,” she said. The institution, now known as, South Dakota Developmental Center, is overseen by the South Dakota Department of Human Services. Hickler and his wife visited the center and talked with an employee about what Gorr had experienced. “He said, they’ve heard all the stories. It’s not like that now,” Hickler said. Gorr said she wants people to be more accepting of people with disabilities, and that’s why she decided to write the book with Hickler. “I want people to know that just because they have a handicap physically, doesn’t mean they don’t have a mind and can’t think,” she said. After years of heartache, and overcoming obstacles and people’s discouragement, Gorr shrugs off a question about how she has managed to stay so positive throughout her life. “She’s a fighter,” Hickler interjected. “I’m stubborn,” she added, “and I’m very determined.” ■

At Woodstone, we offer a smaller, more intimate, and more personal setting for our residents to call home. Being at home is such an important part of achieving a higher level of care. When a resident moves in to our community, they become a part of our family. Residents have the opportunity to be active through resident outings, community events and volunteering with different local organizations. By getting to know each resident and their family individually, we can better tailor the experience, and care, that our residents receive. Featuring: Care Suites and Memory Care • Private

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Medicare’s Fall Open Enrollment ends Dec. 7


veryone with Medicare who is enrolled in a private health or drug plan should review their choices during the Fall Open Enrollment Period, advises the Medicare Rights Center, a national, nonprofit consumer service organization. Even people who are currently happy with their plan should do so, because plans make changes to their benefit packages every year. The Fall Open Enrollment Period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. During this time, people with Medicare can make changes to their health and drug coverage options without restriction. Those enrolled in Original Medicare can switch to a private plan. People with Medicare have the right to make as many changes as they need, and the last change they

Medicare websites and helplines For help with or for more information about Medicare’s Fall Open Enrollment, Oct. 15-Dec. 7: ◆ Go online to ◆ Call 800-MEDICARE (633-4227) ◆ Call Medicare Rights Center’s toll-free helpline at 800-333-4114

make on or before Dec. 7 will go into effect on Jan. 1. “People with Medicare need to be aware of any changes to their current plan and carefully review all of their options in time to make a decision by

Dec. 7,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center. “While reviewing your options, it is important that you contact the plan to confirm any information you find. Once you have made your decision, you can enroll in the plan by calling 800MEDICARE.” For those who currently have a Medicare Advantage plan (also known as a Medicare private health plan) or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, they should have received their Annual Notice of Change before Sept. 30. The ANOC lists the changes in the plan, such as the premium, co-pays and drug formulary. The ANOC also compares the plan benefits in 2017 with those in 2016 and should be used as a starting point when reviewing plan choices during the Fall Open Enrollment Period.



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Holidays offers opportune time to create medical family tree Family medical history provides insight into conditions that are common in a family, gives clues about risk of disease By Mayo Clinic staff


o you know what health conditions run in your family? Take advantage of holiday gatherings to find out. Having access to vital information could reveal the history of disease in your family and allow you to identify patterns that might be relevant to your own health. The U.S. Surgeon General encourages families to talk and write down their medical history. Holidays, when families gather, can be an opportune time to discuss and share information about family medical issues that might be common such heart disease, cancer and diabetes — or less common, such as hemophilia, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia. “Knowing your family history can help your health care provider determine if you are at an increased risk for any conditions that may warrant additional testing or screening,” said Teresa Kruisselbrink, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine genetic counselor supervisor. Your family medical history, sometimes called a medical family tree, is a record of illnesses and medical conditions affecting your family members.

Family medical history can be useful You inherit half of your genetic profile from each parent. Along with the genetic information that determines your appearance, you also inherit genes that might cause or increase your risk of certain medical conditions. A family medical history can reveal the history of disease in your family and allow you to identify patterns that might be relevant to your own health.

Best way to gather information Your family might want to work together to develop a family medical history. Consider kicking off the project at a family gathering, such as a holiday or reunion. Keep in mind, however, that some loved ones might be uncomfortable disclosing personal medical information. The U.S. Surgeon General created a free computerized tool called, My Family Health Portrait, to help you create a family medical history. It’s available at https://family Or, you can compile your family’s health history on your computer or in a paper file. If you encounter reluctance from family members, consider these strategies: ◆ Share your purpose. ◆ Provide several ways to answer questions: faceto-face conversation, by phone, mail or email. ◆ Word questions carefully. Be short and to the point.

Having access to vital information could reveal the history of disease in your family and allow you to identify patterns that might be relevant to your own health. ◆ Be a good listener. Listen without judgment or comment. ◆ Respect privacy. Respect relatives’ right to confidentiality.

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Savor the time spent with family and friends this holiday season Spiced Grilled Ham with Citrus Glaze

6 to 7-pound fully-cooked bone-in ham, trimmed 1 tablespoon ground coriander 1 tablespoon ground paprika 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 cup lemon marmalade (or other citrus marmalade) 2 tablespoons orange juice 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

tern into ham, about 1/8 inch deep into any fat. In small bowl, combine coriander, paprika, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. Rub spice mixture over all sides of ham. Place ham, flat side down, in center of grill over drip pan. Cover and cook, adding briquettes as necessary to maintain heat, until internal temperature of ham reaches 140, 1 1/2 to 2 hours or 15 to 18 minutes per pound. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine Preheat gas or charcoal grill to marmalade, orange juice and sugar. medium-hot (375 to 425). Prepare Brush marmalade mixture over WWW.CULINARY.NET/NATIONAL PORK BOARD grill for indirect cooking: For gas ham. Cover and grill 5 minutes, grill, turn off center burner; for until glaze is lightly caramelized. charcoal grill, bank coals on either side; place a drip pan Remove ham from grill, transfer to cutting board, and let under grate between heat sources. Score a diamond patrest 15 to 30 minutes.

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Crossword puzzle answer on Page 15 62. Architectural projection 63.“Frasier” actress Gilpin 64. Diminutive suffix 65. Romance, e.g. 66. Particular, for short 67. Aims


Down 1. Crude dude 2. Church leader 3. ___ Bowl 4. 26-mile footrace 5. Aimless

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FOOD & FUN Smashed Bacon Ranch Potatoes 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces 4 to 6 slices Smithfield Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon 1/4 cup bottled ranch dressing 2 tablespoons buttermilk or whole milk 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar Salt and pepper

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Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; return to saucepan and mash coarsely. Cook bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until browned; drain and crumble. Pour off drippings from skillet, leaving clinging particles in skillet. Add potatoes, salad dressing, buttermilk and vinegar to skillet; stir until well blended. Cook, stirring constantly, until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sugar Cookie Party Mix 6 cups Rice Chex cereal 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons corn syrup 2 teaspoons pure vanilla 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1 ounce white baking chocolate or 1/4 cup vanilla milk chips 1 to 2 teaspoons sprinkles

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Measure cereal into large microwaveable bowl. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil. In 2-cup microwaveable measuring cup, microwave butter uncovered on high 30 seconds or until melted. Add sugar and corn syrup; microwave uncovered on high 30 seconds, until mixture is heated and can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered on high 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Sprinkle with powdered sugar; mix well. Spread on waxed paper or foil. Microwave white chocolate on high 30 seconds or until it can be stirred smooth; drizzle over top. Sprinkle with edible glitter or sprinkles.

Answer to Crossword Puzzle published on Page 14

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Zest - For 50+ Living  
Zest - For 50+ Living  

Zest - 50+ Living December 2016 issue Serving Huchinson and Litchfield Minnesota area.