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What did you say? Special Focus on Hearing Health • October 2010

ZesT

50+ Living

As busy as ever

Travel and service fill Beth and Art Kasal’s retirement time

Rev. Bruce Miller: Hearing the call

Mary Horrocks: Back in the loop


Your Hearing is important: See a Licensed Audiologist! Communicating with your family and friends, socially or at work is one the most important things we do. When you need your hearing tested and are considering hearing aids, make sure you see a Licensed Audiologist. There are some dispensers who are allowed to sell hearing aids, but are not licensed audiologists. You deserve the best hearing possible. Licensed Audiologists are: • required to have graduate Masters or Doctoral degrees in Audiology • the only providers qualified to diagnose hearing loss and dispense hearing aids • recognized by Medicare as the only provider qualified to test hearing for diagnostic purposes • recognized by the State of Minnesota as the only provider qualified to test children 18 years and under • recognized by the State of Minnesota as the only provider qualified to test hearing for Medical Assistance patients

Hearing Help Audiology CALL 587-3636 TODAY! Dr. Shirley Fors

125 South Main St., Hutchinson Kamrath Chiropractic building

1978 Hutchinson High School, highest honors 1982 University of Minnesota, honors, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology 1986 University of Minnesota, highest honors, Master of Arts, Audiology 1986 Certified, American Speech, Language and Hearing Association 2004 President, Minnesota Academy of Audiology 2007 Salus University, highest honors, Doctor of Audiology

All insurance accepted, including VA N02457 Z

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Contents

ZesT 5

October 2010 Vol. 1 No. 8 zestforlife.mn

Books: The wisdom of Coach Wooden

6–13 SPECIAL SECTION: Hearing Health

16

7

7

FEATURE STORY: Hearing the call

10

FEATURE STORY: Back in the loop

14

Comfort Foods: End of summer favorites

16

FEATURE STORY: As busy as ever

20

Medicare Answers: Respite care, screenings covered

22

News: Area Agencies on Aging full of resources

24

Wellness: Ways to reduce cancer risk

29

Money: Tips for banking online

30

Travel: Celebrate the majesty of autumn

10 A month of kudos from Zest readers I read a rather amusing quote recently. The unnamed author of said quote wrote “There are two types of mints you never turn down in life: breath mints and compliments. Either way, someone is trying to tell you something.” Well, fortunately the latter has been dished out to those of us working on Zest during the past couple months. Some readers have been keen to share their thoughts and feelings about the content on these pages and we appreciate it, even encourage it, in fact. One of the ways a person or product grows is by listening when that someone

tries to tell you something. So be assured we at Zest hear your comments loud and clear. Speaking of hearing, this October issue places special emphasis on the topic of hearing health. With personal accounts from two hearing aid wearers and guides to some of the types of treatments and conditions out there, this special focus is set up to be a handy resources. The second feature story this month tells of Art and Beth Kasal’s active retirement lifestyle. The Hutchinson couple has found enjoyment in traveling and volunteer work since leaving behind careers at 3M. Also if you have not noticed our recipe contest, turn to page 14 to learn how you could win a $25 prize

by submitting your favorite recipe. As always I welcome your feedback and ideas. If you have an idea for a story or just general comments, then please send them to me. You can reach me via email at winter@hutchinsonleader.com or winter@independentreview.net or by sending a letter to Hutchinson Leader C/O Katie Winter, 36 Washington Ave. W., Hutchinson, MN 55350, or Litchfield Independent Review C/O Katie Winter, 217 North Sibley, Litchfield, MN 55355. Until next time, happy reading. Katie Winter

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Opinion

AARP: Support home health bills

A

ARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond issued the following statement regarding AARP’s endorsement of the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2010, H.R. 4993 and S. 2814. The bills, sponsored by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D- Pa.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will improve home health care access for people in Medicare by authorizing more providers to order these services: “AARP is committed to ensuring that consumers have access to health care providers who are qualified, educated, and certified to provide high quality primary care, chronic care management, and other services that keep them live a high quality life, with dignity, in locations of their choice. “For the vast majority of older Americans, that location is home. A recent AARP study found that nine in 10 Americans want to stay in their current residence for as long as possible. However, current law does not allow nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants to order home health care services for the patients they serve. This means that homebound patients are unable to receive needed home care services until the orders are signed by a physician and faxed to the Medicare Certified Home

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Health Agency, and can result in patients being hospitalized while home care is delayed. Timely home health services can help keep people in their homes and out of more costly care settings. “The Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2010 addresses this by helping to ensure consumers have direct access to home health referrals from their choice of providers. It authorizes nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other providers to order home health care services and reimburses them through Medicare. “Decades of data demonstrate that nurse practitioners provide high quality care to people of all ages, including people in Medicare. The majority of nurse practitioners practice in primary care and twenty percent practice in rural areas. These advanced practice registered nurses often are the only care providers available in areas with health professional shortages. “AARP endorses the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2010 because it will improve home health care access for people in Medicare, allowing them to stay in their homes for as long as possible. We will continue to work with Congress to pass this important legislation.”

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Books

The wisdom of Coach Wooden (NAPS) — The late John Wooden has been called America’s greatest coach and he has inspired generations both on and off the basketball court, providing valuable lessons on coaching and mentoring. The coach of 10 NCAA basketball championships in 12 years with the UCLA Bruins, Wooden was named Coach of the Century by ESPN. His achievements off the court were equally impressive, including being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. Now, a lifetime of Coach Wooden’s ideas on how to live life without sacrificing your moral principles can be read in his final book, “The Wisdom of Wooden: My Century On and Off the Court.” About the book, Coach Wooden’s longtime collaborator and friend Steve Jamison said: “He opened up his heart and shared his soul to insure that his last book would be very useful to those who share his belief that success and good values go hand in hand.” “The Wisdom of Wooden” captures a life spent teaching, guiding and serving others. It’s filled with personal memories, warm advice and beautiful color photographs from Wooden’s private collection. For more information, visit www.coachwooden.com.

Coach Wooden’s legacy of leadership, life lessons and books can inspire new generations.

You grew up believing that hard work, dedication and a little creativity could help build a good life for you and your family. Throughout your lifetime, you’ve gained invaluable knowledge, skills and experiences. Now, you may be looking for options outside of traditional retirement, supplemental income and a way to fulfill what you’re truly passionate about. If you’ve ever dreamed of starting a business, now is the time to do it.

800-594-9480 or 320-587-4848 encore@swifoundation.org www.swifoundation.org/encore

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Contact us to discuss your business ideas and options.

Encore Entrepreneurship is a program of the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s Paul and Alma Schwann Aging Trust Fund.

ZEST / October 2010 5


HEARING HEALTH FOCUS

Have you heard? Ways to hold on to hearing By Katie Winter

I

t’s frustrating to be unable to hear well enough to enjoy talking with friends or family. Sadly, millions in the aging wave of baby boomers are increasingly discovering they have a hearing loss and are grappling with the associated communication difficulties. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders, 18 percent of American adults 45 through 64 years old reported having a hearing loss. Another study by The Ear Foundation showed half of the nearly 76 million people between ages 45 and 59 report some level of hearing loss, That is roughly 38 million people. So what is causing this rise in hearing impairment? According to the NIDCD, some possibilities are: • Heredity • Diseases such as ear infections

6 ZEST / October 2010

and meningitis • Trauma • Long-term exposure to loud noise • Aging Hearing loss is grouped into two main types. One type results when the inner ear or auditory nerve is damaged. This type is permanent. The other kind happens when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear because of earwax build-up, fluid or a punctured eardrum. Thankfully all is not lost for those who suffer hearing loss. Today’s medical advances are opening up doors and restoring hearing clarity and comprehension for many people. Hearing aid technology has grown by leaps and bounds and many styles no longer bear any resemblances in appearance or performance to those worn by previous generation. On the following pages, read the stories of a pastor and a teacher who have enjoyed a renewed enthusiasm

for their jobs and lives thanks to hearing aids. Their experiences challenge the belief that hearing loss and treatment is a sentence to old age. Also provided is more information on hearing aid styles, ways to identify hearing loss and details on a common hearing condition called tinnitus. Many associations and organizations are working to educate people on ways to treat and prevent hearing impairment. Explore these websites to learn more: • The American Speech-LanguageHearing Association – www.asha.org • The Better Hearing Institute – www.betterhearing.org • The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders – www.nidcd.nih.gov • The Mayo Clinic – www.mayoclinic.com/health/hearing-loss/DS00172


HEARING HEALTH FOCUS

STAFF PHOTO BY KATIE WINTER

Rev. Bruce Miller is the assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in Cokato. It’s a position that has been enhanced by a new pair of barely visible hearing aids.

Hearing the call Rev. Bruce Miller thrives in a new career with a renewed sense of sound By Katie Winter

T

o say Rev. Bruce Miller has lived a quiet life would be like saying the moon is made of cottage cheese. After all he raised four children with his wife, Lori, owned his own contracting business and went back to school at age 45 to become a minister. He laughs readily and heartily, and has a

knack for putting people at ease. But as the years progressed, the world he was hearing gradually became quieter and quieter. A significant loss of hearing in both ears was putting his active lifestyle in jeopardy. Miller, the assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in Cokato, first learned of the severity of his hearing loss in 2000. An audiologist

told him he had lost the capacity to hear in the 2,000 – 4,000 megahertz range, excluding him from picking up high-pitch sounds. Miller is essentially deaf to words beginning with an S sound. The doctor also told him he should protect his hearing. “The audiologist said treat your ears like gold,” Miller said. “He said anything louder than a vacu-

um cleaner protect your ears. Did I do that? No. I did get a pair of muffs for on the job, but they stayed in the back of the trailer.” During the past year, Miller gave in and purchased a pair of hearing aids. It was a long time coming and very nearly too late. For almost 25 years, Miller worked in the construction industry, building

ZEST / October 2010 7


HEARING HEALTH FOCUS and remodeling homes and offices. The persistent sounds of machinery engines and power tools were standard on the job, but exposure to all the racket without hearing protection resulted in consequences Miller said did not occur to him. “Of course, I was young and foolish and didn’t need to protect my hearing,” Miller said. “There were a lot of loud noises all day long. It was pretty bad.” A change of career soon highlighted the toll the job exacted from his quality of life. When Miller answered the call to join the ministry, his pastoral duties, such as greeting parishioners, preaching and working with children, required effective communication. However, to Miller it seemed as though his young pupils were speaking

both softly and rapidly, leaving him to ask “what?” more often than he liked. “It was so frustrating working with kids and not being able to hear them,” Miller said. “Then at social functions, it was really bad. During the service I was expected to greet people. I said, ‘What is God doing? I can’t hear and as a pastor you’ve got to be able to hear people.’” Still the same fears and doubts that had kept him from purchasing hearing aids 10 years earlier, resurfaced. “I went and checked out hearing aids,” Miller said. “ I was very self-conscious because only old people have hearing aids and I’m not old. I felt really out of place and very uncomfortable.” But Miller stamped down his trepidation and sched-

uled appointments with a licensed audiologist and hearing aid expert, who fitted Miller with a state of the art behind-the-ear hearing aid. They came with a $5,000 price tag that Miller was fortunate to have picked up by his MinnesotaCare insurance plan, one of the few insurers to offer hearing aid coverage. At first or even second glance, a person would be hard pressed to notice the small devices looped over Miller’s ears. The clear and flesh colored pieces make the hearing aids practically invisible. “That’s what I love about them. No one knows I have hearing aids,” Miller said. “They have just become a part of my ears. I don’t feel them. I don’t think about them.” And what about those

worries of appearing like an “old man?” Well the improvement in his hearing and quality of life calmed those. “I’ve enjoyed them,” Miller said. “Just being able to hear a full conversation with somebody and not leaning forward and straining.” The stigma attached to hearing aid wearing is something people should not let stop them from enjoying the chorus of sounds the world has to offer, Miller said. “It’s not a bad thing to have hearing aids,” he said. “It’s just (asking) do you want to hear people or not? Or if you knew you could hear again would you go for it?”

An array of hearing aid types The most common styles of hearing aids are: • Receiver-in-the-Ear – rests above or behind the ear, nearly invisible. • Behind-the-Ear – rests behind the ear and is barely visible. • Completely-in-the-Canal – resides deep inside the canal barely visible or not visible at all in the canal. • In-the-Canal – fits outside the ear canal, slightly visible in the ear. • In-the-Ear – fills the entire bowl of the outer ear, visible in the ear. PHOTO COURTESY OF WIDEX

8 ZEST / October 2010


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ZEST / October 2010 9


HEARING HEALTH FOCUS

Back in the loop Conversations now come through loud and clear for Mary Horrocks

Mary Horrocks, a teacher in the Hutchinson School District, has enthusiastically embraced her new hearing aids. STAFF PHOTO BY KATIE WINTER

By Katie Winter

H

earing aids have not helped Mary Horrocks sing any better, but that is the only area of her life not improved by the devices. Horrocks, an English teacher at Hutchinson High School, purchased her hearing aids this summer, just in time for the new school year. And it’s news she would gladly shout from the rooftops. “Everyone thinks I’m nuts because I say ‘I’ve got hearing aids!’” Horrocks said. “They are just wonderful. They’re small, easy and very comfortable.” She first noticed deterioration in her hearing two years ago. “I have hearing loss and it’s especially in the area of conversations and consonants,” Horrocks said. “I was the only one in a group that’s always saying, ‘could you repeat that,’ or ‘I’m sorry I didn’t catch that.’” Horrocks experienced some of the common symptoms

10 ZEST / October 2010

associated with hearing loss. She found herself needing others to repeat themselves more often and missing or misunderstanding parts of conversations. Not only did this put stress on her relationships with family, students and co-workers, it also took a toll on her physically. “It was the realization of how stressful it is and how tense you get,” Horrocks said. “When you’re in a group especially you’re always straining to hear. It really takes a lot of energy out of you. My hearing loss was significant enough that is became depressing.” Unlike other hard-of-hearing sufferers, Horrocks’ condition was not caused by years of exposure to loud machinery or music. She suspects that heredity and family genetics are at the root of the problem. “I think mine is probably genetic,” Horrocks said. “My dad is hard of hearing. My brother’s hard of hearing. My younger sister told me she’s hard of hearing.” Tired of missing out on some of life’s enjoyments, Horrocks purchased a pair of MicroTech hearing aids. Fitted with some of the latest hearing technology, the


HEARING HEALTH FOCUS devices allow users to adjust settings for optimal sound in all environments, all while being discrete and nearly invisible when worn. “I just love hearing,” Horrocks said. “It was startling because there was such clarity. There was all this stuff I was missing. I now hear warnings from my car I didn’t before. When I take my dog out I can hear my feet in the grass. I’ve just been so happy.” Horrocks admitted to harboring concerns about the price of hearing aids before committing to them. The high price tag attached to the devices is a common deterrent for people, especially because most insurance providers do not offer coverage. This leaves those like Horrocks to pick up the several thousand-dollar tab. For Horrocks, the burden was lighten slightly by comparison shopping and negotiating a fair and comparable price with her provider, steps she encourages others in the market

for hearing aids to take. She is also on a monthly payment plan that makes the expense manageable. “It is very expensive,“ Horrocks admits. “(But) you ask ‘How many years do I have left?’ I don’t know, but if you amortize the cost of these I can’t think of anything better I could have done with my money.” Horrocks’ journey has not only expanded her world again, it has broadened her mind. She has learned a great deal about the hearing aid industry and the workings of the human ear. Her top tips for someone seeking treatment for hearing loss is be well-informed, do not wait, and have support. “It was nice to have my husband go with me to evaluate what was there,” Horrocks said. “It is always a little frightening when you don’t know what’s going to happen. So I think that it helps to have someone with you to help evaluate and be supportive.”

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ZEST / October 2010 11


HEARING HEALTH FOCUS

Dispel the myths of hearing loss tions. This creates the illusion that the so-called “better ear” is normal when it really isn’t. In fact, according to the BHI, most type of hearing loss affects both ears equally and roughly 90 percent of hearing loss patients are in need of hearing aids for both ears. • Hearing loss is for the elderly. Arguably the most common misconception about hearing loss, this is also entirely untrue. In fact, only 35 percent of people with hearing loss are over the age of 64. Nearly 6 million people in the United States alone between the ages of 18 and 44 have some hearing loss, and more than one million are school age. • My doctor would have told me if I had hearing loss. According to the BHI, only 14 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Due to the quiet

nature of a doctor's office, it's easy for the physician to assume your hearing is fine because the environment is quiet and you likely are not exhibiting any symptoms of hearing loss. When visiting the doctor for your next physical, ask him to look for any signs of hearing loss during the physical. • Hearing loss is normal for my age. Hearing loss isn’t normal for anyone, no matter what a friend, relative or even physician might say. • Hearing loss is untreatable. Hearing loss might have been untreatable years ago, but technology has changed that. Though surgery might not be the answer, the BHI notes that 95 percent of people with sensorineural hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids. To learn more about, visit, www.betterhearing.org.

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Hearing is something many people take for granted. Nearly anyone who has ever been to a concert has considered the possibility of hearing loss. Just as common as the consideration of hearing loss are the myths associated with it. The Better Hearing Institute is a not-for-profit corporation with a goal of educating the public about hearing loss. Here are some common hearing loss myths: • Minor surgery can fix my hearing. Though medical treatment or surgery can benefit hearing loss, only 5-10 percent of adult cases of hearing loss can benefit from surgery or other treatment. • I have on good ear and one bad ear. When one ear is bad, the natural tendency is to begin favoring the other ear when using the telephone or having face-to-face conversa-

12 ZEST / October 2010


HEARING HEALTH FOCUS

Living life with Tinnitus Tinnitus is ringing in the ears that does not go away. If the ringing lingers, you could have one of the following types of tinnitus. • Pulsatile tinnitus. People with pulsatile tinnitus tend to hear sounds such as the contractions of their muscles or their own pulse. Sound can keep time with your heartbeat or may even keep pace with your breathing. The cause of pulsatile tinnitus is typically sounds created by muscle movements in the ear, blood flow problems in the face or neck, or changes in the ear canal. • Nonpulsatile tinnitus. Those who have suffered from nonpulsatile tinnitus have described that problem as coming from inside their head. Typically, nonpulsatile tinnitus is caused by problems in the nerves needed to hear. Sounds can be heard in one or both ears. Both pulsatile and nonpulsatile tinnitus can come and go. Just because symptoms have disappeared, does not necessarily mean you’re in the clear.

What causes tinnitus? The most common cause is hearing loss that occurs with aging. Many types of ear disorders exist, and tinnitus can occur with any one of them. The following could also be causes or contributing factors of tinnitus: • A rapid change in environmental pressure

• Dental problems • Whiplash • Direct blows to the ear or head • Neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis or migraine headaches • Wax buildup in the ears • Excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeinated beverages • Severe weight loss

Is there treatment? While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are ways to reduce its symptoms. These steps involve lifestyle changes, such as reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption, quitting smoking or using other smokeless tobacco products, and regular exercise. Another means to treating tinnitus can be to include background noise when in a quiet place or trying to sleep. Typically, those with tinnitus find quiet rooms too distracting, as the quiet only heightens the ringing in their ears.

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Can it be prevented? Some cases of tinnitus are entirely preventable. Those who are around loud noises should wear protective earplugs whenever possible. Tissue or cotton balls are not effective. Another way to possibly prevent tinnitus is to practice caution when using headphones. Volume should be kept at a level where only the person wearing the headphones can hear the music.

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ZEST / October 2010 13


Comfort Foods

End of summer favorites Quiche Lorraine From Kay Yoch, Darwin Ingredients: • Pastry for 9-inch one crust pie (unbaked) • 12 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese • 1/3 cup minced onion • 4 eggs • 2 cups whipping cream or light cream • 3/4 tsp. salt • 1/4 tsp. pepper Instructions: 1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place pastry in pie pan. 2. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion in the pastry lined pie plate. 3. Beat eggs slightly. Add cream, salt and pepper and beat together. 4. Pour mixture over bacon, cheese and onion. 5. Bake 15 minutes. 6. Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees and bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

Spinach Dip From Frances Schultze, Hutchinson Ingredients: • 2 packages frozen chopped spinach • 2-8 oz. packages cream cheese • 2 cups mayonnaise or salad dressing • 1 box Knorr’s dry vegetable soup mix • 1 can chopped water chestnuts • 1/2 cup chopped onion Instructions: 1. Thaw and drain spinach thoroughly. 2. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

End of Summer Chili By Healthy Exchanges Ingredients: • 8 ounces extra-lean ground turkey or beef • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper • 1/2 cup chopped onion • 10 ounces (one 16-ounce can) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained • 1 cup (one 8-ounce can) tomato sauce • 2 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes • 2 cups water • 2 tablespoons chili seasoning Instructions: 1. In a large saucepan sprayed with olive oil-flavored cooking spray, brown meat, green pepper and onion. 2. Stir in kidney beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes and water. Add chili seasoning. Mix well to combine. 3. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cream-Cheese Lime Pie By Good Housekeeping Ingredients: • 2 packages (3-ounces each) cream cheese, softened • 1 1/2 cups milk • 1 package vanilla-flavor instant pudding and pie filling for 4 servings • 1 can (6-ounce) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed • 1 container (8-ounce) frozen whipped topping, thawed • 1 (6-ounce) ready-to-use graham-cracker piecrust Instructions: 1. In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup milk. 2.Reduce speed to low; add pudding mix, undiluted limeade concentrate and remaining 1 cup milk. Beat just until blended. 3. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping; spoon into piecrust. 4. Refrigerate pie until firm enough to slice, at least 3 hours. To serve, spoon remaining whipped topping into decorating bag with large star tube; use to pipe border around pie. Garnish with lime slices if you like.

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Comfort Foods

Beans:A magical source of nutrition By Angela Shelf Medearis Thanks to a recent scientific study, beans finally are getting the culinary respect they deserve. In addition to their high protein and fiber content, a new study finds that beans, particularly black ones, are a rich but overlooked source of antioxidants and may provide health benefits similar to some common fruits, including grapes, apples and cranberries. In a study that appeared in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers tested the antioxidant activity of flavonoids – plant pigments – found in the skin of 12 common varieties of dry beans. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, which are highly active chemicals whose excess has been linked to heart disease, cancer and aging. The finding adds antioxidants to a

growing list of healthy chemicals found in the popular legume, which also is rich in protein, carbohydrates, folate, calcium and fiber. The researchers hope to use information gleaned from this study to help develop new varieties of beans that pack even more disease-fighting power. Black beans came out on top, having more antioxidant activity, gram for gram, than other beans, followed by red, brown, yellow and white beans, in that order. In general, darker color seed coats were associated with higher levels of flavonoids, and therefore higher antioxidant activity, says lead investigator Clifford W. Beninger, Ph.D., a research associate at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Beninger acknowledges that some of the healthy antioxidants in beans will be lost in water upon cooking,

“Making Life Pleasant for Residents”

but says that antioxidant levels will still remain high. Although dry beans were used in this study, frozen or canned beans may have similar antioxidant activity, he adds. Americans gobble up an estimated eight pounds of beans per person each year, with pinto beans and navy beans being the most popular. Red beans also enjoy immense popularity, particularly during colder months, as a staple of chili. Although not as popular in the U.S. as other varieties, black beans are a main ingredient in many international dishes.

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Feature Story

STAFF PHOTO BY KATIE WINTER

Art and Beth Kasal, Hutchinson, earned their retirement through saving and hard work. After three decades of employment at 3M, the couple felt now was the time to give back to the community and enjoy life.

As busy as ever Art and Beth Kasal fill their retirement years with service, travel and family

16 ZEST / October 2010


Feature Story By Katie Winter

T

he quest for a happy and comfortable retirement is almost equivalent to the hunt for the Holy Grail for the baby boomer generation. The definition of a contented retirement differs from person to person. In Art and Beth Kasal’s dictionary, the words travel, community service and family describe their post-career lifestyle. The Hutchinson couple retired a few years ago, but have not wasted any time embracing life after work. Both were employed at 3M and are involved with 3M Cares, a program dedicated to encouraging 3M retirees to volunteer in their communities. For 30-plus years, Art and Beth did their jobs, raised two children and operated a small cow-calf farm near Brownton. The children are now out on their own, the farm animals were sold just last year, and the Kasals now have time for the other pursuits they enjoy so much. Those activities include gardening, volunteering with several organizations and traveling to Asia, Africa and Central America in support of mission projects that are close to their hearts. “When you see the needs of other people, you keep a perspective on it,” Art said. “You’re not the only one that has needs. You see the needs of the people and the needs of the organization and help where you can.” Many active retirees donate their time to community projects and charity organizations. According to data complied by the

Corporation for National and Community Service, 29.7 percent of baby boomers volunteered their time between 2007 and 2009. In Minnesota, the percentage is much higher at 41.1 percent for 2009. One cause in particular, called Feeding Children International grabbed the Kasals’ attention. Through the organization, the Kasals are able to expand the reach of their efforts to help relieve hunger in more than 60 countries. Feeding Children International is a nonprofit organization that

supports Richard Proudfit’s Kids Against Hunger campaign. The group meets in Stewart and works to package food that is distributed to some of the most poverty stricken regions. Art and Beth have participated in most aspects of the projects. In fact, their commitment even stretches to personally delivering meals, clothing, eyeglasses and health supplies to children in Hatti, Africa and Puerto Rico. “When we went to Honduras we got to see the kids that are getting fed,”

Beth said. “It really is very important. We take clothes. We got wheelchairs. We have medical stuff that we give to the clinics there. We do more than just food and glasses.” Experiencing the cultures and people from all over the globe is not unfamiliar to Art and Beth who have traveled frequently during their 40-year marriage. Beth was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the United States in her 20s. Since then she has been back to visit several times,

PHOTO COURTESY OF ART AND BETH KASAL

Art and Beth Kasal enjoy the sun and sand during one of the many trips they have taken around the world. Some of their destinations include Central America, Africa and the Philippines. Many of the trips were for various mission projects.

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Feature Story including an extended visit this fall. It can be a bit of a grueling schedule at times, but that is how she likes it. “We’re just as busy,” Beth said. “I like it. It keeps me happy. Its relaxing.” All of the family’s travels are immortalized in a large scrapbook Beth crafted. Inside, the pages are filled with coins and paper money from all over the world. “Nobody has that kind of album I don’t think,” Beth said. “It’s so pretty for me. Instead of buying things that get dusty and you don’t need, we don’t buy things, we keep the coins as souvenirs.” The Kasals international adventures have cultivated a unique perspective on

retirement in the couple. For them the care and assistance they may need later in life is strictly their responsibility to arrange. “In the Philippines, we don’t have nursing homes,” Beth said. “Over there the kids take care of the parents. Here I don’t depend on my kids that one day when I get old that they’ll take care of me. I don’t want to do that to my kids. When I told that to my relatives, they think my mind is so Americanized.” They also have gleaned some financial lessons from their travels. And when it comes to money the two cannot stress enough the importance planning, saving and budgeting. “We’re pretty conserva-

tive,” Beth said. “You have to save for rainy days. I feel better if you save for rainy days, always.”

Selling the farm One planning step the couple took was downsizing to a smaller home. A few years ago, the couple moved permanently to a house in Hutchinson, going from a roomy farmhouse to a more modest style house inside the city limits. The move was cleansing in many ways for Art and Beth, even though letting go of a farm that had been in the family for more than 100 years was difficult. “It was my grandfather’s farm,” Art said. “We went back in the records and he owned it since 1903. It was

recognized as a century farm. I thought that might be the kiss of death there too. Nobody wanted to take over the farm in the family so we’re going to sell it off.” The Kasals have thoughts of downsizing one more time to a condo or townhouse in a retirement community, where house and lawn maintenance is considerably less burdensome. Art said that kind of living arrangement would make traveling for longer periods more convenient. For Beth, the retirement lifestyle is all about taking life as it comes. “Now as we get older we need less,” Beth said. “Hopefully we’re still healthy. We just take it as it comes every day.”

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News

Got pumpkin? (SPM Wire) It’s almost time to carve that pumpkin to create a spooky jack-o’-lantern. While carving a lantern for Halloween may have started across the ocean in the UK, the USA is where it’s at when it comes to pumpkins. Over 1 billion pounds of pumpkins are grown in America by major pumpkin-producing states, according to the USDA. Indeed, in 2008 Illinois led the country by producing 496 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, Pennsylvania and New York also provided lots of pumpkins. Each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $141 million. That’s a lot of jack-o’-lanterns!

A classic jack-o’lantern

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Medicare Answers

Respite care and screenings covered Dear Marci, I am the primary caregiver for my mother, but I will be out of town for a few days next month. Will Medicare pay for my mother’s care while I am away? — Bernard Dear Bernard, Medicare will pay for respite care (a rest for caregivers) only if your loved one has a terminal illness and qualifies for the hospice benefit. Under the Medicare hospice benefit, your loved one can get respite care in a Medicareapproved hospital or skilled nursing facility for up to five days at a time. Medicare will pay 95 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for respite care. — Marci

a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam. Medicare will cover these services more than once per year if your doctor says you need them for diagnostic purposes. Medicare covers 80 percent of the cost of the digital rectal exam (after you pay your annual Part B deductible), and 100 percent of the cost of the PSA test (with no Part B deductible required). (If you are in a Medicare private health plan—HMO or PPO—you may have a copay for the PSA test or the digital rectal exam. Call your plan to find out what you will have to pay.) — Marci Do you need help people with Medicare? Call the Professional Hotline, a national service offered by the Medicare Rights Center to support people serving the Medicare population. Dial 877-794-3570 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST for info.

Dear Marci, Does Medicare cover screenings for Alzheimer’s and dementia? — Sun Dear Sun, Yes. Medicare will cover medically necessary doctor visits and laboratory tests needed to diagnose any suspected disease or condition, including dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Some methods to diagnose dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may include: • Consultations with a primary care physician and possibly other specialists • A mental status evaluation to assess your cognitive capabilities • A physical examination • A brain scan to detect other causes of dementia such as stroke • A psychiatric evaluation • A positron emission tomography (PET) scan to evaluate the cause of memory disorders that cannot be determined from any other diagnostic test Medicare will cover 80 percent for your initial mental health visit, 80 percent for medication management and 55 percent for ongoing mental health treatment, such as psychotherapy. – Marci Dear Marci, Does Medicare cover screenings for prostate cancer? — Sven Dear Sven, Yes. Medicare covers one prostate screening per year (every 12 months) for men age 50 and older. Prostate cancer screenings can detect prostate cancer, which affects one in six men, in its early stages. The screening includes

20 ZEST / October 2010

Screenings for prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s and dementia are often covered by Medicare.


Medicare Answers

Tips to getting doughnut hole checks As Americans in the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap receive the latest round of rebate checks from the program, AARP is offering its members and everyone in Medicare important tips to get their checks on time and avoid fraud. People in Medicare Part D who reach the dreaded coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” are forced to pay the full price of their prescriptions, in addition to their monthly premiums. This year, those who fall into the coverage gap will receive a $250 check to help with their expenses. Medicare announced this week that it has mailed its one millionth check. Starting in 2011, people who reach the doughnut hole will receive a 50 percent discount on brandname drugs. By 2020, the doughnut hole will be eliminated entirely. AARP is offering people in Medicare and their families five important facts to keep in mind as the doughnut hole rebate checks continue to hit mailboxes across the country: • Receipts can help you track your spending. People in Medicare Part D who reach the gap should automatically receive a check, but you should save your receipts just in

case. If you think you’ve reached the doughnut hole and don’t receive your check within a few months, having your receipts handy will be helpful when talking to Medicare. • Checks will be mailed automatically. Your prescription drug plan tracks your drug costs for you. Once you reach the coverage gap, you will receive a check. • Protect yourself against scams. If someone says he/she can help you get your check more quickly if you pay them a fee, immediately report this scam or any similar fraud to the police or to your state’s Attorney General. You can find the Attorney General’s phone number in the blue pages of the telephone book or online at www.naag.org. You should also report any suspected scam to Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. • Your check will be mailed to the address Social Security uses to reach you. If you need to change your address, please call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. If you prefer, a change of address may also be reported by calling or visiting your local Social Security office.

Do you worry about your parents getting older? Do you worry about mom or dad living alone? The First Alert emergency pendant from McLeod Co-op Power may be just the thing they need to help you worry less while they live on their own. One press of the button will call the 24-hour medical dispatch center, which will send a family member, neighbor or police over to help. The pendant allows them to work outside in the garden or go to the mailbox, and still summon help if they need it. Emergency pendants are leased for $30 a month (plus a $49 installation charge).

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News

Area Agencies on Aging are chalked full of resources By Katie Winter Some days we all could use a helping hand. And thanks to local Area Agencies on Aging, assistance is within easy reach for seniors and their caregivers. Area Agencies on Aging were established under the Older Americans Act in 1973 to respond to the needs of Americans 60 and over in every local community. By providing a range of options that allow older adults to choose the home and community-based services and living arrangements that suit them best, AAAs make it possible for older adults to remain in their homes and communities as long as possible. The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging serves McLeod and Meeker counties along with 25 other southwest Minnesota counties. Jeanette Jochum is one of the organization’s senior outreach specialists working out of

the Willmar office. She is responsible for providing one-onone assistance to older adults, caregivers and persons with disabilities. Some of her tasks include answering questions about Medicare, leading public education classes and conducting home assessments for injury prevention. “We do a lot of medical insurance counseling. That’s a biggie,” said Jochum, who has a background in mental health counseling. “We also do some prescription assistance. We fill out the forms and help (people) get some help through discount programs.” The mission of the Area Agency on Aging is to improve the quality of life for older adults and their caregivers by putting them in touch with services and resources they need. For example the organization strongly encourages the use of the website www.MinnesotaHelp.info for connecting with human services and financial assistance. The Senior

“The mail’s here!”

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Subscribe to ZEST Name ____________________________________________ Address __________________________________________ City ____________________State ______Zip____________ Mail this form and your $18 or $10 check to ZEST ZEST OR 36 Washington Ave. W. P.O. Box 921 TO Hutchinson, MN 55350 Litchfield, MN 55355

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The happiest day of the month is when delivery of the fresh, new issue of ZEST arrives in mailboxes and on newsstands. Home delivery subscriptions are available for $18 per year. Subscribers to the Independent Review or Leader can receive ZEST for only


News LinkAge Line is another top place to find information. People can call 800-333-2433 to learn more about transportation services, support groups, insurance counseling and much more. Education is a key component of the organization’s purpose as well. From presentations on long-term care insurance and health insurance fraud to classes teaching basic computer and internet skills, the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging strives to broaden people’s mind and options. Overall Jochum wants to stress that the organization and its staff are available and willing to help in any way possible. “For health information counseling, I’m at the Hutchinson Event Center the last Tuesday of every month from ten to noon,” Jochum said. “That’s my set time that if somebody would want to call and schedule and appointment with me, they could surely do that.” For more information on the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging, visit www.mmrdc.org/aging_services_mnraaa.html, or call 800333-2433. A few other helpful websites: The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging – www.n4a.org, Minnesota Board on Aging – www.mnaging.org.

Jeanette Jochum is a senior outreach specialist with the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging.

Regional Eye Center A WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF CARE IN HUTCHINSON

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EYE PREVENTION MONTH Accidental eye injury is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States. Approximately one million eye injuries occur each year in the U.S. and ninety percent of these injuries are preventable. The leading causes of eye injuries are sports accidents, consumer fireworks, household chemicals and workshop and yard debris. Learn to protect yourself from serious eye injuries by taking a few simple precautions. 1. Wear safety goggles when working in the shop, in your yard, or when cleaning with any chemicals. 2. Always wear the appropriate eyewear with sports or recreational activities. 3. Never use fireworks at home. If you get an eye injury, seek medical help immediately from an eye care professional. In the case of a chemical burn to the eye, flush the eye clean and then seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

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Wellness

Ways to reduce cancer risk

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steam it to retain the most nutrients. 2. Load up on garlic. Garlic might contribute to bad breath, but the side effect may be worth it. Garlic contains sulfur that can help fend off cancer by stimulating the body’s natural immune system. 3. Enjoy orange foods. Sweet potatoes, carrots and cantaloupe contain carotinoids, which can reduce risk of cancer. 4. Eat some blueberries. Blueberries top the list for antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which can contribute to cancer.

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Eating foods like broccoli can help reduce cancer risk.

Each year, millions of new cases of cancer are diagnosed across the globe. Although there is no definitive cause for many of the cancers out there, certain lifestyle choices put a person at a greater risk for cancer. By making a few simple changes, that risk can be reduced. 1. Eat steamed broccoli. Broccoli is one of the superfoods purported to help reduce cancer risk. However, microwaving or overcooking broccoli can destroy up to 97 percent of broccoli’s cancer-preventing flavanoids. Therefore, eat broccoli raw or lightly


5. Drink plenty of water. The body needs water to stay healthy and flush out contaminants. Therefore, enjoy eight glasses per day. 6. Get a little sunlight. Not only does sunlight boost mood, which can reduce stress and keep the body in top form, the body receives most of its vitamin D from the sun. Minimal sun exposure will increase vitamin D in the body. Too little vitamin D can actually contribute to some cancers. 7. Reduce animal fat intake. Cut down on the amount of high-fat dairy and meat products consumed. 8. Walk 30 minutes a day. Even moderate exercise can reduce cancer risk.

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9. Reduce exposure to chemicals. Let those dandelions sprout in the lawn, skip dry cleaning clothes and use natural items around the house for cleaning. This reduces a person's exposure to potentially toxic chemicals that may contribute to cancer. 10. Enjoy grapes. Grapes contain the cancer-fighting compound resveratrol, which is found in wine. However, grapes do not offer the potentially negative consequences of alcohol consumption. 11. Choose organic whenever possible. Organic foods are grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers, making them better for the body.

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Puzzles

KING CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Antelope's playmate 5 Stinging insect 9 Police officer 12 Leer at 13 Cake topper 14 Sapporo sash 15 Group with a job 17 Swab the decks 18 Picnic invaders 19 Hamstrings 21 Doesn't have 24 Staffer 25 Lotion additive 26 Non-noble 30 Doctrine 31 Lions' prides 32 Spy novel org. 33 Subway patron 35 Actress Gilpin 36 Lhasa 37 Burdened

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38 40 42 43 48 49 50 51 52 53

Mold and mildew Yoked team Moreover Town Altar affirmative Neighborhood A Great Lake Angeles preceder Eye part Lairs

20 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 31

DOWN 1 "What's up, -?" 2 Id counterpart 3 Shady tree 4 Unoriginal movie? 5 Skater Katarina 6 Performances 7 Witness 8 Earlier bouts 9 Began 10 Reed instrument 11 Gladys Knight's backup 16 - and outs

34 35 37 38 39 40 41 44 45 46 47

Commotion Secular As well Shock troops U.S. Censor of old Rome Inseparable Green land Reason for a tarp Rodgers & Hammerstein cre ation Gasoline stat Gave a bad review to Romanian money Go belly up Destroy Portent Opening day? Raw rock Anger Sardine container "Absolutely"

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Puzzles

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Puzzle Answers

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Money

Tips for banking online One of the fastest-growing users of online banking is the older demographic. Why the increase? According to users, it’s largely due to convenience. A 2006 Harris Poll discovered that about 14 million seniors are now actively online. An increasingly popular online tool is online banking. Many are finding that paying bills and managing funds via the computer is more convenient, especially for those with limited mobility. Online banking enables them to review their accounts, transfer money, pay bills, and generally stay on top of their finances without having to leave the house. This is a big advantage to individuals who worry about traveling to and from bank branches. Combined with direct deposit from social security and pension checks, online banking is ideal for computer-savvy seniors. While online banking can be advantageous, people should be aware of some of the safety precautions that should be instituted when transferring information online. • Make sure you use a security-enhanced banking site that works hard to prevent hackers from accessing your information. If a site is secured, it will generally show a “lock” icon at the bottom of the web page.

• Reputable financial institutions will not ask you to provide personal information, such as social security numbers via e-mail. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail from a bank, call up your branch to ensure it’s valid before responding. • Many home computer setups feature a wireless router. If you don’t have a passcode on your router, other people in the vicinity can tap into your signal and use it free. They also may be able to hack into your computer and see your private information. As a precaution, always lock your router. • Do not store account numbers, login information or passwords next to the computer. This makes it easier for your information to be accessed should someone break into your home. • Opt for e-mailed statements and banking record-keeping. This eliminates paper statements that can be stolen from the mailbox. • Use caution when using a debit card or credit card online to make purchases. Only buy from reputable retailers. Ensure that your card company does not hold you responsible for fraudulent purchases.

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Travel

Fall colors exploding in Minnesota Warm, moist conditions in Minnesota this summer should produce vivid color this fall. The other necessary ingredient, sunny and cool fall days, is difficult to forecast. But current conditions point to a brilliant fall color season! One exception is the northeast corner of Minnesota, where drought conditions may alter the timing and intensity of fall color. Fiery red, blazing orange, vivid yellow and stunning coral leaves are beginning to appear in the maple trees located inland from Lake Superior. Adding to the show are the many species of migrating birds, including raptors such as broad-winged hawks, turkey vultures and bald eagles. At Voyageurs National Park, near International Falls, park officials report beautiful yellow, red and orange developing in the ash and maple trees; even the tamaracks are showing signs of transformation. Reports indicate there is a small amount of change in the trees and shrubs at most state parks within Minnesota. Wildflowers are abundant and at full bloom in many areas of the state, and prairie grasses are rich

shades of gold and rusty-purple. Typically, peak fall color arrives in the northern onethird of the state in mid-September to early October. The central third of the state is most colorful between late September and early October. Southern Minnesota trees reach the height of their fall color late September to midOctober. One exception is the North Shore of Lake Superior, where peak fall color arrives about a week later than inland areas due to the warming effect of the lake. Please note that fall color conditions can change rapidly due to wind, rain and frost. Information in this report has been provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, as well as Voyageurs National Park, the Three Rivers Park District, and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The information in this report is provided courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Explore Minnesota Tourism.

Celebrate the majesty of autumn Every autumn outdoor enthusiasts bear witness to the beautiful show of color and the wonder of Mother Nature. Although spring, summer and winter offer their share of natural splendor, perhaps no season offers the aesthetic appeal of autumn. Vivid yellows, oranges, purples, and reds can be seen in forests and hillsides all across most parts of North America this time of year. The foliage season begins in September for northern-most areas and can stretch into November as one moves southward. Each year thousands of people flock to areas of the country to catch a glimpse of peak color. While many have their preferred spots, it is interesting to explore other areas and compare. Here are some popular areas across North America where individuals can enjoy fall foliage. • White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire: This national forest in New England offers vivid color, peaking the first two weeks of October. • Green Mountains, Vermont: Vermont is a great state for fall foliage, and just about every piece of land with some trees will offer a beautiful display. The Green Mountains peak in late September in higher elevations. • Laurentian Mountains, Quebec: Splendid autumn images are abundant in Canada, too. Leaves are celebrated every year during the last week in September at Tremblant's Symphonie des Couleurs. Peak viewing times start in the end of September. • Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina: This limitedaccess road runs through the southern Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to the North Carolina-Tennessee

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border and offers great views of fall foliage. • Allegany State Park, New York: This far-west region of New York borders equally prime viewing areas in Pennsylvania. The second week in October is peak viewing time. • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon: A special place on the western side of the Cascade Mountains, Congress recognized the unique beauty of the Gorge by making it the nation’s first National Scenic Area in 1986. The last two weeks of October into November is the best time to view the colors.

Many areas across North America offer prime fall foliage viewing.


Come join in the fun... Make new friends... Create new memories! Discovering Red Wing Tour – October 6, 2010 It’s a beautiful time of the year in Red Wing and we may even get to see the bald eagles on their way south! We’ll begin with a guided tour which takes us past Victorian homes, historic buildings and landmarks, spectacular bluff top vista and beautiful riverside parks. An included lunch buffet at Marie’s with a short time to browse the downtown shops. Our next stop will be the historic Pottery Place Salesroom and our final stop will be a factory tour of Red Wing Stoneware Co. $59 pp

Jeeves in Bloom at the Old Log Theater – October 27, 2010 We’re headed to the Old Log Theater. After an included smoked pork chop dinner we’ll watch Jeeves in Bloom! It follows the uproarious mishaps and misadventures of the loveable, loopy Bertie Wooster, who manages time and again to put himself in socially precarious situations, only to be rescued by his brainy bulter Jeeves. $59pp

New Ulm Experience Tour – November 8, 2010 We’ll begin with a guided city tour including the Herrmann Monument, the beautiful Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Dakota Conflict sites and other sites related to New Ulm’s strong German heritage. At noon we’ll watch the Glockenspiel performance and an included lunch. $59pp

A Country Christmas & Lights Tour – December 4, 2010 We fill this tour each year, so early registrations with payment are recommended. We’ll begin with an included Old Country Buffet lunch to get everyone home earlier. In anticipation of Christmas, we’ll enjoy a Branson-style Christmas performance featuring a cast of over 80 singers, musicians and comedians, the creation of Lowell Lundstrom. After the show, we’ll check out some of the area lights displays and enjoy Christmas snacks and the music of the season. The price hasn’t changed! $62 pp

245 Cokato St. SW • Cokato, MN 55321 (320) 286-5315 • 866-HOLT-BUS www.holttourandcharter.com

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zest Oct 2010  

As busy as ever Travel and service fill Beth and Art Kasal’s retirement time 50+ Living What did you say? Special Focus on Hearing Health •...