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March 2018


HOOKED ON FLY TyING Love of fishing drives local hobbyist

Jeff Mosner ties a panfish lure that looks like a bumblebee, surrounded by his tools and materials in the kitchen of his home on Peysenske Lake. He usually ties flies in a garage workshop. (Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise)

By Robin Fish

r For one local outdoorsman, tying flies is a late-winter activity that keeps him connected with his first love. “I’m a fly fisherman first,” said Peysenske Lake resident Jeff Mosner, 64. “That’s what drove my need to tie flies.” Mosner discovered the natural link between the two activities at an early age. “My dad gave me a fly rod when I was probably about 12, taught me how to fly fish,” he said. “Then you’d be casting, and you’d sometimes lose flies in trees. It got kind of expensive, and for a 12, 13-yearold kid, you don’t have that much money, and so I got into fly tying.” Though he learned casting from his father, his fly-tying skills are self-taught. “I got some books at the library and accumulated some material and started tying my own,” said Mosner. “I’ve been tying a long time.” In the popular mind, fed on films like “A River Runs Through It,” fly fishing is for trout streams. “I love to fly fish,” said Mosner. “A lot of people think fly fishing is all about trout. It probably started with trout many years ago, and it’s a really old sport, but you can catch anything on a fly. So, even though we don’t have a lot of trout here – there’s some in the Straight River, and I have fished there with mediocre

success – lakes around here are full of panfish and bass and northern pike, and you can catch all those with flies. It’s a lot of fun.” With the possibility of catching different kinds of fish, besides trout, comes the need for different kinds of flies. Based on what each kind of fish likes to eat, Mosner ties flies in a variety of sizes and patterns, using materials such as turkey and chicken feathers (dyed or in their natural colors), squirrel and deer hair, chenille and synthetic fibers, all wound around a fishhook with fine thread to hold down each layer of material. Some flies have tiny, BB-like beads for eyes, dragonfly-striped tails, or tiny bright-colored corks with eyes painted on. “You’re imitating what their foods are,” he explained, pointing to samples of his work. “Panfish love to eat bugs, and so you’ve got little bugs like this. Same thing with trout. With some of those, they’re imitating flies and bugs. Others are actually imitating minnows. With bass, they’ll eat a variety of minnows, and you’ve also got kind of a leech-like imitation, because they like leeches. Bass like frogs, so here you’ve got frog imitations. There are some pike flies that I just started tying, and they’re imitating a big minnow, maybe a perch or something like that.” Tools and techniques Some of Mosner’s frog imitations are made by a special technique of spinning deer a bristly puff of Continued on page 7

Inside this issue... 2 2 3 4 4 5 5

Could you have diabetes?


Don't believe the hype against bananas

Connecting with Social Security How to grow your own champion tree Still visit those who no longer recognize you At the crossroads: When to stop driving? Is your cat getting enough water? Get to know these women in the wine industry

March 2018


Could you have diabetes? The Savvy Senior BY JIM MILLER Columnist Dear Savvy Senior, My brother and his wife, who are ages 60 and 56, were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and prediabetes, and neither one had a clue. Could I have it too? Concerned Sibling Dear Concerned, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly 115 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes today, but most of them don’t even know they have it. Here’s how to know if you’re at risk. The problem with diabetes is that most people don’t start thinking about it until they’re diagnosed, and that’s too late. Diabetes is a disease that develops over decades. Most people have prediabetes for a long time before the disease becomes full-blown type 2 diabetes, and even then it progresses gradually. That leaves a big window in which to stop, slow or reverse the disease. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to remove sugar from the bloodstream. Excess blood sugar damages blood vessels and affects circulation, putting you at risk for

a host of ailments, from heart attack and stroke to blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.

go to the drug store, buy a blood glucose meter and test yourself at home.

Are you at risk? If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, your odds of developing diabetes increases. • Are you over age 45? • Are you overweight? • Do you have high blood pressure – 140/90 or higher? • Do you have a parent or sibling with diabetes? • Are you sedentary? • Are you African American, Hispanic/Latino American, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Alaska native? • Did you develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy? To help you determine your risk of developing diabetes, take the free online quiz at risk-test.jsp.

Some top options, recommended by Consumer Reports, include FreeStyle Freedom Lite, Bayer Contour Next, True Metrix Blood Glucose Meter, OneTouch UltraMini, and the ReliOn (Wal-Mart) Micro, which all cost under $25. If you find that you are prediabetic or diabetic, you need to see your doctor to develop a plan to get it under control. In many cases lifestyle changes like losing weight, exercising, eating a healthy diet and cutting back on carbohydrates may be all you need to do to get your diabetes under control. For others who need more help, many medications are available. For more information on diabetes or to find help, join a lifestyle change program recognized by the CDC (see that offers in-person and online programs in more than 1,400 locations throughout the U.S. Over the course of a year, a coach will help you eat healthy, increase your physical activity and develop new habits

Get tested If you find that you’re at risk for diabetes, there are three different tests your doctor can give you to diagnosis it. The most common is the “fasting plasma glucose test,” which requires an eight-hour fast before you take it. There’s also the “oral glucose tolerance test” to see how your body processes sugar, and the “hemoglobin A1C test” that measures your average blood sugar over the past three months. It can be taken anytime regardless of when you ate. Most private health insurance plans and Medicare cover diabetes tests, however, if you’re reluctant to visit your doctor to get tested, an alternative is to

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

Connecting with Social Security Social Security BY MICKIE DOUGLAS Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Every day thousands do business with Social Security. We strive to offer the kind of services that meet people’s needs. And sometimes you want fast and direct answers over the phone. We have that option. You can call us toll free at 1-800-772-1213. Social Security offers some automated services that allow people to receive service without waiting to speak to a representative. The automated services are

available 24 hours a day and include some of the most popular services that people need. With automated services, you can request a benefit verification (proof of income) letter, replace a lost SSA-1099 (tax summary needed for taxes), request a replacement Medicare card, ask for form SSA-1020 to apply for help with Medicare prescription drug costs, or request an SS-5 application for a Social Security card.

When our automated services ask such things as “How can I help you?,” just say, “Get a proof of income letter” or “Replace Medicare card.” Next, you will be asked for some personal information to identify yourself, then we will respond to your request. We will mail you the document or form you requested. It takes less time to use automated services than to reach a representative by phone on a busy day. Sometimes, you just need Social Security information, such as “What date will my check arrive?” or “What is the SSI program?” Automated services feature some informational messages about these popular topics. If

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payment delivery date is the type of info you need, when asked “How can I help you?” just reply “Payment delivery date.” You will hear a recorded message stating the current month and the future month’s payment dates. Other topics include direct deposit, SSI messages, the cost-of-living adjustment, Medicare prescription drug program, tax information, representative payee, and fraud. Dial, and listen — what a simple way to stay informed. Whether you use our automated services,

speak to a representative by phone, use our website, or visit an office, Social Security wants to connect with you. Connection is a vital part of helping you secure your today and tomorrow. To connect with us through our automated services, visit contact/phone.html. Since 2003, Mickie Douglas has served as a Social Security Public Affairs Specialist. She works with the media, government agencies, businesses, groups and

organizations to help them learn how Social Security works. She started at Social Security in 1976 and have had several jobs since then. Her column is intended to help readers learning the answers to frequently asked questions and develop a solid understanding of how Social Security’s benefits and programs can benefit you, your family and friends.

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March 2018

How to grow your own champion tree Growing Together BY DON KINZLER Columnist Wheaties might be the breakfast of champions, but it’s hardly the secret formula behind our region’s champion trees. Recent news reports have featured several of the region’s largest trees, termed champions on official registries kept by forestry departments in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. How can we get the trees in our yards to grow like that: large and long-lived? North Dakota’s largest tree is a huge cottonwood located in a pasture near Portland that is 105 feet tall with a canopy spread of 92 feet and a 30-foot circumference. Minnesota’s largest tree is a 33-foot circumference cottonwood near Watson. The largest trees aren’t necessarily the oldest, as some species grow larger at a younger age. For example, North Dakota’s largest cottonwood is estimated to be about 200 years old. But trunk core borings of living bur oak trees in North Dakota have found individuals more than 450 years old, even though they might not be the largest size. Oaks grow medium-slow, but have very long lifespans. How long can a tree live? Theoretically they can live forever, as there’s no built-in kill switch. But practically, trees live until something goes wrong. Although most trees coexist fine with a few insects and leaf diseases, some pests do kill trees. Often trees are first weakened by other forces like drought, human activity or herbicides, and then secondary invaders finish them off. As a general rule of thumb, slower-growing tree species tend to be stronger and longer-lived. What can we do to help our trees live long, healthy lives? Tree care can be separated into do’s and don’ts. Because more homeyard trees are killed by human activity than insects and diseases, the don’ts have the greatest impact. Don’ts of tree care Don’t harm trees with improper use of lawn weed killers. Herbicides that kill broadleaf lawn weeds can also kill trees, and it’s usually sneaky instead of a direct kill. University of Nebraska researchers indicate that if you can smell the chemical in the air after spraying, area trees are likely being damaged from airborne molecules as leaves also ‘smell’ and absorb the chemical. Trees are especially affected if exposed to lawn herbicide misuse year after year. Growth slows, the leafy canopy thins and the tree’s system becomes depressed as its internal energy decreases. Lawn herbicide misuse in this slow decline often goes undiagnosed.

Small wounds from mowers and string trimmers accumulate over time causing a gradual decline in tree health. (Dave Wallis / The Forum) Lawn herbicides containing the active ingredient dicamba are especially dangerous to trees. Dicamba moves downward in the soil, entering the tree’s roots, where the poison is taken internally into the tree. Tree roots occupy a wider lateral spread than most of us might imagine. Roots spread outward from the trunk at least one-and-one-half the tree’s height. An average 40-foot high tree has roots extending at least 60 feet from the trunk in all directions. The lateral root system extends out beyond the tree’s leafy canopy about two to three times the canopy’s area. If a yard has trees, most of the lawn is underlain with a network of roots. If dicamba is sprayed on the grass over this root network, trees can suffer lasting damage. Nicking the trunk’s bark with lawnmowers and string trimmers might seem harmless, but it causes serious problems. The tree’s lifeblood cambium is a very thin layer directly under the outer bark. Scarring tree bark can easily damage the cambium, which is the tree’s life-supporting growth area. Damage is cumulative, and over time a tree can become weaker, thinner canopied and less vigorous, easily shortening its life. Insects and diseases often prey on weakened trees whose resistance is diminished after years of exposure to lawn chemicals and bark injury. Avoiding misuse of lawn chemicals and being cautious when mowing and trimming can help a tree remain healthy and better able to win insect and disease battles. Don’t overwater trees, especially when watering

lawns with sprinkler systems. Soggy soil can quickly kill many tree species. Do’s of tree care • Use lawn weed sprays carefully, avoiding dicamba on lawns where trees are present. Examine product active ingredients. Check labels for amine forms of 2,4-D, which are safer than the more volatile ester forms. • Apply tree wrap protectors around the trunks of young and thin-barked trees every fall to prevent winter sunscald injury and animal damage, and remove in spring. • Growth can be enhanced by applying well-balanced tree and shrub fertilizer in the spring. Don’t fertilize after July 4, as late-stimulated, tender growth can winterkill. •Water established trees deeply, and less often. A good soaking every few weeks is plenty in the absence of rain. • Mulch around trees with a circular layer of wood products 5 feet in diameter, 5 inches thick, and kept 5 inches away from the trunk. Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener, worked as an NDSU Extension horticulturist and owned Kinzler’s Greenhouse in Fargo. Readers can reach him at He also blogs at

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March 2018


Still visit those who no longer recognize you Minding Our Elders BY CAROL BURSACK Columnist Dear Carol: My dad has late-stage Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home in our community where he seems to be receiving good care. Mom is with him every day. He no longer recognizes either of us, but Mom says that he is her husband and she will be there with him. I respect and understand that. I’m married and have a full-time job and three children who are in many activities so it’s not easy for me to take the time to visit my dad. He doesn’t recognize me so I don’t know how important my visits are anyway, but Mom thinks that it matters to Dad. I do want to see him, even though it’s painful, so I feel guilty if I don’t go at least once a week, but I balance the normal chaos of working and raising children along with making it a point to see Dad. Should I still visit even though he won’t remember? – GT Dear GT, I understand how busy you must be. I, too, was the mother of young children while providing care for the older generation. Juggling the needs of so many people is difficult, and no matter what we do there’s often guilt because we feel that one of the generations is being cheated of our time while we care for the other. Still, I have to say to you, yes, it’s important to visit your dad, for his sake, for your mom’s sake and for your sake. The fact that your mom is with your dad daily takes a lot of pressure off of you as far as your dad’s

advocacy needs, but it's still good to have a second set of eyes on him to make certain that he’s getting the kind of care you think he is. Aside from that, your mom needs your support and, even though she may not be aware of these feelings, you are modeling the kind of attention that you’ll pay to her when she becomes less able to care for herself. Perhaps most important, in my view at least, is the fact that we really can’t know how much people who are no longer able to show recognition of a loved one takes in. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t want to take a chance on whether or not my dad understood that I was there with him, because awareness doesn’t always show. Perhaps your dad recognizes your voice or your touch. There’s truly no way for you to know, so I believe that it’s important to keep showing up. You are also doing this for you. When your dad is

gone, you’ll want to look back and know that you did what you could for your dad under the circumstances that you are faced with. You shouldn’t neglect your children, your husband, or even yourself. However, these visits are important. I urge you to continue them. Eventually, you’ll think back and be glad that you did. This article is made possible with Older Americans Act dollars from the Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging. Call the Senior LinkAge® One Stop Shop at 800-333-2433 to speak with an information specialist, or check out our website at is an online directory of services designed to help people in Minnesota find human services, information and referral, financial assistance, and other forms of help.

At the crossroads: When to stop driving Boomers on the Move BY KARIN HAUGRUD Columnist

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With people living longer and Baby Boomers turning gray, the number of people behind the wheel who are in their 70s, 80s and 90s will increase significantly in the coming years. Everybody wants to remain independent and continue to drive for as long as possible. No one wants to be a threat to themselves or to others when they are no longer able to drive safely. Some older drivers are able to recognize these functional changes on their own and take adaptive or self-restricting measures that moderate their declines as safe drivers; other individuals will lack this level of self-awareness and will continue to drive. People who drive at reduced skill levels will be at a greater risk for crashes, with potentially serious consequences for themselves and others. While most people take appropriate steps when they detect a problem with their driving, it's not always obvious when a general health problem, vision problems or a side effect of medications lead to a driving impairment. That's when the observations of loved ones and health professionals are most vital. As we grow older, we do not turn into bad drivers. Some remain good drivers, regardless of age. Others simply have changes in their ability to handle a car safely. These may include physical changes in our bodies, changes in the way we think, health problems and some medications. As people age, our joints may stiffen, our muscles weaken and our ability to respond quickly to certain situations slows. Turning our head to look back or steering and braking the car may become hard to do. Movements are slower and may not be as accurate. Being able to see is a vital part of driving. Unfor-

tunately, age brings changes in the lens of the eye. Eyes need more light in order to see and are more sensitive to glare. The ability to see things on the edge of the viewing area – peripheral vision – narrows. Vision problems may include cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. Self-awareness is the key. People who can accurately assess their fitness to drive can adjust their driving habits and stay safe on the road. With smart self-management, you can retain the personal mobility that comes with driving, while limiting the risks to yourself and others. When an older adult is no longer behind the wheel, the most common transportation mode is riding in a car as a passenger. Asking for and accepting rides from family and friends can be difficult for an older person, particularly a person raised in the tradition of independence and self-sufficiency. If you are unsure of your performance to operate a vehicle, ask a trusted friend or family member to monitor your driving. The decision to stop driving is a tough one, but most of us want to make a responsible choice that protects ourselves and others.


March 2018

Is your cat getting enough water? Pet Companions BY CECELIA MICHAELS Columnist Cats need plenty of water to maintain healthy kidneys. If you only feed a dry diet, be sure to have fresh water available at all times. Dry food contains less than .03 oz. of water, and therefore your cat will need drink approximately 8 ounces of water each day. Do you know if your cat is drinking enough water? One way to find out: measure 16 ounces of water in the cat’s bowl each day. If he or she consumes half the water, then great! But, if you find your cat is drinking in excess of more than 8 ounces, this could be a sign of kidney disease or infection. I once had a cat with a kidney infection, and some symptoms are very noticeable. It’s so easy to put this aside and forgo the veterinarian. Don’t delay. It’s an easy test and you need to catch this early. I was able to catch urine from my cat in the kitty litter box using a long spoon. It was quite fascinating and awkward to say the least. This not necessary, by the way. These were the obvious signs I noticed: My cat avoided the cat box or urinated over the side of the box; Loss of weight; Fatigue; Consumed large amounts of water. Other signs you may see: loss of appetite, vomiting or bad breath. What if he’s drinking very little water? This may cause dehydration. Check your cat’s skin elasticity by squeezing his or her skin between the shoulder

blades. The skin should bounce back pretty quickly, usually within a second or two. Again, I can’t stress this enough, if your cat has signs of dehydration, please see your veterinarian. If you feed primarily canned food, your cat will only need to drink small amounts of water. Wet food has approximately 80 percent water content; therefore, drinking 3 to 4 teaspoons per day is perfectly normal. When I feed wet food, I like to add even more water. Make it a bit soupy. When a cat is consuming only a diet of starch and sugar (kibble), it will lead to many problems. A good mix of food for your cat would be canned and kibble. Some experts believe raw once per week is also

necessary. Cats are hunters by natural instinct, and that mouse or bird they consume is a good source of sustenance. One thing to remember, when feeding canned food combined with kibble, do not have an endless amount of kibble in the bowl. Measure the correct amount each day to avoid creating a portly kitty, and prevent extra padding on the belly, or what I like to call a dunlap! Cecelia Michaels is the owner of Lickin’ Good Whole Pet Foods and is certified in pet food nutrition. Readers can contact her at

Get to know these women in the wine industry World of Wine BY RON SMITH Columnist The impression of the wine grape growing and winemaking industry as being a fun-loving and romantic, lifelong experience is an illusion. It takes planning, smart capital investment and backing, willingness to work hard, trying to outguess nature’s eccentricities, while recognizing and overcoming your own foibles. A glimpse at the wine industry today reveals there are high numbers of competent women meeting the demands and exceeding the expectations of their male compatriots in the business. For the limited space allowed, I will hit the tip of this cadre, relating what I know about particular women via communication and dealing with them in and about the wine-making business. My first impressions of feminine competency came with my introduction to Tami Bredeson, president of the dynamic Carlos Creek Winery in Alexandria, Minn. I’ve had the advantage of taking my class to visit her winery for 10 years; I have been witness to the progress they have made as business operators, as well as how to make and market wines. Andrea Immer-Robinson caught my attention with her publication “Great Wine Made Simple.” The book is an easy read, and it’s nicely instructional without being too pedantic, making it a great selection to give to someone who shows an interest in wine. She is also a master sommelier, which puts her in very rare company in the wine world. Another nicety: she shows no signs of snobbery in her videos or writing. Karen MacNeil must have begun learning about

wine as her first language. From my viewpoint, she is one of the best and most versatile wine communicators on this planet. Her updated book, the “Wine Bible” says it all. She has a weekly Wine Blog Intel that is loaded with easily digestible wine info, and she even answers questions from readers in North Dakota. Karen is a wine research scientist with both feet solidly on the ground, as she researched her book directly, not lifting information from available literature. She has mastered the English language like no one else I’ve ever read, coming up with her own unique descriptors of wine evaluation. Then there is Barbara Banke, chairman and proprietor of Jackson Family Wines, who took the reins after her husband, Jess Jackson, passed. She has proven to the world at large that she is very capable of heading up a dynamic winery, known for their premium chardonnay. JFW is now the nation’s largest seller of “premium” wines, defined as $15 a bottle and up, with $604 million in 2013 revenues. Its brands include La Crema, Cambria and several other labels, in addition to the Kendall-Jackson flagship. Need I say more?

I have to commend a local influence on wine enjoyment in our area; certified sommelier Jean Taylor offers spritely, educational and totally interesting presentations that have captivated hundreds with her obvious love of wine. Ron Smith, a retired NDSU Extension horticulturist, writes weekly about his love of wine and its history. Readers can reach him at tuftruck1@gmail. com.

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March 2018


Don't believe the hype against bananas Nutrition BY BONNIE BROST Columnist

As you cruise the internet to find more ways to eat fruits and vegetables, you may begin doubting bananas. Internet pop-up ads have made the banana into a food villain. It's listed as "one of the five worst foods you can eat." Weight-loss clinics damn the banana. The banana is claimed to have a high glycemic index, be packed with carbohydrates (sugars) and too high in calories. Dietitians like me rally against this nonsense. We know the banana is an easy, healthy snack that's readily available even at gas stations and convenience stores. A medium banana has about 105 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and more than 400 milligrams of potassium. This compares to a medium apple with 95 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrates and 150 milligrams of potassium or one cup of blueberries with 85 calories, 21 grams of carbohydrates and 115 milligrams of potassium. The banana is one of the foods highest in potassium, and most Americans are not getting enough potassium in their diets. That's because we usually don't get the four to five cups of fruits and/or vegetables recommended each day. We need potassium for normal function of our muscles, nerves and brain. It is also very important for our hearts to beat correctly, to maintain good blood pressure control, to build strong muscles and avoid muscle cramping. Adults should get at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day. In addition to potassium, the banana is also high in vitamin B6, vitamin C and manganese. Bananas actually have a low glycemic index. The average glycemic index of a banana is 51 with a slightly green banana being lower. Low glycemic index foods are rated at 55 or lower. Unripe or bananas with some green on them also contain resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest, so they contribute fewer carbohydrates and calories and act as a prebiotic. Prebiotics help boost the amount of probiotics or beneficial bacteria in your stomach and intestines. The resistant starch can also help lower cholesterol.

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A banana is an all-natural, pre-wrapped energizer filled with potassium and good carbohydrates to give your muscles what they need. It makes a great snack about an hour before you hit the gym because it provides glucose in your bloodstream that your muscles will use for energy during your workout. A banana is also a great post-workout snack. Its natural sugars are used to rebuild your muscle glycogen (stored fuel), and its potassium assists the body in converting blood sugar into glycogen. So, be wary of pop-up internet nutrition recommendations and enjoy America's favorite fruit. Bananas are readily available all winter long. Banana bran muffins Got ripe bananas? Try this Banana Bran Muffin recipe that includes whole grains, good fats, fiber and the benefits of the banana. These muffins use white whole-wheat flour to provide 10 grams of whole grain in each muffin. If you use all-purpose flour, there would be no whole grain in this muffin. I've decreased the sugar to only one teaspoon of added sugar per muffin along with three grams of fiber to make this a great choice for a quick breakfast or a snack. 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas) 1 cup unsweetened shredded bran cereal (like All-bran) 1/4 cup buttermilk 2 large egg whites

2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil 2 teaspoons molasses 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup white whole-wheat flour 3 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat muffin tin with olive oil or canola oil or line with muffin papers. In a medium bowl, stir together the first seven ingredients. Set aside for at least five minutes to soften bran cereal. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and cream of tartar. Make a well and add the banana mixture, stirring just until blended. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched. Cool for five minutes before removing from muffin pan. Yield: 12 muffins. Nutrition Facts: Serving size, 1 muffin; calories, 110; total fat, 3 grams; saturated fat, 0 grams; trans fat, 0 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 140 milligrams; potassium, 250 milligrams; carbohydrates, 20 grams; fiber, 3 grams; protein, 3 grams; total sugar, 7 grams; added sugar, 4 grams. Bonnie Brost is a licensed and registered dietitian in Duluth. Contact her at

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March 2018 Hooked on fly tying, continued on page 1 deer hair around the hook. “They’re very buoyant,” he said, “because deer hair is hollow, so it floats. They latch onto those and they don’t let go.” The painted-cork lures, called poppers, have a similar appeal. “It floats on the surface,” he said. “They’re really fun to fish, because the fish come up and they grab it, and you can see them splash.” He finds some of his fly-tying materials, like a squirrel tail or turkey feathers, lying around in nature. Others, like corks, chicken hackles, and synthetics, he orders from Cabela’s or Bob Marriott’s Fly Fishing Store. The tying pattern he chose to demonstrate was a surprisingly realistic bumblebee, made by winding a spiral of black chenille over a layer of yellow. “This is my all-time favorite fly for bluegills, for sunfish,” said Mosner. “They love it. It’s just my go-to fly. So I like to have a good supply of those.” He finishes the bumblebee lure with a bit of hackle tied at one end – to mimic the insect’s legs and provide a lifelike movement through water – and glued it down with a clear gloss called head cement “so that thing won’t come untied,” he said. “I’ve tied some knots on the end, but fish can be kinda hard on them with their teeth.” Another way of categorizing types of flies, which Mosner wrote in the description of an exhibit on fly tying he displayed last year at the library, distinguishes between “attractor” flies (which use flashes of light or color to provoke a fish to strike) and “searching” flies that imitate types of food, including insects, frogs, leeches, minnows, and even mice. For saltwater fish, searching flies can imitate shrimp, sand eels, and baitfish. Mosner’s tools include a special vise to hold the hook while he works on it. “It’s probably the most expensive tool,” he said. He uses a bobbin for thread, a nameless gizmo an engineer friend made to hold the bobbin out of the way, paperclip-sized hackle pliers (also handy for winding chenille around a hook) and scissors. With materials in a wide range of colors, Mosner said, “they kinda build up after a while.” He hinted a bit of red on the tail of a fly serves as a good fish attractor. “Fish are opportunistic,” he said. “They like to find something that’s maybe injured and isn’t swimming quite as fast, and red is an indication of blood.” A retired software developer from the Twin Cities, Mosner moved here with his wife Olga sevenand-a-half years ago. “I had vacationed up here a little bit. I loved the area,” he said, adding that Peysenske Lake “chose us.” “I fish out here a lot,” he said. “It’s a good bluegill (sunfish) and bass lake. Those are two fish that are a lot of fun to fish with flies. Perch love to take flies,

Mosner's fly-tying work includes, trout flies (left tray), panfish flies (for sunfish and crappie), bass flies (right), and salmon flies (top, in glass bulbs). Some of the lures are designed to look like leeches, minnows, or frogs. (Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise) too. We’ve got a 3-year-old granddaughter, and we had her catching some perch and sunnies off the dock last summer.” Mosner explained how spun fur is stuck onto a hook with a bit of wax and wound onto it. Then he picked up one of his largest lures, made with a super-light synthetic material. “This is kind of a new thing,” he said. “See, for northern pike or muskies, you’ve got to have a big fly. “The difference between fly fishing and regular fishing is that in regular fishing, you’ve got a really light line (and) a relatively heavy lure, and the lure takes the line out when you cast it. Fly fishing is totally the opposite. Your lures don’t hardly weigh anything, and so you’ve got to have a heavy line that takes that lure out. But for a big fly like this, it can get too heavy, and then it’s really hard to cast, and so you’ve got to use a synthetic material that’s really, really light. And so,” said Mosner, “there’s always something new to try and learn, and I’ve enjoyed that.” An extension of fishing Now that he lives on a lake year-round, Mosner

also spends a good part of the winter ice fishing. As a result, he doesn’t spend as much time fly tying as he used to. “I typically get into fly tying in the winter when the ice fishing slows down,” he said, “which is typically about mid-February. I’ll tie for a few weeks, maybe an hour a day, something like that. I’ll try to replenish what I’ve got.” His goal, he said, is “to tie enough in the winter so I don’t have to be tying flies during the summer. I’d rather be out on a lake.” His tying period typically runs through late March. Though he would rather be fishing, he doesn’t begrudge the time spent on tying flies. “I love fishing,” he said, “and so it’s a part of fishing for me.” Mosner said tying flies allows him to enjoy the sport, even at times of year when he can’t actually go fly fishing at home. “I have gone to Florida in the winter (to fly fish),” he said. “That’s cool, but this is a way of extending the season. I can do this now and enjoy this, and I’ll be Continued on page 8



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March 2018

8 Hooked on fly tying, continued on page 7 using these flies soon, in May.” He has even turned his creativity toward finding a way to spend more time tying flies, beyond restocking his fishing supplies. “You start tying, and you learn how to tie, and all of a sudden you’re tying lots of flies because it’s fun,” he said, “and you’re using them (and losing them in trees), but you can only use so many. But then it’s like, what do you do with all these flies? If you want to keep tying, what do you do with them?” This led Mosner, a few years ago, to start creating Christmas tree ornaments to give as gifts, with a classic fly pattern inside a glass bulb, and a tag with a poem called “The Fisherman’s Prayer” attached. “They’re really pretty flies, (but) probably not panfish flies. Panfish aren’t that fussy,” he said. “These are a little more like salmon flies. They’re classic flies, so they’re an actual pattern.” Another idea he had was making fly-fishing-inspired earrings. “There’s a few guys who do this,” said Mosner. “These are not classic flies. I thought, well, I’m just going to make different-colored earrings, pink one and purple ones,” and even ones in the colors of various football teams. “I’ve sold a few, but it’s more fun to give them away to friends and family. It’s fun to see people I know wear them.” Part of life’s balance Asked if he finds the activity of fly tying therapeutic, Mosner said, “You’re just totally focused on this. It allows you to be creative, which is fun. I’m sure it makes me feel somewhat productive. My day is good if I can have some physical activity, some kind of fun activity, and then to be somewhat productive. This allows me to be a little productive. Instead of having to go out and buy flies, I can make my own.” He admitted he is not sure he could have gotten into fly tying if he had to start at his present age. Ag-

Among Mosner's fly-fishing-themed gift ideas are these earrings in Packers (left) and Vikings team colors. (Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise) ing eyes can make it tricky to see up close, which can make tasks like tying hooks onto a line take longer than it used to. Unlike fishing for walleye, which involves trolling with live bait, fly fishing is a pursuit best enjoyed in solitude. Nevertheless, Mosner wouldn’t call it a “lonely” activity. “I just love being out on the lake, in nature,” he said. “If you go out on the Straight River, it’s a beautiful trout stream.” Tying in the future Fly tying and fly fishing are activities Mosner Fly tying and fly fishing are activities Mosner would like to see a younger generation enjoy. Last summer, he

made a fly-tying presentation to children at the Park Rapids Library. “They were really engaged,” he said. “It was fun, and I do hope that some of them pick it up. I asked them if they would want me to do a fly casting class next summer and all the hands shot up.” Asked how long he plans to keep fishing and fly tying, Mosner pointed to a needlepoint design Olga made of the fisherman’s prayer, asking that “God grant that I may live to fish until my dying day.” For more information, Mosner recommended searching the library for books and magazines about fly fishing and fly tying. Also, the websites and both feature pages for beginners.

Generations March 2018  
Generations March 2018