It takes generous donations from the community and a crew of dedicated volunteers to make sure there are gifts for children in need throughout the area. Santa's crew of helpers gathered around the fireplace at Abide Vineyard Church in Park Rapids on distribution day for Toys for Girls and Boys and Tiny Tots last year.
John Zentz embodies spirit of giving
By Lorie Skarpness lskarpness @parkrapidsenterprise.com
ohn Zentz is 88, and with his white beard, a twinkle in his eye and a hearty laugh closely resembles Santa Claus. He also embodies the spirit of giving at the heart of Christmas. During his retirement years, a plea went out in the Park Rapids Enterprise for someone to take over the toy donation program for area children. John jumped at the chance to make sure every child would have something under the tree on Christmas morning. Three generations of the Zentz family have made that their mission for the past four years. In partnership with his daughter, Tanja Zentz, several grandsons and volunteers from the community, the Toys for Girls and Boys and Tiny Tots program has made Christmas happier for many area families. “All generations learn something when they work together,” Tanya said. “My kids get to hear dad’s stories
Left: John Zentz and his daughter, Tanja Zentz, have been helping bring Christmas cheer to area children through the Toys for Girls and Boys and Tiny Tots program. This year, with a record number of families signing up, they need the community's help to make sure every child receives gifts this Christmas. Enterprise file photo
about how he grew up with so little and that helps my boys appreciate everything they have. It’s very heartwarming to see the values of giving they are learning.” Tanja’s boys – Alex, Kalvin, Remington and Isaac – are in their 20s now and provide help with toy pickup and distribution. John’s wife, Jan, also helps out. “It’s so rewarding to see how much happiness you bring by helping,” John said. “We enjoy it so much. All of the people who donate gifts and money don’t get any credit, but that’s where it really comes from. We’re just agents to pass it on.
We appreciate so much everyone who gives.” John said while out shopping at Northland Lumber recently he was asked if they had enough toys this year. “I said, ‘No, we’re worried,’” he said. “They said they would adopt two or three families and their contractors would help as well. We’d love to have more businesses adopt a family for Christmas. Many businesses aren’t having office parties this year, so maybe this is something they’d like to do. I think that’s the only way we’re going to get enough toys this
ZENTZ: Page 2
Art Beat Quarterly Regional Guide
Inside this issue... 3
Tips for helping garden tools last a lifetime
4 How to prevent falls during a pandemic 5-8 Art Beat 9 BBB offers tips after largest elder fraud case busted
De ce mbe r 2 02 0 ZENTZ From Page 1
this year. I understand that people are afraid because of the virus, but if we don’t get enough donations how would we tell families their kids won’t have any presents this year? We need to help each other, especially now.” Tanja works as a sonographer at Essentia Health, yet finds the time spent volunteering with Toys for Girls and Boys helps keep her mind off the stress of the pandemic. “It’s been stressful, crazy busy and crazy scary,” she said. “I think it’s extra important to give back right now because the economy has been affected and people are also being affected mentally. We’re seeing a lot of health problems just from all of the stress. Christmas is a time of excitement and joy, and we don’t want to steal that from the kids because of the virus. Every year, there’s a touching story from someone who was blessed in a special way.”
Help save Christmas
“In past years, the generosity of many has given us the privilege of passing on gifts to over 500 children and close to 200 families each year,” Tanja said. “With many people being sick and without jobs, we anticipate many more families than usual will need help with toys this year. In these unprecedented times, we are not getting responses from many of our past donors. With the help of the community, we can bring a little light to many children this Christmas season, but we can’t do it alone. Please pray for the families in need, as we are all in this together.” “It’s going to be hard for some families this year,” John said. “Some kids won’t be getting the expensive gifts they are used to, but I hope they get the one that doesn’t cost much – the gift of love. A lot of families are hurting. It has been a depressing year, but looking back I hope it will be one of our best Christmases
With a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and a pencil in the pocket of his bib overalls, John Zentz has always enjoyed writing stories and celebrating Christmas. because we learned what was important.” Following the COVID19 safety guidelines, families who signed up for gifts will have curbside pick up at the Abide Vineyard Church on Hwy. 34 in Park Rapids Dec. 10-11. There are always a few families who reach out after the deadline, and the program will save any extra gifts to help them.
Magical childhood Christmas memories
John grew up during the Depression, spending his early childhood years near Pine River before his family moved out west. “Christmas was an important time for our family,” he said. “After the tree was up, we’d make popcorn in the fireplace. We had a ranch house with a big fireplace out in Washington state where we moved when I was 7 or 8. We would gather around to pop corn in a pot on an iron hook that hung over the fire with a screen on top. It was fun to listen to it pop. We had three of those hooks, and mother would put a kettle of hot chocolate on another hook while the corn was popping. We’d dip hot chocolate while we were waiting. We strung popcorn with thread and looped the strings on the tree. We had an angel for the top of the tree that came from my grandmother. That’s all the decorations we had. We didn’t even have lights on the tree. My dad always read the Christmas story from the Bible along with ‘Twas the Night
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A loving family is what made Christmas special to John Zentz when he was growing up. His dad (back, right) helped the four boys make gifts for each other. His mom (second from right, back row) helped them string popcorn to decorate the tree. His grandparents (in the middle of the third row) always came for dinner. John, kneeling in front of his grandfather, is now 88 and still remembers those happy Christmases.
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John Zentz's grandsons Isaac Hagan, Remington Hagan, Kalvin Hagan and Alex Ziemann are an important part of the toy program. One of their jobs is picking up donations throughout Park Rapids and delivering them to Abide Vineyard Church. Before Christmas.’ We never got up early on Christmas morning. One day we heard my dad tell mother he was glad the boys didn’t get up early so he had time to put the gifts under the tree. So then we knew Dad was Santa at our house.” Each boy hung a stocking on the fireplace for Santa to fill. “One year we decided to fool our mom so the night before Christmas we snuck out and each hung another sock,”
he said. “My brother came up with a way to put wool socks over a boot to stretch them so you could get a lot more stuff in them. We hung those by the fire place where our other four socks were already hanging hoping we’d get double the presents.” John said family is what made Christmas so special. “We always had my grandma and grandpa over because they lived close by,” he said. “I remember one
Christmas when they lived across Hwy. 64 near Pine River back when it was a dirt road. Mom sent me over to see when they were coming for Christmas because we didn’t have telephones. I ran across to their house. We had so much snow that year that my grandfather had cut steps up to the attic window and had iced them down. You had to climb those steps and go in through that window to get in the house.” John said Christmas in his family was about more than the gifts. “Nobody had much money during the Depression, but we were raised with a lot of love,” he said. “The year all we got for Christmas was oranges is really one of my fondest memories. My mother would also make clothes for us and we were happy with whatever we got.” Another special Christmas memory was the year his father traded a cow for two big sleds for his four boys even though fun on the sleds didn’t last long. “The sleds were taller than our heads,” he said. “We watered down and turned the sled tracks to ice with a big jump at the end. We crashed and broke the sleds all to pieces but my dad said he was thankful none of his boys were hurt.” John said when he was growing up his dad would also help the boys make gifts for each other. “I think the spirit of giving is the most important thing,” he said. “Giving comes from God.” Sometimes gifts come in miraculous ways, as when a last minute request came in for a pair of shoes just before Christmas at Toys for Girls and Boys and someone had put a pair of shoes that size in one of the donation boxes in Park Rapids.
“I believe God performs miracles,” he said. “I don’t believe that was a coincidence. Once I was in church and had a feeling to donate $100. I did, and in my next paycheck from Xerox there was an extra $100. They didn’t have any record of it so they told me to keep it. We can’t outgive God.”
How to help
There are drop boxes for toys at Coborn’s, Hugo’s, Walgreens, ACE Hardware, Jake’s Barbershop, Walmart and the radio station in Park Rapids. Area families or businesses who want to adopt a family for Christmas and purchase gifts from their wish list should contact Tanja at 218-255-6056. “We can also come and pick up the gifts if they want us to,” she said. “It’s good for families to do a project like this together,” John said. Bags of unwrapped gifts for families can also be dropped off curbside at Abide Vineyard Church on Monday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. For those who don’t feel comfortable going into stores, gifts can be ordered online and delivered to Toys for Girls and Boys and Tiny Tots, 16095 Garnet Drive Park Rapids, MN 56470. Another way is to buy a gift card from a store or restaurant, put it in an envelope labeled Toys for Girls and Boys and drop it off at TruStar Federal Credit Union in Nevis or Park Rapids. Cash donations will also be accepted at TruStar. “Gift cards are especially good for teenagers because they’re hard to buy for,” John said. Call Tanja at 218255 6056 or email email@example.com for more information or to volunteer with the program.
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Garden tools can last many decades with proper care, such as this pitchfork, which is more than 90 years old. Alyssa Goelzer / Forum News Service
Tips for helping garden tools last a lifetime
love old garden tools. They’re like the comfortable pair of shoes you’ve grown attached to, even though they’re worn around the edges. I inherited many of my garden tools from my parents, which are the ones I gardened with as a boy. The rototiller is over 50 years old, and a hoe, cultivator and spading fork are well-past 60 years. I’ve even got a pitchfork that’s easily beyond 90 years old and still functioning well. There’s a satisfaction in gardening with wellcared-for heirloom tools, and it even becomes part of the experience. New garden tools will become heirlooms, too, one day, if high-quality items are purchased and taken care of. I’ll admit I don’t always scrape every bit of soil from my shovel the way I should before I return it to the shed, and sometimes the blades of my pruning shears are sticky from sap that should have been soaked clean after use. But I try as best I can to keep our tools clean, sharp and maintained, so they’ll last. Will our plants grow better if our garden tools are clean and sharp? Yes. A wellsharpened pruning shears makes a clean, smooth cut that seals itself quicker than a ragged, crushed stem caused by a dull tool. Spades with sharpened edges penetrate soil easer, helping us dig
Growing Together BY DON KINZLER Columnist properly sized holes. A sharp hoe makes all the difference in weeding, as it glides readily through the soil surface. Well-cared-for tools are more user-friendly. Smooth wooden handles cause fewer splinters and hand blisters. Welltended tools last longer, especially important if we’ve invested in good quality that can last many decades. The following are end-of-season tips for keeping garden tools in top shape. ► Remove excess soil from tools with a stiff bristle brush, then scrub in water and dry with a towel or allow to air dry. ► If wooden handles have weathered, or the grain is raised and rough, sand with 80-grit sandpaper, followed by 120 or 150 grit for a smooth finish. ► Remove rust from metal parts with a wire brush, sandpaper, emery cloth or rotary wire wheel. Finish by
rubbing with steel wool and vinegar, rinse in water, then towel dry. ► If blades of pruning shears are sticky with sap, scrub with steel wool dipped in turpentine. ► Next, sharpen tools with a metal file or electric bench grinder. Sharp edges are especially beneficial for shovels, hoes, pruning shears and lawn mower blades. ► One of my favorite methods of preserving tools is to coat all metal and wood surfaces with a mixture of equal parts boiled linseed oil and turpentine. Linseed oil is purchased as either raw or boiled, and it’s labeled as such. You don’t boil your own, which sounds like a dangerous task. When I first read about, and used this mixture as a teenager, I didn’t realize it came preboiled until I went to
Tools perform better if edges are sharpened with a metal file or electric wheel grinder. the hardware store. ► Apply the oilturpentine mixture liberally to wooden handles, allow to penetrate for about 30 minutes, and then wipe dry. Apply also to metal parts, wiping off excess, while allowing a thin coating to remain to protect against rust. ► Linseed oil is a better choice than products such as WD-40 or other petroleum-based products like motor oil, which should be avoided to prevent small amounts of contamination as the tools are used around plants or soil. Linseed oil is extracted from flaxseed, so it’s more
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Don Kinzler, a lifelong gardener, is the horticulturist with North Dakota State University Extension for Cass County. Readers can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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plant-friendly. ► Some gardeners keep a container of sand into which oil has been mixed and the metal
part of small hand tools can be submerged in the sand, for cleaning or storage. ► Because oily rags are flammable, the National Fire Protection Association recommends hanging the rags outdoors or spreading them on the ground to dry, then place in a covered metal container filled with water and detergent solution, then disposed of following local guidelines.
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How to prevent falls during a pandemic The Savvy Senior BY JIM MILLER Columnist
ear Savvy Senior, My 80-yearold mother, who lives alone and is self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic, has fallen several times. Are there any extra precautions you recommend that can help prevent this? ~ Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned, Falls are a common concern for many elderly adults and their families, especially during the coronavirus pandemic when many seniors are sheltering at home alone. Each year, more than 1-in-4 older Americans fall, making it the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those age 65 and older. But many falls can be prevented. Depending on what’s causing your mom to fall, here are some different tips that can help prevent it. Encourage exercise: Weak leg muscles and poor balance are two of the biggest risk factors that cause seniors to fall. Walking, strength training and tai chi are all good for improving balance and strength, as are a number of balance exercises your mom can do anytime like standing on one foot for 30 seconds then switching to the
other foot, and walking heel-to-toe across the room. For additional balance and leg strengthening exercises, see AgeBold. com. Review her medications: Does your mom take any medicine, or combination of medicines, that make her dizzy, sleepy or lightheaded? If so, make a list or gather up all the drugs she takes – prescriptions and over the counter – and contact her doctor or pharmacist for a drug review and adjustment. Get a vision test: Poor vision can be another contributor to falls, so your mom should get her eyes checked once a year and be sure to update her eyeglasses if needed. Also be aware that if your mom wears bifocal or progressive lenses, they too can cause falls, especially when walking outside or going down steps. These lenses can affect depth perception, so she may want to get a pair of glasses with only her distance prescription for outdoor activities. If your mom is concerned about a trip into her eye doctor during the pandemic, she can get her vision tested online. Put a call to her eye doctor
about this option, or consider some online vision testing sites like Essilor.com or 6over6.com. And to buy eyeglasses online, some popular options include WarbyParker.com and ZenniOptical.com. Fall-proof her home: There are a number of simple household modifications you can do to make your mom’s living area safer. Start by helping her arrange or move the furniture so there are clear pathways to walk through and pick up items on the floor that could cause her to trip
like newspapers, shoes, clothes, electrical or phone cords. If she has throw rugs, remove them or use double-sided tape to secure them. In the bathroom buy some non-skid rugs for the floors and a rubber suction-grip mat or adhesive non-skid tape for the floor of the tub or shower, and have a carpenter install grab bars in and around the tub/shower for support. Also, make sure the lighting throughout the house is good, purchase some inexpensive plug-in nightlights
for the bathrooms and hallways, and if she has stairs, put handrails on both sides. For more tips, see the NIA “fall-proofing your home” web page at NIA. NIH.gov/health/fallproofing-your-home. Choose safe footwear: Going barefoot or wearing slippers or socks at home can also cause falls, as can wearing backless shoes, high heels, and shoes with smooth leather soles. The safest option for your mom is rubber-sole, low-heel shoes. Purchase some
helpful aids: If your mom needs some additional help getting around, get her a cane or walker. Also, to help ensure your mom’s safety, and provide you some peace of mind, consider getting her a medical alert device that comes with a wearable emergency button that would allow her to call for help if she were to fall or need assistance. Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070 or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.
Life After Cataract Surgery
Jen Keller O.D.
Cataracts are like grey hair and bifocals... everyone gets them. So what the heck is a cataract? When the natural lens inside the eye gets yellow and cloudy, you’ve developed a cataract. The lens acts like a filter and protects us against the harmful light in our environment. Over time, this absorption of UV light turns the lens a yellowish milky color. Patients with cataracts can experience blur, halos, difficulty with glare especially during night time driving. When cataracts create enough blur that vision can no longer be corrected with glasses, it’s time to get those cataracts out. During cataract surgery, the doctors remove the old cloudy lens with a crystal clear new artificial lens. The result…much clearer and brighter vision.
100 Huntsinger Ave, Park Rapids 732-3389 107 6th St., Walker 547-3666 Murry D. Westberg, O.D. Jen Keller, O.D. R.W. Helm, O.D.
That crisper and brighter vision is a plus. But here’s what we want you to know. Remember that internal lens? Remember how it’s function was to filter out UV and other harmful light? Now that the lens has been removed, you no longer have the ability to filter out those harmful rays. After cataract surgery, it is more important than ever to wear your sunglasses! Also... keep in mind our electronic devices are putting out harmful blue light, which is not being filtered out after cataract surgery. There are special lenses available to filter out this bad blue light. We have a large selection of UV-safe sunglasses available. Also, all of us at the Park Rapids and Walker Eye Clinics choose to wear the blue-light protecting lenses! You can ask any of us about our experience and relief with blue light lenses.
Quarterly Regional Guide
Creativity alive and well at PR Community Education Park Rapids Community Education instructors are masking up and taking on the challenge of teaching in person. Smaller class sizes allow for more hands-on experiences and people love it! Fall brought some wonderful new classes, like woodland-style painting and needle felting. We had favorites, like sign painting of many varieties, stained glass, steel art, stamping and even an outdoor evergreen planter class. Community ed is able to fulfill a need for people to create right now and we are so grateful to our instructors for being willing to teach. As we look ahead to winter, we will continue to have small in-person classes and will be adding some inter-
esting online courses. We even have a teacher wintering in Romania wanting to teach a virtual Mandala Art Workshop! Since things have changed so greatly, you may have noticed we haven’t printed a brochure. Instead, we are encouraging people to check our website (www. parkrapidscomed.com) and Facebook page (Park Rapids Community Ed) for the most up-to-date information on classes and instructors. We have also gone to colorful fliers showing our latest offerings, hanging up
Woodland-style painting and needle felting classes were popular this fall.
Park Rapids Community Ed students created outdoor seasonal planters.
in many businesses around town. We are doing one of these per month, so keep an
would like to teach a class. Always learning, too, that’s community ed!
To meet or not to meet: That’s still the question
What choir, band, singing, entertainment have meant to me By Bickey Bender hat have I missed the most during this period of isolation because of the pandemic that has taken over our country? This question was proposed to me by a local editor from Park Rapids. The first item that comes to mind is participation in music. Church choir and Classic Chorale have been a large part of my life since we moved to Park Rapids 20 years ago. I recall going to the Classic Chorale Christmas Concert in December of 2000 and was encouraged to sing with the group. How I’ve missed those rehearsals and the people who participate which include the singers and the audiences. I’ve sung either with sisters and my mother since I was a child. Choir in church, school and college hold many wonderful memories. I’ve missed the Heartland Concert Association series. We’ve had a membership with this organization since we moved to our lake home permanently. Our first experience to attend before we moved here was when Frank’s brother, Donald Bender, a professional oboist and teacher from New York and his group, “The Trio
eye out! We are also in the office and love to take your calls if you have questions or
Bickey Bender’s fingerprint is on many Park Rapids area arts projects. She represents Blank Canvas Gallery online on the Heartland Arts council board and has been a long-time participant in Art Leap as well as many other activities. Sonata,” came to perform in Park Rapids in one of the first concerts of the series. I miss high school drama productions. As a high school and college student, I know the thrill of being on stage and interacting with fellow actors. Creating stage sets as well as acting were part of my involvement. I miss the Northern Light Opera Company productions, especially because our entire family has been active in their productions for many years. Our children and grandchildren have all had opportunities to perform, play in the orchestra, work on scene painting and set creation, sewing, lighting, ushering and attending performances.
BENDER: Next page
Heartland Concert Association DON’T WAIT TO BE ASKED. JOIN NOW!
By Marie Nordberg Secretary, Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning Last spring, as the pandemic heated up, we announced to the public that the Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning (HCLL) had decided to cancel the remainder of our spring season and were hoping to resume in the fall. The canceled speakers were rescheduled with the hope that September and October would see an end to coronavirus and things would go on as usual. But the HCLL board was not ready to just go away and hope for a better fall. Knowing that most HCLL programs are recorded on DVD and available at the public library, board members went through a list of popular past programs, voted on the top eight favorites, and handed over the DVDs to Microtech for posting on YouTube. Problem solved. Postcards were mailed to loyal HCLL attendees listing the programs and web address where they could be accessed through
November. Feedback has been positive, and many people have watched the programs, some for the first time. The expectation, of course, was that this format was a one-time thing, but that was not to be. As fall approached and the pandemic had, in fact, become worse in Minnesota, the scheduled speakers were contacted to let them know that programming was once again being put on hold indefinitely. Knowing that the spring online series was well-received, we decided to do it again. Votes have already been cast by the board, and another series of eight past programs will be posted in early March. Information on what, where and when will be forthcoming in early 2021. In the meantime, HCLL welcomes donations to help with programming costs. Please send your tax-deductible donations to HCLL, c/o Marty Leistikow, 17849 Jasmine Drive, Park Rapids, MN 56470. Stay well and we’ll see you in September next year.
HEARTLAND CONCERT SERIES FOR 2020-21 SEASON IS CANCELLED
Due to COVID-19, many postponements and the uncertainty of restrictions for gatherings, plus the unknown venue restrictions, the Heartland Concert Association Board of Directors had to make the difficult decision to CANCEL the 2020-21 concert series. We apologize, but the health of our audience and artists is our top priority. We look forward to seeing you in 2021-22!
VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION
www.heartlandconcertassociation.org This activity is funded in whole or in part by a Region 2 Arts Council Grant through an appropriation by the MN Legislature, and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by MN voters on Nov. 4, 2008
De ce mbe r 2 02 0
Quarterly Regional Guide
Efforts underway to purchase Medici Project receives large sculpture for city park Ziemann memorial gift The Park Rapids Arts & Culture Advisory Commission and Parks & Beautification Board are applying for grants and seeking donations to purchase a large sculpture for installation in Deane Park. Sculptor Al Bellevue of Puposky has offered to sell “AntVenture” for less than the cost listed as the sale price when the stone and steel sculpture was on display as part of the Red Bridge Park Sculpture Trail in 2018. The Arts & Culture Advisory Commission and Parks & Beautification Board welcome donations toward a portion of the $6,400 budget. Heartland Arts also supports the project. Purchase of the sculpture for a city park presents an opportunity to add a permanent sculpture in a city park, said Liz Smith, who contacted the sculptor and presented the idea to the Parks & Beautification Board. Smith is a member of the board. Deane Park is a community park of approximately three acres with primary users being families, groups enjoying picnics, reunions, graduation parties and group events. The park has new handicapped accessible bathrooms, many picnic tables, grills, an open air shelter and very outdated playground equipment. The equipment consists of two swing sets and two climbing play structures. Smith noted the park
BENDER From previous page
I miss the Park Rapids Community Band concerts. The participants give of their valuable time to produce excellent concerts. Thank you to all of the members for contributing to our community. I’m grateful that we have two art galleries in which to exhibit art and enjoy other creations. We have the Nemeth Art Center gallery that continues to bring wonderful exhibits from artists that stretch our imagination and present different ways to view images. Art Leap has been an annual event in the
Katie Deschene took this photo of Park Rapids Century Middle School Club 309 kids enjoying the AntVenture sculpture on a field trip to the Red Bridge Park Sculpture Trail in the fall of 2018. is used heavily by young families and this sculpture will give children and adults the opportunity to use their imaginations as well as the sculpture itself. They can crawl into it, around it and even stand upright. It blends perfectly with the park’s woodlands. The purchase would be timely in that it supports a regional artist in these COVID-19 challenged times and provides a safe outdoor activity for children. The project also adds to the community’s arts and cultural assets. A long-term outcome would be to inspire sculptures to be purchased and installed in other city parks. It can be expected that placing the AntVenture Sculpture in Deane Park will be the beginning of new activities for park visitors,
especially children. In addition to the sculpture purchase price, the project budget includes a concrete pad and plaque to recognize donors. The project meets three goals and objectives of the city’s Arts and Culture Plan: 1) promoting the creation and inclusion of art in public spaces, making it accessible to all, 2) making the city a regional destination for arts and cultural experiences, and 3) adding an element of creative placemaking as an approach to improving quality of life and economic opportunity. Contributions made payable to the City of Park Rapids may be delivered or mailed to City Hall, 212 2nd Street West, Park Rapids, MN 56470.
Park Rapids community, and this year, it did not take place. We have been fortunate to have as many as eight artists displaying their works on our property for several years. We’ve had as many as 300-plus people come in two days. They’ve enjoyed the ambiance of touring a railroad caboose and partaking of the refreshments offered by charming ladies (our daughter, granddaughters and sisters). The artists who shared their work and the memories we have created are irreplaceable. It is with sadness that I share the news of two artists who passed away this fall. Janine Merrick and Bob Landrigan had
participated in Art Leap for several years, and they will be missed. The painting of the mural on Aunt Belle’s candy store was a plus to see and assist in its production this summer. Heartland Arts Council had a big part in making this happen and I have been fortunate to serve on that board for many years. I say “thank you” to those of you who have provided the opportunity to support the arts in the Park Rapids Community. My life is richer because of the sacrifices of others who share their talents so that I can be a participant. I look forward to many more years of involvement in the arts.
In 2012, Heartland Arts (formerly Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council) established the Medici Project to recognize and support artistic talent and growth for youth through stimulation, scholarship and enrichment. Over the years, Ziemann Heartland Arts has received several memorial gifts dedicated to this project. The most recent donation was received in honor and memory of Ed Ziemann from his children: Dave Ziemann, Jamie Jokela, Tim Ziemann and Jody Ziemann. A letter accompanying the donation said, “Many of you knew our dad, Ed Ziemann, as the cheerful meat department manager at SuperValu and at J & B foods. “During Ed’s youth, teen and early adult time here on the planet, he enjoyed creative time through the media of oil painting and ink drawings.” When clearing his house this past year, his family found a “Conservation Pays” painting in an upstairs closet. A couple of months later they found a newspaper clipping in a box, up high, in a kitchen cupboard that told the story behind the painting. “Both were new discoveries.” The painting was a top conservation poster contest winner at the Becker County Sportsmen’s Show when Ed was a student at Detroit Lakes High School. The other winner was Marvin Johnston. Since finding the painting and the clipping, Jody has visited with Marvin on the phone and learned more of the story behind these “finds” and other stories, too. “Marvin and Ed happened to be best buddies in high school, so I think there are more stories yet to hear!” she wrote. The letter went on to say, “Another creative focus for Ed in his adult time was handcrafting recurve bows … and in another cupboard we came upon his handwritten blueprints for the kiln he built that baked the layers of the bows together and molded the permanent curves into the finished pieces, along with his handwritten, step-bystep instructions for the creation of the bows. “I’m sharing these bits of Ed’s history to tie to the ‘why’ we decided to direct some of his memorial money to the Medici Project. And we know Dad is pleased about the idea of encouraging youth in their art
and music interests, and in all creative endeavors.” Jody also shared that her dad enjoyed listening to her practice playing the piano when she was growing up, and years later, loved listening to his grandson, Alex, play the guitar and sing at local performances. Alex also brought his guitar to Diamond Willow to entertain his grandpa and other residents. Two of Jody’s students have received Medici Project funds to continue their piano lessons. Other students have received funds to study piano, voice and dance lessons. Teachers and mentors may recommend a child who shows interest, talent and motivation. The project reflects the core value that the arts can have a positive influence on youth as they develop. Levels of support offer potential opportunities for exposure to an art discipline in which a child may show interest, talent and motivation.
This level of support is driven by a teacher or mentor who might identify a talented student who could benefit from lessons to see if the student would prosper from such tutoring. For example, a choir teacher might be working with a music student she thinks should explore learning to play the piano.
Funds are available to support an existing student for a term/semester, if there were financial difficulties prohibiting continued lessons. For example a dance teacher might have a talented, motivated student who does not have the funds to continue classes and/ or afford to participate in the final performance dances.
This could involve many possibilities to support a young person’s artistic growth. These might include financial support for a talented student to attend a workshop, performance or special event. Please consider partnering with Heartland Arts to support the success of the Medici Project and its opportunities to benefit talented youth for years to come. Monetary, tax-deductible donations may be sent to the Medici Project, Heartland Arts, P.O. Box 702, Park Rapids, MN 56470. The nomination/application form is available at https:// www.heartlandarts.org/pages/ participate/medici-project.php.
Quarterly Regional Guide
Hubbard County DAC artists continue learning new art forms The artists of Hubbard County Developmental Achievement Center (DAC) have been busy despite social distancing caused by COVID-19. “We were all excited to be together again and resume our arts experiences,” said Executive Director Laura Johnson. In July, Erin Nelson continued to build the skills of DAC artists by focusing on the art of Alexander Calder and Georges Rouault. Her classes focused on introducing shapes and lines in two-dimensional drawing and painting. Then she focused on adding sculpture and multimedia collage to create work based on these artists and focusing on a circus theme. The circus art creations are currently on display at the Salvage Depot. In August, artists got to experience paper making with Jill Odegaard in the beautiful weather outside the DAC. She taught us how to make the pulp and use it to create paper and then how to decorate it with found items and to make beautiful art. The artists then went to work on the new mural on the southeast corner of the Salvage Depot building in late August and September. Erin’s vision was to show how our artists are
A Hubbard County DAC artist painted a giraffe as part of a class with Erin Nelson. always reaching for the sky to be the best they can be! You can see the joy in the individual paintings of the hands as they reach for the stars. DAC staff worked very hard to bring this vision to life alongside the DAC artists. In November, the artists head to the Creative Minds, Messy Fingers art studio in Nevis to get their hands dirty working with clay and learning the art of pottery with artist Kris Sauser. She will also be teaching glass fusion techniques and giving the artists the opportunity to create gifts or other works of art. The DAC team is so grateful to our teaching artists for helping to bring new
Erin Nelson guided the painting of a new mural at the Salvage Depot. Her vision was to show how Hubbard County DAC artists are always reaching for the stars to be the best they can be. skills and showcasing the talent of the DAC artists. The DAC is currently searching for artists to help us in 2021. Please contact Laura Johnson at 218-237-8518 or stop by the DAC main building at 109 Pleasant Avenue if you are interested in sharing
your artistic talents. All of these activities were made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
ReZume Arts introduces region’s talented artists Late this past summer, with artists and audiences having few opportunities to connect with one another in person, Region 2 Arts Council launched ReZume Arts as a virtual “live” event. Since then, ReZume Arts appears on Region 2 Arts Council’s Facebook page every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. Bringing together two or more area artists for bi-monthly conversations offers audiences near and far the opportunity to learn about individual artists’ processes, lifestyles, and current projects. ReZume Arts conversations also give artists the opportunity to connect with and be inspired by one another. For example, on Nov. 11, ReZume Arts highlighted singer/songwriters Joe Holt, Vicki Morrison Goble and
Doyle Turner. On Nov. 25, milliner Kelly Schultz and Anishinaabe beadworker Wenona Kingbird convened for a conversation. Visit r2arts.org to learn more about past and upcoming featured artists; click on the “ReZume Arts” button for full details. With the current breadth and depth of online creative offerings, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the live event. If that’s not possible, head over to the Region 2 Arts Council YouTube channel where each segment is archived. Any artist residing in Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, Beltrami, Mahnomen or Clearwater County is eligible to be featured in a future ReZume Arts segment. Email Kathryn at email@example.com for more information. This activity is made possible by
Sculpture artist Duane “Dewey” Goodwin participating on ReZume Arts from his home in Bemidji on Sept. 9.
the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
Heartland Arts launches fundraiser Since 2005, Heartland Arts (formerly Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council) has relied on arts and cultural organizations, project champions and grants to support our efforts. In addition to our goals of coordinating arts calendars, sharing information and incubating interest in new arts projects, Heartland Arts has sponsored 12 projects in a variety of arts disciplines: dance, music, visual arts, etc. Some projects have been-one-time events, like the recently completed mural in Downtown Park Rapids. Others are a series and a few are ongoing or will be in 2021 if they can be done safely. Heartland Arts also maintains a secure website (www. heartlandarts.org). All our efforts support our mission to promote excellence in the arts through creation, education and performance. For the first time, Heartland Arts is asking the community to help the arts council expand opportunities for youth, artists and arts organizations in the Heartland Lakes area. Some grant support comes with strings attached. Donations would add money to our Medici Fund, which provides young people with financial assistance for lessons, workshops and other arts endeavors. Contributions also would allow Heartland Arts to respond to requests such as those we have received in the past for Century School PTA field trips, the 5th-H Performing Arts Club, Park Rapids Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and Hubbard County DAC. Heartland Arts is grateful to those who help us continue to support opportunities for artists and other arts organizations. Please indicate on your check memo line or with a note if you do not wish your contribution to be acknowledged on our website. Contribution levels are $25 Friend of the Arts.$50 Supporter of the Arts (for families and organizations) and $100 or more Benefactor of the Arts. Contributions may be mailed to Heartland Arts, PO Box 702, Park Rapids, MN 56470. Heartland Arts is a 501(c)3 so donations are 100 percent tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
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Quarterly Regional Guide
Park Rapids Area Library offers take-and-make art project The Park Rapids Area Library has one event at the beginning of December with a take-andmake sewing kit! Recommended for ages 8 and up, this hand-sewing project comes to patrons as a take-andmake kit with all the supplies included. Patrons will receive a needle, pins, scissors, fabric and everything else needed to create a cute drawstring bag. Full instructions are provided to help you complete the project. Sewing is a foundational skill in every culture. Transforming
flat fabric into fun, functional and beautiful items can feel a bit like magic. Don’t worry if your stitching isn’t perfect at first, you will get better with practice. If you have always wanted to learn how to hand sew, this is your chance! Or, if you want to share your skills with some friends or a younger generation,
Mural committee wins award
this would be a great place to start. These free sewing kits are limited in number. Reserve yours by calling 218-732-4966. Kits should be picked up at your Park Rapids Area Library Dec. 1-5 during open hours. Please call your library to get updates on current service hours. This free online Legacy Program is funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s arts and cultural heritage.
Stay home and still experience the arts I’m bored! I need to do something! And, I miss getting together with others. This COVID-19 business is getting a little old. There are not a lot of opportunities to get together in person, let alone get together to experience the arts. However, there are opportunities to experience the arts out there! You just may have to go online. Finding arts activities on the internet might seem like a daunting task, but the secret is learning how to ask the question so Google, Siri, Alexa can direct you to the right place. If you want to participate in the arts by taking a painting class, piano lessons, enroll in free arts and humanities courses
or other ways of getting involved, start by interacting with Google with a question, such as, “Where can I learn to draw online?” You will be surprised by all the leads you will find on the internet. Listen to the call to play: “Surf’s up!” If you are more interested in experiencing the arts in a more passive way, you can ask the question: “Where can I take a virtual tour of an art exhibition?” (You could make your search more specific as to the genre of art you want to see.) As a result, you may be directed to visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art (new.artsmia. org) or go the new Observer website and find “5 Amazing Virtual Art Exhibitions To
Enjoy From The Comfort Of Your Home” (observer.com). It’s an interesting thing to observe that the answer may not lead you to the same places each time you ask that same question. Go to websites of arts organizations you know produce excellent offerings. For some marvelous theater offerings for these COVID times, go directly to The Guthrie Theater, Metropolitan Opera Company and National Theater in the UK – just a few places
you might visit. Whatever the direction your internet surfing will take you, you can always backtrack to check out the options you ignored on your way forward. An online experience will never take the place of seeing and hearing art in person, however until we can do that again safely, why don’t you go online and relish the offerings some of the finest arts organizations have to offer virtually.
A Smaller Setting for Better Care. Our smaller, homelike setting and natural beauty give you a higher level of comfort. So do our industry leading staff-to-resident ratios!
Find Art Leap artist information online Since the fall of 2006, Art Leap has introduced regional artists to visitors interested in learning more about their artwork, the creative process and how artists are often inspired by their natural surroundings. In lieu of a driving tour last fall, information about some of the artists who had committed to participat-
ing was posted on the Heartland Arts website along with the artists’ websites, Facebook pages or other contact information. If you are looking for home decor and gifts this holiday season, please“visit” these artists and support them. Learn more at https://www.heartlandarts.org/pages/ events/events.php.
The Park Rapids Downtown Mural Committee received an award from the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber in September. The new award recognizes an outstanding project that helps the greater community prosper and grow. In August, the 15-year-old mural on the side of Aunt Belle’s Confectionary was replaced with new artwork. The steering committee worked with muralist Lili (Payne) Lennox of Minneapolis on a design to welcome people Downtown and convey the vitality of Downtown’s shops, restaurants and arts community. Lili and her three-woman crew completed the work in about four days. The activity was made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota, through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
We’d love to show you around, either in person or at DiamondWillow.com.
Park Rapids (218) 252-0824 | Detroit Lakes (218) 841-2200
Many Heartland Arts activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota, through the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to legislative appropriations from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the State’s General Fund.
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BBB offers tips after largest elder fraud case busted By Better Business Bureau of Minnesota This fall, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the district of Minnesota charged 60 defendants for their roles in a $300 million nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme that defrauded more than 150,000 elderly and vulnerable adults in all 50 states. Better Business Bureau of
Minnesota and North Dakota offers these tips for handling telemarketer calls: ► Take your time. If it is a good deal now, it will still be a good deal after you take a couple of days to think about it, research the company, and ask the advice of a trusted friend. ► Don’t take telemarketer claims at face value. Fraud-
ulent telemarketing schemes will use deceptive sales tactics and might misrepresent the cost of a subscription or product. They may claim the offer comes with a free gift or additional perks that never end up materializing. ► Be cautious and do your own research. Do not make a purchase until you have verified a company’s existence
and reliability. Investigate a company’s reputation before doing business with it. Be particularly careful about providing your banking information or other personal information over the telephone, especially if it’s an unsolicited caller. ► It’s OK to hang up. If something seems off, if you’re not interested in the offer, or if you feel pressure to make
a hasty decision, hang up the phone and do not respond to future calls. If you suspect you’re being scammed, it’s OK to end the conversation. To learn more about how to avoid common scams, visit BBB.org/AvoidScams. If you or a loved one suspect you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker.
NOVEMBER 28 Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 by American Express to encourage people across the nation to "shop small" businesses. In 2011 the United States Senate passed a resolution to support Small Business Saturday. Since then, Small Business Saturday has grown with U.S. consumers spending approxiamtely $19.6 billion in 2019, according to an American Express consumer survey.
2020 has brought many challenges for small business. This year shoppers are encouraged to:
SHARE JOY, SHOP SMALL ALL SEASON LONG This holiday season looks a little different, but we can still share joy. Shop Small and support your favorite small businesses " both in-store and online " all holiday season long. Small Business Saturday 2020 requires businesses and shoppers to pay attention to health and safety guidelines. • Wear a mask • Practice Social Distancing • Follow Store Limits (if required) • Be Patient - We are all in this together! Sponsored by these local, small businesses. Hours: Tues.-Fri. 6am-2pm Sat. 6am-1pm (Unless Sold Out) Closed: Sun. & Mon.
Veteran Owned Business Now offering Financing! 118 N Central Ave, Park Rapids, MN 56470
Forest and Floral Garden Center
Garden Center 218-732-4504
• NURSERY • GREENHOUSE • LANDSCAPING
701 Fair Ave., Park Rapids, MN 56470
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SALES, SERVICE & PARTS
SALES & SERVICE (218) 732-8414 • PARTS (218) 237-1376
or order from our website
Scandinavian Gift Shop
• Finnish Jewelry • Sauna Supplies • Iittala Glassware • Finnish Candy & Jams • Hunting & Fishing Knives
Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm • Sat. 8:30am-4pm
Hwy. 34 East, Park Rapids
(located inside Harvala Appliance)
S ES ARL OEN N ITY & SPA
Corner of 7th Street & Main Avenue S. 614 So. Main, Park Rapids
218-237-2550 •1011 1ST ST. E. #5 serenitysalonspa.pr.mn
For your next vehicle, or Christensen SouthKen of Menahga
on Highway 71 218-564-CARS (2277)
Fresh Flowers Plants
Gift Certificates Available
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CALL: 8-6PM - 7 DAYS A WEEK
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Toll - Free 1-800-631-4946 218-631-4966
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Mon.-Fri. 10:30 am-7 pm Closed Sundays Sat. 10:30 am-4 pm Located in Northern Convenience, Hwy. 34 E., Park Rapids
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Plain language about Medicare, Social Security
ome of the terms and acronyms people use when they talk about Social Security can be a little confusing. We’re here to help you understand all you need to know. We strive to explain your benefits using easy-to-understand, plain language. The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies to communicate clearly in a way “the public can understand and use.” This can be particularly challenging when talking about complicated programs like Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare. If there’s a technical term or acronym that you don’t know, you can easily find the meaning in our online glossary (https:// www.ssa.gov/agency/ glossary/?utm_ source=mip0820&utm_ medium=onlinemedia&utm_ campaign=ocommmip-20&utm_ content=socialsecurity-in-plainlanguage-001). Everyone uses shorter versions of
Social Security BY DARLYNDA BOGLE
Assistant deputy commissioner, Social Security Administration words nowadays. We do too. Social Security’s acronyms function as shorthand in conversations about our programs and services. If you’re nearing retirement, you may want to know what PIA (primary insurance amount), FRA (full retirement age), and DRCs (delayed retirement credits) mean. These terms describe your benefit amount — based on when you decide to take it. If you take your retirement benefit at FRA, you’ll receive the full PIA (amount payable for a retired worker who starts benefits at full retirement age). So, FRA is an age and PIA is an amount. Once you receive benefits, you get a COLA most years. A COLA is a Cost-of-Living Adjustment, and that
will usually mean a little extra money in your monthly benefit. What about DRCs? Delayed retirement credits are the incremental increases added to the PIA if you delay taking retirement benefits beyond your full retirement age. If you wait to begin benefits beyond FRA — say, at age 68 or even 70 — your benefit increases.
Are you taking full advantage of your Medicare plan?
Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older, and for younger people receiving Social Security disability benefits. It helps with the cost of health care, but doesn’t cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care.
You have choices for Medicare: ► Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). ► Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C). ► Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage). If you have Original Medicare, the government pays for Medicare benefits when you get them. You can add prescription drug coverage to help pay for costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. These “all in one” alternatives to Original Medicare include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D (prescription drug coverage). Medicare Advantage Plans may have lower out-ofpocket costs than Original Medicare. They may also offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover — like vision, hearing, dental, and more. How you qualify You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage
Plan, if you have Part A and Part B and reside in the plan’s service area. Please be aware there are some restrictions if you have End-Stage Renal Disease. The most common types of plans are: ► Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans. ► Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans. ► Private Fee-forService (PFFS) Plans. ► Special Needs Plans (SNPs). Before you join a Medicare Advantage Plan: ► Find and compare Medicare health plans in your area using Medicare’s Plan Finder (https://www. medicare.gov/plancompare/#/?lang =en&year=2021). ► Visit the plan’s website to see if you can join online. ► You can also call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). When you call, please have your Medicare number and the date your Part A or Part B coverage started.
You can find this information on your Medicare card.
When can I join, switch, or unroll?
► Initial Enrollment Period. When you first become eligible for Medicare, you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period. ► General Enrollment Period. If you have Part A coverage and you get Part B for the first time during the General Enrollment Period, you can also join a Medicare Advantage Plan at that time. Your coverage may not start until July 1. ► Open Enrollment Period. From October 15 – December 7 you can join, switch, or un-enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Your coverage will begin on January 1 (as long as the plan gets your request by December 7). You can learn more about Medicare, including how to apply for Medicare and get a replacement Medicare card, by reading our publication “Medicare” at ssa.gov.
Respecting autonomy is more productive than demanding change
ear Carol: I moved my 81-year-old dad in with me so that I could keep an eye on him after he had a stroke last year and have kept him with me because of COVID19. He’s doing very well, partly because he has some in-home physical therapy where he happily cooperates. When we had some general in-home help for a while after his stroke, he also did everything they asked, including eating the food that they suggested. When I insist on the same things, he shrugs me off or says that he’ll think about it. I love him and we get along quite well. Why will he do what he needs to do for other people and not me? — KT. Dear KT: This is a frustrating situation that many adult children deal with as caregivers. While everyone is different,
Minding Our Elders BY CAROL BRADLEY BURSACK Columnist I can think of several possible reasons. First, many older adults have a history of doing what the doctor says and that feeling carries over with other people who represent health care. Another consideration is that many older adults, consciously or subconsciously, don’t want to be told what to do by their kids. It doesn’t seem to matter if this kid is 50 years old. They are the parent and they don’t like the role reversal. Related to the second is the fact that many older adults feel
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that they are losing control of their lives due to age-related health issues. Having their adult children, no matter how wellintentioned, decide that what they should and shouldn’t do just reminds them that the kids are eventually going to take over managing their lives. While it may seem unfair to put this back on you, in the interest of making your situation with your dad work more smoothly, try retooling your approach to him. When was the last time you and your dad
Are you turning 65? Call your local licensed Humana
have had a non-healthrelated conversation? When did you last ask him about the work he did or his past interests? Have you asked him recently how he wants to live his life now that he’s facing some health challenges? In other words, if you can express interest in the life that he’s lived, he may feel you are interested in him as a person rather than a project. During these conversations, look for natural openings to ask what he values in his life now and how he sees his future. If it’s independence, you can gently offer up that you understand that doing rehab exercises is boring but doing them could help him stay more independent. Then, leave it alone. Most of us are more willing to comply with steps that
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are in our best interest if we feel that we have some control over how we go about it, so give him time to make his own decisions. We really can’t “make” someone else change. If he still won’t do what is, in your mind, in his best interest, then love him
anyway. Respecting his autonomy will pay off in other ways. Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran caregiver and an established columnist. She is also a blogger, and the author of “Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.” Bradley Bursack hosts a website supporting caregivers and elders at www. mindingourelders.com. She can be reached through the contact form on her website.
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Simple soup recipe yields delicious results Home with the Lost Italian BY SARAH & TONY NASELLO
ith falling temperatures and shorter days upon us, now is the perfect time to bring some warmth and comfort to your table. This Creamy Onion Bacon Soup is a terrific way to usher in the soup season with a simple recipe that yields a delicious result. Onions are in season and you will find an abundant variety in our local markets, with any yellow variety working well for this soup. This recipe calls for the onion to be diced into medium-sized pieces, and a good tip is to use your thumbnail as a guide for the size. The savory fragrance of onions and garlic cooking together is like an invitation to dine, and when bacon is added into the mix even the most novice home cook will come off like a pro. For this recipe, you will need one medium or large yellow onion, one garlic clove and four strips of bacon to build the flavor base of the soup. The bacon is the first ingredient cooked in either a large pot or Dutch oven, so that the drippings can be used as the fat to cook the onions and garlic. I like to use thick-cut strips
of bacon for this soup, but any style of bacon will work just fine. The bacon is cooked until crispy and then broken into bits to be added back into the soup later. The onion is chopped into medium-diced pieces and then sauteed in the bacon drippings for about 10 minutes, so that it is soft, translucent and slightly caramelized. The garlic is minced and added to the onion at this stage, and cooked for just another minute, and then a quarter-cup of flour is added to help thicken the soup. I let the flour-onion mixture cook over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes to allow the flour taste to cook off before adding the liquid. I use chicken broth for this recipe, but you could also use vegetable broth, water or a combination of these liquids as desired. Once the flour has been combined, the broth is added and the soup is brought to a boil, followed by five minutes of simmering to thicken the soup. To make this onion soup silky and lush, heavy cream and grated Parmesan cheese are added at the end, along with the crumbled bacon bits. The
Sarah Nasello / Forum News Service
Creamy Onion Bacon Soup is a deliciously simple way to usher in the fall soup season. combination of velvety cream surrounding the tender onions and crispy bacon is like an invitation to dine — from the aromas alone, you know this soup is going to taste great. This Creamy Onion Bacon Soup would be a perfect starter course for an elegant dinner and would also make a great sauce for chicken and pork dishes. This recipe utilizes simple components with a simple process to produce a soup that is fragrant, seasonal and delicious. Welcome to the season of soup!
Creamy Onion Bacon Soup
4 strips bacon, uncooked 1 medium yellow onion, medium-diced
1 garlic clove, minced 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme flakes 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 quart chicken broth 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (adjust to taste) Fresh chives, finely chopped, to garnish In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the bacon and cook over medium heat, turning every couple minutes, until crispy, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bacon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, patting off any excess grease. Once cool,
crumble the bacon into large bits and set aside. Add the diced onion to the same pot and cook in the bacon drippings over medium-low heat, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. Add the flour, thyme and salt to the onion mixture and cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes, stirring often, until combined and the flour taste has cooked off. Slowly add the broth while stirring constantly to incorporate the ingredients. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to scrape
up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Once boiling, reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the broth begins to thicken. Stir in the heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and most of the bacon bits (save some to garnish) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more until hot. If the soup is too thick, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve hot, garnished with fresh chives and reserved bacon bits. “Home with the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CONNECTIONS SENIOR LIVING 427 Main St NE, Menahga, Minnesota 56464 218-564-4101 Visit our website for more information:
Creating home for older adults where they choose to live.
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Saying goodbye to what was
or those of you living with a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you have probably recognized the truth behind the saying “the long goodbye.” As this disease progresses, a person finds themselves saying goodbye to bits and pieces of their loved one as well as to life as they have known it. What I have found to be difficult is that for the longest time Mom may say or do something quite odd and then flip back to her old self. During those earlier years, I would ask myself if I was the one with the problem and Mom was just fine. Alzheimer’s disease is sneaky that way. Unlike many other terminal illnesses, Alzheimer’s robs the person of memory, as well as who they were
The Family Circle BY LAUREL HED Columnist as a person, compared to other diseases, such as cancer or heart disease, where their bodies decline but often their mind stays intact. So, family can feel somewhat connected to their loved one whereas with Alzheimer’s there is a disconnect as they gradually forget who you are or even who they are. So, I find myself saying goodbye to the Mom I once had who loved to play games and was very competitive, loved to read, loved to tell children’s stories, could do beautiful counted cross stitch, and really enjoyed working outside,
especially in her vegetable garden. Mom can no longer do any of these things and has asked me, “What am I good for now?” I am quick to say, “You have no idea how blessed I am to be able to come to see you and get your great hugs and enjoy all of our giggles.” The one thing that Teepa Snow points out when she talks about “precious gems” is that with Alzheimer’s disease it is progressive, and we do feel like we are losing the person we love before they have died. But my mom and your loved one are still “in there” and
we need to be on the lookout. Just as an ugly clam shell can open to show a beautiful pearl hidden inside, so it is with our loved one. When you least expect it, we get a peek of their
old self and what an awesome experience that is. When it happens be sure to treasure that memory. I have seen it happen with two of my clients – and to this day, it brings
me joy when I think how awesome that experience was! Laurel Hed is a licensed social worker and geriatric care manager for the elder law attorneys of Thomason Swanson and Zahn Law Firm.
SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY
Give yourself the of YEAR ROUND CONVENIENCE with a home at .
Crystal Brook Senior Living
At our aging in place community, you can stay in your new home as your needs change. That means joining the community in independent living and having additional care or services brought to you if you ever need them. It might be cooking or cleaning. It might be keeping track of your medications. In any case, we are here to serve you and help you maintain your independence.
Terms and conditions may apply.
Apartments are available in: Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care
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knutenelson.org/crystalbrook | 218.699.3605