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Spruce up for spring Garden club's roots run deep Women's philanthropy celebrates another year of giving

Small-town girl, big-time financial correspondent May 2013

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Contents

20 SheRegulars

Features 4 10 14 16 20 26

Clothes-minded 3 Catherine Hageman Goes Shopping

Mudlarks Garden Club Ashley Morrison Espadrilles Spring Organization Dana Graham Women’s Giving Circle

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Cuisine 30 Recipes for Spring Cash Talk 36 401(k) Options View from Mars Home Repairs Just a Minute Quick Tips

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>> editor’s note

As a child, I was happiest outdoors. I used to play for hours, stopping only for dinner and the proper amount of time set by my parents to “let it digest.” Riding my bicycle, climbing trees, engaging in any number of imaginary games — you name it, I was outside doing it. I recall it was sometimes just enough to sit on our patio. Countless photos of my infant self in a baby pool, sandbox or grassy plot serve as evidence that my penchant for fresh air started even before my memories. From the stories I’ve heard, my husband enjoyed similar experiences in his rural upbringing. That’s why looking back, I now feel ridiculous for my initial surprise at my son’s blossoming love for being outside. At just 16 months, I’m pretty sure Nolan would live outside if we were negligent parents and let him. A trip or chance to play outside is as sweet a bartering tool as candy or cake to some. “Nolan, if you let me change your diaper, we can go outside,” is said countless times in our household. Conversely the absence of said outdoor play, be it by horrible mommy who is bringing him inside for dinner or bed or the horrible “man upstairs” for making it thunder and rain, serves as the reason for the majority of his toddler tantrums. Now, let’s remember, he’s 16 months old. Allowing him to walk around the yard and pull on plants, rub his hands in the dirt and roll in the grass is enough to elicit those squeals of joy that are music to every parent’s ears. We’re just barely getting into toddler playgrounds, let alone climbing trees and riding bikes – those inevitable activities that will add up to the slow conversion of light brown to gray color on my head. But I won’t think about that just yet. For now, I’ll delight in those squeals and full-out toothy smiles he shoots in my direction as I watch him play with (aka annihilate) a dandelion. Why? Oh there are countless reasons … because he is his mother’s and father’s son; because in a world that caters to sedentary lifestyles, we’re starting off with a huge lurch in the opposite, healthier direction and we didn’t even have to force it; because it’s important to foster a love and respect for the environment in the next generation; and let’s face it, because it’s an excuse for me to be outdoors as well. So as my note in this issue comes to a close, I just want to encourage you and yours to get out in the fresh air and sunshine. It’s a beautiful time of year in Columbus – go enjoy it! You can save this issue for an evening read.

Do you have a comment about a She article or feature? Email Kelsey your remark or short personal story that pertains to a topic you read about and we may publish it. It’s all about keeping She your magazine. Check out past issues of She magazine at

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EDITOR Kelsey DeClue COPY EDITOR Katharine Smith GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Stephanie Otte Amanda Waltz WRITERS Catherine Hageman Jalene Hahn Andrew Larson Jenni Muncie-Sujan photographers Andrew Laker Marcia Walker Stock Images Provided by Thinkstock

May 15, 2013 She ©2013 All rights reserved. Published by The Republic.

SEND COMMENTS TO: Kelsey DeClue, The Republic 333 Second St., Columbus, IN 47201 Call 812-379-5691 or email kdeclue@therepublic.com ADVERTISING INFORMATION: Call Cathy Klaes at 812-379-5678 or email cklaes@therepublic.com. All copy and advertising in She are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced. s h e m ag a z i n e • m ay 2 0 1 3


Building a wardrobe from head to toe By Catherine Hageman Since I talked about the importance of cleaning out your closet in my last column, I think it’s time to talk about filling it again – by going shopping. Shopping is my favorite form of escape, but it should also be taken seriously. Whatever your job, it’s important to present yourself in a positive way through what you wear. Plus, you have to fill all that empty closet space you should now have. I get questions on my blog about where to start with shopping, especially when building a work wardrobe. Whether you work in a more formal office or in a more casual setting, you’ll need professional clothes – or at least clothes for dressier occasions. First, decide what you want to spend your money on. The vast majority of my shopping budget goes toward work clothes (though I’ve developed an unfortunate sweatshirt-buying habit, thanks to my boyfriend’s penchant for hoodies). I try to pick work tops that would look just as good with dressy trousers as they would with weekend outfits or colorful pants that I can wear from the office out to dinner after work. While I love a good bargain as much as the next shopaholic, I believe that classic pieces are worthy purchases. Black work pants that you know you’ll wear over and over might be something to spend more on. I’ve gone cheap on certain pieces before, only to be disappointed that they don’t last a whole season. Invest some money in classic clothing that won’t go out of style – and keep the trendy purchases for bargain stores. One of my favorite investments this year has been blazers. I’m a huge fan of cardigans, but blazers are slightly more polished for days when I need to be a little dressier – yet they work just as well with jeans. I can’t stop myself with just basic black and have added blazers in several fun colors like pink, bright blue and yellow to my closet. Now that the weather is turning nicer, I’m taking full advantage of my skirt collection as well. Pencil skirts are

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a major staple. I love them with blouses, light sweaters or tanks for really hot days. My favorite Friday outfit for warm weather always includes a denim pencil skirt that, frankly, you can’t even tell is denim. I’m trying to expand my skirts to include some A-line pieces as well. These look nice whether you’re off to work or running errands. No closet is complete without a few nice blouses. A crisp white blouse is always a classic pick, but I prefer my polka dot and floral ones more often. I like blouses from Gap because they are flattering and easily lose their creases with a few wrinkle release sprays, if you abhor ironing like me. For the weekends, invest in some quality jeans that can be dressed up or down. I prefer darker denim. Of course I don’t want to neglect the all-important shoes. I prefer wedges to heels and found a cute red pair at Payless that works year-round. My favorite flats come from J. Crew. I love their suede colors in blue and pink, and leather pointy pairs with bows over the toes. Ann Taylor’s Perfect Pumps are worthy of their name. Although the heel height at 3.25 inches sounds scary, I’ve never worn more comfortable heels. And, of course, enjoy the trends – just don’t spend all your money on them. I love how what’s popular in the fashion world eventually trickles down to less expensive stores. My most important advice when shopping, whether for staple pieces or trendier accents, is to remember to buy clothes that make you happy. Certain colors and styles may be outside my wheelhouse, but I always have a smile on my face when I wear my bright pink blazer. That’s the magic of a great outfit. It makes me feel confident and ready to take on the world. Or at least my daily to-do list. Catherine Hageman lives in Columbus with her “fur babies,” Hamlet, Horatio, Othello and Perdita. She blogs daily looks, outfit ideas and fashion advice at smalltownbigwardrobe.com and can be reached at catherine.hageman@gmail.com.

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Mudlarks Garden Club fosters friendships and flowers

By Jenni L. Muncie-Sujan A sisterhood is integrated into the beauty of Bartholomew County — an entity of long-term relationships, a club united by planning and planting. It is a testament to a singular passion and to an enduring sense of belonging, and it started nearly 45 years ago. “It’s what all the old ladies were doing,” said Jacque Chambers, of the gardening clubs popular in the late 1960s. There were many clubs, but they met in homes, so space was limited. “They all said, ‘We’d love to have you, but we don’t have any room,’” she said. “There were about four or five of us, and we asked everyone we knew,” Chambers said. The few original mem-


Photos by andrew Laker bers were so eager to belong to a gardening club that they created their own. This initiative would acquire the name Mudlarks and develop beyond its usefulness as a social club into a group of women who did work that was seen by all but still often overlooked. On a spring day, some of the founding members gathered to talk about the history and camaraderie created by the organization that’s been such a big part of their lives. The Mudlarks became an official club when sponsored by the Flower Lane Garden Club in 1969. According to member Sharon Baldwin, the garden club designation required that each group identify an ongoing project as its focus.


Seated are three founding members of the Mudlarks Garden Club: Mary Lu Fouts, Jacque Chambers and Sylvia Kiel. Second row: Sharon Baldwin, Alison Pedersen, Mary Ann Patterson, Kathy Leitholt, Kim Campbell, Sandy Nolting, Nancy Woodruff and Ro Whittington. Back row: Judy Nichols, Bobbie Evans, Carol Cummins, Ann Knobloch, Jill Forster, Susan Adler, Mary Alter and Bernice Cseszko. Not pictured: Pam Good, Judy Lemley, Terie McDonald, Susan Thompson.

“We chose the courthouse around 1969 or 1970,” said Chambers. “The county commissioners are in charge of the courthouse, so we had to go through them. They thought we were joking and just humored us and said yes.” To the Mudlarks, it was a privilege to manage the landscaping around the courthouse. “It was a task that nobody else wanted to do because it was too big,” said member Mary Lu Fouts. “We used to drag our husbands and our children and make them work. They were more pliable then.” “And so were we,” added Baldwin.

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Since then, the Mudlarks club territory has slowly grown from one sliver of the Bartholomew County Courthouse lawn to the entire landscaped area of approximately three-fourths of the city block. They changed their tasks with the changing times. With the help of grants and donations they aided in beautifying the grounds after the former jail on the site was razed, donated the leaping bass sculpture in the courtyard fountain and participated on the committee to construct the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans. They have lots of gardening experience. And they have stories. “Jacque made me go down there (the courthouse) one time at 10 o’clock at night to check the flowers for water,” Fouts said. “I said, ‘We could be ravished!’” she laughed. “We have had more crazy things happen with this group than you could possibly imagine.” Chambers believed it was some time in 1996 when one of the Mudlark members was working on the grounds and found a pipe bomb. “They shut down the whole downtown,” she said. “She didn’t know what it was, and then they didn’t know if it was live or not.” Fouts remembered one member who was working on the landscaping. “We had forsythia plants along Washington Street,” she said, recalling how Bernice Cseszko, a hairdresser, was pulling up the branches of the forsythia and trimming them in the same way that she cut hair.

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Chambers, Fouts, Baldwin and Kathy Leitholt lean into each other in a familiar, sisterly way as they share stories. Looking over newspaper clippings and photos from the past, the four Mudlarks are amazed at the changes. “See how our first name was Mrs.,” Fouts said, referring to the way each member was identified in local publications according to her husband’s name. “We stopped that really quick,” said Chambers. “We resented that from the very beginning.” Then there are the stories about being viewed as criminals as they worked around the courthouse. “We have been mistaken for restitution workers on several occasions,” Fouts said. Another time, a person came up to a Mudlarks member and asked, “How long are you in for?” Still another time, they were asked to “get onto the bus.” “That’s why we wear our shirts,” Fouts said. Many people, though, have taken notice of the Mudlarks and their gardening skills. Sometimes a Bartholomew County judge will stop and talk about the flowers, Baldwin said. “When we work around there, people always stop and talk to us and tell us how pretty it is and ask gardening questions.” On the fourth Wednesday of each month, the Mudlarks put away the gardening gloves and head to their local lunch meeting. “Mudlarks are very good cooks,” Leitholt said. The food is good, and the work is a real commitment of time. Baldwin explained that the courthouse committee decides on the plantings, and every member of the Mudlarks volunteers time to maintain the gardens. The courthouse work includes spring and fall preparation and cleanup. During the summer, she said, every member goes approximately three times to pull weeds, water and prune. “We want people who will work,” Chambers said. “Gardening knowledge really isn’t essential, but you can be a good worker even if you are not essentially a good gardener.” However, talent is also on their side. The Mudlarks have won multiple national awards over the years. Their flower shows have been held at various places around Columbus, including The Commons, Yes Cinema, Mill Race Center and the Breeding Farm. The next show will take place in August at Mill Race Center. It will focus on flower arrangements in a container.

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Kim Campbell, owner of Brown Hill Nursery, gives a presentation to the group. m ay 2 0 1 3 • s h e m ag a z i n e

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submitted photos

We want people who will work. Gardening knowledge really isn’t essential, but you can be a good worker even if you are not essentially a good gardener. —Jacque Chambers

Some of the Mudlarks worked on the courthouse grounds on a brisk April day.

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The Mudlarks have a handful of certified master gardeners and members with other forms of training. Leitholt is a longtime gardener who helps the club present plans to the commissioners. There is a unity in the team that comes only with frequent interaction. “A lot of the members have been in a long time, and it is like a family,” Leitholt said. Fouts agreed. “It is the most congenial group of women.” In addition to their monthly meetings, they attend workshops and classes and take field trips. They work as a team to put on the flower show. “They’ve just been go-getters in most everything,” Chambers said of Mudlarks members. Even though she has to deal with deer eating the day lilies in her home garden, Chambers remains an optimistic gardener because of the group. “There hasn’t been anything miserable about Mudlarks,” she said. “See, there’s her selective memory,” Baldwin said, teasingly. Not every Mudlark member has a home garden, but they all share one thing: a sisterly bond that has bloomed from a common love of working together to beautify their community for more than 40 years and counting.

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Scrapbook photos of the Mudlarks’ first meeting.

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By Kelsey DeClue Submitted photos

TV correspondent Ashley Morrison is all business when it comes to her career Ashley Morrison graduated from college with a natural knack for business and mathematics and a natural beauty made for television. The Columbus native found a career that capitalizes on both. Morrison grew up in Columbus, the daughter of Fred and Martha Risk, and graduated from Columbus East High School. Today, she enters homes across the nation as a freelance business and financial reporter for the CBS News show “MoneyWatch.� She began her broadcasting career in Charlotte, N.C., after graduation from North Carolina State. She served as a general news anchor in markets including Chattanooga, Tenn., and Albuquerque, N.M. Prior to being hired as a freelance reporter with CBS, she worked for Bloomberg Television in New York.


Morrison’s mornings start at 12:30 a.m. She gets ready to go on air, responsible for her wardrobe choice, hairstyle and makeup, and then commutes 45 minutes to work in New York City from her home in a Connecticut suburb. Once at the station she writes her own scripts for the more than 25 “hits” she’ll broadcast on various national and local morning news broadcasts in cities across the country. Each hit is a several-minute business and financial news summary, along with a consumer-oriented story. “I’m considered a part of these morning shows,” Morrison said. “I chat with those anchors just like you would your co-anchor. It’s definitely about personality and knowing your stuff. “You have to be able to read the (financial) report and analyze it right then and there for them. You can’t be someone that does not understand the data that’s coming out. I write a script for the things I want to talk about, but when there’s any type of big or breaking news you have to be able to ad-lib.” About four hours after starting her segments, Morrison takes a half-hour break to “scarf down some microwaveable instant oatmeal” and Skype with her 7-year-old son, Jack, before he heads to school. “It’s a heavy workload and a strict schedule,” she said. But one that actually allows her a lot of time with Jack. When the work day is over for her, she heads home and grabs a short nap so she can be ready for her son when he gets home from school. “It’s very important for me to spend that time with him. So I’m with him from the time he’s home from school, and I stay up until he goes to bed,” Morrison said. “It allows me to be there for homework, bath time, all of that. “I also cook dinner every night. I love cooking. It’s very therapeutic for me.” Morrison said she spends most of her nights and weekends at home, hanging out with her son. “I like to be private when so much of my life is public,” she said. That element of public life took another exciting turn when Morrison was asked to film a cameo in the movie “Side Effects.” It stars Jude Law and Channing Tatum. Director Steven Soderbergh specifically recruited her to play a journalist who heckles Law’s character on the streets of New York City. They filmed her part in one night. “It was really fun,” Morrison said. “And not as difficult as I thought it would be. When they said action, I just let loose. When we were done with one take, Jude Law said, ‘Wow, you even really scared me;’ it was a really great experience.” The day of filming was one of the longest Morrison remembers because she went straight from work at CBS to the movie set. “It was so great working with everyone though. Steven Soderbergh was so gracious and very nice, and Jude Law couldn’t have been any nicer, even though the whole time I was just screaming at him,” she said with a laugh. Of course, flattering experiences such as “Side Effects” have come with a fair share of tough times and criticism during Morrison’s career, but she takes it all in stride. “I’ve had plenty of people tell me how they think I should be,” she said. “Consultants have come in and say I should cut my hair or dye it brown. “I’ve definitely had my fair share of criticism, but I just stay

Ashley Morrison reports from a New York rooftop.

Sharing a laugh with her son, Jack.

Morrison and anchor Terrell Brown. Pag e 1 4

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true to myself,” she said. “I am myself when I’m on air. I don’t try to put on a different persona. You have to have a thick skin in this business and be confident in who you are. News directors can say some pretty harsh things, but you just let it roll off you because if you don’t, it’ll drive you crazy.” Morrison said her message to those considering broadcasting or new to the business is to make sure it’s really a passion. “What you see on television is a very small part of it,” she said. “It’s really very unglamorous, and if (glamour or fame) is why someone wants to be in this field, then it’s for the wrong reasons. “On television you don’t see the alarm going off in the middle of the night, you don’t see the crazy hours and what it feels like to be on the third day with little sleep. The news never stops,” she said.

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— Ashley Morrison

It is her Columbus roots and the occasional opportunities to visit home that keep her grounded. “I love Columbus,” she said. “And when I visit, it’s like I go back to being 16 again in about five minutes. I can be myself and be goofy and let my hair down,” she said. Morrison and several of her Columbus-area friends, many of whom are from her elementary school days, talk on a weekly basis. One of those friends, Libby Pedigo, lives in Indianapolis. Pedigo and Morrison attended Richards Elementary School, Central Middle School and Columbus East High School together, and Pedigo has been able to visit her friend and watch her in action on several of the sets Morrison has graced since the beginning of her career. “I love seeing her personality on TV and how she interacts with everyone,” Pedigo said. “She has developed such neat relationships with these people from all over the country.” Pedigo said Morrison remains the “happy-go-lucky” friend she remembers from childhood. “We can go months without seeing each other, and when we do it’s like no time has passed,” she said. “She’s always fun to be around, which is probably why she has become so successful.”

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>> fashion

By samantha critchell AP Fashion Writer

If you’re craving a little more summer in your springtime wardrobe and you’re hesitant to break out the white pants Style options have increased expo(it’s OK, but that’s nentially as designers take liberties with another conversation), the definition — and have gotten a little try espadrilles. The rope-soled shoes have long been a staple of the fair-weather seasons, no matter if there’s a chill in the air or the sidewalks are steaming. It’s all good as long as the sun is shining. “The espadrille for spring is like the riding boot in the fall,” says Elisa Miller, creative director of the beachy brand Calypso St. Barth. “It’s a rite of the season.”

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smarter about their construction. Flat versions, wedge versions, sandals, slides and gladiator lace-up styles are some of the choices of a shoe with humble roots that was made fashionable in France and Spain in the mid-20th century. “I’d call anything with the jute sole an espadrille,” says Miller. “You could have any fabric for the top — canvas, leather — it could be plastic, but you have to

have the jute. That’s what defines it.” Luckily for wearers, especially those who have been caught in the rain, many espadrilles now have a bottom layer of rubber, too. But such practicality likely isn’t driving the renewed interest. Alexis Bryan Morgan, executive fashion director at Lucky magazine, traces this “huge espadrille moment” to last year’s Valentino spring runway. Seeing lacy black espadrilles paired with a long lace dress left editors swooning, she

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OPPOSITE PAGE: A red, white and blue canvas slingback wedge by Tommy Hilfiger. (AP Photos)

A red and blue striped espadrille wedge by Tommy Hilfiger.

riss p and c kle stra n a n a with rth. padrille o St. Ba tallic Es ver by Calyps e M ti u il tte s The B e in ma cross to The Buti S uede Esp adrille w colored su ith a raffia wedge he ede cross over fron el, peep-toe, with t strap by a Calypso S sand t. Barth.

said. “It was styled so elegantly that suddenly this disposable go-to shoe was also chic and elegant. This brought it to a whole new level.” You can’t really say they’re a “trend” because they’re pretty much an annual tradition, says Tracey Lomrantz Lester, women’s editorial director at Gilt, but she agrees this season marks a rebirth. They elevate an outfit without ever looking “too done,” she says. And, they’re fun, says Tana Ward, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer for American Eagle. They can bring graphic prints and bright colors to an outfit without a major commitment, she says. Lucky’s Morgan sees them as a more fashionable alternative to flip-flops.

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They can go to the beach or to dinner, prices tend to be affordable — or at least less expensive when you are talking Valentino — and the nautical vibe keeps things relaxed and summery. As a vacation shoe, it’s ideal, she adds. “You’re probably already wearing them so you don’t have to pack any shoes.” Espadrilles are instantly transporting, agrees Lester. To her, they evoke Brigitte Bardot on the French Riviera, an inspiring image even if you’re headed to the office or running errands, she says. Just throw on a striped bateau-neck top and white jeans — and voila! Lester says a white sundress also works, while Morgan suggests a long maxi or a simple black dress. She’s worn espadrilles with black satin pants and

jeans rolled to a capri length. Calypso’s Miller says a white linen shirt with jeans and silver espadrilles are a favorite look of hers, but they offer a lot of flexibility, complementing shorts, skirts and pants with all sorts of hemlines and silhouettes. That helps them live through other fads and fashions. For them to last that long, though, Miller suggests using fabric or leather protector on the uppers, and glue on the rubber bottom if it starts to separate from the jute. Still, Morgan likes to refresh her closet with a new pair. “So they’re not hardy shoes, but that’s part of the appeal. They’re casual, they’re go-to, they’re beachy. There’s a huge variety, but the message is the same: It’s time to relax and be in the sun.”

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Organizational experts help set the stage for warmer days By Jenni L. Muncie-Sujan Add a new twist to your spring cleaning routine this year. When you move the stack of papers off your desk or the utensils out of the drawer to wipe it down, do not put it all back. “A lot of people are choosier about what they put back on their tabletops and counters once they are cleared off,” said Vikki Johnson, a certified staging and redesign expert. As a member of the Real Estate Staging Association, she has a

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30-year background in interior design and has worked exclusively as a home stager for local real estate agent Vicky Gelfius for the past two years. Johnson offers a list of suggestions for making a house clean and neat, making it clear that staging is possible for even an inhabited home whose owners don’t plan on selling anytime soon. In fact, she says, approximately 85 percent of the homes she stages in Columbus are occupied and remain completely functional.

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Johnson offers these tips to declutter, clean and stage your abode:

Get focused Determine four or five key areas in your home, the ones that are most lived-in, such as kitchen, living room, master bedroom or basement, and focus on these.

Plan your work “It can be overwhelming,” she said, suggesting that tasks be scheduled on your calendar and spread out over several weeks, not one weekend. “People tend to stay on task if they put it on their calendar,” Johnson said.

Lighten and brighten Change that dark and cozy look for bright and cheery decor. Put away heavy blankets in exchange for a colorful throw on your furniture. Switch plain pillows for a fresh floral design. Fun new accessories can change the mood, such as candles with summer scents, vibrant placemats or brightly colored throw pillows.

Organize your organization Have three containers labeled keep, throw away and give away or sell. “The more prepared you are,” Johnson said, “the more success you are going to have.”

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There are some areas that you may want to allow yourself more time to declutter, such as a home office. You might want to have a box labeled “purge pile.” Don’t go through all those papers the day of the decluttering, but set them aside to go through at a separate time.

Take out the trash For city residents, the Columbus City Garage offers special trash pickup services on the first full week of every month. This allows you to set out up to 20 bags or boxes, plus one piece of furniture for free pickup. Johnson suggests to plan around that date to get rid of things, so you do not need to arrange for additional hauling. Not-for-profit organizations, such as Sans Souci and AmVets, will sometimes pick up free of charge. “It can make a procrastinator ambitious when they know they have some help,” Johnson said. Carry out bags of trash from your home right away. She urged, “Deal with it immediately.”

One at a time “Don’t move on to any unplanned path,” Johnson said. “Stick to one room before you move on to the next.”

No hoarding It might be time to edit that closet down. (Yes, the one that holds everything and nothing at the same time. The one that’s so packed, you fear opening it, only to be buried in the fallout.) Look at the stuff and remember the ABCs of decluttering: Always Be Clearing. Ask yourself: • When was the last time I actually used this item? • Does it serve more than one purpose? • Do I really like it? If the answer is no, it’s time to free up some space and really consider allowing yourself to get rid of these things.

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Sentimental journey When you’re looking at sentimental pieces, ask yourself if you are keeping it because it causes joy or because getting rid of it would cause guilt. One way to hold on to the sentiment without sacrificing space is by photographing the items and then discarding or donating them.

Trial separation Parting with possessions is easier for some than for others. Johnson suggested putting the items in a type of trial removal, to see how life moves along without them instead of immediately severing ties. Make a place in the garage to temporarily store things to see if you will need to use them. Get rid of them if you don’t use them within six months.

Time to clean “You should definitely declutter the room before you try to clean it,” Johnson suggested.

When it is time to pull on the rubber gloves, local organizer Lori Rowan, owner of Sort-It-Out, offers a simple checklist to make the most of your cleaning efforts: • Wipe down all counters. • Clean toilets. • Wash all bedding. • Vacuum all carpeted areas. • Clean often-ignored household spots: areas behind and under your refrigerator, couches, end tables and chairs. • Clean your air conditioning filter in utility sink or bathtub with dish soap and a soft-bristled brush. Rinse and air dry. Then reinstall. • Dust around all wall art and photos. • Polish/dust wood and metal hardware — towel racks, toilet paper holders, door knobs. • Wipe down every light switch. • Wipe down all baseboards and all air vents. “The whole point of decluttering is not only to make things more beautiful,” Johnson said, “but to make life easier.” She added a bonus motivation. “And there are studies that show we can think better in decluttered spaces.”

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Columbus woman turns life’s hardships into inspiration By jenni l. muncie-sujan

photo by the studio photography

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Inspiration radiates from Dana Graham. You can find her through the week at Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping on National Road, leading people in their pursuit of health goals. Before she was able to help others reach their dreams of fitness, she first spent 10 weeks experiencing the transformation firsthand. She earned her results: a drop in four clothing sizes. She continues to shape her waistline while she shows others that the path she has blazed leads to results. But Graham has many more beforeand-after stories to share that also fuel her compassion and quest to live as an inspiration to others. One came through her late daughter, Kaeli. In 2002 at 14 months old, Kaeli died after becoming entangled by the inner cord of a mini blind. Dana and her husband, Shane, had taken what they thought was every precaution to make their home a safe environment for their three children — using locks on the cabinets, outlet plug covers, safety gates, doorknob covers and the like. They even made sure the long adjustment cords on all their home’s blinds were tucked out of reach. However, they never guessed that the inner cord of the mini blinds in their bedroom could pose a threat when Dana lay her daughter down for a nap near the window. While Dana thought she was napping, Kaeli apparently had freed the inner cord from the blinds and somehow got it tangled around her neck. “I had always been afraid of failure and

success — either one. I was afraid to put myself out there,” Graham said. “When Kaeli passed, it was the worst fear I could have possibly had. After it happened, I thought, ‘There is nothing that can be scarier than this,’ so I just went for it with the creative things I wanted to do.” Soon after the death of her daughter, one of Graham’s friends gave her a book about making jewelry. “Nothing else was done — only laundry and dishes, kids and jewelry,” she said with a smile, recalling how she jumped headlong into jewelry making. “It kept me sane when I thought I was going to lose it.” Because Graham wore a perfume called “Sunflowers” when Kaeli was born, she often refers to her daughter as “sunny and bright — like a sunflower.” In the spirit of her memory, Graham made an online purchase of sunflower glass beads. It was these beads that piqued her interest, and along with her jewelry-making passion, Graham decided to learn to make glass beads. “I started making beads and making my own jewelry and selling the beads for other people to make jewelry,” she said. Eventually, she realized that jewelry making had become more to her than a coping mechanism and that she truly enjoyed the art. “I have had moments and pieces of time in my life when I’ve felt hopeless, but I have never been hopeless,” she said. “I have a lot

“Nothing else was done — only laundry and dishes, kids and jewelry. It kept me sane when I thought I was going to lose it.” —Dana Graham

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of sensitivity toward other people and what makes them who they are. You have more compassion if you have been through something rough yourself. ... It helps you not judge people. You can understand their struggles and be more patient.” This is the perspective Graham earned through a childhood and first marriage of mental and physical abuse, through the constant scrutiny of a performance-based religion, through great loss and through the peace that has come to her steady heart. She refers to an organization that her mother and father attended as “the religion.” “I had a mother with no backbone and an abusive father,” she said, “all wrapped in this religion. “They divorced when I was 8 because he was abusive,” she said. After the divorce, Graham’s custody was granted to her father. He remarried, and, Graham says, her father and stepmother were “equally abusive.” “The physical abuse was bad, but the emotional abuse was worse.” Her breaking point came during a partic-

Dana Graham kickboxes at Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping. Photo by Joe Harpring

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photo by the studio photography

Graham’s handmade jewelry. submitted photos

ularly abusive experience on a camping trip with her father and stepmother when she was 15. About a month after the trip, she moved back into her mother’s house. Trying to fulfill her mother’s expectations that she heed the religious teachings gave Graham what she now realizes was a false sense of who God is and what faith meant in her life. “I was doing

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all these things to perform, yet I always felt like I was a failure,” she said. Graham dated a man from the same religion and married him at the age of 21. She says he turned out to be abusive and unfaithful. At the end of a seven-year marriage, she left her husband and her family’s religion at the same time. “I was 28,” she said. “I still believed in God, but I was so angry at him.” A year after she left the religion, Graham came to Columbus, where she found a wonderful therapist and met her future husband. “This is where my search for spirituality began,” she said. “I never doubted [God] existed, but other than that, I just didn’t know what to think of him.” In her search, she explored multiple religions. “I wanted to believe there was something more, someone at a higher level,” she said. Graham married Shane in 1998, and the couple had three children: Cohen, Aidan and Kaeli. When Kaeli died, Graham again grappled with faith’s role in her life. “I was still not spiritually decided, but I

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was strongly convinced that there was a God, and I believed [Kaeli] was with him,” she said. “Although there was some anger, I was mostly devastated and sad and grieving. I didn’t blame God.” She describes how this tragic experience became a pivotal point in her life. As a child, she said, she learned compassion by being raised with none. Now, here she was at another critical time, with the reality of her loss. Again, she says, she learned a lesson. “Everything comes together, funnels in,” Graham said of how events in her life have seemed to bring her to a specific place. She tells the story of her experience, a conversion to Christianity. “That was it,” she said. “It was the first time in my life I felt complete, and it has been that way ever since.” She said she believes that God brought her through all those things, and even though he did not cause them, he used them, she said. “I never gave up hope,” she said. “Just hang on. You’re going to get there. So many times, we are all faced with horrible things at some point. It is truly what you do with it. There is always something to learn.” Graham plans to expand her jewelry making to a new level by taking metalworking classes. She and business partner, Gail Peetz, sell their jewelry on Etsy.com and at Snipp It Salon at 1005 25th St. “She has the personality that just draws you to her,” Peetz said. “She is a person of incredible faith, and she uses that to make decisions. One of them was her decision to go into business with me.” Peetz, a retired schoolteacher, said they met when Graham’s son was in her kindergarten class. “She uses the things that she has been through to encourage and comfort others that are experiencing similar things,” said Peetz. Just as she continues to help people gain a healthy lifestyle, and she and her husband carry on their quest to educate others about infant safety and dangers in the home, Graham sees her jewelry art as another way to reach out, a window of opportunity to help people. “God looks like exactly what I didn’t get growing up: love and grace,” she said. “We let go, and God doesn’t let go. My whole life is dedicated to repaying that favor.”

m ay 2 0 1 3 • s h e m ag a z i n e

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“A COUNTRY GATHERING”

Saturday, June 8th • 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Join us for a festive gathering of 25-30 top notch dealers from several states bringing americana country and primitive antiques, treenware, quilts, kitchenware items and garden architecturals, and much more for your enjoyment. Great food and FREE ADMISSION.

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Expanding the circle Women’s philanthropy grants community wishes

By Kelsey DeClue Submitted photos An adult services organization will be able to upgrade one of its support groups. Big Brothers Big Sisters can launch a new program for girls and young teens that promotes self-esteem and healthy lifestyle choices. Early education groups and domestic violence prevention received much-needed boosts for programming and operational services. In other words, it was another rewarding and successful year for the Women’s Giving Circle of Bartholomew County. The fast-growing philanthropic group, which is managed by the Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, held its annual meeting last month and awarded six grants to nonprofit organizations that focus on women’s and children’s needs.

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Top right: Frances Jordan and Kathy Trotta. Below: Jill Sharp and CPD officer Julie Quesenbery.

Women’s Giving Circle members make an annual $100 contribution, and the funds are divided and used for the annual grants as well as for an endowment fund for future use.

tion received a $4,000 grant, which it will use for its caregivers support group. Caregivers of aging family members who can no longer live independently are typically women.

The 208-member Women’s Giving Circle awarded more than $17,000 this year.

“Our caregivers support group meets once a month, and this includes a supper for group members and their loved one,” said Marilyn Clerc, Just Friends executive director. “Our staff provides the food and an educational program provided by a local speaker, as well as care of the member’s loved one during that time.”

“(Funds raised by the group) have provided over $50,000 in grants in just three years of existence and built a permanent endowment fund of over $27,000,” said Lisa Shafran, outgoing vice president of development for the Heritage Fund. Just Friends Adult Day Services provides activities and socialization in its day care program for members of the aging community. The organiza-

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Participants in the caregivers support group need not be members of or have a family member participating in Just Friends.

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“The group is open to anyone in the community,” Clerc said. “These people are taking care of someone 24/7. We try to provide a group that helps them connect with other caregivers so they don’t feel so alone, but we also provide up-to-date information and education about caregiving and the issues that may be experienced by the loved ones they’re caring for.”

Top: Representatives from the organizations that received grants at the ceremony. Above: Elizabeth Kestler, Ann Jones and Dawn Whaley.

The support group was started via a grant in 2009; however according to Clerc, the program had been operating without grant money or other revenue for a while, existing on a “shoestring budget” that often dips into the red. “We’re committed to providing this service to the community,” she said. “This (WGC) grant really helps us be able to continue a quality program.” At next month’s meeting, a psychologist from Columbus Regional Hospital will speak about the aging brain and issues, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, that surround it.

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The Women’s Giving Circle grants committee is responsible for collecting, evaluating and presenting grant applications to the larger group for voting. Each member is given one vote.

“The WGC offers women a way to give back to our community. It also offers a great way to meet and network in a fun and engaging environment.”

To view a list of current members or become Grant recipient Foundation for Youth a member of the Women’s Giving Circle plans to use its funds to launch a visit www.heritagefundbc.org. program called SMART Girls, Support a good cause which fosters self-esteem and “Receiving the grant was amazing. healthy choices in girls ages 8 In an effort to raise awareness, to 17. Designed by Boys and the Women’s Giving Circle With the money I received, I hope Girls Clubs of America, the of Bartholomew County to be able to lead the SMART Girls program warns against the launched a series of collectible detrimental effects of drugs, wine glasses available for purprogram with 60-plus of our female alcohol, smoking and other chase. The glasses feature the members at the Boys and Girls Club negative behaviors. With the WGC logo with a color that $2,500 grant, Big Brothers changes each year. Funds raised of Foundation for Youth.” Big Sisters can offer the profrom the sale of the glasses help — Amanda Bryant gram in the spring, summer and support the operational costs, in fall to its female participants. turn allowing more of the membership funds to go to organizations within “Receiving the grant was amazing,” the community through the grants prosaid Amanda Bryant, who applied for the gram. The cost is $10 per glass or two for $15. They grant and will head the SMART Girls program. are available at WGC events or at the Heritage Fund “With the money I received, I hope to be able to lead office, 538 Franklin St. the SMART Girls program with 60-plus of our female members at the Boys and Girls Club of Foundation for Youth.

“The money will enable us to buy needed supplies and incentives, as well as help fund field trips and special events for the participating girls, so that this program will be both memorable and impactful.” Other programs that received grants at the 2013 meeting were “Expanding My World” diversity resources through Children Inc., tutoring programming through the Columbus Enrichment Program, “Homework with an Officer” through the Columbus Housing Authority and Columbus Police Department, and the “Women to Work” resource center through Turning Point Domestic Violence Services. The annual meeting also represents a changing of the guard in Women’s Giving Circle leadership. Outgoing 2012 Chairwoman Jalene Hahn passed her torch to Amber Fischvogt. “I’m excited at the possibilities as we look forward into 2013,” Fischvogt said. “The group is filled with energetic and dynamic women who want to make a difference in our community.

m ay 2 0 1 3 • s h e m ag a z i n e

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cuisine


By C.W. cameron

the atlanta journal-constitution (MCT)

It’s the season for brighter, fresher flavors. The

familiar. It has a tart, lemony flavor which is

tangy sweetness of strawberries, the tender

somewhat of a surprise from what looks like

grassiness of just picked asparagus, the refresh-

a leaf of lettuce or arugula. Like strawberries,

ing sharpness of sorrel and the spice of young

sorrel is rich in vitamin C, just what we’re

garlic and onions are just what we’re longing

craving after all the vitamin K and calcium of

for after the darker, heartier foods of winter.

our winter diets.

Of all the spring vegetables available at the farmers market, sorrel may be the least

v Ser es

4

It’s time to celebrate the arrival of our prettiest season and treat yourself to a bite of spring.

Greens & Strawberry Salad This recipe may remind you of those spinach-strawberry salads with poppy seed dressing that were popular a decade ago. As a matter of fact you can make this salad with lettuce, spinach, arugula, tender young Swiss chard leaves or whatever leafy green you prefer, alone or in combination. The addition of other spring greens and walnuts and the lighter dressing update this gorgeous salad. Roasted fresh beets would be another springtime addition. what to do:

½ cup chopped walnuts 4½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 stalk green garlic, thinly sliced 2 cups sliced strawberries 1 bunch small green onions, thinly sliced ½ cup (2 ounces) shaved and crumbled Parmesan ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar 4 cups butter lettuce, leaves torn into bite-size pieces

In a small dry skillet, toast walnuts over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer walnuts to a salad bowl and allow to cool. In the same skillet, heat one teaspoon olive oil over medium heat and add green garlic. Saute just long enough to bring out the aroma, about 1 minute, and add to the walnuts in the salad bowl. In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, green onions, Parmesan, pepper, salt, vinegar and remaining 3½ teaspoons olive oil. Toss gently to combine. Arrange greens on serving platter. Top with strawberry mixture and sprinkle with walnut/green garlic mixture. Serve at once. Adapted from a recipe provided by Margie Thorpe, www.vegetablehusband.com.


makes

48

Asparagus and Parmesan Pastries One- or two-bite appetizers are always a little fiddly, but worth it for the pretty presentation. The asparagus cooks perfectly here, slightly crisp but completely tender. No precooking required. ½ cup grated Parmesan, divided ¼ cup part skim ricotta or Neufchatel (about 2 ounces) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill Zest of ½ lemon 48 stalks asparagus, tough ends snapped off 1 (14.1-ounce) package prepared pie crusts 1 egg, beaten

what to do:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together ¼ cup Parmesan, ricotta or Neufchatel, dill and lemon zest. Cut asparagus spears on the diagonal into 3 pieces. Reserve bottom third of asparagus for another use. Roll out one pie crust to a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Spread half the cheese mixture over crust. Cut crust into squares, about 2½ inches per side. Working with one square at a time, arrange 2 pieces of asparagus including one tip diagonally on each square. Fold one corner of pie crust over asparagus, then fold opposite corner over and press lightly to seal. Asparagus ends should be peeking out. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining squares. Repeat process with remaining crust, ricotta mixture and asparagus and arrange on second baking sheet. Brush all pastries with egg and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake pastries until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Adapted from a recipe by Margie Thorpe, www.vegetablehusband.com.

makes

Classic Sorrel Soup

cups

To prepare the sorrel, rinse the leaves and remove any tough stems. You can add young fingerling potatoes by cutting into small chunks, rubbing them with olive oil and then roasting them in a 400 degree oven until golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes.

6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter ½ cup chopped leeks, green onions or ramps 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade 5 cups chopped sorrel (about 3 small bunches, 6 ounces) Salt to taste ½ cup cream 2 egg yolks Roasted potatoes, if desired (see note, above)

what to do:

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, green onions or ramps and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook gently 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir in flour, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Remove from heat. While the onions are cooking, in a large sauce pot, bring stock to a low boil. Add sorrel and reduce heat so liquid is simmering. Cook until sorrel is mostly wilted, about 2 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover soup and stir in cooked onion mixture. Stir together and taste for seasoning. In a small bowl, whisk cream and egg yolks together. Add ¼ cup hot soup to cream mixture and whisk together. Add another ¼ cup of soup, whisk and repeat once more. Pour the hot cream mixture back into the pot of soup, continuing to whisk. Make sure soup is just below simmering and cook 5 minutes. Serve immediately garnished with sorrel pesto and roasted potatoes if desired. Adapted from a recipe by chef Ian Forrest


By cindy hoedel

the kansas city star (mct)

Julia Child prepares salade nicoise in this 1978 photo. (AP Photos)

Fifty years ago a program debuted on a public television station in Boston that revolutionized home cooking. “The French Chef,” the brainchild of California-born and French-trained culinarian Julia Child, was audacious in its timing. In an era when American housewives were being offered “liberation” from cooking in the form of frozen meals, packaged cake mixes and dump-cuisine recipes in ladies magazines featuring JellPag e 3 6

O, Spam and food coloring, here came Child insisting that anyone could master classic French recipes. “Don’t be afraid!” was her motto. On-air mistakes were not edited out but viewed as learning opportunities as Child coaxed nervous non-cooks to relax rather than stress out in the kitchen. “The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken,” she said. That famous quote reveals Child’s singular gift: She encouraged would-be cooks to take on complicated tasks, such as butchering whole chickens, with great respect for the technique but an equal dedication to enjoying the process. Most of today’s famous TV cooks fall down on one or the other of those qualities, in my book. They either take themselves too seriously or, more commonly, perpetrate the myth that memorable meals can be thrown together

easily, with a minimum of effort and in 30 minutes or less. Sometimes fast and easy can be tasty: A rare rib-eye steak is a perfect thing. But I wouldn’t want to eat it with a microwaved potato or salad out of a plastic bag with bottled dressing. So baking a russet potato in the oven for 90 minutes and making a real Caesar salad in a wooden bowl rubbed with fresh garlic, etc., can turn a simple steak dinner into an all-afternoon affair if I am in charge. Sadly, two years before Child died in 2004, two days shy of her 92nd birthday, she was forced to endure the dreadful “Julie & Julia” blog that ignited like a grease fire in the media. The popularity of Julie Powell’s account of her hackneyed effort to cook every recipe in Child’s classic “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” is a depressing testament to the current state of our s h e m ag a z i n e • m ay 2 0 1 3


national obsession with cooking, which too often values novelty over competency. Child never met Powell, which speaks volumes. If there were any doubt about how Child felt about having her meticulously developed recipes botched for cheap laughs, an interview in Publishers Weekly with her longtime editor and friend Judith Jones erased it. “Julia said, ‘I don’t think she’s a serious cook,’” Jones said. “Flinging around four-letter words when cooking isn’t attractive, to me or Julia. She didn’t want to endorse it. What came through on the blog was somebody who was doing it almost for the sake of a stunt.” Indeed. Not that Child didn’t embrace the dramatic. But her larger-than-life antics — such as the famous time she told viewers, “When you flip anything, you have to have the courage of your convictions” before proceeding to fling half the potatoes out of the skillet and onto the stove — were always in service of true learning, never crass mugging for the cameras.

Child was a staunch defender of real food and a fierce critic of people who sought to take the joy out of eating, a recurring plague in America, probably rooted in our Puritanical past. “I think one of the terrible things today is that people have this deathly fear of food: fear of eggs, say, or fear of butter,” Child said. She refused to even use the word “margarine,” referring instead on her show to “that other spread.” One of her most famous quotes is, “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” Child had a scientific mind, always willing to experiment with using a food processor or blender to save time but only if there was no sacrifice in quality. In a letter to her friend Avis DeVoto, Child once described having subjected her husband to “the most miserable lunch” of frozen haddock in a whitewine-shallot sauce, frozen green beans and Minute Rice. She was gamely experimenting to see if convenience products could be incorporated into her recipes

and, unlike one current TV chef, decided the answer was often “no.” “It is just no fun to eat that stuff no matter how many French touches or methods you put to it,” she wrote. “It ain’t French, it ain’t good, and the hell with it.” If only today’s celebrity chefs were as interested in rigorous testing and the primacy of the highest quality ingredients and exquisite flavor as they are with hairstyles and trademark phrases. As an unapologetic optimist, I think about how the lust for spectacle and buffoonery that characterized popular entertainment in the Middle Ages was followed by a period of refinement and reverence for knowledge and beauty in the Renaissance. So I’m hopeful there could be a shift from the sensational to the sublime in the next generation of food television shows. Until that day, I’ll stick to DVDs of the 50-year-old program whose grainy black-and-white images could not dim the incandescent brilliance of the greatest TV cook of all time.

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pag e 3 7


CASHTALK

What should I do with my old

401(k)? By jalene hahn

Deciding how to handle your retirement plan when you leave a job can be confusing. Each employer may use slightly different rules and processes for keeping money in a plan or transferring money out. It is also difficult to get unbiased information to help you make a smart choice. In March the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its findings on 401(k) distribution options. It conducted the report because “little attention has been paid to the distribution process.” GAO was asked to identify challenges separating plan participants may face in “(1) implementing rollovers; (2) obtaining clear information about

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which option to choose; and (3) understanding distribution options.” This is a little esoteric, but I found the report fascinating, and a couple of highlights stood out. One was a graphic clearly showing a participant’s four options. While the graphic clarifies your choices, anyone who has left a company and tried to decide what to do with their 401(k) will tell you it’s not so simple. The other part I loved was that “they made undercover calls to 401(k) plan service providers to determine what information is provided to plan participants.” Generally when you leave a company you call the 401(k) help line

to find out about your options. The overwhelming recommendation was to roll the money into an IRA, often with the retail side of the 401(k) service provider. These are often big money managers or insurance companies. They tout the ease of transfer and that the IRA is free, but don’t tell you that the fees on the funds you use will be higher. Limited information, easy execution and high pressure sales tactics will lead most people to rollover their 401(K) and into an IRA, even if it is not the best choice for them. Let’s look at each of your four options and things you should consider before making that choice.

s h e m ag a z i n e • m ay 2 0 1 3


Before separation A worker invests part of his income in a employer-sponsored 401(k) plan and he may receive education or guidance on investing from the employer (plan sponsor) who is responsible for monitoring the investment options.

> Option 1

Leave Funds in Previous Employer’s Plan If your former company offered a good 401(k) plan (good variety of fund choices, low fees) you might benefit from leaving the funds there. Generally employer plans have more bargaining power and use institutional funds, which have lower fees. If there are higher fees and limited fund choices with your current employer, and the new employer offers a better plan, it may be time to switch. Leaving money in a 401(k) plan may allow you to take loans against your balance and to begin taking penalty free withdrawals at age 55. For participants with small account balances, the plan sponsor may have the right to cash out your plan and send you the money or rollover your funds to an IRA so this may not be an option.

After separation When the worker leaves his job, he might receive information about the options available for his 401(k) plan savings from the employer or a plan service provider.

The worker has four basic options for dealing with the 401(k) savings from his previous job...

> Option 2

> Option 3

> Option 4

It is uncommon for participants to make a trusteeto-trustee transfer from one employer plan to another. You also may not know what the rules are for your next employer when you are in transition. One of the biggest issues is that not very many employers allow plan-to-plan rollovers. Even if both plans allow this type of rollover, participants may be subject to waiting periods and a complicated asset-verification process before funds can be transferred. The other issue is that the new plan may not be very good. The funds in the new employer’s plan may have high fees or there may be limited choices.

If neither of the first two options makes sense, this may be your best choice. This is the most widely selected option because it is the easiest. Most plan providers will set up a new account and transfer plan assets with a signature or click of a button. While it is easy, it may or may not be in your best interest. You do not have to keep your funds with the current provider. You will have more control over how your funds are invested and have a wide range of providers. One of the downsides is that you generally will not be able to invest in institutional class funds and you may have to pay commissions with some providers. Be sure you understand all the fees and remember, nothing is free.

This is generally your worst option, especially if you are under 59½. The reason is that in addition to paying income tax on the full amount, you will owe a 10 percent penalty for an early withdrawal. This may look like a good option when you are in transition, but remember these funds are for your retirement, the years when you may not be able or no longer wish to work.

Rollover Funds to New Employer’s Plan

m ay 2 0 1 3 • s h e m ag a z i n e

Rollover Funds to IRA

Cash-out Funds

Jalene Hahn is a certified financial planner with Warren Ward Associates.

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viewfrommars

Doing it myself leaves little room for blame By Andrew Larson It’s never done … the truest words ever spoken by a homeowner. When, as a young adult, I bought my first house, my soon-to-be-former landlord said, “Get ready to go to the lumber yard!” At that point, I didn’t see this simple prophecy for what it was: my new reality. A house is never done. Let alone a big, old house, which is what we bought. An old home has a way of reminding one just how much it resembles a living organism as it ages, changes and requires a constant input of energy (ahem, money). I doubt that’s news to anyone. So why take this on, this needy, crotchety, burden of an endless project? Maybe my childhood experience in a 100-year-old home led me to the purchase of such a house for my own family and the inevitabilities that come with it. My syndrome is that I can’t bring myself to pay for any of this work to be done. Growing up, I watched my dad up on the ladder summer after summer, repainting one face of the house, then the next one the following summer, repeat, forever. If it wasn’t painting the house required, it was electrical work, plumbing, renovation. And the yard? That was the domain of my mom, and it was even more relentless than the house (go figure) in its hunger for attention. Pag e 4 0

What is somewhat unique about my experience growing up in such an old house is that I (practically almost) never saw a repairman or any other form of hired help doing any of those jobs on an endless list. So, naturally, that’s what I learned from my parents: Do it yourself. I know there are many others like me. But maybe unlike others, I rather occasionally find myself in a quandary. While I vehemently object to hiring help, I also lack the ability to do many of the types of jobs that our old home, circa 1948, requires. The roadblocks are typically one or more of the following: I lack the appropriate tools, so must therefore borrow or buy them. I lack the skills or knowledge to do the work and must therefore call upon my dad or a host of skilled friends. I lack the money to buy the materials for a job. I lack the time. These situations demand patience, which is a problem (though I’m working on it). Whether I have to wait for help, materials or money to show up, my tendency is to fill that void of time by either saying, “Well, I can at least get started on this, and that way, I’ll be ready when the help/ materials/ money show up,” or “Since I can’t do this right now, I’ll do this other project instead.” You know the result. It’s the s h e m ag a z i n e • m ay 2 0 1 3


phenomenon of having several halfstarted/ half-finished projects all over the premises. Fortunately for me, my mind has an ability to look past these unfinished elements and simply see not what isn’t, but what is. I am an optimist, right? And so long as other cohabitants share that same perspective, there’s no reason why projects cannot languish, I mean, be a little drawn-out, while we wait for the missing elements to come along in due time. Right? Turns out … my approach has its limits. There are lots of upsides to being a do-it-yourselfer; my favorites of which are the knowledge gained, the sense of satisfaction of saving money and creating something beautiful and useful. The way I see it, every time I successfully tackle a project on my own and it works, I’ve added to my repertoire of skills

and will be even more ready the next time around. And this is true. However, the downsides are real, too. Saturdays are precious, especially when the kids are little. Some of these projects I take on aren’t really all that awesome in terms of fun, or at least not compared to other forms of Saturday recreation. One of the biggest downsides is this: When you do stuff yourself, as a moderately skilled individual, there are going to be imperfections. When there are, there’s no one to call upon to make it right. No one from whom I can demand “100 percent customer satisfaction.” Sure, I could call my dad or friends back over, but they’ve got their own old and needy homes to look after. At the end of the day, or project, the imperfections are mine and mine alone, to see or ignore, to live with, to have and to hold.

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Needless to say, after 10 years in our old house, many beautiful renovations, upgrades, improvements and self-repairs have occurred. Along with them: 10 years’ worth of accumulated imperfections and some half-finished projects that belong to no one else but me, yeah me. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am 10 years the wiser for all of those jobs, and although one of these years I am going to go back through and address many of those unfinished or imperfect jobs, for now, I’m adding to the list. Andrew Larson is a teacher at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School. He lives in Columbus with his wife, Megan, and their three sons.

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Recommended reading “The Dinner,” by Herman Koch, $24 (hardcover) It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse – the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a 15-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act, an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their

families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love. Tautly written, incredibly gripping and told by an unforgettable narrator, “The Dinner” promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy. — Viewpoint Books

Healthy habits Spring, in all its budding-new-life glory, is also one of the worst seasons for allergies. Typical seasonal allergy symptoms include: • Runny nose. • Watery eyes. • Sneezing. • Coughing.

• Itchy eyes and nose. • Dark circles under the eyes. Airborne allergens also can trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your health care provider about what you can do to get relief.. — webmd.com

Beauty bits We’re all pressed for time in the morning. If your typical routine includes foundation, blush, eye makeup and the like, but you don’t always have time for the multistep process, invest in a bronzer. Using a large brush,

sweep bronzer all over your face to create a warm glow, dust your cheek bones with an extra bit and then sweep some across your eyelids with a shadow brush. You’ll be left with a healthy, natural look.

Landscape logic Huge loads of pollen are shed by windpollinated male plants this time of year. Consider reducing the pollen load in your landscape by choosing only female or insectpollinated plants. Options for the pollensensitive include hollies, Virginia sweetspire

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and double-flowered bedding plants. Avoid yews, box elder, willow and cottonwood – especially upwind of screen windows and doors. For more information, see Thomas Leo Ogren’s “Safe Sex in the Garden.” — Extension educator Kristine Medic s h e m ag a z i n e • m ay 2 0 1 3


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