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Saturday, September 19, 2015 An Advertising Feature of The Topeka Capital-Journal

Jamie Hancock Garden Column  –  Pantry essentials  –  Real Estate Auction Know-How  –  Open House Directory  – 

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2 | Saturday, September 19, 2015 | The Topeka Capital-Journal | At Home

Getting your workout in the garden Jamie Hancock

jamiehan@ksu.edu Did you know that you can burn up to 180 calories in 30 minutes raking your yard? How about burning 160 calories planting, weeding, or pruning? According to AARP calculations it is very possible and, you can break it up into 10 minute segments several times per day with the same benefit. I always feel like I have had a workout when I garden. If many of you are like me I work until I can’t move anymore. I think, “Just one more weed, just one more plant to plant, a little more mulch here would be good.” I pay for it the next day. Obsessing over my gardens is not a good thing. I have had to learn to pace myself. (Is anyone else in this boat?) Here is what I have learned. Gardening uses all of the major muscle groups. These are the ones that do all the work, arms, legs, back, buttocks, shoulders, and stomach. Good advise from medical experts is

to warm up before any exercise. You can do this by walking around your yard or block for 10 minutes and then do some slow stretching of each of these muscle groups. Raking is like using a rowing machine. Turning a compost pile is similar to weight lifting. Gallon sprinkling cans can be 8 pound dumbbells carried across the yard. Pushing a lawn mower is like walking on a treadmill, but with better scenery. A gardener’s gym equipment is rakes, shovels, push mowers, tillers, and wheelbarrows. Like any athlete we need to do things to keep us safe while exercising.  Wear sturdy soled shoes that keep the ankle and foot in alignment. This will help give you a sure step and make shoveling easier.  Do the easy tasks first.  Switch to different jobs even if you are not finished to avoid overusing one muscle group.  Take a break after 20-30 minutes of gardening. Stretch, and most especially, drink a large glass of water. Dehydration will make you sluggish and is not good for your body or mind.  Listen to your body. If something hurts when you do it, stop doing it. Something we gardeners can encounter is repetitive motion injuries. These can be ten-

donitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. They happen with repeated “mircrotraumas” to the soft tissues of the body. According to St. Francis Health Center Rehabilitation Services, “Repeated movements can cause compression of nerves, tendon irritation or obstruction of blood flow through arteries. Repetitive gardening activities can cause or aggravate an injury.” Here are some things we can do to avoid such an injury.  Use ratchet pruners to decrease the amount of pressure and time it takes to cut through a branch.  Use the correct tool for the job.  Avoid tools with pre-formed grips for the fingers. They are usually too large for most hands and cause the hand to work harder by spreading the fingers too far apart.  Cushioned handled tools are good. They absorb impact and provide better traction, making it easier on your joints.  Keep your wrist straight. Bent wrists loose power and add to injury.  Avoid using cotton gloves. The hand has to work 25% harder to hold on to tools with cotton gloves. Well fitting leather or synthetic gloves are better.  Use tools with extended handles. Longer handles can require less torque to accomplish

the same job.  Switch hands. This allows one hand to recover while the other is doing the work.  Sharp tools make work easier.  Use a garden cart with four wheels that is easy to push or pull. It is better than struggling with an awkward, overloaded wheelbarrow.  Prevention is the best option to avoid repetitive strain injuries. Lifting, we all know to use our legs and not our backs, but we should also hold the object close to our midsection with shoulders squared and knees flexed. Rest the object on your forearms if possible but still close to the body. Do not twist the body with a heavy load, turn with the feet. Researchers have told us for years (are you listening?) that regular exercise reduces our risk of premature death, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, depression and colon cancer. Gardening provides strength training, improves flexibility, and increases endurance, not to mention, stress relief. Don’t you think it is about time to think of gardening as exercise and prepare for it just like we do when we go to the gym? Jamie Hancock is a horticulturist with Kansas State Research and Extension in Shawnee County.


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4 | Saturday, September 19, 2015 | The Topeka Capital-Journal | At Home


Pantry essentials By Linda A. Ditch Special to The Capital-Journal

dium variety  Olive oil (extra virgin and regular) and canola oil  Flours—all-purpose, whole wheat, and cake  Sugars—white granulated, confectioner’s, and both light and dark brown  Baking soda  Baking powder  Yeast—both active dry and instant (rapid rise)  Seasonings—salt (kosher and sea salt), peppercorns for the pepper mill, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, Italian seasoning, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, whole nutmeg, dried mustard, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, sage, and cayenne pepper  Vinegars—white, cider, red wine, rice wine, and balsamic  Worcestershire sauce  Hot sauce  Chocolate—semi-sweet chips, white chocolate chips, and blocks of unsweetened, semi-sweet, bittersweet, and milk chocolate  Cocoa powder—both natural (like Hershey’s) and Dutch-processed  Dried fruit—raisins (both regular and golden), cranberries, cherries, and apricots  Extra bottles of ketchup, mustard, mayo and barbecue sauce  Produce—onions, garlic, potatoes  Peanut butter  Honey  Coffee and tea In the freezer, I keep:  Meats—boneless, skinless chicken breasts, whole chicken, bacon, breakfast sausage, smoked sausage, Italian sausage, pork chops, and hamburger  Vegetables—corn, peas, lima beans,

What to have for dinner on a busy day? Going to a restaurant or ordering takeout is one solution, but there is the cost to both your wallet and your health. Eating at home is the better option. Still, how do you make a tasty meal without resorting to prepackaged options that are often high in sodium and chemicals? This is when a well-stocked pantry comes in handy. By pantry, I also mean a refrigerator and freezer supplied with the basics, as well as a storage area full on non-perishables. Then everything is readily available to make whatever your heart desires. To be honest, plan-ahead weekly menus were never my strong point. When I tried it in the past, I found I was never hungry for what was on the menu plan for that particular day. I want to be able to wake up and think, “What am I hungry for?” and then plan dinner accordingly. Cooking on a whim. In the pantry, I always kept these basics on hand:  A variety of pastas—spaghetti, penne, elbow macaroni, egg noodles of various widths, lasagna pasta, and anything else that strikes my fancy. (I love trying new pasta shapes.)  Canned tomatoes—crushed, diced, petit diced, whole, and sauce.  Rice—long grain, which I use for most dishes, and Arborio, an Italian short-grain rice for risotto.  Beans—both canned for when I’m in a hurry (dark red kidney, cannellini, black beans, pinto, and garbanzo) and dried for when I have more time or am using my slow cooker (navy, kidney, and pinto.)  Chicken and beef stock—the low-so- PANTRY continues on 9A

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6 | Saturday, September 19, 2015 | The Topeka Capital-Journal | At Home

Real Estate Auction Know-How tion, you don’t set the top-end price. Then you decided if you can live with the sale price.” Of course, for buyers, there are deals to Looking to buy? While this is typically done by contacting a real estate profes- be had when buying a property at an aucsional, there is another way: A real estate tion. Not all are distressed or foreclosed auction might be the ideal solution for buy- properties. Some are being sold because the owner has died and their estate has ing a property. For a seller, an auction can offer some authorized the sale. Others are on the aucbenefits. First, the property will be sold tion block because the owner needs to sell at a specific time instead of waiting days, by a specific date, such as in the case of a weeks, or months for a buyer to make an job relocation. Wise noted million-dollar offer. Also, the sale does not depend on properties are sold every day at auction. According to Wise, a property is aucthings like inspections, financing, appraisals, etc since the property is sold “as is” tioned in one of three ways: with no contingencies. 1. Absolute auction, where the propAllen Wise, a REALTOR® and owner of erty is sold to the highest bidder, no United Country-Heart of America Real Es- matter what the final price. This type tate and Auction in Oskaloosa explained, of auction brings in the biggest crowd “Traditionally, when you list a home with in hopes of a deal. a REALTOR®, you put a price on it and no one pays more than what you ask. At auc- AUCTION continues on 7A

By Linda A. Ditch

Special to The Capital-Journal


At Home | The Topeka Capital-Journal | Saturday, September 19, 2015 | 7

Auction: What do you need when you attend the auction? Continued from 6A

2. Minimum opening bid auction, where the bidding starts at a set price and goes from there. 3. An auction where the seller reserves the right to say yes or no to the highest bid.

The auction is advertised for 30 days, and then the closing typically happens within 30 days afterwards. To be prepared, before auction day be sure to:

 Contact your lender. You will need a letter showing you have secured financing to register for the auction. The letter will state the amount for which you are approved for a specific period of time.  Have a down payment ready. If you are the winning bidder, you will need to make a down payment as earnest money, either with cash or a cashier’s check. Check with the auction company for the amount, (typically at least 10-percent of the sale price) and have the cashier’s check made out to you so you can take it back to the bank if you’re not winning bidder. If

you do get the property, you will endorse the check over to the auction company. This payment is nonrefundable unless the seller is unable to close on the property. If the buyer can’t close because the lender doesn’t like the appraisal or due to numerous repairs, then they will loose the down payment.

 Attend the auction previews.

These take place in the weeks leading to the auction, and are when you can look over the property, ask questions, and go through the full terms of the sale. Be sure to ask what the minimum starting bid will be for the property.

 Do your homework. Check out the

neighborhood to get a sense of the property values in the area. Get an idea of what you plan to do to the property, and at what cost. This will help you know the price to set for your maximum bidding limit. Also, don’t be fooled by a low starting bid. Chances are the winning bid will be in the property’s value range. Also, don’t let the excitement of the auction entice you into bid higher than you planned.

 If you want an inspection done on the property, it will need to take place before the auction. Auction

properties are sold “as is.” The seller will not make any repairs to the condition of the property unless specifically noted ahead of the sale. Keep in mind that foreclosed properties are often sold without any preview or inspection of the interior. Inspections will have to wait until after the sale. In any case, the buyer is responsible for any repairs.

 Know what you will be responsible for after the sale. This is especially

important in foreclosure auctions. If there are outstanding liens, taxes, or other legal issues with the property, you may be responsible for them after the sale. Check the title for any attached financial obligations. Also, if the owners or renters of the property won’t move out, you will have to deal with the eviction. Before you go after the property you want, it is a good idea to attend other real estate auctions to see how they work. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are uncertain

about what’s happening. A good auctioneer will make sure all potential bidders are clear about what’s going on. “You are spending thousands of dollars,” Wise said. “We want to make sure you are comfortable with the process.”


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At Home | The Topeka Capital-Journal | Saturday, September 19, 2015 | 9

Pantry: Stocking the refrigerator  Fruits—oranges, lemons, and limes Okay, I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, and green beans but you get the idea. With these basics, just  Nuts—walnuts, pecans, and almonds about any meal idea is an option. At the (they stay fresher longer in the freezer) very least, you may have to pick up an ex Fruits—blueberries, strawberries, tra ingredient or two, but most will be on raspberries, peaches, and cherries hand and ready to use.  Shortening sticks—I don’t use this For example, on a busy day, I often break very often, so I keep it in the freezer to out my slow cooker while my morning cofprevent it from going rancid. fee brews. In 10 minutes, I chop up onion, celery and carrots and dump it all into the In my refrigerator, you’ll find:  Butter—unsalted and European-style cooker. Next I add frozen boneless, skin Veggies—celery, carrots, green pep- less chicken breasts, a crushed clove of pers, and lettuce for sandwiches (I’m not garlic, 2 bay leaves, a teaspoon of thyme, a little kosher salt, and 2 14.5-ounce cans big on lettuce salads.)  Cheese—parmesan, mozzarella, ched- of low-sodium chicken broth. On goes the lid, with the temperature set to low. When dar, and pepper jack dinner time arrives, I cut up the large piec Eggs  Milk—both whole milk and one-per- es of chicken and boil some egg noodles. Presto—homemade chicken noodle soup! cent Taking the time to stock your pantry  Cream will save you a lot of effort and stress on  Jellies and jams  Condiments—ketchup, mustard (yel- busy weekdays. When dinnertime rolls low and Dijon), mayonnaise, barbecue around, all you have to do is think, “What am I hungry for?” sauce, and salsa  Real maple syrup

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Stock photo/Metro Creative Connection


10 | Saturday, September 19, 2015 | The Topeka Capital-Journal | At Home

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