Fort Wayne's Glo February 2021

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it’s Free! fort wayne’s

February 2021

bold • bright • beautiful

inspiring today’ s woman

Peek inside to read:

HOMELIVING Indoor & Outdoor


the Beauty of Self Confidence

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“Focus on Love” ISSUE

From the executive editor

February 2021 | Vol. 11 No. 11

Greetings glo and HOME readers,

GLAM + STYLE Fashion: The Season’s Hottest Handbags............................................ 6 Self Care + Beauty: Finding True (Self) Love ..................................... 8

COMMUNITY FOCUS She glows’ : Raylene Rospond ............................................................... 10 He glows’ : Michael GeRue....................................................................... 12 glo Girl’ : Danielle Smith.......................................................................... 14

FEATURES Feature Focus: Love, Hoosier Style ................................................................................ 15 You Met How? ......................................................................................... 16 On Her Nightstand: Michele Platte .................................................... 18 Finance: Banking in the Time of COVID ............................................ 20 Motherhood: Teen Dating Violence ................................................... 21 We Love Your Style: Mariah Knight..................................................... 22

SHOPPING  glo Gal’s Shopping Guide ................................................................... 23

ALL ABOUT YOU glo-roscopes............................................................................................... 26

This issue is another joint issue, with HOME tucked inside the pages of glo. Like many, we hoped 2021 would provide a magical clean slate for all of us, but it appears the struggles we faced in 2020 followed us here. Many of our supporters are small businesses, still facing economic uncertainty, so they need your help now more than ever. This month, we have a challenge for you: Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy.   3 - What 3 locally owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared? Stop in. Say hello. Pick up something that brings a smile. Your purchases are what keeps those businesses around. (Hint, there are lots of good ideas within the pages of this issue.) 50 - If half the employed population spent $50 each month in a locally owned business, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue nationwide. Imagine the positive impact if ¾ of the employed population did that. 68 - For every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 returns to our community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.   1 - The number of people it takes to start the trend. Learn more at Do you accept our challenge? We’d love to hear about how you are supporting locally owned businesses. Email me at or hit us up on social media. and Xo,

Amber Bouthot



cover artist: Linda Schwartz Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana

When did you first get started making art?

a the Title of piece:


Somewhere in Time

I LOVE mixed media and I love faces. I also love vintage papers and photos. And I love to use them in my art, because there is always a story to tell. I call them my orphans. How did they end up in a flea market or antique mall? Where’s the family of these people? So they inspired me to do this piece.

Want to put your art on our front cover? Give it a glo! To submit your entry, send art as an e-mail attachment to or send a production-ready image on a CD via mail to: glo Magazine, Attention: Amber Bouthot, PO Box 188, Milford, IN 46542.

glo front covers are open to female artists. Submissions from all original 2D media (digital art photographs are OK) are welcome.


PO Box 188 • 206 South Main St., Milford, IN 46542 800.733.4111 / Fax 800.886.3796 Editorial & Advertising Ext. 2491 •

glo is a news magazine with emphasis on inspiring women of all ages. glo does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does glo or its staff assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial content appear in any publication. glo assumes no liability for any claims regarding services or products or claims made by advertisers. No reproduction of glo is allowed without express written permission. Mailed subscriptions are available, prepaid with order at $44 for 12 issues; $75 for 24 issues. Mail your request, along with your check to glo, P.O. Box 188, Milford, IN 46542. Your cancelled check will serve as your receipt. Copyright © 2021

What is your typical medium? Acrylic, but I use several mediums on one single piece.

What advice would you give young women artists? NEVER think your art is not good enough. Everyone has their own style. Someone will LOVE it and want it. Put yourself out there.

Where can we find your work?

Where did you draw inspiration for this piece?

The Nitty Gritty:

My twin sister and I had our own design studio for 10 years. I have been creating my whole life. The majority of things I paint are women. My business name is “ManyFaceOfLinda.” I would go to my friend’s Bed and Breakfast, Scrapbook Inn, once a year with friends, and that led me to doing mixed media art. I would be up all night painting and creating.

I do about 12 art shows a year, such as Broadripple, Art in the Park, Covington Art show, Art by the Riverside in Leo, The Village of Winona Art Show, and Renaissance in Roanoke. Facebook: Manyfacesoflinda a

Artwork must be photographed at a high-resolution (300+ dpi) for reproduction. Cover art selections are made at the discretion of glo staff. For cover placement, the artist will receive credit and added exposure via introductory copy and published photograph in a question and answer section. Cover art is cropped approximately to 10” wide x 13” high. Submitted cover art should be sized as 10.5” wide x 13.25” tall and, when possible, please allow 4.5” at top of artwork for glo masthead placement. The art chosen will confer rights to the cover image only as it relates to the publication and glo. The artist shall retain all other rights.

publisher Ron Baumgartner |

director of circulation Jerry Long |

executive editor + publications manager Amber Bouthot |

graphic designers Maymie Ankrom, Mary Lester

editor-in-chief Deb Patterson |

marketing assistants Darlene Eichelberger, Trina Hoy

director of marketing Steve Meadows |

photographer: Zack Kittaka

account executives Melinda Musselman | Lynn Blanchard | Rebecca Boone |

contributing writers Stacie Ball, Mary Jane Bogle, Lauren Caggiano, Jaclyn Youhana Garver, Deborah C. Gerbers, Cathy Shouse, Wendy Stein, Julie Young

business manager Carrie Goralczyk |

Connect with Us On Social Media






GLAM + STYLE | Fashion


Handbags By Lauren Caggiano

Jewelry, hats, belts and other accessories can add pizzaz to any outfit, but a handbag is in a league of its own when it comes to fashion prowess. What’s on-trend this season? And how can you capture the looks? Local boutique owners share some tricks of the trade. Emma Marie Metcalf with Lyn-Maree’s Boutique in Auburn said throwback is the name of the game right now. “Handbags are going back to some of my favorite classic, yet funky looks,” she said. “It’s one of those years again where it’s basically all in style.” For instance, think early 2000s Paris Hilton-esque tiny handbags. Though maybe not practical, Metcalf said they’re enjoying renewed popularity. Not specific to any style per se, candy-colored designs are having a moment. From Pepto Bismol Pink to bright yellow, you can’t go wrong with these high-drama choices. Maybe you want something more professional? Take a cue from Metcalf: “Everyone should have a classic work bag that simply never goes out of style.” She recommends a classic shape and sized work bag with some personality. Animal print can be both playful and sophisticated. There’s also the world of crossbody bags, worn as a classic handbag, à la “Clueless” or “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Or maybe your heart desires something that says, “I have arrived.” Extra-large handbags/shoppers are the way to go. “The main thing to know when carrying an extra-large handbag is to not fill it up,” Metcalf said.

Bluebird Boutique



On the other hand, a netted tote/shopper is a staple because it’s perfect for filling with all your market finds and takes up very little space in your handbag. On the note of practicality, Metcalf said utility belts are a great compromise. They are similar to a fanny pack, but with a very small wallet-sized bag and water bottle holder affixed.

Lyn-Maree’s Boutique

soft, cozy and casual

Susan Johnson with Susan’s Fashions in Fort Wayne said her customers aren’t as concerned about trends as they are about function. In her words, “handbags are a personal thing. Some people like large handbags to carry everything they own in them, and then other people like medium---not too large but not too small--and are somewhat organized in what they put in. Then there are some who carry very minimal and use a small cross-body bag that holds very little. Overall, it depends on the customer’s preference.”

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That often means accessorizing for the task at hand. For instance, she said many customers prefer to use a handfree or cross-body bag when shopping. All sizes seem to be in demand, and she said bright colors, black/ white, metallics and even animal prints are all the rage. Kim Gangstad, owner of Bluebird Boutique in Wabash, agrees. She said a belt bag/pack with two sets of straps offers convenience. You can wear it at your waist or cross body. “This bag is on point and trendy for this year, as we want our hands free and do not want to set things down,” she said. “It creates a soft waistline when wearing as a pack.” Whatever your bag of choice, you’re sure to turn heads! a

Resources: Bluebird Boutique, Lyn-Maree’s Boutique, Susan’s Fashions, | FEBRUARY GLO 2021 |


GLAM + STYLE | Self Care + Beauty


( Self ) Love By Mary Jane Bogle

We’re a full month into 2021, and most of us already need a re-set. Unreached goals, impossible to-do lists and the wear and tear of daily routines can quickly wipe out all resolve for a better life in the new year. The solution to turning things around, however, might be simpler than we think. According to life coach Molly Roman, what we lack is not another motivational pep talk or even more will power, but a heaping healthy dose of self-love.

Ready for that reset?

Here are five ways Roman recommends building self-love and self-care into our lives:


Make time for you. You at your best is a benefit to all of those around you. What are the things that bring a little joy and fun to your life? Make sure you incorporate these activities into your week.

“Self-love not only gives us grace and compassion,” said Roman, “but it also allows us to be resilient. If we make a mistake, self-love Molly Roman permits us to see that mistake as an opportunity for growth.” In other words, people with a healthy sense of self-love choose not to dwell on disappointment but instead move forward to achieve goals. Not to be confused with self-esteem, self-love goes beyond qualities like respect and confidence. “We can all respect someone and still not truly love them,” said Roman. The same goes for ourselves. According to Roman, “we can have confidence in our abilities and respect ourselves through boundaries, but self-love is knowing that we matter as much (but not more than) the next person.” In contrast, people who lack self-love often sabotage their relationships and pathways to success. According to Roman, “people generally do one of two things when they don’t truly love themselves. They either make themselves appear better than others, or they tolerate poor treatment of themselves.” People who fall into the first category typically harm their relationships at work and home, since most people don’t enjoy feeling less than. Those who fall into the second scenario typically invite people into their lives who don’t love and care for them. Either way, said Roman, “a lack of self-love and care impacts not just our mental health but all of our relationships.” 8



Know that your self-worth is not determined by your accomplishments or acceptance by others. You are worthy of love because of your human dignity; you are a gift.


Set bou ndaries with those who don’t love you the way y ou deserve.

yourself 5


Discover what you love friends about yourself. If your the or family shared wonderful qualities that you embody, what would they say?


and Be compassionate, forgiving the is at Wh lf. rse gracious with you you en wh d self-talk in your hea up make a mistake or don’t live ? to your own standards Would you dare say this to your loved ones when they made an error? Give yourself the same grace. a


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Jaclyn Youhana Garver | Photo by Zack Kittaka

There’s the sense of general loss you get from statistics: One in five U.S. females die from heart disease, which makes it the leading cause of death for women in this country, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for white and Black women, and one in 16 women 20 years and older have coronary heart disease. Then there’s the more acute loss from personal experience: Raylene Rospond’s father was just 44 when he died of heart disease. She was 20. “Anytime you’re a kid and you’re experiencing something (like sickness) with your parents, it can have a huge impact,” says Rospond. “It was really something, especially as I grew up. When you reach the age when you outlive your parents, it’s just really impactful.”

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Rospond is 2021’s chair for Go Red for Women, an American Heart Association program to end stroke and heart disease in women. At this year’s annual event, which is May 25, Rospond hopes to raise $200,000 for education and research. There’s also the more general goal of educating the community about heart disease, especially as it affects women. “The first step toward community education,” Rospond says, “is including women of color on the event’s leadership team.” According to Go Red for Women, nearly one in two Black women 20 years and older have heart disease, though just one in five believes she’s personally at risk. Rospond also is prioritizing fundraising efforts to appeal to Black and minority women, in the hopes of increasing their attendance numbers at Go Red for Women. In addition, she hopes to diversify the offerings from event vendors, assuring info booths and items for sale are of interest to all attendees.

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Rospond grew up in Iowa, and she moved to the region in 2014 for work. She is the associate dean of clinical affairs and outreach professor of pharmacy practice at Manchester University in North Manchester. She is passionate about helping women lower their risk of heart disease and stroke, so when the chance came up to chair this year’s event, she knew it was the right fit. “You know how sometimes opportunities just become available when you’re looking for something that fits you and your passion?” she says. When last year’s chair “asked me to be a part of it, it was just the right thing that fit me personally.” Currently, Go Red for Women will be hosted at Parkview Mirro Center for Research & Innovation, and Rospond says she’s hopeful that doesn’t change; however, the possibility to move to a virtual event is present, depending upon this spring’s COVID-19 numbers and state recommendations. Despite the coronavirus and the calls for the community to stay home during the global pandemic, one key Go Red for Women message is this: The hospital is still the safest place to receive treatment for heart attack or stroke. If you have either, don’t stay home. a

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Want to nominate someone for She Glows? Email Amber at

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By Stacie Ball

A lifelong resident of Fort Wayne (minus 2 years in Minneapolis), Michael GeRue has poured his heart and soul into the community. He began his career at Parkview in 1989 as an orderly while in high school, attended nursing school at University of St. Francis, was a nurse in the Surgical Trauma ICU, and served as Nursing Manager, Director and SVP Neurosciences. In December 2011, he assumed his current role as COO of the Parkview Heart Institute (PHI). The number of people he impacts is humbling for him.


gloLocal You Deserve the Best in the New Year

“In leadership, I am able to drive changes that impact the lives of 1000’s of patients and families. Leadership comes with responsibility and accountability to those we serve,” GeRue stated. He has been involved in many initiatives to optimize patient care, but two stand out. In the early 2010’s, he worked on Tele-stroke and cardiac arrest hypothermia protocols. Tele-stroke is a webbased program that allows Neurologists to see and direct care for patients in outlying hospitals who are exhibiting stroke symptoms. Hypothermia cools patients who are suffering from a heart attack to 34 degrees Celsius for 24 hours.

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Another accomplishment occurred in 2019 when GeRue led a team that attained affiliation with Cleveland Clinic. “In our first year, we have strengthened our care delivery and have developed strategies to further expand our programs and services,” he explained. “Proud moments occur daily as I observe the dedicated staff and leadership of the Parkview Heart Institute,” GeRue said when asked about his proudest moment. “COVID has given those in health care many challenges with care delivery, and the teams within PHI and across the health system have stepped up to deliver care to patients when they need us the most.” When not at work, you can find GeRue spending time with his lovely wife of 20 years and their four children. Home activities center around cheering on the Green Bay Packers, enjoying the outdoors and golf. “Weekends from March to October are dedicated to golf, driving around Indiana, and walking the courses,” he said. “Watching our children compete in tournaments, facing adversity, and celebrating successes are some of the proudest moments for us as parents.”

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GeRue spoke highly of his engagement with two nonprofit organizations: Science Central and Community Transportation Network (CTN). Serving on committees, the board and acting as board chair with both organizations are personal highlights. “Both organizations are growing and adapting to the needs of our community. I am proud of the successes and their long-term structure,” he said. “It has been fun to serve; something I recommend others do.”


inspiring today’s woman

Explore our variety of advertising options available for your business in glo!

GeRue defines success as setting and achieving goals with a team, but he adds another important piece: “success is helping others grow and develop their leadership skills – mentoring our future leaders. I’ve had mentors in my career who helped lay foundation for success; paying it forward was as important for them as it is for me.”

Contact one of our account representatives.

Success is difficult without a healthy heart and lifestyle. Find more information about caring for your heart at:

Melinda Musselman

Lynn Blanchard

Cell: 219-510-3449 1-866-580-1138 vm Ext: 2481

Cell: 260-804-4475 1-866-580-1138 vm Ext: 2441

• • a




glo Girl


By Deborah C. Gerbers | Photo by Zack Kittaka

High school senior Danielle Smith is driven to succeed. The aspiring veterinarian recently helped obtain a grant to restore her school’s greenhouse and has big plans for her own future. From a very young age, Danielle loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian. “According to my parents, I have always wanted to be a veterinarian; even before kindergarten I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian,” she recalls. “Since I am a senior in high school, I am closer to achieving this goal. I applied to Purdue West Lafayette and plan to study animal sciences. Currently, I am working on my associate degree in general studies from Ivy Tech that is focused on business so that I can hopefully run my own clinic someday.” Danielle recently saw an opportunity to give back and do something meaningful for her school and future students by writing a grant to fund the restoration of her school’s greenhouse. “I had seen the greenhouse a couple of times before and cleaned it up the first time,” she said. “I thought that it was something that should have been done a long time ago but wasn’t. To me it was wasteful to have something there and not use it, but with all the stuff that didn’t work, we needed money to restore it. That was when I looked into grants with the assistance of the school to help restore the greenhouse. Thankfully, I managed to get a grant so that we can finally have the greenhouse up and running again.” Fort Wayne has always been home for Danielle, surrounded by friends and family. After college she plans to stay in town to further her career. “I want to own and operate a vet clinic in Fort Wayne in the future,” she says.


When she’s not studying, Danielle spends her free time with various hobbies and exploring other interests. One of her obvious pastimes is gardening and spending time in the greenhouse. “I also do Mixed Martial Arts, Animal Care and Control Teens (working with animals), art, cooking and baking,” she said. a | FEBRUARY GLO 2021 |


February 2021

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February 2021 |  Home Living  3

HOMELIVING Indoor & Outdoor

PO Box 188 • 206 South Main St., Milford, IN 46542 800.733.4111/Fax 800.886.3796 Editorial and Advertising, Ext. 2491 Publisher Ron Baumgartner

Director of Marketing Steve Meadows

EDITOR-in-chief Deb Patterson

Graphic Designer Mary Lester

publication Manager and Executive EDITOR Amber Bouthot

marketing assistants Darlene Eichelberger Trina Hoy

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Rebecca Boone Business Manager Carrie Goralczyk

director of circulation Jerry Long

Contributing Writers

Stacie Ball, Ray Balogh, Bethany Beebe, Mary Jane Bogle, Lauren Caggiano, Deborah C. Gerbers, Rod King, Cathy Shouse Home Living Indoor + Outdoor is a news magazine with emphasis on home decor, design and remodeling. Home Living does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does Home Living or its staff assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial content appear in any publication. Home Living reserves the right to determine the suitability of all materials submitted for publication and to edit all submitted materials for clarity and space. Home Living has not independently tested any services or products advertised herein and has verified no claims made by its advertisers regarding those services or products. Home Living makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability for any claims regarding those services or products or claims made by advertisers regarding such products or services. Readers are advised to consult with the advertiser and/ or other home repair and renovation professionals regarding any such claims and regarding the suitability of an advertiser’s products. No reproduction of Home Living Indoor + Outdoor is allowed without express written permission. Mailed subscriptions are available, prepaid with order at $44.00 for one year; and $75.00 for two years. Mail the order form, along with your check to Home Living Indoor + Outdoor, P.O. Box 188, Milford, IN 46542. Your cancelled check will serve as your receipt. Copyright © Home Living Indoor + Outdoor All rights reserved, 2021

a division of


what’s trending  |  interior des


By Amber Bouthot

Those who lived through the 1980s may not be super excited to hear that its iconic (and often outlandish) style is making a comeback, especially in terms of interior design. Don’t worry, it appears to be only the good parts. What does that mean? Bold shapes, natural materials and geometric patterns will once again have a moment — so no, waterbeds, ruffled bedding, or rag rolled walls won’t be making a reappearance anytime soon. Phew!

Milford, Indiana

Cover photo


what’s trending ~~

February 2021

Vol. 12 No. 10

at HOME (cont.) ~

household pets.......14

interior design.......... 4 the 80s are back

pets & plants

features ~

kitchen makeover

main feature............ 6

preventative plumbing maintenance

main feature............ 8

home security highlights

how to.................... 10

reader DIY...............15

community ~ company spotlight...16

Thrivent Financial

recipe...................... 17

childproof your home

event calendar......18

at HOME ~

essentials ~

garden/landscape...12 forced blooms

I am HOME..............19

Julia Meek

4  Home Living  |  February 2021

80s style is influencing furniture shapes and materials, geometric patterns, and color palettes. What you may see are a select few sculptural statement pieces taking center stage — with an emphasis on shape, material and texture. Bold color palettes will also start taking over minimalist farmhouse looks that have pervaded spaces the past several years. Move over white: teals, corals, yellows and more are on their way.



Are Back

Puffy rounded furniture, velvet chairs, polished stone and geometric rugs will be cornerstones to achieve this look. Don’t forget cane and rattan, but in a lighter and trendier way than in the past. These will help balance the bold forms and geometric shapes in spaces, making it feel more casual and approachable. What elements of this trend might you embrace?

February 2021  |  Home Living  5

features  |  main feature

Preventative Plumbing Maintenance

By Rod King

Preventative maintenance on your home’s plumbing can save you a lot of money. It’s simply a matter of being pro-active and noticing leaky faucets and low water pressure and then taking proper steps to fix the problems before they become major issues that could drain your budget. A leaking shower head or faucet is more than an annoyance. First, it’s wasting a lot of water. Second, it is definitely costing you a lot of money on your water bill. According to Michael Coe, founder and owner of Adam Plumbing in Huntertown, the answer is to replace worn out washers. It’s a simple and inexpensive solution. Turn off the main water supply to the house, open the faucet or shower handle so it can drain the line and then remove the handle. With a screw driver, take out the screw that holds the washer in place and replace the washer with a new one. It may require a trip to the hardware store to get the proper size washer. The wrong size washer will continue to leak. While you’re at it, you might as well tackle slow sink, tub and shower drains before they clog and require professional help to clear. Plastic snakes and commercial drain cleaning fluids can help clear clogs. If you’re experiencing low water pressure, the culprit may be mineral deposits that have built up in the fixture that is reducing flow. Remove the slow shower head or faucet and then take out the aerator. Soak the aerator overnight in vinegar to remove mineral build-up. A running toilet can waste a lot of water. The first thing to check is the flapper. They tend to wear out before the rest of the mechanism. Replacing it is inexpensive and simple to do. Washing machine hoses should be replaced every five years before they wear out and begin to leak. A broken hose can cause major water damage. Coe recommends replacing rubber hoses with stainless steel braided hoses. Flushing your water heater tank will prevent rust and sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank where it can reduce heating efficiency and shorten the life of the heater. All you have to do is turn on the faucet at the bottom of the tank and let the contents drain into a bucket. Tankless water heaters present a different set of solutions. Here, it’s important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the line filter.

One of the most costly and disruptive plumbing problems a homeowner can experience is a backed up sewer main. This is not something homeowners are equipped to handle. The professionals at Adam Plumbing recommend contacting a drain sewer company that can insert a video camera into the sewer line to make a visual inspection. This will identify any specific problems like misaligned pipes, tree roots or cracks. Any one of these can lead to major sewer line failure that could require digging up and replacing the old pipe.


Adam Plumbing, 260.424.6270

6  Home Living  |  February 2021

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From I-69 take exit 350 (Lake James exit), turn south on County Road 200 W.Turn right (west) at the first stop sign, County Road 100 N. Cross over I-69 to the first building on the left.

See our Boat Show Display* Thursday Feb 4 – Friday Feb 12 Hours: M-F, 9-5; Sat, Feb 6 by appointment Angola Showroom, 975 N 275 W, Angola, IN

*Display is in a heated bay and social distancing will be observed. 260.665.0026  February 2021 |  Home Living  7

features  |  main feature

Home Security System Highlights

By Mary Jane Bogle

Thinking of buying a home security system this year? You’re not alone. With security systems improving in both quality and affordability, many homeowners are discovering that a good home security system can be a great investment, now more than ever before. Reasons to Invest in Home Security Not only can a home security system help you monitor your home remotely (think checking on package deliveries or making sure the kids get home safely); but you can also deter would-be burglars from targeting your home, simply by posting window stickers and a yard sign advertising your protection. Security footage can even help in apprehending a perpetrator should a break-in occur. In fact, Simplx Security of Fort Wayne said one of their customer’s cameras actually helped catch a neighbor’s burglar and recover their stolen goods. According to the Simplx website, “The neighbors are certain that if it weren’t for the security cameras, the perpetrator would still be free.” Add in the fact that many insurance companies offer impressive discounts to homeowners who install monitored home security systems, and now might be a great time to invest in your own safety.

Basic Components of a Security System Most home security systems contain five basic components: • A control panel • Cameras for real-time viewing • Entry sensors • A high-decibel siren or alarm • Yard sign and window stickers An optional component is professional monitoring, which links your security system to local police or fire departments when alarms are triggered. (Homeowners on a budget can opt to self-monitor the system and call emergency services themselves.)

Home Security System Costs Obviously, these components come with multiple options, quality considerations and price tags. Consider the cameras, for instance. Do you want night vision and low-light performance, a wide field of vision, motion detection and audio? You also need to consider what kind of image resolution you prefer. (Options range from a grainy 480p to a much sharper 1080p.) Be prepared to spend a little more for each type of upgrade. Storage space for the image recordings is also a factor. How long do you want to keep recordings? Will you need additional storage on a cloud-based system? If so, how much? (You can purchase a plan that might range from a few gigabytes to over 100 gigabytes of memory, with varying prices to match.) Finally, you need to decide if you want to purchase a Do-It-Yourself kit, which can cost as low as $300 (not including monitoring), or have a professional create and install a custom solution for you and your home, which can cost up to $1200 in equipment alone. If all this sounds overwhelming, it might be worth a call to a professional security company. Many offer free estimates and are willing to work with homeowners on a budget, offering the option to add extra components later. Whatever you choose, know that an investment in your security can reap dividends in recovered goods, deterred crime and — maybe most important — peace of mind.


Simplx Security,

8  Home Living  |  February 2021

Please consider donating to The Long Term Care Ombudsman’s

11th Annual Pajama Drive February 10 – March 31

Our neighbors living in area nursing homes can’t go out and shop for new pajamas. And many can’t afford them. They need your help! Drop off any size, style or gender pajamas* to the Ombudsman office. Or call 260-469-3161 for a drop-off site near you. *PJ’s must be new, with original tags attached. Monetary donations are always accepted. Visit us at

3215 Stellhorn Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46815 260-469-3161

MauMee paint & Supply

M&F 7–5; T–Th 7–6; Sat 8–1 302 Stone Pointe Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46825

(260) 490-8656  February 2021 |  Home Living  9

features  |  how to

Childproof Your Home By Stacie Ball

Keeping children safe is a top priority and source of worry for many new parents. According to the CDC, over 12,000 children die from an accidental injury each year, and close to 9 million children visit the emergency room for a non-fatal injury. Up to one-third of these unfortunate mishaps occur at home. It is impossible to prevent every accident, but many of these accidents can be avoided by using the devices and tips below.

Safety Latches and Locks

Affix safety latches or locks to all cabinets and drawers within a child’s reach. Install locks on the toilet, oven and other appliances.

Anti-Scalding Devices

These attachments can be installed on faucets and showerheads to prevent scalding and burning from hot water. Even without an anti-scalding device, the water heater thermostat can be set to 120 degrees to prevent burns.

Outlet Protectors and GFCIs

Cover all unused outlets with protectors. Update the outlets near a sink or water source with GFCIs (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter). These can turn off electricity if appliances fall into water.

Safety Gates and Guards

Position gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs and in the doorway of any room with potential danger to a child. There are also gates and guards for windows, because a screen will not keep a child from falling out of a window. Just be sure it can be removed easily in case of a fire.

Corner and Edge Bumpers

These can be placed on tables, chairs, fireplace corners, etc. to prevent cuts, scrapes, or gashes. Attach large furniture like dressers and bookcases to the wall, so they cannot fall over onto a child.

10  Home Living  |  February 2021

Doorknob Covers

Put these gadgets on doorknobs to prevent children from opening the door. Ensure that older children and adults can operate them in case of a fire or other emergency.

Stove Guard

Whether it’s a mat that covers the stove or an attachment, these guards prevent a child from touching a hot stove. Covers for stove knobs can also be purchased to prevent the stove from accidentally being turned on.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke detectors should be in working order and near bedrooms on each level of the home. Carbon monoxide detectors should be located near sleeping areas and should especially be used in homes with attached garages and gas or oil heat.

Change Habits

It is important to create a habit of putting potentially dangerous things away. Unplug and safely store curling irons and hair dryers after using them. Check floors regularly for small items, such as Legos, magnets or anything small enough for a child to choke on. As always, store knives in their holsters and place guns and knives in a locked safe or other secure place. Using the tools above and keeping an eye out for potential hazards can hopefully decrease the risk of injury and help parents sleep at night. Use the list to childproof your home and make 2021 your safest year yet.


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February 2021 |  Home Living  11

at HOME  |  gardening/landscaping

By Bethany Beebe

Forced Blooms

Whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow, Spring can come early. Forcing branches to bloom is relatively simple and can give beautiful results with just a bit of planning and preparation. Lucky for us, northern Indiana is home to many types of trees and shrubs that can introduce a bouquet of color to the late winter home.

When branches are forced to bloom, they are brought indoors, removing them from the cold of winter. The warm environment inside tricks them into thinking winter is done, motivating them to bloom. With a bit of care and planning, you can enjoy this preview of natural spring. Two kinds of buds line the twigs of shrubs and trees: those that will grow flowers and those that will grow leaves, according to Purdue Extension. Flower buds are usually larger and plumper than leaf buds. The younger branches with many buds are the recommended contenders as they have the most buds. It is also recommended that the branches selected originate from crowded areas; no harm exists in pruning at the same time. Generally speaking, bushes are easier to force than trees. Pruning should be done carefully, following practices safe for the gardener and beneficial to the plant. Purdue publication FNR-506-W gives an outstanding guide to good pruning practices, explaining the how-tos and whys of the process. When making your cuts, leave no stub and trim about one-quarter inch above where branches or side buds make their joiner. Six to eighteen inches is optimal length for the selected. With the basics of collection methods in mind, selection specifics come into play. Most native to Indiana take two to four weeks to go from dormant to blooming. Extension points out, however, that the later into the season we wait for cuttings, closer to natural spring, the shorter the time required to bloom when forced. HO-23-W is an outstanding document from the folks at Purdue that offers not only how long it takes to force a bloom, by type of plant, but also the color those flowers will be. Once inside, set up for the color show happens. First, recut the end that was trimmed from the bush on a slant. If the outdoor temperature is sub-freezing, immerse the entire twig in cold water overnight or for at least a few hours to prevent burst; above-freezing temperatures

12  Home Living  |  February 2021

require no soak. The branches should then be placed in a container tall enough to keep them standing upright and filled no more than three inches with warm water (110 degrees F). After 20-30 minutes, fill the container with a preservative solution. See HO-23-W for recipes. The wait now begins with the container of branches finding home in a partly shaded area of about 60-65 degrees, keeping a consistent water level during the wait. When the color starts to show, they can be removed from the starter container, arranged as you wish, and placed in a cool, lighted space that avoids direct sunlight, without a shadow of doubt worth the work.

To Learn More:

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February 2021 |  Home Living  13

at HOME  |  household pets

Pets Plants and

By Cathy Shouse

If home is where the heart is, pets are often right next to our hearts for the companionship they provide. Just as parents will child-proof a home, pet owners should consider how their plants will mix with their pets.

The information about pets and plants can be confusing. Humans may react differently to exposure to various materials, and it’s the same with pets. The most important tips are to know your pet and to supervise them. Some pets will chew and ingest anything, especially when they are young. Beth Davis, DVM, owns Southway Animal Hospital in East Central Indiana. “Lillies are the main plant that comes to mind that isn’t good for pets,” she said. “They are highly toxic to the kidneys. Most plants, if they are toxic at all, just cause transient vomiting and /or diarrhea. That’s the case for poinsettias. Also, some plants cause stomatitis, which is inflammation and irritation of the tissues of the mouth.” Although poinsettias and snake plants, or mother-in-law’s tongue, are not good for pets, they are typically not fatal under normal circumstances, unless an animal consumed a massive quantity. Indiana author Sheri Ann Richerson wrote “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Seed Saving and Starting”, as well as “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Year-Round Gardening” and is also a homesteader. “I would never ban a plant altogether because of pets,” Richerson said. “Toxic plants are best kept up high, out of reach and positioned so falling leaves and petals do not fall low enough for a pet to reach. It is

14  Home Living  |  February 2021

best to immediately pick up all plant debris and dispose of it someplace a pet cannot get to.” She described an experience where her dog got into a plant that wasn’t good for him. “When Precious Angel was a couple months old he managed to get a Brugmansia leaf (an angel’s trumpet flower) that fell on the floor and escaped my watchful eye,” she said. “I knew the plant was toxic and dangerous to humans as well as pets. I called my vet suspecting I was going to lose my puppy. He asked how long ago this happened. I said it just happened and I removed all plant debris from his mouth. He said get hydrogen peroxide and give him one capful at a time until he throws up. It took a couple capfuls. He threw up plant material but he was fine. I always keep hydrogen peroxide on hand now. It saved my puppy.” “The ASPCA has a great list of toxic and non-toxic plants,” Richerson said. toxic-and-non-toxic-plants The following website has a discussion on the subject, as well as a way to get a printed booklet. yardandgarden/some-plants-are-poisonous/

reader diy  |  at HOME

r e v o e k a M n e h c Ki t

By Amber Bouthot

Every month, we highlight Reader DIY Projects. Want to see your project featured in our magazine?. It can be something as simple as a craft project or as large as a home addition. If you did it yourself, it can be featured. Email Amber at This month’s Reader DIY project comes from Troy and Ann Johnson who recently undertook a complete kitchen remodel..

What was your inspiration for the project? We’ve lived in our house for fifteen years. After having the exterior done about two years ago, we decided with quarantine we really didn’t have any excuses not to update the kitchen. My daughter — in true teenage fashion — had been pointing out for a couple of years that the kitchen was so “orange.” And I was starting to feel like it was very dated. 1994 was calling looking for its cabinets. I was unsure what colors I wanted, as I’m not usually excited about neutrals. I had hundreds of paint chips and flyers from Lowe’s and Menards, trying to decide what direction to take it. We stumbled across a coffee bar at an antique store and that was the first thing we chose. That helped steer the color scheme and got us excited about starting.


How long did it take from start to finish? It took about five months. We started in June with a goal of being done by fall. However, during the course of the project both my husband and I had surgery. We also ran into delays having to send back the counter tops due to damage. Pro tip: always inspect before you leave the store. The replacements took five weeks to arrive. And of course, every home improvement project involves some surprises that end up taking more time than anticipated.


Was it easier or harder than you anticipated?


Harder. We’ve done countless improvement projects in the past, but we’re not as young as we used to be. It’s more difficult powering through long days of work, and we don’t recover as quickly these days.


What was the total cost of the project? Total cost was around $6,200.

What did you like best about the undertaking? Getting to choose things to make it our own. My husband was able to work with our nephew on the floor and countertop installation. It was really cool to have the full circle aspect of the person we watched grow now be able to offer his expertise. Plus I didn’t have to help with those parts.

What was the most challenging aspect? Living with an unfinished kitchen is incredibly rough. We do a good deal of our own cooking, and for months, everything was covered in dust or shuffled into boxes.

Where did you source the materials? The flooring is from City Carpet, counters are from Lowe’s, paint and hardware from Menards, and the table and stools and pot rack are from Wayfair.

February 2021 |  Home Living  15

community  |  company spotlight

Thrivent Financial Kathy Crager By Lauren Caggiano

If there’s one word that sums up the essence of Kathy Crager’s job, it’s planning. As a financial associate with Thrivent Financial, she helps clients prepare for the future so they can more confidently set and hit money-related goals. Thrivent is a diversified financial services organization that offers its more than 2 million clients a broad range of financial products, services and guidance. Crager, who is friendly, approachable and helpful, said being associated with the Thrivent brand gives her a clear advantage. “We do holistic financial planning, including investments, insurance, etc.,” she said. “I work with anyone who wants some financial advice.” For instance, that might mean a recent high school graduate who is looking to establish a financial footprint. It could be a young family with kids who wants to ensure they’re adequately protected with life insurance and saving for the future. Regardless, she said there can be a lot of teachable moments. Many people don’t know a lot about life insurance, various investment vehicles and personal finance in general. Crager, who is licensed to work in Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio, said she’s always willing to walk clients through the basics. All that she asks is that they have an open mind and are willing to learn. The goal is for the relationship to be mutually open and honest — not merely transactional in nature. Beyond that, Crager said there are not many barriers to working with her. For instance, there’s no minimum net worth requirement. What matters more to her is looking at the big picture. She acts in the best interest of her clients and helps determine the best path forward given their circumstances and goals. This approach is why she generally doesn’t work with clients who are interested in a one-off or per-product dynamic. “Recommending an investment product or life insurance without knowing the full scope of somebody’s situation is like going to the doctor and saying, you know, ‘I’ve got this issue,’ but not explaining everything else that’s going along with it,” she said.

16  Home Living  |  February 2021

In other words, it makes for a better client experience when she can wrap her head around the person’s financial situation. To that end, Crager said she takes the time to really dive in deep, asking a lot of questions. But she does so without passing judgement. “My job is not to judge them for their past mistakes, but instead say, ‘what can we do with what you do have?’” she explained. In this way, Crager acts as a guide and helps clients reclaim their financial futures. In her words, “it’s never too late to make a move in the right direction.” Crager is taking on new clients and will meet with them however and whenever it’s convenient, whether that’s in person or via Zoom. More importantly, she wants to work with people who are ready to make such a commitment. “You have to be comfortable giving me honest answers,” she said. “If someone’s not comfortable talking to me, it’s probably not going to be a good fit. It might not be the right time to work with an advisor.”

Thrivent Financial

recipe  | community

Financial Guidance From Someone Who Gets You Getting your finances in order isn’t always easy. That’s why I’m here. Together, we can assess your financial picture and personalize your strategy to: • Protect your future. • Save and prepare for income in retirement. • Pay for college or education expenses. • Invest and manage your assets.

Dipped Pretzels

By Amber Bouthot

Ingredients • 36 Pretzel Rods • Chocolate Almond Bark; 1/2 cup melted • White or pink melting candies; 16 ounce size • Assorted Valentine’s Day Sprinkles

• Give to causes that matter to you. Let’s connect to get you where you want to go. Kathy Crager Financial Associate Vision Financial Group 3711 Rupp Drive Ste. 108 Fort Wayne, IN 46815 260-450-5466

Thrivent was named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Institute from 2012–2020.

“World’s Most Ethical Companies” and “Ethisphere” names and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC. For details, visit Thrivent is the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Insurance products issued by Thrivent. Not available in all states. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., a registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC, and a subsidiary of Thrivent. Licensed agent/producer of Thrivent. Registered representative of Thrivent Investment Management, Inc. Advisory services available through investment adviser representatives only. 20328 R11-20

on social media!

Instructions Place the pink melting candies in a microwave safe bowl and melt according to the directions on the package. Once the chocolate has melted, dip the pretzel rods into the melted chocolate making sure you only dip about 1/2 to 3/4 of the pretzel rod. Shake off any excess chocolate before transferring to a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top of the pretzels. Sprinkle with colorful sprinkles or your favorite toppings before the chocolate has a chance to set and dry. Let the pretzels harden completely before storing in an airtight container.

Facebook & Instagram

@homeindooroutdoorliving  February 2021 |  Home Living  17

community  |  events Stroede Center for the Arts • Saturday, Feb. 20, Madcap Puppets “Pinocchio,” 7 p.m. 319 Wade Ave., Defiance. 419.784.3401,

1 through Feb. 28 (selected dates) ANGOLA: Toboggan Run By Ray Balogh Botanical Conservatory •T uesday, Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23, Tai Chi, four-week series, onsite 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m., virtual 5 p.m.-6 p.m., $37 • Monday, Feb. 1, “The Tiki Bowl” play garden (through April 4), regular admission • Thursday, Feb. 4, $1 Night Insight: Tropical Flowers, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., $1 • Tuesday, Feb. 9, Sweetheart Orchid Bower (through March 14), regular admission • Saturday, Feb. 13, Macramé Mini Shelf, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m., $27 Adults $5, children (3-17) $3, children (2 and under) free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday. 1100 S. Calhoun St., Fort Wayne. 260.427.6440,

Memorial Coliseum •F riday-Sunday, Feb. 26-28, All American Outdoor Expo, noon-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday Parking $6 main lot, $10 preferred lot. Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne. 260.482.9502,

Fort Wayne Museum of Art Exhibitions: • Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Classic Toys and Americana (ongoing) • Glass Sculpture from the Collection (ongoing) • Larry Burrows: Life in Vietnam (through Feb. 28, 2021) • American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection (through March 14, 2021) • Static Energy: Sculpture by Dale Enochs (through March 14, 2021) • 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards (Feb. 13 through April 10) Traveling exhibitions: (through Dec. 31, 2021): • AFROS: A Celebration of Natural Hair by Michael July • Graphicanos: Contemporary Latino Prints from the Serie Project • Donald Martiny: Freeing the Gesture • Geoffrey Hiller: Daybreak in Myanmar Events: • Thursday, Feb. 4, Curator’s Tour: Larry Burrows, 12:15 p.m. • Wednesday, Feb. 17, Print Room Talks: Works by African American Artists, 2 p.m. • Thursday, Feb. 18, FWMoA Live: A Century of Making Meaning, 7 p.m. • Tuesday, Feb. 23, Art on Call, 2 p.m. Adults $8, students (pre-K through college) $6, seniors (65 and older) $6, families $20, free admission for veterans and veterans’ families, free general admission 5 p.m.-8 p.m. every Thursday. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday (closed Mondays), 311 E. Main St., Fort Wayne. 260.422.6467,

Honeywell Center • Thursday, Feb. 25, Ryan Niemiller, 7:30 p.m., Eagles Theatre, all seats $20. Ford Theater, 275 E. Market St., Wabash. 260.563.1102,

Shipshewana Blue Gate Theatre •F riday-Saturday, Feb. 12-13, Valentines Celebration with Jeff Allen, call 888.447.4725 for ticket prices and reservations • Friday, Feb. 26, Kingdom Heirs, $24.95 All shows add $18 for dinner theater. All performances held in Performing Arts Center unless otherwise indicated. Performing Arts Center address is 760 S. Van Buren St., Shipshewana. Music Hall address is 195 N. Van Buren, Shipshewana. 888.447.4725,

18  Home Living  |  February 2021

Quarter-mile refrigerated toboggan run. $13 per toboggan per hour (maximum 4 persons per toboggan). 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Pokagon State Park, 450 Lane 100 Lake James. 260.833.2012,

2 FORT WAYNE: World Wetlands Day Hike Celebration hike and seed scatter. Rubber boots recommended. Free admission. RSVP at least 24 hours in advance. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Eagle Marsh barn, 6801 Engle Road. 260.478.2515,,

2, 9, 16, 23 FORT WAYNE: “Little River Ramblers” Hike and explore the interesting plants and wildlife of Eagle Marsh. Bring binoculars for a close-up view. Sponsored by Little River Wetlands Project. Free admission. 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Tuesday, Eagle Marsh barn, 6801 Engle Road. 260.478.2515,,

5 WABASH: First Friday Live entertainment, food, kid’s activities, shopping, evening specials and more. Free admission. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, downtown. 260.563.0975,

7 DECATUR: Flea Market Nearly 100 indoor vendors, hot food available. Sponsored by the Adams County Coin Club. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday (year-round), Riverside Center, 231 E. Monroe St. (Highway 224 East). Contact Carla at 260.517.8182,

11 FORT WAYNE: “Breakfast on the Marsh: Natives in the Landscape — From Naturalistic to Formal Design” For 50 years and older. Virtual presentation via Zoom (through April). Free admission. 8:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. Thursday, Indiana Wesleyan Education & Conference Center, Room 102/104, 8211 W. Jefferson Blvd.. Register at least 24 hours in advance, 260.387.0399,,

13 FORT WAYNE: Birding Hike Learn tips and techniques for bird watching and counting. Rubber boots recommended. Free admission. RSVP at least 24 hours in advance. 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday, Eagle Marsh barn, 6801 Engle Road. 260.478.2515,,

17 FORT WAYNE: “Short Hikes for Short Legs: Birding Hike” Learn about birds, migration, and their nesting and eating habits. Boots recommended. Free admission, open to children 3-5 accompanied by responsible adult. 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Wednesday, Eagle Marsh barn, 6801 Engle Road. 260.478.2515,,

m a I HOME


Julia Meek

By Deborah C. Gerbers

Local radio personality Julia Meek is a passionate community advocate. She shares with us why she is proud to call Fort Wayne home. “I was born in 1950,” Meek says. “That year was a gateway to an era that has suited my passion for independent thinking and art-centricity quite well. My formative years focused on education in the Catholic school system, classes at IPFW, private lessons and countless hours of self-taught arts instruction.” All of her endeavors have allowed her to carve out a place for herself in the community where she promotes the arts and literacy as she shares them in many mediums, including public radio broadcasting. Meek has several role models she admires. “I look up to individuals who have the brightest and best ideas, kindest of spirits and strongest of passions for affecting change,” she says. “Most importantly, they all are willing to share the fruits of their labors with the world. I’m partial to local heroes of all ages, and I do my very best, every day, to be like those changemakers I so admire.” Meek also explains how being a devoted advocate for the Fort Wayne community comes from the city’s own vibrancy and strong spirit that fuels her passion to promote it. “Not being particularly materialistic, my community connections are what I consider my true wealth, and I’ve been investing wisely, you might say, my whole life,” she says. “Public artwork and several branches of public radio production have ensured that those aspects of my output are known locally and regionally. Meanwhile, my passion for volunteerism continues to grow even after all these years, as the need for volunteers does. That keeps me in touch and learning new skills, leading to even more new interests than you can imagine. (When I say that I never met a medium I didn’t like, I’m not kidding--ditto for worthy causes!)” Fort Wayne is home to Meek in several ways. “In full disclosure, I think that ‘sense of place’ is so vital to everyone’s well-being that I hope everyone can and does consider theirs special,” she says. “That being said, we’re incredibly fortunate that geographically, as well as demographically, our own is so wonderfully steeped in history, and inviting to its occupants. With this kind of legacy, it’s not surprising that the city continues to be lauded for ‘best’s and most’s.’” While she does not have children of her own, Meek is very involved and connected in the lives of her nieces and nephews. “I lost my husband and love of my life for 25 years, Jim Kelsey, to a nasty bout

of pancreatic cancer nearly five years ago,” she says. “Neither of us had children before we got together and both of us took our role as ‘aunt and uncle’ very seriously, even filling that role ‘honorarily’ with our friends’ children over the decades. I hope to continue these rich connections for as long as I’m around, and strongly encourage what I call having a good ‘auntitude’ every time I get the chance. I’m blessed that both of my preferred outlets, public artwork and radio, keep me in touch with the generations of ‘kids’ I’ve connected with for more than fifty years now--and their kid’s kids!” Speaking of the future, Meek is excited to see where and how Fort Wayne evolves in the years to come. “When one is as old and as embedded in their community as I am, they have seen a lot of renaissance and rebirth--and emerging golden ages --which is pretty much agreed that Fort Wayne is enjoying these days, despite the past year of CoronaGeddon. I think the present roll we are on enables us to live up to the city plans made by our founding fathers long ago and that we will continue to surpass the achievements already made in industry, education, arts and social innovation as we forge ahead in this 21st century. And that just makes my heart sing.”

February 2021 |  Home Living  19


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By Cathy Shouse

b b


Cupid plays a starring role this month, which provides a great excuse to explore Hoosier authors specializing in romance. Whether you gravitate toward wholesome or steamy, their novels highlight emotions associated with relationships and school us in the ways of love.


Four Fort Wayne-area authors featuring Happily Ever Afters:

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Denise Hunter

Traci Douglass

Liz Flaherty

“I had dreamed of writing a book for years but put it on the back burner when I got married and had children,” Denise said. “When my grandfather passed away, I was struck by the brevity of life and realized I didn’t want to have regrets when my time came. I started writing my first book within two weeks of his death, writing while my boys napped.”

“My writing journey began in 2011, and my first novel was published in 2013,” said Traci. “I write sometimes funny, usually awkward, always emotional stories featuring strong, quirky, wounded characters overcoming past adversity to find their Happily Ever Afters (HEAs).”

“I started writing romance the way a lot of others did—I read a book and thought, ‘Hmm… I could do that,’” Liz said. “It was probably about 20 years before I sold a book. Some overnight successes are extraordinarily long.”

Denise has since published dozens of novels over the course of her career. “Autumn Skies,” her most recently published novel, features a couple who must learn how to extend forgiveness on their journey to true love. Several of Denise’s novels have become Hallmark movies, including “Christmas on My Mind,” based on her novel, “The Goodbye Bride.”

Kyra Banks

(pen name of Karen Morris)

Traci, who has an MFA in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University, writes for three major publishers, including Harlequin/ Mills and Boon’s medical romance line. She believes love is love and has published more than 25 stories featuring imperfect characters who find their perfect HEAs.

A former columnist for the Peru Tribune. Liz’s latest release, “A Window Over the Sink,” is a compilation of her columns by the same name. Her most recent romance is “The Healing Summer.” “The underlying theme in all of my books—I think—is healing,” Liz said. “Everyone has their heart broken at one point or another. As a writer, I love putting the pieces back together.”

“Writing was always something I enjoyed, as is storytelling,” Kyra said. “But a broken finger about 10 years ago was what had me stuck inside looking for something to do...and so my author journey began.” “The Soccer Player and the Single Mom,” her most recent novel, is set in Quail Hollow (based on Garrett, IN).

With a multitude of talented Indiana writers, you can indulge your romantic side all year. a

ce authors Ten more Hoosier roman in Indiana) t (Several have novels se

Alison Bliss Ramona K. Cecil

Aleatha Romig Lexi Ryan

Jeana Mann Nan Reinhardt

Colleen Coble Dawn Crandall om dawncrandall.blogspot.c

Sarah Ladd Catherine Lanigan



You met how? glo

readers share their love stories By Julie Young

Love is a many splendid thing – especially when there is a good story behind it and this month, glo readers open their hearts to share their love story origins.

Hair’s the thing

Toni and Devin McQueen secretly liked each other in high school, but they would not have their first date until years later thanks to a couple of pintsized matchmakers: Devin’s daughter Haley (then 6) and Toni’s niece Scarlett (then 5.) “They definitely got the ball rolling,” Toni said. “They told us that I should take Devin on a date out of town where we could fall in love.” The couple took the kids’ advice, eventually married and eight years later, are happily raising their blended family, which includes Devin’s two older children and Toni’s set of fraternal twins.

“He’s truly an adult version of my high school crush - same curly hair and cute face, and he is still really funny,” she said. “(Above all) he is a great father.”

A gamer scores a girlfriend Introduced through his hairstylist who had a knack for matchmaking, Justin Clupper was playing video games and did not want to be interrupted when he was told to look at his future wife’s Facebook profile. “Her response was, ‘Justin, I’m trying to get you a girlfriend. Shut off the game and step up,’” he said. The couple met in the winter of 2011 and the following year, Justin proposed and they were married in June 2013. Today, they have two children that they refer to as their “mini-mes,” and they say the secret to their marriage is managing unspoken expectations and supporting one another through thick and thin. “He also makes me laugh every day,” Jessica said.

Mistaken identity Kristin Miller met her future husband Ryan in middle school when she added him to her chat contacts. Unfortunately, she thought he was a different Ryan and he thought she was a different Kristin. Despite the error, the two talked online but did not meet in person until after Kristin graduated from high school. “I didn’t think of it (the meet up) as a first date, but it turns out it was,” she said. Kristin was attracted to Ryan’s artistic skill, as well as his enthusiasm for books, podcasts and good conversation. They dated for ten years prior to their wedding in December 2015 and welcomed their first daughter four years later. “I wish I could tell you why we waited so long to get married – I think we were just waiting for it to be right...we were learning who we were,” she said. 16


A like-minded soul mate Courtney Tritch was surprised when a friend asked if she had any interest in dating her brother Erik Henry, but agreed to “meet” him over the phone in order to get to know him a little. Before long, they were spending hours on the phone every night. Eventually, Erik traveled to Fort Wayne from Tennessee and Courtney joined his family for an evening of Karaoke. Since then, they have been maintaining a long-distance relationship but have plans to make it more permanent in time. “If a trusted friend wants to set you up, say yes. (If) it doesn’t work out, you still have a great story to tell (but) you might find someone amazing who you never would have met on your own,” Courtney said.

Rock on After chatting online, Kelly and Ryan Benton threw caution to the wind and agreed to meet halfway between their homes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. After that first date, the two parted ways without engaging in a classic goodbye kiss –a decision that Kelly regretted immediately. Finding herself behind Ryan on the interstate, she motioned for him to take the next exit and though she was not known for impulsivity, Kelly gave Ryan a lip lock that he wouldn’t forget. “It was one of the boldest moves I’ve made in my entire life,” she said. Over the next year, the couple engaged in a long-distance relationship, but eventually married and moved to Fort Wayne in 2011. Today, they live in the historic West Central neighborhood where they are raising their two children.

“We fell in love with the community and have made it our home,” Kelly said.

Two of a kind Tresa and David Pricer met in college when they both felt out of place in the world. “Nothing had gone to plan for either one of us, (but) meeting each other made us both realize that sometimes the most beautiful moments in life (happen) when you are least expecting them,” she said. After bonding over reading, history, traveling and Mario Kart, the two married in June 2017 and decided to raise their two children in Fort Wayne. “Fort Wayne has provided us the opportunity to be small business owners, raise our family and be part of a community that has been so supportive of us,” Tresa said. a



FEATURE | On Her Nightstand

On Her Nightstand By Wendy Stein

Michele Platte is a former marketing professional turned stayat-home mom. After living out-of-state, she and her husband (both Fort Wayne natives) returned to the area to start their careers and their family. Before the demands of motherhood took precedence, Michele spent much of her time serving on the board of the Junior League of Fort Wayne. Aside from having lots of fun with her 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, Michele enjoys girls’ nights with friends, hiking, dabbling with calligraphy and hand lettering designs, and date nights with her husband.

This summer I made a commitment to become more educated about racism in our country to better understand the unrest we have seen this year. As someone who is a straight, white, Christian woman, I have not experienced much discrimination so I sought to consume information that could help me understand how people of color are feeling and what I can do to be an antiracist. Over the last few months, I have read “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo and “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which were both phenomenal books. Next on my list is “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. However most recently, I finished “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander. The book recounts the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status. Alexander details thoroughly how the War on Drugs and the U.S. legal system have worked together to create a system of racial control, even as the system adheres to the principle of “colorblindness.” It is by far the most powerful book I have ever read and has left an astounding impact on how I look at the racial climate in our country today. I have enjoyed reading it for the sheer amount of education it has provided me as someone who has not had to experience the challenges of racism in my own life. The book however can be a bit hard to get through. It is dense with information and has few anecdotes or stories, so I found it read much like a textbook. It also stirred up many emotions – anger, sadness, confusion, mistrust, discouragement. With a problem as big as mass incarceration it is hard to know what you can do personally to help make any changes in the system. Despite those few difficulties, I did enjoy reading it and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about mass incarceration of people of color in the United States. It is truly eye-opening. a

Did you know? According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, In 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed, as well as 48,530 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer in women in the U.S. Breast cancer cases diagnosed at a localized stage have a 5-year survival rate of 99%. Be sweet to yourself this Valentine’s Day — annual screenings and early detection are still the best protection!

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Banking in the Time of COVID FEATURE | Finance

By Lauren Caggiano

In the age of COVID-19, you can never be too careful, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise your banking experience. As many banks and credit unions closed their lobbies in the spring to prevent the spread of the virus, this presented an opportunity for them to offer safe alternatives to inperson interactions. Institutions like STAR Financial Bank allow customers to take care of their financial affairs without having to set foot in a branch. For instance, STAR’s interactive teller machines (ITMs) — located throughout northeast and central Indiana — make it possible to manage one’s personal and business finances in a contactless context. However, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the interpersonal element many appreciate about the traditional banking environment. “When you drive up, you actually speak with a banker through video,” said Anna Chambers, marketing project coordinator. “And I think we’ve all learned this past year that those video interactions can really supplement, if not replace, a lot of face-to-face interactions. So those interactive teller machines allow us to work with our clients face-to-face without people having to actually meet in person. Beyond those, we have online banking tools like remote deposit capture. Our clients can bank from home or wherever they are.”

The fact that these ITMs are staffed by bankers means they’re more qualified to dive deeper into your financial concerns or questions. Plus, the technology is protected through security protocols, so you can rest easier knowing your personal information likely won’t be compromised. But what if you would prefer to engage in person? Chambers said the ITMs aren’t the only solution. “We don’t think the ITMs are going to replace you being able to do anything on your phone,” she said. “It’s more or less that we want to give our customers as many options on how they want to bank.” Whether STAR or another bank of choice, Chambers said it’s important to find a financial institution that works for your lifestyle. National banks might not be as invested in the local company as say community banks, which by definition serve a small and specific geographic area. The latter tends to place more of a focus on strengthening the economy of their service area. “When you bank with us your money stays in Indiana,” said Chambers. “It stays in building Fort Wayne, whereas when you bank with some other larger bank, you don’t know if your money is staying in your state and helping your own community. It might be going to San Francisco or Dallas or wherever and helping build that community. So that’s another perk or a benefit of going with a community bank.” She added that smaller banks, though without a national presence, often have the chops to offer a sophisticated digital payment solution. Think a digital wallet, which offers consumers greater security. In a recent report, consulting firm Accenture forecasts nearly 420 billion transactions worth $7 trillion are expected to shift from cash to cards and digital payments by 2023 – and increase to $48 trillion by 2030. a

Resource: STAR Financial Bank, Fort Wayne, 888.395.2447,

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FEATURE | Motherhood

Teen Dating Violence

by Jaclyn Youhana Garver

Tasha Sare was curious about the current statistics around teen dating violence, so she looked at some reputable websites and studies. One finding said one in three teens will experience dating violence. Another said one in four. Another, one in seven. Dating violence is both underreported and, seemingly, more prevalent. However, it’s not that there’s more dating violence today. “Instead, thanks to the Internet, there are more ways to inflict abuse than there were 20 years ago,” says Sare, the youth coordinator at the Center for Nonviolence in Fort Wayne. With reliable statistics so tough to find, it can feel overwhelming to know if a teen needs help. What are the warning signs of dating violence? How can a parent help?

Know how to ID dating violence One of the biggest red flags of dating violence is jealousy. This can come across in a number of ways: You’re cheating on me … You can’t hang out with your friends or family… Stay with me instead … Let me check your phone to see who you’re texting … “Jealousy can extend to isolation, invasion of privacy and control,” says Maria Hogle, a victim advocate and facilitator at the Center for Nonviolence.

But many not only miss jealousy as a warning sign—they don’t think it is one. “Films ranging from romantic comedies to Disney movies set up jealousy as a positive thing,” Sare says. They boast the message, “If somebody’s jealous, it means that they care about you. It means that they love you.” “To break that down and have a real relationship with a teenager, especially young women, those are some of the most difficult conversations I can remember having over my tenure at the center because they become so defensive because they don’t want to let go of that idealized fantasy that jealousy equals love,” Sare says.

How parents can help “It’s a tightrope balance for parents between being supportive and being aware of the signs that a teen may be experiencing dating violence,” Sare says. Seeing a teen disconnect might be expected, but that will only worsen if a parent, for example, forces a teen to stop seeing a romantic partner.

Using a resource like the Center for Nonviolence can help, in part because it can be easier for teens to listen to and hear someone who is not a loved one, someone they know isn’t reacting personally but simply passing along information. The information is more likely to stick if the teenager is on board. “When I’ve talked to teens, those who come of their own accord and want to get some help are more receptive about talking about boundaries and talking about what they would want in a healthy relationship, versus those who are forced by their parents,” Hogle says, She suggests that parents be open—and that they accept the facts. More than 80% of parents say their teenagers are not dating. If a teenager says, “I’m dating someone,” it’s important for parents to believe them. She also says that it’s OK not to have all the answers. It’s not up to a parent or loved one to fix a situation alone. “Parents can also seek support and understanding,” Hogle says. “(They can) read up on stuff, do their own research, reach out to other organizations.” a

Resource: Center for Nonviolence, | FEBRUARY GLO 2021 |


FEATURE | We Love Your Style

WeLove YourStyle


By Amber Bouthot

Welcome to our new feature. Each month, we will highlight someone whose style we admire. This month, it’s Mariah Knight. Mariah is a fulltime freelance graphic designer and art director. She’s an avid cook, reader, plant-collector, gardener and dog mom to Moxi and Lego.

Tell us a little about each of the areas you chose to highlight. Why did you choose them? What makes them your faves? I chose to highlight my living room/library, sunroom and a mural I painted in my hallway. My living room features my library, a collection of over 700 books, large windows and a fun blue couch. It is a great place to go and relax or take a nap. Books are very important to me, and this room is a great place to display them, as well as the perfect place to read. My sunroom is an open white space, and in the summertime, it is full of plants. It’s the first thing people see when they come over. It is a magical place to be when it is raining; it is very loud on the clear paneled roof. Finally, I chose to include the mural I painted in my hallway. The back part of our home is very clean and white compared to the deep wood paneling that covers the rest of the house. It needed something fun, modern and mid-century to tie it all together. The mural was a blast to paint and will not be going away anytime soon.

When you think of your home, what’s the feeling you hope your family and visitors have?

How would you describe your style? The architecture of my house is definitely mid-century modern-inspired, and I attempt to buy a few things that fit with that. Other than that, it’s mostly eclectic, bright and minimal. I purchase and decorate with what I want around and what I enjoy, rather than a specific style. Books, plants, fun rugs, colorful art and dog hair are my go-tos. 22


Comfort, relaxation and inspiration are definitely comments I like to receive about our home. We joke that it is our vacation home and have decided that it is most likely our forever home. Because of that, we try to make it feel like our personalities — laid back but unique and unexpected.

What’s your favorite color? I’m an artist — I like all colors for different reasons and applications. But when it comes to design and decor, a deep emerald green is always a front runner. a

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ALL ABOUT YOU | Glo-roscopes



By Julie Young

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)

Leo (July 23 - August 22)

As the most open and honest sign, those who love you know that “what you get is what you see.” Jennifer Lopez’ “I’m Real” should kick off any Valentine’s playlist and its lyrics are a must-read manifesto by anyone who is drawn to you.

Because you are dramatic by nature, when you decide to express yourself, only an over-the-top gesture will do. Valentine’s Day may find you breaking out a retro boom box and holding it over your head as Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” warbles through the woofers. Here’s hoping the sentiment will be reciprocated.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

No matter if it’s good, bad or somewhere in between, you have experienced it all, which is why Aerosmith’s “I don’t Want to Miss A Thing,” describes you to a T. You feel everything so deeply that at you are naturally the one people turn to in order to help heal their broken hearts.

You prefer to keep your love life drama-free with as few arguments as possible. Because you tend to be very choosy, it may take a while to find your soul mate. However when you do, you’re all in. Express your feelings through Jewel’s gentle ballad, “What’s Simple is True.” Your Valentine is ready to commit.

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Never one for a sappy or traditional love song, you need an anthem with a heavy beat and a rebel Valentine to rock your world. The Doors’ “Light My Fire” is just the ticket for a fire sign and there is no one like the late Jim Morrison to break on through to your heart!

When it comes to your love life, you have one objective, dear Libra: Find the right person, attract them and devote yourself to making the relationship work. It’s a little bit funny, but Elton John’s “Your Song” is the perfect metaphor for your approach to romance. Don’t tip the scales by giving too much of yourself.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

As someone who plays for keeps, your Valentine is a lucky person indeed and any love song you select must be deeply romantic. “Always and Forever” by Luther Vandross or “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green are solid choices this month to convey your feelings for that special someone.

Looking to send a message to your Valentine? This is not the time to play games. Find a tune with a simple message and a great beat and let the lyrics work their magic. Consider “Skin” by Rihanna and see if your new flame picks up the hints you are dropping.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

You have a fickle reputation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a loyal companion – provided someone can keep your interest. Who is that someone? Well, someone who challenges your mind and understands your need to play. The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” fits you like a glove.

Don’t be surprised if the love of your life has trouble riddling out the meaning behind your music. While you are a free spirit who may rejoice in Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’”, they may think you are sending a very different message. You may have some explaining to do.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

It’s no wonder that Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is one of your favorite songs. There is nothing you wouldn’t do for the people in your life, whether that is family, friends or a special someone. This Valentine’s day, be there for a broken-hearted friend. a

When it comes to expressing your feelings, sometimes a simple statement is the best way to go. Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” is nurturing and protective, while still being powerful and profound. Besides, can you ever go wrong with the King of rock and roll? We don’t think so. 26


Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)

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