We all know how harmful the sun’s rays can be to our skin. And, while cancer isn’t a concern to our hair, it’s important to treat our tresses right. Summer can wreak havoc on the health and luster of our mane, exposing it to dryness, frizz, lightening effects, and brittle ends, not to mention saltwater and chlorine. But finding the right products for your needs (Do you color? Are you prone to dryness? Do you go heavy on products?) is half the battle. Here, local experts narrow down the massive offerings on the market with their favorite products for keeping hair healthy and fabulous all summer long. 14
All products are available locally at Volume Salon and Viaggio Salon & Spa
Muscle up - live fit.
Time for a reality check
By James Campbell Simply Hers Magazine
Well, hello again, fellow PRIMEates!! Last we spoke, I talked about certain processes, or factors, that went along with the training piece in order to help achieve goals and therefore drive results. Let’s be honest, when you put in the work you want the pay out. Who wouldn’t?? That’s a sign, or banner, if you will, to show how dedicated we are to ourselves and our goals. In turn, you may motivate someone else to put in the dedication for themselves. Making the world a more fit one, one person at time. This always starts with the individual. Let’s shift gears a bit, let’s talk reality. No pun, I really mean reality . . . reality TV! There seem to be more and more shows popping up these days on miracle transformations. It makes things tough for the real-life person because we start to think that this is the norm—losing some outrageous number of pounds in a crazy timeline. Don’t get me wrong, I think that these transformations are truly amazing! However, we need to keep in mind that Hollywood is going to show us all the glam and leave out much of the grunt work it took to get it. These shows have trainer-led workouts SEVERAL times a DAY and also someone watching over the participants’ shoulders with the nutrition piece as well. This obviously doesn’t transfer to 99% of the general public. So, what are we left to think? How are we to gauge realistic goals against the those in the glam of TV land? Again, it’s all in consistency. If you’re losing 1-2.5 lbs a week (that is, if you’re goal is to lose body fat), then you’re doing great! Keep it up.
Let’s say you’re losing 2 lbs each week, THAT’S 104 lbs IN A YEAR!! That’s aggressive I’ll admit, but doable. Not to mention, anyone who works with me knows that I’m an aggressive trainer! (Wink, wink!) The good thing about losing body fat/pounds at that rate is that it’s easier to maintain. On many of these shows, the weight melts off so fast and with such insane methods that it’s almost impossible to maintain once you’re reintroduced to society and asked to do it without unlimited guidance. The other thing I’ll mention here is that it gets harder and harder to lose that body fat, too. The less bodyfat you have, the stingier it becomes about leaving. That’s when it becomes a challenge for most to “fine tune” their daily regimen. However, this is where your gut check is. How badly do you want to reach those goals, because excuses are lying all around you just begging to be picked up. DON’T BE TEMPTED!! I’m rambling, sorry. Anyway, I’m not trying to bash on these reality shows (relative term, “reality”). They are, or can be, very motivating. And let’s be real, it does NOT matter why someone decides to start living a healthier lifestyle. It only matters that they decided to do it! Now I intend to help that person not only take that first step, but to stick with it, as well . . . consistently! As always, I enjoy our little talks! MUSCLE UP . . . live fit
Eat Simply and Cheap This Summer By Stephanie Gordon Simply Hers Magazine
Happy summer! I feel like we’ve waited so long for these sweet, short months. It’s the season of sunshine, warm weather, and garden vegetables and fruits. Food-wise, it’s also the season to save a few extra dollars. My family eats clean on a budget of $100/week for two adults. Our budget is slightly rising because Eloise is eating with us, and needless to say, she’s a bottomless pit. (And, so am I with another babe on the way!) Forget the pre-packaged and frozen meals this summer; start saving money AND eating clean by visiting your local farmers market. Make some time, lists and meal plans Eating clean and on a budget takes time. You have to plan, and you have to make lists. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Almost every Sunday, I grab my Against All Grain and America’s Test Kitchen cookbook and plan out my dinners for the week, leaving one evening open for going out. I look through my fridge and cupboards to make sure I have certain ingredients, spices, herbs, etc. I don’t usually plan for lunches, because I make enough dinner to have leftovers. I do keep a tub of some organic leafy greens in the fridge to put together a quick salad. If you set aside 30 minutes to an hour each week to make your shopping lists and meal plans, you’re setting yourself up for success. Stick to your list As simple as it sounds, I feel like this is where most people fail. Stick to your shopping list. If not, you’re more likely to break your budget and have more waste. If a certain food catches your eye, save it for next week and find a recipe that incorporates that food.
Start making your own dressings, condiments, and dairy-free milks It’s really easy, cheaper and doesn’t have unnecessary gums, sugars or other undesirable ingredients. A simple vinaigrette could be olive oil, some sort of vinegar, garlic, lemon and spices. There are so many recipes out there for salad dressings, homemade ranch, ketchup, barbeque sauce, coconut milk, almond milk, etc. The possibilities are endless. So, what do I do each week? I meal plan. I head to my local butcher and stock up on bacon for breakfasts and meats for dinner. Going to a butcher is going to cost you much less than grocery store prices. Plus, the quality of meat is going to be better. I get eggs from a local farm, and splurge on organic eggs at the grocery store during the winter months. I ENVY those who live in warmer climates and have access to year round farmers markets. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR RESOURCES. You will save money. During the summer, my food supply seems to be more plentiful because we have a small garden, grow our own herbs and buy most of our fruits and veggies from the farmers market. It’s really simple: keep it simple, keep it clean. You can make eating clean expensive if you don’t plan, but if you use your resources and make time to plan out your meals for the week, I promise you can eat very reasonably. Summer months are your friends. Take advantage of everything the summer has to offer!
Exit Strategy After three long years, the time has come for me to begin thinking about gracefully exiting out of Boomtown, USA.
By Ashley Price Simply Hers Magazine
My partner and I are considering a move to North Carolina so he can go back to school for aquaculture facilities (fish farming). Eventually we plan to move back to Michigan and start a fish farm in the Hillsdale County area. This is the first time I’ve ever made a decision based on someone else. It’s a little scary, but in a good way. It’s a good feeling to be committed to someone and to help him achieve his goals in life. It’s nice to have that partner in crime. I’ve never had that before. And hey, I could handle living on a beach for a couple of years! Although I’m very excited for a new chapter in our lives to begin, there is still the issue of this huge amount of debt I need to be concerned with. So I’ve made an “Exit Strategy,” if you will. The goal here is to get rid of some of my monthly obligations every which way I can. I know I probably won’t be making the money I make in Williston when I move, so it’s really important to have my monthly debt under control. Here is the list I made; -Get health insurance through my company -Reconsolidate my student loans -Sell my car (to get out of my car payment and a large insurance bill) -Buy a vehicle for $6000 or less -Pay off the remainder of my consumer debt -Bank at least $5,000 in savings
I’ve already managed to notch some of these items off of my list. After a month of hard work and what seemed like an act of God, I was able to reconsolidate my student loans. Also, I was able to sell my car and to buy a cheaper, used vehicle within the budget I had set for myself. And, finally, I was able to get health insurance through my work. I’m already saving right around $800 a month. That is such a huge relief off of my shoulders! Totally worth it! Now all that is left to do is to take care of my consumer debt and to save, save, save! It just goes to show that if you have a solid plan and you write it down, you can accomplish it with hard work and determination. This gives me hope that I will be able to put a plan in action to start taking care of my long-term debt. It is possible, it will just take time and patience. Lots of time. And lots of patience. It’s going to be hard leaving the security Williston has provided, and, although I didn’t achieve my initial lofty goals, I have made a really good life here. Good job, nice apartment, great friends and I make a really good living. They say money isn’t everything, but it’s a really hard, unsettling feeling walking away from it all. But, life begins outside of our comfort zone, right? And, to be honest, I may never be motivated enough to pursue my writing career if I stay within this comfort zone. Leaving the oil patch will definitely be bittersweet to say the least. All I really know is that I’m excited about something again. I’m bursting at the seams to make this new start and continue my mission of finding my True North. And isn’t that what life’s all about?
Set Goals and Spark Something Special in Your Relationship In order for a relationship to be satisfying, those involved in it must set clear goals for it. Most people go into relationships with a vague idea of what they want out of it. When pressed, they often are unable to specify their goals for the relationship in the long term.
Prioritize Combine your lists, organizing them by individual, joint and family goals. Prioritize each area and then the list as a whole, ensuring that you give each person’s respective individual goals equal attention.
According to Phillip C. McGraw, aka Dr. Phil, that “go with the flow” free-spirit thing probably isn’t working. Instead, it’s time to put goal management to work at home. McGraw says that to create a goal plan to strengthen your relationship, couples should evaluate what’s already good about their relationship and deal with what’s not.
Get specific Once you’ve zeroed in on the most important goals, get specific about how you will achieve them together. For each goal, even an individual one, both members should play a role. Couple goal setting is as much about achieving your actual goals as it is about strengthening your bond.
In his 2001 classic, Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting with Your Partner, Dr. Phil discusses what he calls personal relationship values. Here are three: 1. Own Your Relationship: “Owning your relationship means that you accept responsibility for creating your own experience. You are the architect of your thoughts. You choose the attitudes that you bring into the relationship.… And you choose how you act and how you react to your partner in your relationship.” 2. Accept Your Partner: “The need for acceptance is so profound that I would venture to say that most, if not all, issues that cause conflict in a relationship ultimately come down to one or both partners feeling rejected—and, in turn, wanting to feel accepted.” 3. Promote Your Partner’s Self-Esteem: “Now, you must resolve to interact with your partner in a way that protects or enhances their self-esteem. This is about bringing the spirit of acceptance into affirmative, interactive action.” Here are a few simple steps to setting relationship goals:
Make a list First, individually (and privately) create a list of goals. Set an appointment with each other to share your lists, making sure you have ample time to truly search your soul and uncover what is important to you as an individual, as a couple and as a family, if applicable. Include practical and shoot-for-the-moon goals.
Be S.M.A.R.T. See if your mapped-out goals pass the time-tested S.M.A.R.T. test. Are your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Sensitive? If not, revise the goal and/or plan until it meets these criteria. Write them down Write down your goals and the path to achievement, clearly. Post them where you both can see them, such as on a bathroom mirror. Be flexible Be flexible with your goals. Set mini-milestones or intermediary checkpoints for reevaluation. Don’t hesitate to modify the goal or timeline as needed. Remember that progress is success. Celebrate When you reach your goals, or even sub-goals, celebrate! Celebrations help keep you motivated. As a final thought, it is important to acknowledge when things are not going in the right direction. Losing your direction can cause you to stay in a relationship even if it no longer fulfills your needs and desires. Partners can change and nothing can be done to change him or her unless they choose it, so it is important to hold on to the dreams you have for yourself and never lower your expectations in a relationship just because you want to stay with your partner. Neither of you should have to lower your expectation for the other; simply co-existing is not a healthy way to walk through life.
Simply Hers takes our readers to the waterways visiting neighboring Michigan locations.
trip on a tank —
Something for all in the Bay area
By Sarah Gray, Simply Hers Magazine
Looking for some quiet solitude floating down the Saginaw River or the big excitement of a three-day fireworks festival? Michigan’s Bay area has all that and so much more. “There is so much to do,” says Lori Amo, Great Lakes Bay Region General Tourism and Niche Markets Manager. “There is something for everybody.” Located two and half hours northeast of Hillsdale and Adrian, the tri-cities of Bay City, Saginaw and Midland are all located within 20 minutes of each other and offer a multitude of entertainment for a day, a weekend or a week-long vacation. Other major cities in the region are Birch Run, Chesaning and Frankenmuth. “We’ve got the sun, the water, there is really so much here,” Amo says. “You can play inside, play outside, relax or be entertained. Plus, our location is very affordable.” Those who like to celebrate Independence Day in style should not miss Bay City’s Fireworks Festival July 2-4. The three-day event features a familyfriendly carnival along with a huge fireworks display July 2 and 3 with the grandest fireworks July 4. Climb aboard the Appledore Tall Ship schooner or Princess Wenonah for a dinner cruise, stargazer cruise or entertainment cruise through the bay. Visit the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum—the USS Edson permanently moored at Bay City. The Forrest Sherman-class destroyer was commissioned November 7, 1958, and was prevalent in the Vietnam War. It was decommissioned December 15, 1988, and brought to Bay City in 2012.
Searching for a great deal? The Bay area has many fun places to see and things to do that give visitors plenty of bang for the buck. Dow Gardens in Midland is a beautiful 110 acre retreat filled with breathtaking gardens, ponds, a maze and an awardwinning children’s garden. Admission is just $5 for adults, $1 for children 6-17 and children under five are free. The Castle Museum of Saginaw County History is an impressive building in downtown Saginaw and the only one of its kind. Originally built as a post office in 1898, the French Chateau castle was inspired by the early French settlement
of the Saginaw Valley. The building is now a historical museum for the county and includes period rooms, a Lego exhibit, archeological findings from throughout the county and a large train exhibit. Admission is just $1 for adults and 50 cents for children. Bay City’s Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum houses the largest collection of fire trucks in the world. The museum also includes more than 12,000 antique and collectable toys including a room dedicated to all things NASCAR. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for children 5-17 or purchase a family pass for $15. It’s best to call ahead and make a reservation. The Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square in Saginaw is a lovely eightacre zoo featuring animal exhibits, gardens, a handcarved carousel and train rides. Admission is $5 per person. Enjoy great outdoor entertainment by catching a Great Lakes Loons baseball game at Dow Diamond in Midland or many of the free outdoor summer concerts throughout Midland, Saginaw and Bay City. Looking for something a bit quieter? The Saginaw National Wildlife Refuge is more than 9,800 acres of marsh, forests and grasslands and is one of the largest and most productive wetland systems in Michigan. The Tridge in Midland is a three pronged foot bridge spanning the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers. Bike along the rail trail, take a turn at the skate park or rent a canoe and meander down the river. The Bay area also features four championship golf courses. Take in some culture at Saginaw’s Japanese Cultural Center and Teahouse, the only authentic tea house in the Midwest and one of the most authentic Japanese Gardens in North America. Midland is the home of famous architect Alden B. Dow who studied with Frank Lloyd Wright. His home and studio are a National Historic Landmark which can be visited by making a reservation for a tour. There is so much to see and do, Amo suggests everyone needs to come and see it for themselves. “We have a bit of everything,” she says. For more information about the Bay area, visit the Great Lakes Bay website at gogreat.com.
Probate: What is it and How Does it Work?
By Timothy E. Dixon Simply Hers Magazine
Timothy E. Dixon Licensed Michigan Attorney Law Office of Timothy E. Dixon 27 N. Broad St. Hillsdale, MI 49242 Ph: (517) 437-4070 Fx: (517) 437-4062
Many of us have heard horror stories about probate, which often depict the probate process as burdensome and expensive. These stories originated from all fifty states; however, most of these stories do not apply to Michigan. In Michigan, the probate process is usually streamlined and not as grueling as suggested. This article will briefly touch upon probate in Michigan and the role of the personal representative, also known as the executor. Probate is a process of validating a deceased person’s will, if any; appointing a personal representative; identifying and inventorying the deceased person’s property; identifying the deceased person’s debts and taxes; paying administration costs, debts and tax obligations; and distributing the remaining property to those persons entitled to receive it. The personal representative of the estate handles all these matters, usually with guidance from an attorney. There are four types of probate processes in Michigan: the small estate, informal unsupervised estate, formal unsupervised estate, and formal supervised estate. The main difference between these estates is the amount of court involvement. Understandably enough, the more court involvement the estate requires, the greater the probate costs. The first step towards increasing court involvement is moving from informal to formal, which requires at least one hearing. The second step towards increasing court involvement is moving from unsurpervised to supervised, which requires multiple hearings. The small estate may currently be used when the value of the probate estate is $22,000.00 or less, after deducting funeral expenses. If the probate estate is more than $22,000.00 after deducting funeral expenses, one of the other probate estate types must be used. The first
type, the informal unsupervised estate, does not usually require court hearings. However, court hearings may occur under this estate if a beneficiary disagrees with the personal representative’s decisions or the personal representative seeks court instruction for a particular decision. The informal unsupervised estate is the typical probate estate process used in Michigan. The second type, the formal unsupervised estate, usually does not require court appearances beyond court hearings to determine the validity of a will, identify heirs, or to approve the final accounting and estate distribution. In contrast to the preceeding types of estates, the last type of estate, the formal supervised estate, requires court hearings throughout the process. The personal representative is responsible for closing the decedent’s life – meaning that he or she settles financial matters and makes distributions. The court appoints the personal representative according to the decedent’s will, or the order established under the laws of Michigan. The personal representative will be issued Letters of Authority by the court. This document empowers him or her to speak with individuals, banks and credit unions, insurance companies, creditors, etc. regarding the decedent’s assets and debts. He or she can also open an estate account, enter into contracts on behalf of the estate, and perform other acts that only the decedent could perform prior to his or her death. All in all, the probate process in Michigan is fairly straightforward and not as expensive and cumbersome as some of the stories from other states would suggest.
This story is the first of a three-part series Simply Hers is featuring about homelessness in our community. The first piece will focus on awareness, the second on the homeless individual and the third will look into the additional issues that face people who are homeless. For many, the visuals that come to mind when they think about the homeless are shopping carts, cardboard boxes and raggedy clothing. We get those perceptions from television shows and movies where homelessness is shown on the streets of New York City, Los Angeles or Miami. The truth is, however, that there are homeless right here in our community. They may not be pushing around a shopping cart of their belongings, but they are here and they are in need. “People don’t believe we have homeless people here, but we do,” says Maxine Vanlerberg, Director of Homeless Prevention and Assistance for Community Action Agency in Hillsdale and Jackson County. “We have people living in tents or campers, people living in storage units, in barns and even in the parks.” Homelessness comes in many forms, but the federal government defines it as people living in shelters, on the streets or places not meant for habitation such as a car. In 2014, Vanlerberg says the county served 186 homeless people, 19 of whom were chronically 48 50
homeless. The county is also required to conduct a point in time count once a year, the last Wednesday in January. This year the count took place in January 28 and counted 34 homeless people, 13 of whom were under 18, and one veteran. In Lenawee County, the point in time count found 128 homeless people: 49 were children and six veterans including one female veteran. In 2014, Lenawee County served 616 homeless people. Khris Henson-Jones, Executive Director of Housing Help of Lenawee, says the number of homeless people has not changed all that much in the last five years. “Our shelters are always full,” she says of the multiple locations homeless people can go in Lenawee County. “We don’t want anyone out on the street regardless of the reason.” Emergency shelter is available in both Hillsdale and Lenawee counties to those who have an immediate need. Hillsdale County’s Community Action Agency runs Opportunity House which has several bedrooms downstairs and an apartment upstairs for men or couples. Housing Help of Lenawee has two family shelters, and there is also a shelter for domestic violence victims and a men’s shelter available in the county, as well. For both counties, however, the shelters are only temporary solutions. The goal is to locate resources
Bringing awareness to youth
by Sarah Gray, Simply Hers Magazine
hat better way to bring awareness about homelessness in our community than to experience it first hand? The Y.O.U.T.H (Youth Opportunities Unlimited Throughout Hillsdale), a student-led community and leadership group through the Hillsdale County Community Foundation recently held a 36-hour Homeless Simulation Challenge in Hillsdale to understand better what it is like to be homeless. Kelsey Lantis, president of Y.O.U.T.H, said the group recently completed a needs assessment for the county and found homelessness among the top problems facing the county with close to 300 youth not having a steady place to stay. “We were surprised, and we wanted to bring attention to the issue,” she says. “We felt [the homeless simulation challenge] would have a big impact.” Students from every school in the county participated in the event.
The simulation began June 26 with the each of the groups learning they were being evicted from their homes. The groups were comprised of about six students and two adult leaders. The groups then began to navigate the processes needed to find housing for them. Lantis says the groups needed to find ways to get food and shelter with only the clothes on their backs and a backpack. The students were not allowed to bring food or have electronics. “I am happy our young people are getting a better understanding of homelessness,” says Amber Yoder, Communications Officer with the Hillsdale County Community Foundation. She adds the event was completely youth-driven and a 100 percent simulation. “Hopefully, the event brought some awareness to adults as well.” Lantis says the group recorded the event and will be sending it to the state to help bring awareness of the issue of homeless youth in the community and throughout the state. She hopes this unique hands-on approach will having a lasting effect on the participants. “I hope we will all have a better understanding of homelessness and have a better awareness of the needs of others.” The Hillsdale Academy graduate adds the youth of the community did a simulation like this back in 2004, but she has not heard about other ones like this in the state. “We have had homeless awareness days before, but we felt an event like this would bring more impact. Knowing there are quite a few youth who do not have steady housing to live and have to go to the Salvation Army for assistance will make us more sensitive to others.” 52
5splash summer paint projects to create a
With the arrival of warm summer temperatures, it’s time to brighten the home with sensational summer shades. And, it’s easy to add a pop of vibrant color with a little spritz of spray paint. Painting is a project that even a first time DIYer can feel confident doing. With the right spray paint, you can revive and refresh items you already have to achieve results that look like they were done by a professional.
Are you ready to add some color to your world? Here we go... Marvelous mailbox It’s one of the first things guests see as they arrive at your home, and one of the last things they’ll often focus on - the mailbox. If your mailbox is showing rust or the paint is peeling off the post, it’s time for an update. You should choose a paint that offers corrosion resistance, so your mailbox update looks good now and for seasons to come.
Pretty patios Summer also means picnics on the patio. And, luckily, you don’t need to buy new furniture to make your outdoor space look new. Instead, breathe life into your existing wood, metal or plastic furniture with a fresh coat of spray paint. With dozens of colors on the market, you can create a stylish new look that will also hold up to the outdoor elements.
Gorgeous grills By nature of their use, grills and fire pits get dirty quickly. But they can easily achieve a makeover with spray paint. Be sure to choose a product which can withstand extreme temperature swings. This will keep it looking designer-beautiful all year long. Sassy shelves While the warm weather offers a variety of new activities, it also means more stuff needing to be stored. To keep the garage looking a bit more organized, shelves are an excellent spot to house anything from watering cans to soccer balls. No need to
buy new - an old microwave cart or plastic shelves can easily be painted and repurposed to create instant organization. Start by cleaning the surfaces and then paint them to achieve a finished look. Soon you’ll have some sassy-looking shelves that will add some garage organization sanity.
Tricked-out toys Have the kids’ toys seen better days? Or does the hand-me-down pink bike now need to look a bit boyish? Spray paint to the rescue. With a few coats of paint, you can transform your bike from bleak to chic instantly. Who knew that it could be as simple as grabbing a few cans of spray paint to brighten your surroundings and your mood?
Are summer’s sizzling temperatures causing you to retreat from your favorite outdoor spaces? Decks, patios and other outdoor areas should be enjoyed throughout the year, but heat, sun and humidity can quickly make being outside intolerable during the dog days of summer. The good news is that keeping outdoor spaces comfortable and cool doesn’t have to be a challenge - in fact, it can be quite simple.
popular wrought-iron and metal furniture can become griddle-hot in the summer sun. Cut the burn and maximize furniture use all year long by covering metal furniture with cushions made from a durable, breathable material like cotton. Or, if it’s time to invest in new furniture, opt for pieces made from alternative materials like wicker, light-colored plastic and wood that tend to reflect the sun and stay cooler to the touch.
Beat the heat and take back your favorite outdoor areas by utilizing these helpful solutions to some of the most common challenges of being outdoors during hot weather:
Challenge: Blistering flooring Solution: Shade and rugs Summer weather can heat outdoor flooring to blistering temperatures, making it nearly impossible to go barefoot outside. Bring the heat down to toe-safe temperatures with shade and outdoor rugs in light colors that reflect the sun. Not only do rugs in pastel shades keep feet comfortable, they also add some color to brighten outdoor spaces in cheery summer shades. Opt for one large area rug or place a few smaller rugs throughout the space where foot traffic is heaviest. Bonus: rugs help collect sand and dirt from feet so less gets tracked inside.
Challenge: Scorching sun Solution: Strategic shading Shade can reduce heat considerably, but in order to maximize the effect shade has on your outdoor space, evaluate sun patterns to identify the hottest areas. After doing so, you can strategically implement shade features for maximum effect. For example, umbrellas and awnings add instant shade and ambience when placed to block the noon sun. Trees and shrubs provide a permanent solution that grows and fills in over time - good for afternoon sun and privacy. Vine-covered trellises offer a seasonal solution that blocks sunlight and aligns well with the natural elements outdoors. Challenge: Sweltering temperatures Solution: Portable evaporative coolers Even with shade, outdoor heat can be unbearable. Fortunately, you can quickly cool outdoor spaces like patios, garages, greenhouses and work areas with evaporative coolers. These products use water and the ambient air in order to cool an outdoor space. The best part? They won’t leave you wet like misters or simply blow around hot air like a fan. Challenge: Uncomfortable furniture Solution: Cushions/new materials Furniture is a necessary part of a comfortable, inviting outdoor environment - even if it’s just a few chairs for relaxing. The problem is
Challenge: Phantom heat Solution: Seek the source If you feel like you’ve done everything possible to cut heat but your outdoor spaces are still uncomfortable, look for phantom heat sources. For example, grilling is a popular summertime activity, but grills put off a ton of heat even after they have been turned off. Try moving the grill away from lounging areas and downwind from where people are located and see if it helps reduce the heat in your area. Any other appliances that produce heat - like mini fridges in outdoor kitchens - should be energy efficient and located a comfortable distance from where people congregate. Hot weather challenges can be frustrating. A few simple steps today can help lower the temperature in outdoor spaces so your family can enjoy time outside even during the hottest days of the year.
Make Mosquitoes Miserable Love being outdoors but sick of those annoying, blood-sucking mosquitoes? Put down the sprays and nets; here are thirteen different plants you can grow that’ll help keep the mosquitoes away. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) Mosquitoes hate the lemony scent of this plant. With some patience, you can easily grow this plant in your garden. You just have to buy stalks easily available in the market. Lemongrass prefers good drainage and full sun. However, it’s important to understand that this beautiful tropical plant does not tolerate freezing temperatures. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) For some gardeners, this is a perennial. For others, it is an annual plant. Catnip is considered about 10 times more effective than DEET for repelling mosquitoes. However, this plant has a tendency to be quite invasive. If it’s in the garden bed, cats can crush this plant. But you can keep a couple of them in hanging containers to avoid both problems. Marigold (Tagetes spp.) This is a sun-loving annual plant. Besides mosquitoes, this one can also repel aphids. It can be an exceptional companion plant for the vegetable garden. Marigold plants are very easy to maintain. You don’t need a lot of care to keep them healthy and flourishing. This is a border plant that offers the simplicity to collect seeds for next year’s planting. Due to this, Marigold is an excellent addition. 68
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Rosemary oil is considered heavenly to most humans. This shrub can easily repel mosquitoes, and keep your garden safe. This is one of the most attractive plants for herb and container gardens. It does not require a lot of water. In addition to this, Rosemary is also delicious, and you can use it for cooking soups, egg dishes and meat. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) This perennial plant has a somewhat silvery foliage. In most zones, this plant can be easily grown in full sun. This is one of the most unique border plants. The pungent odor of this plant can keep mosquitoes at bay. You should make sure this plant is not rubbed on your skin. Mint (Mentha spp.) Many different mint oils are excellent for repelling mosquitoes. Thus, you should keep a couple of pots filled with these aromatic and hardy plants in the garden. Mints can spread easily, and they are best cultivated in small containers. Floss Flower (Ageratum houstonianum) This is an annual plant that grows about 6-12 inches. It needs partial shade to full sun. Besides repelling mosquitoes, this plant is considered an excellent butterfly nectar plant. Cadaga Tree (Eucalyptus torelliana) As the name suggests, this is a tree. It requires full sun to grow properly. This tree can attract wildlife to your garden. However, it is effective for repelling mosquitoes.
Catmint (Nepeta faassenii) Catmint is another perennial plant to repel mosquitoes. It’s height is just about 2-3 feet. This plant is an excellent mosquito repellant. In addition to this, catmint is also a butterfly nectar plant. Your cats will just love it. Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus) This is a popular perennial plant that flourishes in the USDA zones. This plant needs partial shade to full sun. The oil from this plant is also used to produce mosquito repellant candles. Clove Tree (Syzygium aromaticum) This is another tree to repel mosquitoes. However, it’s not very tall. It needs partial shade to full sun. The flower buds of this tree produce spices, which are used in various dishes. It’s an excellent mosquito repellant. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) This is a perennial plant. It provides nectar for butterflies. The flowers can be easily dried and kept in the garden to repel mosquitoes and other insects. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) Lemon balm is a perennial plant, and requires partial shade to full sun. The leaves can be used in flavor iced and hot teas. It can also be used as a substitute for lemon peel. With these plants in your garden, it will be easier to get rid of mosquitoes, and enjoy your time in the Sun or while taking care of your garden.
Croswell Opera House announces $6.2 million renovation campaign
Calling it a transformative project that will build a strong future for performing arts in the region, the Croswell Opera House in Adrian announced a $6.2 million capital campaign on June 12. Emory Schmidt, president of the Croswell’s board of trustees, unveiled the plans in front of about 250 supporters who had gathered for the theater’s annual fundraising gala. As of the announcement date, the Croswell has raised about $2.2 million, putting the project at just over one-third of its goal, and June 12 marked the kickoff of the public phase of the campaign. “These are the plans that will put the Croswell on a strong footing for the next 150 years,” Schmidt said. Schmidt said the plans focus on three main goals: enhancing the patron experience, upgrading the Croswell’s infrastructure to modern standards, and increasing the Croswell’s sustainability by expanding the kinds of programming it can offer. Major changes that audience members will notice include: • New men’s, women’s and family restrooms on both the main floor and the mezzanine level, roughly doubling the amount of restroom space available to patrons and cutting down on long lines. • Improved accessibility for patrons with disabilities, which will be achieved by widening doors and installing an elevator from the main floor to the mezzanine level for easier balcony access. • Improved lighting positions and acoustics in the auditorium. • An expanded and renovated Heritage Room, which will be extended out to the windows overlooking Maumee Street and will become a small performance venue and lounge area. • A new “black box” performance space, which will
Top to Bottom: Croswell Opera House artistic director Jere Righter speaks about the Croswell’s $6.2 million capital campaign; Emory Schmidt, president of the Croswell Opera House board of directors, speaks about the Croswell’s $6.2 million capital campaign; Croswell Opera House volunteer and performer Allie Lewis shows one of the drawings for the Croswell’s planned renovations during the announcement of a $6.2 million capital campaign; depiction of lobby renovation. 74
double as a rehearsal room and provide space for smaller shows that don’t necessarily make sense to stage in a large auditorium. The Croswell is working with the Michigan State Historical Preservation Office to keep all of the plans in line with the historic character of the 149-year-old building. The plans have been drawn up with the assistance of Quinn Evans Architects, an Ann Arbor-based firm with extensive experience in historic theater renovations. The general contractor is KrieghoffLenawee Co. of Adrian. Jere Righter, artistic director of the Croswell, said everything that happens at the theater is “a labor of love.” From the very beginning, she said, the community and the Croswell have always been there for each other. “I think about the late ’60s, when this community banded together to save the Croswell from destruction,” Righter said. “So many people pitched in. And they didn’t just donate money. They scrubbed the floors, they painted the theater, they hauled load after load of trash to the dump. It was a lot of work. And they did it because of their love for the Croswell and their pride in a job well done. “That’s what this capital campaign is all about,” she said. “It’s about love for the Croswell, it’s about love for our community, and it’s about building something that we can continue to be proud of for many, many years to come.” For more information about the Croswell’s capital campaign and the planned renovations, call 517-263-6868 or visit campaignforthecroswell.org.
It’s summer in Michigan. And that means it’s time for the ultimate takeout. Have a picnic. Take your show on – or off – the road, and your universe of possibilities changes. Picnics are synonymous with summer. Whether it’s at the lake or at the park, in a basket or a cooler, when the warm months finally roll around, the checkered blankets are dusted off and fanned out for a feast. While kids may be the first picnic participant that comes to mind, full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, potato chips and slices of drippy watermelon, picnics can have a sophisticated flare and a romantic touch as well. Break out of the dating dinner-anda-movie rut with a romantic picnic at sunset by the lake, in a park, or even the backyard. Pack a simple sampling of cheese, meat and crackers along with a bottle of wine or sparkling cider. Dress up, bring music and pack cloth napkins and a comfy blanket to help set the romantic mood.
cooler in the trunk, consider placing in the air-conditioned car. • Bring a food thermometer. Meat should be cooked to a minimal internal temperature for safe consumption. o Chicken 165o F o Fish 145o F o Ground Beef 160o F o Eggs 160o F o Steak 145o F o Pork 145o F • Prepare perishable food at home to save on clean up and cross contamination. Perishable food should not sit out longer than one hour is the temperature is above 90o F. Below 90oF food can sit out up to two hours. Discard any leftover that have been sitting out more than 90 minutes
Bonfires are always fun for a late night summer evening, but so can a picnic. Head out late for some star gazing or check to see when the next meteor shower will be and plan ahead. Summer nights can be chilly so pack something warm like soup or hot chocolate. Candles are always and nice touch, but bring a flashlight too, just in case!
• Plan ahead and freeze lots of ice beforehand. Keep ice for drinks in a separate container from food. Food safety is important, but don’t forget a few other must haves before heading out the door. Sunscreen is a must. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends adults apply and at least one ounce of sunscreen SPF 30 or higher every two hours. Also be sure to pack some bug spray to keep the mosquitoes away and a few disposable bags for clean up.
Family picnics are always fun and one key to success is keep it simple. Premade sandwiches, carrot or celery sticks, finger fruit like grapes or strawberries and what kid doesn’t love a popsicle or watermelon slice as an after meal treat.
• Plan a menu. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this on your own. We have found some of our favorite picnicfriendly recipes and included them for you to try. Check out all of the yummy goodness starting on page 80.
Nothing can ruin a picnic faster than someone getting sick. Michigan State University Extension Office offers these tips to make sure picnic goers this summer have fun and stay healthy.
• Bring some activities. Although the adults in your party may look forward to a little after meal nap, the more active members will be ready to run off some energy. Check out some of the great outdoor DIY projects that we have found, including Giant Jenga, Kerplunk and an awesome Corn Hole game.
• Store meat & eggs at less than 40 F o
• Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. If meat is not being grilled for several hours consider bringing the meat partially frozen. Instead of putting the
Most importantly don’t forget to have fun and enjoy! That’s what picnics are all about!
Checklist — You might not need everything, but here’s a list to consider: FOOD DRINK COOLER BASKET PORTABLE GRILL PICNIC BLANKET OR TABLECLOTH FOLDING Table & CHAIRS ANTI-BACTERIAL GEL OR WIPES BUG SPRAY SUNSCREEN UMBRELLA SERVEWARE/PLATES/CUPS TONG, BIG SPOONS & SERVING DISHES NAPKINS/PAPER TOWELS CONDIMENTS BOTTLE OPENER/CORKSCREW TRASH BAG FUN STUFF: FRISBEES, FOOTBALL ETC
Looking for a shortcut to a great picnic menu? Here are some of our favorite local eateries that have just what you need for a perfect picnic:
Artesian Wells US 12 & US 127, Cement City, MI Cavoni’s Pizza & Grinders 256 Carleton Rd, Hillsdale, MI Cottage Inn Pizza 182 W. Carleton Rd Hillsdale
House of BBQ & Pizza 350 Hillsdale St., Hillsdale MI State Street Market 146 State Street Hillsdale British tea garden 112 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh THE DAILY GRIND 139 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh PENTAMERE WINERY 131 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh 77
Our creative contributor for this issue is Melissa from A Happier Homemaker.com Here is what she had to say: This week’s post has been a few weeks in the making but I’m so excited to share it now that it’s finished! My hubby and I have been hard at work making this DIY Corn Hole game set! With the summer finally here we really wanted to have something to keep the family outside on the weekends. Both my husband and myself as well as our boys have been getting a ton of use out of them!
1. Attach the plywood to the top of each frame with screws, again predrilling the pilot holes. We used 8 screws total to attach the top-one centered along each short end and three on each long end-one at the center and the other two about 4” from each end. 2. Next it’s time to drill the hole in the board. Measure to the middle of your board (12” from each side) and 9” down from the top and mark this spot. Center the bit on your hole saw on this mark and take your time with the saw to create your circle.
PROJECT: Corn Hole Boards SKILL LEVEL: Beginner TIME: 2 Hours WHAT YOU’LL NEED 2– 2 x 4-foot sheet of ¾-inch plywood 3– 2 x 4 studs at 8 feet in length 4– 4-inch long 3/8-inch carriage bolts 4– 3/8-inch nuts 4– 3/8-inch lock nuts 8– 3/8-inch fender washers box of 3 inch deck screws 6” hole saw 3/4” spade bit drill jigsaw circular saw
Step- by-step Instructions Cut the studs into (4) 4’ pieces to make the long sides of the cornhole frame and (4) 21” pieces to make the short sides of the board frames. Position the 21” wood section inside either 4’ piece to create your frame. Predrill pilot holes before using the 3” screws to attach the pieces-this helps prevent the wood from splitting.
3. To create the legs cut (2) 11” long pieces of 2 x 4 studs and miter one end to a 25 degree angle. Round the opposite end of the leg with a jigsaw. Sand the rounded end until smooth-the rounded portion allows the legs to fold in when the board isn’t in use. Measure to the center of the rounded end and drill a hole with your spade bit. The game is supposed to sit 12” off the ground at it’s highest point so mock it up to figure exactly where to drill the hole to get the proper height with the legs fully extended. By doing this you can mark the appropriate spot on the framed board as well and drill a coordinating hole on the frame with the spade bit also. After all the holes are drilled line up your legs and board and push your bolt through, attaching with the fender washer, nut, and lock nut on the interior. At this point the boad is finished. Although, applying a weather resistant finish will extend the life of your game and showing your team colors adds som competitive spirit to the game.
Local women's lifestyle magazine serving Branch, Hillsdale and Lenawee counties in Michigan.