Page 1

NOV/DEC 2018


it’s a woman thing! BRANCH/HILLSDALE/LENAWEE





Decorating surviving Holiday stress

plus great HOLIDAY recipes



This year, skip the electronics and give them more... friends MORE







February 15-17 Arrive at 6:00 pm Depart at 1:00 pm Cost: $75 (ages 6-12)

December 30 - January 1 Arrive at 1:00 pm Depart at 1:00 pm Cost: $75 (ages 6-12)

Join us as we bring in the New Year in style. We will climb Goliath, ride the Giant Swing, and make your own pizza!

• Ride the Giant Swing • Climb Goliath • Sledding • Create awesome crafts • Silly Skits • Games • Campfire Songs • Make S'mores • Make snow sculptures • Snow carnivals

• Make your own pizza • Ping Pong • Foosball • Snow Ball Games • Ice Hockey • Make Friends • Make Memories

Enjoy a fun-filled weekend at Kimball Camp. We will go sledding, climb Goliath, ride the Giant Swing, and play fun games.

EduCatIonal day PRoGRaMS FoR SCHoolS : GRadeS K - 8 tRadItIonal tHanKSGIvInG

teaches the history of the Pilgrims

InteRnatIonal CHRIStMaS

teaches the history of Christmas traditions.


GiFt CArDS AvAilAblE

Students play games from the “wild west”, make a craft and even go on a hay ride.

Contact for Reservations

Kimball Camp YMCA

4502 Berlin Drive | Reading | 517-283-2168

517-283-2168 office@kimballcamp.com | www.kimballcamp.com download a full brochure at www.kimballcamp.com



26 Holiday Decorations

That Won’t Bankrupt or Break You

28 Have Yourself

A Crafty Christmas

30 Pet Talk

Local Pets Show Their Holiday Spirit

32 Apps for — Holiday Planning Holiday Fun for Everyone


34 Managing Stress During the Holidays

36 Advent Spirals


Understanding the Meaning

38 Pinterest Picks

On the Cover 8

Danielle Brock Small Town Sweet Boutique

Countdown to Christmas 10 Facebook Give-Away

Gray Matters 14

The World Needs a Little More Empathy

How to Beat 16 Holiday Stress

Christmas Time is Here

40 2018 Holiday Festivals and Events Calendar

42 Recipes - COOKIES 48

42 - Basic Cookie Recipe 42 - Classic Cut-Out Cookies 44 - Star Sandwich Cookies 44 - Chocolate-Covered Crescents 44 - Layered Coconut Dream Bars 46 - Homemade Brown Sugar

Gifting Children 18


This Holiday Season

Travel 20

Ice Skating in Michigan

PSA 22

The Warming Center

Grow Where You’re Planted 24 Think Outside the Gift Box

NOV/Dec 2018

SH s I M p L Y


g! it’s a woman thin aWee Le/LeN


H e r s


DaniEllE bRock

On the Cover:



DEcoRating surviving Holiday stress


great HOLIDaY recIpes



Inside the Small Town Sweet Boutique is a happy place. Smiling faces greet customers from behind the counter and the bright and cheery atmosphere can take even the biggest frown and turn it upside down. But what may be even sweeter than any chocolate or candy-covered treat inside the business is the desire to make the world a better place outside their walls. Owner Danielle Brock and her daughter Alexandra (Ale) want to help make a difference in the community and they are trying to do just that – with candy. “We see a need in the community and we can help,” says Danielle. For more on Small Town Sweet Boutique turn to page 8.

Photo by Synergy In Motion Studios


geneRations of betteR wateR

HeffeRnan’s since 1955

Watch for our new look coming soon!


Continually striving to offer only the best service and products on the market. Our customers can look forward to only the best quality bottled water available with our new in-house water manufacturing plant!


• Purified water on-site • Fully inspected/licensed facility • State-of-the-art multi-filtration process


3275 W Carleton Road Hillsdale www.heffernansoftwater.com


From the Gals of Simply Hers, ...



s i m p lyh e r s



sales @ simplyhers . ne t




Gelzers downtown hillsdale for all your holiday needs: (Selfie Booth in December!)

517-437- 3321

For the Kitchen

Cookware • Bakeware • Stand Mixers Serving Dishes • Microwaves • Placemats Napkins • Roasters • Holiday Cookie Cutters

92-94 N. Howell Hillsdale

For the holidays

Trees • Wreaths • Candles & Rings • Doormats • Outdoor Holiday Flags • Snowmen • Angels • Wind Chimes Holiday Mugs • Specialty Glass

For the home

Sofas • Chairs • Recliners • Sectionals Dinette Sets • End Tables • Lamps Curio Cabinets & More

10% off regular price for any item pictured in this ad - quantities limited


Please thank our advertisers Without their continued commitment & support, this publication would not be possible. Artesian Wells Sports Tavern - 57 Belson Asphalt Paving, Inc. - 17 Blossom Shop - 31 Board of Public Borck Family Chiropractic - 49 Utilities - 24, 64 Bras That Fit - 21 Bretty’s - 27 Carpet Outlet Plus - 27 Cavoni’s Pizza & Grinders - 59 City of Hillsdale New Year’s Bash - 63 Classic Cabinets - 33 Coffee Cup Diner - 59 Cottage Inn - 61 Country Cottage - 21 COMMSPEC - 24 D & S Lounge - 61 DJ’s Family Restaurant - 59 Drews Place - 53 El Cerrito Mexican Restaurant - 9 Eversew Quilted - 55 Finish Line - 61 Frank Beck Chevrolet - 24 Gelzers Furniture - 7 Gene’s Service - 61 Glei’s Orchard - 53 Greener Grass Farms - 34 Heffernan Soft Water - 5 Here’s to You Pub & Grub - 45 Heffernan Soft Water - 5 Hidden Lake Gardens - 57 Hillsdale Arts Chorale - 27 Hillsdale Natural Grocery - 24 Hillsdale Business Association - 63 Hillsdale County Community Foundation - 8, 21 Hillsdale Hospice - 49 Hillsdale County Medical Care Facility - 45 Hillsdale County Medical Care Facility Craft Show - 31 Hillsdale High School Holiday Bazaar - 31 Hillsdale Hospital - 2 8

Hillsdale Medical Associates - 19 Hillsdale Rental Management - 47 Hillsdale Towing - 47 Hillsdale UB Church Annual Christmas Market - 31 JJ Western Store - 51 Jefferson Township Transfer Station - 47 Johnny T’s Bistro - 45 Karen’s Uptown Kafé - 57 Key Opportunities - 55 Kim’s Massage - 43 Kimball YMCA Camp - 3 Lifeways Community Mental Health - 39 Love, Inc. - 49 Loveberry Tree Farm - 32 Lynch Bros. Insurance - 21 M&M Smokehouse - 35 My Turn To Drive - 47 Nash Drugs - 61 New Jerusalem Christian Fellowship Craft Show - 31 North Adams United Methodist Women’s Craft Show - 31 Onsted Craftapalooza Craft Show - 31 Perennial Park - 43 Pittsford Feed Mill - 34 Ryan and Bradshaw - 47 Segue, Inc. - 39 Shea´Nanigans - 57 Silver and Rust - 15 Springvalley Trucking & Lawn Care, LLC - 24 State Farm - 53 Tammy’s Affordable Furniture, Antiques & More - 57 The Crow’s Nest - 27 The Feed Bag - 34 The Lone Ranger Café - 57 Toasted Mud - 28 Trevathan’s Sweep & Sew Shoppe - 29 Viaggio Salon & Spa - 37 Warm the Children - 39

Come Together 11.27.18 The Hillsdale County Community Foundation is proud to again host an event aimed at encouraging all of Hillsdale County to give to local nonprofits on one specific date, to be the largest single day of giving in Hillsdale County on November 27, 2018, HCCF will be hosting the Great Give. Select Hillsdale County nonprofits will be raising funds on November 27 and will be eligible for bonus pool dollars from the Foundation on this date. Please consider supporting our local nonprofits on this day with your charitable giving, as this opportunity is not to be missed! Online gifts are encouraged using the HCCF website, www.abouthccf.org; walk-in gifts will be accepted on site at 2 South Howell St. in downtown Hillsdale from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm on Giving Day, November 27.


e! Gift Certificates Availabl gs & Office Parties! Great for Small Gatherin Full-Service Bar at Both Locations!

Coldwater — 74 w. ChiCago — 517-278-4234 Hours: Mon -Thurs 11AM - 9:30 PM • Fri & Sat 11AM - 10 PM • Sun 11AM - 9 PM


on the cover

Inside the Small Town Sweet Boutique is a happy place. Smiling faces greet customers from behind the counter and the bright and cheery atmosphere can take even the biggest frown and turn it upside down.


t s e t e e Sw Giving back is the

part of

Small Town Sweet Boutique By Sarah Gray

But what may be even sweeter than any chocolate or candycovered treat inside the business is the desire to make the world a better place outside their walls. Owner Danielle Brock and her daughter Alexandra (Ale) want to help make a difference in the community and they are trying to do just that – with candy. “We see a need in the community and we can help,” says Danielle. Since opening the business in downtown Hillsdale just over a year ago, Small Town Sweet Boutique has helped a need in almost every corner of the county in some way. They are huge supporters of local schools and are quick to help with teams, clubs, and school-related programs. The business also has close ties with the several local children’s organizations. Danielle says she wants to help the community any way she can and is happy to see that her business has made an impact. “We are seeing first-hand the effect it is having on the community.” She and Ale also have big plans for the future. They have already begun planning an “Everyday Hero” event for the spring which would be open to the community to celebrate the county’s everyday heroes including police officers, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, nurses, and teachers. They are hoping to host the event with a local non-profit organization.

thought they would,” Danielle says. “Customers love the fact the bouquets are completely customizable from the ground up.” She says the bouquets have become very popular as employee gifts for the holidays, corporate gifts, and centerpieces for baby and wedding showers as well as fun and unique gifts for birthdays. This is the area where Danielle can really let her creativity shine. While they may be called gift bouquets, Danielle says she can make a candy creation in just about anything for just about anyone. “We can put candy in anything,” she says. “There is no container that is too obscure.” She says she has made bouquets in everything from clay pots to collapsible coolers. Just give her a day and she will figure it out. “We take their vision and create it,” she says. Small Town Sweet Boutique always has something in the store for last-minute shoppers, but Danielle says they prefer to talk with the customer on the phone to get a feel of what kind of candy they want in the bouquet so it can be even more special for the person receiving the gift. She says she has made bouquets completely out of Snickers or Reese’s but from a call she can also learn that if the recipient likes Hershey’s Cookies and Crème, they also probably like Oreo bars. “It’s so much easier if we can talk to them and get a feel of what they are looking for,” Ale says. Danielle adds, “Then we take their vision and create it.” Working around that much candy every day may seem like either a blessing or a curse, but Danielle says that having been around it for so long she doesn’t even look at it as candy anymore. “It’s not candy, it’s color,” she says. “I don’t look at the candy as much as the wrapper.”

Of course, all their philanthropic endeavors would not be possible without the support the community gives their store. “The better we do, the more we can give back to the community,” explains Danielle. For the past year, the business has done very well. She says almost every day they will get customers who did not know there was a candy store in Hillsdale or a regular in for their favorite afternoon treat. In addition to the regular candy bars and treats found at almost every grocery or convenience store, Small Town Sweet Boutique also offers unique and nostalgic candies that bring customers back to their youth. Cotton candy, chocolatecovered insects, Epic Gummy Bears, and tiny candy dots can all be found inside the colorful shop.

Small Town Sweet Boutique makes sure that everyone who wants to bring joy through the gift of candy is able to do so. “You can spend as little or as much as you want,” Danielle says. “You tell us what your price point is, and we can fill your need.” Last Christmas the shop sold candy-filled mugs which were a big hit as teacher or secret Santa gifts. “It’s important to have something reasonable.”

Looking for something specific? Just ask! The staff is happy to help locate that special treat from back in the day or hard to find candy no one else carries. Danielle says many customers have been asking about Black Jack chewing gum, and, while it was rumored to be out of production, she was recently told the gum was coming back and the store will again carry the brand beginning in November.

Along with Danielle and Ale, the store employs a wonderful group of women and one young man who have been with the store almost since day one. “We have a nice group and they are all very important to us.” A feature that hasn’t been well advertised in the past is that Small Town Sweet Boutique does deliveries to businesses and schools and will travel throughout the Hillsdale and Lenawee counties, call for more information.

Speaking of customers getting exactly what they are looking for, Small Town Sweet Boutique has become known for their personalized candy gift bouquets. “The bouquets took off more than we

Starting this fall, the store will begin their “winter hours” and will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or to place an order, call 517-610-5403 or send them a message on Facebook. 11

Christmas GIVE-AWAY!

Countdown to

Like us on facebook for a chance to win one of these great gifts!

Don’t be A

assured grinch RESTLove it! SWEETS Give ‘em

A pocket full of


Woman’s Leather Wallet ($38.99 value) J & J Western Store 14241 US Hwy 12, Brooklyn, 517-592-2813


Grinch Candy Pail $20 value Small Town Sweet Boutique 4 S. Howell St, Hillsdale 517-610-5403

Jonesville Lumber Gift Card (Value of $50.00) Jonesville Lumber 108 W. Chicago Street, Jonesville 985-849-2181

give them a


good christmas Gift Basket $50 Value M&M Smokehouse 4880 Hudson Rd., Osseo 517-523-2121

Warm The Heart

And Soul! TEABLOOM Celebration FloweringTea Set -  $60 Value Jilly Beans Coffee House - 2 Locations 2 N. Howell St, Hillsdale  -  517-437-3338 245 W. Chicago, Jonesville  - 517-995-5055


christmas scents are

sooo sweet!

Christmas Diffuser by Airome Includes Essential Oil - $43 value Hillsdale Hospital Gift Shop 168 South Howell, Hillsdale 517-437-5237

Countdown to christmas Keep Their


Nora Fleming serving and bakeware with dozens of decorative toppers valued at $50 Maribeths 10 North Howell St, Hillsdale 517-437-3113


Free Standard Oil Change Frank Beck Chevrolet M-99 Between Hillsdale & Jonesville 517-849-2886

serve up a little


Let it SEW, Let it SEW,

Let it SEW

$30 Gift Certificate Individual and group classes available. Trevathan’s Sweep and Sew Shoppe 47 N. Broad Street, Hillsdale 517-437-5555

Sling iron


Wash ALL of your


a “Deer” friend

Matrix Shampoo & Conditioner Liter Duo - $50 Value Viaggio Salon & Spa    2370 Hudson Road, Hillsdale  517-610-5869


PAINTINGS Just for Them

Let them

1 month FREE Open Gym $49 value Prime Fitness Studio 96 E. Carleton | Hillsdale 517-817-6475

Burton the Moose $35 value Gelzers Furniture 92-94 N. Howell, Hillsdale 517-437-3321

2 Free Kids Christmas Canvas Classes (Must call the studio to sign up for the class) Toasted Mud 74 N. Howell St., Hilladale 517-439-1677 13

Countdown to christmas


of the

Season Ultrasonic Metal Touch Oil Diffuser and a bottle of oil $44.99 value Hillsdale Natural Grocery 31 N. Broad St., Hillsdale 517-439-1397





Pearl Waterfall Necklace valued at $65 White pearls with silver accents Hillsdale Craft Supply 164 Lewis Street, Hillsdale 517-610-5193

Them Over

Make a


$25 Gift Certificate (use at either place) Hillside Lanes/Lane 17 400 W. Carleton Hillsdale 517-437-3344


style for your holidays 14

$50 Gift Certificate Devil’s Lake View Living  200 Devil’s Lake Hwy Manitou Beach 517-252-5287

$50 gift certificate to be used at the following locations on a car wash, oil change or detailing. Note not all locations have oil change and detailing services. 3295 Carleton Rd., Hillsdale - 517-439-4181 765 E. Chicago, Coldwater - 517-279-0811 1709 W. Michigan Ave., Jackson  - 517-787-6044 1312 S. West Ave., Jackson  -  517-787-4088 3511 Scheele Drive, Jackson  - 517-787-8098

Countdown to christmas


12” x 18” Personalized Santa Envelope Sign - $40 Value Need 7-10 days to personalize it with your last name. Silver & Rust • 307 W. Main St., Hudson • 517-306-7992

WE Can See Clearly Now

the rain

ale, MI 49242 ton Rd. Hillsd 49036 252 W. Carle Coldwater, MI St. go ica Ch 74 W.



Anco Winter Series Wiper Blades WX20UB or WX 22UB plus installation $30 value Performance Automotive Either location: 30 Union Street, Hillsdale 517-437-4465 490 Olds Street, Jonesville 517-849-7500


beauty of the SEASON $25 Gift Certificate Trend’s Salon & Spa 126 N. Lakeview Blvd, Manitou Beach 517-547-5544

A Gift For You


$50 gift certificate to be used at either location. El Cerrito Mexican Restaurant 252 W. Carleton, Hillsdale 517-437-7919 74 W. Chicago, Coldwater 517-278-4234

His & Her

Swag Camoflauge Microfleece Jackets for him and her - $58 value Urban Graffiti 6820 S. Bird Lake Rd. Osseo 517-594-5074.


MAGIC MISMITTS Mittens - $20 Handmade from recycled sweaters 517-320-9235




Christmas Tree — The tradition of Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments is a much disputed one what with several theories about their origin doing the rounds for a long time. The most popular theory holds that the tradition was started by a monk who came to Germany in the 7th/8th century to preach. It is said that this monk was Saint Boniface, the Apostle of the Germans.

According to history, the saint was the first one to bring a fir tree to the German people to decorate, for he claimed that its triangular shape represented the Holy Trinity - God, his son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The tradition was lapped up by the devout Germans who started decorating the Christmas tree in a liturgical way with simple, white candles. This however, changed in the 15th century when ornaments began to be incorporated into the Christmas decorations in Germany. In Latvia, circa 1510, a fir tree was decorated with roses which was associated with the Virgin Mary. This event is often hailed as the pioneer of modern Christmas decorations. In 1605, a tree in Strasbourg (a city on the Rhine in eastern France near the German border) was brought indoors and adorned with paper roses, lighted candles, wafers, nuts, and sweets. This is said to be a groundbreaking moment in the history of Christmas decorations for it kicked off a new trend, adornment of the Christmas tree in an indoor setting. With time, the decorative ornaments grew more diverse and each family used its own inventiveness to beautify the Christmas trees. Later decorations included painted eggshells, cookies, and candies. The high point came with the introduction of tinsel in 1610, an item that has been a favorite decorative item since. Tinsel was originally made with pure silver.As time passed, the


Christmas tree traditions gradually found their way into English homes where the decorations began to be more ornate what with glass beads and hand-sewn snowflakes being used to adorn the trees. With the arrival of the 1800’s, the Christmas tree tradition eventually began to invade the American homes and the rest is history.

Wishing you LOADS of health and good cheer this holiday season.


5651 Bankers rd • reading 17

how to beat

Holiday Stress!

It is that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, there is less sunlight out there, and the to-do list is getting longer. With the kids back at school and the holidays around the corner, there is a lot going on.

By Kara Wilson, PA-C

Many people experience increased anxiety during this time of year. Some even experience panic attacks. Anxiety is defined as a feeling of increased worry and nervousness typically about an upcoming event or something with an uncertain outcome. One may feel apprehensive or overwhelmed. Symptoms of anxiety and panic may include increased heart rate or palpitations, feeling short of breath or smothered, tightness in the chest, shaking or trembling, and sweating. There may be symptoms of nausea or gastrointestinal upset, too. Often, people will have a disruption in their sleep as well. There are several coping mechanisms that can be used to improve these symptoms and divert a panic attack. Two that I find work best are the Box Breathing Method and the 3-3-3 Rule. In Box Breathing or 4-square breathing, take in a slow, deep breath through your nose over a four count, then hold for a four count, then exhale through


your mouth for a four count, hold again for a four count, and repeat. Continue to repeat this a few times until you feel your anxiety releasing. The 3-3-3 Rule is used when you find yourself in a period of high anxiety or panic. You divert your thoughts by naming three objects you see, then identifying three sounds you can hear, and lastly moving three parts of your body (such as your fingers, ankle, and neck ). In general, just taking a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth helps your body to reset during times of anxiety. When you are feeling anxious repeatedly for a long period of time, it is important to be sure that you are living a healthy lifestyle. Things like nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine can worsen anxiety. Even sugar can increase anxiety. Exercise is proven to increase the release of neurotransmitters in your brain that decrease anxiety; it can be a huge stress reliever. Getting adequate rest is helpful, too. If these things are not helping, please do not be afraid to ask for help. Anxiety can feel like it is taking over your life at times, but your health care provider can assist you with getting it under control.


May your

Dan Mccance, DO

Keith BaKer, MD


be safe, happy &

rOBert e. Schall, MD

Kara WilSOn, Pa-c

rachel Gier, FnP

hannah BurKhart, FnP

Hillsdale Medical associates

hmaplc.portalforpatients.com | 1456 hudson rd. | hillsdale | 517.439.0200 | hours: mon.-fri. • 9 am - 5 pm hmaplc.portalforpatients.com | 32 s. Broad st. | hillsdale | 517.437.3361 | hours: mon - thu. • 8 am -6 pm19

gifting children

This holiday season

BY Stephanie Gordon, Simply Hers Magazine

Any parent understands my dilemma with small objects cluttering the home. I like to think I don’t have much, but that’s just denial. All the small trinkets—Legos, Shopkins, beads, blocks, dinosaurs, and crayons—are just a few of the toys and trinkets I trip over on a daily basis. As the holidays near, gifts will trickle in from relatives and friends. And, while this season is magical and happy, some parents (myself ) become overwhelmed by the number of things. Instead of the small plastic stuff that kids get bored with after a week, I love to think outside of the box and turn to all the awesome local shops here in town. As a mom who cares about your sanity and space, I’ve compiled a list of great gift ideas you can find just down the street, all while supporting a parent’s desire to receive meaningful gifts. Toasted Mud! What kid doesn’t love painting? A gift certificate to Toasted Mud is always a great idea! Not only are you supporting a local business, but you are also letting the child be creative. Simply pick a piece of pottery and paint away. This is a great rainy day activity. Movie/theater tickets! A night out with the family is something that doesn’t always happen, but movie tickets are a great gift that gets the family out of the house!

Restaurant gift cards! Seems kind of silly, but my kids love to eat out at local restaurants. We don’t always go out because going out it’s a “treat.” Support your local restaurants and pick up a Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center • Corner of Oak and College Streets few gifts cards. 20

Zoo Memberships! I adore this gift. No additional explanation needed. Craft kits! My girls LOVE slime! It’s so easy to put together slime kits. This provides hours of entertainment. All you need is clear glue, baking soda, and saline solution. Add fun glitter options to the kit. There are so many recipes on Pinterest! Books! Activity Books! My girls love books! They will sit and read new books for hours. Gift cards to Target, Amazon, etc.! My girls are starting to enjoy picking out their own clothes and shoes. Clothing is a need, and this makes it fun for them to pick out a few things they need/want. While practical gifts aren’t always fun, they are usually needed. I think most parents can understand a fun toy or two is perfectly OK. But, additional gifts should be somewhat practical. I always try to think this way when I’m gifting to a family! I know that my girls love getting out of the house and doing things, and I’m sure the special people you love do, too. Enjoy this holiday season and keep it simple. Gift with love and mindfulness and everyone will be thankful and happy. Enjoy this season with your loved ones!

Lingerie Sets

The perfect gift for the person who has everything

Perfect FiT. Perfect PriCE

BrAS ThAT FiT Mon-Fri 10 am-6 pm • Sat 10 am -3 pm 4114 Page Ave • Michigan Center 800-796-0977 | www.brasthatfit.net

Come Together 11.28.17

The Hillsdale County Community FoundaƟon is proud to again host an event aimed at encouraging all of Hillsdale County to give to local nonprots on one specic date, to be the largest single day of giving in Hillsdale County. On November 28, 2017, HCCF will be hosƟng the Great Give.

Merry Merry Select Hillsdale County nonprots will be Christmas Christmas Protect the ones you

love withfunds a company raising on November 28 and will be THE BEST LOCAL you can trust. Lynch Brothers AGENCY THE BEST LOCAL eligible for bonus poolINSURANCE dollars from the Insurance agency INSURANCE AGENCY CITY • 000-000-0000 FoundaƟon on this date. Please consider THE BEST LOCAL Licensed Agents: www.bestinsuranceagency.com INSURANCE AGENCY BIon Lynch supporƟng our local nonprots on this CITY • 000-000-0000 www.bestinsuranceagency.com sheLLIe date with your charitable giving,Lynch as this aLLIe Lynch opportunity is not to be missed! CITY • 000-000-0000 www.bestinsuranceagency.com

A gift to the Hillsdale County Community Foundation will make an impact in Hillsdale County for years to come. Every year we grant thousands of dollars to agencies and organizations that make a difference in Hillsdale County.

Your Giſt Could...  �u��or� Lo�al Communi�� �ro�e���  Memorialize or Honor a Loved One  �u��or� Con�inuin� �du�a�ion  �uali�� �or �a� Credi��


102 East Main Street • North Adams

Online gifts are encouraged using the HOLIDAY SAvIngS HCCF website, buy one personalized www.abouthccf.org; ornament, get one 1/2 off walk-in gifts will be (Expires 12/31/18) accepted on site at Hours: 2 South Howell Street Tue - Fri 10-6 • Sat by Appt. in downtown Hillsdale Walk-in Painting Available from 9:00 am until Find us on Facebook! 4:00 pm on Giving 307 W. main St., hudson November 28. Day, home decor 517-306-7992 www.silverandrusthudson.com


LOCAL Spotlight written By: michigan tourism


Ice Skating

in Michigan

ne of our favorite parts of winter is enjoying the outdoors, whether it’s skiing or sledding. But is there anything more magical than lacing up your skates and slicing the ice at an outdoor ice skating rink? Here in the Great Lakes State, our cold winter weather is ideal for this beloved seasonal activity,ik and you’ll want to lace up your skates as soon as possible. Here are seven of the loveliest outdoor skating spots throughout Pure Michigan.

Campus Martius – Detroit For a unique experience in downtown Detroit, head to The Rink at Campus Martius. The skating season begins with the official lighting of the Christmas tree in November and extends through mid-March! After skating, warm up with a hot chocolate in the Cadillac Square Lounge and take a peek in the boutique shops surrounding Campus Martius.

Greenfield Village – Dearborn Take a trip back in time and visit Greenfield Village this Christmas season. The village is filled with cheer as carolers line the streets and Santa’s sleigh bells jingle in your ears. Strap on a pair of skates and take a spin around the ice rink built in 1800s fashion. And, when you’re ready for more yuletide cheer, munch on roasted chestnuts and finish your night with a fireworks show. 22

University of Michigan-Flint Ice Muskegon Winter Sports Complex Rink – Flint – Muskegon After 25 years, the University of MichiganFlint reopened the downtown Flint ice rink. The rink is not only an on-campus attraction but also a festive and family-fun atmosphere! The rink is free to the public on Wednesday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Rosa Parks Circle – Grand Rapids Concerts are held here on summer evenings, but, in the wintertime, ice-skating at Rosa Parks Circle is the perfect holiday outing. Each winter this public space is filled with skaters of all ages, come to enjoy the beauty and charm of downtown Grand Rapids.

Pretend you’re an Olympic athlete at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex this winter! With two acres of ice skating and an ice path through the woods, this complex has some of the best ice skating opportunities in West Michigan. The Winter Sports Complex is also outfitted with an ice luge, cross-country skiing paths, snowshoeing trails, and a sledding hill! Welcome to a true winter wonderland!

Petoskey Winter Sports Park – Petoskey For over 80 years, the Petoskey Winter Sports Park has been the hot spot for winter family fun. With a skating rink the size of a football field, the Winter Sports Park has one of the largest rinks in Michigan. Featuring a ski hill, sledding, two ice rinks, and a warming building, the Petoskey Winter Sports Park is like a throwback to a Norman Rockwell painting.

Marquette Commons – Marquette Bundle up and grab your skates for an afternoon of free family fun! Marquette can be extremely cold in the wintertime but that doesn’t stop us from spending time outside. After spending plenty of time twirling on the ice, get some feeling back into your fingers in the warming hut. Marquette Commons is open Thursdays through Sunday from noon to 8 pm.


It’s a cold winter night that’s rapidly getting colder. The predicted low for the night is in single digits and the rising wind will make it feel even worse. Everyone not already home is heading there, anxious to reach the light and warmth that await. But . . . not you. You don’t have a home. Yes, you’ve found some places where you can get out of the wind for the night, but they’re not heated. And, there’s always the chance someone will run you out before morning. However, those make-do shelters are better than nothing, so that’s where you go. This is the situation for more people in our county than many of us realize. There are homeless people in Hillsdale County, and they face a grim challenge getting through the winter. However, this winter will be different from previous years because caring people have created a center to provide a safe, warm place to spend the night, snacks, and a light breakfast. Penny Myers, executive director of the recently-formed organization Share the Warmth of Hillsdale County, details how the center came to be:

owner of the property where her church meets to have the warming center there. Penny scheduled appointments with area pastors and others in the community to discuss the center. She said that there has been enormous support from many, including the city manager, the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department, Hillsdale City Police, and the Hillsdale County Planning Commission. Penny says they hope to run the center seven nights a week from 9 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. beginning November 1 and continuing through March or early April, weather depending. People 18 and older who are without shelter will be welcomed. The intake process will be as non-intrusive as possible and safety is the first priority. Two training and orientation sessions for volunteers have already been held, and there will be future sessions for those interested in helping. Right now, the critical need is for volunteers to staff the center and to be on call to provide rides to center from the jail or hospital if needed. Volunteers at the warming center will be divided into two shifts: 8:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. (first half-hour for set-up and preparation) and 2:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. (last half-hour for cleanup). Donations of funds along with non-perishable snack foods and things like bagels and English muffins for breakfast will also help.

“When the leadership of Sozo Church starting talking about helping the area homeless, Pastor Ed Spreeman encouraged them to take action. I was approached to head it up, and, after prayerful consideration, I agreed.” The group couldn’t use the hall rented by Sozo Church due to liability considerations. When they approached Lorie Nichols, pastor of the House of Refuge Church, she was on board immediately and cleared it with the

Anyone wanting to volunteer or donate should contact Penny at 517-4395053 or 517-499-8186. You can also send inquiries or donations by mail to P.O. Box 875, Hillsdale, MI 49242. We have the chance to extend help that may, without exaggeration, save lives this winter. Please give serious consideration to doing what you can.

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Grow Where You Are Planted. By Rachel Yoder

THINK OUTSIDE THE GIFT BOX! Sometimes, kids can be hard to shop for as they probably already have the latest and greatest toys, plenty of clothes, and their interests change almost daily. Trying to find an item that will be cherished for years to come might be difficult. Here are 11 non-toy gift ideas for the little person on your list and some for adults, too! SPORTS EQUIPMENT FOR ATHLETES: cleats and pads, helmets and jerseys can quickly add up. CLASSES: Get that energy out! Get them to put down their tablets and get moving with martial arts, dance, gymnastics, tumbling, or horseback riding. TRIPS: Day trip destinations are always ripe in our region. Visit The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village or travel to space at the Planetarium in Ella Sharp Museum. Check out the zoo. Take them for a chilly day of toboggan riding at Pokagon state park. TIME: Did you know that part of the North Country Trail runs right through Hillsdale County on its way from New York to North Dakota? You can hop on the trail and walk together for as long or as short a distance as you want. What better place to reconnect with the people that are truly important in our lives? Make cookies together, go fishing, speak kindly, and love deeply. These memories are the greatest gifts a person can give. 4H/FFA: Consider helping them purchase their next or first 4H/FFA animal or project. Halters, canes, clippers, and grooming tools all would be great. Boots and show attire are good ideas since these can get expensive especially if the family has multiple children. Help buy an FFA jacket! CRAFTS: Hillsdale Craft Supply can open the door to a passion that will last a lifetime. Whether it be popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners, or wreath making and loom weaving, giving the gift of quiet confidence and an “I can do that” attitude will mean success in the future. NEW HOBBY: Consider giving sewing lessons from the experts at Trevathan’s to beginners and those wishing to polish their skills. How about snowshoes? Buy a beginner beekeeping kit. Help someone get started on a lifelong dream. SUPPORT AN EXISTING HOBBY: If the child already has a passion, support it. Buy equipment or supplies that are financially out of reach for the child. Find classes that will help advance his or her knowledge and skills. GARDENING: Items to plant their own gardens! Choose seeds of veggies they love to eat, garden tools, and either a raised bed or make a special section in the garden just for them. MUSIC: consider giving the gift of music with an instrument and lessons and foster a love of music and creativity that will last their entire lives.


GIFT OF GIVING: Consider applying half (or more) of your family’s gift budget to giving a great Christmas to a family that would otherwise not have one. Take your children on a special shopping trip where they choose a toy they would like to have and donate it to a toy drive. Or, sponsor an entire family.


Mystery & Light Spirit!

Capture the Christmas • Pottery • Lodge Look Handwoven Throws • Gourmet Foods

2551 W. BACON, HILLSDALE, MI 49242

Join us for an evening of Christmas cheer! Carols of past and present tell the Christmas story.

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• Americana • Santas / Snowmen • Feather Trees • Primitives


• Interior / Exterior Lighting • Prints • Soaps / Lotions • & Much More!

Tickets $10 at the door, under 18 free with an adult. Season tickets make great stocking stuffers! $30/adult or $25/senior citizen.

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Holiday Decorations That Won’t Bankrupt or Break You! By Melissa McCance

We know. We get it because we’ve been there. You want your home to look festive and ready for the holidays, but you don’t want to invest a fortune and you don’t want to end up defeated by some intricate craft project. It’s no fun to have your fingers covered with hot glue burns and glitter up your nose while you sob over a half-made centerpiece that looks like the reindeer AND the sleigh ran over it! Take heart. We’ve found some ideas that don’t take a lot of money, skill, or time. The first four are from Midwest Living and the last is from Reader’s Digest. Get ready to make your home festive and gorgeous!

Holiday Platter

Take any large plate or platter that works with holiday décor. It can be silver or gold, clear, red and/or green, or a nice pattern. Pile some inexpensive ornaments on it (think dollar store), insert a few sprigs of evergreen, and voilà—you have a centerpiece or side table accent!

Pillow Gifts

Tie wide ribbons around solid color pillows as though they were gifts and place them on chairs, sofas, even tables to create a festive look.


Easy Centerpiece

Take any large glass vase you have or scout dollar stores and resale shops to find one. Fill it with inexpensive ornaments, maybe add a ribbon twined among them, and set it on a pretty plate or platter. Sprinkle with artificial snow for the finishing touch.

Pinecone Mini Forest

Collect pinecones, spray paint them as you wish, and stand them in mini cups, votive holders (again—dollar store!) or whatever small container you might have. Group them into a nice display.

Light Wreath

Ready for something so simple you won’t believe it? Something that will add a beautiful, contemporary touch to your decorating? Pick up a wire wreath frame, wrap it with tiny white lights, and hang! (You can find strings that are battery-powered if outlet availability is a problem.)

These ideas were drawn from online sources, and you can find MANY more! Everything doesn’t have to be big-budget. In fact, the simple touches are often the loveliest. If these ideas interest you, we recommend checking out the following: From Midwest Living: http://www.midwestliving.com/homes/seasonal-decorating/quickeasy-holiday-decor/ From Better Homes & Gardens: https://www.bhg.com/christmas/crafts/low-cost-christmas-projects/ From Reader’s Digest: https://www.rd.com/home/decorating/cheap-christmas-decorations/

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Black Friday Sale - Nov. 23 Small Business Saturday Sale - Nov. 24 Janome Skyline Sale the month of November Elna Machine Sale the month of December Flannel Sale Dec. 4-8 Great gift ideas for the holidays. Gift Certificates Available. Visit our web page to see all that is happening!

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Making your own gifts and decorations can be a joy ... so can buying them! Remember last year when you saw the cutest pair of mittens at the local boutique and you thought, “I could make those.” In fact you had every intention of handing them out at this year’s office Christmas party. Sadly, the fabric is still in the store bag, tucked in the back of the hall closet. Wait, did you donate that to the school last spring for the fundraiser? Either way, those mittens are off the table for this year ... or, are they? Fear not, my overly confident Jane-of-all-trades, there is an easy solution to your dilemma and your co-workers will be warm and toasty all winter long. There is a secret wonderland that appears just in the nick of time each Christmas and provides cute mittens, monogrammed ornaments, and holiday décor. You name it, they’ve got it! Where can you find such a place? At a local craft show. All year long, your neighbors have been secretly building a mound of hand-made, one-of-akind gifts just waiting for you to wrap up and give to everyone on your list. And the best part? You get to enjoy a relaxing day of shopping while helping the local community. It is a win-win for everyone involved! To help out, we have compiled a list of local craft shows that will be coming soon. Check out the listings on the next page and have yourself a Crafty Christmas! 30

y New Jerusalem Christian Fellowship


November 17 • 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 14977 Harper Rd., Cement City, MI 49233 KIDS’ CORNER – featuring FREE take home crafts -

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November 10 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Onsted Craftapalooza Craft Show Saturday, December 1 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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North Adams United Methodist Women’s

Community Craft & Vendor Show Sat • Dec. 1 • 9:30 - 3:30 Large Selection of Baked Goods Unique Gifts & Handmade Items Local Products, Lunch & Raffles


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If you’d like your craft show included on this page, please contact us at 517-320-9235


Pet Talk By Melissa McCance

Here for your enjoyment is our gallery of pets dressed and ready for the holidays! Thank you to the Simply Hers readers who submitted their photos. We hope you and your furbabies have fun celebrating this year!

Top: Socks in his Christmas Pajamas, owned by Brenna Goodlock; Lexi and Torjata’ submitted by owner Cyndi Young; Bottom: Debbie Gibson rescued Tessa who is wearing her beautiful Christmas crown and veil; Katie, the Cavachon, watching for Santa, submitted by owner Peggie Bildner; Handsome Sarge belongs to Cathy Bumpus.

Take a horse drawn wagon To selecT your perfecT holiday Tree. Warm up by the fire Sip hot chocolate, mulled cider or coffee Taste Amish candy & homemade kettle corn

Meet Santa at the farM

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Norm Steigerwald Lisa VanSickle Amie Pelham Craig Barnes Brian Renald Owner/Designer Owner/Designer Owner/Project Manager Project Manager Interior Designer

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adopt- A -PET Morgan

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Lenawee Humane Society 705 W Beecher Adrian

Greater Hillsdale Humane Society

(517) 263-3463

3881 Tripp Rd. Osseo (517) 523-2308

Morgan is a neutered adult male with front paws declawed. He’s loving and gentle, wanting to be a spoiled only child. This sweet boy will follow you everywhere! He is up to date on his medical needs. Adoption fee is $60.

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When Shiloh first arrived, she couldn’t open her eyes. She bumped into things when she walked and she had absolutely no confidence to meet new people.Shiloh underwent surgery to correct an issue called entropion in both eyes, thanks to the generous support from all of you. These past few months, she has been recovering both physically and emotionally in a foster home. Now, it’s finally time for her to find her own piece of forever.Shiloh doesn’t need a super quiet family--once she comes out of her shell, she’s a completely different dog! She loves learning new tricks, running, playing and cuddling in your lap. We recommend a home without tiny babies but older kids are definitely her cup of tea.Apply to adopt this super special girl online at lenhumanesoc.org or in person at Lenawee Humane Society. She has all of our hearts. Hopefully, you’ll give her yours, too.

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Holiday Planning By Melissa McCance The holidays can pull us in multiple directions. We want to create memorable celebrations with nicely-decorated homes, wonderful baked goods, extra-special meals, and beautiful gifts. Yet, at the same time, part of us wants to find a nice, deep closet where we can hide until it’s over. Let’s face it, even if you’re not trying to out-do Martha Stewart, all those preparations are a LOT of work! To lighten the load, we’re offering a little help in the form of some apps. There are apps to help with the food, the budgeting, keeping track of gifts, and some just for fun. Remember, things change quickly in the cyberworld, so we suggest looking for some online reviews of these apps before you download them, especially if there’s a fee. Also, when you’re searching for our app suggestions, keep in mind that some may only be available for your phone and not your tablet. If you’re looking for them on a tablet, be sure your filter is set for phone apps! CELEBRATE! Christmas Countdown (Jupli) offers a countdown plus a variety of backgrounds, Christmas music, and you can “open” a gift each day during Advent. Available for Android & iOS, free, rated 4.9 out of 5.

Epicurious (Condé Nast Digital) is one of the most popular recipe apps out there. Whether you’re looking for great versions of tried-andtrue Thanksgiving dishes or wanting something fresh and new for your table, this is a great option. Available for iOS, free, rated 4.8 out of 5.

Chanukah Guide (The Saber Team) covers some important aspects of the Festival of Lights, including blessings in six languages, menorah positioning, social networking capabilities, a video tutorial, and a dreidel game. Available for Android and iOS, free, rated 4.5 out of 5.

Timer+ (Utilities) helps you deal with the multiple dishes needing multiple times in the oven. You can set timers for each item so the sweet potatoes will be fully cooked without turning the vegetable casserole to charcoal! Available for iOS, free, rated 4.8 out of 5.

Thanksgiving App (Kulana Media) provides a countdown of the days along with Thanksgiving facts and trivia. Available for Android & iOS, free, rated 4.2 out of 5.

GIFTS Christmas Gift List (engApps) is a great way to organize your gift list and keep track of your spending! You can add/edit people on the list, add/edit gifts, assign a spending limit to each person and see what you’ve spent so far, share gift lists via various platforms, and add a picture, note, and link for each item. AND, you can password protect your list so the kids can play on your phone without spoiling the surprises! Available for Android, free, rated 4.5 out of 5.

FOOD AllrecipesDinnerSpinner (allrecipes.com) has over five million installs! You will find a wide variety of recipes with reviews as well as instructional videos, a shopping list feature and more. Available for Android, free, rated 4.5 out of 5.


Santa’s Bag (Clay Pot Software LLC) lets you organize and manage your holiday shopping. You can add people, set budgets, create shopping lists, find gifts, track progress and more. Helps avoid that stomach-dropping moment on Christmas Eve when you realize you completely forgot someone! Available for iOS, free, rated 4.6 out of 5. TRACKING SANTA Santa Tracker - Where is Santa Claus (First Class Media B.V.) is a cute app that shows Santa’s location on the map and distance to your home, how many sleeps until Christmas, and Santa’s Status Check—what is he up to today? Available for iOS, free, rated 4.1 out of 5. Where is Santa Lite (Super Kiddo Studio) lets you track Santa’s progress using “radar” and shows estimated time of arrival. Available for Android, free, rated 4.2 out of 5.

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During The Holidays BY SARAH GRAY

There is so much to do during the holiday season it can cause a slight panic attack just thinking about it. Presents to buys and wrap, food to prepare, parties to attend, and everyone’s calendars seem to fill up with one event after another. Along with all the things to do, there is also a pressure to be jolly and merry – full of holiday cheer. This can all be too much for many of us, causing stress and anxiety, which is the opposite of what the holiday season is all about. For the many who become overwhelmed during this festive time of year, don’t despair. There are many ways to manage stress during holidays and also enjoy them. First, however, it is important to identify some signs of stress. “Stress displays itself differently in different people,” says Gina Costa, Chief Clinical and Quality Officer at LifeWays in Hillsdale and Jackson counties. “For some, signs of stress include changes in eating or sleeping, physical symptoms like headaches or stomach aches, fatigue, feelings of sadness, and unusual responses to situations such as unexpected anger outbursts or crying. Others become reclusive and stop doing normal activities.” Nearly a quarter of Americans reported feeling “extreme stress” during the holiday season according to a poll by the American Psychological Association. AllOne Health states holiday stress statistics show up to 69 percent of people are stressed by 38

the feeling of having a “lack of time,” 69 percent are stressed by perceiving a “lack of money,” and 51 percent are stressed out about the “pressure to give or get gifts.” So, how can all this be managed? “Remember what is important to you and focus on those things,” Costa says. “Be fully present for the holidays, meaning focus on what is going on around you versus the things that are distracters. Take deep breaths, look at the lights, share in good conversations with friends and loved ones.” She has some additional tips to help manage the stress of time and money management. “Develop a holiday plan: everything from a schedule to a budget. Keep your schedule light so that you can accommodate lastminute invites or emergencies.” She adds not to forget about physical wellness. “Focus on your own personal health and wellness. Be sure to fit physical activity into your holiday schedule and don’t forget to meal plan—have prepared snacks to avoid overindulgence in holiday goodies.”

While the stress of buying, wrapping, and baking may be the stress trigger for some, for others the idea of spending so much time with their families or large groups may be what causes the most anxiety. “Shorten visits if needed and consider participating in activities such as watching a movie or playing board games to structure your interactions with friends and family,” Costa says. “Know your limits. Put things you truly want to do into your schedule and stay realistic and true to that schedule. Make sure your schedule includes downtime or relaxation time.” She adds what may be the most difficult things for many people to do, especially around the holidays: “Be prepared to turn down invites and tell people no.” The most important thing for people who are stressed during the holiday season to remember is that they are not alone. “There is always help available if you need it,” Costa says. “Contact a professional if your stress is having a negative impact on you.” LifeWays has a 24-hour crisis hotline available at 1-800-284-8288.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year...

or Is It?

City, State, Zip: ________________________________________ 

Publish my name on the donor list:      ⃝ Yes      ⃝ No 

HCCF also offers a secure, confidential online giving option. Simply visit www.abouthccf.org  and click the yellow “Donate” button. 

Address: _____________________________________________   

Please make checks payable to:  Hillsdale County Community Foundation (HCCF)  PO Box 276  Hillsdale, MI  49242  All donations are tax deductible. 

Name: _______________________________________________   

ost wonderful time ar...

Enclosed is my donation to the Warm the Children Fund 

The Warm the Children Fund provides financial support for children in need in Hillsdale County to receive new warm, winter clothing. Program coordinators work with a local social service agency to determine eligibility for program participation and make arrangements with a local store to coordinate the shopping.

or is it?

Are your holidays not-somerry and bright? If you are having intense feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety, or Are your holidays not so merry and bright? thoughts of harming yourself If you are having intense feelings of

sadness, anger, anxiety, or thoughts of harming yourself or others, call our 24-hour crisis line at 800-284-8288 or visit us at 25 Care Dr., Hillsdale, MI 49242 8 AM - 6 PM • Monday - Friday

Hope and Help Begin at Lifeways

The Holiday Blues Are All Too Real... Life can be Challenging — We can HELP!

Quality Mental Health Services www.segueinc.org Serving Jackson and Hillsdale’s mental health needs for over 30 years.

3200 W. Carleton Road, Hillsdale • 517-437-0117


Advent Spirals by Rachel Yoder


The leaves are falling, the nights are getting longer. Insects and animals are storing food for the sparse winter months ahead and preparing for a long rest. The natural world is growing quiet. Humans, on the other hand, become hyperactive almost. There are meals and parties to plan, piles of goodies to be baked, gifts to buy, and appearances to make. And, we must have the most perfectly decorated home. We run around making ourselves stressed and crazy striving for impossibly flawless holidays. Sometimes we forget to stop and reflect on the year and all of our blessings. Advent means “arrival” or “birth” and, for Christians, Advent is a time of preparation for the birth of Christ. Advent Spirals are practiced in Waldorf schools on or near the winter solstice and similar customs are celebrated all over the world by people from all beliefs, honoring the return of light and longer days. If you have done a meditative labyrinth walk you will notice that this is a mood-setting activity. A simple spiral walk honors the cycle of light and darkness and represents an inward journey to find the light in ourselves. The shape of the spiral shows up all around nature in a tiny snail shell, flowers, water, even our own fingerprints. The spiral also symbolizes the marking of the seasons: the start of the path represents summer, and

as we walk to the center the days are shorter marking autumn. The middle is marked by a candle representing the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. Walking back out of the spiral we turn from winter, walk through spring, and out to summer again. During the spiral walk we are to turn inward to meditate on the year, our strengths, blessings, and gifts we bring to the world, and what will come in a time of quiet and still reflection. Two ways to do it: To make an outdoor spiral of your own, you’ll need about 100 feet (or less depending on the size of spiral you’d like to make) of evergreen garland or branches arranged in a spiral shape outdoors or in a sheltered area. You can also use rocks, logs or sticks to create the spiral. Red apples are typically carved out and used as candle holders for this activity. You will need enough apples and candles for each of your family and friends you invite to your spiral. Encourage guests to bring natural items to decorate the spiral such as pine cones,

acorns, feathers, geodes, sparkly rocks, seeds, or anything else you can think of. You’ll also need one large candle for the center of the spiral. Play quiet and reflective instrumental music to set the tone and have guests walk one at a time at their own pace to the center of the spiral where they will light their own candle and set it down anywhere along their path on the way out of the spiral. Guests may leave after they are finished with the spiral walk, just ask that they be quiet and respectful of others still walking as they leave. Alternately: If an outdoor spiral is not feasible, don’t fret. You can easily craft a tabletop version from salt dough! Salt dough recipe: 1 cup salt, 2 cups flour, 1 cup water (add slowly), knead for 10 minutes. Roll into a long “snake” on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Curl salt dough snake into a spiral while it is still pliable and take one of the candles you will use in the spiral to make 24 deep indents into the dough. Allow to dry 24-48 hours. Decorate with pine boughs, pine cones, small animal figures, geodes, or add your nativity set. Beginning December 1, place one candle in the first hole on the outside of the spiral and light it with a period of quiet reflection. You can either move the candle each day or leave it in its place and light a new candle along with the previous one until all holes in the spiral are filled with light. You’ll need 24 candles for the latter option. 41

“Frosty the Snowman” is a popular Christmas song written by Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson. It first recorded by  Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys in 1950 and later recorded by Jimmy Durante, releasing it as a single. It was written after the success of Autry’s recording of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” the previous year; Rollins and Nelson shipped the new song to Autry, who recorded “Frosty” in search of another seasonal hit. Like “Rudolph”, “Frosty” was subsequently adapted to other media including a popular television special by Rankin/Bass Productions (formerly known as Videocraft International),  Frosty the Snowman. The ancillary rights to the Frosty the Snowman character are owned by Warner Bros.,  but due to the prominence of the TV special, merchandising of the character is generally licensed in tandem with that special’s current owners, DreamWorks Classics. The song recounts the fictional tale of Frosty, a snowman who is brought to life by a magical silk hat that a group of children find and place on his head. Frosty enjoys roaming throughout town with the children who constructed him, but he runs afoul of a traffic cop and leaves town, promising he will be back again someday. Although it is generally regarded as a Christmas song, the original lyrics make no mention of the holiday. Some renditions, like that in 42

the 1969 Rankin/Bass TV special, change the lyric “I’ll be back again someday” to “I’ll be back on Christmas Day”. The song supposedly takes place in White Plains, New York, or Armonk, New York; Armonk has a parade dedicated to Frosty annually. In 1969, Rankin/Bass produced a twenty-five-minute television special, Frosty the Snowman, featuring animation by Japanese studio Mushi Production and the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as the narrator, Billy De Wolfe as Professor Hinkle and Jackie Vernon as Frosty. Paul Frees and June Foray also voice characters including Karen and Santa Claus in this animated special produced and directed by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. This was a story based on the discovery of Frosty the Snowman. Three sequels were produced, Frosty’s Winter Wonderland (based upon the song “Winter Wonderland”) in 1976, in which Frosty got married, and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July 1979, followed by The Legend of Frosty the Snowman in 2005 (the last which had Bill Fagerbakke take over as Frosty’s voice after Vernon’s death). Frosty Returns, released in 1992, is a sequel to the original song, set in a separate fictional universe from the other specials, with John Goodman as the voice of a more sardonic Frosty defending the value of snow against Mr. Twitchell (Brian Doyle-Murray), the maker of a snow-removal spray.

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Christmas Packages 2018

We loved crafting our complex and scrumptious spa treatment packages this year. Full of fruits, vegetables, milks and more from our farm and countryside as well as farms across the US, you will find they are as delicious for your skin as they are for body and soul. Each package is offered in Apple Cider and Pumpkin, Winterberry, and Coconut Mocha Cafe.

Our compassionate and well-trained staff provide supervision, companionship, activities and meals in a warm and welcoming “homeaway-from-home” environment.

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Saturday, December 1 from 4-8 p.m. p,m. Musical entertainment Nature crafts for children Visit with Santa Claus Gift shop items for nature lovers December 2, 8 & 9 from 5 – 8 p.m. Dazzling holiday decorations Refreshments $5 per person/free for HLG Members ($20 max per vehicle)

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For more information please call (517)431-2060 or visit our website at www.hiddenlakegardens.msu.edu Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Cheryl Roe at 517-431-2060 or roe2@msu.edu. Requests must be made at least 3 weeks in advance of program and will be honored whenever possible.


History Milk Cookies The



As some children prepare for St. Nick’s arrival, many will perch cookies and a glass of milk on the hearth or table. Either way, most parents are excited to have an excuse to snack on sweets late into the evening as they wrap gifts. However, this is an American tradition, and other countries have their own version. Here are some interesting facts about the “milk and cookies” Christmas tradition. According to History.com, the modern tradition can be traced back to the Great Depression in the 1930s. Parents wanted to teach their children the value of charity, so they baked chocolate chip cookies to place in stockings and poured a glass of milk for Santa, a typical childhood treat. So, for more than 80 years, children have been leaving cookies and milk out for the jolly man. “History” points out, however, that this tradition is a derivative of Norse mythology. Odin, a Norse god, rode upon Sleipner, his eight-legged horse. During the Yule season, children left carrots and other treats for the horse with the hope that Odin would recognize their altruism and give out gifts for the act. According to an article in “The New Yorker,” author Jon Michuad, notes that Toll House chocolate chip cookies were invented in the 1930’s, and even


though chocolate was in short supply and rationed sharply, women were encouraged to make chocolate chip cookies to send to their husbands or lovers overseas, as even the smallest dose of chocolate provided a sweet distraction from financial woes on the home front and nice reminders overseas. This train of thought evolved to meet the holidays. Children around the world leave different treats for Santa. According to “History,” Irish children offer Santa Guiness and cookies, while children from Great Britain and Australia are known to give sherry and mince meat pies. Germany avoid foods all together by writing letters to the representation of the Christmas spirit, Christkind, decorated to catch its eye. The Swedes feed Santa hardy rice porridge. I hope that the symbolism of milk and cookies, altruism, continues to resonate with children that prepare them and the adults that partake of these treats. You can also volunteer at a local soup kitchen or donate to Feed America to demonstrate the purpose of this symbolism in a more pertinent way. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

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Help — I need a

Hostess Gift By Melissa McCance

Part of the holiday fun is gathering with family and friends at a variety of parties. We like to be good guests, and that usually means needing a number of gifts for those hosting us. While a nice bottle of wine or a special, non-alcoholic beverage is always welcome, sometimes we’d like to be just a little more varied in our gifts. Here are some suggestions that are both easy and reasonably priced. Wrap the item simply or just add a festive ribbon and it’s ready to give. Since many people will be bringing wine, how about bringing wine accessories instead? There are many different wine stoppers available for under $20, some in sets and some individually. The chances are good that some of those bottles will be unfinished by the end of the celebration, so help your hosts keep what’s left fit to drink. You can also find wonderful sets of wine charms that identify which glass is whose—a bonus for partygoers AND hosts alike! If the hosts like to cook, consider some interesting food items. Specialty salts are very popular right now and often function as a condiment rather than an ingredient. The black and red salts are dramatic in appearance, and pink Himalayan salt is a hot item. You could also choose a jar of jam or marmalade in an unusual flavor like grapefruit, blood orange, guava, or passionfruit. Spice and herb blends from regional cuisines around the world can be a great addition to a cook’s pantry. Are your hosts’ parties known for amazing cocktails? Consider a bottle of specialty bitters or a professional-grade bar tool. A search online will give you many options for great cocktail napkins. Some of these are very funny (both clean and risqué humor is available, but be careful about the spicy ones—you don’t want to be offensive) and can serve as conversation starters. If you know that your hosts have pets, consider a small gift book about the type of animal or animals they have, fun collars if their pets wear them, or toys for their furry housemates. Just make sure the toys are well made and truly safe! One of the stickier situations is being invited to a party by people you don’t know well. Some safe alternatives to wine you can try are a small box of truffles (even if they don’t like chocolate, they can put them out for guests), inexpensive holiday coasters (their furniture will thank you), or a bottle of infused olive oil for dipping bread or cooking. The internet is your friend, here. Do a search for “inexpensive hostess gifts” or “holiday gifts under $20” and you’ll be drowning in possibilities. Think beyond the wine section! (Unless, of course, you know there’s nothing your host would like more, lol.)


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hristmas is associated with many traditions, of which the Christmas tree is an important focal point for many. The history of the upside down Christmas tree roots all the way back into the 7th Century. It is during this period that St. Boniface journeyed from Devonshire, England to Germany to preach the message of God. He engaged himself in religious as well as social work and spent a lot of his time in Thuringia, Germany. This is the birthplace of the industry dealing with Christmas decorations. It is believed that St. Boniface, while staying in Thuringia, used a triangular Fir tree to represent the Holy Trinity-God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. As a result, the converted people started to worship the Fir tree as “God’s Tree.”


By the 12th century it became a custom, especially in Europe, to hang Fir trees upside down to symbolize the Holy Trinity. The upside down Christmas tree was also considered to be the symbol of Christianity. Some historians suggest that hanging your Christmas tree upside down is the more traditional, and perhaps, more meaningful symbol of the Holiday. Later, when German immigrants came to the Americas, they brought the tradition of the Christmas tree with them. Recently, however, hanging trees have made a comeback. The trend seems to have started in retail stores, and the goal is the same as it was in the 19th century: to free up space. “By having a tree upside down, you’re taking a very small footprint on the floor, and you’re placing all the ornaments at eye level,” Dan Loughman, vice president of product development at Roman Incorporated, told NPR in 2005. “And

then the retailers can move their store products around the bottom of the tree or on shelves, you know, just behind it.” That year, store owners reported bewildered responses to the inverted trees, but the trend hung on, and in 2018, it seems to be gaining ground beyond the shopping mall. As Loughman said in 2005, “I think consumers go into retail stores to buy ornaments, and they buy their trim and—to get a certain look. Whatever they see in the store they want to replicate at home.” If you feel inspired to spice up your tree trimming this year, there are many options out there, from Amazon to Home Depot to Walmart. Or you can go the traditional Polish route and cut off the tip of a fir tree off and hang that from the ceiling.

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Hospice of Hillsdale county Kitty Aemisegger, Executive Director

Your only locally-based non-profit hospice serving the community since 1983

• Licensed and certified to bill insurance for reimbursement. • Board of Directors who reside locally. • Patients accepted regardless of insurance coverage, no billing to patients/families. • Focus on quality of life. • Patient choice respected, independence encouraged. • Physical, emotional, spiritual comfort. • Hospice team educated in symptom management. • 24/7 RN response 1 hour or less. • Same staff visits for continuity of care, no visit time quotas. • RN attends all death calls to provide emotional support. • Grief support to family and community for 14 months at no charge.

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Hope, dignity, love ... It must be Hospice of Hillsdale County! The care that our staff and volunteers provide brings hope to help people live life as fully as possible, offers dignity when there is not a cure and surrounds families with love at one of life’s most challenging times. Thank you for your most generous support of Hospice of Hillsdale County over the past 35 years. We appreciate your confidence in the quality end-of-life care we provide each day to patients and families entrusted to us. Please consider a donation to our local independent nonprofit hospice as we partner with the Hillsdale County Community Foundation on Great Give Day, November 27, 2018. We encourage you to donate to Hospice of Hillsdale County that day as there will be additional opportunities for our organization to receive funds from the Foundation. We gratefully accept any donation throughout the year made through our website or by mail. 100% of your gift will assist with services to our local patients and families. For additional information, please call Hospice of Hillsdale County at 517-437-5252

“When medical science can no longer add more days to life, Hospice of Hillsdale County adds more life to every day!” 49

Themed Christmas Trees Sports Themed Tree Your favorite team’s colors will dictate the entire look of your sports themed tree, and unless you’re a diehard Packers or Celtics fan, a traditional Christmas tree may not be your best bet. Choose a non-traditional, colorful Christmas tree in your team’s primary or secondary colors to make decorating much easier. Retro Christmas Tree This year, take yourself on a quest to find vintage ornaments at our local thrift stores. It will be a blast from the past each time you stare into the brightly lit tree. The Neon Pink Tree Make a playful statement this holiday by opting for a vibrant neon tree. This decadent pink color pairs beautifully with holiday golds, giving off a festive-but-funky feel.

Decorating a tree for the holidays has become a tradition for many Americans. While fun and festive, it probably doesn’t change from year to year. This year, why not go out on a limb (pun intended) and try a themed Christmas tree. Regardless of your style, there are many themes to choos from. Here are a few of our favorite....

The Seaside Tree Whether you spend your holidays by the shore or crave a little piece of summer, this seaside-themed tree is relaxing. The Mini Tree Just because your home lacks in square footage, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a Christmas tree. This tree is small but mighty, with chic matching ornaments and simple candles that are festive without overwhelming the small frame. The Pastel Tree This tree is proof that pastels can shine across all seasons. The pale pinks, dusty blues, and bright whites combine to create a warm and playful holiday centerpiece. The Frosted Tree Nothing screams Christmas like a snowdusted pine. The frosted branches, bright white ornaments, and dusted pinecones come together to bring a winter wonderland into your living room. The Baby Blue Tree If you’re sick of the traditional Christmas red and green, look for colors that complement the room you’re tree sits in. A baby blue, for example, enhances this bright living space, while the textures and patterns of the decor still feel festive.


If none of these ideas tickle your fancy try browsing the vast options on the world wide web. No matterr what your passion you can find it, NASCAR, football, John Deere, wild animals, are some of the amazing ideas we came across in our research. Enjoy the journey and happy holidays!

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ingredients 2 drops blue food coloring 2 cups orange juice 1-1/4 cup lemon juice 4 packets Sweet’N Low 6 cups water 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1-1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1 liter lemon-lime soda Garnish – candy canes, maraschino cherries directions in a punch bowl, mix together orange juice, lemon juice, Sweet’N Low, water and food coloring. stir until combined. next add vanilla extract and almond extract. chill overnight, or serve immediately following the next directions.

Santa Crunch www.twosisterscrafting.com

When ready to serve: add lemon-lime soda and ice to the juice. taste, and adjust any of the flavors to your liking. you can garnish each cup with a candy cane or a maraschino cherry. tip: to make your drink look extra Grinchy, tape or glue a heart to the outside of the container.

your guest will definitely not be Grinches this year. www.sandytoesandpopsicles.com

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HOLIDAY DIETING TIPS How to have fun and stay healthy

Whether you’ve already lost weight and want to maintain it or you are just beginning your weightloss journey, consuming sugary foods and other unhealthy carbohydrates this holiday season can stop your progress in a big way. Maintaining your nutrition goals during this time of year is more simple than it sounds, despite all the cookies, cocktails, and other temptations. Here are some survival tips and recipes to help you stay on track this season: Set realistic goals

With all of the sugary and carb-filled foods associated with the holidays, continuing to lose weight at the same pace will inevitably be more challenging. Setting New Year’s resolutions -- like maintaining the weight you’ve already lost -- can help you stay committed to your low carb lifestyle and avoid a feeling of failure.

Write it down

Studies have shown that people who keep food diaries during the holidays are better able to manage their weight. Keeping up with your food journal will also help you stick to your holiday diet plan.

Plan ahead

In the hectic weeks between Halloween and New Year’s Day, planning ahead is critical to successful dieting. Keep the right food in the house and make some great low carb snack recipes you can substitute for sugary seasonal offerings. And plan on indulging, too! Cut back on other carb-filled dishes throughout the day so you can really enjoy the carbs you’re choosing to eat but still staying within your desired carb count.


Socialize instead of snacking

The ultimate aim of holiday gatherings is to enjoy the company of your friends and family, so focus on socializing and sharing meaningful conversation rather than snacking. Standing at least an arm’s reach away from platters of food can also prevent unintentional grazing.

Bring your own dish

Holiday treats don’t have to be high in carbohydrates, and bringing your own dish to a holiday party means you’ll be guaranteed at least one healthy option.

Indulge smarter

Skip the sugary holiday cocktails, have a low carb beer or glass of champagne in hand to celebrate without overdoing it. And, don’t forget to hydrate! Drinking plenty of water fills you up, helping to prevent mindless eating. If you need a little variety, try infusing your water with cucumber or lemon slices.

Be picky

Whether it’s roast turkey or a holiday ham, protein dishes keep you feeling full and generally contain fewer carbs. Steer clear of the empty carbs found in some of the other popular holiday dishes.

Gift the leftovers

If you’re hosting the big meal, send home leftovers as care packages with your guests. It will get excess food out of your house, and your friends and family will appreciate the delicious food for days to come.

Be kind to yourself

If you commit to your usual healthy eating habits for most days of the week, you can slightly relax your diet some of the time without seriously impacting your weight. Give yourself some leeway to enjoy the holidays, and if you do overindulge, don’t beat yourself up or view it as an excuse to continue overeating. Get back on track, and avoid feeling guilty. Aim for as much consistency with your diet as possible, but remember that no one is perfect! If you’re feeling overwhelmed thinking about sticking to your fitness goals this holiday season, remember that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just one day each—not an entire season. Putting your low carb lifestyle on pause until after the holidays will only make getting back into the swing of things that much more difficult. This year, remind yourself that there’s no gift like good health.

Pumpkin Chipotle Soup

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

2 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onions 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 Tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground cumin 1/8 tsp ground allspice 2 tsp granulated sugar substitute 2 cups pumpkin puree 32 oz chicken broth 1/2 cup heavy cream 2 tsp red wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets 1/4 cup almond milk or heavy cream 1 tbsp ghee 1 head of garlic Salt and pepper to taste fresh chives, chopped

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Saute onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add chipotles, coriander, cumin, allspice, and sugar substitute to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and chicken broth to the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup in the pot until smooth (if you don’t have one, add the soup to a traditional blender, blend and return to the pot when smooth). Add the heavy cream and red wine vinegar and simmer for another five minutes or so. Taste, then season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve hot, garnished with sour cream (other optional garnishes shown: pepitas and cilantro).

Eversew Quilted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb, then cut off the very top of the head of garlic to expose the individual garlic cloves. Place in aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil, then seal the foil around the garlic. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cloves are soft. Allow garlic to cool, then squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skin. Meanwhile, place a couple inches of water in a large pot. Once water is boiling, place steamer insert and then cauliflower florets into the pot and cover. Steam for 1214 minutes, until completely tender. Drain and return cauliflower to pot. Add roasted garlic, heavy cream, ghee, and salt to the cauliflower. Using an immersion blender or food processor, combine ingredients until smooth. Top with chives and freshly ground pepper.

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Holiday baking. The words conjure up many wonderful memories of once-a-year treats, shared baking sessions, laughter, fun, and delicious eating! How many of us plan to make this the year we create holiday baking magic for our loved ones only to have time slip away from us? If you haven’t yet mastered the time management (and baking) skills needed to turn out dozens of seasonal goodies, try this: make one dough and then use it to make a variety of cookies! No, it’s not the same as many completely different cookies, but you can still have more than one kind on the cookie tray this year. Start with a good, basic rolled sugar cookie recipe. We’ve provided one below that has rave reviews, or you can use an old family favorite. Be sure the one you use is intended for rolled cookies and not drop cookies—drop cookie dough is much softer and will not work for the kind of shaping needed here. The dough can be kept up to three days if refrigerated in an air-tight container with a layer of plastic wrap pressed over the top. Also, depending upon how many you make of each type, you may need more than one batch of the basic dough.

COOKIE INGREDIENTS Makes approximately 60 cookies 1 1⁄2 cups butter, softened 2 cups white sugar 4 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt DIRECTIONS In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). Recipe from www.geniuskitchen.com


Start with the basic dough, well chilled. Roll out dough on floured surface about ¼” thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1” apart on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 400°F for 6-8 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute and transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. You can make a simple icing to decorate the cookies using powdered sugar, milk, and just a few drops of vanilla. Tint the icing with food coloring and frost the cookies, adding extras like colored sugar, sprinkles, small cinnamon candies, etc., as desired.


perfect pumpkin pie!

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You need two star cookie cutters for these, one about 1”-1 1/2” across and one about 2½”-3” across. Start with the basic dough, well chilled. Roll to 1/8” to 1/4” thickness. Cut an even number of larger stars, and then use the smaller star to cut out the center of half of them (these are the cookie tops). Space about 1” apart on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 400°F for 6-8 minutes until edges are set and bottoms are lightly browned. Be aware that if you rolled the dough to the 1/8” thickness, they will need a shorter baking time, so watch them! Cool on sheets for 1 minute and transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

FILLING 2 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup cherry or currant jelly or apricot jam, melted and cooled 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or ground cinnamon Stir filling ingredients together until well-combined. Dust powdered sugar over the cookie tops. Spread the bottom of the solid cookies with the filling, add a top cookie, and fill the hole with a dollop of filling.


Start with the basic dough, well chilled. Pinch off balls about 1½” in diameter. Roll into 3” long logs and shape into crescents, tapering the ends. Place 2” apart on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 325°F for 15-20 minutes until edges are firm to a light touch and the bottoms are barely browned. Cool on sheets 1 minute and then transfer to cooling racks. To decorate, melt 3 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and 3 ounces of white baking chocolate in separate pans or containers. Stir 1 teaspoon of shortening into each container of melted chocolate until smooth. Spoon the bittersweet or semisweet chocolate over half of each crescent, and then accent the darker chocolate with drizzles of the white chocolate.


Start with the basic dough. Press dough with your hands into a 15x10x1 baking pan, making it as even in thickness as you can. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Lightly mix the following together and sprinkle over the top of the cookie base:

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut 1 cup snipped dried apricots, dried cherries and/or dried cranberries 1 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces 1/2 cup white baking pieces Drizzle a 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk over the top. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.


Cookie variations from www.midwestliving.com

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It’s Back in Season! Spiced Glei’s Orchards apple cider! Served in a cinnamon caramel rimmed glass.

173 E. South St., Hillsdale • 439-1100 59

By Rachel Yoder

Homemade Brown Sugar! I want to share a little pantry secret with you that I hope will save you some swearing and a trip to the store during this busy holiday season. According to my husband, we are always out of brown sugar. Let’s be clear, he never bakes. I only hear this when he’s getting ready to put something in the smoker. For instance, last week he smoked two pork butts and thankfully we had brown sugar when he needed it to make his rub so all was right with the world. When I started making a double batch of my famous “Mrs. Yoder’s Cookies” yesterday, guess what . . . the brown sugar canister was empty. Most people would probably jump in the car and run to the store. Not me. I have everything I need to make brown sugar right in my pantry. Maybe some of you already know this, but for those who don’t: Sugar + Molasses = Brown Sugar. Growing up, I’m fairly certain I thought it was something different and maybe more special than what it actually is. Yep. Two ingredients, that’s it! Plus, you can make it in a snap in any quantity you desire. I typically like to make enough to fill up my brown sugar canister. I also buy sugar by the 50-pound bag because of all the canning I do throughout the year . . . I’m really taking this whole “Yoder” last name thing seriously, apparently. (Yes, we do have electricity.) Brown Sugar: 3 cups granulated sugar ½ cup (or more) molasses of your choice Tools: Whisk Medium-sized bowl or stand mixer with a whisk attachment Keep in mind this is one recipe you just sort of eyeball. You can start with a ½ cup of molasses, but you may find you need to add more depending on your preferences. Place both ingredients in the bowl and whisk until no molasses blobs remain. Use immediately or store in an airtight container. I like to keep a clay disk or a hunk of bread in my brown sugar to keep it from turning into a sugar brick, but that is optional. Rachel is a gardener, beekeeper, wife, mother of three wild and crazy boys, and lover of all things homesteading. Come grow with her at greenpromisegrows.com or follow Green Promise Grows on Facebook. 60

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2018 Holiday Festivals & Events

By Melissa McCance

11/9-11/10 Holiday Open House & Streetscape Lighting, Tecumseh 11/9-11/11 Yuletide Cheer Festival, Blissfield 11/10 Holiday Marketplace, Grand Haven

The holiday season is upon us and that means festivals and celebrations all across Michigan. Here is a partial (yes, only partial!) list of things to do during the next two months. Many of these events have multiple attractions. Tree lighting ceremonies often include group carol singing, special refreshments, and holiday markets. Larger festivals may offer sleigh rides, appearances by Santa, special dining and shopping, home tours and more. There’s also an amazing number of arts and crafts shows, parades, and musical and theatrical events throughout the state. For a more complete list, visit www.michigan.org/events. You can search by date, name, and/ or location. (Note: this function may not be available on mobile devices.) Most listings include clickable links for detailed information. For Lenawee County happenings, www.visitlenawee. com is an excellent resource. As always, we recommend checking the event’s current online information before heading out! 62

11/16 Light Night, Grand Haven Silver Bells in the City, Lansing (includes lighting the state tree) Holidays in the Heart of the City, Saginaw Luminary Festival, St. Joseph Annual White Lake Holiday Walk, White Lake

11/22-12/31 Nite Lites at MIS, Brooklyn 11/23 Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting, Charlevoix Holiday Celebrations & Candlewalk, Frankenmuth 11/23-11/24 Christmas Candlewalk, Chesaning Holly Dickens Festival 11/23-12/30 Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic, Flint Marshall’s Merry Mile Light Display, Marshall 11/24 Holiday Lighting, Buchanan

Christmas Tree Festival, Monroe (may have additional dates; information was not available) Reindog Holiday Parade, St. Joseph Holiday Festival, Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton 12/1-12/2 Holly Dickens Festival, Holly Christmas on the Farm, Grass Lake 12/2 Winter Holiday Festival, Augusta Holiday Home Tour, South Haven Evening of Lights, Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton

11/16-11/18 Christmas Through Lowell

11/26 Marshall Christmas Parade, Marshall

11/17 Festival of Lights Christmas Parade, Big Rapids Holiday Open House, Holland

12/7 Wassail Fest, Blissfield Sinterklaas Eve Procession, Holland

11/27 Downtown Parade of Lights, Holland Christmas Tree Lighting & Parade, Saline

12/7-12/8 Promenade Candlelight Home Tour, Tecumseh

11/17-12/8 Kerstmarkt, Holland

11/29-12/1 America’s Tallest Singing Christmas Tree, Muskegon

11/17-12/31 Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo (not open every day in date range; check site) 11/20-1/6 Christmas & Holiday Traditions Around the World, Grand Rapids

11/30-12/23 Zoo Lights at Binder Park Zoo, Battle Creek (Fridays through Sundays only within date range)

11/22 Thanksgiving Dinner, Family Style, Marshall (Turkeyville)

11/30-12/27 Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village, Dearborn (not open every night in date r ange; check site)

11/22-12/30 Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo, Lansing

12/1 Christmas Festivities, Lowell

12/8 Old-Fashioned Christmas Horse Parade, Lexington 12/8-12/9 Holly Dickens Festival, Holly Candlelight Walk of Historic Homes, Marshall Evening of Lights, Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton 12/9 Christmas in the Village, Okemos 12/22 Winter Solstice Celebration, Midland 12/31-1/1 Eve on the Ave, Jackson New Year's Bash, Hillsdale

The Hillsdale Business Association and The City of Hillsdale Present:

Sponsored by: Hillsdale County Community Foundation


Free evenT! wATCH

• Heated Beer & Wine Tent EDWIN THe 4’ penguin • Heated DJ Tent wAddle His wAy inTo THe new yeAr! • Kid’s Activities

Celebrate with Family, Friends

t h g i n d i M t a

& Laser Light show! For more info visit www.cityofhillsdale.org or follow us on FB or call 517.437.6426


Hey HILLSDALe... Are you up for A cHALLenge?

• Must be a bPu customer • Must be entered to be judged • Pictures will be taken Wednesday, december 5th, starting at 5:30 pm • one entry per household • Prizes will be credited to the winners' bill!

Board of

Board of

beSt decorated HoMe PrizeS 1st $100 2nd $75 3rd $50

Pictures of entered homes & businesses will be taken by BPU Staff on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018, starting at 5:30 pm, then added to Facebook for community voting on 12/10/18 Community voting will take place on City of Hillsdale’s FACEBOOK page on Monday, December 10th – Sunday, December 16h. Vote by liking your favorite light display in each category. ViEWing nigHT will be on Tuesday, December 11th from 6-9 pm. (Participants please have lights on during this time for public viewing). The city encourages everyone to take a drive and witness all the festive holiday light displays. Winners will be announced Tuesday, December 18th. Winners will receive temporary

Public Utilities yard signs to claim bragging rights.

Public Utilities

45 Monroe St • HillSdale • (517) 437-3387 64

beSt decorated buSineSS PrizeS 1st $100 2nd $75 3rd $50

any resident or business owner interested in participating in the contest please submit your name, address and phone number by Monday, december 3rd to kprice@cityofhillsdale.org.

For more information please contact Katy Price at 517-437-6455 or email kprice@cityofhillsdale.org.

NOV/DEC 2018


it’s a woman thing! BRANCH/HILLSDALE/LENAWEE



Building a business by building relationships

kegan kares local student gives back

fashionable wraps for winter weather

plus michigan holiday destinations


Providing services in the area of:

• Infusion (non-oncology) • Sleep Study • Wound Care


For those who live on the go. AlwAys unstoppAble.

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See The Professionals Eric Hoffman, Jeff Hess, Chris Finch, Roger Karr, Chad Gibler, Jim Cole, Rob Sayles, Jeremy Taylor, Christopher Finch II, Rob Grossheim, Tim Kempter, Beshad Kowssaire, Trenton Shindorf, Steve Rzepka, Natasha Shepard, Samantha Santi, Dustin Dihle and Austin Snyder


(517) 849-2121 M-99 (Between Hillsdale & Jonesville)


Surviving Snow Covered roadS By Rob Shewman

Winter driving presents a number of challenges to you and your car. Cold weather tests the limits of your car’s mechanical abilities. Treacherous conditions test your abilities as a driver. It pays to be prepared; here are a few tips to get ready for snow and sleet-covered roads. Make sure your battery and charging system in good order.

Check the battery, charging system, and belts. Your battery can leave you stranded simply because it’s old. Or, it could leave you stranded because your charging system isn’t working well. Check the cooling system.

Saying my life has been chaotic lately is an understatement on par with saying Michigan weather is a tad changeable. I am deeply into the “sandwich years:” I still have a child at home but I’m also dealing with the ever-increasing needs of aging parents in poor health. On top of it all is trying to find time for work, my personal relationships, and (maybe) squeeze in a little “me” time. This balancing act is very difficult, very emotional, and often exhausting. I know I’m not unique in this struggle, and, as life expectancy increases, it’s one that more and more of us will face. I just Marlanea McGraw try to deal with each day as it comes, but I wish they would stop all ganging up on me at once! Owner/Publisher The Pittsford Wildcats had a great football season and I was so proud watching Lucas play! It was another of those “lasts” that we’re sharing as he goes through his senior year. We’ve made a number of college visits and he seems to like each one we look at, so the decision-making process could be a real challenge. My dad heading down to Florida for the winter makes me think of all the snowbirds who will soon be leaving for warmer climates. We wish you all safe travels and a happy time in your winter quarters. Remember that you can keep up with us at www. simplyhers.net where you can read the issues online you’ll miss while you’re gone. Also, don’t forget to visit and like our Facebook page to see the latest happenings and posts. We hope you have fun with our “flip book” format for this holiday issue! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and this year we were able to make it happen. We tried to round up some tips and tricks to ease the mayhem of the season for you.

Make certain the antifreeze will protect your car at the winter temperatures you’ll experience. For our area, you’ll need a 50-50 mix of coolant to water. If you have leaks in the cooling system, take care of them now.

As another year draws to a close, we truly cannot thank you enough for being part of the Simply Hers community. The support and encouragement that you give us make a huge difference, and we appreciate our readers more than you know. I, personally, want to thank my staff for going above and beyond every, single issue! We also offer a heartfelt “thank you” to the advertisers whose continued faith in this publication allows us to keep going. Please patronize the businesses and individuals whose ads appear in these pages.

Keep your gas tank close to full.

Wishing you all a warm, wonderful, safe, and blessed season!

In the summer, you can take a chance and run down to fumes. But in the winter, if you do get stuck or stranded, the engine will be your only source of heat. Clean off your car - entirely!

Once snow or ice does arrive, take some extra time to make sure your car is clean and your visibility is good. Clear off the entire car, not just a little peephole in the windshield. You need just as much, if not more, visibility in poor conditions because you have to keep your eyes peeled for pedestrians. Make sure you have some basic supplies in your car in case you do get stuck.

Invest in a substantial snowbrush and an ice scraper. It’s also good to have a shovel, a bag of sand to help with traction, and extra windshield washer fluid. A few things to keep in the trunk include a blanket, winter clothes you don’t wear anymore, and an old pair of boots too.

517-439-1323 146 Lewis St Hillsdale


from the publisher



Sales Staff

Becky Spratt

Simply Hers is published by and is the property of

Chestney Publishing For information on how to submit story ideas, concerns, or information on how to advertise, please contact Marlanea McGraw 517-320-9235 • sales@simplyhers.net www.simplyhers.net Simply Hers Magazine makes every effort to provide accurate information in advertising and editorial content, however, does not make any claims as to accuracy of information provided by advertisers or editorial contributors and accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccurate information

Sherry Sheffer

Cyndi Young

Staci Gramlich

Editor Melissa McCance Graphic DesignerS Angela Blake Amanda Honeywell Laura Kast Photography Synergy In Motion Studios Contributing Writers Peggie Bildner Sarah Gray Melissa McCance Tim Dixon Laura Loveberry Nancy Ryan Willie Smith Stephanie Gordon Jess Piper Diane Clow Alicia Curtis Kara Wilson Rachel Yoder

Your Complete Custom Tile Center

SMall ProjectS to entire kitcHenS... call tHe exPertS today!

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On the Cover 10 Johnny T’s Bistro

Fashion 13 It’s A Wrap

BEAUTY 16 7 Lip Tips

Muscle Up - Live Fit 18 Change Your Perception

Social Media 20

Helps Find Biological Family

Marriage, Menopause 22 and Mutts - OH MY!

Local Spotlight 24 Kegan Kares

40 Stuff

You May Not Know About

42 Keeping It In Stitches A Christmas Tradition

44 City Pages Hillsdale - 44 Jonesville - 46 Coldwater - 48 Tecumseh - 50 Manitou Beach - 52 Adrian - 54

Ask the Doctor 26

56 Simply Speaking

Turn the Page 30

58 Life is the Berries

The Local Beat 32

60 Treasure Hunt


Book and Author Reviews

What’s New With Your Favorite Businesses

Gray Matters 34


It’s Straight Up Interesting

Dung Smear


62 Resale Trail

The World Needs More Empathy

3 Boys and a Transplant 36 Dedicated to Super Wyatt

Legal Matters 38

Providing for Your Minor Children After You Die

noV/dec 2018

SH s i m P l y


g! it’s a woman thin aWee le/len


h e R s

On the Cover:




local student giVes Back

fashionable wraps for r winter weathe



michigan holiday destinations


Both Rick and Tammy Tropiano, owners of Johnny T’s Bistro, felt ready to have their own restaurant when they took the helm in 2009. Each brought years of experience to the job. Rick had been in food service since the early 1980s while Tammy entered the field in 1990. Besides experience, they brought a rock-solid foundation of faith. “Faith is why we are able to keep our perspective and push on when things get challenging,” explains Rick. When asked about the hallmarks of Johnny T’s, Rick replied: “Absolute quality and building relationships. Over the years, new customers have become regular customers and then friends.” Read more about this local landmark on page 10. Photo by Synergy In Motion Studios

Holiday OpeN HOuSe NOVeMBeR 16 & 17


Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for news about our special holiday events and sales.


Home Decor & more

10 N. Howell St.Hillsdale • 517-437-3113


The Morgan Leather Sleeper Sofa $ 95

Matching Power Leather Recliner $ 95



The Morgan lays flat to a full 180 degrees and has a unique, patent-pending, support bar designed around the moving parts of the mechanism.

All I want for

CHRISTMAS Burnt Hickory Sofa Table $ 95


Counter Table $ 95


Made in the USA

Made from reclaimed Elm doors with metal accents. Includes electrical outlet with USB ports.

Burnt Hickory Coffee Table $ 95


Made in the USA

Brighton Tall Chest $ 95


Floor Clock $ 95


92ND ANNIVERSARY EDITION. Natural Gray finish on solid Hickory hardwood with knots, natural edges, and distressing.


Aspen Sofa Table 95



Please thank our advertisers Without their continued commitment & support, this publication would not be possible. Anderson Funeral Services - 33 TaePark TKD - 33 Antiques & Vintage on the Boulevard - 60 Athletico - 28 Becker & Scrivens Concrete Products - 47

Southeastern Michigan - 54

Mom’s Treasures - 60 M. T. Hardwoods - 57

Gossage Eye Institute - 19

Omega Physical Therapy - 61

Green Energy LP - 61

Pittsford Gas & Tire - 41

Griffiths Mechanical - 29

Prestige title - 41

Habitat for Humanity

PRIME Fitness - 19

Restore - 62 Helping Hands Thrift Store - 62

Professional Hearing Services - 26

Belson Asphalt Paving, Inc - 43

Hillsdale Buick GMC - 9

Rearick Automotive - 61

Blessings & More - 62

Hillsdale Community

Salsaria’s - 50

Boot Jack Tavern - 53

Schools - 45

Sander’s Insurance - 41

British Tea Garden - 50

Hillsdale Family Chiropractic - 45

Saucy Dog BBQ - 47

Brown & Sons Roofing

Hillsdale Hospital - 2

Shemel Carpets - 49

Hillsdale Web Design - 31

Shiny Objects Motors

& Siding - 63 CHBW - 57

Hitching Post - 60

City Collision - 37

Hudson Pharmacy - 61

Clinton Foot And

IDK - 60

Ankle Clinic - 59 Coldwell Banker Becky Spratt - 45 Coldwell Banker Denny Groves & Associates - 23

Used Vehicle Sales - 61 Small Town Sweet Boutique - 25

Jonesville Lumber - 5

Smith’s Flowers Shop - 19

June’s Place - 62

Spratt’s Trading Post - 39

Karim HealthCare - 43, 49

Stillwell Ford Lincoln - 3

Kelly’s Furniture - 8

Taylor Agency - 55

LaPew Sanitation - 41

Tecumseh Center

Country Carpets - 33

Law Office of

Crystal Flash - 64

Timothy E. Dixon - 39

The Buoy - 53

Day or Night Painting - 61

Leigh Raddatz, CPA - 47

The Salvation Army - 62

Devils Lake View Living - 53

Little Red Barn - 60

Tilton Shoes - 51

Dr. Desjarlais - 12

Longstreet Living - 39

Todd H. Ryan, D.D.S. - 59

Dr. Herbener - 27

Mac’s All Temp - 33

Trend’s Salon & Spa - 53

Eagle Funeral Homes - 47

Maribeth’s - 7

Truck Shop - 54

Ervans Insurance Agency - 35

McNair Construction - 57

Visiting Angels - 35

Fowler Real Estate - 45

Miller Chiropractic - 47

WCSR - 63

Frank Beck

Mindy Shoemaker,

Your Big Day - 25

Service Department - 33

for the Arts - 51

www.hillsdalebuickgmc.com I 99 W Carleton Rd, Hillsdale, MI 49242 I 517-437-7334

Anderson Institute of

Goodwill Industries of

Viaggio Salon - 27

G & D Wood Products - 19

Miss Prints - 61

Glory to God - 4

Modern Waste - 33


JohnnyT on the cover


s ’

By Melissa McCance

Building a business by building relationships

On a list of “Easy, Stress-Free Small Business Opportunities,” owning a restaurant would probably be very near—if not at—the bottom. What with creating the menu, choosing the décor, finding a chef, making connections with vendors, hiring and training the staff, and publicizing your eatery, well . . . it’s enough to send most people around the bend. Add to that the fact that over half of new restaurants fail within the first three years, and it’s a wonder anyone even tries. Fortunately for our area, Rick and Tammy Tropiano, owners of Johnny T’s Bistro, took the plunge!


Both Rick and Tammy felt ready to have their own restaurant when they took over in 2009 and each brought years of experience to the job. Rick had been in food service since the early 1980s while Tammy entered the field in 1990. Besides experience, they brought a rock-solid foundation of faith. “Faith is why we are able to keep our perspective and push on when things get challenging,” explains Rick. Their faith also shapes how they deal with everyone who’s part of their business including customers, employees, vendors, and the community as a whole.

When asked about the hallmarks of Johnny T’s, Rick replied: “Absolute quality and building relationships. Over the years, new customers have become regular customers and then friends. We don’t really focus on finding employees who are planning to stay forever; we love bringing people in, honing and polishing their skills, and then seeing them move on. We’ve had staff leave and go into medicine, acting, law—one’s even a chef!” Because the food scene is ever-changing, Johnny T’s recently introduced a revamped menu with a focus on “doing fewer things better,” and they are planning to update the offerings more regularly than before. One thing that won’t change is the commitment to first-rate cuisine. “All of our food is housemade,” says Rick. “The recipes are created here. Sometimes the experiments work and sometimes they don’t ever get on the menu, but everything we serve is crafted in this kitchen.” Their popular banquet facility is busy all year, and it’s rare for there to be more than a handful of weekends when it’s not in use. In addition, Johnny T’s will do off-site catering for groups. The menu and banquet brochure is available online, as is the restaurant menu if you want to browse before you visit. Considering the tempting range of options, looking ahead and narrowing your choices ahead of time is probably a good idea!

All of our food is housemade ... The recipes are created here.

With the holidays just around the corner, Johnny T’s is again offering their great gift card special. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, customers who purchase five $20 gift cards will receive another $20 gift card free. Rick said these cards can be reloaded and make great gifts for local college students. “The students can have a nice meal out, and the parents or grandparents can reload the card later in the year.” Johnny T’s Bistro is located at 173 E. South St. in Hillsdale. You can contact them by phone at 517-439-1100 or by email at info@johnnytsbistro. com. Their website address is johnnytsbistro.com and you can follow them on Facebook.



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It ’s A Are you ready to bundle up?


What good is it to have the most amazing outfit and then cover it up with a drab, lifeless overcoat? This winter it may be time to pay some attention to the outer layers. A splash of color or a fabulous scarf could add some much needed life to an otherwise dreary Michigan day. Check out some of our favorites . . . . 13


Capes have been very popular over the last few years, offering a stylish and sophisticated covering for any wardrobe. A sash will help give the cape a more fitted shape and a slim pair of pants will add balance to the look.

Oversized Scarf:

One part neck accesory, one part blanket yet always stylish and warm. The oversized scarf is the hippest accessory of the season. These beauties come in unlimited colors and styles and with a little on-line research you can find multiple ways to style this versatile piece.

Driving Gloves:

It’s chilly outside again, and you need gloves to keep your fingers warm. Sometimes, the only thing you want to do is hop in your car and drive home or to the store for hot chocolate, so you’ll want to have leather driving gloves you can quickly slip on before opening a frozen car door. Look for styles lined with fleece or flannel for a cozy fit.



Berets have long been associated with the Bohemian lifestyle. Boho is huge in fashion, and there’s nothing like a cute beret to bring out the quirky Boho spirit.


This classic military-inspired wool coat — originally worn solely by sailors — is ultrawarm, often unisex, and always double-breasted.

Shearling Coat:

A shearling and leather combination is the way to go if you’re looking for an edgier coat for winter. Style it with black jeans or a skirt, but either way you’ll look like a trendsetter.

Trench Coat:

No closet is complete without this key transitional coat which can take wearers from crisp fall nights to cool winter mornings. Loose and belted, it’s often waterproof. A trench coat is an essential rainy day jacket for chilly fall weather! Make it stylish by opting for a traditional trench coat paired with a striped long-sleeve shirt and a pair of dark-wash jeans.



Lip Tips to keep your lips healthy, especially during cold, windy winters.


1. Slather The Scrub

Exfoliate once a week. Yes, even your lips need a good scrub every now and then. This gets rid of excess skin for smooth lips ready to be hydrated. Don’t go overboard. It can dry your lips out even worse. Stick to a weekly regimen.You can use a face scrub on your lips—not just your face. Once you’ve given your lips a gentle scrubbing, you’ll need to moisturize. Follow up your scrub session with a thick coat of an ultra-hydrating lip balm.

2. Avoid Fragrances or Menthol

Ingredients that are meant to be tasty or fragrant can also be drying. And, although vitamin E is usually a soothing, it can actually be an irritant, too. Look for hydrating ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, vitamin E, and almond, jojoba or coconut oils. Good old petroleum jelly (think: Vaseline) works well too.

3.Drink Water

It seems obvious, but healthy, smooth skin and lips need lots of water, so drink up this winter. Take a water bottle with you wherever you go. Drinking enough water (the equivalent of at least 9 cups of fluids daily) will keep the body, skin, and lips hydrated.

4. Use a Humidifier

Humidify your house and turn down the heat. The winter air is already drying enough, but a too-hot house can suck the moisture right out of the air making your lips (and skin!) feel dryer.

5. Apply Sunscreen

Protect, protect, protect. Lips are susceptible to sunburn since they lack melanin, the pigment that helps shield skin from the sun. No matter the season, it’s a must to apply (and reapply) sunscreen regularly—and the same goes for your lips. In the day time—whether the sun is shining or not—be sure to wear a lip balm with an SPF value of at least 15.

6. Kick the Lick

Licking your lips damages the protective barrier which can dry out the lips. You might be under the impression that you’re giving your lips a quick boost of moisture, but that’s far from the case. Saliva evaporates quickly which means your lips are left even drier than before you licked them. To help curb your lip licking habit, avoid flavored lip balms— they may tempt you to have a taste.

7. Try Tinted Lip Balm

Certain lipstick formulas can be extremely drying. If you’d like to avoid that without forgoing a flattering lip color, go for a lip balm with a tint. And, of course, the lasting hydration doesn’t hurt, either.


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Change Your Perception

Jess Piper ACE Certified Personal Trainer & Senior Fitness Specialist PRIME Fitness

It’s 5 a.m., it’s cold outside, and your alarm goes off! BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! You’re lying in bed thinking of every excuse in the book not to get up and work out . . . trust me, we have all been there. But, you’re faced with the ultimate dilemma: hit snooze, or get up? As your mind races back and forth, you ask yourself, “Why do I HAVE to work out?” Maybe that’s the issue, we think we “have” to work out like it’s a chore. Maybe we should stop looking at our workout as something we “have” to do and start looking at it as something we “get” to do. Changing your perspective in the gym could change your life. I am a firm believer in positive thinking. Every day I see people with debilitating issues that choose not to “hit snooze.” They chose to get out of bed and conquered their workout with a positive outlook! They are faced with physical ailments that make it hard, if not nearly impossible, just to walk, but that

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doesn’t stop them. These people motivate me and inspire me to view working out as a privilege! Ask yourself this question: are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? Either way is fine, and it takes both types to make the world go around, but what if we all took the “glass half full” approach when we hit the gym? Think about it . . . changing simple phrases like “I have to” to “I get to” can make a huge difference in one’s attitude towards working out. When your thought process starts to take a negative turn, stop yourself and redirect in a positive direction. The body is nothing without the mind and vice versa. When you get them to work together amazing things can happen. We all get tired, we all are busy, and we all have a million excuses to hit snooze . . . but change your perception and find that reason to get out of bed and conquer that workout!

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The Missing Piece Social media helps find biological family By Sarah Gray

Gene Tucker grew up in a loving home in Allen with wonderful parents Loren and Wilma (Burlew) Tucker. A graduate of Reading High School, Gene has always been an outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing. Twenty-nine years ago he met his wife Kim; they have been married for 27 years and have a daughter Lacey and grandson Logan. Gene has lived a very nice life, but for almost 45 years a piece has been missing. In 1965, the year Gene was born, his biological mother gave him up for adoption. According to the Adoption Network, in the United States there are 1.5 million adopted children and 135,000 children are adopted yearly. In November 1965, Gene became part of those statistics. “They are my parents and I still think of them as my parents,” Gene says of the Tuckers who have both passed away. “But, part of me was always curious about my biological parents.” His parents told Gene he was adopted when he was about seven or eight years old. He doesn’t remember much of the conversation or it having a big impact on his life. As he grew older, however, Gene, who is an only child, began to wonder more about 20

his biological parents and if he had any biological siblings. Today, almost 70 percent of adoptions are open adoptions meaning there is some contact between the biological and adoptive parents. When Gene was born, however, the majority of adoptions were considered closed with no contact between the two parties. So, in the early 90s when Gene wanted to know a little more information about who his birth parents were, getting help was difficult. Gene and Kim contacted the agency in Jackson that handled the adoption, but the information they received was sparse and not very helpful. The paperwork gave his parents ages at the time of the adoption and the ages of other children his mother had at the time. “They never gave me any names,” Gene says. “I wrote for more information but they said they couldn’t give me any more.” Gene put his search on hold at that time for several reasons, the main being he could see that it was

upsetting his mother Wilma. “She was hesitant about me finding my birth parents,” he says. He never knew quite why but thinks she may have been a bit scared that he would find them and connect more with his birth parents. For the next 25 years, Gene sat on what little information he had. Earlier

this year, Gene’s father Lorne passed away. With both parents now gone and no brothers or sisters, the questions about where he came from and why he was given up were no longer a passing thought in the back of his mind. “I was just kind of curious about it.” Gene and Kim contacted the adoption agency again, but the agency asked for payment for the files. “It’s your life and they want money,” Kim says. They decided to do what many people who were adopted in that era are doing to try finding their birth parents: they went to social media. Kim posted Gene’s photo on Facebook with all the information they had, and, within days, it was shared around the world. Kim said she received hundreds of comments; many suggested Gene take a DNA test to help find the missing pieces he sought. One woman even offered Gene her own DNA kit from Ancestry.com. Gene admits that once he received the DNA test kit, it sat around the house for a couple of months. Then, on his daughter’s urging, Gene gave the saliva sample and sent it in. “Lacey was always curious about my biological family,” Gene says. Gene was anxious for the results to come back. Thankfully, Ancestry.com kept him updated. Within a couple of weeks, he had results. Not a list of names, addresses or birth records, but a family tree filled with potential relatives both living and deceased. No bullseye, but more information than he’d had before. Through the family tree, Gene discovered he was related to the Goldsmiths of Jackson. He contacted Jane Goldsmith and from information each had they determined she was Gene’s cousin. They met at the beginning of September and she showed him the genealogy work she had done, giving Gene more clues into his past and starting him down a path that would drastically change his life.

The information from Jane and Ancestry. com helped Gene and Kim connect dates and ages to names until they believe they found Gene’s biological father – Gordon Batterson. “It all added up like a puzzle,” Kim says. Gordon was listed as deceased on the family tree but he had a brother Marvin. Gene and Kim found Marvin’s address, drove to his house in Jackson, and knocked on his door. Marvin’s wife Carol answered and the two explained who they were and why they were there. When Marvin came to the door Gene said to him, “I believe I might be your nephew.” Marvin took one look at him and told him he looked just like Gordon, his biological father. They talked awhile and Marvin said he had no idea Gordon has given up a child for adoption. He and Carol concluded Gene must be the son of Gordon and Emma Lou. Emma Lou—who died in 2012—had four children from a previous marriage and, after giving up Gene for adoption, married Gordon. They had another son, Gordon Jr. Marvin contacted Gordon Jr. and Gene’s half-sister Susan; a few days later Gene met his brother and sister for the first time. They were excited to meet Gene and continue to stay in touch. Gene has yet to meet his three older half-brothers but is hopeful that he will be able to, in time. “I’m still trying to absorb everything,” he says. “September has been a good month.”

search. “It wd as so much quicker and more efficient,” he says. “It cut through all the red tape.” He and Kim are waiting for paperwork from the adoption agency, hoping it will answer a few more questions. He is also grateful to Kim who spent countless hours doing research and finding information for Gene. “I really owe it all to my wife Kim.” For Gene, the happiness is two-fold. He is happy he was adopted by such wonderful and loving parents and he is glad for the life he had growing up. And, he is glad for the chance to connect with his biological family and meet his siblings. He says his Uncle Marvin is planning a picnic to get more family members together which will give Lacey and Logan a chance to meet Gene’s newly discovered family. “It’s been nice, really nice,” he says. “It’s been an emotional experience but a good experience.”

In the short time he’s known his biological family, Gene is already making connections. He found that many of his family members enjoy hunting and fishing like he does and several family members were part of local fire departments and police. Gene was a volunteer firefighter for 23 and half years. “I am still processing all this and probably will for a while.” Gene is grateful that social media directed him to DNA testing and to Ancestry. com for giving him more clues in his


MARRIAGE, MeNOpaUsE and MUTTS - OH MY! By Peggie Bildner I’m not going to sugarcoat it, I have struggled with finding humor in a lot of the things going on in my life lately. Some days I’ve spent more time looking backward than forward. Fortunately, there are a lot of smiles back there!  I thought I’d share a few with you ~

MARRIAGE ~ A church where Buzz and I used to attend always put on a couples’ Sweetheart Banquet for Valentine’s Day. One year, they added to the entertainment by having everyone vote in advance for categories like “Best Dressed Couple,”“Best Looking Couple,” “Smartest Couple,” etc. At the banquet, Buzz and I were chosen “Funniest Couple.” On the way home, we were smiling and thinking what a compliment it was that others thought we were funny . . . until it came to me that the word “funny” can also mean “weird!” As I think back over some of the things that happened while attending that church, I’m pretty sure the honor was bestowed on us for the second reason! We both had our share of “OOPS” moments, but one of my most embarrassing came within the first few weeks of attending. We were sitting in a pew behind an elderly woman. The song leader told us to take our hymnals and stand to sing. I rose with the songbook in front of me but unfortunately, the lady in front of me did not. As I went up with the book, I caught her wig and tipped it forward, down onto her face! If I wasn’t already appalled enough, she turned around to give me a nasty look with the wig still down over her eyes! It is VERY hard not to giggle at that, just sayin’!

MeNOpaUsE ~ I still prefer to get up and start my day fairly early. Buzz likes to stay up later and sleep in. He will sometimes ask me to please stay in bed with him. After 38 years of marriage, I’ve taken the fact that he still wants to cuddle with me as a compliment. But, the rest of the story came out on this chilly morning when he admitted that having me (and my hot flashes) in bed was “like laying beside a big heating pad.” I’m going to pretend that just means he still thinks I’m HOT! and MUTTS ~ Those of you who love their dogs as we do, I’m sure will agree they can have human reactions sometimes. The other day Buzz was going into the basement. Kacie, our Keeshond, started to follow him down. Buzz said, “You’d better behave if you’re coming down here.” Kacie stopped, gave him a dirty look, turned around and went back upstairs! At six years old, Kacie still cannot be trusted out of our sight for any length of time, so it’s a constant challenge to keep track of her. Me (to Buzz): “Where’s Kacie? I thought she was with you.” Buzz (straight-faced, serious): “I don’t know. When she left the room I asked her where she was going, but she didn’t answer me.”

Another incident during the opening hymns (this time caused by Buzz), brought half the church down in laughter, including the song leader! Buzz loves to sing, especially hymns. He doesn’t care that he can’t carry a tune or hasn’t a clue what they mean by singing in a certain key. On this particular Sunday, as soon as the music started, he enthusiastically stood tall, proud, and loud to sing one of his favorites. The problem was that the song leader had not told us to stand up and Buzz didn’t realize he was the ONLY ONE standing! I was trying to tug discreetly on his sweater but he continued to sing, oblivious to what was going on. Everyone seated behind us and the song leader up front started laughing before he finally figured out what was going on and sat down. After church, the song leader told Buzz he owed him an apology because we should have all been standing. After all, the song was “I Stand Amazed.” Yep, I’m pretty sure that was a polite way of voting us the “Weirdest Couple!” 22


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Keagan Kares A Tender Hear t for

Children in Need

By Melissa McCance

There can be moments in life that bring us up short and provide a new understanding of life’s realities. This happened to Keagan Gimenez four years ago during her junior year of high school. She was part of Jonesville Community Schools’ “Peer to Peer” program in which high school students work with elementary students. One day, she discovered a small kindergarten student burrowing in the trash looking for food. Shocked and saddened, Keagan went home and shared what she’d seen with her mother Melissa, telling her that something had to be done about it. They enlisted the help of fifth-grade teacher Brian Stroble and the Keagan Kares program was launched. Each month, Melissa picks up 100 supplementary food bags from the Food Bank of South Central Michigan that are distributed on Fridays to elementary children who’ve been identified as facing food insecurity. Student volunteers assist with the distribution which is done in a way to avoid making the recipient students feel self-conscious. Keagan says that sometimes parents are uncomfortable about accepting the help but adds that they do their best to encourage focusing on what is best for the children. Keagan is anxious to see the program expand and help as many students and families as possible. The program is now being ex-


tended into the middle school, and Keagan envisions assisting more middle school students and moving into the high school. She is particularly concerned about the need for more volunteers to distribute the bags. Keagan currently attends Jackson College and has arranged her school and work schedules around the time demands of Keagan Kares, but she is transferring to Siena Heights next year to complete a degree in computer networking and cybersecurity. That means she won’t be as available for distribution days. “It can be a way for National Honor Society members to get some of their community service hours,” Keagan explains. “Actually, any student who needs service hours could be part of this.” Besides additional volunteers, the program also seeks monetary support. Keagan tries to do something special for the families around the holidays, so they do extra fundraising to cover those costs. Keagan Kares has received some funds from community sources, but more is required to meet the need. It’s Keagan’s hope that a small group will come together to keep Keagan Kares going and growing. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Brian Stroble at Williams Elementary School: bstroble@jonesvilleschools. org or 517-849-9175.

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Celebrating 30 years of delivering better hearing.

Influenza by Nichole Ellis, D.O. Simply Hers Magazine

Better hearing starts here...

As this article finds you in the midst of influenza season, I hope everyone is staying healthy. I want to review influenza as well as its prevention and public health safety concerns.

Sandra Hepker

Influenza is commonly confused with “the flu,” a tummy and vomiting and diarrhea illness. Symptoms more accurately are fever, chills, body aches, headaches, and a cough that typically does not produce sputum. This is not the common cold and the symptoms are much more severe. A secondary bacterial infection such as otitis media (ear infection), sepsis (whole body illness), and pneumonia can occur. A majority of people will recover after three to seven days. There are three types of influenza—A, B and C—and thousands of sub-types within those groups. Influenza mutates and shifts genetically even within the same influenza season which means that an individual can have influenza more than once a year.

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Occasionally, smaller particles or aerosols can also be a source of transmission. This means surfaces such as doorknobs, sinks, and countertops can be contaminated. Because children are still learning respiratory and illness etiquette, they have amplified outbreaks, especially in and out of home groups, childcare settings, and in schools. What is most important is to know that you can be infectious and contagious 24 hours before your onset of symptoms, so at the first signs please remove yourself or child from group settings, school, daycare, or work. This is vital to preventing further outbreaks. Viral shedding (how long someone is contagious) is seven days after onset of infection. I have been told by many that the impression is that once you are fever-free you are no longer contagious and this is NOT correct. Removal from school, work, or daycare for seven days after the onset of illness can be a financial and academic struggle for many families, but it is pivotal in controlling outbreaks within schools and in our community. Isolation during illness, hand washing, and supportive care are the best ways to minimize outbreaks in our area.

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The influenza vaccine can reduce your risk of influenza between 40 and 60 percent. This, however, depends on the sub-type of influenza virus. While the influenza vaccine has only 25% protection against H3N2, it has 65% protection against H1N1. Prevention is our best defense. Wishing you a safe and healthy winter. discuss, please email them to us at marlanea@simplyhers.net


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blood flow restriction training:

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What is Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFR)? Blood flow restriction training uses a special inflatable device around the upper portion of an extremity to reduce venous blood flow in the limb while allowing arterial flow. This technique allows for an increase in workout intensity with less pressure through the affected joint. It allows patients to have a faster recovery time with less loss of muscle mass during recovery. This “harder” full body workout allows for better hormone release and blood flow, resulting in an increased healing rate, thus shortening rehabilitation time and enhancing outcomes. Conditions that respond well to Blood Flow Restriction Blood flow restriction was invented for postsurgical patients or patients with joints that are restricted and painful. It is also used by Olympic athletes to improve training and by bodybuilders to improve muscle mass. Longer recovery time from surgery is typically due to the strength lost in the muscles surrounding the surgical joint. Those recovering from total joint replacements, fractures, Achilles tendon repairs, knee ligament reconstructions, rotator cuff repairs, muscle strains, nerve injuries, and knee arthritis could benefit from BFR rehabilitation.

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Blood Flow Restriction Expectations and Treatment BFR therapy feels like increased pressure and fatigue in the muscles used. A light, 20-minute BFR workout session is said to be equivalent to a heavy load training 60-minute workout session. BFR should only be done twice a week. Early training post-surgical is limited due to the affected joint not being able to support significant loads to maintain body mass. A typical physical therapy session is about an hour, with BFR supplementing the exercise and conditioning portions of the session. Muscle soreness is expected, which indicates appropriate stress to the tissue; this, in turn, will help strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint being treated. Joint pain and bruising at the cuff site should not occur. Is Blood Flow Restriction Therapy Safe? Side effects of BFR can include headaches and muscle soreness. Precautions are for swelling, high blood pressure, edema, open wounds, headache, and blood clotting disorders. Overall, treatment is safe, and we suggest bringing up any concerns that you may have with your surgeon, referring provider, or your certified BFR Physical Therapist.

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The Post-Operative Knee The most common loss of motor activation and muscle mass is with the quadriceps and thigh after knee surgery; this can be seen in the thigh of the surgical leg being much smaller than the non-surgical leg. BFR rehabilitation engages the muscles around the surgical joint not to lose mass quickly, and can, in turn, improve neuron activation and stability. Patient Testimony “I was impressed with my overall response to my first treatment with blood flow restriction. I got a great workout with lighter weights compared to my normal workout with heavier weights. It is awesome to get a real workout in 20 minutes. I cannot wait for my next session.” Jessica, Hillsdale patient. For more information and to find your closest Athletico location, visit Athletico.com or call the Hillsdale office at 517-439-2376. We also offer free injury screens to determine if you are a physical therapy candidate, a blood flow restriction candidate, or to help guide you in your medical options.

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turn the page Book and Author Reviews

Fall has arrived and the leaves have turned to those fabulous autumn colors! Hopefully, you were able to hop in your car and take a color tour around our state and local counties. Beauty abounds! On that note, here are some suggested readings for our upcoming autumn holiday, Thanksgiving.

By Nancy Ryan Simply Hers Magazine

The Mayflower: The Families, The Voyage, and the Founding of America written by acclaimed historian and biographer Rebecca Fraser. This is a vivid narrative history of the Mayflower and of the Winslow family, “who traveled to America in search of a new world.” Author Fraser traces two generations of one ordinary family and their extraordinary response to the challenges of life in the new world. Edward Winslow was an apprentice printer who fled England and Holland for a life of religious freedom and opportunity. He built a home and family and a deep friendship with King Massassoit, Chief of the Wampanoags (which has become part of the legend of Thanksgiving). Fifty years later, in juxtaposition, we see son Josiah commanding the New England militias against King Massassoit’s son in “King Philip’s War.” This can be purchased as either an e-book or in audiobook form. Changing pace to something lighter we have author Joanne Fluke’s Raspberry Danish Murder. Hannah’s brand new husband Ross has vanished into thin air, leaving Hannah bitter and confused. She is the owner of The Cookie Jar, and bakery orders for Thanksgiving are pouring in. Hannah is in a frenzy to keep up there and in her personal life. Fluke has written several books in this series and they are known for their recipes, comedy, and endings. They also contain romance. Some of these include Chocolate Cream Pie Murder, Christmas Cake Murder, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, Key Lime Pie Murder, Wedding Cake Murder – you get the drift. She also writes under several pseudonyms, including Jo Gibson, Chris Hunter, John Fisher, Kathryn Kirkwood, and Gina Jackson. She’s a busy lady!


Lastly, James Patterson has a Thanksgiving treat for his readers in You’ve Been Warned—Again. “Joanie was dreading Thanksgiving with her family at their strange new house. Then she encounters her brother standing in the kitchen. It was hard to know what to say to him, seeing as he’d died five years ago . . . .“ I have never read

a Patterson novel. Been meaning to, but there’s so much to read . . . . I received an email from fellow reader Marge who really enjoys a series entitled Annie’s Attic Mystery Series. These mysteries take place in the small town of Stony Point, Maine, and revolve around the ladies in the Needlecraft Club. They include the recently-widowed Annie Dawson; her divorced, childhood friend Alice; never-married Mary Beth, who owns the local yarn shop in Stony Point; and Annie’s daughter, LeeAnn. If you go online to www.anniesfiction.com you will be able to read more about this mystery series and order them. Each month thereafter you will automatically receive the next book in the series (I just might do this!), or you can just order them at your local library. My friend, Sandi, thought I would enjoy Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Scottish author Gail Honeyman. She was correct. This is an uplifting, wonderfully written, five-star novel! I could not stop thinking about it and wondering what would happen next when it was out of my hands and sitting on my table. It is the story of 30year old Eleanor who has been alone all of her life, going from foster home to foster home. But through it all, she does not feel sorry for herself, doesn’t really even realize her life is lonely. The author allows us into Eleanor’s thoughts and how she talks back to her fellow workers in her mind and rationalizes her beliefs and their dumb observations. She is funny, and we soon discover that she is quite a character! Through happenstance at her office where she works in billing, a series of events occur to bring her from her isolated life into contact with happy, caring people. Gradually, they enable her to move out of her lonesome shell and become a woman who finds friendships and love. It was so poignant and heartwarming. I wish I had slowed down and savored what I had in my hands. This author knows how to write a story. It is her debut novel, and she won the 2018 Costa Book Award for Best First Novel. She also won the Audie Award for Fiction and was nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Fiction. No surprise there! Please let me know what you’re reading: nancyryan47@ gmail.com. See you at the library!


The LocalBeat What’s n e w with you r favor ite b u s ines s eS By Melissa McCance

PRIME FITNESS STUDIO A new fitness option is coming to PRIME Fitness Studio! Owner and lead trainer James Campbell is excited to announce that a limited number of open gym memberships are now available. Open gym members have access to the studio and use of all equipment during open hours which run weekdays 6 AM - 9 PM and weekends 9 AM - 6 PM. For an additional fee, open gym members get personalized, trainer-designed workout programs that will be updated monthly. The studio is equipped with treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, and a stationary bike; free weights including bars, plates, and dumbbells; squat racks; TRX suspension systems; and a variety of weight machines. If you’re interested in finding out more about this great opportunity, stop by PRIME Fitness at 96 E. Carleton, Hillsdale (across from Family Video) or call 517-817-6475.

COUNTRY CARPETS Have you checked out the new location for Country Carpets? If you’re looking for flooring, you need to stop by! The new store features a larger showroom and MORE INVENTORY! You can browse among more samples and see many options to beautify your home. Their inventory now includes carpet remnants and rolls, vinyl remnants and rolls, carpet tiles, and luxury vinyl plank flooring. Something that hasn’t changed with the new location is their commitment to customer satisfaction. You’ll get the same personalized service and quality installation which have earned Country Carpets outstanding customer reviews and ratings. Come see them at 394 W. Chicago Road in Jonesville. Be sure to make note of the new phone number: 517-995-5070. Store hours are Monday and Wednesday from 9 to 5; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 to 6; and Saturday from 9 to 2.

LAWRENCE DESJARLAIS, M.D. An addition to the staff at the office of Dr. Lawrence Desjarlais will allow for an even higher standard of care for their patients. Cathleen Y. Chidester, MPAS-PAC, has joined the practice as the Physician Assistant. Cathie is not new to the field, however, having over 26 years’ experience with 16 of them in dermatology. Her commitment to quality, compassionate care motivates her to update her education continually, allowing her to bring the most up-to-date knowledge and techniques to her patients. Cathie holds both a BS and an MA in PA Studies. When not caring for patients, she enjoys working out, hiking, cooking, and going on medical mission trips to countries around the world. Dr. Desjarlais hopes you will join him in welcoming Cathie to the practice!



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The world needs a little more


Gray Matters By Sarah Gray Simply Hers Magazine

Empathy. It’s a word that needs to be talked about a little bit more these days. Our culture has become so mean and ugly lately it can be difficult not to be sucked down into the trenches of cruel quips and nasty gossip. Our society has become one of instantaneous gratification. We can get just about anything we need just about as fast as we want it. High-speed internet allows us to be online nearly anywhere meaning we can watch movies or be on social media with just a couple of swipes. Shopping can be done online and delivered to our cars, and Amazon has spoiled us so much with their Prime shipping we seemingly never have to wait for anything. And, while all that technology can be great (I personally LOVE Amazon), I wonder if our need for instant gratification has weakened our ability to empathize. Hear me out . . . . We are so used to getting everything we want right now that when we don’t or something goes wrong, what is our immediate reaction? Are we patient? Do we think to ourselves, “Well, 10 years ago I wouldn’t have been able to do this at all, so it’s not that big a deal?” More often than not we get upset— sometimes very upset. This can easily carry over into how we deal with the people around us. We go, go, go, expect things now, now, now and then, when we are stopped, we get upset. And usually, that emotion does not stay contained but instead comes out to the person we are interacting with. And so we say something rude or complain in the heat of our anger, not realizing that interaction can have a long-lasting effect. When my son was in preschool, his teacher read this wonderful book called “Have You Filled a Bucket today? A guide to daily happiness for kids” by Carol McCloud. The concept is very simple: everyone has an imaginary


bucket over their heads, and when you say something or do something nice you get a drop in your bucket. If you do or say something unkind, you drip out of your bucket. In addition, your positive or negative words and actions “drop” or “drip” in other people’s buckets. Depending on how full your “bucket” is equates to the happiness you outwardly show. So, a person with a full bucket is happy and a person with an empty bucket is unhappy. Pretty straightforward, right? And, while it may seem overly simple and bit cheesy, it: 1) is a very effective concept to teach young children; and, 2) is true! Have you ever noticed that when you compliment a total stranger his or her body language changes? Even if it’s just for a moment – the face softens, the shoulders relax, you may even see a smile or blush. That’s a drop in that person’s bucket. And how do you feel seeing a reaction like that from something you said. Feels pretty good, right? That’s a drop in your bucket, too. On the flip side, how do you feel when someone bumps into you in the store and doesn’t say “sorry” or cuts you off driving and doesn’t give an apologetic wave? You get a little ticked, right? Your face may darken a bit and you may not be quick to apologize when you bump into someone with your cart at the store. Those moments are drips from your bucket and from the buckets of those around you. I recently read a book for adults on this subject called “How Full is Your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton. Clifton is one of the pioneers in the study of positive psychology. It expands on this fairly basic concept and helps relay it to everyday life. I could go on and on because as you may have noticed I feel passionate about it, but I will end with this. The world needs more empathy. We need more “bucket fillers” and fewer “bucket dippers.” We have the opportunity to choose which one we will be every day. So, which one will you be?

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3 boys and a transplant By Alicia Curtis, Simply Hers Magazine

dedicated to super wyatt...


panic, I am able to look stare at the blessing that time gave to me and this fall another little miracle landed in my lap.

With organ donation on the horizon, the tension was running high. Oscar’s full body cast was nothing short of horrendous. What we and the doctors didn’t plan for is his sick belly getting bigger and bigger. Underneath this enormous cast was a belly that was growing with no room. We had to play the waiting game . . . again. By the time they took the cast off, Oscar’s skin was completely broken down from bodily fluids. When they tried to pull it off, some of his skin came off with it. The next visit came with orthopedics and a phone call to plastic surgery to see if he would need any skin grafts. Thankfully, that was an easy consultation that never needed to happen. I think back to all of the negative thoughts I had during this time. The anger and resentment I held towards his team. What I failed to see in the moment is how many times God stepped in and took care of our fears.

I have this beautiful little blonde baby in my classroom this year. He walks the halls with a smile that lights up your world. But he has a love for life, he has a love for life that only “super moms” will understand. I spent moments leading up to this year tickling him, making him laugh at inappropriate times, secretly asking his previous teacher to keep me updated on appointments that I shouldn’t know about. This little guy I prayed for before his family knew anything about it. Why? Because he is a blond-haired angel that deserves life. This little boy deserves life to its fullest. When you think God hasn’t given you exactly what you asked for, he gives you not one but two little blond-haired boys to look after.

Starting in September 2013, Oscar continued to get sick. When I say that Oscar started to get sick, Oscar’s body was slowly breaking down. His belly was so incredibly big. He was so sick. Without care, Oscar was going to heaven. I knew it, my husband knew it, total strangers knew that things were way off. We ended up having to attend a transplant seminar on how to take care of a child who has just had a transplant. When we showed the head transplant nurse of the facility a picture of Oscar, we were at Mott the next day. This was the first. The first of his last chance at life. Oscar was admitted to Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. This was the beginning of his ending. This hospital stay came with blood work, around the clock care, 24-hour mommy and daddy surveillance, blood transfusions, and every single specialist you could possibly imagine seeing my little baby boy. This visit, this visit was the first of what would transpire.

That is my life this year. Exactly five years ago my own little blueeyed blond was fighting for his life. On this day, Oscar loves life more than anyone I know. But what is so amazing about that is I have a Super Wyatt that loves life just the same. This little boy fought cancer for half of his already amazing life. In the years that Oscar battled, I absolutely REFUSED to step foot on the cancer floor at Motts. Oscar has a higher percentage of battling cancer and I couldn’t and CAN’T say the C word in regards to him to this day. But, I’m here to tell you that some fierce fighters come off of that floor. I write about him to give all of those fighting hope. I am so blessed to watch over two miracles (and a whole beautiful classroom of 22 others). If these babies could fight and pull through, so can anyone else in this great big world. I hope that these upcoming holidays bring you and yours peace, joy, strength, and, most importantly, love.

This time of year is especially hard for me. A lot of memories and pictures flood my news feed. Each one feeling like it takes me right back to that exact same place and time. Yet, once I get over the

Dedicated to Super Wyatt, a little guy who has a great big part of my heart.

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Providing for Your Minor Children after You Die Nominating a person to raise your children and handle their inheritances may be the most vexing decision you will make during estate planning. Not only must the person you select raise your children as you want them raised, but that person may also become financially responsible for your children’s inheritance. By Timothy 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


The good news is that the person who raises your children and the person who handles their inheritance does not have to be the same person. If necessary, these roles can be separated whereby one person is entrusted with your children’s care while another person is entrusted with their financial matters. The financial side of the dual model provides additional options as either an individual person or a trustee of a trust could be responsible for your children’s inheritance. A trust holds the children’s inheritances and provides guidelines for the inheritance’s use. A trust could also provide motivating incentives for your children to attain specific accomplishments that are important to you. These accomplishments could include graduating from college, staying clear of drug abuse or lawbreaking activities, or anything else you may want as long as it is not contrary to what the law allows. The trust’s assets can be released to the children or the guardian incrementally according to age and needs. For example, the trustee could distribute money for the children’s needs until age 18 and then manage the money until the child is a financially mature adult. Your trustee may also exercise discretion in investing and distributing the funds for the children’s support, education, healthcare needs,

etc., to ensure the children’s needs are met until they come of age. This method can ensure that the assets are there when they’re needed for your family. Your children’s guardian will incur expenses while raising your children which is often a concern for the guardian and parent nominating the guardian. Annuities are one way to overcome this hurdle. Annuities are a very flexible financial product with many different options. Annuities pay out regular income which can make them convenient vehicles to cover ongoing expenses for minor children. Your estate’s personal representative or the trustee of your trust could be directed through your estate plan to purchase an annuity, the payment of which will be made to the children’s guardian and provide resources to cover the expenses inured in raising your children. If you have set up an annuity for yourself or a spouse, you can name the children as beneficiaries or you can also name a trust for the benefit of your children. If you are still paying into the annuity at the time of death, your children may receive the balance or you may give a trustee the option of rolling the balance into another annuity to be paid out to the children at a later maturity date. If you are already receiving annuity payments yourself, the children may simply continue receiving these payments for the remainder of the term. Planning for the welfare of minor children after your death is neither simple nor pleasant, but important. Determining the right people and plan for raising your children and controlling their inheritances requires careful thought. With the right estate plan, both facets can successfully be managed.



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You May Not Know About . . . .

Hillsdale native becomes film star Simply Hers is starting a new segment of the magazine called “Stuff you may not know about . . . .” This segment will inform readers about some of the people, places, and events in Hillsdale, Lenawee, and Branch counties that may have been forgotten or were never well known. It is a way to shine a light on some important facts and people from our area and inform our readers more about the communities in which they live. For the first installment in this series, we look at a famous stage and screen actor from Hillsdale County who went on to have an equally famous son. Jason Nelson Robards Sr. was born on a farm in Hillsdale on December 31, 1892, the son of Frank and Elizabeth (Loomis) Robards. Frank was a post office inspector, farmer, and also managed Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 Presidential campaign in Michigan. He was chosen as chairman of the Hillsdale County Republican Society in 1898. According to the Hillsdale County Historical Society, in addition to being the post office inspector, Frank was also “said to have set up rural free delivery mail service in and around Hillsdale County.” Jason Robards Sr. – then known as Jay – studied at Michigan State University (then the Michigan Agricultural School) for two years before deciding he was not interested in pursuing a career in farming. He began spending a lot of time in Detroit at the theater and soon after decided to become an actor himself. Jason trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He landed his first role in a motion picture in 1921 as Frank Thompson in the movie “The Gilded Lily.” He appeared as a leading man in many films during the early part of his career including “Footloose Widows,”“Hills of Kentucky,” and “Tracked by the Police” (in the last two he starred with famous canine Rin Tin Tin). His film career spanned mostly from 1921 to 1961. During his early career, he was billed Jason Robards; however, once his son Jason Robards Jr. began his career, he was listed in the credits at Jason Robards Sr. The Internet Data Movie Base (IMDb) listed Jason Robards Sr. as appearing in 208 films over a 30-year career. In addition to acting in films, Jason Robards Sr. 40

also appeared on stage including the Broadway musical “Turn to the Right” in 1917. His best-known stage role was John Marvin in the longrunning hit “Lightnin’.” During the latter part of his career, he appeared in guest spots on many television programs such as “Man Hunt,” “Wagon Train,” and “General Electric Theater.” Jason Robards Jr. was born July 26, 1922, and had his first role in the short film “Follow the Music” in 1947. He went on to have memorable roles in such films as “Philadelphia,”“Parenthood,” and “Hour of the Gun” and won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in “All the President’s Men” and “Julia.” Jason Robards Sr. and his son appeared on stage together only once in Budd Schulberg’s “The Disenchanted,” a play inspired by the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Jason Jr. won his only Tony Award for his performance. Jason Jr. has two sons Jason Robards III and Sam Robards who are both actors as well. Jason Sr. died April 4, 1963, at his home in Sherman Oaks California at the age of 70. Anyone who has an idea for this new segment can email their pitch to Sarah Gray at sarah@simplyhers.net.

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Keeping It in Stitches A Christmas Tradition

By Diane K Clow Sewist and Long Arm Quilter Eversew Quilted

Don’t you love Christmas holiday traditions? My very favorite for a number of years was the Annual Ornament Exchange. A group of us would handcraft ornaments for each other and go home with that number of new ornaments for our tree. This was a tradition I participated in for over 30 years. At one time, I was a member of two exchanges and had to produce over 50 ornaments! Production would begin in September following the agonizing decision of what to make, how long it would take, and how much $$$ would be at stake! When an exchange was established with my co-workers, I hosted this event for several years at my home. Now, the upside of hosting an event at your home prior to the holidays is that you have this huge incentive to get your house in order. Literally. Then you’re all set for the actual holiday! Everyone would bring their ornaments and a finger-food passing dish. We would draw numbers to see who would get to choose their ornament first. This was especially important if someone’s ornament offerings were not identical—right, Allison? If they were different, you’d want to get first dibs for the one of your choice. There were traditional snowmen, Santas, reindeer, angels, and Christmas trees made of felt, slate, wood, pinecones, plastic, even some from spoons and empty ammunition shells! Mine were often less traditional. Over the years, I made zebras, bears, dinosaurs, and Raggedy Anns. Later there were cupcakes, gingerbread boys, donuts, and little chefs (I guess I was on a food binge).


The exchange of ornaments was a lot of fun. We’d tell the story of where we got our idea, how we made them, and how long it took. We heard the tragic story of almost-completed ornaments being stolen while traveling—right, Cindy? How one member didn’t get a chance even to START her ornaments until the day before the exchange—right, Deb? But the best part of the evening (okay, other than the food) was the telling of the OTHER stories! These included stories from a few of our members who went to parochial school rather than public school. Now keep in mind this was back in the 1970s. These girls had to wear uniforms to school and during the lunch break would play pool in the local bar. And, enjoy a beer. During the school day. And it was legal because WE were allowed to drink when WE were 18! (Take that you generations who followed behind!) Right, Rae? Of course we would “oooh and ahhh” over the skills required to make these precious ornaments, too. Every year when we haul the Christmas tree out of the garage rafters and set it up, I truly enjoy reliving the moments of those exchange evenings as I put each ornament on the tree. Over the course of 30 years, some of the ornaments have been “retired” but most still remain intact. When my granddaughter visits at Thanksgiving, she and I put the ornaments on the tree together. She asks me the story of each one. “Who made this one, Grandma?” she asks. And we laugh and look at each one as we decorate. These exchange ornaments are the only ones I put on my tree. And I love them. Every one. Merriest of Christmas to you All. May your traditions and stories always Keep you in Stitches.

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Life is the Berries Dung Smear

By Laura Loveberry Elementary School Assembly Author/Speaker, Inspirational Speaker Women’s Retreats/Conferences, Caricature Artist

God will smear DUNG on the faces of priests??? Did I read this right? What am I visualizing in my daily Scripture reading, and how did I miss this part with . . . poop? I read through the Bible yearly, and I don’t ever recall reading of a fecal face smear! As I am studying through the Old Testament, I am on the last book, Malachi. The New Testament is written 400 years later, so some scholars call the space between the Old and New Testament the “silent years.” I am pondering the impact of the last words before the long silence. What profound truths will God share right before the lengthy absence of God-breathed writing? God shares a “dung smear” illustration. That’s right. God includes this verse: “. . . I will smear on your faces the dung of your festival sacrifices . . . .” Malachi 2:3b NIV. The context is the priests were not honoring God and were sinning in their sacrifices to God. The application for me is God hates my sin and to Him, my sin is as disgusting and dishonorable as fecal matter smudged on my face. Can you imagine the stench stuck under the nostrils? Eeewwww!


I will smear on your faces the dung of your festival sacrifices . . . .” Malachi 2:3b NIV.

Shortly after my reading, I enjoy a glorious hike through the woods. At the end of my wilderness trek, I spot trash along the trail and bend over to clean it up. As I am leaning over, I focus on the rubbish. GASP! I nearly picked up, with my bare hands, a repulsive used tampon tossed out on the nature trail. Again, “Eeewwwww!” I grasp the word picture God is vividly reteaching me from my morning reading. My sins are dishonoring, disturbing, and downright gross, like unexpected garbage on a picture-perfect path. Another verse from Psalms pops in my head, “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:2 KJV. (I suggest reading all of Psalm 51 to comprehend the cleansing power of God’s forgiveness.) When I do what I know is wrong against God, I am going to picture myself walking around with fecal face. Yep. That stinking word picture is helpful to make me to stop when I am sinning, ask forgiveness from God, and let Jesus wash my poopy face clean. Let’s gasp at the sinful mess in the mirror, let God scrub our faces clean, and start our day afresh!

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123 W. Maumee St. • Adrian 10-5 •Décor Sat 10-3 IDKMon-Fri Creative 517.920.4433 146 1/2 N. Main St. (M-50) • Brooklyn awesomefinds@comcast.net Thur 10-6, Fri 10-8, Sat 10-6 Home Décor, Unique Antiques, Primitives, 517.938.8147 Architectural Salvage, Decorative Collectibles idkcreativedecor.com Vintage, Industrial, Antiques, Jewelry


HUDSON IDK Creative Décor

146 1/2 N. Main St. (M-50) •MOM’S Brooklyn Thurs. 10-6, Fri.TREASURES 10-8, Sat. 10-6 112 E. Main 517.938.8147 St. • Hudson idkcreativedecor.com Wed-Fri 10-5 • Sat 10-3 by Jewelry appt Vintage, Mon Industrial&, Tue Antiques, 517.206.5113 Home Décor, Antiques, Furniture, Gifts & Handmade Items



41 E. Bacon St. • Hillsdale THE CROW’S NEST9-6 Mon-Sat Sun 8-5 41 E. Bacon St. • •Hillsdale 517.917.6436 Tue-Fri 10-5:30 • Sat 10-5 Home Decor, Antique & Handmade Items Closed Sun & Mon Like us on Facebook for517.917.6436 great specials and Home Decor,sales Antique going&onHandmade all monthItems long! Like us on Facebook!

60 82

SIMPLY FOUND CREATIONS, LLC osseo 9991 Stoddard Rd • Adrian Corner of Onsted Hwy. & Stoddard Rd Little10-6Red Barn Tue-Sat 2108 Doty Rd • Osseo 517.467.5736 Fri., Sat, Mon. 10-5 Renewing & Redesigning Rescued Décor for 517.554.1329 Home & Garden Antiques,with Vintage, Tools, Open by Appointment message. Re-Purposed, ReThunk Junk Paint Antiques, Collectables andFurniture Farmhouse


TECUMSEH Hitching Post Hitching Post Antiques Mall Antiques Mall

1322 E. Monroe (M-50 at M-52) 1322 E. Monroe M-52) Tecumseh • Open(M-50 7 Daysat10-5:30 Tecumseh 517.423.8277• Open 7 Days 10-5:30 517.423.8277 hitchingpostantiques.com hitchingpostantiques.com Over Over8000 8000sqsqft ft––Victorian, Victorian,Military, Military,Clocks, Clocks, Glass, Estate Jewelry, Lighting & Glass, Estate Jewelry, Lighting &Lamp LampParts Parts

Antiques&&Vintage Vintage Antiques OnThe TheBoulevard Boulevard On 138 E. Chicago Blvd. • Tecumseh

138 E. Chicago Blvd. • Tecumseh Open77Days Days •• M-Sat Open M-Sat10-6 10-6• •Sun Sun12-5 12-5 517.301.4747 517.301.4747 antiqueboulevard@yahoo.com antiqueboulevard@yahoo.com Primitives, Shabby Chic, Industrial, Home Décor, Primitives, Industrial , Home Décor, Painted &Shabby FinishedChic, Furniture, Architectural Salvage Painted & Finished Furniture, Architectural Salvage

Rearick’s Truck & Trailer Plus We’ll get you moving again ... No matter what you drive!

20+ yeaRs Mechanic exPeRience MasTeR ceRTified heavy duTy TRuck sPecializing in lighT, MediuM and heavy duTy.

— Owner: Curtis Rearick, rearicktrucktrailer@yahoo.com — 3273 W. CARLETON RD • Hillsdale • (517) 610-5775

Shiny ObjectS MOtOrS Used Vehicle Sales

The QualiTy you need & PRice you can affoRd!

Alison L. Rearick Owner 3273 W. Carleton Rd. Hillsdale 517-610-5775 shinyobjectsmotors@yahoo.com

show your school pride wiTh

sTyle! • Custom Rhinestone Apparel • Custom Screen Printing •Logos, Fan Gear & Spirit Wear We Ship everyWhere!

Fundraisers / Teams / Individuals / Business / Groups / Clubs


Jacinda Locke

Day or Night

Live in Comfort and Save Money!

Trust the propane professionals to keep your home comfortable, no matter the season.


• Licensed & Insured • Interior & Exterior • Epoxy Floors Lucas Bryant — dayornightpainting@gmail.com

Budget Plans Delivery Service Emergency Service

4501 Kim Drive | Hillsdale | 517.554.8739

(Located inside Bob’s Market House)

OPEN SEVEN DAYS -Extensive Inventory -Leader Discount Program -Delivery Service Available (Hudson Area)

HOURS: Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

800-276-9741 | 325 Railroad Street, Hudson | 517-448-3111

greenenergylp.net • 517-688-3787 • Jerome

If you have an Injury or Illness that results In physIcal ImpaIrment or loss of functIon, a physIcal therapIst can help.

Appointments available after work and after school Affiliated with Hillsdale College Jake Neukom


Athletic Training / Sports Medicine

38 E. CarlEton road, HillsdalE | 517 437-2222

or 517 437-7702



ANTIQUES •CLOTHING • COLLECTIBLES • RE-PURPOSE Adrian 795 Division St. • Adrian Mon-Fri 9-5 • Sat 10 -4 517.266.7002 www.helpinghandsthriftstore.org Gently-used quality furniture, appliances, household, art, tools, med sical beds, antiques. Donations welcome. Some free pick-ups. Call for details.

423 W. Maumee St., Adrian Mon-Fri 9-5 / Sat 10-4 517.438.8263 www.neighborsofhope.com Proceeds help the homeless and hurting. Antiques, vintage items, furniture, housewares, clothing & more.


Family Store & Donation center

1400 US 223. • Adrian Mon-Sat 9-8 / Sun Noon-5 517.263.2135 www.goodwillsemi.org Shopping our stores in Adrian, Saline, Monroe and Lambertville helps to provide exceptional opportunities for people facing barriers in our community. Check out our eBay, Amazon, half.com and ShopGoodwill.org stores online at: http://goodwillsemi.org/shopping

2940 W. Carleton, Hillsdale Mon -Sat 10 - 7 517.439.1202 New and gently-used items including clothing for men, women and children, housewares, kitchen wares, home decor, furniture, books, electronics, jewelry, collectibles. Donations are tax-deductible & always accepted.

Reading 1025 E. US 223 • Adrian Tue - Sat10 -5 517.266.0746 Donations and purchases help to build and repair homes in Lenawee County! Selling new and gently-used donated building supplies, appliances, and furniture

125 S. Main, Reading Fri & Sat • 9-5 517.283.1888 Clothes, household items, holiday decor, small appliances, books, movies, toys, games, and occasional vintage. All items are clean & cheap! Taking garage sale leftovers & estates.

Resale shopping is one of the fastest-growing retail categories today, and we wanted to introduce you to some of our favorites! Be sure to check the listings in each issue for new updates and special offers exclusively for Simply Hers readers.

Happy trails!


From a HOLE in your roof to a WHOLE new roof! 3270 Ogden Hwy • Adrian brownandsonsroofingsiding.com




• Roofing/ Siding • Roof Tune-ups • Guaranteed Workmanship • Residential/Commercial • Licensed and Insured • Financing available

We know that your home is one of your largest investments and your roof is one of the best ways to protect it.







Crystal Flash now delivers propane from our newest location in Adrian.

We are the proud new owners of the Lenawee Farm Bureau Oil Co-Op in Adrian. Our goal is to be a great neighbor — and we will do this by investing in our community, employees and facilities. As an example, we’re adding propane delivery service to the Lenawee, Monroe, Washtenaw, Jackson and Hillsdale county area.



We are a 100% employee-owned energy

• • • • • • •

distribution company with locations throughout Michigan. We deliver propane, fuel and heating oil to residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial and government facilities. Since 1932, we have focused on the communities we serve.

No enrollment fees Extended customer service hours 24-Hour emergency service Price protection programs Automatic fill delivery available Multiple payment options Unlimited $100 referral program

WE’RE READY TO DELIVER FOR YOU Call 800-875-4851 or Visit crystalflash.com

A 100% Employee-Owned Company


Profile for Angela Blake

Simply Hers Christmas 2018  

Christmas survival guide including how to handle the stress, stay on your diet and all the local craft shows in the area.

Simply Hers Christmas 2018  

Christmas survival guide including how to handle the stress, stay on your diet and all the local craft shows in the area.