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Every woman deserves to be a little
The right necklace can tie an outfit together and add spark to an otherwise drab ensamble. Here are some of our favorite baubles, all available locally. As an added bonus, we are giving away each of them in our next Facebook give-away. Be sure to follow us for your chance to win! 11
M.T. Hardwoods Has Moved!!!!
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hardwood flooring Supplier of wholesale and retail hardwood flooring including oak trim, fireplace mantles, floor vents, stair systems, and floor sanding equipment rental.
Company, Inc. Creating beautiful pieces for the home from reclaimed barn wood.
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The LocalBeat What’s n e w w ith you r favor ite b u s ines s e S By Sarah Gray
JUNE’S PLACE THRIFT SHOP Open since 2013, June Place’s is a thrift store in Reading offering a wide selection of gently used clothing, glassware, kitchen items, and small appliances for low prices. The store is run solely by volunteers and all the money that comes in (after bills) is given back to the community. Sue Jacoby estimates that in the five years the business has been up and running, it has given $50,000 back to the community. June’s Place is located at 125 S. Main St. in downtown Reading and is open Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations of clothing and other items can be made at any time behind the building in their donation shed, but if help is required to unload items, volunteers are available Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. June’s Place is always looking for volunteers to help clean and sort the items that are donated. “We are crying out for volunteers,” Jacoby says. The store is fully stocked with summer and beach items and every month specially tagged items are marked down to half price. For more information, call 517-283-1888 or visit their Facebook page: June’s Place Thrift Shop.
RYAN AND BRADSHAW For top-of-the-line heating and cooling products plus high-quality licensed plumbing and mechanical contracting services, see Ryan and Bradshaw in Hillsdale. The company offers a full line of plumbing, heating and cooling installation in residential, commercial, and industrial locations. Air conditioner on the fritz? Ryan and Bradshaw’s knowledgeable staff is committed to helping its customers receive the best service at the most reasonable prices. Scott Donihue says it’s important to get regular maintenance on air conditioning for homes and businesses. “It’s no different than your health or a car,” he explains. “There are lots of moving parts in air conditioners and they need regular maintenance to keep them reliable.” The business’s fully-stocked showroom allows customers to choose what will best fit their needs. The services at Ryan & Bradshaw go beyond furnaces and air conditioners. The staff also can help with boilers, water heaters, ventilation, zoning, and air balance. They offer after-hours emergency service and free estimates on equipment replacement. Since 1965, Ryan & Bradshaw has been a name to trust providing excellent customer service and guaranteed service on all their work. For more information on Ryan & Bradshaw, call 517-437-4259 or visit their website at ryanandbradshaw.com. The business can also be found on Facebook.
THE FEED BAG
There is so much more than feed available at The Feed Bag on Main Street in North Adams. When the business opened in late 2016, it was a place to go for all things feed-related for pets and livestock alike. But in the last year and a half, owner Tracie Clough has continually added more and more to the store, branching out to garden supplies, home décor, and accessories. “It’s hard to describe what we have. The best way to know is to walk in and see it,” she says. “We have so much more than just feed.” Along with an assortment of dog, cat, poultry, and horse feed, The Feed Bag offers garden seed, garden gloves, potting soil, lime, deer seed, wind chimes and wild bird seed. Specialty orders can also be made if customers can’t find what they are looking for. Many items for the home are available such as metal and decorative signs, as well as purses, wallets and jewelry. “It’s a unique store – we are continually adding new things.” The Feed Bag is open Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 517-287-0096 or visit the business’s Facebook page at The Feed Bag LLC.
Firearms Training By Rachel Yoder
Whether you are a beginner or a firearms enthusiast looking to obtain your CPL (Concealed Pistol License), Marjorie Walden from Double Tap Firearms Training located in Pittsford, Michigan, can provide you with the training needed to help develop your shooting skills. Offering US Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) training in a laid back environment with small class sizes that allows for one on one time with every student. Marjorie has an amazing personality, a passion for firearms, and she enjoys teaching. Her philosophy is to start each day as well as her classes with gratitude and prayer. She got her start in 1993 when she was previously a firearms instructor with the United States Air Force for 10 years. In that time, she avoidance. She says, “Owning and/or carrying a firearm(s) comes has taught people how to operate everything from pistols to grenade launchers with huge responsibilities and it isn’t for everyone as there is a proficiently and has been teaching CPL classes since 2001. lot to consider.” Consider this quote: “Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you More and more women are learning to shoot; in fact, the number of women in a musician.”– Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC (retired) To be effective Michigan with a CPL has increased at a rate twice as fast as that for men. As a way with any firearm(s), you’ve got to train and practice regularly. to encourage those who may be reluctant to give it a try, Marjorie volunteers at You should even incorporate dry firing drills to help improve the annual Free Firearms Training for Women held in Taylor, Michigan. This year your skills. A basic CPL class is just the beginning to satisfy the the event provided 700 women with training on firearms safety and shooting requirements of the law and only scratches the surface. fundamentals. First time shooters sometimes do better than shooters who have learned incorrect fundamentals and may have developed bad habits. As another As a huge proponent of gun safety, the first thing you will learn way to give back to the community, Double Tap Firearms Training will be offering a in her class are the many Principles of Gun Safety (just a few are free Hunters Safety course planned for this fall. listed below): 1: Treat all guns as if they were loaded and keep them out of Marjorie encourages people who take her class to take self-defense training also reach of minors/unauthorized persons. and to consider other non-lethal means of self-protection. The use of deadly force 2: Never let the muzzle cover anything to which you are not is a last resort when no other option is available and only when someone “honestly willing to cause death or destruction. and reasonably” believes they or another person is being threatened with death, 3: Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and you severe injury, or rape. The best practices are situational awareness and conflict are ready to shoot. 4: Be sure of your target and what is beyond it as you are responsible for every round that is discharged from your firearm whether intentional or not. 5. Never handle or operate firearms while under the influence of drugs, narcotics, or alcohol. You’ll also learn gun range safety, etiquette, and how to respond in case of an emergency as well as how to properly and respectfully interact with law enforcement while carrying a firearm. It is the individual’s responsibility be familiar with state and federal laws especially when traveling to and through different states. Contact Double Tap Firearms Training for class schedules and information to get you on your way to getting your CPL and having a better understanding of firearms. Find them at https://www.facebook.com/DTAPMI or call (517) 6054270.
According to USCCA stats, you are more than three times more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than a residential fire and 70% more likely to be assaulted than injured in a house fire. You probably have a smoke detector as prevention, but what are you doing to be proactive for your personal protection?
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Will travel for groups of 5 or more Margie Walden — 517-605-4270
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Medicaid Basics, Pre-Planning and Crisis Planning
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
Medicaid, which is different than Medicare, is a federally-funded government program that pays for an individual’s long-term care costs when that individual is unable to pay for his or her own care. To qualify for Medicaid, an individual must be ill enough to need nursing home required care and meet Medicaid’s financial asset qualifications. The financial asset qualifications differ depending upon whether an individual is single or married, and, if married, whether one or both spouses require care. Single individuals cannot have countable assets greater than $2,000.00. When both married spouses require care, their countable assets cannot be greater than $2,000.00 each. The countable asset rules are more complex for married couples when only one of the spouses requires care. When only one spouse requires care, the married couple cannot have countable assets greater than $2,000.00 for the institutionalized spouse, plus $24,720.00 for the spouse not requiring Medicaid assistance. During 2018, the spouse not requiring Medicaid assistance can keep up to $123,600.00. The amount is based on allowing the independent spouse to keep one-half of all countable assets between $24,720.00 and $247,200.00. Ultimately, this means that one-hundred percent of all countable assets over $247,200.00 must be spent down as explained below. Assets are either countable or exempt, and countable assets are everything not classified as exempt by Medicaid’s rules. For 2018, the Medicaid rules exempt an individual or couple’s residence with an equitable value up to $572,000.00. The Medicaid rules also exempt household items and personal goods within limits, one vehicle, a minimal amount of life insurance, some prepaid funeral and burial arrangements, and possibly business assets and rental property.
Spending down is the process of converting countable assets to exempt assets and/or paying for care until the countable assets reach the required countable asset amount in order for Medicaid to begin paying. A number of acceptable methods exist to convert countable assets to exempt assets when a spenddown is required; however, improperly spending down assets can cause a divestment penalty leading to a divestment penalty period. A divestment penalty occurs when a countable asset is transferred during a five-year look-back period for less than fair market value and is a transfer that is not identified in Medicaid’s rules as an exception. During a divestment penalty period, Medicaid will not pay for medically necessary services. Medicaid planning is the process of arranging assets or spending down assets within the parameters allowed by Medicaid’s rules. Medicaid planning may be done before an individual or spouse needs long-term care or during a crisis. A crisis occurs when an individual or spouse requires long-term care, Medicaid will not begin paying for the care until countable assets are reduced, and the individual or couple is seeking to preserve as much of their countable assets as possible. Medicaid’s rules are constantly changing and even some of the material written above will possibly change before an individual or family reads this article and decides to take action. Accordingly, a knowledgeable attorney should be sought before doing any Medicaid planning or applying for Medicaid. Note: this article should not be used in place of legal advice by an attorney.
a license or insurance and if anything should happen to the employees while they are working, the cost would fall on the homeowner. Also, should anything go wrong with the project, these businesses may only have what Andrea calls a “taillight warranty,” meaning as soon as they are out of sight the customer will never see them again— even if there is a problem. Brown & Sons is fully licensed and insured, has received an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and all estimates are free. Proof that the company had stood the test of times come from the dozens of phone books they have acquired through the years. Though many names in the roofing industry have come and gone, their name, address, and phone number have remained the same. “We are the only company still in the book,” Andrea says. One would think owning one business would be enough for any family, but the Vogel family decided to take on another. A year and a half ago they opened Minnie’s Retro Candy Shoppe in Blissfield, named after Andrea and her husband John’s daughter Minnie. The candy store idea came from Minnie and her fourth grade school project. She created a tiny version of a candy store for the project and later asked her mom if they could have a candy store some day. Four years later the family found the right location and opened up shop. Minnie—now a freshman in high school—works at the store on the weekends. Being busy seems to be Andrea’s MO with two businesses. “I always have been,” she says. “That’s the way I was raised.”
Although the busy summer months of roofing and siding are in full swing, there is still time to get an estimate and have work done before the first snow flies. All the current business has prompted Andrea and her brothers to look into expanding the company to include more commercial work and adding more buildings to the property as they are outgrowing their current space. Brown & Sons serves Adrian, most of Lenawee County, and is expanding into Monroe County. For more information or to receive a free estimate, call 517-263-6851, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at brownandsonsroofingsiding.com.
When she does have down time, she likes to spend time with her family including her two brothers she works with at the company. “We still all hang out after work,” she says with a laugh. She and her husband, Minnie, and their son James love to go to Hocking Hills in Southern Ohio, and they plan to travel to Maine this summer to visit her dad who spends most of his summers there. She and the company are big supporters of the community and especially like to give to the Lenawee Humane Society. “Animals have no way of taking care of themselves,” she explains. “We like to help them out as much as we can.” Her family adopted two boxers from the Humane Society in 2014 and 2017 in addition to a shih tzu given to Minnie five years ago from her brother Jerome. “We are animal people for sure,” she says.
Keeping it in Stitches Grandma Throw Down
By Diane K Clow Sewist and Long Arm Quilter Eversew Quilted
Recently, we attended my granddaughter Presley’s eighth birthday party that her mom planned at a nice restaurant with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandpas, and grandmas – six of them! There was the maternal grandma, the maternal great-grandma, the maternal step-grandma, the step-dad’s mom, and the paternal grandma, me. Don’t get me wrong, I love these people. They are a warm, welcoming, and wonderful group, which is not always easy with blended families, but with them it is. However, when it comes to being the favored grandma, the gloves are off! We had a wonderful pizza lunch, sang “Happy Birthday,” and watched the birthday girl open her gifts. Step-grandma took the lead winning major points for a large package filled with a pretty dress, tees, toys, and the showstopper gift of SLIME. Major points! I felt the stress sweat start to form as our gift was presented. I’d purchased a large purple plastic tote and filled it with gift wrapped packages of bright and colorful clothes, two Friends Lego sets and a box of her favorite chocolate cereal (the tote to be used for future Lego storage). She seemed to love the clothes, squealed at the Legos, and
hugged her box of Chocolate Chex. I edged to the lead. Then it was time for cake. Out came the 24 red velvet cupcakes that I lovingly decorated as per the birthday girl’s request – as the Poop Emoji. Laughter overtook the room. A buzz of, “Look at these!” went around the room. My son-in-law-to-be Joe, said it was no longer a contest. The Grandma Award was won! (And, did I mention the flashing, colorchanging birthday candle in the shape of an 8?) On Easter, we will be hosting our family and celebrating Presley’s birthday with this limb of the family tree. Since my mother, Presley’s greatgrandma, will be there, I need to start planning my strategy in a battle with the “master.” Do you think age eight is too young for a car? This question, and many others, are Keeping this Grandma in Stitches!
programs the church has been able to offer over the past 20 years are due in large part to the people who attend and support the church. “The only reason we were able to bring [the programs] here was the size of the congregation.” Although Les is starting a new chapter of his life, he is not planning on slowing down. He and his wife Linda will spend the first weeks of his retirement watching two of their grandchildren while their daughter Tamar and her husband Eric travel to England. Tamar is completing her doctorate in transformational preaching and she and Eric are co-pastors of a Wesleyan church in Mason, MI. While they are away, Les will take over preaching at the church. He and Linda also have a son Gabriel. Upon returning, however, Les will go from behind the pulpit to a pew. He says some initial time away from the HUB will be good for both him and the congregation as the new pastor of Hillsdale United Brethren has a chance to get to know the congregation and they get a chance to know him. “They need to fully embrace the new pastor and that is not going to happen if I am home. I am really excited about [the new pastor]. I have known him for a number of years and couldn’t be happier.” Josh Good will become pastor following Les’s retirement. Josh and his wife Sarah have three children. “I want to be his cheerleader,” Les says.
While Les may be moving on from working full time for a church, he will continue to spread the word of Jesus through his passion for acting and the Bible in “Return of the Apostles.” As a former stage actor, Les communicates the scripture in a unique way. His performances are put on in full costume and Les says he has performed throughout the Midwest, in Canada, Jamaica, and Israel, and on Christian television. He and Linda are also planning a trip to the Holy Land this November as part of a tour group with himself and Pastor Mike Brown. The trip is slated for November 1-10 and will include stops in Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, Mt. Zion, and Bethlehem to name a few. For more information, contact Les at email@example.com. During his 20 years with Hillsdale United Brethren, Les says more than 1,000 people have come to Christ and he has baptized nearly 350 people into the church. During his final service as pastor of the HUB on May 20, Les welcomed eight more people through baptism including Hillsdale’s Mayor Adam Stockford. “I couldn’t think of a better way to end things. I have many special memories and I am humbled that God would use me in this way.” 59
Life is a journey. Along the way there are many experiences that must be endured. For me, losing my husband Ken is the most difficult one yet. I am committed to lifelong learning, so here are four lessons I have acquired. Lesson Number One – My grief is not mine alone. After my his death eight years ago, I realized that while I had lost my mate and best friend, my children lost their dad, my sister-in-law her brother, several athletes their coach, and Ken’s golf partner his good friend. Each one of us had special connections that were abruptly lost and could not be replaced. Memories are cherished and want to be shared. So not only was I needing to be healed, but I needed to be part of their healing as well. For me, that meant keeping in touch and also frequently reaching out to others. I described some days as “being in my puddle.” The goal was not to stay there too long. Lesson Number Two – Grief is a journey of undetermined length. Often you are told that time heals all wounds. I found that time changes the wounds but the healing just doesn’t happen. There is a significant shift in relationships and routines. I didn’t fit with some of my past, anymore, and had to be brave to find new connections as a single woman. It took me a year to go out to eat in a restaurant all alone and that had to be in Lansing rather than someplace local. My new normal gradually emerged bringing with it new possibilities. Finding the person I’ve become took time and courage. Lesson Number Three – Helping others helps me. After devoting myself to caring for Ken and then administering the details of his death, I had a dilemma: how will I fill 24 hours every day? My children would probably describe my journey without their Dad as “busyness” . . . what club or activity is she involved with now? I joined a few new groups and am one who does not just belong but am very active. That compulsion to be constantly scheduled has decreased. By my choice now, I am stepping back and being more intentional as to what my commitments are and how I choose to spend my time. I am enjoying the quality of my activities rather than the quantity. Prioritizing time and resources is important at any stage in life but finding that balance is crucial to my overall well-being, thus my healing. In addition to organizations, I have walked beside several other women who are dealing with loss. I am shocked to list how many of my friends are finding their new normal. Because of my experiences, I feel significant personal growth as I connect with others on their unique journeys. Lesson Number Four – There is a wealth of resources to deal with grief. The list is long of who and what can be used to enlighten, inform, encourage, support, and/or deal with where I was and where I wanted to go. Fortunately, I worked with a competent grief counselor who helped me understand what is possible. Making choices, when I was ready, moved me to my new normal. Her advice to journal provided me with an outlet to express myself in ways that were helpful. I wrote this poem about a year after my loss. Grief is an unexpected gust of wind That sucks your breath away Or it’s a shock of static electricity That pierces your heart But sometimes it’s a warmth That spreads from your head to toe And cherishes a memory That connects two souls. On my life journey, there have been many adventures, often not by my choice. I had a sign in my office that read, “Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.” I thank God daily for that. 64
From Grief by Barb Vallieu
MARRIAGE, MeNOpaUsE and MUTTS - OH MY! By Peggie Bildner At this point, I’ve come to realize that my life can pretty much be summed up with those three words! Maybe you can identify or at least find a smile or two as I share some stories, thoughts and highlights on these subjects over the next few issues. MARRIAGE (in the beginning . . . .) It’s been suggested that God has a sense of humor. If that’s true, I suspect He has been laughing hysterically ever since June of 1980 when He watched over the marriage of me and Buzz. It was a union that would give new meaning to the theory that opposites attract! When we started dating (and I use that term loosely, but that’s another story), he was a thirty-five-year-old sports fanatic and confirmed bachelor. I was a divorced mother of two, already disillusioned with love and marriage. I’m still amazed that we got past our first meeting because when we were introduced, the very first thing he said to me was, “Does your mother use Tupperware?” I should have realized right then my life would never be the same! Although we are to this day debating who brought up the idea of getting married, after a short courtship, we became husband and wife. It didn’t take long for his off-the-wall comments to shock my family and friends. During the wedding ceremony when asked to repeat, “until parted by death,” he actually said, “until parted by death – or hockey!!” To make everyone wonder about him even more, he disappeared after the ceremony. My maid of honor ended up driving me to the reception. He finally showed up in PLAID GOLF PANTS, acting as if his disappearance and sudden fashion statement to “get comfortable” was perfectly normal! The next morning, I woke up in our motel room to the strangest sound. I quickly realized it was my new husband singing (?) in the shower. I didn’t recognize the song then, but I will never forget the words: “We ain’t goin’ huntin’ Jake, ‘cause we’re goin’ chasin’ women.” Talk about a “what-have-I-done-now” moment! 74
The fun continued as he attempted to settle into fatherhood. I believed that boys needed rules. I had very little time for silliness and strived to have an organized, controlled household. Buzz thought boys were put on this earth to play ball, eat, and watch TV. At the ages of seven and ten, they thought Buzz was one of them! When they would roughhouse or fight and I would start across the room to scold them, Buzz would pull out his handkerchief, throw it on the floor, and yell, “FLAG ON THE PLAY!” or “WATCH OUT, GUYS— THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME PENALTY MINUTES!” In one of Buzz’s rare serious moments, he told me he felt God had meant for us to find each other. As we celebrate anniversary number 38, I would have to agree. For every tear there have been two smiles. When the seriousness of life overwhelms me, he can still make me laugh. I often tell him he lives in his own weird world but I am thankful he has allowed me to share it with him. And I always remember that we are joined together until parted by death—or hockey! MeNOpaUsE (& beyond) I looked in the mirror this morning and discovered a big, red pimple right on top of a brown age spot. All I could think was Mother Nature and Father Time were ganging up on me! and MUTTS (dogs, that is) I don’t mind that at some point in the night our dog, Katie, often crawls up from the foot of the bed and snuggles in between us. However, I did get a little upset when Buzz reached over, started petting her and (sleepily) asked, “Is that you or the dog??” OH MY!
a small grove of redbuds near that southwest to enhance the view at the south end and draw people deeper into the park. Past Hillsdale Garden Club President Mary Moore is proud of the projects that have been completed in the park. She explains that there is a monarch butterfly waystation in place which requires a habitat to protect monarchs and includes plants that feed the caterpillars plus nectar plants for the adults. Birdhouses should be next, and she is also hoping to get Mason bee houses installed. The garden club applied for recognition for preservation of an historic park and won first place at the state competition against many other garden clubs. Along with the free summer concerts, Mrs. Stockâ€™s Park is the site of many weddings, family barbecues, and other parties. The park is often used as a background setting for prom and wedding pictures. People walk and run the trails, walk their dogs, or sit to enjoy its quiet beauty. The hours of planning and hard work that have been invested by many have truly reclaimed these acres and turned them into an asset for the Hillsdale community.
Bring Patio-Inspired Décor Indoors With summer finally here, you can bring the celebration inside by re-creating the bright, blissful vibe you’ve built in your outdoor space with these decorating tips from the experts:
Bring the beach home. Blend ocean-inspired colors such as blues, greens and corals with sandy neutrals and driftwood accents. Give your indoor space even more beachside ambience by incorporating seashells, starfish and anchors into your décor.
Accent with lighting. Light your home with lamps that are uniquely you. Whether your home is full of windows or has very little natural light, lamps, outdoor-inspired lanterns and strings of glimmering lights will leave no shadowy corners in your summer space.
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