Scents Season of the
When it comes to fragrances, the only way to know is to put your nose to work. But before heading to the department store, it’s helpful to have a plan in mind. Otherwise, you may sniff dozens of perfumes and wonder why they all smell the same after a while. Consider this your guide to the season’s most luxurious fragrances—the perfect holiday gifts.
Muscle up - live fit. Exercise The Holiday Stress Away!
By Jess Piper ACE Certified Personal Trainer/Senior Fitness Specialist PRIME Fitness Studio
With the holidays right around the corner, it is easy to start getting stressed out! Let’s face it, after fighting the crowds Christmas shopping, cooking, cleaning, and stuffing down one too many of Aunt Helen’s wonderful Christmas cookies, it is easy to get off track and stressed out! If you feel yourself starting to get this way, remember this one word . . . exercise! After a long day of holiday activities, working out might seem like the last thing you want to do. However, studies show that regular exercise improves your mood. It also can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression, and anxiety. When you exercise, physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.
Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center • Corner of Oak and College Streets 16
Everyone knows that the holidays are a crazy time of year—endless parties, Christmas concerts, cooking huge holiday dinners, and a million other things on the to-do-list can make it hard to find the time to fit in your workout. Although one should make exercising a daily priority, life does get in the way, so for those days that it seems impossible to get into the gym remember these tips: • Take the stairs instead of the elevator • Park farther away at the grocery store • Walk instead of drive • Do push-ups and sit-ups during commercial breaks The holidays are a wonderful but sometimes stressful time of year! Remember, every little bit helps. So, when someone cuts in front of you in line during Black Friday shopping, you will smile at them because you have been exercising!
Grow Where You Are Planted.
By Rachel Yoder
Homemade for the holidays A few years ago my family decided that our gifts for the holidays would be homemade or purchased from local artisans such as the beauty bar from my favorite local soap maker and sweet, handcrafted dolls made by a talented local mom. The fun thing about homemade gifts is since it’s a creative outlet, a lot of the time it relieves stress rather than creates it. Not to mention that a lot of these projects can be done as a family, thereby creating new traditions and memories that will last a lifetime. If you are anything like me, you have worked your tail off this year preserving the finest fruit, vegetables, meats, and herbs from your homestead. Why not share the bounty? In the process you will showcase all your hard work. I personally love a homemade gift, especially if I can eat it. Think about it, not everyone gets to have homemade applesauce, preserves, peaches, spaghetti sauce, or canned green beans just like granny used to make. I like to attach recipes to my jars. For instance, if I send someone a can of beef, I like to share my recipe for crock-pot vegetable beef soup. If I give a jar of apple pie filling, it’s nice to give them the recipe for crumble topping for an easy apple crisp. Maple syrup, honey, and even eggs make lovely gifts, too. Your life is already abundant . . . share it! When you make cookies throughout the year you may want to consider doubling the batch. (You’re already making a mess— why not go the extra mile?) I like to make double batches when I make any kind of drop cookie or cookie you roll into a ball. I bake one batch and the second batch I scoop with a medium sized melon baller onto a lined baking sheet and pop them into the freezer. Peanut butter blossom or molasses cookies can be rolled into balls and rolled in sugar before placing on the sheet to be frozen. I then put the frozen cookie dough into freezer bags with the type of cookie, bake temp and time. If you have an unexpected party (or one you forgot), you can bake up a batch of homemade cookies quicker than quick and you won’t have any mess to contend with other than the cookie sheet! They also make great gifts around the holidays; frozen cookie dough allows folks to enjoy your treats well after the sugar surge of the holidays is over. 26
Getting my little ones involved in the festivities is when the holidays really shine for me. Kids are born creative and kind creatures, and the holidays are a perfect time to nurture their giving natures with simple crafts they can give to their friends and family (and maybe even themselves). We have started creating “peg people.” They are easily painted with paint pens or brushes and can be transformed into any kind of person they would like to play with: farmers, policemen, garbage truck drivers, moms, cooks, performers—anything their heart desires! Peg people can be found in bulk on Amazon or in craft stores and some have accessories like boats and cars or even horses. What makes them an even bigger deal in our house is that they fit perfectly on John Deere model tractor seats when other brands of people won’t. I hope you got inspired to make a few more homemade gifts this year. It’s the perfect time of year to let your talents shine! Wishing you a very blessed and bountiful holiday season from the Yoder Family. 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 ,
Title: President/Owner (EA—Enrolled Agent—allowed to practice before the IRS) How long have you worked there? 24 years in business, 27 years doing taxes and accounting Where did you get your training/education? Jackson Business Institute, Baker College. With taxes, I started with H&R Block tax school, then self-trained and seminars. I spent ten years at Day Industries doing their accounting under the support of Steve Patch, an outside CPA. What made you want to go into this profession? When Day Industries was bought out by a New York company and took their accounting, they wanted me to do the purchasing and general office work. This is not what I wanted to do. So, I went back to school. What do you love about your job? I love being able to help with the business needs of the company and then watching them succeed. What are some issues facing women in business today? That our voices are still not always being heard by men. I do have a few [men] that don’t think that I can do the job. One specifically said I was too pretty to know what to do. He is still one of my clients today. He does have different values than us. Who is your inspiration? My mother-in-law. She owned an H&R Block years ago and she told me to just go out and do it. I took her advice and here I am today! 28
By Sarah Gray
Knox Accounting & Tax Service, Inc.
What is one piece of advice you would give to the younger generation getting ready to go out in the workplace? My advice would be to be independent and a self-starter. Show them what you are made of. Don’t be afraid to work hard and show them what you are worth! What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time I like to go up north with my husband. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, grandchildren, and my rescue dog Miles. I also enjoy scrapbooking, taking walks, and shopping. Tell us a little about your family. I have been married to my husband Tim for 27 years. He is my rock and has always been very supportive of my business and the time I put into it. He is always there to help me out when I have had a long, hard day at work. I have two sons, Josh and Lance. Both of my sons have done well in finding their ways in life and are very family-oriented. Josh is married to Brandy and they have four children:Taylor, 15 years old; Gabby, 12 years old; Brooky, nine years old; and Kassy, eight years old. Lance is married to Cinnamon and they have Blake, two, and a new baby who is due in January 2018. Both of my daughters-in-law are strong-willed women who have careers of their own to help support their families. They work hard at their jobs and on the home front to keep things in line. Are you involved in any service organizations? Michigan Tax & Accounting Professionals (MTAP) Independent Accountants Association of MI Adrian Chamber of Commerce
BNI of Michigan (Business Networking & Referrals) NAEA-National Association of Enrolled Agents America’s Tax Expert—I can practice in the entire US NSA—National Society of Accountants I am finishing up on a credential to be a NTPI Fellow: only CPAs, attorneys, and EAs are allowed to take this three-part study to be another step in the tax experts’ right to practice. Completion date will be November 8, 2017. Knox Accounting & Tax Service, Inc., is located at 825 W. Beecher St. in Adrian. The company works hard to tailor their services to meet the needs of their clients. Their expertise covers a wide range of accounting, tax, and financial management services. Knox Accounting & Tax Service, Inc., offers individualized accounting services for small business which allows them to focus on the specific needs of each client including construction accounting, healthcare accounting, manufacturing and distribution accounting, hospitality accounting, and agricultural accounting. The staff at Knox Accounting & Tax Service, Inc., stays up-to-date on tax law changes throughout the year by attending continuing education courses. For more information, contact 517-263-9571 or visit www.knoxaccounting.net.
Hillsdale County first to have Safe Haven Baby Boxes By Sarah Gray
very life is precious, and a group in Hillsdale County wants to make sure every baby has the best chance of survival—even if the parents do not think they can care for it.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes is a non-profit organization which was started in Indiana in 2014 by Monica Kelsey. Now an EMT, Monica was abandoned as an infant and has made it her mission to educate others on Michigan’s Safe Delivery Law. SafeHaven/Safe Delivery laws (also known in other states as the Baby Moses law) are statutes enacted by each state’s legislature that decriminalize the surrendering of unharmed infants with statutorily designated emergency personnel so that the child can be placed for adoption. In Michigan, children do not become a ward of the state; they are placed with a child placing agency. Once the child is surrendered, the parent has 28 days in which to petition the court to regain custody. After that, adoption proceedings occur. Every state in the U.S. has a SafeHaven or Safe Delivery law with each state establishing its own requirements.
Currently, Michigan’s Safe Delivery law states a parent can leave a baby who is no more than 72 hours old with any staff member at any hospital, fire station, police station, or any emergency service provider that is on duty in Michigan. “They can be surrendered with no questions asked,” says attorney Kimm Burger of KB Law Office in Hillsdale who is helping Monica Kelsey and Teresa Bertke establish a location for and placement of a Safe Haven Baby Box in the county. “There will be no prosecution if there is no harm to the child.” The main purpose of Safe Haven Baby Boxes is to inform pregnant women about their options. If the women are struggling with their pregnancies and do not know what is available or what they can do, the mother can contact the 24-hour hotline— which is staffed by licensed counselors— that was established by Safe Haven Baby Boxes. In 2016, the hotline received 942 calls, and of those, 132 were referred to pregnancy crisis centers, four placed the child for adoption and six surrendered the child under the law. According to the Safe
Haven Baby Boxes website, as of 2016, 3,317 babies have been safely surrendered at Safe Haven locations nationwide. “We want to inform women of the law and the options they have available to them,” Burger says. “Our biggest goal is education.” No matter how much information is available, however, not every woman is going to call to speak with someone and inquire about how to safely surrender their newborn. This is where the Safe Haven Baby Box comes in. The baby box is a place where a woman can surrender their baby safely and anonymously. It is known that even when a mother has chosen to surrender their child, “most women do not want to surrender their child in a face-to-face situation,” states Ms. Burger. She says she can understand their feelings, “but the Baby Box gives the mother anonymity which can help ease the decision” and “can help the mothers who may otherwise feel they are being judged.” The goal is to allow the mothers a safe and anonymous place to surrender their child.
Keeping it in Stitches A Holiday Story
By Diane K Clow Sewist and Long Arm Quilter Eversew Quilted
Back when I was a teen in the 70s, people sent actual Christmas cards. Yes! Store-purchased, handwritten personal messages, put into envelopes, sealed, stamped, and taken to the post office, Christmas cards! First your mom would get out her little address book (I know!) with handwritten pages of friends’ and families’ addresses carefully recorded, some crossed out and updated with new addresses. Then she’d start the agonizing process of carefully writing a personal message in each and every one. It could take DAYS.
Ken) experienced some sort of stomach disorder. I discovered this later when I questioned the glob of minty fresh stuff in the toilet. Apparently Barbie and her friends were throwing up toothpaste in order to create a more realistic visual of illness.”
Some very competitive moms, taking it to the next level, would even write the dreaded (by the recipient) “Christmas Family Newsletter.” These letters were full of the perfections of each family member: how honor students Buffy and Skipper were the stars of their schools, dance classes, and sports teams; did volunteer work; went on missions to underdeveloped countries; were kidney donors; blah, blah, blah. (My sister Sue and I, being very average teens, dreaded the arrival of these missives.)
From 1999: “What a great surprise to come home from work the day after Thanksgiving to find our house lit with Christmas lights. Inside, the tree was up and decorating was in process. A few days later, Cat Bob repeated his last year “Tree Climb” but soon discovered there were four pounds more of Bob than had been there the year before. Handyman Todd had built a new, heavy-duty base to hold the tree along with the added weight of Bob. This was then followed with a second decorating of the tree.”
Years later, my sister and I would have a blast making fun of these writings—making up our own stories of, “How Johnny was doing three to ten and should be released in time for his daughter’s high school graduation. How Janey is repeating ninth grade, but is dating a high school dropout 10 years her senior,” and so on.
From 2000: “Was it a whole year ago that we thought we’d never hear the end of panic and preparation for the upcoming ‘Y2K’ event, let alone survive it? (I had all the faith in the world because I still purchased wrapping paper on sale after Christmas last year.) And here we are, and I’m wrapping!”
From 1997: “It was the first year for Casey, our baby of seven, to use words like ‘actually’ in addition to other words which we’ve tried to explain are for maybe when you are MUCH older. But until then, Mom doesn’t want them coming out of the ‘baby’s’ mouth.”
Well, it all came back to bite me. In 1994, I began writing the “Dreaded Christmas Newsletter.” I became, “One of Those People.” However, I tried to make mine a little more let’s say, unique. Let’s travel back into time with the Clow Family Christmas Newsletter . . . .
From 2002: “As a junior, Chris joined the varsity basketball team. During the summer, he worked at Hillsdale College painting dorm rooms the same color, eight hours a day, five days a week. Needless to say, he was not enthusiastic when I mentioned the porch needed a new coat of paint.”
From 1994: “Our daughter Kelly at soon-to-be age 7, is still delighting in ‘Barbie.’ This year, Barbie and her friends (Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, Barbie, and
From 2004: “This August we packed up (most) of Chris’ worldly belongings and moved him to a dorm room at Michigan State. I have found more excuses to go
Medicaid Basics Medicaid is a federally funded government program that covers an individual’s healthcare costs when that individual is unable to pay for his or her own care. In the last issue of Simply Hers, I included a brief overview of Medicaid. This article will go into more detail about the requirements to qualify for Medicaid. By Timothy Dixon Simply Hers Magazine
Licensed Michigan Attorney Law Office of Timothy E. Dixon 27 N. Broad St. Hillsdale, MI 49242 Ph: (517) 437-4070 Fx: (517) 437-4062
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, married when both spouses require care, or married when only one spouse requires care. Single individuals cannot have countable assets greater than $2,000. Married individuals who both require care cannot have countable assets greater than $2,000 for each spouse, or $4,000 total. For married couples where only one spouse requires care, more countable assets can be retained. When only one spouse requires care, the couple cannot have countable assets greater than $2,000 plus a protected spousal amount. For 2017, the protected spousal amount allows the spouse who does not require care to keep the first $24,180 of the couple’s countable assets, plus one-half of the remaining countable assets up to a maximum of $120,900. In other words, when only one spouse requires care in 2017, the couple can keep $2,000 plus the first $24,180, then half of all countable assets between $48,360 and $241,800; the other half of the countable assets must be spent down as explained below. The protected spousal amount typically increases each year. Assets are either countable or exempt, and countable assets are everything not classified as exempt by Medicaid’s rules. The Medicaid rules exempt an individual’s or couple’s homestead in an amount up to $560,000 for 2017. Just like the protected spousal amount, the homestead exemp-
tion amount typically increases each year. The Medicaid rules also exempt household items and personal goods within limits and also vehicles, 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 for Medicaid to begin paying. Spending down is required for all countable assets greater than $2,000 for an individual; $4,000 for a couple when both spouses require care; or $2,000 plus half of everything between $48,360 and $241,800, plus everything above $241,800, when only one spouse requires care. 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 leading to a divestment penalty period. A divestment occurs when a countable asset is transferred within the five-year look-back period for less than fair market value and is a transfer that is not identified in the rules as not being a divestment. During a divestment penalty period, Medicaid will not pay for medically necessary services. Medicaid planning is the process of arranging assets to retain assets within the parameters allowed by Medicaid’s rules. Medicaid’s rules, however, 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.
Be one of the millions of smokers on Thursday, November 16, 2017 — to kick the habit for a day— or for good, during the Great American Smokeout. If you don’t think you can quit cold turkey, try one of the following nicotine replacement methods or medications, most approved by the FDA for quitting smoking.
By Kimberly Blaker
Nicotine Patches: These come in a 16-hour and 24-hour patch and don’t require a prescription. Manufacturers typically suggest 8 weeks, though the FDA recommends 3 to 5 months.
One Tobacco-Free Day Could Be Your Start to a Tobacco-Free Life
Nicotine Nasal Spray: By prescription only, nasal spray delivers a quick dose of nicotine to the bloodstream. Recommended use is 3 to 6 months. Nicotine Gum: No prescription is required for nicotine gum which comes in two strengths. It can be used for up to 6 months, though 1 to 3 months is the usual recommendation. Nicotine Lozenges: These should not be confused with tobacco lozenges. Tobacco lozenges are a form of smokeless tobacco and have not been proven a successful cessation aid. Nicotine lozenges, on the other hand, have been approved by the FDA for quitting smoking. Nicotine Inhalers: These can be used for up to 6 months and are by prescription only. eCigarettes: Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers have become the latest success story in helping millions of people to quit smoking. While effective for quitting smoking, there is much debate on their safety as they have not been around long enough for any conclusive studies.
I woke up this morning and felt the agonizing withdrawal symptoms washing over me. It’s a persistent anxiousness that doesn’t cease until I get my fix. I slipped on my robe and slippers, poured a cup of coffee, and frantically headed to the garage, where I try to keep the substance from my family. As always, my habit is waiting to greet me. As I take a hit, a peaceful feeling washes over my body and mind. I can now begin my day feeling alive once again. Yet, as the day wears on, I feel the chemicals drain. Every hour or so, the drug starts calling me, unrelentingly, and I continue to replenish my body with the chemicals I so desperately need.
Bupropion: An antidepressant, also known as Zyban, requires a prescription. It doesn’t contain nicotine, yet affects the brain chemicals that lead to nicotine cravings.
Every worrisome or sad thought or happy reminiscence drives me to another fix. Even tiredness, hunger, and boredom can be eased through this addiction of mine.
Varenicline: Chantix is a drug developed for smoking cessation. Studies have shown a high success rate with Varenicline. Some studies have found it to have higher success rates than Bupropion.
Now, as I lie in bed, I reflect on it. It’s my best friend and my worst enemy. I deliberate on how much it’s costing me, not just financially, but the toll it’s taking on my body. It’s stealing the rug from under my feet. It’s draining my energy and making my heart race through life. I can’t catch my breath. My skin is aging, and the substance leaves my body with a repulsive odor. I think about the diseases it puts me at risk for, such as cancer, heart disease, and emphysema. I don’t want to die that way. I want to live a full life.
Hypnosis: This method is useful for some smokers. Ask your doctor to recommend a hypnotist.
I tell myself to go to sleep, and tomorrow I’ll start anew. I’ll dry up and go straight. But as I drift closer to sleep, I know tomorrow will go unchanged, for the craving is already creeping in again. I’m dependent in this love-hate relationship. I look forward to my next drag off a cigarette. Nicotine is my life—and will probably be my death. Three years later . . . . Fortunately, this relationship finally soured and came to a screeching halt. I kicked the habit and slammed the door behind. Through the years, I tried relentlessly to cut my ties with this shadow that seemingly couldn’t be shed: quitting cold turkey, cutting back, New Year resolutions, patches, gum, Zyban. All were temporary at best. But I never gave up. Today I wake up to the smell of the fresh summer breeze rather than the stench of stale cigarettes that once drenched my body. My skin glows, and my heart is calm. My midnight cough is long gone. Walking up the stairs doesn’t leave me breathless. My energy soars, and I look forward to the once-dreaded pleasures of life. Now I can enjoy a vigorous pedal through the park or a spirited hike in the woods. Best of all, the diseases I could almost feel setting in have mostly been erased from my body and mind. I now feel an inner peace I could never leave behind.
Family Fun in Pure Michigan
With weather unpredictable and holiday breaks on the horizon, now is the perfect time to plan an outing to one of Michigan’s kid-friendly museums and learning centers. Cross a suspension bridge, touch live sea creatures, travel back in time, or pilot a fighter jet for indoor fun for the whole family. There is so much to discover in Pure Michigan. Grand Rapids Public Museum The universe swirls around kids sitting in the planetarium or on a bejeweled wooden horse of the 1928 Spillman Carousel. And, the world lies at their feet in exhibits like Earth Explorers, West Michigan Habitats, and Streets of Old Grand Rapids. Make a day of it and head over to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum – a hands-on learning space that’s all for kids. www.grpm.org • www.grcm.org LEGOLAND Discovery Center and Sea Life Michigan Aquarium, Auburn Hills - Two attractions at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets welcome visitors. Watch Lego heroes come 88
to life in 4-D cinema shorts at LEGOLAND Discovery Center where Lego masters teach the secrets of building elaborate creations. At Sea Life, feel spiny urchins in touch pools and walk through an underwater tunnel surrounded by the masters of the depths. /michigan.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/ DNR Outdoor Adventure Center, Detroit – Get a taste of Michigan’s great outdoors in the heart of the city. Walk behind a waterfall, reel in a big fish, and snowmobile down twisty trails in state-of-the-art simulators that bring recreation to life in downtown Detroit’s Globe Building. www.michigan.gov/oac Impression 5, Lansing Creative minds make light paintings and upload them to the museum’s website before using their hands as plasma conductors at the Spectrum. This dynamic, interactive space is all about playing, creating, and challenging kids’ understanding of science. impression5.org/ Air Zoo, Kalamazoo - The history of flight comes to life while watching a 4-D bombing mission or training like an astronaut at this
Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum. Hands-on experiences include the new KEVA Creation Stations, a huge-scale foam block Imagination Playground. http://www.airzoo.org/ Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium, Flint - Within blocks of each other, the Sloan and Longway speed you from the earth to beyond our atmosphere. Peek at futuristic concept cars like the Buick Centurion while learning the history of Flint’s auto industry, then zoom to the moon at Michigan’s largest planetarium. http://sloanlongway.org/ Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum – Climb aboard a full size ambulance, dress up like a fire fighter, take a trip back to the 1930s, and play a stringless Laser Harp when you visit the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. More than 250 exhibits will help kids of all ages discover their inner scientists. www.aahom.org/ To plan your next family-friendly adventure, visit michigan.org.
Champagne Cocktails You fell in love with the bubbly this summer in the form of frozen champagne. Don’t let the love affair end now that summer is over. With the holidays just around the corner, nothing says “Let’s celebrate!” like a delicious cocktail. Champagne pairs well with so many mixers and garnishes; plus, it doesn’t have to be expensive. There’s definitely a champagne to fit every budget, and any that you serve will take your holiday toasts to a whole new level.
Champagne Mojitos This take on the classic mojito is topped off with bubbly Champagne in place of club soda. https://www.gogogogourmet.com/ champagne-mojitos/
Pomegranate Mint Champagne Cocktail
Sparkling Autumn SangriaCocktail
This gorgeous Champagne cocktail starts with a simple homemade pomegranate mint syrup. http://delightfulemade. com/2016/11/13/pomegranate-citruschampagne-cocktail/
This sparkling autumn sangria is filled with crisp apples, juicy orange slices and warm fall spices. Recipe at http://whatshouldimakefor.com/blog-aversary-and-sparklingautumn-sangria/
cotton candy Champagne Cocktail
Pomegranate and Rosemary Champagne Cocktail
7. Lavender Fields Champagne Cocktail
Rosé champagne is topped with fresh cotton candy for a beautiful cocktail. kirbiecravings.com/2016/07/cotton-candychampagne-cocktails.html 104
This pomegranate cocktail is so easy to pull off, yet it looks SO elegant and festive. http://www.chicandsugar.com/2014/12/pomegranate-champagne-cocktail/
There are only two ingredients in this drink, elderflower liqueur and bubbly Prosecco. http://camillestyles.com/food-and-drink/ bottoms-up/lavender-fields-cocktail-recipe/
Women's lifestyle magazine serving Branch, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties in Southern Michigan.