What's it worth

April 28, 2011 in What's It Worth? by Larry D. Cruse - Weichert, Realtors®- Tralee Properties

Type of Home: Ranch with two bedrooms and one-and-a-half bathrooms.
Age: Built in 1994.
Location: Located in the Stoneybrook subdivision in Greenwood.
Square Footage: 1,132 S.F.
Rooms: There are six rooms in this home. There is the great room with a raised brick hearth, gas log fireplace and cathedral ceilings, the kitchen that includes eat-in accommodations, an open dining room, laundry facilities and the two bedrooms.
Strengths: The home is located on a cul-de-sac and the deep backyard ends at the neighborhood lake. The backyard has a patio deck. The master bedroom includes its own full bathroom with a double sink vanity and walk-in closet. The main core of the home has hardwood flooring while the bedrooms are carpeted.

Encouraging ‘old’ food trends

April 28, 2011 in Living by Wendell Fowler

Re-awakened hungry Americans, motivated by a need to know more about the source of the food they feed their families are returning to their ancestral traditions. They’re hunting and foraging closer to home at community farmer’s markets and local sources for clean meats, artisan breads, mushrooms, local honey and cheeses, colorful, nurturing produce and frequenting more mom-and-pop-owned diners. Farm-friendly, organic, non-GMO, naturally occurring, scratch cooking and canning are becoming today’s dietetic mantra.
Health and convenience drive today’s food sales. People are returning to eating family dinners at home where they control the ingredients. They want less hassle, easy to prepare, ready-to-eat fresh ingredients.
Home food preservation and bulk cooking have rebirthed as earth-connected folks grow, preserve and enjoy harvesting their verdant gardens or community farmers market, not scientific laboratories. They do this to eliminate toxic sugar, salt, unnatural preservatives, MSG and food colorings. Other factors are the weak economy, frightening food recalls and an honest desire to improve health via fresh food, controlling its quality from the farm to the fork. Consumers are picking naturally healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, salads, nuts, whole grains and pro-biotic yogurt. Fruit is now America’s second-favorite snack.
More are grazing, driving demand for healthier single-serving snacks in vending machines, nutrition and fibrous diet bars, smoothies and energy drinks. Alkaline waters such as Fiji, Smart Water, Kangen and Penta waters are “in.”
Felonious trans fats (hydrogenated) are finally “out” for their rock sold connection to acquiring heart disease. Demand for low calorie and light products will continue to grow. Also, watch for allergen-free claims on food labels. Next to low fat, whole grains were the most influential food label claim. Dairy products with cholesterol-lowering sterols and antioxidant-rich chocolate are making an appearance. As more people become aware of soy dangers, consumption is waning.
We’re all physicians who can heal the magnificent Holy Temple. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers embrace Hippocrates’s avowal, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” They doctor through diet to prevent and manage health disorders such as diabetes, obesity, Crohn’s, fibromyalgia, atherosclerosis, heart disease, cancer and more.
Want an occasional vegetarian meal? Mobile food applications are exploding and offer convenience beyond the name and address of a restaurant. You can score a menu, prices and a reservation. Everything you need to cook a healthy meal at home; recipe, shopping list and coupons are also at your fingertips.
Responsible chefs are entering school cafeterias not only to brighten up the menus but to entice kids to eat healthy foods. Kids and adults alike have comfort zones when it comes to food’s appearance and flavors. Breaking away from barriers and bad habits can be an exciting food adventure; one that wakes up your taste buds and improves your perception of living, nutritious foods from our creator.
These trends hold promise if the amoral food industry offers convenience without industrially trashing once healthy foods. Fads will come and go, and the government will continue to analyze health claims made by food manufacturers. The ageing of baby boomers is driving the food industry in a new direction, one that could have a significant impact on the future health of the population. And that can only be a good thing.
After all, food is about more than just nourishment, it’s also about culture, and weaving the threads that bind the tapestry of a thriving community.

Black goes with everything, including the garden

April 28, 2011 in Outdoors by Carol Michel

How do we count the colors of petunias? They come in reds, pinks, whites, purples and blues. Some are striped, others have different colors on the edges of the petals. There are even yellow and orange petunias.
Now, this spring, a new petunia color is available – black.
This new petunia, ‘Black Velvet’, is a product of plant breeding by Ball FloraPlant. It is truly as black a flower as any flower I’ve seen that claimed to be black. Most black flowers are really a very dark purple, but this flower truly seems almost black.
While they were working to breed the ‘Black Velvet’ petunia, the plant breeders at Ball also developed two other black-themed petunias. ‘Pinstripe’ is a very dark purple flower with a white pinstripe forming a star pattern on each flower. ‘Phantom,’ my favorite of these three new varieties, is a black petunia with a yellow star in the center of each flower. Finally, there is a flower that allows me to plant a black and gold Purdue-themed container.
All three of these black-themed petunias will grow to 8 to 12 inches tall and wide and do best in container plantings in full sun. As with most container grown plants, they also require good drainage, regular watering, and should be fertilized throughout the growing season. With this care, they should bloom continuously all the way through until the first frost.
The question is how does one use a black flower in the garden in combination with other plants? The possibilities seem endless, now that such a flower exists. The black petunias would look good in combination with silver-leaf plants and most flower colors. To keep them looking fashionable and in season, you could start them with white flowers for the race season; then switch the white flowers out for pink and purple flowers for the summer. In early fall, you could pull out the pink and purple flowers and replace them with orange and yellow flowers for Halloween.
Suddenly, the black petunia, which seemed like an oddity at first, now seems like the little black dress, perfect for many occasions.

Leave it to your imagination

April 28, 2011 in Opinion by Mike Redmond

Maybe you saw the story about hundreds of college and high school students taking up an exciting new sport, Quidditch.
Yes, Quidditch. As in “game from the Harry Potter books and movies.” As in “witches and wizards flying around on broomsticks trying to score goals and, occasionally, beat the bee-gonias out of one another.”
As in “made up.” “Imaginary.” “Not real.”
But still they play, running around (instead of flying over) Quidditch pitches with broomsticks between their legs, thowing the quaffle, dodging the bludgers and seeking the ever-elusive golden snitch. One change: There being a shortage of magical flying golden balls these days, the snitch of the books is replaced by a person. Presumably, a speedy person dressed in yellow.
Oh, those crazy kids.
I’ll bet they think they’re doing something unusual.
Those of us with some wear on our tires know that made-up sports are nothing new, nothing new at all, and we need only point to our own lives to prove it.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you 43-Man Squamish, a game first brought to light by Mad Magazine in 1965.
The game is played on a field called the Plutney, in seven 15-minute periods called Ogres (eight Ogres if it’s raining.) Each team has 43 players — one left Inside Grouch, one right Inside Grouch, one left Outside Grouch, one right Outside Grouch, four Deep Brooders, four Shallow Brooders, five Wicket Men, three Offensive Niblings, four Quarter-Frummerts, two Half-Frummerts, one Full-Frummert, two Overblats, two Underblats, nine Back-Up Finks, two Leapers and a Dummy.
Each player carries a stick called a Frullip with which to hit a ball called the Pritz. Players wear gloves, helmets and flippers.
And then it really gets silly.
We never had enough people in the neighborhood to play a full game of Squamish, but we did attempt to play Fizzbin, a card game played once on Star Trek. The rules are so complex (each player gets six cards, except for the player on the dealer’s right, who gets seven; the second card is turned up, except on Tuesdays; two jacks are a “half-fizzbin” and must be completed by a king and deuce except at night when it becomes a queen and four) that it took an entire lunch period just to get all the hand dealt. So much for Fizzbin.
We played a lot of phantom football, which is exactly like regular football except it doesn’t have a ball.
Or helmets. Or pads. Mostly you just run around the yard whaling on each other — except in winter, when you move from the yard to a frozen pond and play on skates.
After two or three hours phantom football on skates you were more than ready to go inside and take another crack at Fizzbin.
Unfortunately, the greatest made-up game came along after I was done playing made-up games. I speak, respectfully and lovingly, of the Calvin and Hobbes’ comic strip by Bill Watterson, which gave us Calvinball. The rules? You can make up new rules any time you like, no rule is too ridiculous, and you can never play the same way twice. Now THAT’S a game.
So let the kids have their Quidditch, I say. Is it silly? It has people running around pretending to fly on broomsticks. Of course it’s silly.
Almost as silly as playing football without a ball. On skates.

Why do Chicago fans bother me?

April 28, 2011 in Opinion by Kevin Kane

There’s something about some fans of Chicago pro sports teams that bothers me. I don’t hate them by any means, but, for some time, these fans have been getting under my skin.
It’s certainly not a result of jealousy. The Bulls are good again, but I encounter just as many fans cheering on the Bears, Cubs and White Sox. What is there to be jealous of with that group?
Chicago sports teams haven’t experienced overwhelming success by any means over the last few years, but you don’t get that impression from their fans.
Cubs fans pack Wrigley Field for every home game and travel in large numbers to many of the team’s road games. Bears fans literally scream and yell at Buffalo Wild Wings during every game like it’s the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship. In fact, sometimes I find this so annoying that I’ll cheer loudly for the Vikings, Rams or any other teams playing against them. It doesn’t matter who it is.
These more vocal, in-your-face fans consistently annoy me, but when I saw red-clad Bulls fans surrounding the court at Conseco Fieldhouse last Saturday, it went beyond annoyance. I was angry.
I started feeling this way about Chicago fans during my freshman year of college. I was one of the few people on my floor not from “Chicago,” which apparently includes every area in Illinois within a two-hour drive of the city. These guys made a bad impression on me by combining typical college drunkenness with excitement over a White Sox World Series victory and a Bears run to the Super Bowl in consecutive years. I was so relieved that the Colts beat them in that title game so I would not have to hear unending comparisons of the ’06 Bears to the all-time greats.
College, and the annoying fans I encountered there, prompted me to begin stereotyping all Chicago fans as boisterous and obnoxious, but that’s not true.
Even if it were, though, I’ve since realized that is isn’t the annoying behavior of some that really bothers me. It’s Indianapolis fans’ apparent lack of passion.
Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but many fans around here do not act like fans of Chicago’s teams. That’s not always a bad thing, but that often comes across, at least to me, as our fans being less passionate and devoted to their teams.
Before logging into your e-mail and telling me I’m wrong, just think about it. The Cubs are always terrible. That’s their image, but their fans make every game a sellout. The same was true with Bulls fans in the first of the post-Jordan years, when the team was truly horrendous. But before Peyton Manning made the Colts relevant, it would be a weekly challenge to sell out one of the NFL’s smallest venues to prevent each Sunday’s game from being blacked out.
And last Saturday, once our Pacers were down 3-0 in their series with the Bulls, Indy fans gave up their tickets to herds of Bulls fans, enough to make the lower level a sea of red. When the Philadelphia 76ers were in the same boat as the Pacers last weekend – down 3-0 at home – their fans still packed the house to watch Philly face a far better team.
So, I’m beginning to realize that it’s not really the annoying tendencies of some Chicago fans that have been bothering me. In fact, I actually have a newfound respect for them. Instead, I’m disappointed that our city’s fans don’t seem to show that same level of passion in all circumstances.
Sure, it’s easy to be jacked for a game when the Colts are chasing perfection or the Pacers are in the Finals. But what about when they’re down?
People from other cities often claim that Indianapolis has fair-weather fans. I don’t agree with that, but I do wish that our enthusiasm was a bit more consistent and unwavering, like that of our northern neighbors – even if our increased passion gets under some people’s skin.

The change we see

April 28, 2011 in Opinion by Sherri Coner-Eastburn

Luckily I’ve been in the world long enough to see and remember change.
I’m thinking about a college field trip when we visited a state hospital. Adult patients banged their heads or pulled their own hair, barely clothed. Little empty-eyed children had sticky faces and nothing to call their own.
I’m thinking of two dear friends who preferred suicide than to be gay. More than 30 years ago, no one talked about being gay unless they were making hateful remarks. So they felt shamed. They felt worthless.
I’m thinking about the day I came home to Johnson County with a baby on my hip. Mothers didn’t want their sons to date me and a few years later, I was shunned at the baseball field sometimes because I didn’t have a husband in the bleachers.
I’m thinking of black friends from my workplace in Indy. They refused to visit me since they worried they might not be safe this far south.
And I’m thinking of all the years other people have made fun of my family for having Kentucky roots and a twang in our voices.
I’m so lucky that I have lived long enough to see the world notice that people with disabilities have value and missions in this world just like the rest of us.
Single mothers today do not have to feel ostracized like I did.  And I see different shades of skin everywhere I go. As a world, we continue to learn that we are all alike, especially when we close our eyes and see each other’s hearts.
Yesterday I saw a gay couple on TV, playing “The Newlywed Game” with two straight couples. It has been my experience that most people who say hurtful things about gay people do not even know a person who is gay. Lots of times they have not yet come to the truth about their own sexuality, either. So they attack to keep themselves away from their own honesty.
Our world is slowly turning- like a gigantic glacier toward the sun.  We are learning ever so sweetly that all people have gifts and pain, reasons for crying too quickly or laughing too loudly or being too quick to judge.
I’m lucky to be here, seeing this change. I’m even luckier to remember what used to be, compared to now. And I’m even lucky to have a few bruises on my own heart, about how it feels to be judged when what you need so desperately is acceptance.
Our world moves closer every day to allowing each other the freedom of just simply being who we are, loving who we love, in the skin we were born with, on the life path we were meant to walk.  And that’s some beautiful stuff to see.

by Elaine

Greenwood candidates face off

April 28, 2011 in Front Page News by Elaine

Three Greenwood mayoral candidates faced off at public forum sponsored by the Greenwood Public Library and the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, April 26. Mark Myers, Robert Dine and Charles Henderson disagreed in some of their responses to panelists, Michele Holtkamp of the Daily Journal , Christian Maslowski of the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Morgan of the Indianapolis Star and Roger Huntzinger of the Southside Times. Candidate Donald Waggoner did not participate.
The candidates spoke to a standing-room-only crowd on their positions and intentions if elected. Topics included the interchange at I-65 and Worthsville Road and the status of the city pool and the need for a new pool or aquatic center. Differences of opinion centered on the topic of revitalization of old town Greenwood.  The candidates also elaborated on their own management style and vision for the city.

Really…you can’t make fruit salad?

April 21, 2011 in Living by Wendell Fowler

As I read the label, my eyes widened, the heart began to pound, and suddenly my brain liquefied into a slurry of bewilderment and disbelief! If there’s a microcosm of the nutritional complacency extinguishing America’s health equity, it was staring me square in the face; plastic, hermitically sealed, supposed-to-be-good-for-you ‘fresh’ opaque cups of fruit salad in the grocery produce section.
We’ve descended onto the shadowy sea bed of laziness. Red, white and blue unhealthy Americans are either embarrassingly addicted to convenience or too lazy to lift a knife. So much that Americans are buying carb-heavy Del Monte and Dole fruit cups of fruit salad which were harvested, hopefully washed, peeled, chopped, mechanically packaged and shipped from, yep, China and Thailand who have dissimilar interpretations of sanitation and chemical usage.
We squawked about the deadly Chinese melamine scare, their toxic pet food, tainted infant formula and fraudulent vitamins shipped to us, but in a hazy stupor of suitability Americans still robotically disregard food labels and, without caution, grab and snarf cups of pre-made fruit salad.
Fruit cheaply harvested 10,000 miles away then shipped for weeks on end aboard a boat is DOA. The idea of an alleged ‘fresh’ fruit salad being delivered from Asia should be upsetting to you. First, your temple doesn’t deserve old, dead food lacking nutrition and second, it stimulates the economy of a politically competitive country on the opposite side of God’s green earth. This cup-o-crapola has sailed the bonny seas for weeks, even months. What part of this is logical? Can’t we take time to make a fresh, colorful fruit salad brimming with the living nourishment the Universe provided or have we become comfortably numb to what is essential to steward the health of our holy temple?
The best way to store fruit till you use it is with the heavenly wrapping left on, rinds and peelings intact. Once the protective peels or coverings of fruits are cut, the fruits begin to degrade and lose their healing energy. This nutrient loss doesn’t occur immediately because it takes up to five or six days to show any major vitamin loss as long as cut, unpeeled fruits are stowed in the refrigerator, not an undulating transport tanker. After weeks and months, it decomposes into lifeless calories and the protective vitamin C and carotenoids become useless bilge.
To receive the most disease preventing mojo, pull out the cutting board and a chef’s knife, wash, cut, prepare and then tightly seal your beautiful fresh fruit salad the day of the purchase to insure you’re getting the truest flavors and health restoring nutrition. Savor the moment.
Once prepped, due to oxygen, nutrients begin to flee. After a day or two languishing in the fridge, they’re probably aesthetically unpleasing, especially bananas and strawberries, so prudently prep only as much as your gang eats at one sitting. Be sure you keep it stored in air-tight containers in your refrigerator overnight. If you add blueberries, and I hope you will, use them as the final garnish. As you mix the salad they break up leaving little dark blue, eye-offending bits.
Having fresh cut fruits ready to eat in your refrigerator makes it easier to make healthy choices at snack attack time. Try a mix of oranges, strawberries, grapes, kiwi, strawberry, and pineapple. To prevent indigestion, melons should always be eaten alone.
Now really? Do you honestly want your loving family to eat fruit cups that say “Made in China or Thailand?” I didn’t think so. Then return to the joyous, blissful act of cooking from scratch and support your local community farmer’s markets and family farms.
Fruit salads from China … sigh.

Know stroke symptoms

April 21, 2011 in Living by FeliciaStewart

A stroke is a “brain attack.” It occurs when a blood flow to the brain is interrupted either because a clot blocks an artery or when a blood vessel breaks. The lack of blood flow to a portion of the brain causes cells to die and results in brain damage. How a stroke affects a person depends on the area of the brain where the stroke occurred. It may affect speech, movement or memory.
To honor National Stroke Awareness Month coming up in May, the National Stroke Association is striving to educate others to learn about risk factor management and how to recognize and respond to warning signs by acting FAST.
Stroke kills two times more women every year than breast cancer. About 795,000 Americans will suffer a stroke this year, yet most people in the United States cannot identify stroke warning signs or risk factors. Stroke is largely preventable.
Many strokes – some studies indicate that up to 80 percent – can be prevented through risk factor management. It helps to manage risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, alcohol consumption, smoking, high cholesterol, physical inactivity and diabetes.
Common stroke symptoms include:
• Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body,
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding,
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes,
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination,
• Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Note the time when any symptoms first appear—this is valuable information to tell the health care team. Stroke is an emergency. It’s important to learn stroke warning signs and how to respond to them. Emergency treatment may be available if a stroke is recognized FAST and 9-1-1 is called. Use the FAST test to remember warning signs.

What it's Worth 04.21.11

April 21, 2011 in What's It Worth? by Larry D. Cruse - Weichert, Realtors®- Tralee Properties

My Opinion: $205,000

Type of Home: Attached, multi-level condominium with three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and two half bathrooms.
Age: Built in 1999.
Location:  Located on the north side of Indianapolis in Washington Township.
Square Footage:  Total of 2,227 S.F. The main entry level has 461 S.F. linked to the rear entry, two car garage. The second and third levels have a combined square footage of 1,766 S.F.
Rooms: This unit has seven rooms of living space, along with four bathrooms, on three levels. The entry level contains the family’s great room. On the second level is the living room, kitchen and the dining room that has a double sided gas fireplace. And then on the upper most level are the three bedrooms and the laundry room.
Strengths: Location, location, location, three of the main factors when considering market values for real estate properties. This condo is also a desirable end unit in this small developed, north side community. The main level has raised vaulted ceilings with a two story entry foyer. The second level kitchen has dark stained hardwood floors, cherry cabinets, stainless steel appliances and an extended open balcony. The third level master bedroom has a beautiful bay window, walk-in closets and a huge master bathroom.