BayouLife Magazine April 23

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This delicious cake is the perfect plate for Easter gatherings. Garnish with candied carrot sticks for a cake that is as pretty as it is tasty.


This Tomatillo Bloody Mary combines all the things you love about this classic brunch cocktail and elevates it with tomatillos, yellow tomatoes, jalapeños, herbs and green apples.


Foxtail ferns and Plumosa ferns fan from this basket full of goodies. Oversized carrots and brightly hued ribbon are sure to welcome some bunny this Easter.


All our favorites can go into the vegetable garden this month. Transplants of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants can all be set out early this month.



Originally from West Monroe, Chef Don Green is flexing his culinary chops at Acadian Superette in Lafayette.


To encourage healthy energy production in the long run and support the healthy functioning of your body’s stress hormones, try swapping some of your caffeine for an adrenal cocktail.



In September 2020, Molly and James Thomas purchased MG Vermillion Farms, an established crawfish farm at that time, and they are now in their third crawfish season.

APRIL 2018


Because of her zest for life and her ability to capture that passion on canvas and paper – and because she has come back to where a part of her heart has always been -- Ann Merriman Cline is our April Bayou Icon.


As the curator of collections at the Hilliard Art Museum, Hickey plays a significant role in bringing art exhibitions to life.


Marcela and Nathan Carmichael are the owners of Carmichael Honey based out of Lafayette.


The Louisiana landmark, Mel’s Diner, opened its doors in 1992, quickly becoming the round-the-clock food favorite of Lafayette college students and neighborhood residents.


From floral dresses to pastel shorts, these spring looks are ready to bloom. Find these and more at local boutiques. vent. 78 APRIL 2023

Our annual travel issue is always a favorite because we use it as an excuse to have a BayouLife family vacation. This year was no exception as we made our way south to Lafayette. When we made it our first place to visit was Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant. The Bibimbap was phenomenal and the drinks were some of the best I’ve had.

After we scarfed down lunch, our crew took off to meet up with Shelly and Keith Bond at Mel’s Diner. This Louisiana landmark opened its doors in 1992, quickly becoming the round-theclock food favorite of Lafayette college students and neighborhood residents. Now with two locations, this family owned and operated diner is a recipe for success in a tenuous industry. Read their story on page 104.

We traveled down to Vermillion Parish to Molly and James Thomases crawfish farm, MG Vermillion Farms. I may have had ulterior motives for this trip...Molly has been my best friend since we were two-years-old, and I really wanted to see their daughter, Mairin Grace. James took Kelly out on the crawfish boat, dodging an alligator on the way, while the rest of our group stayed back to tour the farmhouse. Read about their journey on page 86.

Our next trip was to visit Chef Don Green who is originally from West Monroe. Currently, Chef Green is flexing his culinary chops at Acadian Superette in Lafayette. The Acadian Superette has flourished in the Freetown-Port Rico neighborhood since the 1940s. Originally a grocery store, it was turned into a restaurant around the 1980s under the ownership of the famed Lynn Derenthal. In 2017, Derenthal sold the restaurant to Dr. Robert Autin, a full-time surgeon with a penchant for cooking, butchering,


1201 Royal Avenue Monroe, LA 71201 Phone 318.855.3185


and smoking meats. Find this article on page 57.

Our fashion this month was shot at Maison Madeleine. Built in the 1840s, this historic bed and breakfast is owned by my cousin, Madeleine Cenac. You may have seen their delightful home on ManFireFood or No Reservations. Madeleine and her husband Walter love entertaining and have recently started a “Secret Supper Series, “ which offers a completely unique culinary experience featuring an array of James Beard award-nominated chefs and GRAMMYnominated musicians. Everyone comes together to create a night like no other under the starry Louisiana sky. Visit for more information and see our fashion shoot on page 110.

Our icon for April is Ann Merriman Cline. This month a one-woman show of her art is being shown at the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council’s gallery on Cotton Street in West Monroe. Her works, primarily the landscapes that she prefers to paint, will offer the public a rare opportunity to explore the world as Ann, a fine artist, sees it. Read about Ann on page 68.

We hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue of BayouLife Magazine. Happy Easter from all of us,

PUBLISHER & OWNER Cassie Livingston




Katelyn Tolbert

Courtney Thomas

Cait Wise

ART DIRECTOR Taylor Bennett



Darian Atkins

Dan Chason

Kenny Covington

Shannon Dahlum

Cindy Gist Foust

Starla Gatson

Paul Lipe

Erin Love

Meredith McKinnie

Georgiann Potts

Delia Simpson

Beatrice A. Tatem

Vanelis Rivera

Judy Wagoner

Kerry Heafner

Guy Miller

Dr. David Tran

Clinton Downing

Dr. Leslie Coffman

Dr. David Finley

Stephen Cox, MD April Honaker


James Thomas, MG Farms

Photography by Kelly Moore Clark

Magazine is published and distributed by Redbird Publishing, LLC. Postal subscriptions ($30) can be ordered online at BayouLife Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited photographs, manuscripts, or other materials. Opinion columns do not represent the views of the publisher. Reproduction of contents without express written permission is prohibited.

Travel on the Mind for the Mind

Take a Journey Into Yourself

SEPTEMBER 2023 WAS THE FIRST TRIP I EXPERIENCED OUT of town and away from my home since March of 2020. This trip to visit family was a reawakening of a love that was only temporarily snuffed out by the pandemic. I am a travel enthusiast who finds traveling to be mentally and emotionally refreshing, rejuvenating and rewarding. Like millions of travel lovers around the globe I rejoiced when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted their stay-at-home orders and restrictions. For many it triggered memories of past trips, re-energized the desire to travel and served as a freeing journey from isolation to openness and connectedness. Travel motivates us to explore, to grow within ourselves while engaging those around us and the world at large. It invokes energy, creates joy, lifts our spirits, results in human understanding, and brings about all kinds of emotional reactions.

Travel on the mind for the mind. According to research done by mental health experts, people tend to feel healthier and happier after leisure travel. In fact, it has been found that having something to look forward to along with mere planning for a vacation creates happiness and excitement which boosts ones mental health and brain functioning. “I am so ready to spring forward into action” was a comment made by a colleague. She then jokingly stated, “I need travel therapy, I wish I could go on a trip during spring break and experience something new and different.” Spring is that time of the year when many students and those employed take an academic or professional break. Travel during spring break is often just long enough to whet the appetite for longer more in-depth travel during the summer. Whether for work or fun, travel can result in greater well-being, a positive mood, reduced stress, peace of mind and a better and happier you. Travel allows us to rest our brain resulting in improved mental power, enhanced productivity, and greater ability to focus and set goals. Traveling has the power to penetrate all our senses. It exposes us to sites we have never seen, promotes interaction with those unlike us, allows us to take in smells associated with the area, taste and indulge in local fare, hear sounds of the land while feeling the energy of the people. Travel can expand your mind in a way you never realized was possible as a result of living through new experiences and learning. It reduces biases, increases acceptance, appreciation, and empathy towards others, and strengthens one’s overall tolerance.

Travel for your well-being. Ways travel can make your mind healthy and happy. Take a mental health break away from work and the responsibilities of daily life to travel, it can do wonders to lessen stress. When life can feel as though you are merely going through the motions of existing; liven it up with a vacation. Maybe you have a place you look forward to visiting once a year, or perhaps you enjoy exploring new places. Get away close to

home and have a staycation with yourself. Travel allows you to try new things in new places with new people, helping you to combat monotony. For example, consider experiential traveling abroad. Known to be transformative this immersion style traveling often helps one to re-evaluate and reinvent their lives. Whereas travel is good for one’s mental health be mindful it is not recommended that travel be taken in lieu of mental health therapy. A wellness trip in the form of a retreat can contribute to having better mental health. Learn and develop skills like relaxation, meditation, yoga and mindfulness and then bring them home and incorporate them into a wellness lifestyle.

I firmly believe travel is good for the psyche. Travel is “just what this doctor orders.” In my line of work travel is often seen as a means to maintaining a positive state of mind. I suggest travel to recharge, to relax, to become revitalized, to find meaning, to unwind and to take a break from the hustle and bustle associated with life these days. Traveling can enhance your mood, lessen the chaos you feel, and ultimately improve you. It can increase joy, help prevent depression, help you recover from burnout, heighten your creativity, and expand your horizons. Traveling helps our mental state, lifts our spirits, lessens challenges, improves sleep, removes us temporarily from societal burdens, giving us a break from day to day demands. Travel also offers us distance from a problem or situation, which can then give us the possibility of a new outlook.

Getting out and taking a vacation has multiple potential benefits for both your mental and physical health. Travel is educational, eye opening and expands the mind, which creates wonderful learning opportunities that motivates and empower us to live well. It positively affects a traveler’s perception, awareness, imagination, and reasoning. On a personal note, I love to travel because it allows me to discover a world so different from the world I have lived, while discovering myself. Traveling has often helped me to understand what formal education has not. Travel, whether in the mind, or in the world helps to direct, guide, expose and orient one’s attention towards the differences amongst others. It takes us from one place to another literally and figuratively, physically, and mentally. Simply put this travel lover recommends getting out and seeing the world and letting the world see you. One’s ability and desire met with the opportunity to travel is one of the best gifts one can experience. This spring encounter yourself through travel. Explore, dream, discover…travel and take a journey into yourself. Your mental health deserves it.

For more information on counseling and outreach services contact Dr. Beatrice Tatem at Wellness Initiatives, LLC, 2485 Tower Drive, Suite 10 Monroe, La 71201, 318-410-1555 or at


Wine Over Water

16th Annual Event Benefiting Alumni Scholarships

THE SUN IS SETTING ON BAYOU DESAIRD. PICTURE yourself on the Northeast Drive Bridge on the beautiful University of Louisiana Monroe campus. You are surrounded by your best friends, former classmates, and anyone who is in Northeast Louisiana, sipping your new favorite wine and snacking on food from local restaurants. As the sun sets, you head to the stage and enjoy upbeat tunes from Monroe’s favorite band – Mr. Taylormade and the Taylormade Band. Before you grab another glass of wine, you take a boat ride through the Bayou and see the sights of the ULM campus after dark.

This can be your experience at Wine Over Water this year. Have you purchased your ticket?

Your contribution means you are changing futures, which forwards the mission of the ULM Alumni Association. Proceeds from Wine Over Water benefit the Spirit of the Warhawk Endowed Scholarship and the Alumni Association. This scholarship is instrumental in attracting local students to attend ULM and specifically supports students in Ouachita and the eleven surrounding parishes. The 2021 recipient, Ousman Amadou, shares that “this scholarship has propelled me to excel in my studies. Because of the support in my academic future, I am interning this summer and will most likely be offered a job before graduation. My future would look completely different if it weren’t for this scholarship.”

The Alumni team is counting on your participation to change the future of the incoming freshmen of Northeast Louisiana. Beverages are provided by Southern Glazer’s and Marsala Beverage. The ULM Alumni Association would like to thank our partners B&L Marine, The Radio People, KEDM 90.3 Public Radio, Holland Broadcasting (KWCL-FM), and Bare Necessities of NELA.

Stroll across the historic ULM bridge while sampling hors d’oeuvres from these local restaurants: All Things Nash in a Dash, AMAZE’N TREATS & EATS, Aramark, Avocados, Bake318, Big MC’s BBQ, ,Cali Café, Casa Real Mexican Bistro, Catfish Cabin, CC’s Coffee, Chicken Salad Chick, Coca-Cola United, Firehouse Subs, Jac’s Craft Smokehouse, Kitchen Cooking, Miro’s, Okaloosa, Papi Loco, Planter’s, Raising Canes, Revival Pizza Company, Roll Play, Sweet Hands Bakery, Thurman’s Food Factory, The Fat Pelican, and Waterfront Grill.

Bill Boles, ULM alumnus and partner of Boles, Shafto – Public Finance Attorneys, has been a sponsor since 2018. He states “my organization is always happy to sponsor this wonderful event. When great friends and supporters of our University gather, with the Bayou as a backdrop, a beautiful setting which captures the true spirit of the University is created. This is one of the best events of the year, which I always look forward to.”

Local alumnus Lee Estes, Branch Manager of Homeland Bank, shares “Wine Over Water is an excellent event for our community to unite and support our great university. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to enjoy ULM’s beautiful campus. With the funds from Wine Over Water going towards ‘The Spirit of The Warhawk’ scholarship, Homeland Bank is proud to support the further education of our local students.”

Wine Over Water would not be possible without generous support from our sponsors:

Allen, Green & Williamson, CPAS, LLP; Andy Snelling; Architecture Associates; Architecture Plus; Argent Financial; Bank of Oak Ridge; Bayou Bowl; Billy “Bo” Boughton; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana; Boles, Shafto - Public Finance Attorneys; C.A. Butler Counseling & Consulting LLC; Camille Currier; Centric Federal Credit; Century Next Bank; Cross Keys Bank; Entergy; Holmes Consulting Group; Holyfield Construction; Homeland Bank; First Horizon Bank; Johnny’s Pizza; Johnson, Perry Roussel & Cuthbert, CPA; Julie Harlan O’Brien; Kimpa Hayes Boyd, CPA; Land 3 Architect; Latner McDonald; Little & Associates; Louisiana Plastics; Magnolia Wealth Strategies; Mike & Lisa Boggs; Monroe Chamber of Commerce; Morehouse General Hospital; North Delta Title; Origin Bank; Peregrine; Progressive Bank; Regions Bank; Scott Powerline; Sheriff Jay Russell; St. Francis Medical Center; Sue & Tom Nicholson; Sunquest Properties; Terry Duke; Thomas & Farr; VCOM.

Tickets for the Bridge Party are $60 and tickets to the Patron Party, which includes the Bridge Party begin at $125. Tickets are available online at, by calling 318-342-5420, or at the Laird Weems Center located at 4400 Bon Aire Drive. Office hours are Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 – 11:30 a.m.


Sip and Savor

Doe’s Eat Place and Washington Wine and Spirits

AS THE DAYS GROW LONGER AND THE TEMPERATURES rise, it’s time to embrace the joys of spring with a refreshing glass of wine. From light and crisp whites to sparkling reds, there’s a world of wines to explore this season. In this month’s edition, we’ve handpicked four wines that are sure to delight your palate and elevate your springtime sipping game. Whether you’re planning a picnic, a barbecue, or simply enjoying the sunshine in your backyard, these wines are perfect for any occasion. So sit back, relax, and let’s raise a glass to the arrival of spring!

Before we get to the wine we have to tell you about our newest barrel selection. If you’re a fan of rye whiskey, then you’ll want to try our barrel pick of Sazerac Company rye whiskey! With its deep amber color and noticeable viscosity, this rye whiskey is a treat for the senses. The aroma is intense and complex, with a distinct spicy character that’s typical of rye whiskey. The spicy notes are accompanied by a sweet, caramelized scent that’s reminiscent of vanilla and brown sugar. There are also hints of citrus, particularly orange peel, which add a bright and refreshing touch. On the palate, this whiskey is bold and full-bodied, with a robust flavor that’s dominated by sweet candied vanilla notes. The initial sip is full of sweet caramel and vanilla that’s tempered with gentle rye spice. As the whiskey settles on the tongue, the citrus notes become more prominent, adding a zesty freshness to the experience. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, with a gentle warmth that spreads from the mouth down the throat. The finish is long and satisfying, with the spicy rye notes lingering on the tongue. There’s a subtle sweetness that lingers as well, along with a hint of sweet candied orange peel that gives the whiskey depth and complexity. So why not treat yourself to a glass and experience the richness and complexity of this exceptional whiskey?

E. Guigal Tavel Rosé is a highly sought-after wine that has been impressing wine enthusiasts around the world for decades. The wine is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes, which are harvested at optimal ripeness to produce a wine that is rich, complex, and full of flavor. The Guigal Rosé is known for its beautiful salmon color, and its aroma is dominated by red fruits, such as raspberry and strawberry. On the palate, the wine is dry and refreshing, with a long and pleasant finish. This rosé is a versatile wine that pairs well with a variety of foods, from spicy dishes to grilled meats. Whether enjoyed as an aperitif or with a meal, the E. Guigal Tavel Rosé is a wine that is sure to impress.

Peitan Albariño is a premium white wine that comes from the Rías Baixas region in northwest Spain. This wine is produced from the

Albariño grape, which is known for its high acidity, crispness, and floral aromas. Peitan Albariño is a unique wine that is characterized by its delicate balance of fruit and acidity, making it an ideal choice for those who enjoy light and refreshing wines. On the nose, the wine offers a bouquet of aromas that range from fresh citrus fruits to white flowers, with hints of minerality. On the palate, the wine is crisp, clean, and refreshing, with flavors of lemon, green apple, and a touch of salinity. The wine’s acidity provides a long and lively finish, making it a perfect accompaniment to seafood, salads, or light appetizers. Peitan Albariño is a wine that truly captures the essence of the Rías Baixas region, and it is a must-try for anyone who appreciates a well-made, refreshing white wine.

Ancien Chardonnay is produced in the Carneros region of Napa Valley, California. Ancien Chardonnay is known for its beautiful golden color and its aromas of tropical fruits, such as pineapple and mango, with a hint of vanilla and oak from the aging process. On the palate, the wine is rich and creamy, with flavors of ripe peach, honey, and a subtle touch of citrus. The wine’s acidity provides a perfect balance to the richness, making it a great pairing with a variety of foods, from grilled seafood to roasted chicken. Ancien Chardonnay is a wine that showcases the best of Napa Valley, and is a perfect choice for anyone who appreciates a wellcrafted, elegant white wine.

Nicchia Lambrusco is a sparkling red wine that hails from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. This is a unique wine that is perfect for those who enjoy light and refreshing red wines. On the nose, the wine offers a bouquet of aromas that range from fresh red berries to floral notes. On the palate, the wine is dry, crisp, and refreshing, with flavors of cherry, raspberry, and a touch of earthiness. The wine’s bubbles provide a lively and effervescent mouthfeel, making it a perfect accompaniment to charcuterie boards, pizza, or pasta dishes. Nicchia Lambrusco is a wine that truly captures the essence of Emilia-Romagna, and it is a must-try for anyone who appreciates a well-made, unique red wine.

In conclusion, there’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than with a delicious glass of wine. From the crisp and refreshing, to the rich and elegant these wines offer a wide range of flavors and styles to suit any palate. So why not try something new this season and explore the world of wine? Whether you’re enjoying a glass with friends or savoring it alone, these wines are sure to enhance your springtime sipping experience. Thank you as always for letting us be your spirits guides here at Washington Wine & Spirits and cheers to a season of new beginnings and unforgettable moments!


Louisiana Delta Community College

From Student to Teacher to Director

CYNTHIA CAGE IS A GRADUATE OF LOUISIANA DELTA Community College’s (LDCC) Care and Development of Young Children (CDYC) program. Since her graduation, her career has grown by leaps and bounds.

Cage is a West Monroe product, born and bred. She speaks about the number of teachers and community members who inspired her.

Cage wanted to be a veterinarian as a kid until she was asked to teach a Vacation Bible School class when she was about 10 or 11 years old. That invitation and experience sparked her desire to teach. “I was asked by an older lady in my church who was a teacher herself, and she saw that potential in me,” explains Cage. She will never forget Ms. Dorothy Simms.“ From that time on, she worked with children periodically. Opportunity knocked once again when Cage’s son began to attend Richwood’s Ouachita Multi-Purpose Community Action Program (OMCAP) Head start. “The director came to me and said you’re a natural. Apply, recalls Cage, and I’ve been in childcare since, and that was in 1999.”

Cage decided to pursue her college education. She obtained an associate’s degree in General Studies from LDCC in 2006. Afterward, she completed the Care and Development of Young Children (CDYC) associate’s degree in 2008. Cage then continued her educational pursuit at Northwestern State University, where she completed a Family and Consumer Science bachelor’s degree. “Delta was the catalyst for my career,” shares Cage. That’s where she met CDYC’s former director, Donna Guice. “From the time I entered her program at Delta until I began to work at the Children’s Coalition, she was my mentor. She pushed me all the way through.”

Even though Cage’s background is in early childhood education, she has taught students in LDCC’s Adult Education program. “When you teach, you teach,” shares a passionate Cage. She uses her talents and experiences to assist others working with head start-aged children at the Children’s Coalition, where she is currently employed. She serves as a coach and gives technical assistance to area directors and other staff. She also helps them with modeling what appropriate concepts and relationships should resemble. This exercise helps teachers increase their skills, which in turn helps them improve their scores on classroom observation.

The key challenges facing Head Starts and childcare, in general, are equitable pay and access for those needing childcare. Equitable compensation is pretty self-explanatory. However, you may not know that all pre-K children who are eligible to attend pre-K are not allowed to go, and the reason is that there’s not enough funding to accept all children. Cage believes that if childcare centers would branch out into their neighborhoods more and engage families and become more visible, other voices may be compelled to petition the legislature for more funding for them as well.

There is debate about pushing academics too early in a child’s life, creating setbacks and resentment in their later academic years. Cage said it doesn’t have to be that way. “If you have quality programs that are well versed in early childhood development, what’s developmentally appropriate, then they are preparing them for school readiness. Much of the school preparedness is to get them socially and emotionally ready,” explains Cage. “When children can do things like ask questions, share their needs, and sit still for a period of time, learning falls into place.”

When asked how teachers are being prepared to navigate issues that impact children’s ability to learn, Cage says Adverse Childhood Experiences Training is being delivered more and more to educators across the board and enables them to be more effective by addressing those issues along with their academic objectives. As a whole, Cage says, they’re trying to better treat the whole child.

“The Associate of Applied Science in Care and Development of Young Children is vital to our area with its many childcare centers,” shares Sandee Clawson, Program Director. “Through this program, we can teach students who are passionate about working with young children developmentally appropriate strategies to nurture children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth.” This program is available at Louisiana Delta Community College’s Monroe Campus at 7500 Millhaven Road. It’s about a mile east of Pecanland Mall and visible from Interstate 20. Says Clawson, “We are fortunate to have an onsite early learning center for 3 and 4-year-old children. At the center, students get hands-on experience working with young children, enabling them to put what they are learning in the classroom into practice.” Enrollment is open for the summer and fall at www.ladelta. edu. Call Sandee Clawson with questions at 318-345-9159.


A Match Made In Heaven

Material Things and The Haberdashery

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, THE yin and the yang, A Tale of Two Citieshowever you want to phrase it-that’s what I think of when I think about Material Things and The Haberdashery.

This month I want to introduce you to the idea of mixing the art form of quilts and all forms of handwork into your liveswhether it be for decorative reasons, luxury fashion staples or simply what quilts are meant to be-a source of warmth!

There has been a huge resurgence of all forms of handwork the past few years and, truthfully it could be because of the forced nesting at home that we all had to endure during the pandemic. But, whatever the reason, I am embracing it again.

In a recent article, Marianne Fons was interviewed about rapper A$AP Rocky arriving at The Met Gala wrapped in a quilt. She said the quilting trend reemerges “every 30 years or so” adding “Adolfo did it in the late ‘60s, Ralph Lauren did it in the ‘80s, and then Calvin Klein and designers like Emily Bode started it up again around 2017.” You can literally find this fashion trend in all of the high end designer collections right down to off the rack in your local stores like Target and Walmart.

I know you all can remember back in the ‘60s and ‘70s when fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt was covering her home in quilts and I mean “covering.” The walls, the floors, the ceilings and everything in between were lacquered with pieces of Americana! She was quoted as saying “Isn’t it extraordinary how something as simple as quilts from America suddenly begin to relate to Russia and the

East to become exotic and mysterious when used in a certain way.” Look it up when you have a chance-there are numerous articles about the subject online. The pictures of her home, especially her bedroom are quite inspirational.

Kiva Motnyk was interviewed by The Zoe Report about this resurgence and believes that the quilt trend has been influenced by a movement towards more intentional buying. “I think there’s been a growing awareness of where and how we spend our money, and it tends to shift towards investing in pieces that are intentionally well-made and have longevity,” she explains. “People want to support small brands they believe in. Quilts inherently embody these values-they are created through traditional handwork, made from up cycled fabric scraps and meant to be passed down to future generations.”

And, we can get a little closer to home to talk about this resurgence as well-the grand prize winner at Monroe’s Masur Museum’s 60th Annual Juried Art Competition was a quilt. This quilt was a collaboration by Ruston artist Frank Hamrick along with LA Tech MFA students Emerald McIntyre, Jacob Moffett, Jennifer Robison and Paul Wolfe and it was quite an accomplishment considering the 1220+ entries from all over the country! I hope to get to see it in person! Well done!

All of that being said, come by the shop and take a look at all that my own “A Tale of Two Cities” has to offer. The Haberdashery side has just about anything you need to get you started in any of the handcraft categories-quilting, embroidery,

needlepoint, appliqué and so much more. We are also a Husqvarna Viking sewing and embroidery machine dealer, as well as having our own in house service department for you after you purchase your machine. While on the Material Things side, which many of you are already familiar with, we have everything from gifts, lighting, a children’s area, furniture including sofas and chairs, our own “keeping” spot that has everything from barware to food items. So, please remember to come by and check us out for any and all of your needs whether they be for gifting, a little refresh in your home or learning a new craft.

I really just wanted to use this month’s article to talk about the importance of savoring our past and meshing it into today and into the future. The simple act of treasuring the things that you, your loved one or someone that you’ve never known have crafted by hand is an endearing and worthy quality to have. Now, mind you, I realize that not everyone is going to embrace this resurgence but, I hope that this article will help in understanding it and maybe encourage you to give it a chance even if it’s in a small way.

XOXO - Joyce


What you’ll need:

1 2/3 cup avocado oil

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

6 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 pound finely-grated fresh carrots

3 (8-ounce) bricks cream cheese

1 cup salted butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

6 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour (3) 8-inch round pans. In a bowl, whisk oil and sugar together. Add in eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl whisk the remaining dry ingredients until combined. Gradually add dry ingredients to egg mixture. Fold in carrots and stir. Portion the batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool. To make frosting combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla and stir until smooth. Gradually stir in powdered sugar. Once cakes are room temperature, frost between each layer and around the cake.

This delicious cake is the perfect plate for Easter gatherings. Garnish with candied carrot sticks for a cake that is as pretty as it is tasty.
Styled by Taylor Bennett. Photograph by Kelly Moore Clark.


What you need:

1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes

3 tomatillos, chopped (1½ cups)

½ green apple, chopped

1 jalapeño chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon prepared


1 sprig parsley and cilantro

1 small clove garlic

1 teaspoon each salt and Worcestershire

½ teaspoon green hot sauce

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon celery seed

4 ounces vodka, divided

Add all ingredients (except vodka) to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Fill two collins glasses with ice and pour 2 ounces vodka into each glass. Divide tomato mixture between glasses and stir to combine. Season with additional lime juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, hot sauce and salt to desired taste.

This Tomatillo Bloody Mary combines all the things you love about this classic brunch cocktail and elevates it with tomatillos, yellow tomatoes, jalapeños, herbs and green apples.
Find on


Foxtail ferns and Plumosa ferns fan from this basket full of goodies. Oversized carrots and brightly hued ribbon are sure to welcome some bunny this Easter.

Styled by Taylor Bennett Photograph by Kelly Moore Clark



Designer Taylor Bennett created a whimsical fairy garden in his raised planters for his nephews imagination to run wild. Nestled among daffodils sits a moss-covered house with large stones creating a walkway for visitors. A small mailbox and wheelbarrow add fun details.

Photograph by Kelly Moore Clark.

Spring Has Sprung At Sonny Panzico’s

Now Is the Perfect Time For Spring Planting


been the premier destination for Northeast Louisiana’s gardening needs. From outdoor furniture to kitchens, statuaries to planters, grills to umbrellas, their two locations offer everyone looking to spruce up their outdoor spaces lots to choose from.

With spring upon us, now is the perfect time to plant. Sonny Panzico’s has a great selection of fruit trees including: figs, pears, persimmon, grapes, pomegranate, blueberries, apples, plums, peaches and pecans. If you’re looking for citrus trees, Sonny’s also carries Myers lemon, dwarf lemon, key lime, grapefruit, orange, satsuma and kumquat sweet and sour to name a few.

Beautiful weeping willow trees are among the favorites at Sonny Panizo’s and they have three sizes available: 3 gallons, 7 gallons and 20 gallons. They also have bald cypress, red maples, silver maple, river birch, Arizona ash and Gingko trees just in time for prime planting season. From fruit trees to blooming trees, Sonny’s has it all. Make sure to look for their deliveries of dogwoods, redbuds, crabapples, Bradford pears, Teddy Bear dwarf magnolias, yellow tulip poplars, all color and sizes of crepe myrtles, and vitex trees.

If you’re ready to give your green thumb a go with roses, Sonny Panzico’s has Knock Out roses in a variety of colors, as well as a vast selection of Drift roses. They also have Peggy Martin’s climbing roses in 3 gallon sizes. Another great option for roses are their hybrid tea roses and tree roses, also available in several color choices.

Ready to start your vegetable garden? Sonny Panzico’s friendly and knowledgeable staff will make sure you have everything you need to plant a successful garden. They have over 15 varieties of tomato plants, squash, cucumber, cabbage, collards, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and strawberries.

If grilling take precedents over gardening, Sonny Panzico’s has a range of popular grills and cooking accessories to light your fire. Among the favorites is the Louisiana Grills which enhance the sophistication of grilling with top-of-the-line products that were derived from the passion and precision of the world’s foremost modern outdoor chefs. Unlike most of its competitors, the Louisiana Grills possess the capability of both direct and indirect cooking using an innovative technology that turns the unit from a smoker to grill with a simple pull of a lever. Sonny’s also carries a range of Kamado Joe grills. These performance driven ceramic grills are for those that

crave the ultimate charcoal outdoor cooking experience. Get better heat retention, fuel efficiency and smoking ability with the Kamado Joe range of grills.

Nothing says Louisiana better than a table full of crawfish and Sonny Panzico’s offers the Bayou Classic Crawfish cooker. Perfect for large batch outdoor cooking events and backyard parties, these cookers are great for boiling crawfish and other seafood. Available in different sizes, these cookers heat a large volume of water to a rolling boil in 30 minutes and provides an easy lift basket which allows seafood to slide down into a cooler.

Sonny Panzico’s Garden Mart recently re-stocked Lodge cast iron cookware. From seasoned cast iron pans to bakeware accessories, Sonny’s selection of Lodge is unrivaled in this area. If you’ve been looking for the best cast iron, this American-made cookware is a terrific tool for beginners, home cooks and chefs.

From grills to furniture, Sonny’s selection of Signature Design by Ashley furniture sets are the perfect setting for spring days spent outdoors. Whether your looking for simple loungers or a full outdoor sectional, they have durable and chic options in-stock. A favorite is the Sundown Treasure Adirondack chair in turquoise or red. Easily add cottage-quaint charm to your outdoor oasis with this gorgeous chair that is designed to shed rainwater and weather the seasons beautifully. Not only do they carry furniture, they also carry a line of Milwaukee Garden Tools. These tools deliver unrivaled performance in a compact structure. From string trimmers to blowers, these power tools will help you tackle any landscaping or backyard project.

Sonny Panzico’s Garden Mart also recently received a new shipment of ceramic pots. These pots are available in a variety of colors and sizes. From smaller sizes to those large enough to plant trees in, the options are endless.

Whether you’re looking for statuaries or fire pits, grills or patio furniture, Sonny Panzico’s two locations has it all. Their friendly and professional staff has a range of knowledge and is available to share with you tips to keep your garden beautiful and thriving. Find them at 7540 Hwy 165 North in Monroe or at 1630 Arkansas Road in West Monroe.



This concrete planter is overflowing with new blooms. English ivy spills over yellow daffodils and vibrant pansies. A Carolina sapphire cypress adds height while Dusty Miller plants provide cover.

Styled by Taylor Bennett Photograph by Kelly Moore Clark

Alumni Spotlight

ULM Alum: Monica Castro Butler


Castro Butler came to the U.S. as a high school student, intent on learning the language and experiencing American culture. She graduated from Ouachita Parish High School and then returned to Colombia. Her Monroe host family, the Barnetts, encouraged Monica to return to the States and attend ULM, and after her Visa was approved, Monica returned to Monroe on the ULM Academic Scholarship. As an international student, with rather limited English proficiency, Monica dove into her studies. She could often be found perched on an upper floor of the library where she could overlook the bayou and study. Monica majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She loved talking to people and felt public relations would be a field in which she could give back to the community that had gifted her an American education.

ULM presented Monica with a bit of culture shock. Coming from such a large city, with round-the-clock gridlock, Monica appreciated the more rural Monroe community and its slower pace. While her studies required intense concentration, Monica found time to work with the International Student Association in Public Relations and Marketing. As a French minor, Monica studied one year abroad. The ULM scholarship allowed her to expand her knowledge of not only this country but others as well. Back on the ULM campus, Monica spent her leisure time tailgating, as she enjoys all sports. She rarely missed an Oozeball tournament, football or basketball game.

Her ULM mentors supplemented the familial links that Monica left back home in Colombia. While the transition was challenging in a completely new place, Monica learned how resilient she is. Dr. Bill Rambin and Dr. Mara Loeb served as her advisors. Monica describes them as being caring, patient, and warm - qualities that reminded her of her people back home. The advisors helped Monica with little things, like doing her taxes - something Monica wasn’t used to. Though she didn’t have a car, her advisors and people in the Monroe community would make sure Monica had transportation, and they often invited her to dine with them on American holidays. Their caring, loving hearts helped Monica stay focused, complete her degree and not feel so alone.

At one of those ULM basketball games, Monica was spotted by Nick Butler. They eventually took a communication class together, started dating, and later married. Nick graduated in Exercise Science and went on to get his doctorate in Physical Therapy. When Monica graduated from ULM, she took a job with Chase Bank in the Line of Credit department. She quickly realized she wanted to continue her education and enrolled in the Master’s program in the ULM Department of Communication. She is most grateful to Dr. Keith Parker, then the Director of Construction Management, who offered Monica a job in the department, as international scholarship students were not allowed to work off campus. Upon graduation, Monica became the Program Director at the West Ouachita Senior Center where she worked for two years.

Twelve years ago, Monica ventured into healthcare, handling marketing, PR, and community relations for Sterlington Rehabilitation Hospital. She promotes services and organizes events, working with doctors’ offices, nursing homes, and home health services. Again, with this professional role, Monica loves giving back to the community, using her interpersonal skills to better the lives of local residents in a field as integral as healthcare. Monica and Nick have an 8-year-old son named Lucas, who loves sports and cheering on the Warhawks. Lucas plays basketball, football, and baseball, which his parents love. They take yearly trips to Colombia to visit Monica’s family, showing Lucas his mother’s heritage and unique culture.

As a member of the ULM Alumni Association, Monica works closely with the ULM Foundation, directly impacting student’s lives through scholarships. Without someone believing and investing in her education, she wouldn’t have the life she now loves. Monica also recruited her sister Eddna Castro to be a ULM graduate student in business. Though she left her home as a teenager to embark on a brief stint in Northeast Louisiana, Monica has now made Monroe her home.


“All the Ugly and Wonderful Things”

Four-year-old Wavy and her little brother Donal are raising themselves on a meth compound. The sporadically present parents are emotionally neglectful and physically abusive, as Valerie struggles with addiction and mental illness and Liam resents the children’s existence that complicates his drug enterprise. When Wavy witnesses a motorcycle accident and saves the driver Kellen from the wreckage, an unlikely friendship develops with the well-meaning physical giant who keeps an eye on the children. The theme of innocence is excavated in the ensuing chapters when a well-meaning aunt Brenda challenges the only family Wavy and Donal have ever known.

The opening chapters unfold like a well-seasoned and crisp onion, new, yet cultivated, exposing a background that illuminates the present. Wavy, though young, frail, and for the most part mute, exhibits an acute intelligence and disregard for authority. Initially bounced from family home to family home and then back to the compound, Wavy forms distant attachments to her cousins while their mother, Wavy’s aunt, fears for the children’s safety. The story’s polyphonic telling challenges whose version of the truth prevails and whether the law affords nuance to quintessentially taboo actions. Additionally, Wavy is one of the most compelling and thought-provoking

characters I’ve read in quite some time.

Bryn Greenwood’s narrative style resonates like a lullaby sporadically interrupted by a trumpet. Her beautiful prose is saddled with complex content, made more unsettling by the reader’s desire for true love and a happy ending for a little girl who has never had anything to smile about. Greenwood’s story challenges the moral compass on which most of us agree, daring to push the line of appropriate conduct for the perceived greater good. She questions whether age is the appropriate barometer for maturity, whether wellmeaning adults should have the last word, and when a child ceases to be a child.

Physically uncomfortable would describe my physical and mental state reading this book, yet it did not deter me from devouring the text in less than 24 hours. I expected the book to be a hard read based on the material circumstances for the children, but the difficulty was most felt in the emotional and moral questions posed by the author. While some will find this book appalling and might even deem it to be forgiving the unforgivable, Greenwood raises questions rarely addressed out loud. This novel reminds us that silence breeds ignorance, and to truly understand the scope of an issue, dialogue must commence. I commend Greenwood for delving into the gritty underworld we all know is there but rarely confront.

“Those letters seemed so wonderfully tragic to me. Each one a message he would never get. A note in a bottle, bobbing on the ocean. Lost.”

bayou PAGES
“I was lying on the tracks under a train I was in love with.”

“Lessons in Chemistry”

Bonnie Garmus’s debut novel Lessons in Chemistry showcases a sucker punch narrative laced with social commentary. With the ever changing dynamic for women’s roles and perceptions in society, Garmus looks back at where they’ve been. In the 1960s, Elizabeth Zott is an aspiring scientist, clawing her way through a man’s discipline, fending off sexual advances and outright assaults, all in an attempt to obtain a PhD in chemistry. After the college chemistry department denies her admission, Elizabeth settles for a lackluster lab job, allowed the freedom to research and explore abiogenesis, while being overlooked for promotion because of her gender. When Elizabeth falls in love and intellectual bliss with the star scientist at the corporation, his access to power provides an opening for Elizabeth. After a stunning turn of events, Elizabeth must navigate motherhood, career changes, and the status quo that relegates strong, focused women to the margins.

I was surprised that this compelling narrative was Garmus’ first. She writes with a seasoned flair, weaving Zott’s biting wit alongside the reality for working women in the mid-century. The life advice mantras

pepper the story, such as: “Courage is the root of change—and change is what we’re chemically designed to do.” Zott wants only to be taken seriously, for her projects to be funded as well as the men with little intellect or instinct. Garmus leans on intuitive female characters throughout the book, including a neighbor trapped in a marriage well past its due date and Elizabeth’s daughter Madeline - a ferocious reader with a mother whose approach to parenting is well ahead of its time. Garmus reminds us of the untold stories, the women who spent so much time fighting for equality and respect that it’s amazing they were able to accomplish anything. She reminds us that though we’ve come a long way, the fight must continue. Obtaining rights and respect does not mean keeping them.

I couldn’t help smiling and laughing throughout this book. It was the delightful escapism I so adore in novels that surprised me with their depth.

Elizabeth Zott is a character to remember, a scientist who defies the emotional stereotype and proves women are just as capable, and often more likely to succeed because of what they have to overcome just to get to the starting line. Garmus’s name is on my author watch list. I am so looking forward to her next novel.

“People will always yearn for a simple solution to their complicated problems. It’s a lot easier to have faith in something you can’t see, can’t touch, can’t explain, and can’t change, rather than to have faith in something you actually can.”

bayou PAGES
“In short, the reduction of women to something less than men, and the elevation of men to something more than women, is not biological: it’s cultural. And it starts with two words: pink and blue. Everything skyrockets out of control from there.”


Alright y’all, get out there and plant! All our favorites can go into the vegetable garden this month. Transplants of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants can all be set out early this month. And, if you wait until next month for peppers and eggplants, don’t worry. They love heat anyway. When setting out tomato plants, two words are key: deep and wide. Make the planting hole wide so the root system will have plenty of room for expanding. Set plants deep so root initials will form along the buried stem. A big, healthy root system will mean a big, healthy tomato plant. A handful of finished compost placed down in each planting hole will give transplants a boost of nutrients, too, so don’t be greedy with the compost. If you’re going to stake tomato plants, place the stakes prior to planting to avoid potentially damaging root systems. Give transplants a good drink, too. I’m excited to grow an eggplant, again this year, that is a true heirloom! In 1899, Carlo and Frances Montelaro immigrated to southern Louisiana from Lucca Sicula, Sicily, and brought seeds of this beautiful eggplant with them. It’s been in the Montelaro Family ever since. Green with light stripes, this eggplant is gorgeous, productive, and has great flavor. Even large fruit aren’t bitter. And, a single fruit will provide all the seeds you could ever use. I can wait to grow the ‘Montelaro Family’ Eggplant planted back in the Louisiana Kitchen Garden Exhibit at the zoo and in a newly prepared area at the house.

Let’s not forget about attracting pollinators. Look no further than the most recent list of Louisiana Super Plant selections. On this 2023’s list is another member of the ‘Suncredible’ sunflower line, ‘Suncredible Saturn.’ ‘Saturn’ is just as vigorous and prolific as its cousin, ‘Suncredible Yellow,’ which was tapped as a Louisiana Super Plant two years ago. But, ‘Saturn’ has a reddish-orange ring on the ray flowers that will add something different to your sunflower patch. Pollinators can’t refuse sunflowers, and ‘Suncredible Saturn’ will be an otherworldly addition to your garden and landscape. Having any member of the hibiscus family close by will also attract any number of pollinating insects. One of my very favorite perennials is ‘Aphrodite’ Althea, a Louisiana Super Plant selection that will provide a splash of brilliant pink, single flowers all summer long. ‘Aphrodite’ will need some space, so situate it in a sunny location close to the vegetable garden, and both insects and hummingbirds will be frequent visitors. ‘Intenz Classic’ Celosia is another one of my favorites for attracting pollinators. Gosh, what’s not to say about this one. A 2018 selection, ‘Intenz Classic’ is a different variety of

> When setting out tomato plants, two words are key: DEEP and WIDE. Make the planting hole wide so the root system will have plenty of room for expanding.

< One of my very favorite perennials is ‘Aphrodite’ Althea, a Louisiana Super Plant selection that will provide a splash of brilliant pink, single flowers all summer long.

the old-timey Cock’s Combs your great-grandmother probably grew. It’s a beast, too! The heat and humidity of the ArkLaMiss are no match for ‘Intenz Classic;’ it produces spikes of deep magenta flowers that attract clouds of pollinating insects until frost finally takes it out in fall. Another one of my favorite perennial Louisiana Super Plants is ‘Flutterby Petite Tutti Frutti Pink’ Buddleia. How’s that for a name?

‘Tutti Frutti’ stays very compact, getting no more than two to three feet tall, if that. And, with deadheading spent flowers, she’ll keep producing into fall when other, larger Buddleias have already packed it in for the dormant season. ‘Tutti Frutti’ Buddleia will attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds without being overly demanding. Situate a ‘Tutti Frutti’ or two near your vegetable garden and see if you don’t notice an increase in insect pollinators on your squash and cucumbers.

Okay, now let’s talk compost…again! I know, I harp about it a lot. But folks, I say again and again, if you’re not composting at home, you depriving your plants the chance to perform at their maximum levels. There is no better soil amendment for your beds, and you can’t beat the price…free. Rather than burning or bagging those leaves in fall and winter, put them to work for your plants. Do the same with your plantbased kitchen scraps, unused cardboard, and just about anything else made out of the carbohydrate cellulose. Layer this material up like a lasagna, cover with a layer of carbon-rich “browns” like leaves, hay, dried grass clippings from the lawn, or straw, wet it down and let it rip. Contrary to popular belief, there is no foul odor associated with a properly constructed compost pile. When crawlies like pill bugs (aka rolypolies), crickets, and earthworms show up in your compost pile, you’re doing it right. Finished compost will smell earthy and is ready to use straight from the pile. Whether you put a handful or two in the bottoms of planting holes or work it into compacted areas to improve drainage and fertility, your plants will thank you by being healthy and productive. Fact: healthy plants need fewer pesticides. So you see, the benefits outweigh the costs when it comes to composting! Your garden has everything to gain and nothing to lose. Something else to keep in mind as we kick off the spring gardening season is the importance of getting out in the garden every day to check for pests, diseases, and other potential problems so they can be headed off at the pass. Practice an integrated pest management (IPM) that places emphasis on cultural practices. Grow disease and pest-resistant varieties. Grow varieties that are hardy in our USDA Zone (8b). Learn to recognize and identify the more common insect pests like the squash vine borer moth. This little thing has been causing big problems for home gardeners all other the southern U.S. in recent years and is causing many gardeners to give up on summer squash. Learning to identify this moth by sight and knowing it’s life cycle can help you start a management

strategy before it becomes a problem. More aggressive pests like stinkbugs and leaf footed bugs may require the use of a pesticide like either liquid carbaryl or spinosad. Always read, understand, and follow the label directions on any pesticide container whether synthetic or organic.

Lawns kick into high gear this month as they resume growth after winter dormancy. Remember, our deep south turfgrasses (Bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass) are not adapted to deeply shaded areas so full sun is key for a lush, healthy lawn. Lawn mowers should be serviced and ready to rock and roll! Adjust the blade to the height appropriate for your turfgrass. Bermudagrass, centipedegrass, and zoysiagrass should all be mowed at 1 to 2 inches. St. Augustinegrass should be mowed to 2.5 to 3 inches. Frequent-enough rains render religious irrigation of established, residential lawns unnecessary. There’s always the question of how much fertilizer to use on your lawn. When our soil lab returns soil test results and makes a nitrogen recommendation, the rate should be split up into three applications throughout the growing season. Too much nitrogen at once is problematic. The LSU AgCenter generally recommends that no more than a pound or two of available nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn per single application. How much fertilizer is that? First, either measure out or estimate the square footage of your lawn. An estimate is fine. Let’s say your lawn is 5,000 square feet, and you selected ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) as your choice for nitrogen. And, you’re following the LSU AgCenter’s recommended rate of 1 pound/1,000 square feet. First, we know that ammonium nitrate is 21% available nitrogen per 100 pounds of fertilizer. Let’s keep the arithmetic simple and round 21% down to 20%, or 0.2, or one-fifth. This means for every 5 pounds of fertilizer, there is 1 lb. of nitrogen (5 lbs. of fertilizer = 1 lb. N). Your goal is to apply 1 lb. of N for every 1,000 square feet. And, since 1 lb. of N is equal to 5 lbs. of fertilizer, then 5 lbs. of fertilizer equals 1 lb. of N per 1,000 square feet. But, you’re fertilizing 5,000 square feet, so five times as much fertilizer is needed. Five pounds of fertilizer times five units of area = 25 lbs. of fertilizer. Let’s try this using Triple 13 (=13-13-13), since that’s a common fertilizer at local garden centers, and a lawn of the same area. The quickest way to determine how much Triple 13 is needed to apply 1 lb. of N per 1,000 square feet of lawn is to divide the amount of nitrogen desired by the amount of nitrogen in the bag as a decimal, or 1 ÷ 0.13, which is 7.7 lbs. of Triple 13 needed to apply 1 lb. of N to 1,000 square feet of lawn. For a 5,000 square foot lawn, multiply 7.7 times 5. So a 5,000 square foot lawn will need 38.5 lbs. of Triple 13 for 1 lb. of N per 1,000 square feet. Double that amount to apply 2 lbs. of N per 1,000 square feet. And yes, we could have done this shorter method for ammonium sulfate, but that wouldn’t have been any fun!

Tune in to Louisiana Living every
at 4:30 for In
the Garden with Kerry Heafner of the LSU AgCenter.
The heat and humidity of the ArkLaMiss are no match for ‘Intenz Classic;’ it produces spikes of deep magenta flowers that attract clouds of pollinating insects until frost finally takes it out in fall.
Something else to keep in mind as we kick off the spring gardening season is the importance of getting out in the garden every day to check for pests, diseases, and other potential problems so they can be headed off at the pass.


Take it from me, the mother of a ten-year old boy and an eight-year-old girl, organizing toys and other paraphernalia that come with having children takes constant attention (or a miracle). With that thought in mind, I formulated a few tricks for handling toy clutter in my own home, so I thought you might benefit from them as well.

Watch your child’s habits carefully. For instance, does he love balls, but not care about Legos? What about those tiny toy characters? Analyze monthly what your child plays with and what he doesn’t. Next, make sure the items he doesn’t play with are age appropriate. If they are, separate them from those he has outgrown and store them in a box in the top of a closet or in the attic. If after another month he hasn’t missed anything that is inside the box, donate it to a nonprofit organization. If there happens to be an item that he is too young for in the box, hold onto it to see if he will play with it as he ages.

Set some rules. For instance, I like the “one in, one out” rule for toys if you are already out of room (and aren’t we all) -- especially if the new toy is something the child asks for themself. Let your child choose which toy they would like to donate to make room for the new toy.

Make it fun! When it’s time to clear the clutter, make it a fun game for you

and your child. For instance, set up a mock garage sale in your home and let your child choose what he or she would like to sell. You may even decide to trade the items for actual money that can go in the piggy bank!

Try rotating. I use this tip! At one point I realized that there was no way Eli or Everly could play with all of the toys at one time, so I began rotating them! When I feel they are getting bored with the current set of toys, I swap the old toys for the “new” toys and all is well. A few months later, I swap again. I keep the swap set of toys in an available cabinet or closet. I also suggest that you remove any items that your child has outgrown at this time.

Organize in a way that makes clean up easier. In other words, baskets and bins will be your friend! I suggest having separate bins for each type of item – balls, stuffed animals, Barbies, toy cars and trucks, etc. If your kids are younger, you can even go one step further and label

each bin or basket with a picture of what goes inside, so clean up is easier.

Designate at least one room as toy free. If you are like me, your children have inched their way into almost every room of the house by now. Tame that clutter by designating at least one room as being toy free. If there is no other place for the toys to be stored, that should be your cue to start a donation box immediately.

Rethink the toy box. A toy box may seem like a good idea at the time, but in reality it can become a bottomless pit of unused toys. Instead, I recommend a shelving unit that holds labeled baskets and bins. Not only will playtime be easier, but so will clean up time!

Once you have gained control over the toy clutter in your home, rethink what will be allowed into your home from this point on. Don’t forget to let your friends and family in on the new strategy!



I’m sure you are very familiar with the custom of trying to pull a prank on another person on April 1st of each year. These pranks typically take the form of pretending something untrue is happening or has happened. If the other person is convinced what they have been told, seen or experienced is true then the hoax can be revealed.

During the Age of Sail the captains of the various navy, privateer or pirate ships did not wait until April 1st to pull off a hoax. They did this at every reasonable opportunity that presented itself.

Sailing vessels are neither fast nor capable of moving directly in all directions. The speed of a sailing vessel over water and it’s responsiveness is controlled by many factors. These include but are not limited to wind speed, shape and size of the vessel, number, size and shape of the sails, tonnage carried and quickness of the crew at shifting or adding sails. The speed and responsiveness of an Age of Sail vessel came into play when the captain wanted to engage a hostile (or merchant ship) or to escape from a hostile.

Another factor that came into play was how far away another ship was when first sighted. A lookout aloft in the rigging might see the sails of another ship peeking over the horizon as much as twelve miles away on a clear day. When sails were sighted there was no way of knowing whether it was a friendly ship or a hostile. A friendly ship might be welcome to provide added security, trade of needed supplies or just brief companionship to break the monotony of a long voyage. A hostile ship had to be avoided by a merchant. A naval vessel might have wanted to capture or

sink a hostile vessel of equal or lesser size or avoid a much larger one. At some point the ship’s captain had to decide to close with the other vessel or to do his best to prevent the other from closing with him. What might be surprising to people today are the ruses used during the Age of Sail to lure another ship closer and to keep it from firing its guns for as long as possible.

It was common for the sailing vessels of old to carry flags of multiple nations. When sighting another ship the captain who could first identify the nationality or intent of the other had the upper hand when deciding to escape or to lure the other ship closer. Once the distant ship was identified the first ship might raise the flag of the distant ship’s nation or of a nation friendly to it. The goal was to convince the other captain that you were friendly so you had the best opportunity to either get away or to get close enough to him to engage in battle. For example a British frigate upon sighting a French frigate during a time of war might haul down his British ensign and raise a French flag to allow him to close with the other ship. This was more often true if the wind and weather conditions were not favorable to the British ship and the Frenchman could easily avoid the British ship once spotted.

At this point you might be asking why can’t the two captains identify the other ship’s nationality by its appearance? We know today that American Navy ships look very different than warships of Russia, Britain or any other shipbuilding nation. The surprising answer is that during the Age of Sail the goal was most often not to sink the other ship but to disable it enough so it could be captured. Not only were the contents of the captured ship useful or

valuable but the ship might be repairable. If so it could be sailed to a home port by a prize crew. A Naval Board would decide to sell a captured ship or to refit it as a naval vessel of their own country. In either case the captain and crew of the ship that made the capture would share in prize money equal to the value of the ship and its contents. Because of this then-tradition of reusing captured foreign vessels, ships built by almost any seagoing nation might be found within the navies of their enemies. French-built ships were used as British men-of war for example and captured British ships became French naval vessels.

Since no determination could be made by the appearance of a closing ship, the national flag that it flew was the only initial clue. As it neared and the deck could be seen the first captain would have additional information for his decision to continue to close or to veer away and try to evade. For this reason, the officers and crew of the “pretending” ship would wear uniforms or nondescript clothing that would further make them appear to be friendlies. Sometimes sailcloth, spare wood and paint might be used to make a ship appear to be of a different type. The gun ports of a warship might be covered with painted fabric in order to present the smooth hull appearance of a merchantman.

Once the pretending vessel closed within the best possible firing distance, the false flag was hauled down, the correct national ensign was pulled up, the friendly uniform coats and hats were thrown off and the guns let loose. April Fools!

Historical Impressions


Iremember the day when I could hear a bass bust from half a mile. I chased them like there was no tomorrow. I thought they were the biggest challenge next to a strutting turkey or a big buck. That was until I started crappie fishing. You see, my dad was a serious perch jerker. He didn’t bass fish until late in life but the man was tenacious when it came to catching white perch or crappie. I never saw the thrill in it. He shiner fished and to me it was a bona fide bream trip with a bigger fish at the end. I saw no challenge or desire to pursue it as the methods he used did not appeal to me.

When I stopped tournament fishing, I met a man name Doyle Hammonds, or Coach as I called him. We call him Coach after a long career as a coach, principal and teacher in Richland Parish. My first trip with Coach was pure jig fishing 101. He strapped it on me like there was no tomorrow. The way he worked a jig and the different areas and methods he used left me in awe. I wanted to learn how to do that myself. So I went to Toledo Tackle and bought what I thought was a good crappie rig and set out to become a crappie fisherman. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

Crappie are the most worthy of opponents. They will be on one pattern at daylight and totally change by the time you move 100 yards. Crappie are very affected by the barometer, water flow, water depth, water clarity and sometimes I think by the stock market. They can change instantly and the smart angler has to adjust to where, when and what has affected them. The most critical thing I’ve found is jig color, line size and depth they are holding. You can cheat and use a Livescope and narrow down part of the equation but there is no substitution for tenacity and being flexible. Such was the case just recently with my friend, Scott Self came fishing. Scott has a quality rod and the same jig I was catching good crappie on. He could not get bit. I noticed that I was using a high visibility, green Mr. Crappie line and he was using a clear line. Both were 6lb test but it was sunny. The fish were seeing his line. He changed over to an identical rig as mine and started catching them immediately.

My son, Andy came a few days later and broke off the jig I was catching the majority of my fish on. We dug around and only changed a pink hued skirt for chartreuse and white and he matched me fish for fish. That is the secret. In the old days Bill Dance himself introduced the Color Selector. This device would decide the best color for the water conditions encountered. It was a novel idea but soon went away as anglers didn’t really buy in to the product. Well, I did. I learned more from that device than any other introduced then or since. It taught me some simple facts when selecting lure color. Here is what I learned:

• Bright days, keep away from florescent colors, even if you caught them on that color yesterday.

• Cloudy days, the brightest are the best.

• Muddy water, go dark.

• Clear water, go with natural colors.

• Never forget, match the hatch.

• The hatch is determined by what are these fish eating naturally. Crappie love grass shrimp and crawfish. If you are fishing a lake with grass, they will be close as that is where their next meal lives.

• Lighten up. Too many crappie anglers fish way to heavy tackle. Too heavy line and too heavy a jig. I like light jigs if the wind arrives. My golden rule is the shallower the crappie are holding, the lighter the jig.

Choosing a jig can be quite overwhelming. My advice is to get out of the big box stores. You need a big bite hook with my preference being a sickle hook. I am not crappie fishing with a hook that won’t stick the fish and keep him on for me. The sickle hook is my tried and true method that gives me the option to land most fish without a net. Once they hit it, I own them.

There are many places where you can buy crappie jigs. Everybody has the latest and greatest and I’ve used most of them. I hardly every fish a jig without a crappie nibble on it. It just helps the bite ratio. I like nibbles with glitter in them as it mimics a shad that has been hit with scales exploding in the water. My crappie jig choice is out of Ft. Worth, Texas. My buddy Jeremy Saldivar with CFI Crappie Jigs makes a prime hand tied hair jig with my favorite sickle hook. I have one jig tied on right now and have caught over 100 crappie on it. Quality paint and color schemes are important but the customer service is over the top. Jeremy is reliable and responsive. I now only use his products and have no affiliation with his company or any “deals.” Just a good guy. Lastly, let’s talk about the most important feature in crappie fishing, time on the water. No Livescopes, LCR’s, computers or any other factor replaces time on the water.

Think about this, you are in a group of 30 boats on Caney and 10 are catching and 20 aren’t. What is difference? Some is being in the right place at the right time, some is little things such as presentation but most of it is those anglers are repeating past patterns and duplicating them again. That is time on the water. I wish you loads of luck and hope these few tips will help you. Catch and release and only keep what you need. See you next month.


Shop Small, Shop Oak Grove

The Merchants of Downtown Oak Grove Welcome Visitors to the Sweet Potato Festival

CORNER MARKET was first opened on August 18, 1995 by Mike Cox. It started out as a small produce stand that quickly grew, and was bought by Breanne and Bryan Bancroft in January 2022. Corner Market sells plants, vet supplies, feed, frozen foods, fresh produce, rockers, swings, pool supplies and so much more

Nestled in the middle of Main Street Oak Grove in the Louisiana Delta is a quaint little boutique floral and gift shop that has gifts for all ages. DELTA DESIGNS, owned and operated by Rebecca Kovac Crymes since September 2013, specializes in unique floral designs as well as unique home design and decor. For the men on your list, they carry the Duke Cannon line of gifts. If you are looking for a classic toy for a sweet girl or boy, Delta Designs has a huge selection well as several baby products that will make a great shower gift. Open Monday-Friday 9-5 and Saturday 10-2, Rebecca and her friendly staff are ready to assist you with any gift or floral needs.

DELTA GROUNDS COFFEE is a must visit while in Oak Grove. A musthave is their number one hot latte, the Delta Pecan or the number one iced latte, the Tiger Tail. Kyle, LeAnne, Gentry Harper welcome you to stop in and enjoy the warm and cozy atmosphere, and catch up with old friends, or even make some new.

DELTA SOUTH REALTY, LLC was established in 2005 is located on the quaint Main Street in Oak Grove. Broker Lea Creech has almost 30 years experience selling real estate. She is also the only state certified appraiser in East and West Carroll parishes. Call 318-428-9121 for any and all real estate needs in North East Louisiana.

FACE FORWARD BEAUTY offers the latest fashion trends, closet staples, as well as aesthetic services. Their top goal is to provide a first-class experience for customers and clients. Lexie Sistrunk, licensed aesthetician and owner, is motivated, trained, and passionate about making clients feel relaxed and beautiful.

Deemed “The Delta’s Grand Dame of Cinema” the FISKE THEATRE in Oak Grove is Northeast Louisiana’s oldest operating movie theatre. Opened in April 17, 1950 and constructed in the Ultra Moderne Art Deco Design of the late 1940’s-1950’s the Fiske takes you back to the time when showmanship reigned supreme and a trip to the movies was truly a night out. The Fiske features different first-run motion pictures each Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. projected with the most state of the art projection and sound equipment. It has been operated by Holland Entertainment since 2011, Adam Holland the President of the company has managed the Fiske since 2007. To see the latest line-up visit

FRANKS DEPARTMENT STORE was established in 1953 by Frank Jarnevich. Today, it is owned by his daughter, Margaret J Bennett. Their historic building dates back to 1918 and they have kept their antique charm with all the latest apparel, shoes, and accessories. Spring has sprung so go by and see what they have in store while visiting.

Polly Milligan has owned LAGNIAPPE CREATIONS for close to 12 years. This quaint store offers custom-made items, including, but not limited to spirit wear and uniforms for all of the local schools. While they are located in Oak Grove, you can also visit their Facebook page.

LITTLE FREEZER was opened in 1950 by Ruth Alexander. It was bought in 2002 by Teresa and Bryant Burr. It is now owned and operated by Patrick and Britney Burr. For generations customers have enjoyed their famous hotdogs, hand patted hamburgers, frosty cokes and riding the square. Over the years the restaurant and its menu have expanded. We look forward to serving you!

MAIN STREET MEDICAL, AESTHETICS & CO. (MAC on Main) is a hidden gem in downtown Oak Grove. With a focus on making you feel like the very best version of yourself, Family Nurse Practitioner, Amy Hale and her associates provide aesthetics, professional grade skin care, massage therapy, and cosmetology services. A day in The Grove with a visit to The MAC is just the thing to kick off your best summer ever!

Owner Linda Parker bought MERLE NORMAN in June of 2022. Merle Norman products have been in the community for over 50 years and are still loved today. They also offer clothing, accessories and purses to make you look and feel your best!

MIX 96.7, KWCL-FM is a 40,000 watt Adult Contemporary Station serving the 60-mile radius of the Northeast Louisiana Delta surrounding Oak Grove. Start your morning off with a laugh with the morning man, Adam Holland 6-8 am; Bobby Richards takes you home from 4-6 pm, and Mario Lopez aka Slater from Saved by the Bell fame takes you to bed at night. You can catch Mix 96 coast-to-coast at by clicking the listen live link.

NINE OAKS MARKET has over 30 booths of vendors in their store. They carry a mixed variety of old, new, refurbished and so much more! Clothing, furniture, paint and crafts are just a few of many you may find. Follow them on Facebook for all of our new releases happening daily.

SHEPHERD’S CREATIONS was started in May 2017 by John David and Amanda Shepherd. They are a family owned and operated business located Main Street Suite C in Oak Grove.. They offer customized gifts and tees. You can also find their homemade soy candles and wax melts, including 27 scents. They also have homemade goat’s milk soap!

SWEET REPEATS CONSIGNMENT on Main Street in Oak Grove havegently used clothing, furniture, household items and more at discounted prices. They also have over 40 flavors of freeze dried candy, pickled eggs and homemade beef jerky. New inventory goes out daily. You’re sure to find something you love at Sweet Repeats.

TUMBLEWEED is a family-owned and operate store providing northeast Louisiana with work and western apparel since 1992. Come see their physical location, of over 8,000 square feet in Oak Grove, or visit our website at to view our large selection of quality brand products for reasonable prices!


Neville’s Top Tigers

Neville Alumni and Friends Association Hosts Annual Banquet Honoring Students and Teachers


Banquet honoring the 2023 Top Tigers of Neville High School and the teachers who inspired them was held on February 16th, 2023 at the Bayou Pointe Event Center on ULM’s beautiful campus. This annual event is hosted by the Neville Alumni and Friends Association (NAFA). It is NAFA’s mission to provide supplemental funding for programs or projects to enhance the quality of instructional delivery and student life, and to promote excellence in higher education at Neville High School.

ULM graciously aids NAFA in celebrating Excellence in Education. Each Top Tiger is presented with a special medallion which states “ULM Appreciates Excellence in Education.” We were honored to have ULM President Dr. Ron Berry, ULM Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management & University Relations Lisa Miller, and Kaitlin Arnett from ULM Recruitment present the medallions to our Tigers.

The 2023 Ouida McGee Educator Excellence Award was presented by 2022 winner Jeff Gregory to Allen Wise. This prestigious award is presented each year to a Neville teacher who is outstanding in his/her field of education and goes way beyond their appointed course work to teach and mentor our students. Our beneficators of this award are Mr. & Mrs. Mike McGee ’64 and Mrs. Susan McElroy Weaver ’69 of James Machine Works.

Our wonderful guest speaker was Dhu Thompson, a ‘70 graduate of Neville High school and a graduate of ULM, formerly Northeast Louisiana University. Mr. Thompson was in the banking industry for over 16 years before leaving that industry and founding Delta Plastics of the South in Stuttgart, AR. He spoke of his time at Neville High School and how it influenced his life. He also talked about his mother, Nibby Thompson, who taught English for many years at Neville High School.

We graciously thank each of our loyal table sponsors who make the night possible including: Anzalone Periodontics, Mr. & Mrs. William Barkley, Mr. & Mrs. Mike Breen, Mr. Guy Campell, Mr. & Mrs. Jose Roberto Chirinos, Dr. Mena Cho, Globke Chriopractic Clinic, Mr. & Mrs. Mike Graham, Mr. & Mrs. Bob Cooper, Dr. & Mrs. Mark Napoli, Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm Oakley, Gretchen Pettis & Rick Pettis, Dr. & Mrs. Chris Robinson, Golden Roofing, Mr. & Mrs. Bryan Taylor, Tammy Phan, Tuft Pediatric Dentistry, Mr. Ronnie Davidson, Mr. & Mrs. Fred Hill, Mr. & Mrs. Wally McMakin, Dr. & Mrs. Lee Miller, Dr. & Mrs. Justin Tarver, Progressive Bank, Graduate Sales, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Nettles and Mr. & Mrs. Alex Hayward.

Our head table centerpieces were beautiful and donated by our longtime loyal alumnus Joe Farr. Lovely dinner music was provided by

Mr. Rod Allen Payne.

Our banquet committee was headed by Maggie Zentner along with committee members Anna Lisa Deal, Jennifer Graham, Nici Hanks, Kathy Hart, Dana Jefferson, Caron McPherson, Emily Rash and Kristi Vinson. We also give special thanks to our Neville counselors Shannon Sanson and Laura Bryan.

It was a wonderful evening!

We are proud to have been able to honor our Top Tigers of 2023 and their teachers.

Top Tigers and the teachers they honored:

Brooks Vincent Anzalone

Elizabeth Grace Barkley

Sage Haane Bell

Lauren Elizabeth Breen

Claire Rookh Campbell

Elle Alexander Carter

Jeff Rodney Chirinos

Emerson Faith Globke

Lauren Jeannine Graham

Connie Ke

Briley Grace Kelly

Rabab Moqer

Adeline Lord Miller

Gabriella Rose Napoli

Annabelle Josephine Oakley

Christine Daniel Oakley

Chandler Breland Pettis

Christopher Ellis Pettis

Charlotte Elizabeth Robinson

Wilson Wess Spence

Claire Diane Taylor

Matthew Vu

Ryan James Walker

Leonard Ceaser

Kody J. Chase

Susan Kenney

Katherine Sandifer

Sheri Hand

Christina Nguyen

Allison Davis

Elizabeth Smith

Kathryn Waters

Mary Napoli

Shannon Sanson

Kathy Rasco

Nancy Anderson

Jeff Gregory

Tammy Hopkins

Beverly Lapite

Eric Herndon

Paula Garrett

James Rogers

Karari Hanks

Abigail Boothe

Amanda May

Anna Rambin

Dana Tucker Jefferson ‘66 Photo Creds to Mary Dawson Photography

Icaught my first bass at the age of five, on Lake Lafourche, fishing off the pier on a bright chartreuse Mister Twister ribbon tailed worm, at my grandmother’s camp. That was over fifty years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday. The thrill of catching a fish, on a cast I had made, working the bait by myself, was the start of a lifelong addiction, and it still runs deep to this day.

As I began writing a skeleton outline for this month’s Bayou Life “Fishing with Kenny” article, I began going through my mind about all the lures, techniques and everything fish related we have talked about over the years. As I look back over the almost ten years of articles, it is amazing to see just how much we have covered. And just when I think there is nothing else to write about, another idea comes to mind.

When it comes to bass fishing, there really are no more secrets. With technology, “secret spots” are now considered community holes. “Secret lures” are now outdated due to the internet and YouTube. What was a secret today will be known by the masses by tomorrow. Such is the world we live in. But is this true? There are secrets, but we have forgotten about them because we have become blinded by the newest, best and brightest lures in our tackleboxes.

years, my lure of choice from April through May, regardless of the lake I was fishing, was a Bullfrog colored Heddon Baby Torpedo. I wish I had a dollar for every dollar I had won in late spring/early summer tournaments using this lure. Taking it a step further, in the summer months, I had a lot of success throwing the clear Baby Torpedo around the grass flats. I haven’t seen another angler throwing this lure in years!

Most bass anglers know a Crème worm only when throwing a Wobblehead. Did you know it is one of the best flipping/ pitching lures you can use in the summer months when the water gets hot, and the bass becomes sluggish? In August if there is a better worm to flip trees with than an 8-inch Plum Crème worm, I don’t know what worm it would be. The key is to use a smaller slip sinker, usually a 1/8th ounce, and a little lighter line than normal, I always used 14 Trilene XT, and be as stealthy as possible with your presentations. The lighter line and sinker allow the worm to “glide” as it falls through the water column. It’s deadly!

Fishing With Kenny


Let me give you a few examples of what I am talking about. When was the last time you fished with a Model A bomber crankbait? Or what about a Heddon Baby Torpedo? Seen anyone using a straight tailed Crème worm lately? What about a Lil George? All the lures I have listed, I can honestly tell you I have used with success over the past few years. One of the reasons for these lures’ effectiveness is because they aren’t popular choices anymore and the fish haven’t seen them. Let’s take a closer look.

The Model 6A Bomber was once the crankbait to throw. No matter where you went, you had one tied on your rod, especially on the Ouachita River and Darbonne Bayou. When the Bandit series of crankbaits was introduced, the Bomber series was pushed to the side. This was a mistake. A few years ago, I did very well in early springtime tournaments throwing a Firetiger colored Bomber 4A crankbait. Knowing the fish hadn’t seen one, I felt I had an advantage over my competition. Another Bomber crankbait I am quite sure no one throws, but is a staple in my fall fishing arsenal, is a Tennesee Shad colored 5A Bomber. It is a fish catcher!

Now that we are coming out of the spawn and are headed towards the post-spawn part of spring, topwater fishing has become a popular way to catch bass. A lot of fish will still be shallow and a topwater presentation can catch them as big as they grow. For

My Uncle Junior knew Tom Mann, the founder of Mann’s bait company, personally. He would call Tom and order the “Lil George” by the card full, and Tom would bill him for his purchase. That is saying a lot when you can call a tackle company and make an order directly from the owner. My, how times have changed.

At one time, the “Lil George” was arguably the best wintertime bass lure ever thrown on Darbonne Lake. I can remember sitting and listening to my father and Junior talk about the fish catches the George caught and from November through February, neither of them went to Darbonne or Claiborne without having one tied on. One of the reasons a lot of angler’s don’t throw the George or lures like it is because there is a touch or feel for fishing one. To the anglers who mastered the art of fishing the lure, it paid off handsomely. Sadly, it’s another example of a lure that has been replaced by newer techniques.

Ever throw a Rebel Floating Minnow? What about a Shad Rap or the original floating Rapala? I can go on and on about the lures I once considered to be my A List lures that I am now starting to bring back to life. These lures never lost their fish catching appeal, they simply lost an audience of anglers who still choose to throw them.

Well, it looks like we have run out of time and space again. Time and space sure flies when you are having a good time talking about something you love! Summer is right around the corner and more people are or will be using our waterways, please be safe and respectful to each other and remember, catch one for me!

See you next month!


Afew months ago, I received an interesting request - to be a contact family for two exchange students from Tunisia. Having avidly played Globle over the course of the year, I knew Tunisia was in the northern part of Africa, though I knew little to nothing else about it. As the woman on the phone told me about the scholarship program that funded the students’ time in America, I Googled Tunisia and immediately beautiful beaches and old structures appeared, along with women covered in hijabs and bright white and red flags. Situated on the Mediterranean Sea between Algeria and Libya, and only a few miles from Sicily, Tunisia houses about 12 million people, and the predominant language is French, followed closely by Arabic. The woman explained that as a contact family, we would host the two women for dinner and could have as much interaction with them as we were willing to engage. My first thought was “YES!” What a magnificent opportunity for my girls to see and know someone from another culture. And we would play a part in their image of America. I felt it was such an honor to be asked, and I couldn’t wait to reach out to them.

I first met the women in my office, as they were taking classes at the University. They were overwhelmingly polite and excited to be in America. Having taught international students for years, I am always

Meredith’s Musings


curious if the reality of our country meets their expectations. I remember asking a student about ten years ago from Brazil what she thought about America. She laughed and said our food portions were too big and we needlessly circulated parking lots looking for the closest spot to avoid walking. She wasn’t wrong. The Tunisian ladies asked me all kinds of questions, what sights to see and how best to move about the city. Ironically, they wanted to visit a Dollar Tree, intrigued by the popularity of thrift stores in America and likely on a tight budget. We settled on dinner at my house in the next few weeks. I agonized over what to serve them. I knew they didn’t eat pork and couldn’t consume alcohol, so Husband and I decided to serve grilled chicken, herbed potatoes, broccoli, and almond cheesecake. I tried inquiring about their preferences, but they brushed off the request and insisted I serve whatever I normally would. They wanted a genuine interaction with a typical American family? I immediately wondered, “Are we typical?’

When I picked up the women that evening, they both brought gifts - cookies and a wall hanging of a bright carved door, a common welcoming sight on Tunisian homes. My girls bounced in their seats, excited for a willing audience. The entire ride home, Wilder and Fable fumbled the women’s names and everyone roared with laughter. While I prepped dinner, the women played with the girls outside, jumping on

the trampoline and playing hide and seek. One of them indulged Wilder’s tumbling lessons. After dinner, we chatted with the women. They were curious about our marriage customs. They were shocked how Husband handled the children and cleaned up while we visited. They wanted to see as much of the country as possible during their nine months in America. The curiosity and willingness to abandon all they know for the chance at adventure in another country humbled me. I don’t know if I would have been so brave at that age. Since then, I’ve followed the women on social media. They bounce from a campus event to a trampoline park, then from Black Bayou to a hole-in-thewall restaurant, soaking up as much of our culture as they can. I’ve often wondered if they’ll learn more about our little corner of the world in their short time here than we ever will as locals. They’ve certainly seen more of America in the past few months than I have. Passionate and curious, they don’t have the luxury of time here, and so they use it well. It was a lesson in making the most of what we’re given and seeing our world through someone else’s eyes. For them, Monroe is wild and exciting and full of possibility. It does me good to remember that.



being confused by something that stood out to me as I was gradually exposed to more and more of the truths of the Christian faith. I was young and had not been regular in attendance at our neighborhood church, therefore much of what I was learning was pretty new to me. A medical crisis (polio) in our family, had resulted in my parents’ turning to Christ and to the church for solace. This, in turn, caused me to attend the church and to be confronted by Christianity and her beliefs. Among the things that were puzzling to me was the way so many were identifying the day of Christ’s death –“Good Friday!” -- how could that day be deemed “good?” The more I learned about the agony of the Crucifixion, the more perplexed I became. The excruciating pain and the length of time involved in this death sentence seemed to deny anything “good” to my mind. “Crucifixion” and “good” were nowhere near to being compatible –until I gave some more serious thought to the matter. I encourage you ponder this crucial subject with me.

First, consider how Jesus viewed the Cross. It appears that His distress -- as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane -- would negate any thoughts of “good” – hear His words: “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me.” He was in such torment that His capillaries were bursting and the Lord was sweating drops of blood. Not good! However, words from the book of Hebrews give evidence that Jesus did see “good” coming from Golgotha. The writer of that portion of Scripture says of Jesus, “Who for the JOY set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame.” (Heb. 12:2). “Joy” and “good” do seem to belong together.

His disciples would not have considered Friday, the day of Christ’s death, “good” until a couple of days later. What we call “Good Friday” was a day of the deepest despair for these followers. It was so disheartening that they lost all hope and went into hiding for fear that they might be put to death, too. Things were altogether different when Easter came and then “the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

If Jesus and His disciples were able to find good in the events that took place on Good Friday, perhaps we should take a closer look. Would you agree that something could be considered “good” if it resulted in great benefit to others? Well, what profit is derived from what happened that day? The death of Jesus was the price that had to be paid for sin – sin caused His death on the Cross. However, Jesus never sinned, so why did He die? He died because He gave His life to pay for the sins of those who would put their faith in Him. For all who trust Jesus as their Savior, that Friday is better than good!

It can also be deemed good in that it demonstrates so clearly the love of God for us. Our Father gave up His Son in order to atone for our sins. I do not know any parents who would sacrifice their child for sinners who were in rebellion against them. Such love is more than I can comprehend, and since He loved enough to willingly give His Son as an atonement for our sins, we can trust Him to demonstrate that Fatherly love in many other ways.

Lastly, the joy that is ours on Easter would never be possible but for Good Friday. Easter and the Resurrection are God’s affirmation that the death of Jesus was sufficient as payment for the sins of the world. (Rom.1:4)

So, when we celebrate the Resurrection on Easter morning, let us do so with thanksgiving and praise to God for all He accomplished on Good Friday!



He first dishes that Chef Don Green learned to cook from his mother. “I honestly just started making the dishes I loved eating,” he says, listing chicken and dumplings, beef tips with rice and gravy, and smothered steak and mashed potatoes. Originally from West Monroe, he moved to Baton Rouge around age twenty, finding his way into the culinary world by way of Maxwell’s Market, a traditional-style delicatessen. His first cooking job “ever” took the form of assisting in the meat market section. Drawn to the meticulous preparation and craft of butchery, he ended up enrolling at the Louisiana Culinary Institute. “That’s where I really started my whole journey of cooking,” he says. Currently, Chef Green is flexing his culinary chops at Acadian Superette in Lafayette. With no plans of slowing down, he has found fulfillment in his craft and in the enjoyment of sharing his passion one savory dish at a time.

“I wasn’t really much of a home cook,” admits Green, adding “I was considered a husky child growing up, so I did like to eat.” For him, Northeast Louisiana was at the crossroads of country cooking. It was a place where soul food met Cajun flavors with a dash of Texas flare. Simple flavors came alive under careful technique and preparation. While working at Maxwell’s Market, he learned the ins and outs of cooking on a grill and the joys of using cast iron skillets, which he considers “the Holy Grail of cooking.” He still has the first cast iron he ever owned, a gift from his father purchased at a “feed and seed” on the road toward Farmerville.

Before joining the rich history of the Acadian Superette, Chef Green started as a banquet chef at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge. There, he learned the tedious art of managing a large-scale operation, at one point catering for an event of 2500 people. “We would host the LSU football teams, so I was able to

Originally from West Monroe, Chef Don Green is flexing his culinary chops at Acadian Superette in Lafayette.
Rivera and photography by Kelly


get this really good view of cooking as far as going to large scale,” he says. When he moved to New Orleans, he trained and worked at La Petite Grocery under chef and owner Justin Devillier. Green took the road again, this time to Lafayette when he was offered a job in restaurant sales with a regional market chain. Unfortunately, his work with them only lasted a year, which forced him into corporate food sales. Though he kept at it for about four and a half years, he was not a fan of the corporate world. When he heard the Acadiana Superette was reconceptualizing their approach to food preparation and in search of new staff, he got on board.

The Acadian Superette has flourished in the Freetown-Port Rico neighborhood since the 1940s. Originally a grocery store, it was turned into a restaurant around the 1980s under the ownership of the famed Lynn Derenthal. In 2017, Derenthal sold the restaurant to Dr. Robert Autin, a full-time surgeon with a penchant for cooking, butchering, and smoking meats. Like many Acadiana locals, Autin believes that food is “foremost among the many gifts our region has to offer.” Green shared Autin’s enthusiasm, also holding an appreciation for Southern classics while striving to leave room for innovation and discovery. “We were both wanting to go in the same direction of things,” informs Green, referring to plans of revamping the property and creating a menu geared toward dishes made from scratch. “Here we are, two years later, and we’re still kind of making progress on it all,” says Green who officially joined the Acadian Superette on March 2021.

The restaurant’s shift was geared toward “meatcentric” ideas, like barbecue, smoked meats, and charcuterie. “And so I was able to bring that,” says Green, describing his joint effort to build a base and foundation for the restaurant that extended beyond its breakfast menu. For the first six to eight months, that translated to getting used to new restaurant equipment, and “trying different things out.” The efforts resulted in a concise menu reflective of the food Autin and Green grew up with and enjoyed eating. “I enjoy the simpler food. I enjoy the simpler approach to things,” says Green, emphasizing that the food they offer is a contemporary approach to classics. In other words, “flat top diner style” meets comfort food.

At the corner of Lamar and Stewart street, the light pink and cherry red, midcentury modern-style smokehouse is hard to miss. At the same time, this eatery also feels like it is built into the surrounding quaint and colorful neighborhood. “Whenever you walk in, it’s kind of like a trip back in time,” says Green. Known as a place where you can come in and let down your guard, the interior is simple but comfortable. Light blue, metal shade light fixtures line the order counter, while pops of teal blue, golden yellow, and red burst from a vintage-style painted mural. An assortment of specialty meats—tasso, smoked boudin, andouille, pastrami, porchetta, and more—are displayed in a deli case adjacent to spaciously distributed seating.

The magic happens at the back end with Green incorporating his fine dining, the classical French


Another technical cook that you can’t go wrong with is their USDA Prime Texas-style brisket. Using a “hot and fast then low and slow” method, this cut of meat is first smoked, then it is wrapped with tallow and finished off. In total, it’s a nineteen to twenty-hour cook, but at the close “it’s hard to beat.”

approach to the process of each dish. “It’s these little bitty tiny things we do in the back that’s really refined how we put food on the plate,” says Green. “By far, the Reuben is our favorite sandwich.” Dubbing it one of their most unique and sought-after sandwiches, it has a substantial prep. First, they take a pastrami brisket and brine it for about ten days. Afterward, the meat gets smoked for about eight to ten hours, then it is finished overnight in the oven. The chopped meat is placed on grilled marble rye bread and topped with sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and “something special” called spicy’rette sauce. “Even though it is a Reuben, it’s a very, very, very unique sandwich,” emphasizes Green. This two-week process has high rewards as well as high stakes. “It can be nerve-racking because there’s no time for mistakes,” he says. At this point, his team has the math down, but that doesn’t mean that they are not thinking of the factors that could impact their cook. “It’s almost like baking. It’s very technical.”

Another technical cook that you can’t go wrong with is their USDA Prime Texas-style brisket. Using a “hot and fast then low and slow” method, this cut of meat is first smoked, then it is wrapped with tallow and finished off. In total, it’s a nineteen to twenty-hour cook, but at the close “it’s hard to beat.” Customers can enjoy this tender meat on a barbecue plate or savor the debris by way of their Philly Cheesesteak (chopped brisket, chargrilled onions, peppers, mozzarella, pepper jack cheese, and mayo on grilled French bread)

ABOVE: Recently, Chef Green put a specialty burger on the menu, appropriately naming it “The Don” (Louisiana beef patty on a grilled bun, topped with grilled onions, two slices of American cheese, pickles, and “the one and only rette sauce”). It’s the kind of burger to reserve for your “cheat” days!


and the Roast Beef Poboy. As a “burger person,” Green will always recommend burgers. “I know it’s kind of a cop-out to say the burgers, but there’s a couple of things that we do that I don’t think anybody does,” says Green who likes to cook the beef in tallow and glaze it in a housemade beef stock. Recently, he put a specialty burger on the menu, appropriately naming it “The Don” (Louisiana beef patty on a grilled bun, topped with grilled onions, two slices of American cheese, pickles, and “the one and only rette sauce”). It’s the kind of burger to reserve for your “cheat” days! Ultimately, his experience at the Acadian Superette has allowed him to tap into his creative side, which is just to say that he has found his joy. “You have to be proud of something you do,” says Green, adding, “You have to wake up and give yourself a little purpose.” Not only does he find instant gratification in making meals for his customers, but the food he prepares has become a form of self-expression. “It brought me out of a funk,” he confesses. “And, you know, made me find myself more than anything.”


Foot Health Awareness Month

With St. Francis Podiatrist Dr. David Tran

APRIL IS NATIONAL FOOT HEALTH Awareness Month, an opportune time to spotlight one of the best ways to help combat the potentially devasting disease that can affect one’s foot health: diabetes. This disease is a rampant epidemic in the U.S., with over 130 million people affected. Northeast Louisiana is one of the hotspots for this disease and over 14% of the state’s population is diabetic. Regular visits with primary care providers are crucial for overall management of diabetes. What may be lesser known is the importance of specialty care. All diabetics should also be evaluated by their ophthalmologist and podiatrist on a regular basis. One of the emerging models of care focuses on the preventative aspect of medicine with regular checkups and screenings. St. Francis Health serves as the premier healthcare provider in our community, with a large group of primary care providers as well as a vast team of specialists armed

with the knowledge and latest in healthcare technology to serve you.

Podiatrists offer diagnosis and treatment for foot and ankle issues including:

• Acute and chronic problems

• Traumatic injuries

• Fractures/dislocations

• Structural and congenital deformities (bunions, hammer toes)

• Musculoskeletal problems including soft tissue deformities

• Degenerative arthritis

• Diabetic limb salvage

• Charcot neuroarthropathy

• Sports related injuries (Achilles injuries, ankle sprains)

• Flat feet (pes planus)

• High arch feet (pes cavus)

• Wound care

The St. Francis Podiatry Clinic in Monroe offers the above services, as well as some of the most advanced treatments, both

conservative and surgical. Dr. David Tran is a podiatric surgeon who has had extensive training in diabetic limb salvage, complex reconstructions of the foot and ankle and minimally invasive surgical techniques, to highlight just a few areas. The area’s only Board-Certified podiatrist, Dr. Tran is part of a multidisciplinary team, working closely with the area’s top vascular surgeons, Dr. Frank Sartor and Dr. Vijay Tanjavur. These physicians, all part of the St. Francis Medical Group, work as a team to decrease the number of major amputations (above knee and below knee) as part of a collaborative effort under the St. Francis Limb Preservation Initiative.

Dr. David Tran, DPM, AACFAS, received his medical degree at Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, just outside Cleveland, Ohio, followed by a three-year surgical residency at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Tran has extensive training in the non-operative and operative management of all conditions affecting the foot and ankle. He has comprehensive surgical training in the treatment of foot and ankle trauma, diabetic limb salvage, total ankle joint replacement (TAR), complex deformity reconstruction of the forefoot and hindfoot, ankle arthroscopy, sports medicine, and minimally invasive surgery, including bunionectomies.


Revival Design and Consign

Living a Bold and Beautiful Lifestyle

AS WE LEAVE THE HAZY SHADES of winter, our worlds are set abloom with a botanical array of colors. The loom and the gloom of the past season has left us as we move forth.

In life, we go through turbulent seasons. We are filled with heartache and sorry. We look forward to manifesting happier times in our lives. We must not let the seasons of our past keep us from flourishing and growing.

Just as a caterpillar metamorphosizes into a butterfly, we must go through a cycle of change. That change sometimes means removing some people, places, and things in our lives. Letting go is the only way for us to grow. In order to progress, we must manifest our future and do what is best for us. Escaping life for a few days on a minivacation is truly beneficial.

I had such an amazing experience leaving for a few days in Phoenix. The change of scenery in the cacti and palm tree filled sandy

terrain was the perfect decision. Even amongst the rocks and sand, tiny blossoms appeared throughout the Desert Botanical Gardens.

The journey of color continued spending time at the Phoenix Museum of Art exploring the bold and beautifully couture fashion designs of Haynesville, Louisiana native and renowned fashion designer, Geoffrey Beene. His attention to detail in the sharp cuts and colors exemplified the great movement in dance and design.

Being surrounded by so much color in a new season of life was rather inspiring. From the fashions in the museum to the fashions on the stage, the journey continued with the opening weekend of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. Bold sets, sparkling costumes, amazing visuals, and a 44-song set of remarkable talent made for the perfect end of the trip. I sang my heart out and took so many mental notes to reboot my creativity.

Even losing my voice, made me realize

that I was finding my voice again to live my life without worrying about the judgement of others. In such a progressive country of freedom, we tend to fall back out of ignorance.

Escaping has given me so much to embrace. It is helping me to make some fantastic new decisions both personally and professionally. A lot of change is on the horizon. As we go boldly and beautifully into a new season at Revival, we look forward to the future for us.

Thank you for shopping locally with us and watching us grow. Revival is located at 300 Walnut in Historic Downtown Monroe. For everyday is a Revival. Happy Easter and happy spring!

XOXO, Clinton

Patient Credits Dr. Walter Sartor for Saving Her Life

She Maintains a 127-pound Weight Loss

ANEDRA LONGSTREET’S EYES FILL WITH GRATEFUL tears every time she reflects on the actions of Dr. Walter Sartor at the Surgery Clinic of Northeast Louisiana.

She was scheduled to undergo weight loss surgery at the Surgery Clinic. However, her medical plans changed when Dr. Sartor discovered some troubling bloodwork results. He acted quickly.

“I feel like God sent me to the Surgery Clinic for a purpose. He allowed Dr. Sartor to intervene. Without Dr. Sartor and his medical team, I could have died. I tear up every time I think about it,” Anedra said. “I had no idea how sick I was until my lab work returned. I didn’t feel well but attributed it to my obesity and diabetes.”

While Anedra was healing, dietitian Marci Parker continued to call and encourage her, even educating her on nutritional foods. Anedra said, “Marci will never know the huge impact she had on my life.” Anedra healed and underwent gastric sleeve weight loss surgery, performed by Dr. Sartor, in December of 2021. She has lost 127 pounds.

“Now, I don’t take anything for granted. Every activity, whether I can do it or not, I am going to try it. God has given me a second chance at life as a healthy individual.”

Anedra can now tie her shoes without holding her breath and no longer struggles to exit her car. No more seatbelt extenders, no more worrying about weight limits. Anedra directs two group homes; her significant weight loss has also impacted her professional life. “This weight loss has changed the trajectory of my career. I am responsible for the daily

operations in those homes, and I take it very seriously. I can walk, inspect, confer with other departmental heads, make recommendations, and ensure we are in compliance. I am sleeping better, which allows me to think more clearly and focus,” she said. “It is unbelievable how great you feel after a good night’s rest. I can squat, lift, reach, and twist, which is so important when you are teaching CPR.”

Her “most proud moment” happened when she and her family traveled to Six Flags in July. “I made it the entire day without shortness of breath, dry mouth, or dizziness. I could push our daughter up those steep hills in her wheelchair and never miss a beat! Those are the moments I live for now—family time.”

Anedra, who has struggled with obesity her entire life, was inspired to undergo weight loss surgery when she had a startling realization.

“I realized I was going to be lying in the cemetery plot next to my mother if I didn’t get myself together,” she said. “My mother was obese and had obesity-related issues. She passed away at 47 from a massive heart attack and pulmonary embolus. She took one deep breath and was gone. It all happened within a second. I knew that was not what I wanted for my life, and I had to do something differently.”

The Surgery Clinic of Northeast Louisiana, home of Delta Vein Care, houses surgeons Dr. Walter Sartor, Dr. Bart Liles, Dr. Patrick Smith, and Dr. Mohamed Bakeer. Contact the clinic with questions about preventative health, general surgery, vein care procedures, and weight loss surgery. Learn more about our services at

Anedra Longstreet Before After

Adrenal Cocktails

Your adrenal glands are two small, triangular shaped glands that sit above your kidneys, and they’re responsible for producing hormones that help regulate the stress response and manage blood sugar, among other essential functions. During the stress response, the adrenals produce hormones that cause blood sugar, blood pressure and heart rate to rise, while forcing metabolism to become suppressed. This creates a burst of energy in the short term, but in the long run, depletes energy production in the body.

Whether the stress response in your body is triggered by a fight with your spouse, inflammation somewhere in your body, or the stimulation from caffeine or an intense workout, the process that happens inside your body is the same; stress hormones (short term energy) increase, and metabolism (long term energy) is diminished. When stress is chronic in your body, metabolism can become so diminished that without the stimulation of stress, you’re left without enough energy to get through the day. This can lead to stress addiction, or a dependence on the stress response to stimulate regular short bursts of energy to power you through.


• Relying on coffee or other forms of caffeine to get through your day.

• Feeling the need to constantly be productive or stimulated by television or social media.

• A tendency to procrastinate and then have to rush to get a task done or to arrive on time.

• Feeling like there’s never enough time in the day.

• Difficulty sitting still or trying to relax.

• Being drawn to high intensity workouts frequently.

• Needing alcohol (or sleep medications) at the end of the day to wind down. Your body was only designed to rely on the fuel provided by stress for brief periods of time, so when it becomes a chronic state, your body will eventually burn out and you’ll be left in a state of chronic fatigue. Remember that your metabolism (long term energy) has become suppressed because of the stress response (short term energy), so when the stress response wears out and can no longer respond properly, you’re left without healthy production of either form of energy.

Being intentional about regularly giving your mind and body the physical and mental rest it needs is vital for allowing your adrenal system to recover, but so is providing it with the nutrients it needs for healthy functioning. The stress response causes a loss of potassium and magnesium in your body, and it also utilizes sodium and

Swap your energy depleting caffeinated beverages with this refreshing energy boosting cocktail.

vitamin C. Ensuring that you’re replenishing these nutrients regularly, especially if you’re living in a state of chronic stress (and who isn’t?) is important for maintaining a healthy stress response.

When you’re low in energy, you’re probably likely to reach for coffee, energy drinks, or another form of caffeine for a boost. Understand, though, that caffeine doesn’t increase energy production in the body; it stimulates the stress response. This means that in the long run, your caffeine habit further diminishes energy production and depletes the nutrients utilized in the stress response.

To encourage healthy energy production in the long run and support the healthy functioning of your body’s stress hormones, try swapping some of your caffeine for an adrenal cocktail. These mocktails replenish nutrients utilized by your adrenal glands, providing them with the raw materials needed to maintain healthy functioning. Fresh citrus juice replenishes vitamin C and sugar, coconut water provides potassium and other electrolytes, and unprocessed salt offers sodium and other necessary trace minerals. When your body becomes depleted in any of these nutrients, that on its own can exacerbate the stress state in your body.

Don’t let the mention of citrus juice scare you! You’ve probably learned that


juice is high in sugar and is just as detrimental to your health as drinking soda. If you already have problems with blood sugar regulation or insulin resistance, your dietary needs for healing will be different, but for a healthy individual, fruit and moderate amounts of fruit juice can be very health supportive. They actually provide your body with the fructose and glucose it needs for fueling liver function (necessary for healthy blood sugar regulation) and metabolism (long term energy production). As always, everyone’s needs are different, so please discuss your own nutritional choices with your healthcare provider.


• 4 ounces freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice

• 4 ounces coconut water

• 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt or Redmond’s Real Salt


• Top it with sparkling water, or dilute with spring water and sip throughout the day.

• 1 serving of collagen or other protein supplement

• 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or coconut cream (from a can of full fat coconut milk)


• Omit orange or grapefruit juice and use the juice from half of a lemon or lime instead for a lower sugar option.

• For a very low sugar option, use 1 cup of spring water or sparkling water, with the juice from half of a lemon or lime, 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt or Redmond’s Real Salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to provide potassium.


Sure, you can use store bought citrus juice (or any other 100% pure juice), but juicing it fresh really makes all the difference! My favorite brand of coconut water is Harmless Harvest. For any store bought juice or coconut water, check the ingredients and be sure you aren’t getting something with added sugar or other additives.

Do not substitute white table salt or other forms of processed salt for the Celtic Sea Salt or Remond’s Real Salt. Salt from the ocean, in its natural form, contains all of the trace minerals your body needs (except for potassium) and in the proper ratios. Processed salt has been stripped of all minerals except for sodium chloride (sometimes, iodine is added back in), and this further exacerbates the mineral imbalances created by the stress response. Pink Himalayan Salt also contains the full range of minerals you need, but it’s often also high in heavy metals, so it’s not my first choice.


If you don’t have an appetite in the morning and can’t stomach breakfast, try starting your day with an adrenal cocktail, with the addition of a protein supplement and heavy cream or coconut cream. This provides you with all of the macronutrients and can move your body out of a state of stress (which is naturally high upon waking) and support healthy metabolism.

Drinking an adrenal cocktail in the afternoon can help head off that post-lunch slump and support energy proaction through the afternoon. It’s also perfect to have during or after your workouts for replenishing energy and electrolytes.

If you tend to wake regularly around 2-3am tossing and turning (possible indication of daytime blood sugar dysregulation), try an adrenal cocktail before bed, with the protein and coconut cream add-ins. If you want to diminish the impact on your blood sugar, drink your cocktail 10-15 minutes after a meal rather than on an empty stomach.


Doggone Pet Waste Removal

Residential and Commercial Property Pet Waste Removal Services

I’M MATT BALDWIN, THE OWNER OF DOGGONE PET Waste Removal. My wife, Melissa, and I know a thing or two about taking care of our yard and pets. We have three dogs, a one-yearold German Shorthaired Pointer named Maggie, a two-year-old Golden Retriever named Honey, and a three-year-old Labradoodle named Cotton. I noticed in Northeast Louisiana, that there was no one providing this much-needed service to the area. We surveyed friends and family, had more discussions about poop than we thought possible, and began to formulate a plan. We have been in business for almost a year now. We look forward to continuing to serve Northeast Louisiana and making our neighborhoods cleaner and more family friendly.


No matter how dearly we love them, pet waste is an unsightly, unhealthy, and an unavoidable part of owning a pet. Doggone Pet Waste Removal is a dedicated professional pet waste cleanup company. From residential yards or commercial businesses to special event cleanup, Doggone Pet Waste Removal provides our customers with a cleaner and healthier environment to enjoy with family and friends.

• Weekly & biweekly services available

• Removes acidic waste product that leaves yards brown & patchy

• Removes harmful bacteria & parasites that spread disease


Believe it or not, dog waste can take a year to fully decompose, leaving your lawn brown and patchy. But, regular dog waste cleaning can turn it around in just a matter of weeks. Contrary to popular opinion, dog waste will not leave your yard lush and flourishing like manure will. Most dog foods today are composed of beef, chicken and/or pork products. This creates a high acidic waste product that is not good for your grass and can leave your back yard looking less than ideal. Once we rid your yard of pet waste, we spray the entire yard with our outdoor odor eliminator. It is ideal for yards, dog runs, artificial lawns and turf, and patios. It removes pet odors from urine, feces, and more. When you choose Doggone Pet Waste Removal, you get to enjoy more time with your family and pets!

Schedule your free consultation by calling Matt at (318) 450-5575. Standard services are $19.99/week!


Look and Feel Your Best This Spring

LA Center for Women’s Health

WHEN YOU DON’T LOOK YOUR best, you’re not going to feel your best. Over a period of decades, our clinic has acquired the equipment and expertise to offer a palette of state-of-the-art procedures to maximize your appearance. We strive to offer our cosmetic services and procedures at affordable prices, which represent real value in today’s world. These various high-tech services can be obtained at our private clinic here in the Monroe area for a fraction of the charge for the same procedure in other cities. We are aware that our patients are interested in getting the best value, and we are structured to deliver this.


Everyone can benefit from the Hydrafacial procedure. It is inexpensive, gives immediately noticeable results, only takes about 30 minutes, and has no social downtime. The procedure is

extremely pleasant and relaxing. We have the latest Hydrafacial equipment and a dedicated technician to perform it in a private setting. The procedure minimizes skin discoloration and brightens skin tone, instantly minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Your skin is saturated with antioxidants and peptides to maximize skin glow. Uncover a new layer of skin with exfoliation and resurfacing.


We are among the earliest adopters of Vaser Liposuction in the world. In fact, we have taught and demonstrated this unique procedure for doctors from as far away as Seoul, Korea.

Vaser liposuction uses a very small incision of less than 1/4 inch to emulsify and remove fat. The procedure is performed in the office under local anesthesia, saving the expense of a hospital or surgery center. The

results are immediate, unlike various noninvasive treatments which may or may not work.


Hormone pellets have helped thousands of men and women achieve hormonal balance for restoration of their health. We offer hormone pellets and hormone testing in our clinic. The pellets look much like a grain of rice and are placed under the skin where hormones are released as they dissolve over a period of months. For most people, this is the easiest way to replace missing hormones. If you have fatigue, depression, anxiety, decreased sexual performance, muscle wasting, insomnia, or weight gain, it might be appropriate to have your hormones checked.


Our clinic has state-of-the-art lasers for the treatment of numerous medical and cosmetic problems. Unfortunately, this involves too much information to include in this space but will be detailed in future articles.


We also offer Botox, Juvederm fillers, and various cosmeceutical beauty correcting formulas, all priced competitively. Please call if we can provide you with additional information.





Ann Merriman Cline has come home once again. Over her life she has lived in faraway places and has made many friends in all of them. Even though she has lived on both coasts and abroad, a pattern emerges when one traces her life’s journey. No matter where she is, or what adventures she is having, at some point she always comes back home to Monroe.

This month a one-woman show of her art is being shown at the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council’s

gallery on Cotton Street in West Monroe. Her works, primarily the landscapes that she prefers to paint, will offer the public a rare opportunity to explore the world as Ann, a fine artist, sees it. Ann interprets bayous, valleys, forests, and glorious florals with an artistic talent discernable to all. Because of her zest for life and her ability to capture that passion on canvas and paper – and because she has come back to where a part of her heart has always been -- Ann Merriman Cline is our April Bayou Icon.


panish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) once wrote, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Fine artists throughout the centuries -- including Ann Merriman Cline -- know this for the truth that it is. Artists spend a lifetime creating art that reveals something of the essence of the soul – theirs and ours. Too many lives get caught up in the everyday, the mundane, the routine. Because of art, we may escape – for a time, at least – into a world not accessible any other way there and glimpse the soul.

Ann Merriman was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her father, Grady Merriman, was a gifted artist who worked as Art Director for major department stores. Her mother, Mae Karsten, was born in Chicago and graduated from the University of Arkansas. The two met after Mae graduated, fell in love, and married. They had four children -- three daughters and one son – Grady Merriman, Fredricka Durham, Lynn Phillips, and Ann.

It was her father’s work that brought the family to Monroe. Monroe businessman Jack Masur found Grady and convinced him to move to Monroe to do window installations and other art for Monroe’s singular department store at the time, “The Palace.” Grady was wellknown within the department store world for his talent. Ann was a toddler when the family moved.

Ann remembers her father with deep affection, possibly because (as she readily admits) they were so very much alike. “My father was so handsome, and always so very sweet to me,” Ann remembers. “We were alike in temperament – and I shared his love for art.”

When she was around two years old, Ann remembers creating her first art. She laughs when she tells the story. She was visiting with her mother in her mother’s friend’s home and noticed newly hung wallpaper. “The paper was a very light, yellow shade and featured delicately drawn flowers,” Ann says. “I decided to improve it. I added good, bold strokes of black crayon. At the time, I wondered why my mother and her friend were not thrilled with my efforts (which were really pretty good).”

There was a life lesson for Ann from this first encounter with art. She learned at this tender age that an artist and society do not truly understand each other – a lesson that she has carried with her throughout her creative life. “From this incident on, I often worked on art in secret – but not on wallpaper,” Ann says with a twinkle in her eye.


Ann graduated from Ouachita Parish High School and still remembers with gratitude the excellent education she received there. She especially enjoyed taking art classes from Miss Hatton. She encouraged Ann and gave her the support that she needed. Hatton recognized Ann’s talents and wanted her to pursue that passion.

After graduating from OPHS, Ann attended Louisiana State University for a year. There she encountered two academics who intrigued her. One was T. Harry Williams, a very popular historian, author, and teacher (history) who was well-known for his work on the life of Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long. A serious scholar, Williams won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Governor Long.

Ann enjoyed knowing Williams very much, but she enjoyed another professor even more. Robert Penn Warren (three-time

Pulitzer Prize winner and founder/editor of LSU’s literary magazine, The Southern Review, was also a very popular historian, author, and teacher (English) who was well-known for his fictional work, All the King’s Men, that centered on the same governor. “Both were excellent professors, but I liked Warren more,” Ann admits. “We became friends.”

After a successful first year at LSU, Ann withdrew and began making plans to move to New York City to study art. Her father was especially eager for Ann to see something of the world beyond Louisiana and the South.


Ann remembers well her first train trip from home to NYC. She found the 24-hour trip to be a wonder, but with one problem –she had no food. Her mother had assured her that the train would have excellent food service, but Ann soon discovered that there was no food service. She was seated near a lady who was traveling with several small children. The two struck up a conversation, and the lady asked Ann if she were hungry. Ann admitted that she was, so the lady offered to share the meal that she had packed for her family. She apologized to Ann, saying that it wasn’t all that good, but Ann remembers it as being “really, really good!”

When Ann finally reached the end of her journey, she went immediately to food vending machines in the train station. Gathering her coins, Ann put together “. . . a small feast right there and then.”

Once settled, Ann enrolled in Cooper Union (established in 1859), a private college that offered degrees in art, architecture, and engineering. “Cooper Union is one of the most difficult schools in the U.S. to which one can be accepted,” Ann’s daughter, Pamela Johananoff, says. After 2 years at Cooper Union, Ann attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) where she graduated with degrees in Fine Arts and Fashion Design.

New York City stole a part of Ann’s heart. She literally fell in love with the great city. New York City was literally a new world for her, offering an education far broader and better than any university could have offered. “I loved the city! The museums, the culture, the history – they were all wonderful,” Ann says.

Although Ann took classes in the traditional sense, she also explored all that NYC had to offer – observing, learning, internalizing all that was to be seen. Obviously, NYC’s collection of world-class museums provided “classrooms” of their own. “I loved all of the museums – the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan, the Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art – they were all special places, each unique,” Ann remembers. “But for me, it was the Frick Collection that was my personal favorite. Here were the Old Masters, paintings by Whistler and Renoir, plus exquisite examples of the decorative arts. The Frick was a lovely place to get lost in for an afternoon.”

Not only did Ann find the museums endlessly interesting, she also found the people in NYC fascinating. When she began taking classes at the New York School of Design, she met a number of fellow artists. Ann was busy with her studies and creating art, but she was also being noticed by the young men she met. “There were times when I yearned for a quiet, long weekend in which I could rest, produce

Ann atteded Cooper Union and the Fashion Institute of Technology where she graduated with degrees in Fine Arts and Fashion Design Clockwise from left: Frank, Ann and daughter, Pamela. Ann (on right) with sisters Fredericka and Lynn. Ann and Frank on their wedding day in 1973. Pamela, Ann and Trent Galloway

my art, and study alone,” she says. “But there were often weekend dates that made that difficult.” One weekend while having a cocktail with a not-so-interesting date, their waiter brought Ann a drink compliments of a man at the bar. Ann looked, but didn’t recognize the fellow. Her date did, and was astonished that she didn’t know who Howard Hughes was.

Increasingly, Ann was surrounded by people who shared her love for fine art. She met Salvador Dali on her 30th birthday when a friend brought him to Ann’s birthday party. “He and the friend gave me a book of Dali’s work, which Dali made more special by signing it to me and drawing a little picture on the inside cover.” That Dali sketch shows a Viking ship sailing toward a lighthouse that is emitting bright rays. Was Dali acknowledging in his drawing that Ann’s artistic talent and charm drew people to her? “Dali was a very nice man. Quite interesting. He told me that I was very young and very talented,” Ann remembers.

Ann fell in love with New York, even though occasionally her naivete would complicate things. Once, for example, she decided that she wanted to buy some stock. She went to the bank and withdrew $5000 in cash (a tidy sum in those days). She put the cash in her purse and went to Wall Street to make her purchase. There she met a man who was not then where he is now, but important nonetheless – Alan Greenspan. “He asked what I wanted, and I explained that I wanted to buy some stock and had the cash in my purse to do it,” Ann remembers. “He motioned to another fellow and told him to escort me back to the bank and see that this cash was redeposited immediately. Then, he said, I should come back and talk with him about stock.”

Among those Ann met was Samuel Cohen Johananoff (known to everyone as “S.C.”). Johananoff was a successful businessman who had been educated in boys’ schools in England and was truly a “citizen of the world”. A polyglot, he spoke 11 languages.

To put it simply, Ann says that Johananoff “swept me off my feet”. Their romance was short, and they married in March 1959. “It was so fast. I fell in love – for the very first time – and it was a serious love,” Ann says. ‘The marriage didn’t last forever, but the memory of that first love has never left.”

The newlyweds moved to Israel and Holland, and lived for a time in Scotland. Their only child, Pamela, was born in Edinburgh in 1964. During the marriage, Ann worked with her husband in his shipping container business. The two collaborated on some innovative designs for those containers which proved quite successful. The Johananoff business model was later taught in classes at the Petroleum Institute in England.

In 1966 when Pamela was very young, Ann decided to come home. She brought her daughter to Monroe. There the two lived with Ann’s mother for a time while Ann earned a second degree in Fine Arts at the University of Louisiana in Monroe. Pamela accompanied her mother back to Holland when the divorce was granted. Ann remembers Johananoff’s family warmly. “His family was lovely – a wonderful family,” Ann says. Pamela remembers that Johananoff’s father was one of the founders of Tel Aviv in the very early 1900’s.

Ann says that her favorite country abroad is England – because she speaks the language. She also enjoyed very much the 3 years that she lived in Israel. She found the country to be beautiful and the

Above: Ann met Salvador Dali on her 30th birthday when a friend brought him to Ann’s birthday party. “He and the friend gave me a book of Dali’s work, which Dali made more special by signing it to me and drawing a little picture on the inside cover.”


people utterly charming. A piece of her heart was left there, as well. Pamela adds, “Mom learned Hebrew quite well, I am told. She still blurts out phrases from time to time!”


A dear friend of Ann’s, Marie-Louise Snellings, introduced Ann to Dr. Frank Cline, another of Marie-Louise’s friends. Cline was a successful orthopaedic surgeon and also divorced. The two found that they shared a number of interests and began dating. Once again, Ann found love. The two were married at George and Marie-Louise’s home. The Snellings – together with Carrick and Nancy Inabnett – became Pamela’s godparents.

Suddenly Ann was mother to not just Pamela, but to three more children (Colleen Cline Stewart, Francis X. Cline III, and Cathy Cline Goggins). For the first time, Ann’s time was divided – she was a full-time wife and mother, and her art often had to be put aside. “Frank gave me as much time to work on my art as he could, but it was just hard with four children,” Ann says.

As the children grew up, life began sorting itself out again. One, daughter Pamela, followed in her mother’s footsteps. After graduating from Emory with one year at the London School of Economics, Pamela studied at the Gemological Institute of America. Then she added one year at Christie’s Education which completed the work necessary for her Masters in French Fine Arts. In the summer of 1986, she moved to Paris where she worked at Shearson, Lehman, Hutton.

In 1993-1994, Pamela lived in NYC where she studied jewelry manufacturing at FIT and became a graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America. She wisely kept her Paris apartment so that she could spend 3 months a year there. Pamela moved back to Paris to live full-time two years ago.


In 1988, the Clines bought a home in Little Rock. Ann now had the time to create art. Frank would work in Monroe at his practice, and then would spend weekends and time off in Little Rock. Ann became involved in the Arkansas Art Center and spent time with the museum there. The two never actually moved permanently to Little Rock. Instead, they maintained a Monroe residence, the Little Rock house, and an apartment in Paris. “The last few years of Dad’s life were spent in Little Rock, Paris, and Monroe,” Pamela says. “They would spend about 4 months a year in Paris in the apartment that they had bought in 1997. They both loved it, and it was very sweet that they took drawing classes together at Academie des Beaux-arts.”


When Frank died in 2003, Ann says that she was left feeling empty. She remained in Little Rock, searching for the next chapter of her life to reveal itself. She and Frank had met Trent Galloway on occasion at an Anglican church in Little Rock that they all attended but she really didn’t know him.

As she was going through this time alone, Ann remembers noticing Trent again. This time he was sitting alone, looking forlorn, on a snowy day in Little Rock. Ann was serving coffee at church and saw him there, dressed entirely in white. “And there was snow on the ground! I had never seen anyone in all white in the wintertime,” Ann explains.

She took him a coffee and a friendship developed. She learned later that he was intentionally wearing all white (in defiance of that Southernmost rule – never wear white after Labor Day or before Easter) because he was in his “break all the rules” stage of life. Recently divorced, Trent was trying to find a new chapter, too.

Together, they each found their way to happiness once again. They divided their time between Los Angeles and Little Rock, and ultimately married in Baton Rouge. A little over a decade ago, they moved to Monroe and settled. Trent explains, “We came to Monroe because Ann was ready to go back home.”

Cicero wrote, “The art of living well, is of all the arts the greatest.” Ann Merriman Cline has mastered not only the fine art of painting and drawing, but she has also mastered the art of living well. We could all take lessons from her example.


Regain Your Confidence

Become Your Best Self

FROM REJUVENATING THE SKIN TO REMOVING unwanted hair and sculpting the body, there are a variety of procedures available to meet different needs and preferences. A few different options available at DermaMediQ are Diamond Glow, Laser Hair Removal, Emsculpt, BodyTite, Weight Loss Programs, and Thread Lifts.


Diamond Glow is a facial treatment that uses a patented diamond tip wand to exfoliate the skin and remove impurities. This procedure is effective in improving skin texture, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and brightening the complexion. It’s also helpful in reducing the appearance of acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and age spots. The treatment is painless and requires no downtime, making it an excellent option for those with busy schedules.


Laser hair removal is a popular procedure that involves using laser energy to destroy hair follicles and prevent hair growth. This treatment is effective in removing hair from the face, legs, arms, underarms, and bikini area. Laser hair removal is a long-lasting solution, and most people experience permanent hair reduction after a series of treatments. The procedure is safe and requires no downtime, making it an excellent option for those looking to eliminate unwanted hair.


Emsculpt is a non-invasive body sculpting treatment that uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy to stimulate muscle contractions. This procedure is effective in building and toning muscles in the abdomen, buttocks, arms, and thighs. Emsculpt is a painless treatment that requires no downtime, making it an excellent option for those looking to enhance their body without undergoing surgery.


BodyTite is a minimally invasive body contouring treatment that uses radiofrequency energy to melt fat cells and tighten the skin. This procedure is effective in reducing stubborn pockets of fat in the abdomen, arms, and thighs, as well as improving skin laxity. BodyTite is a safe and minimally invasive treatment that requires little downtime, making it an excellent option for those looking to enhance their body shape without undergoing surgery.


Weight loss programs are designed to help people lose weight and achieve their ideal body shape. These programs often involve a combination of diet and exercise, as well as personalized coaching and support. These programs are an excellent option for those looking to lose weight in a safe and sustainable way.


Thread lifts are a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting tiny threads under the skin to lift and tighten sagging skin. This treatment is effective in improving the appearance of sagging skin in the face, neck, and jowls. Thread lifts are a safe and minimally invasive treatment that requires little downtime, making it an excellent option for those looking to achieve a more youthful appearance without undergoing surgery.

In conclusion, beauty procedures offer a wide range of options for those looking to enhance their appearance. From rejuvenating the skin to removing unwanted hair and sculpting the body, there are a variety of procedures available to meet different needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a non-invasive treatment or a more intensive procedure, there’s a beauty procedure out there that can help you achieve your goals. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional to determine which procedure is right for you.


Found the Perfect Home?

You Need a Title Company!

CONGRATULATIONS ON FINDING THE PERFECT home! What’s next? Inspections, appraisals, loan application and the closing, and for a closing, you need to choose a Title Company.

North Delta Title Company has been helping individuals purchase their new homes for over 29 years and have closed over 35,000 transactions throughout the State of Louisiana. They have one goal: To make your closing process as smooth and effortless as possible while protecting your ownership in your new home. They want to be your first choice when choosing a title company to help purchase your new home.

So, who chooses the title company and what do you look for?

Louisiana law states that the buyer has the legal right to choose their title company. You should look at such factors as reputation, cost, experience and longevity of the company.

So why choose North Delta Title?

North Delta Title is a family owned business where attorneys, Kirby Price and his daughter, Amy Price Sawyer, want you to feel like family in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. Buying a home should be a fun and exciting time and North Delta Title wants to take the stress out of the closing process. The staff is always willing to go the extra mile to answer any question you might have or resolve any unexpected issues that may come up during the process. And the vast knowledge of the staff and attorneys can help solve almost any issue that may arise.

Both Kirby and Amy are lifelong residents of Ouachita Parish and are deeply rooted in the community. They consider it an honor and privilege to help people become homeowners and take roots in the community. When asked why she loves her job, Amy enthusiastically responds, “What’s better than helping someone find a home to love, raise a family, have a dog, or just play in your own yard? That’s what makes a community thrive and that is why we love what we do. We get to be a small part of a huge accomplishment while at the same time having a front row seat at a great moment in their lives.”

North Delta Title Company wants to be your choice when choosing a title company. So, visit their website at or call Amy and Kirby at 318.387.1100 with any questions. You can also email them at or They are here to help and look forward to helping make your dreams of home ownership a reality.


Bayou Dental Group

Improve Your Appearance, Improve Your Life

ANY GOOD DENTIST IS INTERESTED IN SAVING ALL of your natural teeth. But natural teeth aren’t always attractive teeth. They can be crooked individually, out of alignment with each other, and discolored. That’s where I, as a cosmetic dentist, can help you get the smile of your dreams.

The latest technologies in cosmetic dentistry mean that you really can enjoy your life more fully and have the smile of your dreams. If your teeth are less-than-ideal and causing you pain, discomfort, or embarrassment, then now is the time to find a cosmetic dentist to help you solve your problems. We have seen patient after patient returned to a full and happy life no longer selfconscious about their smile, no longer hiding their mouth at any opportunity, no longer letting their teeth hold them back from the life they want to lead. And now, you can join them!


Here is what you will receive when you see a cosmetic dentist:

● Your Dream Smile – Imagine waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror, and seeing the most beautiful smile looking right back at you!

● Improved Self-Confidence – Flashing your gorgeous smile will make you feel incredible and more confident.

● Reduced Risk of Future Problems – With a small correction to your teeth now, you could save having to deal with far more serious problems in the future.

This is the time to sort out any issues that you might have, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant they may be. I take a patient’s smile very seriously and consider myself an intricate planner. I also involve the patient in the process every step of the way. On any given smile creation case, we’ll take photographs and then create a wax model to show exactly what your smile will look like after treatment.

As an added bonus, you should know that I’ve been creating smiles for more than 30 years and have taken hundreds of hours in continuing education. I take pride in my work in the office and with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, where I am the 61st accredited Fellow. My office has won the annual smile competition at the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry several years in a row with our restorative and cosmetic dental solutions.


Many people are tempted to try do-it-yourself teeth whitening. Professional teeth whitening will work faster and protect sensitive gums and tooth-root surfaces better than over-the-counter whitening products. Having an oral exam before you begin any whitening process is an important first step, as we want to make sure your tooth discoloration is not the result of a dental condition in need of treatment. We offer ZOOM! whitening and professional tray whitening in our office.




Benjamin Hickey never knows what his workdays will bring, but he doesn’t mind. The unpredictability keeps things fun and engaging, and thinking outside the box to get the job done satisfies his urges to create. As the curator of collections at the Hilliard Art Museum, Hickey plays a significant role in bringing art exhibitions to life. His goal is always the same: to fill an empty room. However, how he goes about doing that changes every time.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” the Buffalo, New York native explains. “Every artist’s a little different, and the artwork’s always a little different. So, the lighting or the height at which you hang something might need to change. Everything’s always different, and you kind of have to make something out of nothing.”

Of course, “making something out of nothing” involves more than simply hanging art on the wall and flipping a few light switches. Many steps are involved, and Hickey is passionate about them all, from the more mundane tasks like shipping and insuring the art to more exciting aspects like planning an opening reception and artist talk.

Hickey thoroughly enjoys what he does, but being a curator wasn’t initially the goal. He says he didn’t necessarily have any conscious career aspirations after finishing his undergraduate degree. After earning a history degree from Canisius College, a private Jesuit institution in Buffalo, Hickey took two years to find himself, during which time he applied to intern at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

“I emailed [the application] to the wrong place,” Hickey remembers, “and, you know, things just sit in inboxes and aren’t addressed because they aren’t important.”

A lack of a response didn’t stop him, though. The then-call center employee went to the museum on his day off to inquire about his application.

“I think they misunderstood me,” he tells BayouLife, “and they said, ‘Well, can you start today?’ It wasn’t the internship I wanted. I wanted a curatorial internship, and instead, I got one centered on exhibition prep and handling and hanging the art.” Despite it not being exactly what he applied for, Hickey accepted the job. Within 10 minutes, he was uncrating a Picasso in one of the museum’s main vaults with the other preparators.

“It was just magical,” he recalls. “Intoxicating.”

No, Hickey’s internship at the AlbrightKnox wasn’t the one he wanted, but it seemed to be the one he needed; it would be the catalyst for his curatorial career. There, at the museum he often frequented as a kid, Hickey discovered he wanted to work with art, and being a curator was how he would do it.

After interning at the museum for two years, Hickey moved across the country to the Golden State to pursue a Master’s degree in art history from the University of California, Riverside. But soon after graduating, he returned to New York. He says, “In 2008, a couple of months before I graduated, the housing bubble burst. So, I ended up back in Buffalo working for their arts council, working at the Albright-Knox again in the same position but full-time, and teaching adjunct art history courses at Canisius.”

It was around this time that Hickey learned of the Masur Museum of Art. Under the direction of Evie Stewart, the museum was on the hunt for a curator. And as it turned out, Hickey was just the person for the job. His experience at the Albright-Knox and graduate studies meant he was someone with many art-related skills; that’s what the Masur was looking for.

“I have a background in the blue-collar aspect of museums, and early in my career, that was kind of prohibited; it gave people the wrong idea about my interests and skills,” Hickey says. “It has ended up being a huge asset for me. I had a Master’s degree in art history, but I’d been fabricating pedestals, and I know about facilities management.” He

trails off before adding, “The industry didn’t know what to do with me. In the Masur, I saw a position that needed someone who could do a little bit of everything at as high a level as I could provide.”

Hickey served as curator of collections and exhibitions at the Masur Museum for around seven years. During this, his first full-time curatorial position, he helped put together many noteworthy exhibitions, including Shared Earth: The Ancient Mounds Project. The exhibition, shown from October 2014 to February 2015, featured photographer Jenny Ellerbe’s images of northeast Louisiana’s ancient mounds in the Poverty Point State Historic Site.

Shared Earth and the other exhibitions Hickey helped bring to life were laborintensive endeavors. But Hickey says the work was worth it, adding, “Dealing with themes specific to Northeast Louisiana that we knew the community would feel invested in was always wonderful.”

Hickey declares that he owes a lot to the Masur, Evie Stewart and the museum board members, and the Twin City Art Foundation, revealing that he “came of age in many senses” in Ouachita parish. While in the region, he also co-founded the Outside Gallery in downtown Monroe with Vitus Shell and was even an adjunct professor at Louisiana Tech University’s School of Design for a short while.

Things were going well for Hickey in Monroe, but eventually, he felt he was ready for new challenges. Those would come through the Paul and Lulu Hilliard Museum of Art, located on the University of Louisiana

Lafayette campus and established in 1964.

Hickey accepted the curator of collections position there in 2018 and leads, works with, and learns from a small team. He admits that, with more hands on deck, he has less control now than he did at the Masur — “Different people on our team here do different elements of the project,” he explains — but less control certainly doesn’t equal less interest.

Though not responsible for every part of the exhibition planning process, he is aware and appreciative of everything that goes into assembling an art show. He works just as hard to create engaging exhibitions for the public as he did before. He likens his role to that of a movie producer, serving as an intermediary between many parties, as he walks through the process of putting together an exhibition.

“I start with thinking about the overall schedule,” he says. “I want there to be a good mix of artists in terms of message, race, and gender. I want to provide a variety of experiences for people over the course of one visit or over the course of the year if they keep coming. It’s up to working with the director and the board, understanding what the community might find interesting, then working with the artist to see what they as a creative person want.”

The last part of his sentence, working with the artist, is a crucial step, Hickey says. After all, they create the work Hickey will display.

“It’s important to include the artists in the planning process; they’ve got a critical voice for the project,” he explains. “[You have to] understand when their ideas are working and when they’re not and they need some guidance, but do so with a light touch.”

From start to finish, the exhibition planning process takes about two years. At any given time, four shows are open at the Hilliard, which means Hickey is simultaneously working on

Clementine Hunter’s painting “Panorama of Baptism on Cane River” on display at Hilliard Art Museum in Lafayette

each of them and getting the ball rolling on the next four. It’s a lot of work, he admits, but it’s worth it. “I try not to take it seriously and realize that I have a fun, really engaging job,” he says.

When not at the Hilliard, Hickey works on his private drawing practice — “It’s like an exhaust pipe for my creativity,” he says — or spends time in his perennial garden or with his family. These things refresh him and keep him excited about doing the work.

And speaking of doing the work, when asked what advice he would give aspiring art professionals, that’s what Hickey responded: do the work. “You’re not an artist unless you’re making art,” he says. “[There are people] who have ideas [and say], ‘Oh, but I don’t want to’ or ‘I don’t have time.’ Unless you find the time to do it, you’re not an artist. At first, my advice sounds really harsh. But it’s not meant to be. It’s more like, ‘Hey, go do it, who cares?’ Just make the work; do the thing you want to do and figureit out as you go. You can find a way to market this and be successful as you find your voice.”


Special Deliveries at Morehouse General

Delivering Babies for Over 90 Years

WHEN CHOOSING A HOSPITAL for your baby’s birth, you’ll want to consider whether the hospital is a good fit for your pregnancy. Ask about hospital policies; rooming options for you, baby, and your partner; and the availability of anesthesiologists and lactation consultants on site. As a rural healthcare provider, Morehouse General Hospital has been serving the needs of the community and delivering babies for over 90 years. Beyond the primary mission of providing high quality, cost effective health care services, we take pride in striving to stay abreast of the latest trends in healthcare.

In most cases, you’ll deliver your baby at the hospital where your healthcare provider has admitting privileges. So keep in mind that when choosing a doctor, you’ll likely be choosing the place where you’ll give birth. It’s worth doing some research to make sure the hospital’s policies and approach to birth fit your needs.

The Labor & Delivery Unit at Morehouse General was created with mother-baby bonding in mind. We offer private rooms that are spacious and fully-equipped with the most up-to-date monitoring equipment to ensure the safety of your newborn. All of our staff is trained in fetal heart monitoring and neonatal resuscitation. After you have delivered your baby, your newborn will be place skin-to-skin to assist with bonding. Rooming-in is encouraged for healthy babies and their mothers to stay together day and night for bonding and care. Our staff is fully trained to provide lactation assistance should you choose to breastfeed. Breastfeeding offers significant benefits for both mothers and babies.

Why deliver at Morehouse General?

• Play an active role in your own healthcare as an equal member of your care team.

• Deliver in large, private birthing suites

with the most up to date equipment, which encourages in-rooming for mother-baby bonding.

• Receive educational information from our team so that you are able to make informed decisions about your own childbirth, postpartum, newborn care, and breastfeeding experience.

• Know you and your baby will be cared for by staff that is trained in fetal heart monitoring and neonatal resuscitation.

• Stay safe in our locked unit. Since the security of our mothers and babies are a top priority, strict protocols are in place to ensure your protection.

• Bond with our physicians and nurses. One benefit of delivering at a rural hospital is that you can develop a closer bond with your care team. In the L&D unit, our nurseto-patient ratios are lower than average, ensuring our patients are truly cared for like family, not simply a patient.


Curtis Sanders, MD | Lynn Milliman, NP 430 S. Vine St., Bastrop Phone 318-283-3970 Fax: 318-239-8930

Labor & Delivery Unit 323 West Walnut Ave Bastrop Phone:318-283-3600 |


Independent Living Cottages

Better Living at Gardens of Somerset

FINDING THE RIGHT PLACE TO call home can be a daunting task. With all of the different options and communities out there, it can be difficult to find the right fit. Gardens of Somerset is a multi-generational living community in Monroe that offers a variety of amenities and care options for our residents. We are dedicated to providing a comfortable and enriching environment for our residents. Here are some of the things that those residing in our independent living cottages can look forward to:

Our independent living cottages offer the best of both worlds. Our residents enjoy independent living in a community that not only offers security and fellowship but a wide array of amenities, lifestyle activities and enrichment. Our two-bedroom, two bathroom cottages boasts 1610 square feet of beautiful living space with all utilities paid.

Each cottage features a full kitchen with stainless appliances and granite countertops, ample walk-in closets, a private entrance with attached garage, a safe, barrier-free bathroom, along with a utility room with washer/dryer.

Gardens of Somerset has everything you need right here on our 18-acre property, so you don’t have to go far to enjoy the things you love the most. We know the importance of convenience, and we do everything in our power to make your life as comfortable as possible. Gardens of Somerset offers and on-site restaurant, hair salon, fitness center, library, billiards and game room, art studio, movie theater, greenhouse and more. We know that pets are family, too, and we are proud to be a pet-friendly community. We welcome all kinds of pets, and we have plenty of curated outdoor spaces for them to run and play to their heart’s content.

Our caring and professional staff is here to serve you and make sure that your needs are met. Along with the amenities listed, our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with anything you need. Most recently, we’ve added The Clinic at Gardens of Somerset which offers residents and those living outside the community access to a healthcare provider. We believe that providing this level of service will help each person living at Gardens of Somerset to live a happier, healthier and more purposeful life.

If you’re looking for a better living community that offers everything you need to live a comfortable and fulfilling life, look no further than the Gardens of Somerset. Our cottages allow those looking for independence to live safely in a community with resort-level amenities and activities and all the comforts of home. Contact us today to schedule a tour. We can’t wait to show you everything that the Gardens of Somerset has to offer.


Treating Seasonal Allergies

The Clinic at Gardens of Somerset Now Open to the Public

SPRING IS HERE, WARMER WEATHER is on the horizon, plants are blooming and pollen is in the air - which can be bad news for those that suffer from allergic rhinitis (better known as seasonal allergies). Elizabeth Hoskins, nurse practitioner at The Clinic at Gardens of Somerset said, “We are seeing many patients with rhinitis, or inflammation of the nasal passages. This inflammation can cause a variety of annoying symptoms, including sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip (the sensation that mucus is draining from the sinuses down the back of the throat).”

Allergic rhinitis affects people at all ages, and the severity of symptoms tends to vary throughout a person’s life. “Right now there is an influx of pollen in the air, which seems to have triggered many cases of seasonal allergic rhinitis,” said Hoskins. Although the term “rhinitis” refers only to the nasal symptoms,

many people also have symptoms that affect the eyes, throat, and ears. Sleep may be disrupted as well. Symptoms may include the following:

NOSE – Watery nasal discharge, blocked nasal passages, sneezing, nasal itching, postnasal drip, loss of taste, facial pressure or pain

THROAT AND EARS – Sore throat, hoarse voice, congestion or popping of the ears, itching of the throat or ears

SLEEP – Mouth breathing, frequent awakening, daytime fatigue, trouble doing normal activities.

Identifying seasonal allergies is important, as well as ruling out other illnesses that may cause similar symptoms. “While avoidance of triggers is an important step in treating rhinitis, it’s not always possible in Northeast Louisiana,” said Hoskins. “Thankfully, we

have options like nasal sprays which is one of our first-line treatments for the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.” Nasal glucocorticoids have few side effects and dramatically relieve symptoms in most people. If a patient has severe symptoms, a nasal decongestant may be prescribed before starting a nasal steroid to reduce swelling.

There are many options to treating those suffering from seasonal allergies, and The Clinic at Gardens of Somerset is here to assist those looking for relief. Similar to the mission of the Gardens of Somerset, their goal is to offer integrated care to the residents while also inviting the community onto the campus for primary care services. For more information on the services offered at The Clinic at Gardens of Somerset from Integrated Care Professionals, or to schedule an appointment with Elizabeth, call (318)306-2389. The clinic is located at 340 Lonewa Road in Monroe.


Our View On Your Best Bet

Waterview Casino & Hotel in Vicksburg, MS

AT WATERVIEW CASINO & HOTEL, we are so blooming happy it’s spring! The arrival of spring brings with it a renewed sense of optimism as leaves begin to grow and flowers bloom. It’s a time for new beginnings and exploration. Just like those leaves and flowers, we need to take a moment to enjoy the sunlight and bloom! We have certainly been doing the spring cleaning to make sure we have an inviting ambiance, just like springtime.

From our Wyndham Trademark Collection hotel to the EV chargers in our parking lot, and everything in between, we have been renovating, updating, refreshing and sprucing the place up for you! We welcome you to visit WaterView to determine your view on a great casino. A welcoming new hotel lobby, freshly painted pool area, updated restrooms, more smoke handlers, and so much more has already been completed to freshen up your view at WaterView.

Our latest project is the renovation of our

Buffet/Lucky Bean restaurant to transform them into the Sandbar Grill & Café. The Sandbar Café has already opened with a new look and menu. If you’re hungry while sitting in your comfortable hotel room or at any of our hot games, you can now order from the Sandbar Café right from your cell phone. We have added two self-ordering kiosks for the Café: one is located near the entrance to our restaurants and the other is at the top of the ramp leading to our upper floor gaming area. The addition of these kiosks enable us to add this functionality to our app too. Download it today from the QR code below that’s appropriate for your phone.

The Sandbar Grill took a little bit longer to complete, as we wanted to get the space just right. Serving steaks, ribs, seafood, pasta, salads, sides, and amazing desserts, this new restaurant has something for everyone. We’ve even included a bar so you can enjoy a tasty beverage while you dine!

As always, WaterView has fantastic promotions and giveaways for our guests.

Our Event Center is host to VIP parties, group gatherings, and some of the best entertainment in Mississippi! We will be presenting a performance by 15-time Grammy winner and country/bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder on Friday, May 26th. Tickets to this show are available on Eventbrite.

So… if it’s been a while since you visited WaterView Casino & Hotel, there’s no time like the present. Enjoy a meal in our brand-new Sandbar Grill, spend the night in one of our relaxing riverview rooms, play your favorite games, and refresh. WaterView is ready to welcome you!

Android App Apple App

Overactive Bladder Interfering With Your Life?

DOYOU EVER FEEL A STRONG URGE to urinate even when your bladder isn’t full? You like millions of Americans may be suffering from overactive bladder. Overactive Bladder (OAB) is defined as the overwhelming urge to urinate immediately and frequently followed by loss of urine prior to reaching a bathroom. Overactive bladder occurs in both men and women and according to the American Urological Association it affects more than 30 million Americans; the actual number may be even higher, as many individuals are too embarrassed to seek treatment. Even if you have never had an accident, urgency and urinary frequency can interfere with your work and social life.

Recently, Robert D. Marx, M.D. has had the honor of being named an InterStim™ Center of Excellence by Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device manufacturer. The InterStim™ Center of Excellence (COE) program recognizes physicians

who demonstrate exemplary use of the InterStim™ system. Exemplary is defined as a commitment to patient care for those suffering from symptoms associated with Overactive Bladdder (OAB), Fecal Incontinence (FI) and Non-Obstructive Urinary Retention.

The InterStimTM system, also called sacral neuromodulation (SNM), and is clinically proven to relieve the symptoms of OAB. Unlike conventional treatments, SNM works by gently stimulating the nerves that control the pelvic floor muscles, lower urinary tract, anal sphincter, and bowel; which is thought to restore the bladder-brain communication pathway, resulting in significant improvements to their quality of life.

Unlike other treatments, SNM allows patients to experience therapy during a short evaluation before committing to it. It is a minimally invasive procedure, 3 to 7 day assessment and helps determine likely longterm efficacy.

Medtronic therapies are potentially lifechanging options for any patient with OAB who has not responded well to first- and second-line treatments. More than 70% of patients with OAB who sought treatment were able to discontinue medications within 6 months, and 84% of OAB patients were satisfied with SNM therapy. “We’ve seen great success with InterStim™ and are dedicated to providing the highest level of patient care in our practice. Being able to help those in our community suffering from incontinence make a recovery using the Medtronic system is rewarding, and being recognized with this distinction is truly humbling,” said Dr. Robert Marx.

The time to gain your independence from your Overactive Bladder is now! Whatever level of severity your problem is, Robert D. Marx, M.D. and his dedicated staff are ready to assist you. Don’t suffer from OAB in silence, schedule your appointment today!





Crawfish have a long history of cultural and culinary significance in Louisiana that dates back to the 1700s. During that time, the Frenchspeaking Acadians were displaced from Canada and settled in large numbers west of New Orleans. They soon began eating crawfish because they needed a reliable food source, and the mudbugs were plentiful and not too hard to collect.

For many years, crawfish were little more than a good source of dietary protein among Cajuns, but that changed in 1960 when Breaux Bridge hosted the first annual crawfish festival. The festival was so well received that the popularity of crawfish skyrocketed. During this new era, the tiny crustaceans found themselves appearing in growing numbers in the boiling pots and on the tables of people from many different backgrounds and even in restaurants.

Today, according to one online list, more than 30 restaurants in Lafayette serve crawfish during crawfish season. Indeed, few Louisianans can say they’ve never attended a crawfish boil or tasted crawfish etouffee.

Alongside this rise in crawfish popularity came a rise in commercial crawfish farming. Over time, demand for the lowly mudbug has spread beyond Louisiana’s borders throughout the country and even around the world. For this reason, crawfish now have a big impact on the Louisiana economy. According to Ron Smith of Farm Progress, crawfish are now responsible for an impact of greater than $423 million in Louisiana.

In September of 2020, Molly and James Thomas became contributors to this impact. The Thomases purchased MG Vermillion Farms, an established crawfish farm at that time, and they are now in their third crawfish season. According to James, the farm has about 1700 crawfish traps, and it takes about 2 full days to fish the whole farm, more if it’s producing a lot. But the farm is much more than a crawfish farm to the Thomases.


Molly and James both grew up in north Louisiana. James was born and raised in Delhi and grew up on his family’s farm where they grew corn, soy beans, and cotton. Molly was born in Monroe and raised in Rayville. Both of them grew up with a love for the outdoors and developed an unquenchable taste for rural life.

After some moves to finish their educations, Molly was offered a position in oncology in Lafayette. As a real estate appraiser, James could work virtually anywhere, so the couple moved from Shreveport to Lafayette almost 10 years ago.

Eventually the pair started yearning for a place to escape from the pressures of work and city life, a place that would remind them more of home and the time they had spent outside during their childhoods. After some years of looking for the right property to serve as a weekend getaway, James found the crawfish farm that they now own.

He happened onto the property by chance while appraising a nearby property. The for-sale sign out front caught his eye, and he drove in to check it out, met the owner, and went from there. According to James, he and Molly were not really looking for a crawfish farm, but it turned out to be a good fit. “I thought we could make some decent money and have a place to enjoy,” he said, “but making money was not the original plan.”

In the beginning, having a place to escape to was their main priority. “I have a stressful job,” Molly said, “so to be able to go somewhere and just be in nature and not have anything to do except ride the four-wheeler around has been nice.” As Molly pointed out, land doesn’t always pay for itself, so for the Thomases, it was an unexpected blessing that the perfect property for their weekend getaway was also a working crawfish farm. “Having something that’s profitable,” Molly said, “has just been an added bonus.”

After James found the property, they did not purchase it immediately. It stayed on the market for a while, but James said they eventually settled on a price, and the farm became theirs, equipment and all.

“Mairin loves the farm. It’s a wide open space where she can run and play and not have to worry about getting dirty. She loves to look at the cows and pick wildflowers.”

The previous owner, Russell Dehart, was retiring, so the farm came with everything they needed to keep it going. It had been in Dehart’s family for a long time. Then, over the years, the property was diluted and split up, but Dehart had made some efforts to put at least some of the original pieces back together.

James said, “It’s just a really neat place.” There was an old homesite that they have now turned into a camp, and they spend most of their weekends there. The site is also home to some really old live oaks. According to Molly, at least two of them are more than 200 years old, and some of them have been twisted and warped by hurricanes, but they continue to stand watch over the property, adding a certain old-world beauty and nostalgia.

James and Molly named the farm MG Vermillion Farms after their daughter Mairin Grace and because the farm is located in Vermillion Parish. Mairin will be three in May and Molly and James are especially grateful for her because she was a miracle, in vitro baby. In fact, when they were looking for their home away from home, another dream they had for the property was that it would serve as a place for Mairin to grow up in the country and learn how to have a vegetable garden and chickens. Basically, they wanted to give her the opportunity to learn how to be self-sustaining.

She’s still very young, but Molly and James said she gets really excited every time they go to the farm. “She starts jumping up and down when we pull into the driveway,” James said. “She loves it. It’s a wide open space where she can run and play and not have to worry about getting dirty. She loves to look at the cows and pick wildflowers.” That’s what they wanted for her.

Because the couple purchased the farm during COVID, they faced some early setbacks, especially in terms of getting their camp ready, knowing how to manage the farm, and finding and keeping help.

With regard to the camp, Molly said, “We really thought we never would be in there, but here we are now.” The camp was originally a storage building with two roll-up doors, but now it finally looks like a home with bedrooms, an office, and a full bathroom. It took nearly two years and many delays to get the home finished, especially with two hurricanes and COVID delays, but they did it.

Another struggle along the way was just learning how a crawfish farm works. In fact, Molly said that although James is the primary one responsible for running the farm, learning how things work and when and where to do things has been the biggest challenge for them. In many ways, they tried to pick up right where Dehart left off, but neither of them had ever experienced life on a crawfish farm before.

“It’s been completely foreign to anything I’ve ever done,” James said. At the same time, some of his experiences on his childhood farm have come in handy. For example, knowing how to fix things, especially equipment, has been a huge help. Being willing to get his hands dirty has also come in handy, as keeping good help has been a recurring challenge.

One thing that definitely came with a learning curve is driving the crawfish boat. Crawfish boats come with paddles and large hydraulic motors. According to James, driving one is not like driving an ordinary boat for fishing. You have to be able to drive in a straight line with your feet and grab traps at the same time.


Pulling the traps can get interesting as well. James said there are often snakes in the traps, but you can’t really tell until you pull them. Sometimes the snakes are harmless water snakes, but sometimes they’re the more dangerous kind. Molly said they made sure early on that the nearest hospital in Abbeville has snake antivenom on hand.

James said that so far the experience of owning the farm has involved a lot of trial and error, and sometimes Mother Nature cooperates, and sometimes she doesn’t. For example, this year has not been the best for crawfish farmers across the state, and no one really knows why. To compensate, James has planted some rice with the intention of harvesting it. That’s always an option, but he said they usually don’t plant rice until August, and then it’s only for the crawfish.

Despite the challenges, overall the Thomases would agree their crawfish farm venture has been a success. It has met their need for a place to escape and has been productive enough on the crawfish front that James’s is considering possibly branching out in the future to include additional farms. He may even make crawfish farming a full-time gig. “I love it,” James said. “Going from knowing nothing to running my own farm has been really rewarding, and when you start pulling traps, it makes up for all the other stuff.”

James hopes people enjoy eating the crawfish as much as he does and that they will keep eating them. Molly said they plan to continue to add things to the property that will increase its value, not only to them but from an outsider’s perspective as well. They hope to one day have a pond built, maybe have some duck and dove hunting, and try to maximize what they already have. In the meantime, they will continue to enjoy all the things MG Vermillion Farms has to offer, whether it’s a successful crawfish season, the freedom of a four-wheeler ride across the property, or watching a beautiful sunset from their porch. Their investment has definitely been worth it.


Where’s My Mojo?

Addressing Sexual Wellness Together

WHEN LONG-TERM COUPLES approach an end to their hormonal honeymoon, and the phases of menopause and andropause begin to have a negative impact on sexual function and intimacy, the combined disruption can have a significant effect on the health of the relationship. Some couples believe the decline in their quality of life is inevitable. Others feel hopeless, thinking their partner no longer desires the connection they once shared. Clouded by misinformation, they tend to shoulder the burden of aging alone.

It doesn’t have to be this way. At Professional Laser Center, we can take a coupleoriented approach to these developments. Couplepause is a novel way of addressing menopause and andropause symptoms together, by familiarizing our patients about the normalcy of their journey, and show them how to revive their energy and MOJO for each other.

Women are not strangers to hormonal fluctuations, but when their hormone levels

begin plummeting in their early 50’s or before, their lives can change overnight as they cope with night sweats, ballooning weight, aching joints, low libido, and fuzzy thinking.

While not as disruptive as menopause, men’s sex hormones are also declining at midlife. This is called “andropause.” The difference is their decline in hormones is not as sharp and sudden as a woman’s. They may feel small dips in their energy level, stamina, mental function, libido, and sense of well being.

The good news is you, nor your partner, have to suffer and resign yourself to the infirmities of advancing age. The solution is to replace your lost hormones with human identical hormones, which are available to both men and women.

Bioidentical hormones have the same molecular structure as those produced by the body. They are identical to your own hormones; estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, growth hormone, and insulin. They’re taken

from natural sources, such as soybeans or yams, and are more easily absorbed by the body than other types of hormone replacement.

They come in the form of creams, pellets, pills, injections, and patches. Professional Laser Center has been prescribing bioidentical hormone replacement for over 10 years now and our clients love it. Pellets are one of the most popular forms of hormone replacement for both women and men. The tiny pellets are placed just under the skin in the upper quadrant of the hip, where they slowly release a stable, steady dose of testosterone and/ or estrogen over the course of three to six months. Our Nurse Practitioner has advanced hormone training through the A4M, the world’s largest Integrative Medicine Organization, which focuses on the proper dosing of these hormones. “The dose makes the poison.” If not properly dosed, your hormones will not be balanced. When our levels are unbalanced, the communication between our cells is interrupted and major, negative changes can occur in the body.

Human identical hormones can change your life and your relationship. It is your most powerful weapon in the war on aging. What are you waiting for?

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 318-361-9066. For a list all of our services, please visit our website at www.





When Marcela Carmichael’s husband, Nathan Carmichael, started Carmichael’s Honey LLC in 2013, she was still working as a registered nurse. On occasion, she would contribute to the company, doing “a few things on the side,” but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that she decided to switch over and get fully involved. “My hands are in everything,” she says, from conducting interviews, hiring new employees, and running the company’s social media and marketing strategies. Though she leaves sales to her husband, her role as owner and operator of such an in-demand product is one that keeps the relationships they build keep extending beyond business.

Honey was never in Marcela’s purview. In fact, neither was living in Lafayette. Raised in Monroe by her adoptive family, she went to school at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM), graduating there with a degree in nursing. “It took me a whole, full seven years to get my life together, but I did and I’m very thankful for the ULM community,” she enthuses. After graduating, she was ready to “hit the road,” and accepted a job at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center. She immediately was taken by the starkly different culture of South Louisiana. It may have taken her a while to get used to the accent, but once she settled in, it quickly started to feel like home, especially when she met her husband.

“So Nathan grew up as a little beekeeper,” says Marcela. By the time he was five years old, his father had bought him a child-sized bee suit and began to carry him into bee yard locations. At eight, Nathan bought his first beehive from his dad, keeping hives on and off throughout his life. Nevertheless, by the time Marcela met her to be husband, he was working as a salesman for an oil company. “But

he wanted to be his own boss,” she says, adding, “He knew that he didn’t want to sit behind a desk. My husband’s very high energy. He knew that he wanted to do something that would impact the lives of other people. He’s very passionate about everything that he does.” One of his goals was to have a brand for raw, unfiltered honey. Already having the expertise, the business acumen, and the passion for the product, it just made sense: “He’s a salesman by nature. He’s very good at what he does, he’s very savvy, and he can sell anything. He can sell a pencil!” At the time, he only had twenty-five hives and was still working full-time. “I think our first label, I made the label out of address stickers,” says Marcela, who recalls riding along with Nathan on sales calls, taking their makeshift bottles to various independent grocers in their area. “By the grace of God, in our second year, we began to garner the attention of larger retailers in our area. We quickly rose to the occasion to meet the demand with excellent service and quality,” says Nathan.

Carmichael’s Honey LLC was officially established on July 2013, a month before the couple got married. The company’s first year was slow, but by the following year, they had begun to gain the attention of larger retailers in their area. The rapid growth led to another shift in the business. The Carmichaels transitioned to sourcing honey from regional beekeepers. Currently, their conventional honey comes from all parts of the United States. They have two bottles of honey from Louisiana and Texas. And their organic honey comes from the dense forests of Minas Gerais, a state in Southeastern Brazil, and Marcela’s homeland. Recently, she found out that one of the biggest exporters of honey in Brazil, Melbras, is an hour away from her birth mother’s house. She had already been planning a

Carmichael’s Honey is where fellowship meets really good honey.

trip to visit her family in April, so now she also gets to visit another potential business partner. A perk for the company, Marcela is fluent in Portuguese! “That’s another way that we’re closing the gap, to create more of a relationship instead of being something from a distance,” she says.

But why Brazil? In the United States, for a product to be labeled “USDA Organic” it must adhere to a few specific guidelines. One such requirement is meeting land standards, which requires hives to be placed in a forage zone that is certified organic (land free of major sources of contamination). Not only is this difficult for many beekeepers to accomplish, but bees are almost impossible to regulate, as they happily forage wherever they desire. This could mean buzzing beyond zones designated organic. In places with ample acreage, like Brazil, this becomes less complicated. As the USDA recognizes organic labeled products from other countries, Brazil has swiftly become a notable exporter of organic honey. Additionally, the Carmichaels test their sourced honey for contaminants before they pack it.

The process of bottling honey begins with loads of raw honey. Each barrel of honey is coded based on the region of the country it originated. And from the moment it arrives at the Carmichael facility, each code is recorded into a computer system, which will later be printed in the bottles, so that even customers can track the region and beekeeper whose honey they are enjoying. “Our honey is raw and unfiltered,” says Marcela, which means that their product is derived straight from hives. While they strain the raw product in order to remove naturally occurring particulates, which can be beeswax, bees’ wings, and even a bee or two, their straining system leaves all of the pollens and enzymes naturally occurring in the honey untouched. The bottling process begins from there. At times, the honey process also includes returning honey to its liquid form. “The honey sometimes comes to us crystallized,” informs Marcela, who wants the public to know that it is completely natural for raw honey to crystallize. “People think that crystallized honey is bad,” says Marcela, but honey contains properties that help it last for a very long time. If your honey ever crystallizes, the Carmichaels have a simple solution: “Put warm water in a pot and place it on the stove until the water is hot (don’t heat it too hot or this could become dangerous.) After the water is significantly hot take the pot off of the stove and place it in a sink and set your bottle of crystallized


honey in the pot of hot water Pretty soon you’ll notice the honey beginning to re-liquify. You may have to repeat this scenario more than once to fully re-liquify the entire bottle of honey.”

One of the most important aspects of the company is its outreach. “We want to serve the community,” emphasizes Marcela. Not only does Carmichael support Breast Cancer Awareness, but they provide opportunities to those in the process of turning their life around. “My husband has a really great story of redemption,” she reveals. Some of the young men they have assisted now work for them, and she considers them part of the family. “I like to say that we are a very relational company,” she says, adding that the relationships they forge, be it with beekeepers, brokers, or employees, “goes beyond just the numbers and honey.”

The Carmichaels are not shy about their own personal transformations or their faith in God. On their company website, their mission is clearly stated: “Our goal is to provide our customers with a healthy product and to honor God in our business and outside of our business in our personal lives.” Their gratitude also extends to their community. As Marcela says, “Nobody does anything in life without people.” Along the way, they have had their community provide significant opportunities that helped grow their business, not to mention the help they constantly receive from their work team, and the support of friends and family. “Really, the village that we have around us has allowed us to raise this business.” Which is to say, Carmichael’s Honey is where fellowship meets really good honey.


Tips for Traveling

Ideas for Entertaining Young Travelers

Travel, travel, travel…is there anything more fun and exciting than loading your “crew” up in the “family truckster” (I have a feeling I will be referencing Clark Griswold a lot in this month’s column) and heading out for a 22-hour cross country trip to Wally World? I think most parents would agree that they would rather have their head shaved than embark on such as journey. Yes, hopping on a plane to Las Vegas with your best friends for four or five days of rest and relaxation simply doesn’t have anything in common with a road trip with your young family (even if it’s just to Poverty Point). I’ve mentioned before that when I was a child, my father worked overseas, so when he came home to the States, he wanted to do just that…stay home. So it will suffice to say my family didn’t travel much, except for the annual summer vacation. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t know how my parents even stood those summer trips. Last month, when I wrote about staycations and all the fun things you can do with your family by staying “at home,” I mentioned the ole Chevy Citation. Well, just imagine that trailblazer with three little girls and one male toddler all crammed into the back of what would come to be known as the “Cindy-Citation” and heading out to our favorite camping destination at Lake Ouachita or Six Flags. For one, the only electronic device available in our version of the “family truckster” was an 8-track tape deck that would be blaring Alabama, Ronnie Milsaps or Willie Nelson (think Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain at the top of our lungs). I mean, who today can travel without DVD’s, I-Pad’s, Leapster’s and cell phones? Second, there was barely a back seat, much less a third seat, which translates to no room for the “invisible line” that you drew and forbid your siblings to cross. For crying out loud, we didn’t even have enough elbow room for a coloring book and crayons…think sardines in the back of the Chevy! But the good news for parents today is that it’s not 1982, the Chevy Citation has phased out and many families do have the comfort of SUV’s or larger family-sized cars. More importantly, parents today also have the benefit of some very useful electronic tools

to help prevent boredom meltdowns, which prevents family squabbles, which could lead, in the most extreme cases, to divorce. Yes, technology on family vacations has probably saved many marriages.

But even modern technology, at its finest, can’t pacify those youngsters for the entire 7 or 8 hours it takes to get to Destin (and heaven forbid to Disney World).

That’s why, when my friends at BayouLife suggested that this month’s magazine would actually focus on traveling, I started researching some “boredom busters” for those young travelers that I think might give some inexpensive and easy alternatives to eight straight hours of Sponge Bob Square Pants or Strawberry Shortcake Has a Birthday Party. I do have friends who load their children in the car at like three a.m. and hope they sleep most of the way. But for those of you, like me, that doesn’t know there’s a world in the middle of the night, a little trip preparedness might make for a more enjoyable car ride (not sure that’s entirely possible in the same sentence…enjoyable…car ride) and I’m willing to give it a shot.

In my research (you know, like I’m getting ready to cure Covid), I found plenty of ideas for pacifying the kids; there is truly a plethora of material out there. But who wants to do their own research when the Bayou KidZ writer can make it so easy for you? So for Vacation 2023, we are coming for you with the following divorce prevention travel kits and ideas for our young travelers:

• Find an unused backpack or small bag for each traveler, and allow your child to have some input on what items they would like to put in the bag;

• Visit a dollar discount store and pick a few surprise items; individually wrap each one in newspaper or cheap wrapping paper. Give each surprise every 30 minutes to keep the suspense going and something new in their lap;

• Buy some Colorforms, just one set (or that might be further grounds


for divorce when Dad has to clean them off), but this will be fun and entertaining for your children to use the Colorforms to act out scenes on the windows;

• I found a small dry erase board with washable pens that is lap-sized, and my children have always spent a lot of time doodling and erasing, doodling and erasing, so yours might, too;

• Attach chalkboard paper to an old baking tray for a portable, magnetic play station;

• If your children are a little older, laminate a road map of your trip and let them mark off the cities you drive through;

• Pipe cleaners: I wish I had invented them and then I could be sitting on an island drinking out of a coconut, but since I didn’t, pack a Ziplock bag of them in different colors and watch the art your kids will create;

• I love the idea of putting a Post-It sticky pad in their bags, so they can draw pictures or write notes and then stick them on the windows;

• You can find those little baskets at the dollar store that have compartments, so make the kids their own travel basket. It’s a great way

to organize their coloring books, crayons and markers as well as their Sippy cups, water bottles and snacks;

• Snacks and gum are pretty much essential when traveling with young children, so be creative in how you store them. I’ve used brown lunch bags with grapes and Goldfish in each one, stapled it shut, and played a guessing game for what was in the bag. Of course, juice boxes with straws prevent spills and accidents, so try to pack a small ice chest to keep drinks and even fruit cool.

In the end, a road trip doesn’t have to be the end of your family life as you know it. No one wants to arrive at their destination and have everyone crabby and irritated at each other. So if your husband has to take your vehicle to the car wash as soon as you get to Gulf Shores to clean out all the paper, and peel the Colorforms and sticky notes off the windows, it’s certainly better than the drama that these simple boredom busters can help prevent. I will say that I am not in agreement with the travel tip of giving your child a roll of scotch tape, because you don’t want to pull up beside a Child Protective Services agent at the

red light, and have your child’s mouth taped shut…probably not a good way to start your vacation either. Just as well, take a little time to get organized, visit your local dollar store for some real treats, and get your kids excited, rather than dreading, the road trip. Because unless you are visiting the world’s largest ball of yarn, the memories you will make on your vacation will be worth the travel and trouble it was to get there.

Cindy G. Foust is a wife, mom, author and blogger. You can find her blog at the alphabetmom. com for weekly columns about home life, parenting, small business stories and insight with a smidgen of literacy. Give her a like or follow on Facebook and Instagram.


Sharing Their Journey Within STEM

Louisiana Tech University Holds Panel Featuring Three Successful Women in STEM

AS PART OF WOMEN’S WEEK, THE Louisiana Tech University College of Engineering and Science, Office of Women in Science and Engineering, and Prescott Memorial Library will present a panel discussion featuring three successful women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, in Prescott Memorial Library on Tech’s Ruston campus.

During the talk, “Sharing Their Journey: A Female STEM Professionals Panel,” panelists Amanda Sutherland, Dr. Krystal Corbett Cruse, and Dr. Laura Kidd will outline through stories about their personal journeys and professional experiences how they navigated the male-dominated fields within STEM.

Sutherland, a chemical engineer who earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tech and a MBA in Finance and Strategy from Tulane

University, is the Senior Director of Fuels Risk Management at Murphy USA and is currently leading the company’s Enterprise Portfolio Management Office, overseeing $75 million in strategic initiatives.

Cruse, who earned doctoral Engineering Education, master’s Mathematics, and bachelor’s Mechanical Engineering degrees from Tech, is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and program chair of Tech’s innovative, first-year Living with the Lab course series.

Kidd, a 2004 Tech graduate with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a Medical Doctorate from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is a Pathology Specialist for Delta Pathology and has completed fellowships in Surgical and Renal Pathology at both the Methodist Hospital in Houston and the University of Texas at Houston. Sutherland, Cruse, and Kidd will discuss

how the challenges they faced and the strategies they used to overcome them shaped their careers. They will talk about how the challenges they faced were similar and how challenges (and solutions) in various fields may be different

The event beginning at 5 p.m. on the second floor of Prescott Memorial Library – is free and open to the public. For more information about Women’s Week, go to the OWISE website.


6th Annual Women’s Symposium

On March 13th, the community gathered for the 6th Annual Women’s Symposium at Bayou Pointe Event Center on the ULM campus. Dr. Nicole Cross, an Emmy-award winning anchor and reporter for Spectrum News 1 Texas, was this year’s keynote speaker. Awards were given to Dr. Christella Dawson, Jennifer Haneline, K’Shana Hall, Kristopher Kelley, Kelly Morgan and Kiara Richard. A special thank you to all the panelists, moderators, attendees and sponsors for making this year the most attended Women’s Symposium to date.

On the BayouScene

1 Dr. Martha Phillips, Melissa Baldwin, Crystal Fox and Sarah Hoffman

2 Jada Ali and Amy Keifenheim

3 Sabryna Herring-Antwine, Temika Cooks and Courtney McDaniel

4 Tami Rolen-Tharp and Candy B. Gerace

5 Cait Wise, Katelyn McAllister, Courtney Thomas and Cindy Foust

6 Sarah Floyd and Hannah Livingston

7 Jackie Johnson, Cesar and Allison Camacho, and Heather Grant

8 Patience Talley and Dr. Nicole Cross

photos 7 & 8 courtesy of Dylan Jung | Wonderboy
1 3 5 7 4 6 8 2

Brown Bag Concert Series

Northeast Louisiana Arts Council’s Performance Schedule

COME RECONNECT WITH THE JOY of the new season each Wednesday in April at the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council’s noontime outdoor Brown Bag Concerts series. Get outside to enjoy lush, green Palace Park at 220 DeSiard Street (beside the old Palace Department Store location), our venue for this Spring’s Series (public parking at 4th and Desiard). Round up your friends, bring a picnic of your favorites, or treat yourself to a $6 box lunch on site from Newk’s. Mulhearn’s will again provide free cookies to round out that sweet tooth! Picnic blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged! Of course, the performances are FREE, thanks to our sponsors Mulhearn’s, Newk’s, The Palace, Paramount Healthcare Consultants of West Monroe, and the City of Monroe. Here’s who’s on stage:

April 5 - Lee Denton

We kick off the Series with local talent Lee

Denton, his inspiration from pop/rock greats like see how he grew that early gift into showstopping performances, here for you in today’s start to the Series.

April 12 - Josh Madden and Abby Thomas

This show features two gifted local artists who have teamed up for a one-of-a-kind event. Josh is an award-winning musician and teacher, well known for his eclectic style and laid-back performances on the local music scene. Joining him is Abby Thomas, new to the series, but well known to the region after her star turn in last year’s Always... Patsy Cline at Strauss Theatre Center. Together the two will create a unique blend of his laid-back, rockin’ style with her rich, straight-to-the-heart voice. Treat yourself to these musical treasures at our second outing of the Series.

April 19 - Bill Haley

When describing himself, Bill Haley says he is a singer, but with no comets! Bill developed his love of music and performance through concert choir during his school years. Since then, he has given that talent inspiring expression as music director in Baptist churches for nearly five decades. Come sample his oldschool-crooner style in our third outing of the Series.

April 26 - Homegrown Band

For our final outing of the Series, we welcome Homegrown Band, a multitalented ensemble with roots in Morehouse Parish. All vocalists, the five provide accompaniment with a variety of instruments: Robin Baggarly (fiddle, percussion), John Creech (guitar, mandolin), Renee Decker: (percussion, trumpet) and Mike Estep (yes, the former principal of Bastrop High!) (bass), and Clarence Lindsay (piano, harmonica). Join us as we round out the Series and head into a a joyous new spring!

For more information, call the Arts Council office at 397.6717 or 397.6754. In case of rain we will move indoors to the old Palace Department Store, next to the park. Visit the Arts Council online at, find us on Facebook or Instagram @region8arts!


The Hawkeye Earns Honors

Best of the South 2022

THE STAFF OF ULM’S STUDENT-RUN newspaper, The Hawkeye, joined student journalists from twenty-two other universities at the Southeast Journalism Conference 2023 on February 9 -11, 2023, at Nicholls State University. The Hawkeye editors attended sessions and participated in on-site competitions over the two-day event. SEJC co-president and host, Dr. James Stewart, Alfred N. Delahaye Endowed Professor in Mass Communication at Nicholls, said, “We were thrilled to have everyone at the same location after two years of virtual conferences.”

At the Best of the South 2022 awards dinner, The Hawkeye ranked as sixth best newspaper, with one judge commending its broad campus coverage. Individual Best of the South awards included Maggie Eubanks, Political Science, who placed seventh in both Best News Writing and Best Opinion-Editorial Writing. Jonah Bostick, Kinesiology, placed

fifth and Cameron Jett, Communication, placed eleventh in Best Sports Writing. ULM was the only university to have two students ranked in the sports writing category.

SEJC officials planned for fast-paced competitions from the first evening’s event when participants attended a Nicholls versus UNO men’s basketball game. Alongside photographers and reporters from local news outlets, students nudged their lenses into timeout huddles and manned the press desk for play-by-play action as part of the on-site Sports Writing and Sports Photography competition. Editor in Chief, Cameron Jett, admitted he is most proud of the team’s outcomes in the onsite competitions, in which The Hawkeye tied with Mississippi State University for overall winner. “The on-site competitions showed the best of us in true, real-world scenarios. The fact that we brought home so many awards proves we can hang with almost any school

out there,” he added.

In other on-site contests, Maggie Eubanks placed first in News Writing and second in Media Law. Zoe Sissac, English, placed first in Opinion-Editorial Writing. Cameron Jett placed second in Feature Writing. Carley Nail, Communication, placed third in Arts and Entertainment Writing and Honorable Mentioned in Sports Photography. Kassidy Taylor, Pre-Pharmacy, placed first in Copy Editing. Beau Benoit, Toxicology, contributed to the team score in the Current Events category, as did Jonah Bostick in Sports Writing.

Student Publications publishes The Hawkeye on Mondays most weeks of each semester. Students and faculty can pick up The Hawkeye on campus at the Hub, the library, and near the entrances of most academic buildings. Community members can find The Hawkeye at 25 area businesses throughout Monroe and West Monroe, including Ouachita Parish Public Library Main Branch and Ouachita Valley Branch. The digital version is available at Student Publications welcomes students from all majors to get involved. For more information contact Courtney Collins, assistant director, at (318) 342-5450 or


Conservative Christian Republican

A Clear Leader For These Unclear Times

NED WHITE’S STORY IS ABOUT PERSEVERANCE, GUTS, hard work, and solid, country common sense. Exactly the qualities needed to turn North Louisiana’s ailing economy into a story of success.

And Ned White’s story is one of success.


Raised by a single, hardworking mom, Ned White took on life’s responsibilities very early. From his junior high school days through his college years, Ned White worked in the family business running errands, calling on customers and eventually helping good people secure much needed loans.

It was an extraordinary education for Ned White about the values, beliefs, and concerns of the people of Northeast Louisiana. Ned listened, learned, and acquired a deep knowledge of business and our economy.



At the age of 21, like most successful entrepreneurs, Ned White had an idea, borrowed a few dollars to kickstart it, and started his own business. Over the past three decades, Ned White has built numerous companies deeply rooted in the economy and communities of Northeast and North Central Louisiana. From commercial real estate rented to non-profits for fundraising and charitable bingo, timber, farming and agriculture, game and land management, hunting, oil and gas exploration and production, livestock, sand and gravel mining and an associated washing and processing plant, barging, and a gaming license issued under the strictest of background checks and character investigations of any industry in Louisiana, Ned White has created jobs, opportunity, and a better life for hundreds of our citizens and families!


Married for 19 years to Ashley Odom White, they have two children, Nolan Thompson and Brighton Thompson Robertson, a sonin-law, Reed Robertson, and five beautiful grandchildren: Merris and David Robertson and Bryn, Hayes, and Harrison Thompson.

Ned and Ashley are members of the Christ Church of West Monroe where Ned has served and attended numerous retreats for men. Both Ashley and Ned are deeply involved in helping to support numerous compassionate, civic endeavors throughout our communities.

He is a member of the NRA, Louisiana Sheriff’s Association and

the Louisiana State Troopers Association.

Ned is an avid sportsman, hunting and fishing, and his love of the wildlife and natural habitat of North Louisiana is unequaled.

Family. Faith. Friends. These are what make a difference in Ned White’s life!


Louisiana simply needs changing!

We can no longer wait for bold leadership, big projects, and new opportunities. As a state, we must move now and we must do so aggressively in order to catch up.

More importantly, I want Louisiana to finally take the lead in education, new job promotion, investment in the state, attracting new and better businesses, fighting crime to build safe communities, lowering taxes on working families, and protecting our values and way of life.

In short, Louisiana must be run like a business and the best way to ensure this goal is for people who run businesses, make payrolls, spend long hours building opportunities for all of people to be engage and involved in changing our state government.

Politicians who depend on the public salaries of their elective positions to make a living simply do not have the courage, fortitude or credentials to change Louisiana for the better. These politicians only give us more of what we’ve already had.

I am running for the State Senate for two reasons: I want to selflessly serve people and I want to fundamentally change Louisiana. Like each of you, I want an education system that educates our children in the basics so they can acquire life’s skills to earn a good living and to continue to improve those skills along their way: parental control, not political control, in our schools. I want businesses from anywhere in the world wanting to come and make Louisiana home so they can bring new jobs and opportunities. I want our communities safe and law enforcement supported for doing their jobs to protect us. I want our natural resources protected and never abused, but I want Louisiana’s extraordinary natural gifts of our rivers, bayou’s, lakes, timberland and farmland to be made even better. Our working families must be honored by lower taxes. I want new highways, bridges and infrastructure created and built and I want it done quickly so our citizens do not have to wait decades more for projects that should have been planned and completed decades ago.



The Louisiana landmark, Mel’s Diner, opened its doors in 1992, quickly becoming the round-theclock food favorite of Lafayette college students and neighborhood residents. The diner’s history dates back to a simple, American boy-meets-girl story, when Jack fell in love with Mel Hornsby. Jack Naumann, originally from Mansura, Louisiana, served in the U.S. Navy before graduating from Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). Jack was hired by a good friend to help grow his family’s restaurants, and in 1963, Jack supervised the opening of Pitt Grill on Johnston Street in Lafayette. That very location would later become the flagship location of Mel’s Diner today. Committed to hard work and mastering the restaurant business, Jack went on to open 76 Pitt Grill units across the Southeastern states. When scouting a new location, Jack’s business philosophy was that Pitt Grills were built in high-traffic areas with burgeoning populations. The Johnston St. location is right next to the university, hospitals and neighborhoods. Lafayette was growing, and Jack was the primary architect in making sure the restaurant company grew, as well.

While Jack was growing the company, Mel was raising the couple’s three daughters - Shanna, Shawn, and Shelly. The Naumann house sat on the end of the cul-de-sac with its doors open to welcome community members and their daughters’ friends and their families. Shelly remembers her mother cooking for everyone and hosting parties. The


music always wafted through the rooms, and Mel danced alongside the revolving door of guests. Most of all, Shelly remembers her parents always having a good time, making each other laugh and making the most of time together, as Jack frequently worked away from home. Mel was involved in the girls’ school activities, and the daughters rarely wanted for anything. For an idea of the playful atmosphere, the Naumann’s den often housed lifesize arcade games destined for the diners’ vestibules. Neighborhood friends could come play Pacman and Joust - video games were all the rage in the 80’s. At home, Mel served typical dishes with the Americana flair like pot roast, soups, and fried chicken - the same dishes that would become the diner’s Blue Plate specials.

When Pitt Grill merged with Kettle Restaurant out of Houston, Jack worked in Texas during the week while Mel and the girls remained in Lafayette. Though the Kettle Restaurant chairman tried relentlessly to convince Mel to move to Houston, she refused to uproot her daughters during their formative years. When Jack wanted to be back home, he franchised the four Kettle Restaurant locations in Lafayette. The restaurants were open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. With a manager at each location, Jack had more time for family life, and Shelly benefitted the most with her two older sisters away at LSU. Jack’s thoughtful, logical, and disciplined approach to business made him a go-to for budding and existing entrepreneurs. People always came to Jack for advice, and he shot straight, knowing the


Breakfast is one of Mel’s Diner patrons favorites. All the batter is made in-house for their delicious, French toast, waffles and pancakes.

restaurant business inside and out. He knew math mattered to the profit margin and could tell someone off the top of his head what a spoonful of sugar cost.

In the early 90s, the local economy took a downturn because of South Louisiana’s heavy dependency on the oil field. Shelly remembers times were tough in town, as so much of the business was dependent on customers who worked in, or for, the oil industry. The Naumanns decided to sell the Kettle Restaurant locations back to the company but keep the location on Johnston Street. Jack had always told Mel that he would put her name in lights, and in 1992, he did just that, transforming the Johnston Street location into the first Mel’s Diner. Though times were tough and Naumann’s budget was small, Jack and Mel managed to renovate the space. Mel adorned the walls with Norma Rockwell prints and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Elvis Presley - a nod to her 50’s heyday when rock-n-roll and iconic celebrities were all the rage. With a stainless steel back bar, counter facing, and revolving stools, along with hot pink walls, aqua booths, and boom a rang patterned tabletops, Mel’s Diner exuded the spirit of the 50’s. The initial menu only featured one page of options, with a daily Blue Plate special. The family atmosphere was enriched by faithful former employees who stayed to work at Mel’s Diner and the regulars who filled the stools during their hours of choice.

Youngest daughter Shelly grew up in the restaurant business and began working in the restaurant at 14 years old. Hanging on the wall at Mel’s Diner is a photograph taken of her as a child seated behind a huge stack of pancakes, a 1975 breakfast promotional poster. Shelly eventually attended LSU and served in Student Government as the Secretary of Assembly where she met Keith, a graduate student representative and Rayville, Louisiana native. Upon graduating, Jack asked his daughter about her future plans. Having no firm answer, he suggested Shelly come back and

Keith and Shelly Bond

work at Mel’s. She did and started cooking the morning shift. As an adult, she fell in love with the business and its patrons. When Keith approached Jack to ask for Shelly’s hand in marriage, Keith also asked to expand the family business. Jack insisted Keith try the restaurant industry on for a bit and make sure it’s what he wanted. At the time, Keith was working in Baton Rouge for the Louisiana Attorney General. For many months, he would return to Lafayette on weekends to work in the diner. Keith always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur and found his business home at Mel’s Diner. Keith would follow in Jack’s footsteps, partnering with him to open a second Mel’s Diner in Broussard, Louisiana.

With the commitment of opening a new location, the low-key couple surprised everyone and eloped to Antigua, forgoing a big planned wedding. On opening day for Mel’s Diner in Broussard, Jack in turn surprised the couple and said he was going hunting. Dad’s strategic behavior conveyed that Keith and Shelly needed to learn by diving right in. Shelly admits that for the first few months, the business ran the couple, as opposed to the other way around. But after a while, Keith and Shelly found their footing. They lived in a garage apartment, quite a few miles from the restaurant and often slept between shifts in the car. When the diner got busy, an employee would tap on the window signaling it was time to get back in the kitchen. By the end of the first year, Keith and Shelly had a fully trained staff, some who have been with Mel’s Diner now for over 20 years.

The Covid shutdown order of 2020 forced both Mel’s Diners to close their doors for a month. Once some of the restrictions were lifted, the staff quickly moved to takeout orders. A fire erupted in the kitchen after hours, one that staff could have easily put out had they been present. The fire demolished the kitchen on Johnston Street, and the location would have to be completely gutted and renovated. The tragedy was heartbreaking for the


community. It was a difficult decision and Jack and Mel decided not to start over again. However, Keith and Shelly committed to reviving the original location back to what it was and more. As a surprise for Mel, Shelly used Mel’s 1959 Lafayette High School yearbook to have a wallpaper made for the bathrooms featuring all her high school classmates and memories. It resembled the wallpaper in the Broussard location, lifesize versions of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. Mel’s Diner on Johnston Street reopened in March of 2022. Now when long-time patrons visit the Johnston Street location, they search for their high school pictures on the bathroom wall to take selfies next to their youthful images. After thirty years of serving Lafayette, Mel’s Diner serves some of the same patrons and new diner devotees. The college students who used to populate the joint from midnight to 6 am are now frequenting the day shift, and new UL college students are discovering Mel’s for the first time. When the older crowds roll in for their coffee and newspaper, the former evening’s closing bartenders are just calling it a night. People come for good food, a laid-back atmosphere, and a side of nostalgia. The Monday tradition means red beans and rice - the Blue Plate Special. Some other favorites are chicken fried steak, liver and onions, BIG burgers, chili and of course, breakfast. All food is homemade, even the morning biscuits. Keith’s and Shelly’s sons work in the restaurant. Carson (23) is a UL student and Coleman (20) attends community college. Carson has mastered making the infamous batter for the pancakes, waffles, and French toast. Their daughter Ellie (17) can often be found seated in a corner booth with friends. Mel’s Diner exemplifies the connection between family and business - that loving what you do along with the people you love is a recipe for success in a tenuous industry. Jack and Mel’s vision found and kept its rightful place in south Louisiana, and Mel’s name is still shining in bright lights.

Diner (continued)

Serious on Flavor, Light on Serious

Spring Forward With Blue Moon Light Sky

BLUE MOON HAS LONG BEEN A GATEWAY BEER FOR those wanting to dip a toe into the craft beer world. It has been seen as a middle ground between domestic lights and uber hoppy crafts and has become one of the most popular beers on the shelves as a result.

It also happens to be the perfect beer to drink during hot spring and summer days. There are few things better on a really hot and hazy summer day than cracking open a Blue Moon.

A couple of years ago, Blue Moon got into the light beer game with their LightSky line of beers. LightSky brews are lower in calories and ABV (alcohol by volume), so they can be a good alternative for those trying to stick to a healthier lifestyle.

Blue Moon LightSky, now the No. 1 light craft beer in America, is kicking off a new campaign for spring: “Serious on Flavor. Light on Serious.” The campaign steps off with a new ad that celebrates warm weather and outdoor drinking occasions. The new spot will air during college basketball’s playoff tournament and across digital channels.

The ad shows LightSky is serious about flavor without taking itself too seriously, says Rose Sokolnik, senior marketing manager for Blue Moon Brewing Company brands. It features two guys dressed up for golf, discussing the intricate flavors they pick up while sipping a LightSky Citrus Wheat (“Am I picking up a hint of citrus on the palate?”). It cuts away to reveal they are playing mini golf.

“Serious on flavor, light on serious,” a voiceover says.

“LightSky is serious where it matters, like flavor, but light on everything else,” Sokolnik says. That includes calories (95), carbs (less than 3.7g) and ABV (4%) per 12-ounce can for both its Citrus Wheat and Tropical Wheat varieties, both of which use real citrus peel to provide a noticeably refreshing finish.

For LightSky, which roared onto the scene in 2020 and has established itself as the leading light craft beer, the ad is an overture to a new generation of beer lovers, looking for something refreshing, sessionable and flavorful as the season gives way to warmer weather and more outdoor occasions..

“Belgian White is such a staple of bars and restaurants, with its signature curved glass and Valencia orange peel. But LightSky is really made to drink outside on a sunny day with friends,” she says.

For a light springtime treat, pair Blue Moon Light Sky with this delicious flatbread recipe. Hints of real tangerine peel in the beer deliciously contrast creamy Brie while complementing sweet honey and pear.




1 14-ounce pizza dough, thawed

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 rotisserie chicken breast, thinly sliced

4 ounces Brie cheese, sliced

½ cup baby spinach

10 thin slices Bartlett pear

Flaked sea salt

Ground black pepper


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons champagne or white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon honey


Preheat oven to 500°F.

On a well-floured work surface, roll dough into a 14-inch circle and brush with oil. Transfer to a baking stone or sheet. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and top with chicken, Brie, spinach and pear. Return to the oven and bake until crust is golden and the cheese just begins to melt, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard and honey. Whisk briskly until emulsified, about 1 minute.

Drizzle the dressing over the flatbread and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Slice and serve.

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

For more information on Blue Moon Light Sky and to find your favorites near you, visit Be sure to like Choice Brands on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with new product releases. Feel free to message us for information on where to find your favorite brands. Find us at,, and



From floral dresses to pastel shorts, these spring looks are ready to bloom. Find these and more at local boutiques.

Emily looks simply chic in this satin teal dress with a front pocket and collar. Pair this dress with tan wedges, beaded bracelets and arrowhead necklace.

Special thanks to Maison Madeleine at Lake Martin for allowing us to shoot on at their beautiful bed and breakfast. Find them at

Photography by Kelly Moore Clark Hair and Makeup by Meka Bennett Model: Emily Zaunbrecher DUSTY & COMPANY

This ditzy floral print shirt in yellows and blues features the perfect puff sleeve and is paired with dusty blue vegan leather shorts with a fun front pleat.



This floral denim statement cropped jumpsuit has a thick retro belted waist and wide leg. This outfit is accessorized with a straw hat featuring a textural fine weave stripe pattern, shell bracelet, crystal necklace and platform sandal with cork heel.

HEMLINE MONROE Romance awaits in this floral dress with sweetheart neckline with a cupped bust and lace-up back. Accessorize with a chunky cork platform, and white leather and thatch handbag. WOODSTOCK MONROE A simple white tank is worn under an exotic tropical-print kimono with toile design. Pair with a twill bell-bottom pant with button fly, and accessorize with matching headband and wicker heels.

Protect What’s Precious

St. Francis Health Urges Community to Protect Medicaid Coverage

AS THE NATIONAL COVID-19 PUBLICH HEALTH emergency officially draws to a close, St. Francis Health is urging patients and members of the community to protect their Medicaid and CHIP coverage. The public health emergency expanded Medicaid coverage eligibility for thousands and halted the disenrollment period. Those eligibility reviews are set to begin again April 1, 2023. By ensuring information is up-to-date before April 1, Medicaid eligible families can protect their access to healthcare coverage.

“Gaps in healthcare coverage can cause unnecessary and potentially dangerous delays in seeking treatment,” said St. Francis Health President Thomas Gullatt, MD. “This is set to be the largest Medicaid disenrollment event we have ever seen, so we are asking our patients to do their part to avoid losing their coverage by taking proactive steps today.”

Any gap in healthcare coverage can cause delays in seeking treatment, contributing to worsening outcomes. Current estimates put 15 million Americans and over 250,000 Louisiana residents at risk of losing their Medicaid or CHIP coverage if they don’t take action before the disenrollment period begins. Current Medicaid and CHIP recipients are encouraged to ensure their contact information is up to date, watch their mail carefully for a renewal letter and to complete any renewal form as soon as they receive it.

“Preserving access to healthcare coverage ensures a healthier future for our entire community,” said St. Francis Health VP of Mission Integration Victor Vidaurre, “As a Catholic Healthcare System committed to serving each person with dignity, many of our patients are reliant on Medicare and CHIP coverage. We urge anyone who currently qualifies for this coverage to secure their coverage today and protect what is precious.”

Medicaid and CHIP patients are urged to update their information on the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals websites before April 1, 2023. After this date, if information is not up to date or incomplete, Medicaid eligible families could lose healthcare coverage as early as July 1, 2023. Updating contact information through the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals will ensure Medicaid eligible families can be reached by the state to verify their information and determine if they will remain eligible. For frequently asked questions and more information visit

About St. Francis Medical Center

St. Francis Medical Center is a not-for-profit, 328-bed medical center in Monroe, Louisiana, with more than 1,800 team members committed to caring for those we serve. With an acute-care hospital, freestanding outpatient center, 25 outpatient clinics and nearly 350 physician partners, St. Francis Medical Center provides comprehensive healthcare services for a variety of medical and surgical specialties. St. Francis offers Northeast Louisiana’s only Level III NICU, Level III OB, and Level II PICU services. St. Francis Medical Center leads the region in heart and vascular services, critical care, and complex and minimally invasive surgical procedures. The hospital offers a designated Level III Trauma Program, Graduate Medical Education Program, Accredited Chest Pain Center and Centers of Excellence in the areas of obstetrics, bariatric surgery, robotic surgery, minimally invasive gynecology, and breast health.


Monroe Chamber of Commerce 102nd Annual Banquet

On Thursday, March 16th the Monroe Chamber of Commerce held the 102nd Annual Banquet at the Monroe Civic Center Banquet Hall. Guests enjoyed cocktails and dinner before the banquet began. Jimmy Cusano from Your Chamber Connection rallied everyone up to celebrate the great city of Monroe. John Robert Smith, Chairman of Transportation for America was this years keynote speaker and awards were held later in the evening. Congratulations to this years award winners Nash Patel, John L. Luffey Jr., and Paul West.

On the BayouScene

1 Alise Oliver, Debbie Luffey, Laura Maddox and Aimee Kane

2 Doug Seegers, Cindy Foust, Dr. Christina Berry and Kim Lowery

3 Nash Patel, John L. Luffey Jr., and Paul West

4 Angie Wilson, Darian Atkins and Gwen Amelin

5 Cynthia Nyquist, Amanda Edge, and Brittany Cathey

6 Dale and Courtney Dickerson

7 Roy Heatherly, Brittany McNamara, Jimmy Cusano, Amanda Edge, Josh Etheridge, and DJ Fortenberry

8 Tabia Perry and Angela Grubbs

1 3 5 7 4 6 8 2

White Claw® Hard Seltzer

Made Pure®

“THE DIFFERENCE IS CLEAR,” THE WHITE CLAW VODKA + Soda packaging reads, “At White Claw, we’re relentless in our passion to bring you unrivaled taste. We’ve invented a unique process to make a smoother vodka + soda. Made with the world’s first Triple Wave Filtered Vodka then blended with real fruit juice and sparkling water to deliver a vodka + soda of unparalleled refreshment.”

White Claw Vodka Sodas will be released in four flavors, Peach, Wild Cherry, Pineapple, and Watermelon. In a new move for White Claw, these vodka sodas will contain real fruit juice. Each can comes in at 100 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates. They are also glutenfree. The alcohol content of these vodka sodas is 4.5% ABV. This is a break from White Claw’s previous standard of 5% ABV for its drinks. When will these drinks launch? So far, White Claw has released no information on when it plans to launch its new line of vodka sodas. All we know is that these drinks are “coming soon.” If the brand launches its vodka sodas as it did its line of vodka spirits, the drinks may be available in your local store before White Claw makes a single announcement online. We can only cross our fingers and toes that “coming soon” means that these vodka sodas will be coming very soon.

White Claw fits into the “work hard, play hard” mentality of many young professionals, there weren’t any good options for a light and refreshing gluten-free drink that wasn’t either too sweet or too alcoholic. “Alcoholic beverages and healthy alternatives don’t always go hand-in-hand but White Claw fuses convenience, refreshment and subtle flavor to deliver a drink that’s considerably lighter than a cocktail or beer,” said Sanjiv Gajiwala, vice president of marketing, White Claw Hard Seltzer. “Serving as a step away from high-sugar sodas and mixers, White Claw is a shift into a lighter, all natural, better-for-you alcoholic beverage – defining a whole new category for those who want to enjoy life and have fun while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.” The 5% ABV White Claw Hard Seltzer is available in five minimally sweet flavors with zero aftertaste:

Natural Lime – Similar to the crispness of a vodka + soda, natural lime delivers the ultimate refreshment to quench your thirst on a hot summer day without the hassle of mixing your own drink.

Black Cherry – Just as black cherries thrive in sunlight, the pre-mixed seltzer with all natural black cherry flavors comes in a convenient can that can be cracked open wherever the outdoors may take you.

Ruby Grapefruit – The tart and tangy natural flavors packs a punch of antioxidants making White Claw a refreshing post-Yoga sip.

Mango - This hard seltzer is the perfect blend of seltzer water, their Brew Pure alcohol, and a splash of natural mango fruit concentrate. We hope you enjoy the mango flavor

Raspberry - A masterful blend of pure seltzer water, their proprietary BrewPure alcohol and a kiss of raspberry to bring together a refreshing and thirst quenching hit at your next family gathering.

Watermelon - Delight in the delicate taste of fresh Watermelon. This sweet and refreshing flavor is complemented by the pure refreshment of White Claw® Hard Seltzer.

Lemon - Only select varieties of lemon are carefully handpicked to create this classic. We use cold pressed zest from our lemons to release our juicy lemon aroma and taste — a fresh twist on your favorite flavor.

Tangerine - Experience all the joy of biting into a fresh Tangerine, with a smooth, clean tasting finish. This citrus flavor is bursting with the fruit’s fan favorite taste and natural sweetness.

Strawberry - White Claw® Strawberry balances the taste of fresh, ripe strawberries with just the right amount of sweetness. With a crisp, clean finish, this juicy flavor is both refreshing and sessionable.

Blackberry - Experience the crisp taste of ripe blackberries in this sessionable spin on White Claw®. This refreshing flavor strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and tartness.

White Claw Hard Seltzer takes its inspiration from the legend of the White Claw wave - when three perfect crests come together to create a moment of pure refreshment. We set out to make something as pure, refreshing and natural as this. The result? White Claw Hard Seltzer. Made Pure.

Locally, Marsala Beverage employs about 100 full-time employees. Marsala Beverage, LP is the largest malt beverage, wine/spirits and non-alcoholic distributor in Northeast Louisiana. Their success is based on the fact that they never lose sight of delivering what is really important – quality products, timely service and a genuine concern for our customers’ needs. Annually, they deliver over 2.4 million cases of beverages to over 700 retail accounts.

Please find us at or follow us on social media: Facebook: Marsala Beverage, Twitter: @marsalabeverag1 and Instagram: @marsalabeverage


Fashion Fusion 2023

Fashion Fusion 2023 was held Saturday, March 11th at the Monroe Civic Center. Models walked the runway in local boutique fashions, all to benefit the Cancer Foundation League. The event was produced by DBK Dance and Performing Arts. Participating boutiques included Ruston Golf Company, A Browsing Affair, Blush by Elle, Fleet Feet, Just Peachy, Lola Jane, Monogramming Gypsy, Patton’s, Cara’s, Dusty & Company, Eleven 26, Blue Line Boutique and Little Blue, Hemline, Rustico, CW Designs, HerringStone’s, The Nude Nomad, Max Porter Provisions and Ron Alexander Clothiers for Men. The Cancer Foundation League provides direct financial assistance to individuals diagnosed with cancer and everyone stood and applauded the cancer survivors as they walked the runway and closed the show.

On the BayouScene

1 Seaira Searcy and Jenna Justice

2 Addey Stegall, Emmie Eason and Mickayla Knight

3 Kylie Banks and Brintley Kitchingham

4 Heather Guilliot, Kim Essex, Mackenzie Grassi, Brittany Bourg, Holly Nichols, Malissa Ring, and Malinn Vogt

5 Seaira Searcy, Rachel Morris and Leann Watson

6 Ashlyn Underwood, Bella Fontana, Celia Jones, and Brintley Kitchingham

7 Shelby Weaver, Kaleigh Cain, Emorie Adams, Emily Blackard, and Maddie Painich

8 Jennifer Dosett and Ellie Dyess

9 Theresa Lawson, Sarah Marie Littleton and Jill Keifenheim

10 Caitlin Brown, Emory Johnson, Grace Crowder, Kylie Cichocki and Hannah Ivey

11 Christine Monk, Alexia Robinson and Neha Manning

12 Alex Watts, Sarah Kennedy, Presley Head and Emily Garrett

13 Anna Coplen, Julie Yess, Milleigh Gabb and Jordin Garrison

14 Ava Leoty, Grace Hale, Abbi George and Gracie Tichenor

15 Christina Nguyen, Courtney Marsala and Alyssa Glenn

16 India McCoy, Stacy Gibson, Dusty Teer and Tiffany Marrow

17 Jessica Pollard, Bella Banks, Maleah Fortenberry, Lily Walker, Madison Barrios, Christina Nguyen, Breanna Bass and Kennedy Sullivan

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 12 9 10 11 8 13 14 15 16 17

Brighter Days with Vitamin C

St. Francis Medical Spa

NATIONAL VITAMIN C DAY ON APRIL 4TH EACH year reveals why vitamin C is essential for skin health. The antioxidant properties found in vitamin C help protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by daily exposure to light, heat, and pollution. In addition to antioxidant protective benefits, vitamin C improves signs of aging and photodamage to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles while firming and brightening your complexion. Since the benefits of vitamin C in your skincare are endless, we will be celebrating the entire month of April. Each week we will highlight our favorite vitamin C products. The product for each week will include discounts or a gift with purchase options. Be certain to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all things vitamin C this month.


The neck and décolleté is often neglected in our daily skincare routine. Left unsupported, stressors like tech neck and sun exposure break down elastin, resulting in signs of aging skin including, horizontal lines, sagging, crepiness, discoloration and uneven skin tone. There are corrective treatments such as laser, or skin tightening, but prevention and maintenance are just as important. Why not protect your investment? Using quality products at home to prevent and maintain your results is the best way to do so.

Back by popular demand, we are offering our radiofrequency (RF) neck and product bundle! Purchase three RF neck treatments and ELASTIderm neck and decollete for only $400 ($925 value) during the month of April.

The ELASTIderm Neck and Décolleté Concentrate contains the same patented Bi-Mineral Complex found in the ELASTIderm eye cream and facial serum. The Bi-Mineral Complex supports skin elasticity, by promoting the development of healthy elastin. In addition, the concentrate contains retinoid and arbutin, decreasing fine lines, wrinkles, and brightening uneven skin tone. What make this product even better is the rollerbar application, encouraging microcirculation and dispersing of the serum evenly! This product helps to restore firmness, elasticity and even skin tone, while caring for the delicate skin of the neck and décolleté. We are certain you will love this product.


Reset your body to burn fat and power life possible with the Ideal Protein 3-phase weight loss protocol, now available at The Medical Spa.

What is the Ideal Protein Weight Loss protocol? The protocol addresses weight issues at their source; reducing carbohydrates and fats while ensuring adequate daily protein intake. The goal is to lose fat, not muscle. The three phases of the protocol are designed to help you set, achieve and maintain weight loss goals. During the weight loss phase of the protocol, we limit carbohydrate intake to encourage the body to turn to its fat stores for energy.

Following weight loss, the next two phases of the protocol involve personal coaching to help you develop smarter eating habits and lifestyle choices. The knowledge learned through coaching will help you maintain your weight after weight loss is achieved. The Medical Spa team is excited to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Contact us to schedule your consultation.


Frankie Wheeler acts as front office coordinator for The Medical Spa. She was raised in Louisiana and attended ULM where she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Frankie enjoys assisting patients with questions about aesthetic treatments and skincare products. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

Be sure to come by The Medical Spa this month to take advantage of our specials, events, and to find out more about the medical grade skincare products offered here! We are in the James R. Wolff Building (also known as the P&S Building) in downtown Monroe. Our address is 312 Grammont Street Suite 406, across from St. Francis Medical Center. Also, be certain to follow The Medical Spa by St. Francis Medical Group on Facebook and Instagram to stay up today on our weekly specials, sales, promotions, and giveaways.

30% 20% 15% 10%
The right strengths to keep you 100%

Do You Need Ankle Replacement?

YOUR FEET AND ANKLES BEAR THE BRUNT OF YOUR entire body weight… they allow you to walk and dance and they are an amazing option to get you from one place to another. Over time, osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis that results with age), post traumatic arthritis (arthritis from past injury of the joint) and/or rheumatoid arthritis (a system-wide arthritis that affects your joints) can cause pain, inflammation and stiffness that can make walking difficult. Your mind may be saying let’s get up and go, but your joints are saying something completely different.

Most of my patients initially come to see me because foot and ankle pain has begun to interrupt their daily activities. After an evaluation, we begin to talk about options. If the patient has mild to moderate arthritis, it is best to initially consider nonsurgical options:

• Special shoe and foot inserts

• Pain and anti-inflammatory medications

• Physical therapy

• Corticosteroid injections

If pain persists after conservative treatments, it may be time to consider surgical options. If the arthritis has not progressed severely, arthroscopic debridement maybe be a choice. If the arthritis is severe, end-stage, then it may be time to consider ankle fusion or ankle replacement. All the choices have risks and benefits. Before considering any of these surgical options, it’s super important that I have an honest conversation with my patient about their expectations following surgery, while considering their lifestyle, age, health and current activity level. So, let’s talk about ankle replacement versus ankle fusion.


Ankle replacement (ankle arthroplasty) surgery is the replacement of the ankle joint with an artificial implant that is made of metal and a high performing plastic. The ankle joint (tibiotalar joint) is where your shinbone (tibia) rests on top of the foot, the talus. As arthritis progresses, the smooth cartilage on the surface of your bones can wear away. You may be told you are “bone on bone.” Ankle replacement requires the bone to grow into the artificial joint, so that the new joint can work properly. If this does not take place, complications could incur that include ankle weakness, stiffness and instability. Following ankle replacement, patients typically will regain a greater range of motion and are able to return their active lifestyles quickly. On average, the patient will wear a cast and be non-weight bearing for three to six weeks to be followed by

physical therapy. Recent studies show that the artificial ankle prothesis has a lifespan of 10+ years. The recovery period for ankle replacement is typically shorter than it is for ankle fusion. Ankle replacement is most often considered when patients want to continue their active lifestyles and are typically over age 50 and in overall good health without compromising comorbidities.


Ankle fusion (arthrodesis) is more common than ankle replacement. Ankle fusion involves cleaning out the worn-out ankle joint and fusing bones together with screws, plates, and bone grafts. During the healing process, the bones fuse into one combined bone. Ankle fusion is successful with relieving ankle pain due to arthritis, but it does reduce the ankle joint’s ability to move causing other joints to compensate to allow for movement. The stress on the other joints can eventually result in arthritis in those joints. Following an ankle fusion, patients spend 10-12 weeks in a cast, but because the ankle joint is “locked” into place, physical therapy is rarely part of the recovery process. Ankle fusion is most often considered when patients want to be done with their ankle pain or for those in which total ankle replacement is not an option: those who are overweight, have a condition that has resulted in nerve damage, paralysis, a history of infection, diabetes or avascular necrosis. Some patients who have ankle fusion may be candidates for ankle replacement surgery to restore motion and function.

When determining what option is best for you, it is best to weigh the pros and cons with your orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon. Not every procedure is best suited for every patient. After a careful review of your overall health, age, and activity level, you and your orthopedic surgeon can make a joint decision on whether ankle replacement or ankle fusion is the best and healthiest choice for you. Above all, I want to make sure that my patients are aware that I will do my best to ensure a successful surgery and the patient must do their best to play an active role in their healthy recovery… we’re a team and we have to work together toward the best possible outcome.

Stephen Cox. MD is a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in disorders of the foot and ankle. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cox or one of his partners at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana, please call or visit: (318)543-BONE or


Calendar of Events

For a full list of event happenings in Northeast Louisiana, see our website at

April 1-8

The Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum Easter Village

Have an EGG-citing time visiting the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum Easter Village during the first week of April! Visit with the Easter Bunny, decorate cookies, participate in the White House egg roll, and experience the bunny patch and GIANT chocolate bunny! Don’t miss the Bunny & Me Breakfast and Bunny Hut Workshop. Details for events are on their website.

Time: 10:00 AM 6:00 PM

Cost: $12.00 Per Ticket

Address: Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum | 323 Walnut Street, Monroe Phone: (318) 361-9611

April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Ruston Farmers Market

Shop, eat, and support local producers and creators every Saturday morning!

Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Ruston Farmers Marketplace | 220 E. Mississippi Ave. Ruston, LA 71270 Phone: (318) 957-130

April 1

North Louisiana Makers and Producers Spring Market

The spring market features arts, crafts, plants, and even baby goats!

Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Paramount Health Care Consultants Parking Lot | 1905 North 7th Street, West Monroe Phone: (318) 372-4753

Easter EGGstravaganza

The annual Easter EGGstravaganza is back at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo. Experience the magic of spring while encountering beautiful animals in an educational atmosphere! Food trucks, vendors, train and boat rides, an egg hunt, prizes and more will all be part of the fun!

Time: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Cost: $10.00 for Adults 13+. $6.00

for Kids 3-12. Free 2 & Under.

Address: 1405 Bernstein Park Road

Easter in the Village

Join the Village of Choudrant for Easter in The Village on April 1, 2023, at 10:30 A.M. in Village Park. There will be fun games and prizes for all ages! Local churches will be set up in the Origin Bank parking lot giving away a variety of different foods, drinks, and sweet treats. This event is free and all about family and fun, so don't miss out!

Time: 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: 3911 Elm Street, Choudrant

Phone: (318) 768-4111

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans!

Celebrate veterans with the VFW on April 1st! From 3:00-4:00 p.m. a free meal of pulled pork, potato salad, a roll, a drink, and a dessert will be given to all Vietnam veterans. This meal will be $5.00 for Non-Vietnam veterans. Later that evening, the Hands On band will be playing live from 7:00-11:00 p.m. Vietnam veterans get in free, and there will be a $10.00 cover for everyone else.

Time: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Address: VFW Rodney J Hobbs Post 1809 | 1499 Highway 594, Monroe Phone: (318) 345-4185

World Ballet Series: Cinderella

The magical World Ballet Series: Cinderella is coming to the Jack Howard Theatre at the Monroe Civic Center! An enchanting story for all ages with classical ballet, a touch of humor, and a "happily ever after."

This show includes a multinational cast of 40 professional ballet dancers with over 150 stunning hand-sewn costumes. The doors open at 6:00 PM and the show begins at 7:00 PM.

Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: Ticket Prices Vary

Address: Monroe Civic Center | 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe

Phone: (318) 329-2225

April 4

Drawn from the Bible Exhibit Opening

This Biedenharn exhibit features over 35 drawings and sketches illustrating Bible stories. Drawn from the Bible has works dating from a circa 1650 Italian drawing of the Holy Family to images drawn in 2010 and a piece by Henri Matisse. The drawings will be augmented with illustrated Bibles from the Biedenharn collection.

Time: 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Biedenharn Museum and Gardens | 2006 Riverside Drive, Monroe

Phone: (318) 387-5281

April 6

Downtown Art Gallery Crawl

The Downtown Art Gallery

Crawl is held bi-monthly on the first Thursday of that month in Downtown Monroe and West Monroe. This is an evening of art, food, music, and fun with friends!

Time: 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Downtown Monroe and West Monroe

April 8

Louisiana State Games Disc Golf

This event is taking place on the Blue and Green Course at Chennault Park. Divisons include: Novice, Juniors (under 18), Amateur (Men or Women Recreational Players-Masters, Grandmasters, and Seniors), Advanced (Men or Women- Masters, Grandmasters, and Seniors), Open (Men or WomenMasters, Grandmasters, and Seniors).

Address: Chennault Park Golf Course | 8475 Millhaven Road, Monroe Phone: (318) 805-6289

Children’s Funday

Children's Funday is back at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens! This is a craft activity for all children. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Cost: $5.00 Per Child. Free for Adult.

VAMN! – Visual Artist Meetup

Join the Black Creatives Circle of North Louisiana every 2nd Saturday of the month at The Sugar Gallery for regular discussions about art studio practice and history/ theory. Connect with artists and art enthusiasts alike.

Time: 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Cost: Free | Address: The Sugar Gallery | 135 Art Alley, Monroe

April 13

MercyMe- Always Only Jesus Tour

Are you ready for an amazing night with the Christian music band MercyMe? They are coming to Monroe for their Always Only Jesus Tour! Guest performers are Taya Gaukrodger and Micah Tyler. Get your tickets now before they are sold out!

Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: Ticket Prices Vary

Address: Jack Howard Theater | 401 Lea Joyner Expressway, Monroe Phone: (318) 329-2225

Queen of the Night: A Whitney Houston Tribute Forte Entertainment TX presents "Queen of the Night" - A Whitney Houston Tribute. The world's greatest tribute to "the Voice," Whitney Houston live in concert at The Dixie Theater for the Arts!

Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: $20.00-$35.00

Address: Dixie Center for the Arts | 212 N Vienna St, Ruston Phone: (318) 595-0872

April 13

Wine Over Water 2023

Sample foods from local restaurants, sip on wine and beer, enjoy live entertainment, or take a boat ride along the peaceful Bayou DeSiard at ULM's elegant Wine Over Water bridge party! Purchase a cork at the Cork Pull to take home a mystery bottle of wine. Attire is dressy casual. Have a deliciously fun evening featuring wine/beer and food pairings!

Time: 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM


Cost: $60.00

Address: University of Louisiana Monroe | 700 University Avenue, Monroe | Phone: (318) 342-5420

April 14-15

Monster Truck Nitro Tour

The nation's most competitive monster trucks are invading the Ike Hamilton Expo Center! There will be three separate monster truck shows all including racing, wheelie contests, and freestyle action. Kids get a free tour gift while supplies last at the Saturday matinee show.

Time: Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 1:30 PM and 7:30 PM.

Cost: Ticket Prices Vary

Address: Ike Hamilton Expo Center | 501 Mane Street, West Monroe Phone: (480) 773-6822

April 14

14th Annual Off the Wall

This is the area's premier art auction featuring a grand selection of art by talented artists in the community and from around the country. There will be an expanded bar and delicious food, as well as live music by Makeshift Tapedeck! The Bon Voyage Raffle will be held with a $3,000 cash prize up for grabs. An original painting created on-site at the event will also be raffled off.

Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: $50.00

Address: Masur Museum of Art | 1400 South Grand, Monroe Phone: (318) 329-2237

Elvis the Movie

Start off the weekend with a special viewing of the new Elvis movie, starring Austin Butler. Bring your Travis LeDoyt ticket and get half-off your movie tickets!

Time: 7:00 PM

Cost: $8.00

Address: Dixie Center for the Arts |

212 N Vienna St, Ruston, LA 71270 Phone: (318) 595-0872

April 15-16

2023 Miss Louisiana Outstanding Teen Pageant

The 2023 Miss Louisiana Outstanding Teen Pageant is April 15-16 at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Address: ULM | 700 University Avenue, Monroe Phone: (318) 372-0963

April 15-16

6th Annual Angels 4 Autism Softball


Don't miss the 6th Annual Angels 4 Autism Softball Tournament

April 15-16! Double point weekend plus All American Tryouts on Friday night. Two pool with double elimination. Age groups are 8U-High School. Address: Ouachita Sportsplex | 710 Holland Drive, Monroe

April 15

Dragon Boat Festival

The Best Dragons are on the Bayou! Get ready to witness 20 team members rowing in unison to the beat of a drum! The Dragon Boat Festival features lively competition between teams that the whole community will enjoy. This local fundraiser benefits the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana. Address: Bayou Desiard | 3430 Loop Road, Monroe

Phone: (318) 323-8775

Ouachita River 49er Race

The 5th Annual Ouachita River 49er Race is a 49-mile adventure down the beautiful Ouachita River! There are a range of classes to choose from and registration is now open. Proceeds will go to Louisiana Delta Adventures, a non-profit that promotes access and enjoyment of the many waterways in northeast Louisiana. The water is calling!

Time: 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Cost: $50.00 Registration Fee

Address: Lazarre Park | 703 South Riverfront, West Monroe Phone: (479) 721-8665

Spring Sip & Shop

Join Thirsty Farmer for an outdoor market Sip & Shop experience complimenting local artistic wares: wines & ciders, live music, and local market vendors to shop this spring! Outdoor live music with Danny Lee &amp; Dave 3:006:00 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs, no outside alcohol, and no pets.

Time: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Thirsty Farmer Winery & Vineyard | 531 State Highway 144, Calhoun Phone: (318) 267-5580

Paint Your Pet- Acrylic Painting Workshop

Are you an art lover and an animal lover? If so, paint your own pet with Sarah Howell of The Artsy Pet and Tracy Britt of Bless Your

Art. Learn color matching, blending skills, acrylic techniques, textues and more. The best part is, you can take your creation home with you to show your furry friend!

Time: 1:00 PM 3:00 PM

Cost: $60.00

Address: Art Alley Marketplace

Lagniappe Saturday- Dave Gore

Celebrate the afternoon with friends and family at Landry Vineyards! Listen to local live music by Dave Gore and enjoy wine tastings and tours. Food trucks will be on site and snacks will be available for purchase.

Time: 3:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Landry Vineyards | 5699 New Natchitoches Road, West Monroe, Phone: (318) 557-9050

Storytellers: Music of the Theater

The opera, the ballet, and the stage play are all represented, with a tone poem included to show the orchestra can tell a story too. John Hodges will be the conductor.

Time: 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Address: Church of the Redeemer | 715 Cypress Street, West Monroe Phone: (318) 812-6761

Travis LeDoyt

A Tribute to the King (Elvis Presley) by Travis LeDoyt, known as “the world’s best” at portraying young Elvis Presley in his prime in the 1950s and 60s. His uncanny resemblance to the “King of Rock and Roll” has audiences gasping when he takes the stage.

Time: 7:00 PM

Cost: $25.00-$30.00

Address: Dixie Center for the Arts | 212 N Vienna St, Ruston, LA 71270 Phone: (318) 595-0872

April 16, 30

Goat Yoga at the Farm

Goat Yoga at the Farm is back at Double BB Farms! This class is for people of all skill levels. Bring your yoga mat and dress for the outdoors. The class will be taught by Elizabeth Griffon and includes a tour of the farm.

Time: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Cost: $25.00

Address: Double BB Farms | 1816 Stubbs Vinson Road, Monroe

April 20-29

The Wedding Singer

It’s 1985, and rock star wannabe, Robbie Hart, is New Jersey’s favorite wedding singer. He’s the life of the party until his own fiance’ leaves him at the altar. Shot through the heart, Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own. Enter Julia, a winsome waitress who wins his affection. As luck would have it, Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark, and, unless Robbie can pull off the performance of a decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever.

Time: Showings are April 20-23 and 27-29. Times are Thursday-Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. No showings on April 24-26.

Cost: $50.00

Address: Strauss Theatre Center | 1300 1/2 Lamy Lane, Monroe Phone: (318) 323-6681

April 21-22

Ballet Under the Stars: Louisiana Hayride

What could be better than a beautifully inspiring performance under the starlit sky in Kiroli Park? Food trucks will be on site at 6:00 p.m. and the performaces start at 7:00 p.m. A public performance (free with admission of $5.00 per car) will be held Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: $25.00 General Admission. $10.00 Children (3-11). Children Under 3 Free.

Address: Kiroli Park, West Monroe Phone: (318) 388-3011

April 21-23

USA BMX Cajun Nationals

The USA BMX Cajun Nationals is happening at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center April 21-23. These fierce BMX races will be unforgettable!

Time: Friday at 1:30 PM. Saturday at 9:00 AM. Sunday at 8:00 AM.

Address: Ike Hamilton Expo Center | 501 Mane Street, West Monroe

April 21

Biedenharn Garden Symposium

A day fully devoted to gardening on the grounds of the Biedenharn's Elsong Gardens. Gardening experts Jessica Russell and Paige Mizell will share their knowledge and expertise on the ways of gardening. Alan Futch will teach about floral designs and arrangements. Lunch will be catered.

Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Cost: $70.00 Registration Fee

Address: Biedenharn Museum and


Gardens | 2006 Riverside Drive, Monroe | Phone: (318) 387-5281

H2 Go Friday Night Lights- Open Paddle

This FNL, H2 Go will be paddling up Bayou DeSiard from the Frenchman's Bend bridge toward Sterlington. This is an out-and-back paddle and will wrap up around dark. Enjoy this evening on the water!

Time: 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Address: Frenchman's Bend Road Boat Ramp | 646 LA-134, Monroe

The Price is Right Live Come on down to the Price is Right Live in Monroe at the Jack Howard Theater. Get a chance to win cash and prizes at this interactive stage production of the longest running game show in television history!

Time: 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Cost: Ticket Prices Vary

Address: Jack Howard Theater | 401 Lea Joyner Expressway, Monroe Phone: (318) 329-2225

April 22

Woofstock 23

This event will have specialty pet vendors, arts and crafts, boutiques, bakeries, Louisiana made products, woodworking, produce, sustainable products, face painters, and more for the 8th year of NELA's largest one day pet festival.

This year Woofstock 23 is combining with Bloody Mary Fest and Earth Day. Bloody Mary Fest is a competition between local groups,

nonprofits, and individuals bringing their best recipe to compete for awards. Earth Day family activities will be centered around having fun and exploring the outdoors!

Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Cost: $2.00

Address: Kiroli Park | 820 Kiroli Road, West Monroe

7th Annual Empty Bowls

Join the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana for an afternoon of food, art and music at the 7th Annual Empty Bowls event! With the price of an event ticket, guests can choose a beautiful bowl made by a local artist to take home as a reminder of all of the empty bowls in our community.

Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Cost: Ticket Prices Vary

Address: Monroe Civic Center | 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expy, Monroe Phone: (318) 322-3567

NEDHSA Art is Therapy Festival

NEDHSA will host its first ever Art Is Therapy Festival at the Downtown Rivermarket on April 22. Learn how to use art as therapy!

Time: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Downtown River Market | 316 South Grand Street, Monroe Phone: (318) 362-4623

The Voices of Don Hathaway

On January 13th, 1979, the world lost Donny Hathaway, one of its greatest musicians and singers. In Robert King Jr.'s new thoughtprovoking musical, he introduces us

to a side of Donny Hathaway we've never seen before. The musical suggests that the night prior to Donny's jump off of the 15th story of the Essex House Hotel he had a conversation at the bar with a fictional character by the name of Pamela Robinson. Pamela asks Donny what songs he would perform if he knew that he had one last time to perform. Conjuring up a band we are taken into Donny's hallucination of that final concert.

Time: 7:00 PM

Cost: $20.00-$30.00

Address: Dixie Center for the Arts | 212 N Vienna St, Ruston

April 28

Ouachita Live Concert

Join Downtown West Monroe at Ouachita Live! With great local food trucks and great music, it's sure to be a great time! Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: Free | Address: Alley Park | 250 Trenton Street, West Monroe

April 29-30

Piney Hills Classic MTB Festival

Piney Hills Classic is the longestrunning MTB in the South. The festival takes place in the beautiful Lincoln Parish Park. The race and trail earned the distinguished status of “NORBA Classic” over a decade ago. Register online today to participate in this epic event!

Time: 8:00 AM | Cost: $10.00-$45.00

Address: 211 Parish Park Rd, Ruston Phone: (601) 720-0297

April 29

Live Well Delta Music, food, health vendors, and fun activities for the whole family will be provided at this year's Live Well Delta event presented by the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and Healthy Blue. There will also be free cancer screenings. Appointment sign up is required. Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM | Cost: Free

Address: Monroe Civic Center, Monroe | Phone: (318) 414-9758

Kid's Comic Cupcake Class

If you love both sweet treats and comic books, then this class taught by The Little Sweet Shoppe and Bless Your Art is for you! Kids will become superheroes in the kitchen by learning skills such as coloring buttercream, filling a piping bag, and the comic decorating technique.

Time: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Cost: $25.00 Per Ticket

Address: Art Alley Marketplace

Phone: (318) 547-1611

KOJ Annual Crawfish Boil

The Krewe of Janus is having their annual crawfish boil and tickets are just $35.00 for all you can eat! They are also looking for new members, and if you join at the crawfish boil, membership dues will be reduced by the cost of the ticket.

Time: 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Cost: $35.00 for Non-Members

Address: Krewe of Janus Float Den | 901 Louisville Avenue, Monroe Phone: (318) 348-6000

Texas Guitar Quartet at the Dixie Formed in 2009, GRAMMY™nominated Texas Guitar Quartet has been hailed as “Impeccable in every respect” by Classical Guitar Magazine. Throughout the United States, Central America, Spain, and China, audiences have embraced the quartet for their daring programs, dazzling virtuosity, and joyful musicmaking.

Time: 7:00 PM | Cost: $10.00-$30.00

Address: Dixie Center for the Arts | 212 N Vienna St, Ruston, LA 71270 Phone: (318) 595-0872

April 30

BLEND on the Bayou 2023

Returning to the banks of the Ouachita River, it's northeast Louisiana's premiere food, wine, and arts festival, BLEND. This festival features local men and women who cook, local legendary restaurant chefs, live music, drinks by local sponsors, and a silent auction of works by Region 8 artists. Awards will be given to "Best of BlendRestaurant" and "Best of BlendHome Cook." No one under the age of 21 is permitted to attend.

Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Address: Downtown River Market | 316 South Grand Street, Monroe Phone: (318) 397-6717


Articles inside

Travel on the Mind for the Mind article cover image
Travel on the Mind for the Mind
pages 8-9
Wine Over Water article cover image
Wine Over Water
pages 10-11
Sip and Savor article cover image
Sip and Savor
pages 12-13
Louisiana Delta Community College article cover image
Louisiana Delta Community College
pages 14-15
A Match Made In Heaven article cover image
A Match Made In Heaven
pages 16-19
Spring Has Sprung At Sonny Panzico’s article cover image
Spring Has Sprung At Sonny Panzico’s
pages 28-29
Alumni Spotlight article cover image
Alumni Spotlight
pages 32-33
“All the Ugly and Wonderful Things” article cover image
“All the Ugly and Wonderful Things”
pages 34-37
IN THE GARDEN article cover image
pages 38-39
KIDS AND CLUTTER article cover image
pages 40-41
pages 42-43
DIAL IN VOLUME 2 article cover image
pages 44-45
Shop Small, Shop Oak Grove article cover image
Shop Small, Shop Oak Grove
pages 46-47
Neville’s Top Tigers article cover image
Neville’s Top Tigers
pages 48-50
Fishing With Kenny article cover image
Fishing With Kenny
pages 50-52
Meredith’s Musings article cover image
Meredith’s Musings
pages 52-53
I REMEMBER article cover image
pages 54-56
BAYOU EATS article cover image
page 57
BAYOU EATS article cover image
pages 58-60
Foot Health Awareness Month article cover image
Foot Health Awareness Month
page 61
Revival Design and Consign article cover image
Revival Design and Consign
page 62
Patient Credits Dr. Walter Sartor for Saving Her Life article cover image
Patient Credits Dr. Walter Sartor for Saving Her Life
page 63
Adrenal Cocktails article cover image
Adrenal Cocktails
pages 64-65
Doggone Pet Waste Removal article cover image
Doggone Pet Waste Removal
page 66
Look and Feel Your Best This Spring article cover image
Look and Feel Your Best This Spring
page 67
ANN CLINE article cover image
pages 68-72
BAYOU ICON article cover image
pages 73-74
Regain Your Confidence article cover image
Regain Your Confidence
page 75
Found the Perfect Home? article cover image
Found the Perfect Home?
page 76
Bayou Dental Group Improve Your Appearance, Improve Your Life article cover image
Bayou Dental Group Improve Your Appearance, Improve Your Life
page 77
BAYOU PROFILE article cover image
pages 78-80
Special Deliveries at Morehouse General article cover image
Special Deliveries at Morehouse General
page 81
Independent Living Cottages article cover image
Independent Living Cottages
page 82
Treating Seasonal Allergies article cover image
Treating Seasonal Allergies
page 83
Our View On Your Best Bet article cover image
Our View On Your Best Bet
page 84
Overactive Bladder Interfering With Your Life? article cover image
Overactive Bladder Interfering With Your Life?
page 85
BAYOU PROFILE article cover image
pages 86-90
Where’s My Mojo? article cover image
Where’s My Mojo?
page 91
HEY, HONEY article cover image
pages 93-95
Tips for Traveling article cover image
Tips for Traveling
pages 96-97
Sharing Their Journey Within STEM article cover image
Sharing Their Journey Within STEM
page 98
6th Annual Women’s Symposium article cover image
6th Annual Women’s Symposium
page 99
Brown Bag Concert Series article cover image
Brown Bag Concert Series
page 100
The Hawkeye Earns Honors article cover image
The Hawkeye Earns Honors
page 101
Conservative Christian Republican article cover image
Conservative Christian Republican
pages 102-103
BAYOU PROFILE article cover image
pages 104-108
Serious on Flavor, Light on Serious article cover image
Serious on Flavor, Light on Serious
page 109
PRINTEMPS EN FLEURS article cover image
pages 110-114
Protect What’s Precious article cover image
Protect What’s Precious
pages 115-118
Monroe Chamber of Commerce 102nd Annual Banquet article cover image
Monroe Chamber of Commerce 102nd Annual Banquet
page 119
White Claw® Hard Seltzer article cover image
White Claw® Hard Seltzer
page 120
Fashion Fusion 2023 article cover image
Fashion Fusion 2023
page 121
Brighter Days with Vitamin C article cover image
Brighter Days with Vitamin C
pages 122-123
Do You Need Ankle Replacement? article cover image
Do You Need Ankle Replacement?
pages 124-125
Calendar of Events article cover image
Calendar of Events
pages 126-131