BayouLife Magazine October 23

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These apple cider doughnuts are a delightful autumn treat, with their warm, maple glazed coating and hint of tangy apple flavor that perfectly captures the essence of the season.


Block print fabrics showcases intricate designs that will add a touch of artistry to any textile project from pillow to lamp shades.


Create and inviting and cozy space by incorporating natural materials, and vintage-inspired elements into your home’s décor.


Looking for a drink you can cozy up with on an autumn night? This variation of a Moscow mule combines fresh ginger and apple cider for a perfect fall cocktail.


From sleek serving pieces to elegant décor, marble exudes luxury and sophistication. Elevate your aesthetic appeal with these fabulous finds from local retailers.



These four libraries are the epitome of an inspired spaces, they’re a sanctuary for bookworms and a gateway to countless worlds.


APRIL 2018

Set a spooky scene this Halloween with eerie candlelights, wickedly whimsical centerpieces and hauntingly beautiful black and orange decorations.


Whether you spotted her slinging lattes and cappuccinos at the café where she baristas or selling her creations at a local art market, you could probably tell at first glance that Melissa Stroud marches to her own drumbeat.


In December 2020, the home went through its latest purchase and renovation with Trott Hunt, great-grandson of TL James, and his wife Karen Hunt.


Chuck Fontenot recently opened a second location of the successful restaurant he and his wife started in Columbia, LA



Not everyone knows exactly what he wants to be when he grows up, but Tim Brandon (AIA, LEED GA, and president and founder of TBA Studio Architecture) did. He has always wanted to be an architect, even as a child.



The prep revolution is in full swing this fall. Sweater vests, tweed coats, buttondown shirts and scarves take center stage this season. Find this and other great looks at area boutiques.

30 86 OCTOBER 2023 130

Time for fall, ya’ll. Now we just need for the weather to pick up on that cue. September went by in a blur, my kids have started travel ball again, so that means that between producing a magazine, I am running people to multiple ballparks all week long. I may complain about my weekends being full from now until mid-November, but I do love watching them play.

We all attended one of my favorite events recently, Twin City Ballet’s Lip Sync Battle – and this year’s contestants did not disappoint! I am so impressed with the talent that we have in our community. Kim Essex was phenomenol as Janet Jackson, Lauren Creekmore rocked Janet Jackson, Lisa Miller couldnt’ have been a better Sandra Dee, Kelsea from the Strop was amazing, Ashley Hubenthal made the lights go out in Monroe... really, everyone that performed was impressive.

This month is our October home issue, and along with features on some of our favorite home libraries, readers will find spooktacular décor and delicious drink recipes.

Not everyone knows exactly what he wants to be when he grows up, but Tim Brandon (AIA, LEED GA, and president and founder of TBA Studio Architecture) did. He has always wanted to be an architect, even as a child. Today, he is living that dream. After working a number of years as a practicing architect, Tim established his own architectural firm, TBA Studio Architecture. Today that company and the talented team he assembled are recognized as among the very best in the country. In 2023 TBA Studio Architecture was named by Build Magazine as Best Education Architecture Design Firm 2023 and Best Elementary School Rebuild Design


1201 Royal Avenue Monroe, LA 71201 Phone 318.855.3185


PUBLISHER & OWNER Cassie Livingston

2023 in the Southern United States, and National Firm of the Year by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). We are fortunate to have Tim playing a vital role in the growth of our region. Because of his incredible business success and the positive energy that he brings to literally everything, Tim Brandon is our October 2023 BayouIcon. Read his story on page 136.

Chuck Fontenot, owner of Fontenot’s Cajun Way, hails from Eunice, the “prairie” Cajun capital of Louisiana. A proud Cajun living in Columbia, he remembers fondly the patchwork of his youth, like his father not learning to speak English until he was a teenager, the pressing value of respecting elders, and the lighthearted approach to neighbors and strangers alike. Read about his journey and the opening of his second restaurant on page 129.

Check out this month’s fashion shoot on page 142. We love the prep revival and Georgia Faith Hill knocks these looks out of the park. Thank you to our special friends who pulled together and let us shoot in their neighborhood.

We hope you enjoy reading this month’s issue of BayouLife Magazine. Have a great Halloween and remember to shop local!





Katelyn McAllister

Courtney Thomas

Cait Wise

ART DIRECTOR Taylor Bennett



Darian Atkins

Dan Chason

Kenny Covington

Shannon Dahlum

Cindy Gist Foust

Starla Gatson

Kerry Heafner

Paul Lipe

Erin Love

Meredith McKinnie

Val Irion, MD

Delia Simpson

Beatrice A. Tatem

Vanelis Rivera

Guy Miller

Georgiann Potts

Tom Faber


Darian Atkins

Taylor Coleman


The TL James House in Ruston

Photography by Kelly Moore Clark BayouLife

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.

Louisiana Delta Community College

Start Here, Go Anywhere!

TODAY’S AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR SHOP “AIN’T YOUR granddaddy’s shop” for sure! They have sophisticated computerized equipment to analyze and repair our growing technologically-engineered vehicles. That’s not to say there isn’t some degree of work with greasy parts and tools and sometimes working in uncomfortable positions. Automotive mechanic careers used to be a learn-on-the-job occupation, but now, dealerships and service shops prefer that automotive service technicians and mechanics complete a program at a postsecondary institution.

That’s the journey ahead for the many students bustling around the Louisiana Delta Community College shop. Robert Jordan is the instructor for the Automotive Technology Program. Jordan says he keeps a full roster of students. Some seem to love it so much that they choose to be present when they don’t have to be. Student Luke Trisler says one of the things he loves about his automotive classes is that there are students in the class with varying degrees of knowledge and experience. He explains, “That’s great because we get to also learn from one another.” Trisler says Jordan goes over just about everything in the book, everything under the hood.” Regarding Jordan, Trisler says, “He doesn’t just teach you what you’re going to be doing but what you could be doing later down the line.”

“Luke is a special one,” shares Jordan. “He’s disciplined and listens well.” When Trisler first started in the automotive program, he was a dual enrollment student, meaning he was still in high school while taking college courses. Trisler’s commitment to learning his craft paid off when Jordan recommended him for a two-week apprenticeship program in Ryan Chevrolet’s Service Department under the tutelage of Steve Lawrence, Service Director. Jordan explains, “Students learn the basics in the classroom, but the apprenticeships give them the added skills needed in the industry.” For this reason, Jordan maintains an extensive list of partners.

For Lawrence, this is an answer to prayer. He says, “We have a difficult time finding employment candidates with these skills.” As Jordan sends the best of his students to Lawrence, he gets to determine the ones that will complement the culture he’s building. While students are in the apprenticeship period, Lawrence says he puts them with multiple people learning various skills. He checks in with his people

throughout the two weeks to see how the student is working out and if his people feel like the student would make a great fit. If the consensus is yes, then Lawrence says they will put the student under a twentyfour-month program where they do GM training and learn to use the latest in GM technology. Ryan Chevrolet even provides tools while in the program. This program also comes with benefits.

Trisler proved worthy of Ryan Chevrolet’s investment. He completed his apprenticeship and was hired shortly thereafter. He’s looking forward to all he’ll learn in the next twenty-four months as he goes through the GM training. Trisler is living his dream. “As a kid, I thought about the normal little kid stuff I wanted to be when I grew up: a firefighter or an astronaut, stuff like that. It was pretty recently that I realized, like, Oh! I can do this as a job, and I can make money knowing these things. That was a good day!” laughs Trisler.

Recalling his younger self, Trisler remembers often working on the family cars with his dad. This experience gave Trisler some knowledge of vehicles, but times have advanced since then. After deciding to pursue auto mechanic technology as a career, Trisler placed his sights on LDCC. “Coming to Louisiana Delta Community College was a really cost-effective way of getting to that goal,” explains Trisler.

Although the love for working on vehicles was present for Trisler, he had no idea what type of salary he could earn with his skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for automotive service technicians and mechanics was $46,970 in May 2022. Trisler is excited about his future as a technician and going to work for Ryan Chevrolet. “I wasn’t expecting everything I’m getting,” he says. “Three thousand dollars’ worth of tools, good pay, really nice benefits, and oh yeah! A laptop! I’ve never had one of those!” Trisler shares, “The fact that this happened for me says a lot about Mr. Jordan’s reputation for being a good teacher. They hired me before I was even finished with school.

Trisler hasn’t completed his program at LDCC, and he’s required to do so as part of his package deal with Ryan Chevrolet. “The bulk of what Trisler has left to do is online work, so at this point, he can easily honor his commitment on both sides,” explains Jordan.

If you’re interested in the automotive technician program, look us up online at



The Sport Mom Edition

IAM A SPORT MOM AND I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! I will say it loud and proud, and I know that there are so many more moms and dads who feel the same way! Sure, there are days and weeks that I am exhausted, but there is just something so thrilling and satisfying about watching your child excel at a sport. What no one told me is that there are so many different situations and mishaps that will come your way during a typical ball season. Let me give you a few examples:

• Teammate steps on sunglasses and breaks them. The sun is shining bright and right in the girls’ faces. We are in the outfield next!

• One second the sun is shining and the next a random, unpredicted downpour occurs.

• You get to a field you have never been to and there is no cover, no shade, and the only space available to sit is the hard, cold bleachers.

• You are down by 1, in the last inning, and your best pitcher has a headache.

• It is a blistering hot day and the turf is registering a temperature of 125 degrees.

• A ball from the field behind is fouled and it knocks one of the parents in the head.

• There is a four hour break until the next game, but you can’t leave in case it starts earlier than scheduled.

I can go on and on, but you get the point. There are so many mishaps that can occur and , for one, will be prepared for them. Don’t you want to be prepared, too? Now that I have lived through being a softball and baseball mom for at least one full year, I can give you tips and tricks that may save you when disaster strikes.

Below I have broken the kit down into “large items” and “small items.” I carry most of this at all times but exchange items based on weather forecast and the sport complex that we will be playing in.


• Folding chair

• Stadium seat

• Tent

• Blanket

• Ice chest

• Large umbrella

• Wagon – to carry all of this stuff!

• Battery-operated fan/heater

• Weather pod


• Pens and pencils, black sharpie

• Scissors

• Phone chargers

• Sunglasses (extra pair for you) and sport sunglasses (extra pair for your child -or someone else’s child)

• Handheld fan

• Cooling towels or hand warmers

• Hat/cap/beanie (depending on weather)

• Rain jacket/poncho

I think that about wraps it up, but if I have forgotten something, I will be sure to update you on social media! Please let me know if you know of something I have forgotten! I can’t wait to hear from you!


• Small first aid kit (band aids, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, instant cold compress)

• Pain Reliever (adult AND children)

• Sunblock

• Deodorant

• Reusable insulated cups

• Pickle juice (for aches and dehydration)

• Pedialyte (for dehydration)

• Snacks – I always have Slim Jims (for protein), granola bars, fruit, and crackers

• Small bag of candy (for those who need an insulin boost)

• Playing cards and other small games or toys (for time in between games)

• Change of clothes and shoes (for your player)

• Paper towels

• Wet wipes

• Trash bag

• Potty wipes

• Small fingernail kit (clippers, file, cuticle trimmer)

• Antibacterial hand sanitizer

• Bug repellent

• Elastic hair bands and a hairbrush

• Notebook (for notes to yourself or someone else)

• Eye black

• Hand lotion

• Gum

• Cash – a lot of venues only accept cash

• Lip gloss/balm

• Stain remover pen

New Beginnings

It’s Official! Beef & Barrel is Now Open. Come See Us

FALL IS HERE AND WE CAN’T BE MORE EXCITED TO finally open our doors at our new location at 1030 North 6th Street! Washington Wine & Spirits is now officially Beef & Barrel. This new location was originally built in the 1930s or 40s as a grocery store, and has lived its life as several other things over the years, however now it comes full circle again and we’re going to tell you all about it.

The first thing you’ll notice when entering is a beautiful wine barrel, that was previously used to age bourbon, built right into the counter. This way you can put your money on the barrel head as the old saying goes. As you make your way past the foyer you’ll be greeted by bountiful shelves of spirits, food items, and wine all around you.

Old whiskey barrels from our past private selections line the ceiling like a rickhouse to showcase a history of our selections and to note where the brown stuff is in the store. We’ve expanded many of our offerings, and you’ll notice more options in every section. This is most evident when looking at gin, vodka, rum, and tequila. We’ve also expanded our options for making great cocktails at home. Having all this new space has allowed us to really organize these sections so that you can quickly find what you need with ease.

In the next section over we’ve brought in food items from across the country that will blow you away. We have special bourbon smoked seasonings from Bourbon Barrel Foods, hot sauces from Bayou Gotham, BBQ sauces from Lillie’s Q, and more. We have locally roasted coffee from Seventh Square, local jams and jellies from Current Farms, and specialty items from South Louisiana. There are too many things to list and be excited about.

Our wine selections have expanded and this will be most notable in our Old World offerings. We wanted to bring a wider selection from France, Spain, Italy, and more. You’ll find old favorites and new wines that are amazing values. Right at the front of this section is our tobacco room. In this room you’ll find a humidor with cigars, a record player, and beautiful accessories to go with them. You’re going to be blown away by the handcrafted ashtrays from Storcks Designs, and the exquisite designs of Tsubota Pearl lighters. There are some great and eco-friendly lighters from the USB Lighter Company that are rechargeable. This room also features an exposed

roof and brick to highlight the original grocery store’s history and see how the building has changed over the years.

At the very back you’ll notice our meat market. Yes, we are still selling the same meat featured on the menu at Doe’s Eat Place of Monroe, but this time it will be cut to order. We also have brought our favorite Cajun sausage maker, Best Stop, to Monroe. Their andouille and boudin are incredible! Just to the left of the meat market we have a beer cave, and whether you’re looking for domestic, craft, or import we think we’ll have you covered.

There is so much we could talk about but we want to thank everyone who has supported us over the years for your patience. We want this to be perfect. We love what we do, and that is made possible by you. This is an opportunity for us to bring more to you than ever before and host bigger events that were not possible in our old location. You can look forward to more tastings and events with expanded space.

We are still your Spirits Guides and will continue to bring you the service and passion that we’ve always given when we were Washington Wine & Spirits at Beef & Barrel.

1030 North 6th Street

Monroe, LA

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm


Autumn the Season of Resilience

Staying Mindful of Mental Health Through Seasonal Change

THE SEASON OF AUTUMN HAS ARRIVED. PERHAPS YOU were mentally and emotionally off to a running start and eagerly took a leap into the season. Maybe you were amongst those slow to embrace the changes of the season. Admittedly, I am one who eased into autumn. Quite frankly living in Northeast Louisiana where the temperatures were relentlessly hot until the final days of summer it was hard for me to acknowledge autumn’s arrival. Labor Day has come and gone, which is a signal for some to put away the white clothing of summer and pull out the transitional, darker, cozier clothing of fall. On a personal note, Labor Day was a day of labor I loved. It was a staycation in which I poured into myself, piddled around my home, connected with family and friends, communicated with those that are aways on my mind, who fuel my spirit, although I am unable to converse with them as much as I desire. The Labor Day weekend was a chance to pull out items to donate, to stop, take a deep breath, and reflect on the good that has occurred and offer thanks for the struggles that I and others have overcome…I believe overcoming challenges and struggles helps to make us each stronger and more resilient. Whether we are ready for it or not autumn is here and as with the other seasons of the year there are special qualities to the season. Autumn is known as the season for all senses. The many elements of autumn either intrinsically bring happiness/gratitude or elicit memories of past joy and perhaps challenges. It is an emotional time of the year filled with memories, traditions, customs, and occurrences associated with the season. Autumn is to be appreciated as a time when people transition emotionally, mentally, and physically. As the season changes, one may notice a shift in their mental health. Seasonal change can be described as energizing, peaceful, meaningful, fulfilling, and yet stressful and demanding. For some autumn is people begin to slow down and experience a decrease in energy level resulting in an increase in sleeping, difficulty waking up in the morning, greater degrees of depression and a shift in mood. Autumn is the time of year many elect to reset. It prompts the notion of recharging, settling in emotionally and physically, practicing self-care while affording one the opportunity to turn inward to hibernate with their inner self. I encourage clients particularly those with a history of mood shifts triggered by seasonal change to use this time to intentionally turn inward, to become reacquainted with self, to embrace desired features of self while reflecting on the aspects of life they want to change. The season of autumn is famous for its harvest times, cooler than summer temperatures, and environmental changes. Once referred to as the season of harvest, autumn in nature is representative of surviving, adapting, thriving, growth, change, and

resilience. Psychologists say the feelings often developed during the season of autumn stem from our discomfort with change, and anxiety about what that change will bring. The month of October houses World Mental Health Day, World Homeless Day, Depression Awareness Month, International Day of Non-Violence, Yom Kippur (a time of atonement), World Teachers Day, You Matter to Me Day, Celebration of the Mind Day, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Given the various national and worldwide events occurring this month I thought it fitting to acknowledge emotional and mental resilience. I am intrigued by resilience and how some people encounter and survive what others consider to be the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the incomprehensible, the unspeakable and despite adverse experiences can forge ahead in their lives. Over the years as a therapist my work has brought me figuratively and literally close to those who struggle emotionally and mentally, affording me the opportunity to be a voice for them; I remain inspired and in awe of the resilience I have witnessed. Almost daily I witness in my practice what the American Psychological Association defines as resilience or the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands. When I think of resilience, I think of the individuals who share their experiences as survivors of domestic violence, gun violence, depression, and mental illness (resulting far too often these days in suicide). I think of those who have endured and continue to endure racist and discriminatory teachings, rhetoric, and practices, and those experiencing social alienation, wrongful imprisonment, political manipulation, inadequate housing, oppressed educational systems and poor medical care.

This October, as you journey into autumn, make sure your mind has access to what it needs to be strengthened. Recognize the mental health benefits of the season and take measures to incorporate them in your life. Focus on building mental, emotional, physical, communal, and social resiliency. autumn is a good time to spend quality time with family and friends. Be mindful autumn is the harvest season and is associated with abundance, prosperity, and growth. Savor the season and all it has to offer and with the emotional, mental and physical energy and enthusiasm of a child who has just jumped into a freshly raked pile of leaves jump into the season of autumn ready, set, reset.

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



I’ll let you in on a little “behind the scenes” information. If you read my articles regularly you know I’ve been writing them for many years. If I could freely write about anything related to current or historical aviation, space or the military I could compose a new article every day for the rest of my life and not repeat any topics. But that is not how this works.

The editor of this magazine establishes a couple of themes that she associates with each month. I do my best to write something related to one of those themes. If I’m struggling with doing so, I search for something to write about that relates to the month itself.

As I reviewed my previous October articles and pondered what new topic I can write about for this current issue I suddenly heard the sound of freedom. From where I’m presently sitting I can hear the unmistakable roar of multiple jet engines on afterburner. I know six beautiful blue F/A-18 E and F Super Hornets are headed into the sky.

My wife and I have lived in Monroe for longer than anywhere else in my adult career or our respective parents’ carriers when growing up. We love Monroe, the people of NE Louisiana and the local culture. But with the flexibility of retirement, right now I am sitting near the waters of Pensacola Bay and the US Navy Flight Demonstration team has just taken off for another weekly practice of their full air show. Super Hornets do make a lot of noise- especially when they are right overhead!- but hearing them never fails to bring a thrill of patriotism. Watching them never grows old.

The US Navy, and to a lesser degree the US Marines, own and fly aircraft because they have one capability and mission that the US Air Force cannot perform. Naval Aviation projects sustained US and allied power, protects the free use of the seas

and supports related combat operations with its capability for the rapid response launch and recover air assets from carriers whose range is limited only by the extent of the oceans. I love and respect the US Air Force as the prime aviation force of our Nation but USAF pilots and their planes are not capable of landing on carriers or performing some critical missions with the same flexibility and responsiveness as carrier aircraft.

The United States by far maintains the world’s greatest concentration of carrierbased air power. It’s not even close. The US Navy currently has 20 aircraft carriers (11 for fixed wing and 9 for helicopters and vertical take-off aircraft. The nations with the next nighest number of carriers are France and Japan with four aircraft carriers each- 1 fixed, 3 helicopter and 4 helicopter respectively. China has three (2 and 1) and the remaining ten nations that own carriers have only one or two of some kind.

Our carrier-based air power capability more than almost anything else put us on the winning side of the War in the Pacific. It now offers both strategic and tactical fast and concentrated response to help deter subsequent major conventional conflicts and provides an unmatched humanitarian aid capability after natural or man-made disasters.

Although nations such as the United Kingdom and Japan began experimenting with carrier aviation earlier then the United States, the US Navy embraced aviation from almost the moment the Wright Brothers landed their first aircraft at Kitty Hawk. The Navy’s initial research included the development of seaplanes, seaplane tenders and seaplane launch and recovery capabilities on capital ships. The need for dedicated aircraft carriers and aircraft designed for carrier use became obvious during World War I and in 1920 the Navy began conversion of the collier USS

Jupiter (a ship designed to carry coal) into its first test bed aircraft carrier. Because of the conversion, the ship was renamed the USS Langley in honor of Samuel Langley, an American aviation pioneer whose experiments included catapult-launched aircraft.

The Washington Naval Treaty negotiated in 1921 slowed things down for naval aviation experimentation as it was meant to limit the construction of warships. But the final agreement signed by the major world powers in 1922 had an exemption for experimental aircraft carriers that were in existence or under construction as of November 12, 1921. Accordingly the Langley was recommissioned early in 1922.

On October 17, 1922, with the Langley anchored and stationary in York River, Virginia, Lieutenant Commander Virgil C. Griffin made the very first takeoff from the carrier in a Vought VE-7SF. Nine days later on October 26, the Langley was underway at sea and Lieutenant Commander Godfrey de Courcelles Chevalier made the first US carrier landing in an Aeromarine 39B. The first use of the Langley’s catapult for an aircraft launch was on November 18 when the Langley’s executive officer, Commander Kenneth Whiting, catapulted from a carrier’s deck in a Naval Aircraft Factory PT airplane.

Those first flights in October, 1922 brought us to the unbelievable Naval Aviation capabilities that we now have a century later. Some of the history in between can be discovered at the Chennault Museum.

So here’s a happy “anniversary” to Naval Aviation and to the US Navy as a whole, have a wonderful 248th birthday on October 13th. Thank you for reminding me of the dedication your men and women have to our country every time I hear those magnificent Blue Angel F-18s take to the sky.

Historical Impressions

Lifestyle Concept Shop

Joyce from Material Things Shares Her Favorites

CIRE TRUDON - CLAUDE TRUDON becomes the owner of a store on rue Saint Honore in Paris in 1643 where he sells candles and spices. Thus begins the history of the oldest candle company still in operation. Not only do we carry their home fragrances but we also recently invested in their Eaux de Perfums. Their home scents and perfumes contain an olfactory complexity that hints at a character rather than a genre. They cast light on Trudon’s ethos: to promote creative freedom and invoke unique horizons. We carry six of the top scents of the Cire Trudon home fragrance line and five of the personal fragrances, as well as their entrancing wax busts…so, I know we have the perfect one just for your style.

Capucine de Wulf - We are so excited about bringing this fabulous jewelry line to our customers! This beautiful collection is made of 18k gold over brass mixed with semi precious stones, teak and coral. CDW was debuted in 2017 by Capucine and her husband David Gooding who already owned the well known tabletop company Juliska. CDW jewelry combines all of Capucine’s great passions-womanhood, home and heart, through the medium of personal adornment.

Louis Sherry - One of the most celebrated symbols of New York’s gilded age- opened as a candy shop and restaurant in 1881 by Louis Sherry on 6th Avenue in New York City. These decadent chocolate truffles come beautifully presented in designer tins that are meant to be kept forever. The iconic orchid colored tin with violets has been sighted in many famous movies. We offer two piece, twelve piece and 24 piece tins in various colors and designssurely we will have the perfect design for your loved one.

August Morgan - Ten years ago Kate Hersch started August Morgan as a labor of love by rescuing vintage needlepoint and crewel work and making them into OOAK pillows that were sold in fine boutiques and department stores. While this was a fun and satisfying venture, she felt like she should branch out into other areas- she started her cocktail napkin collection with four designs and now has over sixty. And, has even gone back to her roots of needlepoint by offering hand painted needlepoint canvases featuring all of her fun designs. At August Morgan, they couple irreverence with elegance. They love a good laugh and they love tradition- all of these qualities are right up our alley! We carry her cocktail napkins in the The MT side of the shop and her delightful canvases on The Haberdashery side of the shop.

Museum Bees - This fabulous company owned by Trace Meyer in Louisville, KY has the motto that luxury can be accessible. Each OOAK piece is carefully created from antique frames and bridges the beauty of 19th century American craftsmanship into the modern. In each framed creation, you will find a variety of ornaments and antique objects that adorn the centers. The choices are endless, so I’m sure that you will find that special piece that can stand alone or do as so many others havestart a fabulous collections of these little gems.

Agraria - A fabulous company that was started in the 1970’s by interior designers Stanford Stevenson and Maurice Gibson. They envisioned fragrant products as essential design elements for their clients’ San Francisco homes. They felt certain that “No great home is ever completely decorated until it has its most important accessory-home fragrance.”

The first scent they created was Bitter Orange

followed up by Balsam. We carry both of these scents as well as Golden Cassis. The burning sticks scent that they offer is Bitter Orange (an absolute favorite of Halston)… these are always in stock for you to pick up. Agraria means “beautiful flowers growing in the field.” Any of these three fragrances are sure to please everyone.

Husqvarna Viking - Keeping the world sewing for over 150 years, this company began in 1872 in a small town in Sweden, “Huskvarna,” which means “house mill” in Swedish, represents the mill that still stands in the town where the first iteration of the Husqvarna Viking brand got its start. This exceptional machine is offered in a vast array of models in The Haberdashery area of our shop. Not only do we have machines for you to create something beautiful on but also all of the premier fabrics, notions, patterns and inspiration that you could possibly need to fulfill this! If you or anyone in your life has been wanting to continue their passion for sewing or are just getting started, then we have what you need! Another special aspect of The Haberdashery is that we not only sell the machine, we also have in house servicing by our own trained technician, my wonderful husband Robert.

So, as you can see we are your local “Lifestyle Concept Shop.” We can help you with any of these fabulous products and so much more, please consider us for all of your gifting and home decor needs whether they be big or small.

XOXO - Joyce

Fishing With Kenny


No matter if you are a serious tournament competitor, a weekend warrior or an occasional angler, everyone likes to catch fish. It is the catching of the fish most people find to be the addictive hook (pardon the pun), but there are a few of us who actually enjoy the process of finding the fish almost as much as the catching part. Anyone can catch fish, but the truly great anglers are the ones who can consistently find them.

Having been involved in tournament competitions since I was a teenager, I spent many hours on the water honing my skills. Many days I might catch a fish or two, other trips would be more productive and still some I would come home empty handed. From the very beginning, I knew the learning process would be a long one and here I am, all these years later, still trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

One thing I was able to develop over the years of continual trial and error, is a systematic way to find fish on any given body of water. I am not claiming my approach is perfect, but it is what works for me. By keeping records for almost forty years, I have been able to simplify my system to where it can be put into place no matter what body of water or the time of the year in which I am fishing. By asking a few basic questions, analyzing and understanding the answers, finding fish has become much easier and more enjoyable.

So, we now have found our area to start, have a good idea why these early spring fish are going to be in this area, so now we ask ourselves “When” is the best time to find them. I have always found in the early spring or in the springtime in general, fish tend to bite better as the day progresses. The mid-day until late afternoon is usually best because that is when the water will be at its warmest temperature, making the fish more active.

The four questions I ask: Where? When? Why? and How?, may seem too basic to base a systematic approach to finding fish on a strange lake or even on one you may fish regularly but it is the basis of these questions that gives you a place to start. Once all the information is pulled together, the picture becomes clearer and easier to understand, increasing your odds to having a good day on the water.

Bass tend to be located on any given body of water based on a seasonal pattern and that is why the first question, “where” is our starting point. If it is early springtime where would I expect to find fish? Naturally, I would start looking in shallower water areas. Northern banks and coves that are more protected from spring cold fronts are easily located on map study and give you a good starting point.

The second question, “why” is a follow up to our “where” inquiry. We know where we want to fish but why are the fish there? Since we are talking about early spring, we know fish are going to be moving to the shallower, warming waters to spawn, a move that has proven to make them more aggressive and actively feeding in preparation for the upcoming spawn.

The ”how” part is probably the hardest of all the questions to answer because this requires the angler to figure out the best way to catch the fish he has located. If they are aggressive, you may be able to catch them on a moving lure such as a Rat L Trap or a spinnerbait. However, if they are sluggish due to a passing front you may have to slow down and fish a Senko. There are no easy answers and trial and error as well as a bit of patience is a must. I can use this same formula no matter the lake or time of year. Fall you say? Ok, where are the shad located? Bass in the fall are mostly shad related in their feeding activities, so the location of the baitfish is key. You should be able to find schools of shad in the backs of coves and creeks. Why are the bass feeding so heavily on shad? Due to the abundance of shad in shallow water, bass follow them to take advantage of an easy meal. When is the best time to fish for these shallow water fish? Considering shad usually are more active in the warmer parts of the days in the fall, mid-day is usually the best option. How do we go about catching them? Shad patterned lures such as spinnerbaits, crankbaits and topwaters are good choices this time of year. Sounds simple doesn’t it? That’s because it is!

There are a few exceptions that require this system to be tweaked from time to time, such as if I am fishing a river system with fluctuating water, bayou systems or in bodies of water with little depth change or bottom contours. Also, if a lake has an abundance of aquatic vegetation this is an important factor to consider in your seasonal search. No matter how cold the winter might be, if a lake has submerged grass, it will work as a magnet to the lake’s bass population. Just remember to ask yourself where, why, when and how and your ability to find fish faster should gradually improve.

Well, it looks like we have run out of time again for another month. Time sure flies when we are having fun talking about fishing! With the start of hunting season, our woods and waters will be as crowded as ever so please be careful and respectful to your fellow outdoorsmen. Take the time to enjoy the wonders of Mother Nature, leave her creations better than how you found them and most important, catch one for me.


Strickland Interiors

Interior Decorator Services

JAN HALES STRICKLAND IS IN HER 12TH YEAR AS AN interior decorator and she’s just getting started. “This business is my passion…I eat, sleep and breathe it. I love working with clients to help create beautiful and functional interiors. In some cases I simply do a room refresh; sometimes I work with a client though a remodel; and then there are times I make every selection for a new build, including the color of the doorbell! There is truly no job too big or too small.”

Jan’s love affair with interior decorating began at a very young age when she was fortunate enough to travel abroad including when her parents would rent a home in the countryside of England every summer. This travel helped foster the inspiration for her passion, as did visiting local museums and homes. By the time she was in high school, Jan knew she wanted to be a designer/decorator. She even began her career during this time working on beach condos and homes.

For college Jan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The program is CIDA Accredited. Jan was an active student member or the American Society of Interior Designers. She also served on the advisory counsel for CIDA accreditation for the Interior Design program at the University of Alabama. Jan has been an active Allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) since 2010.

After college, Jan worked at a kitchen design center in Birmingham, Alabama, a fabric decor store in Montgomery, Alabama, and a nationally recognized antique store in Montgomery, Alabama. But when her husband had the opportunity to practice law with Jan’s father, she was ready to come home. She has had her own business since 2010 and is located in North Louisiana. And Jan now has an Interiors coffee table book, ‘Interiors for Living’ that is sold locally and online.

Jan has enjoyed building her interior decorating and consulting clientele, while at the same time she’s been able to give back to her community. In her 7th year as the lead designer for the St. Jude Dream Home, Jan is also passionate about this cause. “Having lost my best friend to cancer makes this cause very personal to me. This past summer I was able to attend the St. Jude summit and toured

their campus, which made me even more passionate when I saw the far reaching impact our support gives St. Jude. Last year we were able to sell $800,000 worth of tickets, and being able to see the children and the families that these monies support gave me even more motivation to maintain the support we can in our community. And most honored to receive the Kichler Lighting Award for my work on this project.” The 2024 St. Jude Dream Home is already underway on a beautiful lot in the new Desiard Trace subdivision in Sterlington, so stay tuned! We could not do this without all the sponsors’ help. Everyone rallies and comes together to get the job done. When you see the list of sponsors, it’s important to realize this is their donated time and money. Everyone comes together for the common cause - to Beat Childhood Cancer!

Jan has received numerous awards. She received the University of Alabama HES Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award in Interior Design, Bayou Buzz Finalist 2020, Bayou Buzz Finalist 2021, Bayou Buzz Finalist 2022, Top 20 under 40 Nominee for Monroe, LA, Marquis’s Who’s Who.

Jan’s work has been featured in Bayou Life Magazine, Style Me Pretty Living, Cottage Journal (French Cottage),, HGTV, and numerous others. You also may have seen appearances of Jan on her very own TV segment on your local channels discussing Fall Decorating and tips for your home.

When not focused on her clients or her St. Jude work, Jan enjoys spending time with her husband Josh, son Jey, daughter Evy, and dog Belle. “I’m in a busy season of my life, and getting to spend time with clients, getting to know them and their home brings me such joy. I believe your home can have a great impact on your mental and physical well-being, and I like being a small part of helping my clients create a calm and inspiring environment.

Interior photos by Kelly Moore Clark

Alumni Spotlight

ULM Alum: James Reneau

GROWING UP IN SWARTZ, JAMES RENEAU REVELED in the outdoors and loved working with his hands. James worked alongside his grandfather in his business Mahoney’s Camperland helping to convert city buses to motorhomes. These small scale transformations informed James’s eventual choice of career, one that combined his love of helping people and building structures that enrich a community. When he enrolled at ULM, James declared General Studies, not yet understanding the possibilities for making his passions marketable. He attended a free crawfish boil sophomore year at the School of Construction Management and discovered his people. The construction management majors had similar interests, and the sense of community appealed to James.

James supported himself through school by mowing lawns and playing music in local bars. His father Charles taught him the value of hard work, and his mother Judy taught him money management at a young age. While in his senior year, James was awarded the Thurman Potts Scholarship from the School of Construction Management and served as president of the ULM Construction Guild. He led Guild members in community projects for Habitat for Humanity, all while networking for future careers in the industry. One of James’s mentors was Dr. Bobby Ensminger who taught Project Management and Business Communication. James enjoyed the communal aspect of everyone coming together for a common goal. He realized that his construction management degree involved becoming a leader and not necessarily swinging a hammer, to eventually being the point person on sight making final decisions. James’s time at ULM proved vital to not only heading up large projects but eventually opening his own construction company.

After graduation, James became a project engineer with Walton Construction Company in Shreveport, eventually working up to project manager. In 2009, James transitioned to Southern Home Builders where he really honed his small business skills. But being raised with an entrepreneur in the family, James possessed that desire to work for himself. He wanted sole responsibility for the quality of work and to make his own schedule. He wanted to challenge himself as opposed to working for someone’s else’s dream. In 2010, after contemplating taking the leap with his own company, James signed the paperwork to start Blue Heron Homes. The name originated on the water, fishing alongside his dad. When he spotted the bird, James said, “Like an old

friend I’d known since childhood, the blue heron always looked the same as he gracefully moved through the water. His qualities were one in the same with what I wanted my company to be - patient, precise, accurate, successful, and one day great, just like the Great Blue Heron.”

Blue Heron Homes first opened in Shreveport, though later transitioned to Monroe in 2015. With his education and local grounding, James diversified his business with other partnerships including: Quest Developments, Ouachita Antique Woods, Custom Design Center, Eason Manufacturing, Ouachita Holding Group, AOP Metal Fabricators, and Legacy Metal Worx. As a collective, James’s business endeavors sustain Blue Heron Homes and enrich development in the community. Since 2010, Blue Heron Homes has completed $100,000,000 in custom homes. Blue Heron Homes, along with James’ other partnerships, employs over 100 men and women who manage more than $20,000,000 annually in construction, manufacturing, and property management. James attributes the success of Blue Heron Homes to his great team of employees and subcontractors who work hard everyday to ensure success. As a ULM alum, James was honored to give back to his alma mater by building the Laird Weems ULM Alumni Center. James is proud of his time at ULM and thankful for the many open doors as a result of his education.

For the last 13 years, James has employed graduates from the ULM School of Construction Management and continues to support the program. James is inspired by ULM’s continued investment in this region and bettering the lives of its citizens. James stated “The local university is a catalyst for economic growth and progressive thinking.” Like the University, James invests in people while giving back to our parish and state. The initial joy of turning an open property into someone’s dream home is what drew James to this profession and remains his reasoning today. James also finds inspiration from his family. His wife Suzanna is a freelance interior designer. Their family includes Adaire (15), Ireland (12), Davis (10), and Jack (7). The children profess budding interests in design and construction. His family is what motivates James each and every day to be successful. Together, they love vacationing, calling themselves The Traveling Josies named after a line from the famous rock song “Your Love” by the Outfield. James lives a life realized by being a product of this community and contributing to its success.


Healthy Habits for Healthy Breasts

Breast Cancer Awareness From St. Francis Medical Group

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO THINK ABOUT YOUR BREAST health and take steps to improve your overall health, which decreases your risk of many cancers. Incorporate these recommendations into your routine and you’ll be on your way to not only reducing your risk of breast cancer but also living a more all-around healthy lifestyle.


Eat more fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat. Women with more fruits and veggies in their daily meals reduce their breast cancer risk by as much as 19%. Less bacon and red meat is associated with better outcomes even for women who have breast cancer.


Active hobbies that keep you moving can be great for your health, including your breast health. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which helps prevent breast cancer. It’s recommended that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.

If you aren’t active, don’t be intimidated. Aim for walking at least 30 minutes a day, and work your way up to more. Plus, strength training— with light weights or using your body weight—at least twice a week can help you build muscle that will burn extra calories.


The American Institute for Cancer Research found that limiting alcohol to one drink a day reduced the risk of breast cancer by as much as one third. The more glasses of alcohol you drink per day, including beer, wine or liquor, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer.


Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause. Women with a normal body mass index—about 18 to 25—are less likely to have breast health issues, including breast cancer.


Smoking is associated with breast cancer as well as other cancers and is extremely unhealthy. Research suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.


Breastfeeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breastfeed, the greater the protective effect.


Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You may be able to manage your symptoms with non-hormonal therapies, such as physical activity. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you.


Getting a mammogram probably ranks right up there with going to the dentist and getting your oil changed. Like those tasks, mammograms are preventive maintenance and a chore women must all undertake to stay healthy and enjoy peace of mind.

When choosing where to have your mammogram, look for an accredited facility. St. Francis Kitty DeGree Breast Health Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology as an ACR Designated Comprehensive Breast Imaging Center. This means we provide the highest levels of imaging quality and safety, and our team has received extra training. Radiologists are on-site at our center and can confer with patients directly if necessary.

All mammograms are performed with 3D tomosynthesis, which offers a better look at breast tissue. Compared to conventional mammography, our 3D mammography exams are better at finding early, treatable breast cancer and decrease the number of patients called back for additional testing. We offer screening, diagnostic mammogram, breast ultrasound and core needle biopsy with imaging guidance.

All exams are compared with prior breast imaging. Screening results are complete within 24 hours, depending on the time it takes if previous images are at other imaging facilities. Our center connects with other facilities to share images electronically to help decrease result time. Consistently having your screening mammography at the same facility can prevent time delays and increase the quality of care.

When your results are ready, it’s easy to view them through MyChart. We also make it easy to request, schedule and register for appointments with MyChart.


Make a commitment to yourself and schedule your mammogram today. Those 15 minutes may save your life. Take time to squeeze it in. Schedule at the St. Francis Kitty DeGree Breast Health Center by calling (318) 812-PINK.



These apple cider doughnuts are a delightful autumn treat, with their warm, maple glazed coating and hint of tangy apple flavor that perfectly captures the essence of the season. Original receip on


1 1/2 cups apple cider

2 tbsp. salted butter, melted

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/4 cup apple butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 honeycrisp apple, chopped

1 tbsp. cinnamon sugar



4 tbsp. salted butter

1/3 cup maple syrup

3/4-1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. instant coffee

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 6-cup doughnut pan with melted butter. Bring apple cider to a boil over high heat. Reduce and simmer 10-15 minutes or until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat. Let cool. In a mixing bowl, stir together

1/2 cup boiled cider, melted butter, eggs, apple butter, vanilla, and brown sugar until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt, mix until just combined. Toss apples with the cinnamon sugar mix, then stir the apples into the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pan, filling 2/3 the way full. Bake 12-13 minutes, until set. Remove and let cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Add the butter to a small pot over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown slightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup, powdered sugar, instant coffee, and cinnamon. Dip or drizzle the doughnuts into the glaze.




I REMEMBER when golf was a sport that was dwarfed by other professional sports such as football, baseball, or basketball. It was considered an elitist, countryclub sport and was of little interest to the average sports fan. This all changed, primarily due to the arrival of Arnold Palmer on the golfing scene. He began his professional career in 1954 and as the result of his humble beginnings, his willingness to take risks on the course, and his spectacular victories, he soon was regularly surrounded by his admiring “Arnie’s Army.”

Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner, asserted that no one had impacted the sport of golf like Palmer, and that without him, there would be no PGA Tour and no Golf Channel. Palmer made a huge difference!

Due to the much smaller purses of his day, it took him a while, but Palmer eventually became the first pro golfer to win one million dollars. However, his impact in making golf so popular was recently evidenced by the winner of the Tournament Players’ Championship (contested in the Atlanta area) being awarded firstprize earnings of 18 million dollars! That’s right; eighteen million dollars! And the player who finished last received over half a million! That’s not a bad payday for spending four days knocking a golf ball around the course!

This situation poses a question: Did Arnold Palmer do too good of a job making golf such a popular sport? Most of us labor a lifetime and do not even come close to amassing such a fortune. How, then, can we justify giving so lavish an award for what seemingly is a rather insignificant and soon forgotten sporting victory? What has happened to our value system? Compare this bonanza with what we pay our soldiers, our policemen, our teachers and the like. It seems that something is out of balance.

There is no doubt but that the sport of golf has dramatically changed due to the charisma of Arnold Palmer, and it is not unusual that current members of the PGA frequently express their

gratitude for the changes that the golfing world has experienced as the result of this singular man. In addition to the remarkable increase in tournament purses, the popularity of the sport has grown immensely as evidenced by the TV ratings, the large number of individuals who play the game, and the number and quality of golf courses around our nation, such as the Black Bear venue in Delhi. Golf has changed and golf has grown in that change.

I confess that I have not been unaffected by the game of golf. In truth, I currently watch much golf on TV, spending more time than I do relative to any other sport. Part of my appeal to the game has to do with the professionals who compete in the contests. In most other sports, the participants often fail to conduct themselves like ladies or gentlemen. Additionally, unlike leaders in other sports, pro golfers, when interviewed, talk about golf and do not view themselves as agents of change. This is encouraging to me, because I don’t see how hitting a home run, or scoring a TD, or throwing in forty points on the basketball court qualifies one to tell me how I should think about a specific issue.

Therefore, when professional golfers succeed in their tournaments and are rewarded with unbelievable amounts of money, I plan to bite my tongue and offer my sincere congratulations.

If we think pro golfers are favored with over-the-top prizes for their accomplishments, just consider the awesome gift that is offered those who trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. That “prize” is eternal life in heaven. And the recipient does not do anything to receive that gift. Jesus earned that blessing for us when He sacrificed His life on the cross. When we compare that gift with the prizes golfers are given, eighteen million dollars doesn’t mean so much after all! Do you agree that if golfers thank Arnold Palmer for how he helped transform golf, we Christians ought to thank Christ for how He has transformed us?



After the triple-digit temperatures of late summer, it’s finally time to immerse our gardens and landscapes into everything fall. Everything from lawns to lantanas needs a respite from hot temperatures and long, cicada buzzing days. Moderate temperatures and quiet, cricket chirping afternoons that lead to early twilight make working outside enjoyable again, and there’s not shortage of tasks to accomplish. Let’s get with it!


No more fertilizer on lawns! At least, no more nitrogen. Lawns, like deciduous trees, are heading for dormancy now. Tricking them into putting out new growth now will disrupt their natural tendency to go dormant. That will stress your turfgrass, making it more susceptible to any number of fungal issues or weather-related issues that may occur during the remainder of fall and the length of winter. Lawns should be experiencing their final mowings later this month. Last year, our first frosts occurred in October. We’ll see if the same happens this year. If a lawn has been healthy through the growing season, winterizing isn’t necessary. If you are going winterize your lawn, your best bet is to make a final application of muriate of potash (0-0-60) at a rate of one or two pounds per acre (43, 560 sq. ft.). No more nitrogen or phosphorus at this point. If you still haven’t put down a preemergent herbicide for cool-season, broadleaf weeds like henbit and lawn burweed, go ahead and make an application quickly. Look for products containing dithiopyr. Fall is the perfect time of year to naturalize areas of your lawn that get a lot of shade and don’t produce a lush, dense area of turf. Go ahead and remove areas of turf that are thin and performing poorly. Work the soil by amending with organic matter like peat moss or finished compost. Shrubs like azaleas, camellias, gardenias are great options for planting in shaded areas. Don’t forget to mulch with two to four inches of pine straw.


Petunias, snapdragons, alyssum, flowering tobacco, calendula and dianthus will all provide fall color even though our days may still be warm (mid to high 80s or low 90s). Of course, look

> Amazon and Jolt Dianthus provide coolseason color in fall and early spring.
< Planting holes for trees and shrubs should be prepared now and by two to three times wider than the pot they’re in.

for Louisiana Super Plant selections in garden centers. ‘Supertunia Vista Bubblegum,’ a 2017 selection, is a hot item and for good reason. Its brilliant color is rivaled only by its hardy constitution. Don’t be surprised if it overwinters and performs again in spring. Also look for both ‘Amazon’ and ‘Jolt’ Dianthus, anything in these series will provide brilliant color in fall and spring. If spring of next year is anything like this past spring, their bloom times will be extended! And, don’t forget about ornamental peppers, collectively named as Super Plants last year, all cultivars of ornamental peppers will spice up fall decor with brilliants reds, purples, yellows, and oranges! Be aware, they are edible, but they often are also SUPER HOT. Pansies and Violas are always on the table for fall color. Look for the ‘Sorbet’ series in local garden centers. And, if you don’t see Louisiana Super Plants on the racks, ask our local garden centers to stock more of them. If you request them, they’ll stock them!

Mums are at their peak now. Make yours last through fall by giving them a little TLC. If your mums are in pots or containers, make sure the growing medium stays moist but not saturated. Also make sure they have adequate drainage. Full sun is best, but mums will also do well in partial shade. Garden mums can be installed in flower beds if you want to chance keeping them alive until next fall. Select a site that is protected from northern and windy exposures. As with being grown in pots, the soil in the bed needs to be loose and have good drainage. Amend with peat moss, finely shredded pine bark, or good compost. Plant mums about two feet apart; they need plenty of space so as not to be leggy. Mulch with pine straw to conserve water and protect crowns and root systems from freezing temperatures. Prune several times between midwinter and late spring next year. Fertilize in spring with a slow-release fertilizer.

Now through winter is time to install ornamentals like woody perennials. Native trees like Willow Oak and Southern Sugar Maple are Louisiana Super Plant selections that will provide shade in summer and color in fall. And, when they drop their leaves, you’ll have a wonderful addition to your compost pile! Fruit trees seem to be more popular than ever. Remember, a site with full sun and good drainage is crucial for fruit trees and shrubs. If you’re installing blueberries, the soil pH is likely already where it needs to be. Look for

any of the ‘Rabbiteye’ varieties when shopping. Avoid purchasing plants that have had their root systems bound up in plastic bags. Always purchase potted plants. Space them so bushes have plenty of room for not only good root system expansion but also for crown expansion. For most other fruit trees (peaches, plums, pears, etc.) an application of lime (calcium carbonate) will be necessary to raise the soil pH to the 6.5 or 6.8 range. This is the most often overlooked aspect of planting fruit trees in the ArkLaMiss. Prepare planting holes before purchasing plants. Always make each planting hole two to three times wider than the root ball or the pot the tree or shrub is in. If planting a grafted fruit tree, set the tree at a depth that allows the graft union to remain above soil level. Backfill the planting hole with soil amended with lime and generous helping of finished compost if you have it on hand. Water in well, then finish off with a two-inch layer of mulch such as aged wood chips or pine straw. Root systems will get established over the fall and winter and the tree or shrub will be ready for spring bud break.


If we don’t have frosts in October, then the reduced daylight hours will be taking a toll on the last purple hull peas and okra from summer. Fall tomatoes will likely also be starting to slow down. Mustard greens should be coming in now, depending on when they were started. Onion seeds can be started now for transplanting in February. The young transplants will need protection if temperatures plummet during winter. For our area, select either short-day or day-neutral varieties. Mark you calendars for Friday, October 20th. My colleague Marcie Wilson will be conducting a seed saving workshop at the LSU AgCenter’s Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph. There is a twenty dollar registration fee and seating is limited. Once you save seeds from heirloom or open-pollinated varieties, you have them forever! I’ll see you each Tuesday at 4:30 on Louisiana Living!

Tune in to Louisiana Living every Tuesday at 4:30 for In the Garden with Kerry Heafner of the LSU AgCenter.
Supertunia Vista Bubblegum Petunia is in high demand. Brilliant color and very hardy.
Mums are fall favorites. Make sure they have moist soil and good drainage.


Block print fabrics showcases intricate designs that will add a touch of artistry to any textile project from pillow to lamp shades.

Styled by TAYLOR BENNETT Photograph by KELLY MOORE CLARK 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 6. 8. 9. FIND THESE ITEMS LOCALLY 1. Walsworth & Company 2. Fabulous Fabric 3. Fabulous Fabric 4. Material Things 5. Woodstock Monroe 6. Revival Design & Consign 7. Woodstock Monroe 8. Haven 9. Palette House & Plume (Block print stamp from Material Things)


These deliciously sweet pears are baked to perfection, drizzled with honey and served warm. Fall bliss on a plate.

Original recipe on


2 large ripe pears

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp Carmichael’s Honey

1/4 cup walnuts, crushed Optional yogurt

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Cut the pears in half and place on a baking sheet. Using a measuring spoon, make sure to scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle with cinnamon and then top with crushed walnuts. Next, drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of honey over each pear. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and serve slightly warm. Enjoy!


Decorative pillows from Fabulous Fabric exude cottage core. A small metal basket from Parterre sits on top of a beautiful wicker side table from Palette House and Plume. A vintage print and blue and white lamp from Revival Design and Consign is displayed beside a pumpkin filled cloche from Woodstock Monroe Scalloped rattan serving trays from Material Things and layered with woven candle holders from Walsworth & Company. Custom Design Center offers the perfect tile to complement a cottageinspired look.


Create and inviting and cozy space by incorporating natural materials, and vintage-inspired elements into your home’s décor.

Wooden candlesticks from Lauren Roebuck Designs are displayed alongside a white dish from Muffin Tin/The Trenton House. A large display bowl from Haven houses pumpkins from Sonny Panzico’s Garden Mart .


“The Swimmers”

“The shock of the water - there is nothing like it on land. The temporary reprieve from gravity. It’s just like flying. The pure pleasure of being in motion. The dissipation of all want. I’m free.”

Julie Otsuka’s novel explores the mundane nature of daily human existence and the idiosyncrasies that create unintended communities. Part one of this brief book focuses on a community pool, wherein all types of people gather for ritualistic routine and the thrill of exertion. They escape reality in the water, an aquatic community of unwritten rules that prioritize the experience. The swimmers fall into hierarchical familiarity, with certain lanes for the physically superior and others according to skill and intent. The order and structure of the community pool mirrors the scaffolding of society, made interesting by the diversity of its constituents, adapting and resisting conformity. When a physical crack appears and threatens the pool’s availability, this hodgepodge community ponders life outside the water, the pressures made weightless in water.

Otsuka’s style mimics the movement of water, fluid and free, with rapid descriptions in succession, almost grinding the essence of meaning to its core and rendering it questionable yet again. The coveted underwater silence is recreated for readers, as the language seeps off the page. Alice emerges from the pool and the narrative as its belated focus, a woman

struggling with onset dementia and craving familiarity. Part two explores Alice’s descent into a world without memory, an existence without order, a life away from the pool after its closure. The absence of the pool community illuminates her new world, as her husband and daughter navigate her care as recognition fades. Otsuka’s shift to Alice’s care facility and the plight of caregivers acknowledges care insecurity, the guilt of the family members when faced with difficult realities, and the mystery of those cared for, how they feel, what they know, and what other alternatives exist.

This book swirled around me. I read it quickly, within 24 hours, and have pondered it continually since. Enjoyable would not be my description; admirable comes to mind - the craftsmanship with language unparalleled. The themes of isolation, routine, community, and inevitable mortality and loss swirl into this meditation on human life and the finality of its conclusion. I often wonder about the slow fade of a loved one, the regression from interaction and awareness. I wonder about the isolation of a relationship wherein only one person is mentally present - I wonder about that isolation from the one who is fading as well. Otsuka’s novel brought these thoughts to the forefront, and her lyrical approach to these questions forces the reader to sit in an onset of silence.

“She remembers that she is forgetting. She remembers less and less every day.”


Be Healthy. Be Beautiful.

Comprehensive Dermatology and Aesthetic Services


Dermatologist and experienced physician practicing in Monroe, LA since 1996 and Southlake, TX since 2021. She received training through a progressive program with an emphasis on surgical and cosmetic dermatology at LSU’s School of Medicine in New Orleans. Dr. Hopkins is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the former secretary and treasurer of the Louisiana Dermatological Society; she also served as the past state chair for the Dermatology Foundation and is a member of the American Society of Dermatological Surgery and the Ouachita Medical Society. Training and working alongside Dr. Hopkins are her two Nurse Practitioners, Anna Grace Livingston and Rachel Head, both of which see patients ages 13 and older. Anna Grace Livingston, a native of Rayville, LA and graduate of University of Louisiana Monroe, is an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. She offers a comprehensive menu of dermatology and aesthetic services, including laser and neuromodulator treatments. Rachel Head, a native of Rayville, LA and graduate of Louisiana State University, is an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She joined Hopkins Dermatology over 2 years ago and offers a comprehensive menu of dermatology services, as well. Both nurse practitioners are currently accepting new patient appointments and would love to welcome you to the medical practice.

Hopkins Dermatology is in the top 1% of Dermatology practices in the U.S. offering an advanced non-surgical cure for skin cancer, known as Image-Guided Superficial Radiation Therapy (IG-SRT). IG-SRT is used to treat the two most common skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Dr. Hopkins collaborated with SkinCure Oncology, a national company focusing solely on curing skin cancer, to bring this technology into her full-spectrum practice with great success. Hopkins Dermatology is the only dermatology practice in North Louisiana to offer this technology as an alternative to surgery. Patients will have the knowledge of Dr. Hopkins, Radiation Therapist (Emily Williams), Nurse Practitioners, (Anna Grace Livingston and Rachel Head), and support staff all in place to assist them during their treatments.

IG-SRT uses computerized image-guided radiotherapy for treating non-melanoma skin cancers. Once a skin cancer is diagnosed, Dr. Hopkins consults with her patient to discuss their treatment options. If the patient is a good candidate for IG-SRT, they are scheduled for

a simulation where the skin cancer is analyzed via ultrasound, which allows Dr. Hopkins and her Radiation Therapist, Emily Williams, to visualize the depth of the tumor. Patients undergo treatment 3-4 times a week for 5 weeks. The treatment targets the malignant cells in the skin with minimum irritation to healthy tissue. Treatments are painless, and the skin heals quickly without scarring. During and after the treatment sessions, ultrasound images are taken to confirm complete clearance of the malignant lesion. This alternative treatment to Mohs’ surgery has a 95% or higher cure rate and is an excellent choice for patients who are poor surgical candidates due to underlying medical problems, or for those who prefer to avoid surgery that may result in scars. In addition, IG-SRT is covered by most insurances, including Medicare.

Dr. Hopkins’ state-of-the-art practice not only focuses on general dermatology and skin cancer prevention and detection, but also encompasses laser treatments and cosmetic procedures with an emphasis on non-surgical facial aesthetics and body contouring. Dr. Hopkins enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge with others while lecturing at professional medical meetings across the U.S. and internationally on both laser and facial aesthetics. Recognized by NewBeauty Magazine as a TopDoc and expert injector, Dr. Hopkins invites you to join us at our NewBeauty Magazine VIP Event on Thursday, October 26th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. All guests will receive a $50 gift card to apply towards cosmetic procedures and exclusive access to promotions, raffles, and the launch of our Hopkins Dermatology Concierge Cosmetic Club. Call us at (318) 325-0600 to RSVP. We look forward to a fabulous evening and remember… Be Healthy, Be Beautiful!


“Over the last 12 years I’ve endured six surgeries and two rounds of chemo to treat skin cancer on my nose. All to no avail. The cancer returned with a vengeance- blistering my nose. About ready to cave to the inevitable, I came across an article specific to IG-SRT therapy for skin cancer. Research landed me at Hopkins Dermatology because they offered this therapy. I can’t rave enough about my experience with Dr. Hopkins and her staff. She was great at explaining the IG-SRT procedure and managed my expectations in terms of results. The before and after pictures speak volumes about the efficacy of this therapy. I love that Dr. Hopkins is up to date on the latest techniques and technology and is often involved in (if not the creator of) innovations within the field of dermatology. Thank you!”



As owner of Palette House and Plume, interior decorator Margaret Moses thrives on exploring diverse blends in her designs. Merging the old and the new manifests in combinations of antique chests with modern bedside tables, or traditional wallpaper featuring a modern mirror. Margaret is not afraid to blend time periods, staying in tune with the preferences of her clients and imparting her professional advice. Margaret prioritizes comfort while staying focused on what is sensible for the function of a space. In her own home, Margaret uses a lot of neutral upholstery and rugs while bringing in color with abstract art and pillows. The featured chair available at Palette House and Plume and made by Lee Industries has a washable white slipcover and Cloud Nine seat cushions - a mid-level firmness in the seat cushion with a down wrap around the center core fill, a customer favorite. Palette House and Plume has carried Lee Industries products since the store opened in 2017. Lee Industries creates eco-friendly products and concentrates on environmentallyfocused philanthropic initiatives. The chair shows the accessibility of light-colored fabric in a frequently-used space. Margaret encourages her clients to lean into their design impulses, whether that means bold designs or reserved decor. The chair allows for both, a standard, neutral piece that can be accented with a print or a surprising color choice. It encapsulates Margaret’s aesthetic of simplicity and sensibility.


We’ve asked three local business owners to be photographed in their favorite chairs, and tell us how those chairs reflect their personal style.



We’ve asked three local business owners to be photographed in their favorite chairs, and tell us how those chairs reflect their personal style.


As an interior decorator, Jan Strickland caters to her clients, manifesting their design dreams in home spaces. Jan’s personal style exudes relaxed elegance and sophistication. In her home, Jan fully relaxes in her formal spaces. She invests in large, permanent pieces and will sometimes change out more economical accessories, particularly when it comes to art. Jan mixes and matches her home decor much like she does her wardrobe. In the featured chair from Walsworth & Co. that represents her aesthetic, Jan highlights the different textures, the marriage of neutral colors and contrasting materials that give the chair its depth. The dramatic curve of the chair legs is softened by the rattan backing letting in air and light. The chair’s versatility is most appealing, as it could easily stand alone or be featured in a pair. In a space, Jan would likely balance the chair alongside a heavier piece of furniture like a large sofa. It could also be featured in the corner of a dining room or even a larger bathroom. The beauty of an accent chair is that it can accentuate virtually any space. When Jan works with clients, she begins by walking through the entire home, searching for the vibe of the space to connect to the client’s personal style. Jan works to bring her design knowledge to those projects, taking her clients’ desires in a direction that enriches the physical environment.



We’ve asked three local business owners to be photographed in their favorite chairs, and tell us how those chairs reflect their personal style.


As owner of Material Things since 2009, Joyce Sims appreciates all styles, often incorporating an eclectic mix into her designs. She prefers combining contemporary pieces with vintage antiques and layering luxury items alongside more affordable decor. Pops of color are reserved for accessories, as pillows and drapes are easy to rotate. When envisioning a space, Joyce suggests beginning with a rug - finding an aesthetic you like and building from there. We often don’t think of design from the floor up, but rugs can inform a color scheme and a room’s style of design. The featured Billy Baldwin chairs currently reside in Joyce’s living room alongside a metal English trunk she acquired in junior high. Joyce spotted the chairs at the estate sale of Victor and Marie Cascio. She was drawn to the chairs for their petite size (only 30 inches tall), as they can be moved to virtually any space. Joyce thinks of designing her living spaces as opportunities to gather some of her favorite things. Whether pieces hold memories or just articulate a unique point of view, a space can be transformed by the language communicated by their placement. It was Billy Baldwin himself who said, “Stick to the things you really love. An honest room is always up to date.” Styles come and go, beloved color schemes evolve like the seasons, but telling a story via design will always enrich a space when it comes from inside.



Looking for a drink you can cozy up with on an autumn night? This variation of a Moscow mule combines fresh ginger and apple cider for a perfect fall cocktail.

Original receip on

What you need:

2 ounces vodka

Juice from 1/2 of a lime

1/3 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon apple butter

1-2 tsp fresh grated ginger

Ginger beer, for topping Pomegranate arils and cinnamon sticks, for serving

Fill a copper mug with crushed ice. Add ice, vodka, lime juice, apple cider, apple butter and ginger in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for one minute. Strain into mug. Top with ginger beer and garnish with cinnamon dusted apple slices, pomegranate arils and cinnamon sticks.



From sleek serving pieces to elegant décor, marble exudes luxury and sophistication. Elevate your aesthetic appeal with these fabulous finds from local retailers.

Styled by TAYLOR BENNETT Photograph by KELLY MOORE CLARK MARBLE ITEMS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: fabric from Fabulous Fabric, brass and marble box from Lauren Roebuck Designs, domino set from Palette House & Plume, oblong tray from Material Things, pelican tray from Muffin Tin/The Trenton House, round black tray from Woodstock Monroe, fluted bowl from Walsworth & Company, round white tray from Revival Design & Consign, rectangle tray from Haven, tiles from Custom Design Center, side table from Parterre

Embracing a Fall Palette

Transforming Your Home With Fabulous Fabric

FALL IS HERE, AND WITH IT THE BOLD COLORS THAT HAVE long been associated with this season are making a comeback.

As we welcome the cooler days and changing landscapes, it’s the perfect time to infuse your home with fresh, lively hues that create an inviting and cheerful atmosphere. At Fabulous Fabric, we understand the importance of crafting functional and visually pleasing spaces that resonate with your unique style. With over 40 years of experience, our lovely staff, is here to guide you through the exciting world of interior design and help bring your home dreams to life.


With the arrival of fall, it’s an ideal moment to embark on that long-awaited project of enhancing your window treatments. Fabulous Fabric is here to simplify this task for you with our extensive selection of in-stock fabrics. From sumptuous linens to luxurious velvets and versatile wovens, our fabric offerings cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

Our window treatment options include Roman Shades, custom draperies, and ready-made draperies, all beautifully complemented by our functional and stylish drapery hardware, meticulously crafted by Fabulous Fabric. Whether you have a specific vision in mind or need expert guidance, we offer complete customization to ensure your window treatments align perfectly with your design aspirations.


When it comes to drapery rods, we offer an endless array of possibilities. From the chic and transparent Lucite rods to the timeless elegance of French rods, our collection covers a spectrum of styles. If you prefer the rustic charm of iron rods, you’ll find a plethora of color options to choose from. For a touch of natural warmth, we stock wooden rods in six distinctive shades, each paired with a variety of finials to suit your taste. These rod styles seamlessly complement our ready-made panels, making it easier than ever to achieve a polished look for your windows.

Speaking of ready-made panels, our inventory includes a range of options to suit various preferences. Our dressy poly silk ready-made drapes come in a stunning array of eight colors, allowing you to find the perfect match for your interior. Linen panels, available in eight versatile colors, provide a classic and timeless aesthetic. Additionally, we offer custom pinch pleat panels in five different lengths and eight colors, with a quick 5-10 business day turnaround time, ensuring that your window treatments are promptly installed, bringing your vision to life.


Beyond window treatments, Fabulous Fabric offers amazing bedding

lines that can be customized to your heart’s content. With an array of beautiful trims in stock, you have the opportunity to create one-of-a-kind bedding that adds a personalized touch to your bedroom. Elevate your sleeping space by choosing from our selection of high-quality fabrics, creating a sanctuary that is both comfortable and visually striking.


As the weather changes, the allure of outdoor living beckons. Fabulous Fabric has you covered with our extensive range of outdoor fabrics. Whether you’re looking to refresh your outdoor furniture with new cushions or add a stylish outdoor rug to your patio, we offer everything you need to create the perfect outdoor oasis. Holly and her dedicated staff are here to guide you through every step of your outdoor project, ensuring that every customer leaves delighted with their new outdoor space.


Turning our attention to the interior, Fabulous Fabric has been a trusted source for upholstery fabric for over 20 years. Our team possesses in-depth knowledge of various upholstery fabrics, as well as a network of skilled upholsterers in the area. Whether your project calls for highperformance fabrics, durable vinyl, outdoor-friendly or the timeless appeal of velvet and linen, we are equipped to help you select the best fabric and style for your furniture piece. We can also provide guidance on how much fabric you’ll need and assist you in finding a reputable upholsterer to bring your vision to life.


For those seeking to tackle smaller projects, such as reupholstering benches, reviving dining chair seats, or crafting decorative pillows, Fabulous Fabric offers an array of remnants. These remnants are not only budget-friendly but also provide an excellent opportunity to explore different textures and styles in person. There’s nothing quite like the tactile experience of touching and feeling the fabrics, allowing you to make an informed decision that aligns with your design goals.

Fabulous Fabric is your trusted partner in creating a home that reflects your unique style and meets your functional needs. As we welcome the vibrant colors of fall, we invite you to explore our extensive fabric collections, window treatment options, bespoke bedding, and outdoor solutions. With our experienced team by your side, you can confidently embark on your design journey, transforming your living spaces into havens of beauty and comfort. Let us help you craft the fabulous home you’ve been dreaming of. Schedule an appointment today and experience the world of interior design with Fabulous Fabric.


Black and white plates from Walsworth & Company sit on top of placements from Lauren Roebuck Designs and wine glasses from Parterre are placed nearby. A skull tray from Revival Design & Consign displays fuzzy pumpkins from Muffin Tin . On the table, orange and white fabric pumpkins from Fabulous Fabric are displayed among hour glasses from Walsworth & Company and metal crows from Woodstock Monroe . A large fuzzy black spider from Lauren Roebuck Designs waits for guests to arrive and a Trudon candle and cloche from Material Things help set the mood for an eerie evening.


Set a spooky scene this Halloween with eerie candlelights, wickedly whimsical centerpieces and hauntingly beautiful black and orange decorations.

A large brass vase from Haven takes center stage in this spooktacular table setting. Brass candle holders from Palette House and Plume are displayed alongside black candle holders and stick-like tapers from Parterre

Lauren Roebuck Designs

A Local Gem for Furniture, Decor, and More

LAUREN ROEBUCK DESIGNS, A UNIQUE FURNITURE, gift, and floral shop, has been a beloved fixture in the community for two decades. Adding to the excitement is a brand new building right beside the main store, a testament to their success and commitment to providing top-quality products and personalized service. This store has become a go-to destination for those seeking beautiful and high-quality furniture, decor, and more.

One of the standout features of Lauren Roebuck Designs is its extensive furniture collection. With brands including Sherrill, Massoud, King Hickory, Fairfield, Universal and Craftmaster. The store offers a wide range of options, from classic and traditional pieces to modern and trendy items. Whether you prefer a timeless look or something more contemporary, there’s something to suit every style. The knowledgeable and friendly staff is always ready to assist in finding the perfect furniture piece to complement your home. Their local presence enables them to provide a personalized shopping experience, and delivery options are available to select areas.

Moreover, Lauren Roebuck and her team are skilled interior decorators who can help transform your living space into something extraordinary. Their expertise encompasses creating cohesive and aesthetically pleasing designs tailored to your preferences and needs. They can guide you in selecting the right color schemes, furniture, and accessories to achieve the perfect balance between beauty and functionality. Hiring an interior decorator can also save you time and money by helping you source the best deals on furniture and materials while preventing costly mistakes.

In addition to its furniture offerings, Lauren Roebuck Designs is known for its exquisite floral arrangements. Whether you’re looking for a bouquet for a special occasion or aiming to brighten up your home, their talented floral designers can craft stunning creations just for you. Their selection includes fresh flowers, plants, succulents, vases, and other accessories to help you create the perfect floral display.

But the store doesn’t stop at furniture and flowers; it’s also a treasure trove of unique gifts suitable for any occasion. From jewelry and accessories to home decor and kitchenware, you’re sure to discover the ideal present for birthdays, housewarmings, or even just a treat for yourself. The diverse range of items ensures there’s something to please everyone.

As previously mentioned, Lauren Roebuck Designs made its 20th year anniversary this June, a significant achievement in today’s business

landscape. This milestone reflects the dedication of owner Lauren and her team to their customers and the community.

The excitement doesn’t end there. The store expanded into a new building, which offers more space and a modern atmosphere. The inviting and well-lit environment enhances the shopping experience, allowing customers to browse, shop, and relax in style. With the new building, Lauren Roebuck Designs can further expand its offerings and services to delight its loyal patrons and newcomers alike.

With fall in full swing, it’s the perfect time to freshen up your home decor, and Lauren Roebuck Designs is here to assist. Whether you’re looking to infuse your space with vibrant colors or prepare your home for the season, their knowledgeable staff can guide you through the process. They have a keen eye for design and now offer an array of tufted upholstered beds, nightstands, recliners, sectionals, accent chairs, and swivel rockers. Their furniture selection also includes gorgeous sofas, side and coffee tables, and a variety of pillows. To brighten your space, Lauren Roebuck Designs also carries unique lighting options that can update outdated fixtures or add intrigue to your room.

When it comes to seasonal decor and floral arrangements, Lauren and her team excel at creating unique pieces to celebrate every season. Whether you need a custom arrangement for your space or one-of-a-kind florals for a special occasion, they have you covered.

Lauren Roebuck Designs also offers an array of great gift items, from artisan creations to gorgeous photo frames and candles. Their staff is eager to help you find the perfect gift for that special someone, and they even provide delivery services for added convenience.

To stay informed about the latest trends and decor, follow Lauren Roebuck Designs on Facebook and Instagram. You can visit their new location or reach out at 232-2032 to schedule a design consultation or place a custom floral design order. They are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In conclusion, Lauren Roebuck Designs is a local treasure that has served the community for two decades. With its expansive furniture collection, exquisite floral arrangements, unique gifts, and professional design expertise, it’s a one-stop destination for all your decor and gifting needs. As they celebrate their 20th-year anniversary and expand into a new building, the future is bright for this beloved local store. Whether you’re a longtime patron or a newcomer, make sure to explore all that this amazing store has to offer.




Last month, I opened up about my experiences in the 90’s and early 2000’s in the land of tournament fishing. This really came home to me when I tried to watch the smallmouth shootout with the BASS Elite Series on Lake St. Clair and Lake Champlain over the last month. I couldn’t watch it. It was like watching kids play video games. Glued to their forward facing sonar and passing up fish to find that one fish. It was the most boring television I’ve ever watched so I shut it off. Fishing and hunting are very similar when it comes to a couple of things: The hunt for that dream catch and the hunt for an encounter with that trophy on 4 legs. This isn’t fishing, sorry. These kids and I mean kids couldn’t catch their back side with both hands are taking the bass world by storm because of their prowess with electronics. If you don’t have a degree in computer science you don’t stand a chance. Look at the talent in the field of elites. Men who have spent their lives pursuing the dream of being the best of the best only to be overtaken by some unknown, Johnny-Come-Lately with a skill of electronic wizardry but very little pure talent.

I am not knocking forward facing sonar. I own a Livescope, but, I don’t tournament fish. There is a very big difference. Having forward facing sonar on a tournament boat is like having GPS tags on a deer and the only thing you have to execute is the shot. My friend, Randy Blauket has been a fishing pro since Noah was a teenager. He has seen it all and done it all. Randy is 100% against forward facing sonar and for good reason. The sport should not be dictated by advances in technology alone. The sport should be governed by ability, talent and tenacity. Knowledge of fish, their movements, their patterns and the ability to pick apart this puzzle is the game of fishing. It should not be accomplished by idling your motor around for hours with forward sonar and deciding if that fish is big enough to garner you a big bag at weigh in. This past year has seen this technology dominate not only on smallmouth lakes where the big fish have moved to outer grass beds to escape pressure. It showed itself on numerous southern lakes where techno savvy anglers caught big bags on a huge swim bait using that forward sonar. That is the same tactic as injecting yourself into a bedding area for deer and wonder why you stopped seeing them anymore. A fish’s only method to avoid this is to suspend. They will lock into a mid water depth pattern and nobody can catch them. They need this time to recharge, fatten up and prepare for winter. We have now found a way to locate and catch them. But, again, where does it stop?

Forward facing sonar for the average angler is a great tool. It will teach you a fish’s behavior, movements and how to adjust your strategy to catch them. However, when there is money on the line why is this still legal? Why are Alabama rigs illegal in tournaments? Why is trolling illegal in tournaments? It is because it gives the angler a huge advantage. Fishing competitively should be just that. A level playing field where your ability and knowledge is weighed against the field. It should not be determined by your ability to flip a switch and call yourself a pro.

FFS tools have advanced to a stage where most anyone can work them. I will say that there is a big learning curve. You won’t just turn it on and all of a sudden become Kevin Van Dam. But when an angler has sponsor money to burn and time to burn you cannot and will not compete with someone who knows the little tricks and tips that are unshared to consistently use this tool to compete. I am all for FFS for crappie. It has significantly changed my fishing style because I’m fishing for the fish fryer. However, bass are not in that category as I’ve said for years. Their mortality rate and rate of survival is lower and even sport fishing for bass with FFS can be dangerous. We can seriously damage the species and enjoyment of bass fishing by hammering away at them because we can. Again, much related to hunting as if we harbor the “brown its down” attitude, you can all attest to that result.

There are the big three of FFS and Garmin, Lowrance and Humminbird all have quality units and technology to offer. The Livescope by Garmin was my choice and I have thoroughly enjoyed using it. But again, I don’t tournament fish. BASS, MLF and other major fishing organizations need to understand that it makes for very boring television and it is a threat to fishing. It is a threat to our children and grandchildren’s legacy. When I started fishing, we didn’t know what a graph or fish finder was. We learned fish behavior, matched the hatch and did our due diligence. Nowdays, Junior can back in his $100k boat pulled by Daddy’s truck and flip a switch on a lake he has never seen and catch fish. That’s all and good but when that kid starts comparing himself to a Greg Hackney or a Larry Nixon, we have lost sight of what really matters. If you want to be a pro, do it right. Learn the way we did and the forward facing sonar will be another tool that you may never need. That is unless you want to go to Champlain or St. Lawrence and play the video game that falsely makes you feel like you have made the big time. Give me old school any day and take this article as it is meant. We can do better.



Along came a spider and sat down in this creepy, crawly, Halloween space. By utilizing a moss wreath, Taylor Bennett transformed his door into a spooky haven for these eight-legged critters using spider webs and ribbon.


Styled Photograph by KELLY MOORE CLARK


These sculptural elements add visual interest to any space. Create an artistic ambiance by incorporating busts or unique candle holders to your home’s décor.

Styled by TAYLOR BENNETT Photograph by KELLY MOORE CLARK Clockwise from top left: bust from Revival Design & Consign, fluid gold sculpture from Haven, horse from Material Things, links from Palette House and Plume, candle holder from Muffin Tin/The Trenton House, large gold sculpture from Lauren Roebuck Designs, concrete planter from Woodstock Monroe, abstract profile from Walsworth & Company

Clifton & Company

Flooring and Design

FOR LEIGHANNA CLIFTON, STARTING CLIFTON AND Company is personal. “I have been in this industry for 15 years and I have always dreamed of owning a design center that had a boutique feel. I want my customers to feel like they can stop in, with their children, have a cup of coffee and browse. The other day, a customer’s baby was crawling around on carpet samples during our appointment and I thought, this is what I dreamed of creating.”

Clifton and Company is a the proverbial “one-stop shop” design center for anyone needing to create or recreate their life’s spaces. From flooring to countertops to wallpaper, Clifton and Company focuses on bringing life and individuality to these spaces by walking a customer through the conceptual design process one step at a time. “One thing I have learned,” says Leighanna, “is that most people get overwhelmed during the design process. It’s so hard to watch the stress it causes; and many people are just miserable as they try to navigate from one store to the next picking everything out. Seriously, they float from one store to another for countertops, carpet, wallpaper, paint…but at Clifton and Company, they only have to make one stop and we cover all the bases.”

Continues Leighanna,, “Colors are important in someone’s living space, whether it’s their home or business, but selecting the right color schemes that are cohesive and appealing can be very overwhelming. That’s where my team’s expertise can help the most. Because once you have your paint colors picked out, it makes the rest of the process pretty painless. Many clients, I would say 85-90% of them, allow us to pick out their color schemes for them, and I love the trust they place in us for that.”

Since opening the doors of Clifton and Company in August, Leighanna says they have been overwhelmed by the support of their community. “Over the summer as we were preparing our building to open, I was getting phone calls every day, and this was even before we opened our doors! That really gave me such confidence and was such a rush of energy. I’m just so grateful to be on Trenton Street, neighbors to so many wonderful businesses and in a position to offer services to help our customers. It’s very exciting and I feel nothing but gratitude.”

“When it comes down to it, your customers just want you to care about their home, or whatever space we are creating, and I truly do. It’s so gratifying to be trusted by them and I love being able to do this on a daily basis. When they walk in Clifton and Company, they will hear wonderful music, smell lovely candles and have a cup of coffee waiting on them. It’s truly my dream come true.”

Leighanna is also quick to add that she has enlisted the help of Grace Brazell to the Clifton and Company team. Grace is originally from West Monroe and recently graduated from Louisiana Tech with a bachelors degree in Interior Design and a minor in Business Management. “Grace is truly an asset to Clifton and Company. She is a perfect fit. Not only does she help clients bring life and individuality to their spaces through conceptual design, she is a great listener and takes the needs of the client into account.”

Leighanna also understands the value of the community and being present and supportive for community events and organizations. “Listen, I have children and I know how important it is to give back. Having a business gives you more opportunities to help and to serve and I am already doing that on behalf of my business. I look forward to other opportunities to give back to the community that has always supported me and the new faces I will meet in the years to come.”

Speaking of a new year, an expansion of the existing product base is already being planned for January. Says Leighanna, “My husband has to remind me to slow down! But I have so many other services I want to add to Clifton and Company. I have to remember that slowing down and enjoying these first months as we get our legs under us is also important. With that being said, I look forward to adding additional services that will make it even easier for my customers during their design process.”

Clifton and Company is looking forward to their Grand Opening on Saturday, October 28th starting at noon. The festivities are still being arranged but guests can expect food trucks, a bounce house for the kids and Forever bracelets. Laughs Leighanna, “It will be like a big block party. Music, food and community, that’s a great combination! I am especially excited about the 318 wall mural that I’m currently having painted outside our building. It’s another way to show our community our gratitude, by providing a beautiful space to take pictures. We look forward to seeing our existing customers as well as new faces at our grand opening. It will be a wonderful party and time of celebration!”

They say if you build it they will come, and Leighanna Clifton is positive that her new Trenton Street home will be providing the space to build a design center that combines a boutique experience with an opportunity to get “everything done” in one stop for her customers. Visit Clifton and Company at 507 Trenton for all your design needs. They are also available on Saturday by appointment.



Looking for a fun craft for the littles? Leaf the hauntingly good ideas to us. The only items you need to complete this spooktacular activity is foraged leaves, white spray paint and a black Sharpie to draw on the faces.


Marsala Beverage Company

The Gold Standard Since 1925

MODELO IS OWNED BY A LARGE, NEW YORK-BASED conglomerate called Constellation Brands, making it economic stepcousins with brands like apparent competitor Corona & Pacifico.

Modelo is the second most imported beer in the U.S. In 2018, we drank almost 64 million cases of the stuff. And even though Modelo came second to Corona in total consumption, Corona only had a 9 percent growth in sales from the previous year while Modelo consumption rose by 15 percent from 2017 to 2018. Both Corona and Modelo (and all Mexican beer) outpaced other countries in imported beer in 2018 and 2019.

Modelo Especial is a light, crisp, pilsner-style beer. But its younger sibling, Negra Modelo, is modeled after the super-popular Munich-born dunkel style, made with roasted caramel malts and brewed longer for a slightly richer, dark-brass-colored beer. It’s also the most successful German-Mexican culinary hybrid out there.

New for this year, Modelo Especial has entered into a partnership with Louisiana Tech to become the official beer partner of LA Tech athletics. Marsala Beverage has been a partner with LA Tech for the past 20 years and we are excited to see Modelo step in and become the official beer for LA Tech athletics. Be on the look out for some exciting this with this program.

Most of us consume Modelo in decidedly non-pugnacious moods, e.g., at barbecues, lounging poolside, hiding from the sun under a schmear of zinc and a beach umbrella.

CORONA EXTRA With a refreshing, smooth taste balanced between heavier European imports and lighter domestic beer, Corona is an evenkeeled cerveza with fruity-honey aromas and a touch of malt. The flavor is crisp, clean and well balanced between hops and malt. A superior taste profile from superior ingredients.

CORONA LIGHT Corona Light is a pilsner-style lager with a uniquely refreshing taste—brewed for outstanding light flavor with a crisp, clean finish. Its pleasant, fruity-honey aroma and distinctive hop flavor make it a favorite of those seeking a light beer that is full of flavor. Corona Light’s naturally easy-drinking style makes it perfect for pairing with spicy and citrus-infused dishes.

CORONA PREMIER Corona Premier offers the premium low-carb, light beer experience you’ve been waiting for. Its refined, crisp taste and even-bodied feel makes it the smoothest and most drinkable Corona. With only 2.6g of carbs and 90 calories, Corona Premier is perfect for casual entertaining, sharing with guests, or rewarding yourself for a day welllived.

CORONA FAMILIAR The best beers are made to be shared. That is why Corona Familiar embraces the bright, crisp taste Corona is known for with a slightly fuller flavor, higher ABV, and shareable 32oz packaging. With strong ties to authenticity and heritage, Corona Familiar is best served in small gatherings with close friends and family, using the tradition of sharing to create meaningful experiences.

CORONA REFRESCA Corona Refresca is a premium spiked refresher that brings the taste of the tropics from Mexico to you. Available in Passionfruit Lime and Guava Lime, it is a bright, flavorful malt beverage with 4.5% ABV and natural fruit flavors. Crisp, flavorful, and never too sweet, Corona Refresca doesn’t sweep you away to the tropics, it brings the topics to you.

CORONA SELTZER The #1 most refreshing beer is bringing a lighter, less filling option to the hard seltzer category. Introducing Corona Hard Seltzer, the only 0g carb, all Corona, hard seltzer. With 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 90 calories, 4.5% ABV and gluten-free, Corona Hard Seltzer is a tasty, better-for-you alcoholic beverage rooted in Corona’s chill attitude and high-end credibility. This 12-pack variety includes: Tropical Lime, Cherry, Blackberry Lime and Mango.

NEGRA MODELO Negra Modelo, better known as “the cream of the beer,” is a Munich-type beer with 5.3º of alcohol that offers a balanced flavor and a delicate aroma of dark malt, caramel and hops. Today it occupies the first place in sales among dark beers in Mexico. This beer is accompanied by a bright deep amber color, which is adorned with abundant, white and compact foam. Negra Modelo was introduced in Mexico in 1925 as the dark beer called Modelo, to begin its great tradition. In 2014 it changed its image to a more sophisticated bottle but with the same content.

Marsala Beverage is a local-based company that employs about 100 full-time employees, which all live and support the community of Northeast Louisiana. Each employee bases his or her success on never losing sight of delivering what is really important – quality products, timely service and a genuine concern for our customers’ needs. Please find us at or follow us on social media:

Facebook: Marsala Beverage

Twitter : @marsalabeverag1

Instagram: @marsalabeverage


Spook-tacular Specials

The Medical Spa by St. Francis Medical Group

SOMETHING’S BREWING AT THE MEDICAL SPA! WE’VE GOT spooky good deals and we’re excited to tell you that from now until October 31st, these specials will make you scream with delight.


Boo to fine line and wrinkles! We’ve got the cure at our annual BooTox Bash! Schedule a Botox appointment between October 25th and October 31st and Botox will be $11/unit and Dysport $9/unit! These appointments fill quickly, so call and schedule today.


It’s not a bunch of hocus pocus, we have a magic ZO potion just for you! ZO Growth Factor Serum and ZO Growth Factor Eye Serum will be 25% off the entire month. When growth factors are applied topically, they help improve the appearance of aging skin by supporting natural collagen and elastin. ZO Growth Factor Serum is clinically proven to help restore a more youthful appearance by visibly improving fine lines and wrinkles. The Growth Factor Eye Serum boasts the same growth factor technology and is specifically designed with ingredients that target the delicate eye area. It works to improve the look of dark circles, creases and hollows while refreshing the look of tired eyes. Grab yours this month!


Shed the dead with a chemical peel this fall. Chemical peels provide exfoliation to the top layer of skin to enable the skin’s natural process of healing and restoration. They can treat a range of skin health concerns, such as sunspots, uneven skin tone, lines and wrinkles, breakouts and rough texture. Peels can be more superficial with minimal to no healing time, or they can be more corrective and require a longer recovery time.

• ZO Glow Treatment (Stimulator Peel) – This treatment is great for textured and dull skin. This treatment contains a combination of exfoliating ingredients to renew and revive skin and requires no downtime.

• ZO 3-Step Peel – This potent peel provides epidermal exfoliation and boosts skin renewal for longer-lasting results. It is designed to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, acne scarring, large pores and dullness. Downtime is typically 5-7 days. This peel requires a consultation and pre-conditioning to enhance overall results.


Pick your poison! Choose from any of our IV drips and receive BOGO 50% off the entire month of October. Our IV drip therapies are the perfect solution for anyone looking to improve their health and wellness. The optimal way to fuel your body with essential, electrolytes, vitamins and antioxidants!

• Immunity - Boost your immune system and feel better faster

• Inner Beauty (Glow) - Fight acne, wrinkles and tired skin from the inside out

• Hydrate and Refresh (Enhance, Boost, Hydrate) - Decrease recovery time and enhance your performance

• Myers’ Cocktail (The “Gold Standard”) - Immunity boosting, improves cold and flu symptoms, reduces fatigue, hangover remedy, headache relief, improves PMS symptoms and bloating, improves brain fog


Transform your look this season with Ideal Protein.

What is 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 include personalized coaching that will help you develop smarter eating habits and lifestyle choices and maintain your weight after weight loss is achieved. The Medical Spa team is excited to help you achieve your goals. Contact us to schedule your consultation.

There are no tricks this month, only treats! Come by The Medical Spa during October to take advantage of the hauntingly good specials. We are in the James R. Wolff Building (also known as the P&S Building) in downtown Monroe. Our address is 312 Grammont St., Suite 406, across from St. Francis Medical Center.

Follow The Medical Spa by St. Francis Medical Group on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all current events, promotions and new services.


Mashaw Exceeding Expectations

Mashaw’s Record Earned Him the Endorsement of Sheriff Jay Russell and 17 Other Sheriffs

WHEN A CAMPAIGN PLANS A FUNDRAISING event, they must estimate attendance to have a venue to handle the estimated headcount and have enough food for everyone. The September 7, 2023, fundraising event for Chief Marc Mashaw exceeded all expectations! When you run out of the 200 printed name tags halfway through the event then you know the event has been a huge, huge success in turnout and support.

Sheriff Russell introduced Marc and said, “No other candidate, nobody out there has the experience that Marc has to run the Sheriff’s Office and continue the level of service the public deserves. I introduce to you our Chief Deputy, and with prayers and the good Lord’s support, the next Sheriff of Ouachita Parish, Marc Mashaw.”

Mashaw spoke from the heart when thanking the crowd. He said he was humbled by the show of support and blessed to be a part of the team at OPSO who help protect our communities.

“I know now how truly blessed I am to have been chosen to be a deputy with OPSO 34 years ago. The culture at OPSO is one of a servant’s heart for service. Our employees and my fellow deputies are committed to service above self. Quite often during disasters or major events all hands are out and working without being required or even asked.

In 2008, I was promoted to Captain of the Communications and Computer Services Divisions. That year we began a priority plan to improve technology so our deputies could communicate better and respond quicker helping protect our families and communities. Technology improvements also allows us to investigate and handle cases faster than ever before.

When it comes to protecting our communities so much has changed over the past few years.

The good news is that Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s office has updated technology and training to be on the cutting edge for the world we live in today. Some of the technology improvements at OPSO are:

• Computer Aided Dispatch- paperless no redundant data entry from contact, to report, arrest, and criminal justice system.

• Automated fingerprint Identification System – allows for rapid comparison of fingerprints.

• Automated license plate recognition system (force multiplier)

• Ballistic IQ – comparison of shell casing at a scene that identifies casing from weapons used before and how many weapons.

• Surveillance and facial recognition system. Allows us to identify subjects from surveillance cameras, ring doorbells and security cameras.

• Body cameras – allow deputies to have a backup witness with them on calls for evidence gathering and documentation of the encounters.

• Patrol unit mobile computers.

• We have currently received funding for a RAPID DNA – this looks to be a game changer for law enforcement as it allows for rapid DNA comparisons at our office. Currently we must send off DNA samples and it could take weeks. This technology could turn out to be a bigger breakthrough than the discovery of fingerprint identification.

These are just a few of the improvements in technology that have made it possible to make the updates at the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office.

In 2011, I was promoted to my current position of Chief Deputy. The Chief position is like a COO or Chief Operating Officer of a corporation.

As Chief, I’m tasked with overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the team of 400 men and women of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office. And I’m happy to report, we have maintained a balanced budget and have a fiscally responsible record with good audits.

Training is a top priority, and the commitment is evident in the construction and implementation of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office Training Center which houses the North Delta Regional Training Academy, serving the 12 parishes that make up the North Delta Region. If you haven’t been out to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Training Center and the Academy, call me and we will give you a tour of this amazing training facility.

Because of our record and community outreach, I can say we have one of the best sheriff’s offices anywhere.

I will publicly commit to continue to maintain a record of performance that you can be proud of. With your support, we will continue to stay on the cutting edge of technology, be fiscally responsible, and train and equip our deputies so that we can continue to help keep our families safe.” Chief


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.


Holiday Open House

Shop Local This Holiday Season

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH and join these businesses for a Holiday Open House. Haven, Parterre, Palette House and Plume, InHouse Interiors, Woodstock, Artistic Designs and The Biedenharn Museum Store. This Open House will be an all-day event starting at 10:00am. From 3:00-7:00 businesses will have light refreshments and they will be open late until 7:00.

Every participating shop has donated a gift certificate or item to create one large door prize for this event. The more shops you make a purchase, the more chances you have to win this fantastic door prize! Shopping local this Holiday Season is the best way to support businesses that are there for you all year long.

HAVEN | 1127 FORSYTHE AVENUE | 318.398.3298

Haven is an upscale design and gift shop. This boutique offers an amazing selection of gifts for both men and women. The design area of their shop features bedding, pillows, and a large variety of design accessories. They offer beautiful complimentary gift wrap and personalized service. PARTERRE | 813 PARK AVENUE | 318.323.7009

Inspired by travel, friends, and personal collections, Parterre collaborates with artists and vendors to bring you beautiful, unique accessories and statement pieces to add to your surroundings, whether inside or outside. With our exceptional inventory and bountiful plants, Parterre has what you need for the holiday season or any season!

PALETTE HOUSE & PLUME | 1901 N 3RD STREET | 318.654.4879

Palette House & Plume is a home furnishings and clothing boutique located in the historic garden district. They are a curated boutique for your home and wardrobe offering a variety of furniture, home goods, gifts, and clothing.


InHouse Interiors offers a diverse range of furniture and home accessories to help create the perfect living space that suits your individual style and budget. We offer a variety of gifts ranging from unique religious items to candles, and much more. Create a beautiful home for the holidays with our variety of seasonal decorations including wreaths, garlands, ribbons and ornaments. Stop by and talk with our experienced design consultant to assist you in creating the perfect look for your home.

WOODSTOCK MONROE | 1806 N 3RD STREET | 318.340.9830

Woodstock Monroe offers a little bit of everything! From vintage finds, local goods, trendy clothing, and more; they have you covered for the holiday season!


Artistic Designs offers the largest and most unique selection of picture frame mouldings and matboards in the area. Stop by and let us design the perfect presentation for your artwork or treasure! Don’t forget to view the artwork of Larry Cavalier and many others.


Biedenharn Museum and Gardens invites visitors to the Museum Store who will be delighted to find items related to the Biedenharn’s multi-faceted mission. Browse a great selection of Coca-Cola Christmas Decorations and collectibles, as well as jewelry, decorative accessories, gardening/floral items, and products (some edible) representing Louisiana’s unique culture. Open Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 5:00.


8th Annual WINGS College Camp

The University of Louisiana at Monroe


Monroe’s TRIO Programs Student Support Services (TRIO SSS) successfully concluded its 8th Annual WINGS College Transition Camp from August 16th to 18th, 2023. The ULM WINGS Camp, a 3-day college transition program, took place just before the commencement of the fall semester and was exclusively designed for newly admitted TRIO-SSS program participants at ULM. The primary objective of the camp was to equip first-generation college students with the necessary tools for a seamless transition into university life. This involved acquainting them with campus resources, offering personalized guidance and support, fostering peer-mentoring relationships, cultivating a supportive community, and insights into the college experience.

This year’s camp saw the enthusiastic participation of fourteen first-generation, first-time freshmen. Participants had the

opportunity to settle into their dormitories early, allowing them to actively engage in a series of workshops and activities that catered to their academic, career, financial, and social needs.

To commemorate their participation, each attendee of the ULM WINGS Camp received a TRIO Scholar t-shirt, a TRIO Scholar tote bag, and a copy of Dr. Susan Lieberman’s book titled Crack the Code: A Guide to College Success for First Gens. The ULM TRIO SSS team also organized a dedicated session for parents and family members, where they shared information about the TRIO-SSS program and offered guidance

“Research indicates that students who participate in summer transition programs are more likely to persist through their first year and graduate within a reasonable timeframe,” Dr. Mystee Burrell, Assistant Director of ULM TRIO SSS, “Programs like the WINGS College Transition Camp help set a positive

tone for the entire college experience, laying a strong foundation for academic and personal success”.

The ULM TRIO Programs team would like to thank the following ULM Faculty and Staff members for serving as guest speakers: Telitha Doke, Mathematics Instructor and Director of the Math Resource Center; Kambry Ford, Student Employment Coordinator; Shonnie Hall, Office Manager for Career Development; and Timothy McMahan, Biology Instructor and Core Laboratory Manager.

TRIO-SSS is one of the eight TRIO Programs fully funded through the U.S. Department of Education to assist firstgeneration, income-eligible students to remain in good academic standing and graduate from college. Catherine Estis, ULM TRIO Executive Director states that the ULM TRIO SSS Wings Camp helps create learning environments that foster increased student engagement and lead to greater success toward college graduation.

To learn more about the ULM TRIO SSS program or to apply, visit or stop by the TRIO-SSS office located in Strauss Hall room 206 or the ULM TRIO office Sandel Hall 3rd Floor. Additional contact information can be obtained by calling (318) 342-1097 or via email at burrell@ulm.eduor


Melissa Stroud

Whether you spotted her slinging lattes and cappuccinos at the café where she baristas or selling her creations at a local art market, you could probably tell at first glance that Melissa Stroud marches to her own drumbeat. “I think a lot of people see me and say, ‘Oh, she’s different, but she’s owning it. She’s very comfortable with herself,’” the Louisiana native muses. Anyone who thinks that of Stroud is correct. She is different, and she’s comfortable with herself, thanks to her upbringing in a household that valued and encouraged self-expression. She is confident enough to embrace standing out. And, as any artist would, she brings that confidence into her work.

Many of Stroud’s fellow North Louisiana creatives busy themselves sketching lifelike portraits or painting landscape scenes, but her work tends to depict other images. Like her peers, she paints and draws. But she focuses much of her energy on creating three-dimensional artwork with things like pressed flowers, animal skulls, and preserved butterflies.

“I’ve always had an interest in things that aren’t necessarily considered beautiful,” she says, explaining her unique choice of materials. She adds, “I wanted to find a way to incorporate those things with those that are generally beautiful, like flowers.”

The young artist uses the combination of lovely and not-so-lovely things — flowers and skulls or preserved bugs and insects — to shine a light on a dark, often avoided topic: death.

“Death is kind of a scary thing,” Stroud admits. “We don’t know exactly what happens when we die, and it’s something that brings fear to a lot of people. But death is unavoidable. Eventually, we will all succumb to something, and I want to show people it doesn’t have to be this scary thing. You’ve lived your life and left a mark on the world. Let it be an inspiration.”

Stroud hasn’t always had such a brave, optimistic perception of death — “I tried not to think about [it],” she tells BayouLife when asked how her younger self viewed the topic. But now, she embraces it fully, acknowledging death as a natural part of life.

“As I got older and death became more prevalent — people close to me passed away — I adopted the idea that when we die, it can be something beautiful. We go to heaven or whatever afterlife you believe in,” she shares. “But I can show that it’s beautiful before we pass and give people the idea that death isn’t something to be feared.”

Stroud’s intent to normalize death and alleviate fears surrounding it led her to create Of Life and Loss Creations, the business under which she sells her art. The name is somewhat self-explanatory, she says, adding, “It speaks to what my business is about. I sell stickers with zodiac symbols and make birthflower paintings. Those have the life aspect. There’s loss [shown in] the preserved butterflies I use and the animal skulls. [What I sell] is an incorporation of the two, life and loss.”

The macabre, gothic pieces Stroud makes aren’t for everyone — and taxidermy artwork isn’t super prevalent in the area, either! — but she isn’t deterred by the naysayers she sometimes encounters.

“I’ve had a few people look [at my art] and say, ‘Oh, that’s so dark. You should do something a little bit lighter,’” she says. “But I also have people that have purchased from me who are glad to see something different. That’s what encourages me, and I try to let the negative comments roll off my back. It’s not for everyone. I knew that going in.”

Stroud admits it’s frustrating when people don’t like her art, but she reminds herself that, regardless of what they make, every artist experiences criticism or rejection.

“Everyone has an opinion on what you make,” she declares. “They might want you to do something differently, but it’s all about what you’re making. You are the artist, and your creations are a symbolic representation of who you are. I want to fully be myself through my art. That’s all that matters to me.”


“Gold shows royalty. It’s very elegant, so I use it to add to the beauty of it all. It’s contrasting to the art I do. [Gold is] elegant, and most people don’t see death as an elegant thing.”

The ability to express herself freely through her work is another reason Stroud began Of Life and Loss Creations. She had been interested in art since childhood and decided early on that she could see herself pursuing a career in the field. So, she did what many others do: enrolled in a university graphic design program. However, it didn’t take long for her to realize that graphic design wouldn’t give her the artistic autonomy she craved.

“I dropped out around the time COVID happened,” she says. “[The pandemic] made it really hard to do drawing classes online, so I took a break from art altogether for a while. Then, my husband and I saw some artists selling bone art. They were pieces you don’t normally see in this area. And it inspired me.”

Stroud says now that a career in graphic design wouldn’t have fulfilled her — “I don’t love being told what I have to draw.” — but she gives her brief stint at college credit for developing some of the skills she uses in the art she makes now.

“[College] taught me a lot about composition and how to keep the viewer’s eye moving throughout your piece. I use a lot of that in my art,” she shares. Then, she dives deeper into her creative process and what making her preserved butterfly- or animal skull-emblazoned pieces typically looks like.

“The frames I use are thrifted, just to embrace Of Life and Loss; that frame was lost to someone, but it’s new to me, and I’m using it for something new,” she says. “I usually spray paint it gold or black and add some new details to it.”

Stroud says even the colors of the frame contribute to her life and loss, light and dark, themes, “Gold shows royalty. It’s very elegant, so I use it to add to the beauty of it all. It’s contrasting to the art I do. [Gold is] elegant, and most people don’t see death as an elegant thing.”

Then, after adding paint — giving new life — to the frame, she begins working on what goes inside of it. She explains, “I usually use


“The frames I use are thrifted, just to embrace Of Life and Loss; that frame was lost to someone, but it’s new to me, and I’m using it for something new,” she says. “I usually spray paint it gold or black and add some new details to it.”

velvet material to back the frame. I pin or use craft glue to adhere the flowers, bones, and butterflies to the backing. As I go, I see where different spaces need something.”

The result of these efforts are pieces that blend life and death beautifully, offer local art fans a taste of something different, and satiate Stroud’s desire to create the things she wants to make. She categorizes her work as gothic art, a style that’s received a bigger following in recent years. But because she knows not everyone shares her interest in darker, gothic-style work, she also offers paintings of birthflowers. That way, her collection has a little something for everyone.

“I found a book called The Wise Garden Encyclopedia,” she says of creating the flowery images. “In it, I’d look up whatever flower or plant I wanted to do, sketch it out in pencil, and paint it. I take inspiration from other paintings of the same flower I find, but ultimately, I create something new and unique.”

The birth flower paintings cater to those who aren’t quite as fond of her macabre taxidermy creations, but they also reinforce one statement Stroud wants local art patrons to know: death isn’t the only thing on her mind.

“I’m not a scary person,” she says. “I love life. I hope people can see there’s more to my art than meets the eye.”

Keep up with Melissa Stroud and Of Life and Loss Creations on Instagram, @oflifeandlossco.


100 Years In Monroe

MOEbiz Reaches Centennial Status

ONLY 0.5% OF COMPANIES IN THE UNITED STATES make it to 100 years in business. In Louisiana, the percentage is even smaller. MOEbiz (previously Monroe Office Equipment) has been a Monroe staple since 1923 when Armand V. Breard began selling Sundstrand Adding Machines. He saw a need in the community for reliable adding machines and typewriters. Soon after, Monroe Store & Office Equipment Co. was incorporated. This began many years of success for Armand V. Breard. He took on Royal Typewriter Distributorship, and a year later moved the business to 510 Walnut St. where it stayed until 1972. Throughout the Great Depression their efforts were fruitful, with expansions to Alexandria in 1940 and Lake Charles in 1944, creating both Alexandria Office Equipment Co. and Lake Charles Office Co.

MOEbiz has been a family affair since its inception. Armand V. Breard passed down the business to his son, Armand E. Breard in 1969, who ran the company until 1990. Armand E. then passed it down to his son, and current owner, Chap Breard. Each generation of Monroe Office Equipment has been steadfast with keeping their products modern and growing with the times, from typewriters to printers and copiers, as well as the addition of office furniture, records management, and technology. Armand V.’s motto has stayed at the core of everything they’ve done, “OURS is a trade that service made.”

Armand E. Breard was committed to providing the best possible service for customers. Technicians were sent to factory schools for every brand the firm was a dealer for. These included Apple, Ditto, Gestetner, IBM, Minolta, Mita, SHARP, Lanier, HP, and many others. This dedication allowed his team to be the best in the area and secured many big projects for the company. The Federal Government provided funds to local libraries allowing Monroe Office Equipment to furnish Ouachita, Bienville, Caldwell, West Baton Rouge, and Lincoln Parish Libraries. They also furnished LSU Medical School-Shreveport library and LA Tech library.

When ownership was passed to Chap Breard, he had big dreams for the future of the company. Chap is incredibly growthminded and happy to evolve to what fits the current markets. In 2003 he built a new facility at 3177 Sterlington Rd. in Monroe. The new facility allowed for expansion of the company to fit more territories and more markets. In 2012 he officially changed the name to MOEbiz and sold the furniture supply business. He purchased File Depot and began the Records Management department. MOEbiz has also ventured into Cybersecurity, Managed Network, and Audio/Video. MOEbiz has moved its location to 2318 Armand Connector in Monroe where we are currently building our state-of-the-art Technology Showroom showcasing Audio Video Equipment. We also have locations at 705 N 31st, 3000 & 3002 Desoto as well as locations in Ruston & El Dorado.

We are extremely grateful for the support of shopping locally. MOEbiz is thankful to be able to serve Monroe, West Monroe, as well as surrounding areas.


Are You Due For a Checkup?

Schedule an Appointment Today

IF OUR TEAM HERE AT BAYOU DENTAL GROUP HAD our way, we’d see every single patient of ours at least twice a year for routine dental cleanings and exams. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

We understand that life gets pretty hectic. With work, school, and kids, it’s sometimes hard to find the time for regular dental visits when you have so many other responsibilities competing for your attention.

There are all sorts of reasons people might not make it to the dentist regularly. Maybe it’s a busy schedule, maybe it’s fear, or maybe you’re embarrassed about the state of your oral health because you’ve stayed away too long. The fact is, professional dental care can make all the difference when it comes to achieving and maintaining your healthiest smile.

That’s why Dr. Finley, Dr. Henderson and our highly-trained hygienists want to make sure you know just how important it is that you visit our Monroe, LA dental office for routine checkups!


Gum disease creeps in slowly to destroy your oral health, often without you even realizing it’s happening. That’s why professional dental care matters more than anything.

In our Monroe dental office, you’ll find highly-trained hygienists who have the experience and professional tools to give your teeth and gums the deep cleaning necessary to remove plaque and tartar buildup that you can’t reach with your toothbrush and dental floss at home.

Dr. Finley and Dr. Henderson can then thoroughly examine your mouth and catch any signs of dental problems. With technology such as digital X-rays, they are able to catch the things that threaten your oral health that you can’t see on your own. We also offer dental sealants and fluoride treatments for added protection against tooth decay and cavities, even for adults.

These are just some of the ways a dental professional can make the difference between a glowing, healthy smile and dull, damaged teeth and poor oral health.


The best defense your mouth has against harmful bacteria is prevention. That may begin with your daily oral hygiene at home, but that’s only half of what it really takes for strong, healthy teeth and gums.

You need help from professionals like you’ll find here at Bayou Dental Group. Our passion is helping patients get healthy and stay that way, but we can only help if you come to see us for regular cleanings and exams. Without vigilance and proper professional dental care, there is only so much you can do at home to maintain lasting oral health.


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 questions 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 responded, “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 kprice@northdeltatitle. com. They are here to help and look forward to helping make your dreams of home ownership a reality.


Boost Your Confidence

At DermaMediQ on Lamy Lane

EVERY WOMAN, REGARDLESS OF HER AGE, ASPIRES TO look and feel her absolute best. At DermaMedicQ, Dr. Sowma and her dedicated team are committed to helping men and women achieve this goal by offering an array of skincare solutions. Their range of treatments caters to various skincare needs, addressing concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and sagging skin, among others. In this article, we will delve into the world of DermaMediQ, exploring the transformative power of their services, including BodyTite, Restylane Kysse lip fillers, Botox, and dermal fillers.

Plump Up Your Pout with Restylane Kysse

For those seeking the perfect pout, Restylane Kysse presents an exciting solution. It is the first lip filler designed with XpresHAn Technology™, offering both flexible movement and natural-looking volume that can last for up to one year. Restylane Kysse enhances the texture and color of the lips while preserving their full range of expressions. Dr. Sowma, with her expertise, can provide patients with lips that look naturally voluminous and exude a soft and kissable quality.

The necessity for lip enhancements often arises due to the natural aging process, which results in decreased lip elasticity, volume, and color. Restylane Kysse, with its innovative gel formulation, allows the skilled staff at DermaMedicQ to target these specific concerns. The result is a subtle yet transformative enhancement that leaves your lips with a natural and captivating smile.

Say Goodbye to “Gummy” Smiles

Restylane Kysse isn’t just for plumping lips; it can also address “gummy” smiles. If you’re dissatisfied with the excessive gum exposure when you smile, Dr. Sowma and her team have a quick and effective solution. They can treat and rectify this concern, ensuring that your smile radiates confidence and harmony.

Navigating the World of Botox and Fillers

The distinction between Botox and dermal fillers can sometimes seem blurred, but Dr. Sowma and her knowledgeable staff can guide you toward the most suitable treatment for your unique needs while ensuring a natural, non-overdone result. Botox, a neurotoxin, is an ideal choice for treating dynamic wrinkles, such as those that form naturally around the mouth and eyes, as well as the furrows between the eyebrows. In contrast, dermal fillers are primarily employed to address wrinkles on the face. They are particularly effective for smoothing smile lines and can also be used to plump the lips and cheeks, restoring youthful volume and contour.

Age Is No Barrier to Beauty

BodyTite takes body contouring to a whole new level. This innovative procedure , performed by Dr. Bakeer, utilizes advanced radiofrequency-assisted lipolysis technology to simultaneously melt fat and tighten skin. By employing controlled energy delivery, BodyTite stimulates collagen production, resulting in smoother, firmer, and more youthful-looking skin.

DermaMediQ’s BodyTite procedure offers a non-surgical alternative to traditional surgical skin tightening methods. This means reduced downtime, minimal scarring, and quicker recovery compared to invasive surgical procedures.


Breast Cancer Awareness

Advocate For Your Breast Health

Greetings readers from the comfort of my big comfy chair where you will find me writing this month’s column. I hope this finds you and yours enjoying what I consider to be the beginning of the holiday season. It’s hard to believe we are pulling out the fall decorations and thinking about what we want to dress up as for Halloween. Well, I already kind of dressed up…a little early this year, so I can put a check in that box. Oh, I know what your next question(s) will be, something along the lines of “What did you dress up for?” And then when I tell you, your next one will be, “So tell me again how old you are?” Yeah, so about that. I let Elle Woods aka Brandi Cole (yes, I am calling you out in my column, Sister, which I rarely do, but sometimes you just have to give the credit where the credit is due) talk me into emceeing the Twin City Ballet Lip Sync Battle again. Incidentally, it’s the fourth year in a row I got on a stage in front of a million people and made a complete fool out of myself…which includes dressing up. Like in a ballet tutu complete with a leotard, tights and ballet shoes. Right, so I’ve seen the pictures and let me tell you I look like I need an epidural so I can get ready to push. Can I say that in a children’s column? Well, I am because it’s the God’s honest truth. I’m kind of exaggerating but readers, it gets worse…I ended the night dressed as Dolly Parton lip syncing to Islands in the Stream. “How can we be wrong? Sail away with me…to another world.” I’ll tell you I

was completely wrong and I need to sail away somewhere and join my family who have all left town for good. SOS. It always seems like a good idea and the next thing you know I am standing on a stage with an inflated chest acting like I’m the Queen of Country. Hopefully not too many of our community friends are permanently scarred and I can go back to the grocery store soon. Or my job. Or church. Wonder what my moratorium is?

Anyways, speaking of chests…that’s what we will call “them” this month, right? Because we all know what October represents to millions of women who have survived breast cancer or who are currently undergoing treatment, and that’s breast cancer awareness month. Hummmmm…I’ve been thinking over the past few weeks about what I wanted to say about “it” this month. In the spirit of transparency friends, which I always try to be, hence the visual depiction of my recent costume fallacy, there are days when I just don’t want to talk about “it” anymore, you know? Like I get so tired of hearing about friends, some I have never met, who have to start their BC journey and I just get mad all over again. It’s okay to be mad about “it” I guess, I mean, it’s a good thing it’s okay to be mad because I just am. Now, let me get one thing out on the table, readers, I am totally fine. I am. But what I would also like to say is the past three years (can you believe it’s been that long) have been no picnic. One of the hardest parts are my now every


5-month visits to check-up on my progress. I keep telling my doctor there “is nothing wrong with me” and he said recently, “Cindy you are perfect.” Perfect…makes you think of Bo Derek, right? So I say, “Well, I’m not a 10 but I’m definitely an 8.” Blank look. Crickets. He didn’t even laugh at my joke! He just ask me if I had any more questions. I’m telling you, I just dread these visits all the way around. For you see, readers, when you’ve heard the “C” word as it applies to your own health, you never want to hear it again. At least for me, I just have this fear somewhere deep in my heart and I am not entirely sure how to work through it; perhaps I never will. Even when I graduate to follow-up visits every 6 months, I think I will still feel anxious and worried. Anybody feel my pain?

One of my greatest heart’s desires is to completely eradicate all cancers, not just breast, but in the breast cancer world, there are ways to be proactive so that someone might never have to go through the treatment. I will always stand on my platform in this column, and thanks be to Cassie for allowing me to, for early detection. I think I’ve shared

that my doctor says we are at an 85% cure rate for breast cancer patients, with the other 15% being those that either ignored a symptom or didn’t have their yearly mammograms.

Here’s where I come in with my platform…have your mammogram. If you’ve been putting it off…don’t. Call and schedule your appointment right now and go have it done. I realize fully that it’s uncomfortable and feels like someone has put your “sister” under a car tire, put it in reverse and backed over it. And then puts the car in drive and backs over it again. I get it. But early detection can save your life so a few minutes of being uncomfortable is a bearable compared to the alternative. Make your appointment. Stop reading this column and call.

Next, do not ignore your symptoms. Repeat, if you have something out of the ordinary happening with your breasts, call and make an appointment and see your doctor. From the onset of my first symptom to my diagnosis was two and a half weeks. I woke up to something unusual and alarming, called my doctor’s office and started the battery of tests until

I had an answer. My doctor told me that some women will ignore their symptoms until the treatment has to be harrowing to save their lives. I know this is frank talk, readers, but I feel so strongly about it that I want to motivate you to have your yearly exams and see your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms that concern you. We know our bodies, and there is no one better to advocate for our good health than ourselves.

Thank you for allowing me to pivot a bit this month from my usual “children’s themed” storytelling and direct my words and thoughts to those who take care of our Bayou children. Be your best advocate, make your health a priority and stay on top of your symptoms. Nothing is more important than that.

Cindy G. Foust is a wife, mom, author and blogger. You can find her blog at the 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.


Monroe Symphony Orchestra

The 2023-2024 Concert Season Announced


to finalize the Symphony Concert details. Led by Board President Janice Nelson, the board members bring a wealth of experience and passion for the arts: Janice Nelson-President, Lee Ainsworth, Judy Bennett, James Boldin, Kathryn Irwin, Kay Kellogg Katz, Hon. Wendell Manning, Marie Menefee, Lyle Miller, Debbie Sawyer and Michael Sawyer

These committed individuals, along with the invaluable help of the following individuals: Vickie Krutzer, Robin Baggarly, Natalie Tellifero, Philip Mann Interim Conductor, and Barry Stevens with the Arts Council.

The 2023-2024 concert season has promises to be a blend of classical masterpieces, contemporary compositions, and engaging guest performers. Patrons can look forward to a series of unforgettable performances with Interim Music Director Philip Mann.

Hailed by the BBC as a “talent to watch

out for, who conveys a mature command of his forces,” Mann has a worldwide reputation as an “expressively graceful yet passionate” artist with a range spanning symphonic repertoire, opera, new music, and experimental collaborations.

“We are immensely proud of the lineup we have prepared for our loyal patrons and newcomers alike,” said Janice Nelson, Board President.

Season tickets are available for purchase now. The following Sponsors have stepped up to the cause: Care Solutions, Southern Steel, Hilton Garden Inn West Monroe, Genusas, Joey & Virginia Haddad, State Rep Michael Echols, Cory Bahr, Progressive Bank, and Dean Mailhes with Argent Advisors.

The Monroe Symphony Orchestra extends its deepest gratitude to its board members, supporting members, sponsors, and the Monroe community for their unwavering support. With their enthusiasm and dedication,

the orchestra continues to enrich the cultural fabric of our city.

For more information about the concert season, ticket sales, and upcoming events, please visit


Overactive Bladder Interfering With Your Life?

DO YOU 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 life-

changing options for any patient with OAB who has not responded well to first- and secondline 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.

Don’t let your Overactive Bladder haunt your nights, its time to gain your independence back! 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!


Positive Steps Fertility

Grow Along with Us

WONDERING WHEN YOU’LL be able to share the news of your little pumpkin on the way, feeling like you’re stuck in a corn maze trying to navigate your way through the fertility journey, or finding only fertility tricks and no treats on the Internet? Suggestions from family, friends, and the Internet can start to sound like voodoo, potions, and spells; getting rid of all the hocus pocus to focus on what really matters can be hard. Spooky season is upon us, but there is no reason to be frightened about your fertility because Positive Steps is coming to Monroe, LA just in time for Halloween. On Monday, October 30th, Dr. Deadmond will be seeing patients at our Monroe satellite location. In the season of trick or treating, it can be easy to get tricked by spooky fertility myths and legends that have become popular over the years.

Do you think the following are tricks

(myth) or treats (fact) of fertility?

1. A woman is born with every egg she will have in her lifetime.

2. For men, cold showers improve sperm counts.

3. Limiting to one or less alcoholic drinks per day can improve baseline fertility in men and women.

4. Consuming pineapple core can improve a woman’s fertility. (Answers at the bottom)

Take the pressure off, talk with a specialist about your goals and get answers with gentle, quick, affordable single visit evaluation (“Parryscope testing”). From dispelling the myths, finding answers, to implementing individualized plans, our team is here to help you reach your family building goals. Interested in seeing what we are all about? Check out the Positive Steps Fertility

Facebook page, website, or support group (online 6p, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month).

If you are confused or suffering in silence, don’t get tricked by fertility misinformation. Get help and answers to your questions. We are here to help. Happy Halloween from the Positive Steps Family!

1. Treat (Fact)

2. Trick (Myth)

3. Treat (Fact)

4. Trick (Myth)


A Facelift Without Surgery, Truly Amazing Results

When You Look in the Mirror, Do You Like What’s Looking Back?

AGING IS NOT PRETTY. IF YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND don’t like what is looking back, if you don’t have the time or money for a facelift, nitrogen plasma resurfacing (Pure Plasma) is what you are looking for.

At Louisiana Center for Women’s Health, we constantly look for new technology to combat the unpleasant signs of aging. Most of the available technology leaves a lot to be desired.

When we found nitrogen plasma resurfacing, we were amazed. Why? First, it is essentially painless. Second, it has little or no downtime. And third, it works better than anything we have seen.

Don’t confuse this technology with blood plasma … Pure Plasma has nothing to do with blood plasma. Plasma is the fourth state of matter. (In fact, the sun is composed of plasma) It consists of a charged ionic gas, made from nitrogen. This ionization process creates a unique state where the gas becomes electrically conductive. Unlike conventional plasmas, Pure Plasma is free from impurities and contaminants, making it highly stable and controllable.

What can it do? Nitrogen plasma resurfacing offers a range of benefits that make it an attractive option for those seeking skin rejuvenation. The treatment effectively reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, giving the skin a more youthful and refreshed look. It also improves skin texture and tone, reduces pore size, minimizes the visibility of scars, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone.

Are you unhappy with the signs of aging on your neck, décolletage, and hands? These are areas which strongly give away a woman’s age. Pure Plasma is used on the face neck, hands, décolletage, and body.

How does the treatment work? During the treatment, a specialized device delivers a controlled beam of nitrogen plasma energy to the skin’s surface. This energy creates a controlled thermal effect, causing the skin to contract and tighten. Simultaneously, the treatment stimulates the production of collagen, which is crucial to providing structural support to the skin. The result is smoother, firmer, and more youthful-looking skin.

Pure Plasma puts everything together in one package: painless, little or no downtime, and amazing results.The price of a facelift today can be in the range of $30,000 -$50,000. Pure Plasma is affordably priced and an attractive alternative to a facelift.

Medical practitioners at Louisiana Center for Women’s Health can use the state-of-the-art technology of Pure Plasma to ensure that each client receives the best possible results. If you’re interested in learning more about Pure Plasma skin rejuvenation, make your consultation appointment today.


Next to the crisp weather, my favorite part of fall is the flavors. Warm spices jazz up drinks and dishes this time of year, like cinnamon and clove, and their scent and flavor feel like a fuzzy warm blanket to me. Clearly, I’m far from alone in my excitement about all things cinnamon and clove. Love it or hate it, the pumpkin spice latte has practically developed a cult following. Honestly, the those aren’t really my thing, but I definitely am giddy about making my own cozy drinks full of autumn spices. It feels like I’m drinking a warm hug, but it’s so much more than just great flavor.

If you know me, you know I really geek out on wellness stuff. Herbs and spices are true powerhouses when it comes to supporting our bodies, and some of my favorite fall spices have me swooning over their irresistible combination of flavor and health supporting benefits. Here are five common fall favorites and a couple of simple, tasty ways you can enjoy their benefits daily!


Cinnamon is easily one of the most common baking spices present in American home kitchens. However, most varieties that are found in grocery stores (whether “cassia,” “Saigon,” or just “cinnamon” are on the label) contain a liver toxic compound called couramin, which data says may be harmful if you use more than 2 tsp per day. If you’re going to be purposeful about including cinnamon daily, look for the lighter, sweeter variety known as Ceylon which as 1200 times less couramin.

Health Benefits:

• Helps regulate blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce hemoglobin A1C (a diabetes marker)

• Fights breast, lung and prostate cancers

• Reduces chronic inflammation

• Prevents heart disease by decreasing total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and increasing HDL

• Lowers blood pressure

• Decrease Alzheimer’s risk by inhibiting buildup of harmful proteins in the brain

• Reduces risk of gastric ulcers by stunting the growth of H. Pylori, the bacteria implicated in ulcers that may lead to stomach cancer


Cloves are actually flower buds from a large tree that originated near Indonesia, and they have been used for their medicinal properties in China since 600AD. They have the highest antioxidant concentration of any other food, and 3-15 times more than any other spice or herb. This makes them incredibly powerful inflammation fighters! Of course the clove itself if very tough and inedible, so if you cook them in liquids to allow their flavor to steep, be sure to pull them out before consuming. The easiest way to work them into your cooking or beverages is to use them ground.

Health Benefits:

• Reduce whole system inflammation

• Kill tumor cells; they possess anti-tumor properties for skin, colon, breast cervical and gastric cancers

• Lower blood sugars and reduce diabetes risk

• Help metabolize and detoxify chemicals and drugs from the body

• Promote liver health with targeted antiinflammatory and antioxidant effects

• Preserve bone density and strength

• Protect stomach from ulcers

• Kill bad bacteria, including E.Coli, Staph, and Bacillus cereus- nasty bugs that can make us sick


Allspice, while it sounds like a combination of many spices, are dried berries from the Caribbean Pimenta dioica tree. It smells like a blend of cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and cloves, which is how it earned its name from the British in 1621. It’s rich in eugenol, a phytochemical with an impressive list of body supporting benefits.

Health Benefits:

• Selectively kills cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone and prevents cancer cell proliferation

• Reduces inflammation throughout the body

• Fights diabetes by lowering blood sugars and helping with carbohydrate metabolism

• Combats stress by modulating neurotransmitter release and exerting antioxidant activities in the brain

• Protects against diarrhea and stress induced GI discomfort (less cramping, bloating, and urgent trips to the bathroom)

• Prevents stomach ulcers

• Soothes indigestion by stimulating digestive enzymes

• Antibacterial and anti-fungal

• Alleviates symptoms of menopause due to its hormone modulating properties

• Decreases blood pressure


The sweet- spicy taste of cardamom is prevalent in Indian cooking, but has recently become more popular in United States. Green cardamom is sweet and floral, and is the variety used in drinks and baked goods. Black cardamom is smoky and is better suited for savory dishes. Both varieties contain the phytochemicals cineole and limonene.

Health Benefits:

• Enhances tumor killer cells and impedes


development of breast, skin and colon cancer • Lowers blood pressure and reduces stroke risk

• Diuretic effects can help with bloating

• Stimulates gut motility and relieves constipation

• Relieves abdominal spasms, as in irritable bowel syndrome

• Protects against stomach ulcers

• Soothes asthma symptoms by relaxing airways in the lungs

• Reduces cholesterol and triglycerides, protecting blood vessels from plaque buildup

Ginger Ginger is an intensely flavored root that originated in China, and was historically used for relieving cough, colds and flu. Research has identified over 60 phytonutrients responsible for its wide variety of benefits. When shopping for fresh ginger root, look for shiny, taut skin. The skin should be thin enough to nick with your fingernail, not thick and fibrous, and it should smell pungent and spicy. Store your fresh ginger in the freezer and grate it when needed, or if you’ll be using it up within acouple weeks, store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Of course, ground ginger is a great choice, too, and is much easier to find and store.

Health Benefits:

• Reduces risk of cancer by killing and preventing spread of cancer cells

• Promotes weight loss by aiding digestion and suppressing fat cell creation

• Alleviates nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, surgery, pregnancy or motion sickness

• Receives pain from menstrual cramping, heavy workouts, rheumatism, or osteoarthritis

• Prevents and heals stomach ulcers caused by stress, painkillers, alcohol, and H. Pylori, by strengthening the protective mucosal layer of your stomach

• Increases liver’s detoxifying enzymes

• Alleviates allergies by inhibiting histamine release

• Reduces risk of diabetes by lowering blood sugar, improving insulin signaling, and stimulating enzymes that process antioxidants


Turmeric is another root that’s very similar to ginger except for it’s bright orange flesh. Over 1700 lab studies have shown its potential to curb obesity, reduce diabetes, protect against cardiovascular disease, and fight cancer. The key component in turmeric that possesses all this healing power is curcumin, an intense antioxidant and antiinflammatory. Store fresh turmeric just like fresh ginger and grate before use. But be careful, that bright orange flesh and juice can stain! Once again, the dried powdered version is easier to use. The one downside to turmeric is that the body doesn’t easily absorb and make use of its supportive benefits, but adding black pepper along with it will enhance it’s bioavailability. Including some healthy fats into your turmeric containing recipe and heating it also improve your ability to absorb and utilize it.

Health Benefits:

• Prevents cancer cell growth, kills tumor cells and inhibits gene expression associated with cancer development

• Boosts yowur body’s natural antioxidant enzymes and directly removes cell-damaging free radicals

• Greatly reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the digestive sy stem, alleviating inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, chronic pancreatitis, and stomach ulcers

• Improves carb and fat metabolism

• Suppresses fat accumulation by decreasing the number and size of fat cells

• Reduces blood sugar levels to combat diabetes

• Increases the liver’s natural detox enzymes and protects it from damage

• Protects the brain from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

• Alleviates symptoms of asthma by reducing inflammation in the

respiratory system

• Ameliorates autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis, due to its anti-inflammatory effects

Black pepper

Including black pepper alongside turmeric enhances the effectiveness of curcumin by up to 2,000%! Piperine is the phytochemical in black pepper that gives it its kick and makes other nutrients more bioavailable, or usable by your body. It assists not only turmeric, but any other spice or food you put with it. It boost nutrients like vitamins A, C, D, E and B, beta carotine, selenium, magnesium, calcium and iron. It also increases your body’s absorption of the antioxidants in fish, meat and green tea. Adding just a little bit to your recipes can go a long way! It only takes about 1/8 tsp to yield these benefits.

Health Benefits:

• Promotes digestion by enhancing secretion of pancreatic and intestinal enzymes that break down food

• Serves as an antioxidant that protects cells throughout the body

• Augments the action of other antioxidants in the body (like glutathione, superoxide dismutase, Vitamins E and C)

• Fights cancer by inhibiting tumor cell growth

• Reduces breast and lung cancer cell proliferation, angiogenesis and metastasis

• Suppresses fat accumulation and increases fat burning enzymes

• Acts as a diuretic

• Displays antibacterial properties that help prevent flood from spoiling

• Improves brain function with anti-depression and memory enhancing properties

Now that I have you all excited about the incredible benefits of theses spices (or is it just me?), you’re probably wondering how to easily work them in every day. No worries, I’ve got you covered there, too! Here are two delicious warm drinks that together, include all of the spices we just covered. Enjoy starting your day with the Spiced Coffee and ending your day with the Bedtime Tea, and you’ll not only be treating your tastebuds, but also supplying your body with incredibly powerful disease fighting, wellness boosting superstars. That’s something your artificially flavored pumpkin spice latte can’t do.

Spiced Coffee

Makes 2

2 cups milk

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon 1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Pinch of ground cloves

2 shots espresso

1 tsp raw honey, optional

Combine your milk and spices to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and immediately remove from heat. Add your espresso and honey, if using, to the scented milk and stir until combined. Pour into two mugs.

Bedtime Tea

Makes 2

2 cups water

1/2 cup tart cherry juice 1/4 tsp ground turmeric 1/4 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

3-4 black peppercorns

2 chamomile tea bags

Raw honey to taste

Tart cherry juice contains melatonin, so it’s a great addition to an evening drink to promote better sleep.

Combine the cherry juice and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the spices. Add the tea bags, cover, and allow to steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and strain into two mugs.


Discover Your Inner Artist

At Clay & Canvas Art Studio!


world of art at Clay & Canvas, a brand new art studio nestled in the heart of downtown West Monroe. Owned and operated by Monroe artist, Ginny Montgomery, this studio is sure to provide a creative outlet for you to explore your artistic side!

Clay & Canvas offers a diverse range of classes, catering to both kids & adults. From painting & drawing to sculpting, mixed media art, and the pottery wheel, with a little art history sprinkled in, you will see there is something for everyone. Budding artists can register for weekly classes at providers/clay-canvas. You can choose to sign up for the month at a discounted rate, or take advantage of our convenient drop-in classes. Sibling discounts and payment plans are available. Here’s what is taking place at the studio during October & November:


• Mondays - 4:00pm-6:00pm - Open Studio

Time for Pottery Wheel (ages 12 & up, previous experience with wheel required)

• Tuesdays - 10:00am-12:00pm - Watercolor

Techniques for Beginners (adult class)3:45pm-5:15pm - Smartest Artist After School

Art Class (kindergarten-5th grade)

• Wednesdays - 3:45pm-5:15pm - After School

Art Lab (6th-12th grade)

• Thursdays - 10:00am-11:30am - Homeschoolers

Studio Art Class (kindergarten - 5th grade);5:30pm-7:30pm - Evening Beginners Pottery Class (adults & children ages 12 & up)


• Saturday, Oct. 7th: 10:30am-12:00pm - Clay

Ghost Luminaries with Tea Lights

• Sunday, Oct. 8th: 3:00pm-4:30pm - Clay

Ghost Luminaries with Tea Lights

• Friday, October 27th: 10:30am-12:00pmRustic Mixed Media Pumpkin Decorations


• Mondays - 4:00pm-6:00pm - Open Studio

Time for Pottery Wheel (ages 12 & up, previous experience with wheel required)

• Tuesdays - 10:00am-2:00pm - Studio Painting

Class for Adults (beginner with some painting experience & intermediate level)

- 3:45pm - 5:15pm - Smartest Artist After School Art Class (kindergarten-5th grade)

• Wednesdays - 3:45pm-5:15pm - After School

Art Lab (6th-12th grade)

• Thursdays - 10:00am-11:30am - Homeschoolers

Studio Art Class (kindergarten - 5th grade)

- 5:30pm-7:30pm - Evening Beginners Pottery Class (adults & children ages 12 & up)


• Friday, November 10th: 10:30am-11:30amPumpkin Turkey Thanksgiving Centerpiece

• Monday, November 20th: 3:00pm-4:00pm

- Clay Hand Impression Ornaments

• Tuesday, November 21st: 10:00am-11:00am

- Clay Hand Impression Ornaments

Clay & Canvas also offers paint and pottery parties for all ages. For more information on parties, weekly classes & special events, please visit, or you can contact Ginny at (318) 953-1288,

Clay & Canvas Art Studio is located in the Three Threads building at 115 Cotton Street, West Monroe, LA 71291.


Aesthetic Excellence Meets Comprehensive Care

Your One-Stop Primary Care and Aesthetics Clinic

IN TODAY’S FAST-PACED WORLD, THE pursuit of health, wellness, and beauty often requires a delicate balance. That’s why we are excited to introduce our unique concept: The Clinic at Garden’s of Somerset, a onestop destination that seamlessly combines primary care and aesthetics. We invite you to explore the benefits of this integrated approach, where your well-being, both inside and out, is our top priority.

Comprehensive Primary Care

At The Clinic, your health and wellness are at the heart of what we do. Our nurse practitioners are dedicated to providing you with the highest standard of medical care. They are here to provide preventive care, acute care, chronic disease management and offer personalized advice on nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes to help you achieve and maintain a healthy life.

Aesthetic Expertise

Enhancing your appearance can boost

your confidence and well-being. At The Clinic of Gardens of Somerset, we offer a range of aesthetic treatments such as Botox and fillers. There are many benefits to Botox and filler. Botox is quick and vitally painless, immediate/noticeable results, minimal downtown, long lasting effects, typically lasting 3-6 months. Botox can also be used for preventive purposes to slow the formation of new wrinkles and it also can provide relief of migraines for some people. Fillers give and instant plumping and smoothing effects, enhances cheekbones, jawline, and lip volumes, and reduces nasolabial folds (smile lines). Filler results can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the type of filler used.

Advantages of Our Integrated Approach

Our unique blend of primary care and aesthetics allows us to take a holistic approach to your health and well-being, addressing both medical and cosmetic concerns. You

get to enjoy the convenience of addressing your medical and aesthetic needs in a single visit, saving you time and hassle. You will also have the benefit from personalized advice that considers your unique health and aesthetic objectives. Rest assured that our nurse practitioners are highly trained and certified, delivering exceptional care in both realms.

At The Clinic of Gardens of Somerset, we believe that health and beauty are interconnected aspects of your well-being. Our innovative clinic brings together the expertise of primary care nurse practitioners and aesthetic professionals under one roof, making it easier than ever to prioritize your health and appearance. Contact us today to experience the ultimate in comprehensive car where excellence in health and aesthetics merge seamlessly. Your journey to optimal well-being starts here.


Guice Announces Intention to Retire

LA Tech President Dr. Les Guice Announced He Will Retire


President Dr. Les Guice announced his intention to retire at the end of 2023 after serving the institution for 45 years, the last 10 as president.

Guice’s leadership as president has significantly contributed to the growth and strength of the Tech Family. Groundbreaking faculty and student research, numerous national and global rankings, record-breaking enrollments and graduations, historic philanthropic campaigns, and innovative expansion and enhancement of the campus are some of the many milestones from his presidency.

“I have been blessed to be a part of an incredibly dedicated faculty, staff, and administration at Louisiana Tech for the past 45 years,” President Guice said. “I have been most gratified to be a part of this team that puts the success of our students as the top priority. It becomes more evident each day

that our students are seeing great value in their education at Tech, and they are spreading that word back home.”

Guice assumed office on July 1, 2013, succeeding Dr. Daniel D. Reneau’s presidency. He entered office with a rich personal and familial history with Louisiana Tech; his wife Kathy (’76 and ’77) and sons Chad (’01), Kyle (’04), and Bret (’11) are all Tech graduates.

His journey to the President’s Office began as a Tech student, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in architecture in 1976. His passion for engineering led him to complete a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1978. Subsequently, he served as an assistant professor of civil engineering, earning promotion to associate professor in 1981. After obtaining his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University, Guice assumed the role of interim department head of civil engineering in 1988, attaining a full professorship and becoming the permanent

department head the following year.

Guice’s dedication to the University was unwavering over the next decade. He served as academic director, executive associate dean, and dean, all within the College of Engineering and Science (COES). It was his time in these administrative roles that paved the way to his appointment as Tech’s vice president for research and development in 2004. In 2012, he was named executive vice president.

“President Guice leaves an indelible mark on his alma mater,” Dr. Jim Henderson, University of Louisiana System President and CEO, said. “His exemplary leadership and grand vision will benefit generations to come. We are grateful for his service to Louisiana Tech and to Louisiana higher education.”

Guice has affirmed his commitment to fulfilling his duties through the end of 2023, with intent to see through ongoing campus initiatives and strategic plans. He will also undoubtedly continue to enjoy one of his favorite activities: walking through campus and speaking to students.

As President Guice closes this chapter of his career, the Louisiana Tech community looks forward to celebrating his legacy over the coming months.f Fall!


Rejuvenate and Restore

At Spa Nouvelle

IN THE MIDST OF LIFE’S HECTIC PACE and constant demands, finding moments of respite and self-care becomes increasingly essential. Spa Nouvelle, nestled on Lamy Lane in Monroe, offers a tranquil haven where you can indulge in the therapeutic wonders of massages and facials. As we navigate through the ever-changing landscape of the modern world, there has never been a more opportune time to prioritize self-care and experience the rejuvenating benefits these services provide.

In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become an unwelcome companion for many. The past few years have brought their unique set of challenges, adding to the stress levels that people already contend with daily. Massages and facials, offered at Spa Nouvelle, provide a welcome escape from the pressures of life. A soothing massage can alleviate built-up tension, promoting relaxation and mental clarity. Facials, on the other hand, offer not only a radiant complexion but also a sense of calm and tranquility, making them ideal for stress relief.

Maintaining a robust immune system is crucial, especially during these next few months. Studies have shown that massages can boost the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells and reducing the levels of stress hormones. Facials, through their deep cleansing and nourishing properties, also contribute to healthier skin, which serves as a vital barrier against pathogens. Choosing Spa Nouvelle for massages and facials can be your way of investing in your overall health and well-being.

Looking to shed the dead? As fall arrives, it’s the perfect time to repair sun damage that may have occurred during the summer months. By scheduling a chemical peel with one of our expert aestheticians, you’ll see a more glowing appearance, fine lines disappear and hyperpigmentation erased.

Spa Nouvelle places the utmost importance on the health and safety of its clients. With stringent hygiene protocols and professional therapists, you can relax knowing that every precaution is taken to ensure your well-being.

The spa adheres to all recommended guidelines, making it a secure environment for your massage and facial treatments.

In uncertain times, we often seek ways to connect and express our love for family and friends. Treating yourself or a loved one to a massage or facial at Spa Nouvelle is a thoughtful and caring gesture. It’s a reminder that self-care and relaxation are essential aspects of a healthy, balanced life.

At Spa Nouvelle on Lamy Lane in Monroe, the opportunity to rejuvenate both body and mind awaits you. Now, more than ever, is the ideal time to invest in self-care and experience the transformative benefits of massages and facials. Make an appointment today and embark on a journey of relaxation, rejuvenation, and renewal at Spa Nouvelle. Your well-being deserves it.

Make sure to check out Spa Nouvelle’s full line of SkinCeuticals products, and enjoy 20% off glycolic and retinol products during the month of October.



In December 2020, the home went through its latest purchase and renovation with Trott Hunt, great-grandson of TL James, and his wife Karen Hunt.

William Faulkner said it best, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Here, there is consideration of things remaining intact yet transforming over time. Such is the story of a structure that currently oversees North Vienna Street in Ruston, Louisiana. Part remnant, part silent force, this turn-of-the-century home is characterized by its crisp white exterior and massive columns. Named after a former owner and one of Ruston’s greatest benefactors, the TL James House has recently undergone a few renovations. All areas of the monumental home are ready to be shared and enjoyed by the Northeast Louisiana community.


this page: The sunroom, with floorto-ceiling paneled glass windows, is bright, and jaw-dropping. “ It welcomes you to the house and gives you a foretelling glimpse of the grandeur of the house,” she says.

opposite page: Just outside its doors is the carriage house. This stunning rustic venue once had room for five carriages, and currently is etched in style. Exposed brick walls elicit an intimate cozy feel alongside an old wooden ceiling, concrete floors, and three luxurious crystal chandeliers which elevate the space, providing a soft glow.


The house owes its conception to Colonel Thomas Cunningham Standifer, who served in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and had a general merchandise store in what is now Antique Alley, located in the Cotton Port Historic District of Downtown West Monroe.

On January 3, 1884, Standifer purchased the entire block from Robert E. Russ for $450 cash. It was built with square nails, and its trim was made with white pine from Michigan. Originally, the house was framed by a pitch pine picket fence. The home remained in the Standifer family until the death of his daughter in 1913. It was then purchased by Mr. G. A. Adams who sold it, and the entire block, to Mr. Thomas Lewis James in 1921. By 1926, James had significantly renovated the then 42-year-old home, adding the present front porch, including the grand columns. Since then, it has stayed in the family after James and his wife passed, serving as a place of family gatherings for the next twenty years. In 1984 it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and, in 1990, George William “Billy” James, Jr. purchased the home. He and his wife dispersed family heirlooms and furnished the space with Victorian period pieces, which still grace many of its rooms. In December 2020, the home went through its latest purchase and renovation with Trott Hunt, great-grandson of TL James, and his wife Karen Hunt.

“Restoring and decorating the ‘Big House’ was really a pleasure. I wanted to keep everything simple, yet stately and elegant,” says Karen, who particularly enjoyed curating the library with family history. Trott adds, “It has been an interesting journey as the house was renovated, finding clues to its past.” He considers one of the most unique architectural features of the home to be the internal gutter system around the roof line of the house. “That water was originally designed to flow back from the roof’s edge in an internal gutter system that then came down along the wall of the house.” Additionally, the couple found the “bones” of the house to be very solid structurally speaking with only minor patchwork needed here and there. The most recent updates include new bathrooms, new wiring and lighting, a sound system, and a new fireplace. “We have tried hard to retain the historical feel of the house while bringing her into the 20th century,” he says. Currently, the renovated space is under the management of Melissa Bullock Watson, great-granddaughter of TL James, who is eager to welcome the community into a space that holds such fond memories for her.


The home’s history may surpass the TL James ownership, but its halls arguably witnessed more life under his family’s residence. The sixth child of Benjamin and Elizabeth James, Thomas was born at Shawnee, Perry County, Ohio on March 12, 1879. After attending business school in Birmingham, Alabama he began working for the Summit Lumber Company in Randolph, Louisiana, moving on to manager of a sawmill at Junction City. By his 21st birthday, he owned a small portable sawmill in Blackman, Louisiana, which is where he met his future wife, Maggie Hodges. When the mill at Blackman “cut out” Thomas moved his wife and six children to Dubach. As his children grew older, Thomas began considering their future, consequently moving his family to the booming college town of Ruston. There, his interest in oil and gas increased, which led him to organize TL James & Company, Inc., a company that is still engaged in highway and heavy construction, oil and gas production, and forestry.

Not only was James a successful businessman, he was known as an outstanding civic leader and churchman. An article printed in The Ruston Leader expounded on such traits describing him as, “a man of exceptional character, endowed with a strong will, a keen mind and a profound sense of obligation to his church, his community and his company.” A great emphasis is placed on Thomas’ character, further illustrating him as having a stoic nature: “Mr. James treats everyone, regardless of creed or station in life, with a marked degree of kindly politeness.” So clearly marked was his lifestyle that the article goes as far as to

“The house has always been a stately home. But now with the extra TLC that she has received from the Hunt family, she stands a little taller, a little prouder than she was before.”

highlight the minor details that spoke volumes at the time. One, in particular, informs that Thomas did not smoke, “neither nickel stogie nor dollar havana.” In 1930, he was awarded the American Legion Lincoln Parish Citizen trophy, just one more testament to his legendary reputation.

Story and structure are always at play at the TL James House, especially after its latest transformation by the Hunts, whose efforts did not go unnoticed, particularly by the Ruston Garden Club which awarded the house Garden of the Month for December 2022 to January 2023. The carefully curated landscape that surrounds the house is just the beginning. Not only is it one of the only homes in the area featuring a colossal pedimented portico, but its downstairs ceilings are approximately 13 feet high. The main floor of the “Big House” is styled for entertainment. It features a large dining room marked by two vintage, brass crystal chandeliers, a cherry-wood dining table and chairs, an antique gilt mirror, and an alcove corner cabinet displaying porcelain dishware. Two parlors showcase full surround fireplace mantles, each displaying a painted portrait of Maggie James and TL James, respectively. The decor, compliments of interior designer Kiki Wardlaw, is classic, elegant, and minimal—cream-colored furniture with pops of color from throw pillows and large, patterned wool rugs. The light fixtures in each room are glimmering tiers of sparkling crystals. The TL James parlor features an outstanding piece of history in the form of a Kilgen Organ. The custom instrument was commissioned by James as a gift for his wife.

top photo: The TL James parlor features an outstanding piece of history in the form of a Kilgen Organ. The custom instrument was commissioned by James as a gift for his wife.

this page: Two parlors showcase full surround fireplace mantles, each displaying a painted portrait of Maggie James and TL James, respectively. The decor, compliments of interior designer Kiki Wardlaw, is classic, elegant, and minimal—cream-colored furniture with pops of color from throw pillows and large, patterned wool rugs.


this page: The library displays a wide array of family history by way of photographs, newspaper clippings, a collection of books, and even a buffalo leather document holder with gilded, engraved initials “T.L.J.” The wet bar is located in a snug nook and stands out thanks to the ocean-blue cabinets, brass sink, pearlescent, textured wallpaper, and mid-century style lamp.

Twenty-four steps lead to the upstairs rooms—three bedrooms (each with a private bath), a library, and a “morning room.” While the bedrooms are similarly styled, each is characterized by a particular color scheme and furniture accents. For instance, one of the larger bedrooms is punctuated by hues of muted greens from throw pillows and table lamps; meanwhile, a mahogany bedframe compliments a painted dresser illustrating tropical birds and flowers. The “morning room” is brightly lit and is complete with reed yellow curtains, a blue brass wheel chandelier, and flat weave, vintage chairs. Adjacent is the library, which displays a wide array of family history by way of photographs, newspaper clippings, a collection of books, and even a buffalo leather document holder with gilded, engraved initials “T.L.J.” The wet bar is located in a snug nook and stands out thanks to the ocean-blue cabinets, brass sink, pearlescent, textured wallpaper, and mid-century style lamp. “I am so glad that the Hunts have used this room to preserve the family history of TL James and the impact he had on the community,” says Watson who has always been drawn to the room.

Back downstairs, another of Watson’s favorite rooms makes a statement. The sunroom, with floor-to-ceiling paneled glass windows, is bright, and jawdropping. “ It welcomes you to the house and gives you a foretelling glimpse of the grandeur of the house,” she says. Just outside its doors is the carriage house. This stunning rustic venue once had room for five carriages, and currently is etched


in style. Exposed brick walls elicit an intimate cozy feel alongside an old wooden ceiling, concrete floors, and three luxurious crystal chandeliers which elevate the space, providing a soft glow. French doors reveal a private outdoor area with a manicured lawn and seating.

“The house has always been a stately home. But now with the extra TLC that she has received from the Hunt family, she stands a little taller, a little prouder than she was before,” says Watson, who was glad to hear when the Hunts bought the house, as it would stay in the family and be taken care of accordingly. “Her fresh paint and new landscaping make her a proud focal point of downtown Ruston.” She remembers her grandmother reminiscing about her childhood in that house and cherishes her experiences in the rooms her grandmother occupied with glee. “It made this house a special place for me, a place that she and I got to share,” she says. As part of the house’s lineage, Watson considers it an honor to be part of the “Big House’s” renewal and a privilege to be entrusted with introducing the space to a new generation.

This once-family home, this towering witness of eras gone by, finds itself in another life cycle, one that is sure to accentuate some of life’s fondest memories. Currently, the house and carriage room are available as venue spaces for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, parties, or even business meetings. Celebrate moments, big or small, by stepping into the TL James House, a space that intersects the profound nature of the past with the promise of living life in the present moment.


Boo at the Barn Returns to Benefit the Food Bank of NELA

Mark Your Calendars For This Spooktacular Event on October 28th

THE NORTH DELTA RAMBLE presents “BOO at the BARN’’ - a Halloween costume party fundraiser for the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana on Saturday, October 28th from 7:30-11:30 PM at the Brockman Barn, a privately owned property at 548 Lennon Camp Road in Monroe.

Tickets include dinner from JAC’s Craft Smokehouse, refreshments, complimentary beer and wine from Marsala Beverage, Choice Brands, Flying Tiger Brewery, and more. Put on your costume and dancing shoes for music from DJ GraveDigga. Shuttle rides will be available from the Monroe Athletic Club to the Brockman Bar. In addition to the complimentary beer and wine, a cash bar will be on site selling spirits and premium wine. In addition to the complimentary shuttle from the MAC, a limited amount of parking will be available by coming via HWY165 at Horseshoe Lake Rd. and Lennon Camp Rd.

The North Delta Ramble is a roaming supper music club with people from all walks of life, that gathers once a month. Each event features live music, food, refreshments and is usually over by 10PM. Members contribute a monthly fee for the planning and coordination of the events which are then sold at cost to members in addition to their membership fee.

All net proceeds from the Boo at the Barn event will benefit the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

The Food Bank provides food and hope to children, families and seniors in a 12-parish region through a network of community partners and programs. Together, as a hunger-relief network, they provide around 6 million meals annually to our neighbors facing hunger. To learn more about the Food Bank, visit

For tickets and more information, visit For information about Table Sponsorships, contact Sarah Hoffman at the Food Bank - 318-322-3567.


Students at ULM Held Food Donation Drive

Hunger-Free Task Force at the University of Louisiana Monroe

STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF Louisiana Monroe gathered earlier this week to give donations and bring awareness to the issue of hunger on campus. As part of the Louisiana Board of Regents’ Hunger-Free Campus initiative, ULM held a non-perishable food donation drive on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Student Activity Center. Students who donated food received a ticket to the “Roll Away Hunger” event at Skate Town on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Robert Reed is the Assistant Director of Recreational Services and the Chair of the Hunger-Free Task Force at ULM. He said 143 students made donations over the two days, with a total of more than 500 items donated. Reed said over 100 students gathered at Skate Town on Wednesday evening for the “Roll Away Hunger” event.

Food donations will help stock the ULM Food Pantry, which is a free resource available to all ULM students. The Food Pantry is

located inside the Student Activity Center and is accessible during regular Activity Center hours.

“The Hunger Free Task Force and the AntiHunger event were created to raise awareness of the growing issue of food insecurities our students are facing and have been facing,” said Reed. “It also lets our Warhawk community show they care by donating and educating themselves about the problems our students experience,” he added.

According to a 2020 Hope Center Survey, 29% of students at 4-year institutions reported experiencing food insecurity in the past 30 days.

Another aspect of the Hunger-Free Campus initiative is the “Swipe Out Hunger” program, which is sponsored by SGA each semester. As part of the program, students with unused meal swipes can donate them to the swipe bank and students in need can complete a swipe request form. Meal swipes

are then distributed based on a review of need. SGA President David Hernandez says over 1,200 swipes were donated in the Spring 2023 semester.

Reed says the Food Pantry accepts donations from anyone throughout the year. Donations can be made in the Student Activity Center during regular hours.


Brown Bag Concert Series

Mark Your Calendars For These Four Free Concerts This October

THE WEATHER IS FINALLY COOLING off! Come celebrate with some cool tunes each Wednesday in October at the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council’s noontime outdoor Brown Bag Concert series. Kick back at the lush, green Palace Park at 220 DeSiard Street (beside the old Palace Department Store location). Round up your friends, bring a picnic of your favorites, or treat yourself to a $6 box lunch on site from Newk’s (tea included!). Mulhearn’s will again provide free cookies to make the events extra sweet. 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:

October 4 – Josh Love

Kick off the Series with an award-winning bluesman who covers R&B, rock and much more. The program will be varied, as his covers

range from Roberta Flack, Luther Vandross, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tom Petty, Jimi Hendrix, and the list goes on. Come enjoy the fresh air, fall breezes, and a unique talent as we kick off the Series.

October 11 – Clara Rae

Monroe native Clara Rae is a fresh face and voice to grace our Series today! This 20-something is already making a name for herself in the local music scene with her indie folk and country-centered shows. Come hear for yourself why she’s already in demand on stage and at events far and wide as we keep the Series rolling in the park!

October 18 – Homegrown Band

Today 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 the Series hits its stride!

October 25 – Denene Stringfellow

For our final outing of the Series, we’ll lift your spirits with a little gospel, a few show tunes, and everything else in between! Yes, it’s area favorite, Ruston’s own, Denene Stringfellow! Come see why Ruston observes Denene Stringfellow Day each year. He’s back by popular demand -- a great way to wrap up the Series and head refreshed into all the joys of fall!


Delaying Medical Care Results in Health Challenges

Surgery Clinic of NELA Urges Community to be Proactive with their Health

ALL OF US AT THE SURGERY CLINIC of Northeast Louisiana, home of Delta Vein Care, treat our patients with the same compassion and care we devote to our own families. As such, we want to remind you how important it is to maintain your health screenings and, when necessary, proceed with surgeries.

Unfortunately, 38 percent of Americans reported that they or a family member missed or delayed medical care due to costs, according to a 2022 healthcare survey recently released by Gallup.

The jump reflects an increase of 12 percentage points compared to 2021. It marks the highest year-to-year surge in Americans delaying healthcare, including screenings, treatments, and procedures, since Gallup began conducting the poll in 2001.

Of particular concern, 27 percent of respondents said the treatments they skipped were for “very” or “somewhat” serious

conditions or illnesses. Americans were more than twice as likely to report delayed treatment for a serious rather than a non-serious condition compared to previous years.

Regular health evaluations and followup procedures are crucial to maintaining good health and avoiding long-term—and expensive—health conditions. When your doctor detects diseases like breast cancer early, your survival rate increases significantly. This preventive care—including screenings and immunizations—is often covered without consideration of your deductible.

To improve your well-being, we encourage you to embrace all that our clinic offers—from general surgery to weight loss surgery to vein care. It can be tempting to delay medical care. However, the long-term ramifications of prolonging medical care will cost you physically and financially, as health conditions often worsen when left unattended.

Dottie, a Surgery Clinic patient, has always

prepared herself for the possibility of breast cancer. Her mother’s younger sister, who ate healthily, exercised and didn’t smoke, died of breast cancer in her 40s. Dottie began having regular mammograms at 35 years old.

After her 2022 mammogram, Dottie attended a follow-up ultrasound and underwent a right breast biopsy. Soon after, she learned of her breast cancer diagnosis while at work.

“My world came crashing down,” Dottie, an OR nurse, said.

Dottie understands that women often put their health last and instead organize their families’ health care. “It’s difficult to think about, but you must realize that when you put yourself on the back burner, no one will take care of your family when you’re gone. A mammogram is short, and you’re worth it.”

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.


Janet and Steve Haedicke’s home library is a tribute to their appreciation of the arts. This luxe room’s custom millwork is softened by a beautiful wall covering that was sourced by Amanda Morgan Mott. Janet says, “ Most special is that my brother, Lee Vandepool, did all the millwork, learning as he went. Also, my cherished friend found the fabric for the walls. They both made more profound the phrase ‘labor of love.’ We toast both of them on our first library night each winter.”

A bookcase to the left of the window houses some of Janet’s most prized possessions, a collection of leather books that belonged to her maternal grandmother and then to her mother – both devoted readers. Art is scattered among the shelves and nestled in corners on the floor, landing neatly in its intended places. Among which sits Janet’s favorite piece - a Sevres urn, which was part of the purchase of her maternal grandparents’ retirement home on Long Island.


These four libraries are the epitome of an inspired spaces, they’re a sanctuary for bookworms and a gateway to countless worlds.

Photos by Kelly Moore Clark

Speaking about her favorite piece, Janet says, “ The story is that a successful New Yorker had built the house overlooking the Sound and furnished it with European antiques to please his bride. Heartbroken when she left him, he wanted to be rid of the house and all of its contents – a labor of love gone wrong but now a third generation for us.”



Amy and Jeremy Stuart’s library is filled with bold colors and whimsical artwork. A reading nook with a blue velvet sofa nestled between shelves takes center stage in this eclectic space. Photos by Kelly Moore Clark

Amy Stuart loves reading – in fact, books are her passion, an escape. When asked about her home library she quotes Jane Austen, “When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” The custom millwork found throughout the room was by Jared Pellegrin and Drew Wallace. Items from local retailers like Material Things, Fabulous Fabric, Traditions on Trenton, Walsworth & Company and Woodstock Monroe can be found throughout the space. While Amy designed the space to accommodate her sprawling book collection and art, Taylor Bennett added finishing touches like the colorful ottoman from Fabulous Fabric. When asked about her favorite items in the room, Amy says, “I love that I can come in this room and find so many family heirlooms in the space – from my mother’s painting to great grandmother’s ashtray. There are so many special treasures.”


WaterView Casino & Hotel in Vicksburg

Come See What All the Fuss is About


Casino & Hotel in Vicksburg! If you haven’t visited in a while, it’s definitely time to see what all the fuss is about.

Did you know that our hotel is now a Wyndham Trademark Collection property? We’re proud to be a part of such a prestigious hotel family. Stay with us in a Deluxe Riverside room and enjoy both a soak in a jetted tub and unparalleled views of the majestic Mississippi River, all in a space you can call your own for a night or two.

Our all-new Sandbar Grill is open and ready for you to give it a taste! The space is beautiful, the menu is awesome, and the ambiance is relaxing. Drop in after 4 any day Sunday through Thursday to see if for yourself. Not sure you want to spend “steakhouse” money? We’ve added a $25 Early Bird menu from 4PM to 6PM on Thursdays and Sundays. You can’t beat that price for a salad, ribeye, side, and dessert! Sandbar Grill has a full-service bar with draft beer, wine, and our trained mixologist can make whatever your happy heart desires. We recommend a Sandbar Grill reservation to ensure you can join us for a fine meal on your own terms, though we promise to do our best to get you in if you just show up!

The Sandbar Café (formerly known as the Lucky Bean) has a glow-up to show off, too. New, more comfortable tables & chairs

complete the transformation we’ve made to this favorite eatery. From breakfast favorites to Vicksburg’s best blue plate, along with the burger and wings baskets our guests love so much, there’s literally something for everyone at the Sandbar Café. Now you can order at one of our kiosks (we call them Kevin) or from anywhere using the WaterView Casino & Hotel mobile app. Helpful QR codes in the Café will take you directly to the app store for a quick download, and you’re in business. We’ll notify you via text or email when your remote order is ready for pick-up.

Now, on to the star of the show: our gaming floor. We have updated many of our slot areas with some of the hottest games available. You’re sure to find a great time here, whether it’s a game you’ve already played or a brand-new favorite. Our team has been working to ensure you can find something you’ll like whether you only make it just inside our convenient lobby slot area or head all the way down to our table games. We have added some electronic table games, and three card plus has recently returned, so there’s a game for all. Our friendly and experienced table games team is ready to play with you.


Haven Has Extended Hours During The Week

Holiday Open House November 9th

HAVEN IS EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THEY ARE THIS area’s premier Visual Comfort dealer. Haven will rotate a mix of beautiful lamps, sconces and overhead lighting in their showroom. In-store assistance is available for special ordering any fixture from Visual Comfort’s vast selection. Visual Comfort just expanded their Studio line, which are well priced fixtures by all their designers, including Kelly Wearstler, Suzanne Kasler, Alexa Hampton, Julie Neill and Barbara Barry. Visual Comfort is known for their stunning style and finishes. So many statement pieces in their line that can make a room! And the Studio line isn’t any different, just a better price point. Haven will be adding additional fixtures to their showroom each month.

Needing design inspiration for your home? Haven has new accessories and lamps arriving each week. Haven has expanded their offerings of throw pillows and design accessories in a variety of price points. New large bowls and trays for your dining table are in store, just in time to get ready for the holidays. Original art from Jennifer Poe and several other southern artists can provide that pop of color your space may need. Need to refresh your guest room, for holiday guests? Stop by the shop and let Jade Parker, Haven’s in-store sales consultant, help you select the right bedding and pillows to create a welcoming space for your guests.

With fall’s arrival, new Barefoot Dreams pieces are perfect for gift giving. Their soft, comfy cozy Bamboo is sure to be a loved gift for yourself and for a friend. This fall they are offering several new lounge sets, short sets and cardigans, as well as their popular throws in several new colors.

Haven has always had a wonderful selection of bath products. They have just added four more lines, so their customers will have the best selection. Beautiful packaging and delightful scents highlight these new vendors. Be sure to stop by this area next time you are in Haven.

Starting in October, Haven is extending their hours until 5:30, Monday through Friday. This gives shoppers extra time during the week to shop after work. Saturday hours are 10-3. Haven will be adjusting their Saturday shopping hours in November, as the holidays approach.

Join Haven and several other local businesses for a Holiday Open House on Thursday November 9th, 10:00-7:00. Light refreshments will be available from 3:00-7:00. See the ad in this month’s BayouLife for the list of shops. Participating shops all donated to a large door prize! Every purchase from a participating shop will be entered into the drawing to win this prize valued at over $300. This is a great way to kick off your holiday shopping while supporting local businesses. Stop by Haven to see the new gift arrivals and design accessories. See you November 9th!



Meme and Dr. Lester Johnson’s library features a split-level bookcase and beautiful custom millwork housed beneath an impressive vaulted ceiling. Photos by Kelly Moore Clark

The Johnsons’ Tutor-style home was designed by famed architect, William King Stubbs and built by Robert Stone and Ed Justice. Ample storage is filled with family treasures, and the meticulous craftsmanship is tailored to complement the room’s traditional décor. When asked about their favorite books, the homeowners said, “It’s difficult to pick a favorite book, but some categories that come to mind are books reflective of the civil and military history of the United States, books of philosophy of the Western World, and the complete works of William Shakespeare and William Faulkner.”

A curated collection of books and family heirlooms are elegantly displayed in the home‘s library. Dr. Johnson notes some of his favorite pieces are a bronze statue of a knight-errant, terrestial globe of the world, his family’s military honors and memorabilia from the nation’s wars, and his most cherished belonging – his father’s lunchbox.


Protecting Your Home and Loved Ones

The Importance of Home Alarm Systems For Fire Prevention Month

EVERY OCTOBER, FIRE PREVENTION MONTH SERVES AS a critical reminder of the devastating impact fires can have on our homes and lives. To safeguard your family and property from the ever-present threat of fire, it’s essential to condor the role of home alarm systems. Automated Alarm has systems specifically designed for fire prevention and early detection, are invaluable tools that can mean the difference between safety and disaster.


Fires can erupt unexpectedly and spread rapidly, leaving little time for escape. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a home fire is reported every 93 seconds in the United States. These fires result in thousands of deaths and injuries each year, not to mention the billions of dollars in property damage.


One of the most critical aspects of fire prevention is early detection. Home alarm systems equipped with smoke detectors and heat sensors play a pivotal role in this regard. These devices are strategically placed throughout your home to sense the earliest signs of a fire, such as smoke or elevated temperatures. When triggered, they emit a piercing alarm, alerting you and your family to the danger even while you sleep.


Modern home alarm systems go beyond just sounding alarms. Many are linked to professional monitoring services that operate round the clock.

If a fire is detected, the monitoring center contacts emergency services immediately, ensuring swift response times from firefighters. This can be especially crucial when you’re away from home.


Today’s home alarm systems are more advanced than ever, often integrating with smart technology. You can receive real-time alerts on your smartphone, allowing you to asses the situation remotely and contact emergency services if needed. This connectivity provides peace of mind, knowing that you’re always in control, even when you are not at home.


False alarms can be a nuisance, but modern fire alarm systems are designed to minimize these occurrences. They are equipped with advanced technology to differentiate between genuine fire threats and everyday activities like cooking or taking a hot shower, reducing false alarms and ensuring that you take them seriously when they do occur.

Fire Prevention Month serves as a valuable reminder of the importance of fire safety. Home alarm systems equipped with fire detection capabilities are powerful tools that can save lives and property. Automated Alarm Company’s top priority is not only the safety of your home, but your family.



Rebecka and Kevin Gwin’s historical home has been updated to reflect their style while maintaining original millwork and character.

Built in 1908 and finished in 1908, this historic home boasts the original millwork which included the family library. The dark stained cabinets are punctuated with a quiet color palette of light green and soft taupe. An antique billiards table takes center stage beneath and vintage light fixture, while cozy chairs line the perimeter of the room. Rebecka’s favorite books are from her father’s collection, most of them containing handwritten notes throughout. Other books are vintage finds, or books written around the same time the home was built.

Family memorabilia lines the shelves and includes Rebecka’s father’s American flag presented to her at his funeral, as well as his veteran honors.

Photos by Kelly Moore Clark BAYOU HOME

Crafting Dreams, Building Perfection

Rhymes Renovations and Contracting Offers Custom Work and More

FOR TWO DECADES, RANDY RHYMES HAS BEEN working on homes throughout Northeast Louisiana as a licensed residential general contractor. Randy has experience in historic and vintage properties, interior and exterior work, new builds and remodel jobs of all shapes and sizes. With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time to mark some things off that ever growing project list. Whether you need to remodel a guest bathroom, add a back patio or update a kitchen, Randy can help ensure your project goes smoothly from start to finish. “When you are working with a licensed general contractor, it is a turnkey operation,” said Randy. “You aren’t having to research who does what for your job, find good and reputable workers, make sure they are ordering all the correct things and installing them correctly. That is my job and I oversee every project.” Most people are busy working and simply don’t have the knowledge required when it comes to construction and remodel. “My clients hire me to take care of their project and be the middle man and expert when it comes to all the different variables that come along with construction and remodel.” However, it doesn’t have to be a big project. Randy can handle jobs of all sizes including small ones like replacing doors, exterior hardscapes, gates and more.

You can call Randy to meet with him and discuss the project you are planning. He will give you an estimate and once agreed upon, he will get to work. He is licensed and insured, which is another added bonus. “Often times, people may attempt to work with someone who isn’t licensed or have insurance and when there is a problem, they end up having to hire someone else and it costs more money in the long run,” said Randy. Having work done in your home means having a variety of workers in and around your home. When you hire Rhymes Renovations and Contracting, Randy ensures your home is taken care of throughout the process.

No matter the scope of your job, Randy Rhymes can provide to anyone looking to handle some projects around the house to building from the ground up to renovating an existing home. Randy works throughout Northeast Louisiana, including Monroe, West Monroe, Ruston, Farmerville and Sterlington. To experience the level of care and detail that Rhymes Renovations can bring to your next construction project, call Randy today at 318.348.4287.


Woodstock Monroe

Fall Finds at Woodstock Monroe

THE CRISP AIR AND THE VIBRANT CHANGING leaves signal the arrival of everyone’s favorite season—fall. It’s a time for cozy evenings, pumpkin spice lattes, and, of course, refreshing your home and wardrobe. Plus fall brings with it times of celebration, gathering, and gift giving. At Woodstock, we’re excited to introduce you to our latest selection of fall items that will add warmth, style, and charm to your life this autumn. In this article, we invite you to explore our handpicked assortment of home décor, gifts, and clothing that capture the essence of the season.

Home: Transform your living space into a cozy haven with our collection of scented candles. From the comforting aroma of spiced pumpkin to the woodsy notes of autumn leaves, these candles will fill your home with the delightful scents of the season. Our current favorite is Frost on the Pumpkin. A Sweet creamy pumpkin warmed with holiday spices of roasted almond, nutmeg, clove and fragrance notes of cinnamon chai, vanilla bean and maple sugar. If you love hosting, our range of paper goods, cups, serving pieces, and seasonal décor, will help you set a stunning scene that’s perfect for sharing your home with loved ones.

Gift: Whether you are looking for birthdays, anniversaries, or simply to express your gratitude, Woodstock has a variety of unique gifts. Give the gift of style with our fall clothing collection. We offer a range of fashionable sweaters, jewelry, and accessories that make for perfect presents for friends and family. For those who appreciate the little details, explore our selection of autumnthemed home decor items, including seasonal wreaths, decorative pumpkins, and more. These accents make excellent housewarming or hostess gifts.

Clothing: Fall fashion is all about layering, and our clothing collection has everything you need to create stylish, cozy outfits. From versatile cardigans to trendy jackets, you’ll find pieces to elevate your wardrobe. Featured is this beautiful white dress with a crochet vest. Pair with boots and you are ready for fall family pictures! We also cannot wait to start wearing our favorite custom FUNROE sweaters and sweatshirts! For all of our Tiger fans, we have a wide variety of tops and sweatshirts for Tiger game day.

At Woodstock, we love that autumn is a time for embracing the beauty of change and celebrating the warmth of home. Our carefully curated collection of fall items in home décor, gifts, and clothing is designed to help you do just that. Visit our store today or shop online to immerse yourself in the cozy and inviting atmosphere of fall, and discover the perfect items to enhance your space. Whether you’re looking to update your living space, find the ideal gift, or refresh your wardrobe, we have something special waiting for you!

Shop with us at: 1806 N 3rd Street Monroe, LA 71201


Fontenot’s Cajun Way

Chuck Fontenot recently opened a second location of the successful restaurant he and his wife started in Columbia, LA

Fontenot defines Cajun cuisine, foremost, as made from scratch.

Mention the word Cajun anywhere in Louisiana and you’ll be met with immediate recognition of the heritage belonging to a fiercely proud people. Descending from a group of French Canadians driven away from the French colony of Acadia—Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island—Louisiana Acadians or Cajuns have carved their culture into southern Louisiana. This vast region, known as Acadiana or Cajun Country, encompasses twenty-two parishes. That’s close to 14,500 square miles of distinct language, customs, music, art, and food. Regardless of what part of the state you inhabit, Cajun food is unmistakable—robust, fresh, and packed with seasoning. And while many restaurants offer Cajun flare, it’s rare to find Cajun-made home cooking outside of Cajun country—until now.


“There’s only one thing in this restaurant that doesn’t come from Louisiana or United States, and that’s the snow crab.

A Cajun ain’t caught one yet,” he laughs.

Chuck Fontenot, owner of Fontenot’s Cajun Way, hails from Eunice, the “prairie” cajun capital of Louisiana. A proud Cajun living in Columbia, he remembers fondly the patchwork of his youth, like his father not learning to speak English until he was a teenager, the pressing value of respecting elders, and the lighthearted approach to neighbors and strangers alike. Even then, his travels around the United States due to his construction job helped him and his wife, Sue, grow closer to their roots by way of food. During that time, one of their favorite pastimes as a couple was cooking for friends they met along the way. “My wife loved to see them enjoy the food that we were raised on,” says Fontenot. Eventually, the couple decided to leave life on the road behind in order to spend more time with their grandkids. Between that shift, all the people they had met kept reaching out, craving their homemade smoked sausage. Fontenot began considering the possibility of a restaurant, but it wasn’t until he stumbled upon a restaurant space for rent in Columbia, Louisiana that he brought the idea to his wife. His approach was uncomplicated: “Let’s see if a restaurant with what we were born and raised cooking would work.” They opened their doors in 2018 and soon after grew their customer base. With the success of his first location, the couple began considering another location, and Monroe was a strong contender. Sadly, his wife passed away in October. “She told me to stay busy,” Fontenot asserts. And that’s just what he did. “Her dream was to have a second restaurant. So here it is,” he says, adding proudly, “Her food still comes out of this kitchen just like if she was in there.”

Fontenot defines Cajun cuisine, foremost, as made from scratch. Attention is given to how food is prepared and the combination of seasoning. “We use a lot of onions,” he says, also mentioning how his Columbia location has used close to 1126 eggs in one week, all whisked for a variety of batters. “Again, that’s how we were born and raised.” In his kitchen, only and always crawfish from Louisiana and Gulf shrimp. “There’s only one thing in this restaurant that don’t come from Louisiana or United States, and that’s the snow crab. A Cajun ain’t caught one yet,” he laughs. Finally, when considering the medley of ingredients that serve as the basis of almost every meal, he mentions the “Holy Trinity” of celery, green bell peppers, and “a lot” of onions. As far as authenticity goes, Fontenot turns to heritage, pointing out that many of the recipes used in the restaurant have been handed down from generation to generation. “What we know how to cook, we didn’t have to research. It has all just been drilled into us for years and years. We don’t have to open a book to see how to cook these dishes,” he says.

With that said, it wasn’t difficult for husband and wife to curate the menu, which, from the get-go, was meant to reflect the dishes that hallmarked their upbringing—gumbo, crawfish, fried fish, fried shrimp, shrimp creole, gator sauce piquante, fried eggplant, and many more. But when asked about the staple Cajun dish of his childhood, Fontenot didn’t miss a beat—crawfish étouffée. The recipe on the menu has two points of intersection. The first can be traced to the Annual World Championship Crawfish Étouffée Cook-Off held in Eunice. One year, a family friend entered the contest and

The Cajun Dream platter has a crab cake sandwiched between two eggplant medallions topped with a softshell crab and five fried shrimp topped with étouffée.


Since its Monroe doors opened in June, Fontenot’s Cajun Way has hit the spot for many Cajun food lovers. One Facebook review enthuses, “The best Cajun food I’ve had since I’ve moved from Baton Rouge!”

won, so Fontenot’s wife took ninety percent of his recipe, and ten percent of her own to conduct what would become a Fontenot’s Cajun Way delicacy.

One of the standout elements of the restaurant’s crawfish étouffée, besides the meaty crawfish tails, is the rice. “We don’t buy rice from nowhere else but here. So I would think that has a lot to contribute to the taste,” emphasizes Fontenot. Believe it or not, the type of grain makes a world of difference when it comes to Cajun cooking. Unlike the use of short grain the further south you go (areas south of Crowley, Louisiana like Kaplan) or the use of long grain throughout the northern region, when it comes to his dishes, there is only one grain that will do. “Every grain of rice in this building and my other building is medium grain,” he presses. For some, this may seem like a minute detail, but there’s a science to the size. “To me, gravy sticks better to the medium [grain]” he claims, adding, “We go through some rice. Lots and lots of rice.” In fact, the secret to their homemade boudain is the use of medium-grain rice. The moral of the story—don’t underestimate your smallest ingredient, especially if it’s being made by a Cajun. In fact, an old saying his wife used to tell customers goes, “A Cajun can look at a rice field and tell how many plates of food can be made.”

Since its Monroe doors opened in June, Fontenot’s Cajun Way has hit the spot for many Cajun food lovers. One Facebook review enthuses, “The best Cajun food I’ve had since I’ve moved from Baton Rouge!” Another review raves about the towering Cajun Dream—two eggplant medallions, one crab cake, a softshell crab, and fried shrimp, all topped with étouffée—



Fried eggplant is layered with etouffee and topped with a crab cake, the dish is topped with a delicious cheese sauce.

writing, “Honestly, reminded me of some of the best seafood places in New Orleans and Lafayette. Hands down, a spectacular experience.”

Fontenot makes sure to credit his kitchen staff, some of whom were directly trained by his wife and have been growing with the restaurant for five-plus years, for the visually stunning and savory meals coming out of his kitchen.

“I’m a Cajun cooking Cajun food,” says Fontenot, wanting to emphasize heritage as one of his greatest motivators, as well as the memory of his wife. “I think she’d be proud of this place,” he says, reminiscing on the early days of his first location. He had some doubts about how his home cooking would be received, but taking a cue from the film Field of Dreams he told himself, “Cook it and they will come.” And that’s exactly how it went.

Fontenot’s Cajun Way is located at 436 Desiard Street, Monroe, Louisiana. Take advantage of their take-out fridge items and don’t forget to go home with a container of their housemade seasoning which some customers claim is better than Tony’s!


Sprint For St. Jude

The Beta-Zeta Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fundraiser


Fraternity is hosting the second annual Sprint for St. Jude on October 14, 2023, on the campus of Louisiana Tech University, starting at the Student Center (The Tonk). This fundraising event is 1-Mile Walk starting at 8:00 am and a 5K Run starting at 8:30 am. Registration and information for the event can be found at runsignup. com/Race/LA/Ruston/SprintforStJudeRuston and ends on October 13th at 7:00pm.

The Beta-Zeta Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fundraises throughout each year to benefit the patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Our mission for this event is to bring our community together to help these children and their families. Our sponsors help make all of this possible and with their help, we are hoping to reach our goal of $20,000,” states Trenton Storm, TKE Philanthropy Chairman from West Monroe, La. Last year, Beta-Zeta raised nearly $60,000 for the year for cancer research. Storm added, “As our first philanthropic event of the year for St. Jude, we need the community to come out and support this cause and help us reach our goal to end childhood cancer, once and for all. Even if you don’t want to run or walk, you can easily donate to St. Jude through the race registration portal.”

After moving into a new house in Ruston at the beginning of September, Beta-Zeta is anticipating another record-breaking year after winning its third straight Top TKE Chapter Award for its accomplishments last year by the Grand Chapter in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Tau Kappa Epsilon prides itself on service before self and it’s commitment to St. Jude. The fraternity was founded at Louisiana Tech in 1947, and its goal has been to lead its members and students by encouraging campus involvement, philanthropy, and personal growth. NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw is the chapter’s most famous alumnus along with notable national alumni Ronald Reagan, Elvis Presley, Les Paul, and many more.

Tau Kappa Epsilon has been supporting St. Jude in its fight against cancer since 1972. Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude and fellow frater of TKE, dreamed of a place where no child would be denied treatment based on their race, religion, or family’s ability to pay. This vision still lives on to this day, and Tekes are proud to support it.

Come out and support The Sprint for St. Jude on October 14th at Louisiana Tech! Thanks to our sponsors: Champion Trophies, Rapid Signs, Delta Management Solutions, Matherne & Davis Attorneys at Law, Storm Properties, Community Credit Corporation, The Revelry of Ruston, Mitchell Construction, Lauren Roebuck Designs, The Fabric Shop, Ranch Road Enterprises, LLC, and The Payne Company.


Dixie Center for the Arts

Proudly Presents Black Angels Over Tuskegee

PLAYWRIGHT, ACTOR, AND Louisiana native Layon Gray is bringing his widely popular and inspirational play Black Angels Over Tuskegee to Ruston at the Dixie for the first time on Saturday, January 20, 2024. Gray has made a name for himself in the Los Angeles and New York City theatre communities, where he’s spent more than two decades writing, directing, and developing stage plays and films that reflect a wide array of cultural movements. Gray has earned more than 60 nominations and awards for his works, including the NAACP Award for Best Ensemble and the MATCH-LIFE Artist of the Year Award.

Black Angels Over Tuskegee is the story of the Tuskegee Airmen told in narrative of six men embarking upon a journey to become pilots in the United States Army Air Forces.

The play goes beyond the headlines of the popular stories of the Tuskegee

Airmen and exposes the men who exhibited the courage to excel, in spite of all the overwhelming odds against them. The play follows the collective struggle of the first African American aviators in the United States Army Air Forces as they overcame Jim Crow-era injustices with intelligence, patriotism, and brotherhood as they worked towards their dreams of an inclusive and fair society.

Vibrantly energetic and emotionally captivating, the acclaimed drama Black Angels Over Tuskegee arrives in Ruston in January. One of the longest-running productions Off-Broadway, this awardwinning, historical docudrama will take you on a journey through a tumultuous era of racial segregation and Jim Crow idealism in twentieth-century American history. Inspired by true events, Black Angels Over Tuskegee movingly illustrates how the men

unite in brotherhood to achieve a communal vision.

Tickets are available now at www.

The Dixie Center for the Arts is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and restored historic theater in Ruston, LA. Our mission is “To be the home and heart of the arts in North Central Louisiana. For more information about the Dixie Center please visit our website at www.


Tim Brandon

Not everyone knows exactly what he wants to be when he grows up, but Tim Brandon (AIA, LEED GA, and president and founder of TBA Studio Architecture) did. He has always wanted to be an architect, even as a child. Today, he is living that dream. After working a number of years as a practicing architect, Tim established his own architectural firm, TBA Studio Architecture. Today that company and the talented team he assembled are recognized as among the very best in the country. In 2023 TBA Studio Architecture was named by Build Magazine as Best Education Architecture Design Firm 2023 and Best Elementary School Rebuild Design 2023 in the Southern United States, and National Firm of the Year by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). We are fortunate to have Tim playing a vital role in the growth of our region. Because of his incredible business success and the positive energy that he brings to literally everything, Tim Brandon is our October 2023 BayouIcon.

What does it take to be a successful architect in today’s world? When Tim Brandon is asked that question, he lists three essential keys to success. These are based on his own extensive personal experience in the field both as a practicing architect and as the owner of a major architectural firm.

First, Tim points out that for architects to be successful, they must remain up-to-date with the ever-evolving technology that they are faced with daily. Keeping abreast of the latest design software, building materials, and sustainable technologies will require study time, but that will be time well-spent to remain competitive in the field.

Secondly, Tim says that successful architects are the ones who are able to balance their artistic vision with practical constraints. Budget limitations, building codes, and client expectations must all be considered when creating designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The architects who can reconcile their creative aspirations with those will most likely be the most successful.

Finally, Tim emphasizes the importance of fostering an atmosphere of effective collaboration among all who are partnering on a given project. Clients, contractors, engineers – all must work together and share a common vision in order to achieve their goal. He adds that the successful architect will take care to be sure that everyone communicates effectively and works in harmony until the project is completed.

“These are all challenges that I’ve faced along the way,” Tim says. “They have tested my problem-solving skills, adaptability, and ability to build strong working relationships. They have been instrumental in my growth in my field, and have pushed me to find innovative solutions and refine my approach to overall project management and design.”


Tim was born in Hammond, Louisiana. His parents, Larry and Sue Brandon, met in high school when they were growing up in Gonzales. Interestingly, both of their fathers worked with their hands. Tim’s paternal grandfather, Verdell Brandon, was



“I have always loved the idea of shaping the world around me, creating spaces that not only serve practical purposes but also inspire and uplift those who inhabit them.” ~ TIM BRANDON

a machinist and worked on a lathe. His maternal grandfather, Clevland Bourque, was a barber, farmer, and home builder. Tim’s dad was a salesman, selling farm chemicals. His mom was an elementary school teacher and counselor.

When Tim was 5 years old, the family moved to San Antonio and remained there until Tim was in the 5th grade. At that point the family moved back to Louisiana and settled in West Monroe. Tim attended Drew Elementary School, West Monroe Junior High, and graduated from West Monroe High School. His passion during these years was fishing, hunting, and playing baseball although he played every sport he could. “My favorite subject was 6th hour during which we practiced whatever sport was currently being played,” Tim explains with a laugh.

As a child, Tim loved building forts out of scrap wood, sketching and modeling buildings from clay, and imagining innovative structures that could enhance people’s lives. Tim’s desire to become an architect heightened during high school as he explored new subjects including art, mathematics, and physics – all of which coincidentally are integral to architecture. “High school provided me with a broader perspective on the world,” Tim explains. “It helped me refine my academic and creative skills, and ultimately prepared me for the rigorous architectural education and training that lay ahead.”

During those early years Tim learned many important lessons from his parents that shaped both his personal and professional life. “My father taught me discipline and hard work,” he says, “and my mother taught me love and kindness. They are both my heroes.” Together they instilled in Tim the importance of attention to detail and of patience – qualities crucial in the field of architecture where precision and perseverance are essential. Tim’s parents also emphasized the importance of creativity and thinking “outside of the box.” That emphasis forced Tim to become innovative and to develop unique solutions to problems. “The lessons learned from my parents have not only enriched my architectural practice, but have also molded me into a more resilient, creative, and empathetic professional and person,” Tim says.



When Tim entered Louisiana Tech University, he was fully committed to pursuing a career in architecture. He was driven by what he calls “. . . a passion for designing spaces that could inspire, solve real-world problems, and leave a lasting impact on communities and individuals.” At Louisiana Tech, Tim learned that architecture is multifaceted, and that design isn’t just about aesthetics but also includes problem-solving, sustainability, and the human experience. “I wanted to shape environments that could positively impact people’s lives, whether I was designing a sustainable, energy-efficient building or creating spaces that fostered community and well-being,” Tim says. “The architectural education I received in college allowed me to explore various design philosophies, technologies, and historical influences all of which gave me a rich foundation on which to build my career.”

Two professors were important mentors for Tim during his Louisiana Tech years. Professor Robert Moran (Professor Emeritus) influenced Tim’s understanding of design principles and architectural theory. Professor Robert Fakelmann (Professor Emeritus) taught Tim the importance of creativity and innovation, and that it was perfectly fine to push the boundaries of traditional architectural design.

When Tim began his professional career, he worked with Hugh Parker, an architect who became his professional mentor. “His guidance extended beyond that expected in an ordinary traditional ‘employer figure’,” Tim says. “He provided me with practical insights into the industry, project management, and the nuances of working with clients.”

Moran, Fakelmann, and Parker each provided guidance that has proved invaluable in shaping Tim’s architectural perspective both as a designer and as a businessman. “These men shared not only their knowledge and experience, but also encouraged me to think critically, explore diverse design approaches, and develop a strong work ethic,” Tim remembers. “They have had a lasting impact on my career, reinforcing my commitment to design excellence and the holistic practice of architecture.”


While pursuing architectural studies at Louisiana Tech, Tim met Jollie Rodes - the love of his life. Jollie was pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. The two dated for a year, and then paused a year while Tim was in the military. When he returned, they resumed their courtship for another 3 years and then married in her hometown of Benton, Louisiana, in February 1993 at the Benton United Methodist Church.

Their union produced three children – two sons and a daughter. Their oldest, son Kohl, is a licensed veterinarian living in Benton. He is engaged to Payton Whittington and they will be married in May 2024. Their middle child, son Kade, is a licensed architect who is married to Katie Edwards Brandon – Kade’s high school sweetheart. They live in West Monroe where Kade works at TBA Studio Architecture (aka TBA Studio) with his dad. The youngest, daughter Kiley, also married her high school sweetheart Colton Anderson and Kiley is pursuing her Masters in Mental Health Counseling. They also live in West Monroe.

Tim and Jollie are extremely proud of all of their children and are especially excited to welcome their first grandchildren to be born this winter. Kade and Katie are expecting their first child in December, and Kiley and Colton will welcome their first in February. Tim’s dreams for his children – and future grandchildren – are simple, and yet profound. “I want them to have the courage to follow their passions, the resilience to overcome challenges, and the kindness to make a positive impact on the world,” this proud father says.


In 2004, Tim founded TBA Studio in West Monroe. His dream was to create a full-service architectural design firm that would use what Tim describes as “. . . a service-oriented approach to bringing big ideas to life.” Since its founding, TBA Studio has grown with offices in Bossier City and San Antonio. In September 2023, TBA Studio acquired Douglas Architects, Inc., a highly regarded San Antonio architectural firm with a 17year history of excellence in the field. Just as Tim’s years as a practicing architect working for others had its share of challenges, so have his years as a business owner. Tim readily admits that the most unexpected thing he encountered when he opened his own firm was the impact of client relationships on the creative process. He had anticipated focusing primarily on design and project management. To his surprise, Tim discovered that the trust and collaboration between clients and architects equally influence the outcome of a project. “I learned that building strong, open lines of communication and truly understanding the client’s vision weren’t just professional responsibilities but were also cornerstones for successful, meaningful design work,” Tim explained. “This was an unexpected but valuable lesson that taught me the importance of the interplay between human connection and architectural creativity.”

The challenges of managing finances and client relationships while developing and then meeting project timelines were significant. Even so, meeting those challenges was immensely rewarding. Tim still remembers the first design project that his firm undertook, an elementary school renovation. “The satisfaction of seeing that project through from concept to completion – and the positive feedback from the client -- were incredibly gratifying,” Tim recalls. “It was very exciting to see our vision come to life in the real world.”

And there was one more change that brought challenges –and occasional frustrations – to architects. When Tim entered the profession, hand drawing was commonplace. Computers were just entering the local market, and technology for architects was in its infancy. Today technology plays a significant role in architecture. According to Tim, technology innovations have streamlined the design process, making it possible for the architect to create and visualize complex architectural concepts in less time. “Tools like BIM (Building Information Modeling) and CAD (Computer Aided Design) software plus VR (virtual reality) have revolutionized the architect’s ability to communicate ideas with clients,” Tim says. “While it has been challenging, technology’s positive contributions far outweigh its complications, enhancing both the creative and practical aspects of our profession.”

Tim’s decision to start TBA Studio paid dividends. Two areas – K-12/university building design and sports stadium architecture

Tim’s dreams for his children – and future grandchildren – are simple, and yet profound. “I want them to have the courage to follow their passions, the resilience to overcome challenges, and the kindness to make a positive impact on the world,” this proud father says.

– afforded Tim and his firm’s colleagues a number of exciting opportunities to merge their passion for architecture with an equally deep desire to create spaces that enrich communities and enhance the educational and recreational experiences of those who use them. “In education building design, we’ve worked on academic facilities that foster collaboration, innovation, and a conducive learning environment,” Tim explains. “In sports architecture, we’ve designed state-of-the-art athletic venues that prioritize fan experiences, sustainability, and modern amenities.”

When TBA Studio won the contract to design new athletic facilities for Louisiana Tech University, Tim recognized the unique design challenges and potential impact of the projects – especially the J.C. Love Field project. “This project involved a number of elements that had to be taken into consideration,” Tim says. “We had to preserve the historic character of the campus while simultaneously transforming it into a modern, technology-rich athletic facility. Seeing the fusion of tradition and innovation come together combined with the positive feedback we received from students and faculty made it particularly memorable.” In 2022, Tim was named Louisiana Tech Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in recognition of his many accomplishments.


For Tim, inspiration comes from many sources. A trip to Pennsylvania included a visit to Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic residential design. Tim was struck by how Wright seamlessly integrated the home with its natural surroundings by incorporating the waterfalls and landscape into the design. ‘This was a revelation, showcasing how architecture could become one with nature,” Tim remembers. “It was a pivotal moment that reinforced my belief in the potential for architecture to not only provide functional spaces,

but also to create harmonious relationships between the ‘built’ environment and nature. Wright’s innovative use in Fallingwater of cantilevers and organic design principles which together evoked an emotional response solidified Fallingwater’s place as a source of inspiration throughout my career.”

A man who has always loved the outdoors, Tim finds nature constantly inspiring and consistently incorporates natural elements into his designs. He loves using sustainable, locally sourced wood because it combines aesthetics with environmental responsibility. “Wood promotes sustainability when sourced responsibly, sequesters carbon, and requires less energy for production compared to many other building materials,” Tim says. “Wood’s adaptability makes it suitable for both structural and interior elements, enhancing the overall design while contributing to a more sustainable ‘built’ environment.”

Nature also appears in Tim’s designs through his use of natural light. He believes that natural light has a transformative impact on a space’s functionality. “Natural light enhances the interior aesthetics and promotes energy efficiency and well-being of occupants by creating inviting, well-lit spaces. These connect people with their surroundings and reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day,” Tim says.

Tim often finds inspiration through reading and researching new architectural styles. He also finds new ideas through collaborative interactions with both clients and fellow architects. Even casual observations of how people interact with their surroundings inspire him. “Ultimately, inspiration comes from an ongoing curiosity about the world and a deep appreciation for the power of architecture to shape the human experience,” Tim says.


Aside from joining Jollie watching their family grow and enjoying time with those new grandchildren, Tim envisions a future where TBA Studio will continue to make a positive impact on the communities it serves. Tim has surrounded himself with a staff representing top architectural and interior design talent in the South. He finds that talent, gives them the tools necessary, challenges them to do great work, and then expects them to exceed all expectations. He looks forward to mentoring emerging architects and making contributions to the architectural community. And, as he always has, Tim will make time to volunteer.

Tim believes that volunteerism is very important. He says that giving back to the community and using his architecture expertise to contribute to the betterment of society has always been a core value of his practice. Tim sees volunteerism as a two-way street. For the volunteer, there will be personal fulfillment and purpose as he applies his skills and knowledge in a meaningful way while broadening his perspective. For the community, Tim says that volunteers address various social, environmental, and cultural challenges that may otherwise be neglected. Their fresh ideas, expertise, and resources help resolve a variety of issues. “Volunteers gain a sense of connection and purpose, while the community benefits from the dedication and skills of the volunteers,” Tim explains. His firm has a policy of volunteering as a group at least once a quarter for others such as Dixie Diehards Baseball and MedCamps.

If Tim were young again, would he choose architecture as a career? Absolutely. He finds the joy of transforming ideas into tangible, functional spaces incredibly satisfying. “I have always loved the idea of shaping the world around me, creating spaces that not only serve practical purposes but also inspire and uplift those who inhabit them,” Tim says. He agrees with French priest, writer, and lecturer Ernest Dimnet (1866 - 1954) who wrote, “Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but most surely, on the soul.”


Bayou Buzzworthy

The 2024 St. Jude Dream Home Ground Breaking was held on September 7th on the beautiful lot in the new DeSiard Trace subdivision in Sterlington. Last year they sold $800,000 worth of tickets. Stay tuned for upcoming ticket sales and help reach an all-time record number to help beat childhood cancer.

On September 20th

Louisiana Tech welcomed six Hall of Famers.

Those included are Terry Bradshaw, Willie Roaf, Fred Dean, Karl Malone, Teresa Weatherspoon and Kim Mulkey. The new inductees each have their own statues on the beautiful campus of Louisiana Tech University.

On September 20th the West Monroe Recycling Center celebrated their 5-year anniversary of being open. Since its’ opening, more than 1.5 million pounds of materials have been recycled. Visit Keep West Monroe Beautiful Ouachita Green’s Facebook page for monthly clean-up dates.

The ULM Women’s Golf team opened its fall schedule by claiming the USA Intercollegiate team title in Mobile, Alabama with a combined score of 1-under-par 863. This was the third-lowest 54-hole total in school history. Four Warhawks finished inside the Top 10!



The prep revolution is in full swing this fall. Sweater vests, tweed coats, button-down shirts and scarves take center stage this season. Find this and other great looks at area boutiques.


This look defines prep by combining a cable knit sweater with short, puff sleeves and a pearl embellished collar with cropped jeans. The look is accessorized with colorblock suede heels in a rainbow of luxe neutrals and a shiny silver bracelet.



Timeless pieces are combined to pull together the ultimate preppy look. Georgia Faith wears a button-down check shirt layered with an oversized sweater vest, and jeans with a frayed hem. The look is accessorized with navy retro-style sneakers.


This blouse effortlessly combines the coziness of a sweater overlay with the timeless appeal of a collared shirt underneath. It’s paired with a black vegan leather short and a two-toned penny loafer. The look is accessorized with gold hoop earrings and stackable bracelets.


Autumn colors reign in this look that features a soft knit top with flared mid-rise jeans. Accessorize with a modern brown boot, a leather tied rock statement necklace and a convertible backpack.


This blue and white collared sweater dress is the perfect transition piece. Pair it with delicate floral scarf and pearl necklace to complete the look.

Max Porter Provisions

Northeast Louisiana’s Newest Men’s Mercantile

THIS OCTOBER MAX PORTER WILL CELEBRATE ITS second year on historic Antique Alley in downtown West Monroe. Max Porter Provisions, is a men’s mercantile offering everything for apothecary to apparel, general store items to unique gift ideas. Parters Laurie Cochran and Cassie Livingston worked alongside Taylor Bennett to create a space in the old Mojoware store that would appeal to men looking to shop for themselves or women looking for unique gift items for the men in their lives. Décor gathered from estate sales and vintage family memorabilia set the stage for Max Porter. When asked about the name of the store, Livingston said, “The store is named for my father-in-law, Max Livingston, who we lost to leukemia in 2011. It’s a tribute to our family roots – acknowledging the hardworking, veteran who devoted his life to family and country. Most of the items that we carry in the store are made in America – if they aren’t, they’re small batch, socially-conscious brands.”

Among the brands that Max Porter Provisions carries is Criqueta clothing line established by two friends in Austin, TX. The Ampal Creative is another diverse line of socks, beanies and hats that are exclusively made in the USA. Shoppers can find a range of sauces and rubs from distributers like Hoff & Pepper and BBQ Rubdown, along with drink mixes from award-winning El Guapo Bitters. “The store definitely had ‘every man’ in mind when we were purchasing products,” says Cochran. “Whether you describe your style as western, modern, rustic, old-school, metro... our store has something for you.”

A favorite of the owners are the candles from Manready Mercantile. “Manready was really the inspiration behind the store. A friend put it on our radar, and the next time we visited Houston we really fell in love with the products. My husband loves the room sprays and candles – these were the first orders that we placed for Max Porter,” says Livingston. There are also candles and fragrances from Guy Fox, an under-the-radar company that offers affordable and unique colognes that are warm and full of zest.

Looking for a new razor? Supply offers an injector-style blade cartridge which allows you to reload the razor with ultra-sharp stubble-slicers, without ever touching a blade with your hands. Pair it along with Educated Beards delightful beard-grooming kit to keep your facial hair in place. Both of the companies, along with Duke Cannon are favorites of Livingston and Cochran’s husbands.

While Max Porter Provisions is carrying apparel, their clothing selection is well-curated and there are only a few brands that are available in the store, these include Criquet, Flag and Anthem, The Normal Brand, Duck Camp, Burlebo, Pendleton, Richer Poorer and Howler. “There are so many great apparel stores in North Louisiana, it was important to us to keep this section of our store limited. We have a waxed canvas jacket from Loyal Stricklin that we are in love with. There are also boxers from Richer Poorer, socks from Ampal Creative, and fun hats from Sendero Provisions. Our husbands definitely weighed in when we were ordering clothing, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the unique apparel that we have.”

Leather goods is among one of the largest selections of gift items in the store. There are some beautiful, hand-crafted leather goods like wallets, belts, dog collars and leashes, bags, coaster, trays and more. “The Atticus duffle from Will Leather Company is my favorite item in the store,” says Cochran. “With plenty of pockets for organization and a dedicated shoe compartment, its roomy interior will hold all your essentials and more. It’s the right size for an overhead compartment and leather strap make going through the airport a breeze.” Even though the leather bags are a must-have, Max Porter also has a vintage camo print bag line from another local manufacturer that is perfect for fall travels.

When you are making your Christmas lists this year, make sure to stop in and visit Max Porter Provisions. “We are so excited to be a part of this community for the last two years. We genuinely found a need for a store like this, and feel that we will evolve to become a shopping destination for Northeast Louisiana.” says Livingston. “We are so happy to have also welcomed a new face to our staff. Amanda Myree Lockard has a wealth of product knowledge and experience. Our shoppers will really love meeting and working with her... among her many talents, she is also an incredible photographer.”

Max Porter Provisions is located at 206 Trenton Street in West Monroe. Find them on Facebook, Instagram and their website at Store hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.

For a limited time only, enjoy 30% off all summer apparel (you will find numerous transition pieces that would be perfect for fall).


Lip Sync Battle

Thursday, September 22nd, Twin City Ballet hosted their 2023 Lip Sync Battle and it was epic. It was definitely one for the books! The winners were, 3rd place: Whitney Houston, Kandice Hunter. 2nd place: J-Lo, Kelsea McCrary, and 1st place: Jelly Roll, Chris Horrell. Attendees voted for a crowd favorite and Whitney Houston, Kandice Hunter took home the title. This was definitely a night to remember and we can’t wait for the 2024 Lip Sync Battle!

On the BayouScene

1 Anna Vines and Colby Walker

2 Anthony Scalia, Chelsea Holbron, Danielle Otwell, Joy and Clay Caissie

3 Ashley Hubenthal, Mayor Stacey Mitchell and Kimberly Essex

4 Ashley Keever, Krista Rhymes and Nici Hanks

5 Brad and Molly Lomax

6 Caron Osbon, Sarah Schlessman, Stephanie Davis and Natalie Jenkins

7 Diane Lewis, Mackenzie Wise and Bridgette Hightower

8 India McCoy, Stacy Gibson and Dusty Teer

9 Heather Guillot and Leah Hawsey

10 Georgia and Melanie Moffett

11 Katie Dukes and Kaysi Masters

12 Kim Boyette Stephanie Guilbeau and Danielle Crain

13 Lauren Howard and Chelsea Holbron

14 Maggie Generoso, Erin Etheridge and Patience Talley

15 Meagan Rusell and Taylor Bennett

16 Morgan Livingston and Benjamin Stokes

17 Melanie Jones, Jennifer Perodeau, Heather Toms and Leslie Titus

18 Quentin Henry, Chris Horrell and Jon Gimber

19 Sarah Zeager, Katee Ginn and Jennalee Shows

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AGE 21+

“Conversations with Friends”

SallyRooney’s first novel, published in 2017, follows Frances and Bobbi, soulmates of sorts navigating the awkward space of being former lovers and now devoted friends. In the summer before their final year of university, Frances and Bobbi meet Melissa, an accomplished, glamorous author a decade older who is intrigued by the duo’s slam poetry readings at a club in Dublin. When Melissa’ husband Nick enters the dynamic, Frances and Nick recognize kindred spirits in one another and an immense sexual attraction, complicating the foursome’s friendship and targeting Bobbi’s hold on being the most important person in Frances’ life. Through a layering of in-person exchanges highlighting Gen Z’s take on the hopeless state of the world, Rooney compellingly twists a contemporary romance novel that ignores the conventions of a traditional bestselling love story. Rooney slammed on the literary scene with this novel, recently adapted by Hulu for a limited series. The title of the novel seems appropriate for one that relies on dialogue and overcoming the hiccups of friendship. What Rooney does superbly is to slowly reveal the essence of her characters as they incrementally expose themselves in actions and reactions. Her work thrives on the unknown, relaying background story as necessary to anchor the poignance of the plot. Rooney allows readers into the lives

of privileged Europeans absorbed with the same melodramas that dominate everyday American life. Money does not ensconce someone in protection from heartache; if anything, money delays the routine disappointments that make painful selfdiscovery more manageable. Rooney does not ask sympathy for her characters, but they get it anyway. She does not ask disdain for her characters, but they get that too. In their complexity, they capture readers’ full attention. As I rushed to the end of this book, I mourned its eventual ending.

Rooney is the type of author that makes one wish she churned out more novels at a pace comparable to our reading them. Perhaps it is simply the social progressiveness of European life, but Rooney explores identities still debated in the states without telling us how to feel about them. She does not shy away from challenging gender expectations or heteronormative realities, but she does so without telling readers how to think about such topics. Perhaps she imagines a world where identity concerns are not debated; perhaps in Ireland, where Rooney and her characters hail from, binary assumptions are a thing of the past. But in Rooney’s telling, what invites scorn stateside is simply a fact in this fictional world, and she and her characters could care less what we think about it. Conversations with Friends is superb escapism with little tolerance for sanctimonious American scrutiny.

“I certainly couldn’t tell her what I found most endearing about him, which was that he was attracted to plain and emotionally cold women like me.”

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“I ran my finger along his collarbone and said: I can’t remember if I thought about this at the beginning. How it was doomed to end unhappily. He nodded, looking at me. I did, he said. I just thought it would be worth it.”

The 4th Annual ARTvent

Benefiting The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council


Beginning December 1st for a total of 12 consecutive days, the Arts Council will be drawing for 12 prize packages to be given away to 12 lucky daily winners. It’s the best raffle around!

“ARTvent began during COVID because of our inability to host our regular fundraising events,” explains Barry Stevens, President of the Arts Council. “It proved to be such a success that we’ve continued it. People love to support the arts in our region, and they enjoy a chance at winning great prizes.” All prize packages include at least one piece of original art by a Region 8 artist.

Tickets are only $50 each and are on sale now. They are available on-line at as well as from any Arts Council board member or through the Arts Council office by calling 318.397.6717 or 318.397.6754. A full list of daily prizes, donors, and sponsors will be available on the Arts Council website. You must be 21 or older to participate.

Sponsors at press time are BayouLife, Newk’s Eatery, Cross Keys Bank, Scott Powerline & Utility Equipment, Century Next Bank, Biedenharn Museum & Gardens, Origin Bank, Mid South Extrusion, Creative Exchange, Reeves, Coon & Funderburg Insurance Groups, and Thomas and Farr Insurance. Proceeds benefit the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council, its programs, and services.

About the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council

The Northeast Louisiana Arts Council seeks to nurture a vibrant regional arts culture through support, promotion, and education. The Arts Council strives to be a transformative force for the community by encouraging a passion for the arts, promoting partnerships and collaboration, and ensuring access to the arts for all. Activities of the Arts Council are supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works.


The Magic Of Guinness

Perfect Pints, From Ireland To Your Home


is a tribute to the undeniable legacy of Arthur Guinness. Arthur Guinness was the first in a long line of Guinness Master Brewers. The craft of brewing at St. James’s Gate Brewery was handed down from generation to generation. On December 31st, 1759, Arthur signed a 9000 year lease on St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. He knew Guinness was in it for the long haul.

While the majority of Guinness is still brewed at St. James in Ireland, there are now two breweries open in the US. The Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore features an experimental brewery, taproom, restaurant, and brand store, as well as guided and self-guided tours. The newly christened Open Gate Brewery in Chicago features the first-ever Guinness Bakery and countless beer releases, food-focused experiences, and events throughout the year.

“An important part of what Guinness has become over the last 260plus years is the fact that we’re willing to ask people to maybe take a bit of a different journey than they’re expecting,” Ryan Wagner, Guinness’ Head of Marketing and National Ambassador, recently told Chicago Eater. Wagner noted that Guinness brews beer at 50 breweries around the world, but there are only three where people can walk in for a visit - Dublin, Baltimore, and now, Chicago.

Guinness Draught is intrinsically linked to the pub. They’re two sides of the same coin. While nothing can quite measure up to the magic of the pub, bustling with conversation and character, Guinness has made it their mission to ensure there’s nothing standing in the way of enjoying a perfectly poured Guinness Draught at home. Thanks to the creation of the widget in 1988, you can do just that with a can of Guinness Draught.

To achieve the classic pour, get yourself a clean pint glass and hold it at a 45-degree angle. Begin to slowly pour your Guinness Draught in a Can off the side of the glass. As it fills, slowly tilt your glass upwards until it is vertical. Let it settle and then sip your way to happiness!

To achieve the hard pour, open your Guinness Draught in a Can and wait for that unmistakable hiss. Very quickly, turn the can 180 degrees upside down and pour vertically into a clean pint glass. Take the can out of the glass slowly until all the liquid has been dispensed, and let it settle. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Guinness is also a game changing way to elevate your cooking. Check out this recipe to wow your guests during the holidays (or any day)!




1¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

6 tablespoons ice water


¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

2 eggs

1¾ cups pumpkin puree

¾ cup Guinness

1 whisked egg, for brushing


1. Crust: Place flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add cubed butter and pulse until butter is broken down into small pieces. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Sprinkle ice water over the ingredients and stir to combine. Mixture will be slightly crumbly but still hold together when squeezed. If needed, add another tablespoon of water.

2. Dump dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the wrap to gather it all together into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (and up to 24 hours).

3. Unwrap dough. Cut off a quarter of it and set aside. Roll out the rest of the dough on a floured surface to create a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter. Trim edges with a knife to make an even circle. Wrap crust around the rolling pin and unroll onto a pie dish. Nestle crust into the dish and crimp the edges. Place in refrigerator.

4. Roll out the reserved pie dough and cut out a shamrock shape using a cookie cutter. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

5. Preheat oven to 425ºF (400ºF for convection).

6. Filling: Whisk together sugar, kosher salt, and spices in a bowl. Whisk in eggs and pumpkin puree. Whisk in Guinness. Pour filling into chilled crust.

Brush crust with whisked egg.

7. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pie and lower the heat to 350ºF (325ºF for convection). Brush shamrock with egg and place in the center of the pie. Return to oven and bake for another 45–50 minutes, or until filling is set.

8. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Slice and serve with freshly whipped cream.


Avoid Golf Injuries

Doctors’ Orders… “Take your Iron and Live on Greens!”

GOLF IS A GREAT GAME… IT IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE sports. It is a terrific activity to consider as we all adjust to our new norms… it allows for social distancing, it is outdoors in a wide-open space and if you walk the greens, it’s a great opportunity to get your cardio going.

Although golf is a considered a low impact sport, it is associated with a fair share of injuries. Most golf injuries are the result of poor mechanics and overuse. The most common areas of injury for golfers are the:

• Back

• Elbow

• Wrist

• Hand

• Shoulder

The golf swing is a complex and coordinated movement… it requires your entire body to execute the proper swing. Repeated stress upon these muscles and tendons can ultimately lead to injury. Understanding the mechanics behind your golf swing are crucial… not only can it prevent injury, but it can improve your game. Key strategies to prevent injury and improve your swing, include:

• Use proper posture.

• Feet shoulder-width apart and rotated slightly outward

• Knees slightly bent.

• Spine should remain relatively straight

• Tilt your trunk forward

• Work all your muscle groups. Do not rely too much on one part of your body for your hitting power. Overuse causes strain which results in injury.

• Slow and Steady. Swinging too hard or too fast, results in stressing out joints. Control and consistency are key to a good swing.

Injury prevention in golf is not just about the swing. By following simple steps, you can lower your risk of injury:

• Warm up and Stretch. Take about 10 minutes to warm up and stretch before tee time. Regular stretching can improve your range of motion and leads to a consistent and fluid golf swing.

• Strengthen your muscles. The stronger your muscles, the greater your club speed and less prone you are to injury.

• Stay fit. Maintaining regular aerobic activity, like jogging, walking, or biking can increase your endurance and improve your game. Walk the course instead of catching the cart.

• Lift and carry your bags, carefully. Keep your back straight and bend and lift using your legs. Make sure that if you are walking and carrying the course, that your golf bag’s strap(s) are properly adjusted and that the weight of the bag is evenly distributed. Choose proper footwear. Dress for comfort and protection from the elements. Shoes should have a snug, comfortable fit. There are a lot of options- cleats or without… try them on and determine what best suits your game.

Although knee and hip injuries are less common in golf, they do exist and are often the result of exacerbating an old injury. Certain movements in the game of golf often cause strain on previous injuries, while at the same time these same movements can cause new strains and pains.

Other precautions to consider while out on the course are:

• Protect yourself against sun exposure. Be sure to wear sunscreen and reapply throughout the day when necessary.

• Wear sunglasses to protect against UVA/UVB rays.

• Hydrate and recognize the signs of heat exhaustion: headache, dizziness confusion, muscle cramps, nausea.

The best thing you can do is prepare and prevent golf injuries is to strive to practice healthy mechanics and work to strengthen your muscles and tendons on and off the course. It may be a good idea to take a lesson from time to time… a golf pro may be able to identify how you can improve your overall mechanics and ultimately strengthen your game. Do not play through the pain…. If pain persists, make sure to discuss it with your family doctor or consult an orthopedic surgeon. Golf is a passion for me… it challenges me, and I think most of my fellow golfers always strive to improve their game... it is a game for the mind, mechanics, patience, and spirit. Have fun, stay safe, take your iron, and live on the greens.

Val Irion, MD is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and joint replacement. He is an avid golfer and when time allows, he takes advantage of the time to improve his game. To schedule an evaluation with Dr. Irion or the team at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana, please visit:


Top 20 Under 40

On Tuesday, August 29th, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Louisiana Young Professionals and BayouLife Magazine recognized 88 Northeast Louisiana’s top young professionals at the Top 20 Under 40 celebration. The event was held at the Monroe Civic Center in Howard auditorium. The Top 20 individuals were selected from a highly talented group of 88 nominees. Presenting sponsors were Origin Bank, Thomas and Farr, Reeves, Coon & Funderburg. Additional sponsors were City of Monroe, Progressive Bank, Etheridge Pipeline & Conduit, Faulk&Foster, The Radio People, Stephens Media Group, KTVE/KARD.

On the BayouScene

1 Ashley Ellis and Kimberly Essex

2 Chris Doyle and Lakeysha Bullock

3 DJ Fortenberry and Paul West

4 Haley Holley and April Hammett

5 Hannah Livingston and Cynthia Nyquist

6 Hunter and Victoria Christy and James and Chelsea Stephens

7 Roy Arthur and Don Barksdale

8 Joey and Holly Trappey, Nic and Desirae Trappey, Juanita Gooding, Credette and Bill Trappey

9 Mark Sisk and Charles Sisk

10 Mark Sisk and Matt Rainwater

11 Matt and Merion Sanderson

12 Melanie and Andrew Moffett

13 Michaela Armoney and Camille Phillips

14 Rami Gaubert-Verucchi and Rachel Verucchi

15 Stacy and Ian Clark

16 Sydney Russo, Meghan Jones, Allison Sager, Kim Lowery and Janet Durden

17 Trandon Welch and Brandon Welch

18 Thomas Barron and Sawyer Ryder

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Calendar of Events

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

October 1-31

Skeletons on Tower Drive

Giant skeletons will line Tower Drive free to drive through and see during the month of October!

Cost: Free

Address: Tower Drive | Monroe Phone: (318) 361-9611

October 1

Live Music at Flying Heart

Join Flying Heart for live music! Jam out while enjoying a New York style pizza and craft beer! Oct. 1-Jackson Culp & Co. Oct. 15-Flip Flop Man. Oct. 22-Cal Presley. Oct. 29-Smackwater.

Time: 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Cost: No Cover Charge

Address: Flying Heart Brewing & Pub | 204 Commerce Street, West Monroe Phone: (318) 367-0888

October 3-7

5th Annual NELA Scarecrows in the Garden

The Biedenharn's 5th Annual NELA Scarecrows in the Garden will feature Halloween displays, celebrity judges, giveaways, games in the garden, refreshments, and more!

Time: 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Cost: $5.00 Per Person

Address: Biedenharn Museum and Gardens | 2006 Riverside Dr, Monroe Phone: (318) 355-7658

October 5, 24

Louisiana Tech Home Football Game

Come out to Joe Aillet Stadium for tailgating, football, and supporting those Bulldogs!

Time: Kick off is at 7:00 PM Oct. 5 and 6:00 PM Oct. 24.

Address: Joe Aillet Stadium | 1450 W Alabama Ave, Ruston, LA 71270

October 6

Queen Anne’s Revenge Dueling Pianos Tour

Queen Anne’s Revenge is a landlocked ship of punk rock dueling pianos and it's cruising through the Twin Cities!

Time: 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Cost: VIP Tables (for nightly concerts) $75.00 with 4 tickets. General Admission $15.00.

Address: Flying Heart Brewing & Pub

| 204 Commerce St, West Monroe Phone: (318) 367-0888

October 6-7

T.P. Kelly Memorial Livestock Show

The T.P. Kelly Memorial Livestock show is open to participants ages 19 and under. Gary Jones Jr. will be performing on Friday night at 8:00 PM. There will be beef and dairy showmanships on Saturday. The Blue Taco food truck will be there on Friday and Saturday. Don't miss out!

Address: Ike Hamilton Expo Center | 501 Mane Street, West Monroe Phone: (318) 557-9831

October 7

Little Miss Krewe de Riviere Pageant

Age groups range from 0-12 years with different categories for each, and winners will receive the official Krewe de Riviere crown, sash, robe, and trophy!

Time: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Cost: $125.00 Entry Fee

Address: West Monroe Convention Center | 901 Ridge Avenue, West Monroe

October 7

First Saturday Market

First Saturday Market is a community service that gives our area a fun, healthy way to come together and get to know their local makers and producers.

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) 738-1132

October 7

Northeast Louisiana Celtic Festival

The fest will feature artisans and craft vendors, live music, a kid's zone, and more! Don't forget to attend or register to participate in the free Highland Games at the festival this year from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM!

Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Cost: $5.00

Address: Lazarre Park | 703 South Riverfront, West Monroe Phone: (318) 396-4016

October 7

Wineaux Fest

Get ready for the perfect fall festival!

Sip & Shop with 30+ market vendors

including local farmers, makers, and artists. Enjoy an outdoor concert with Four on the Floor and delicious wines and ciders.

Time: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Cost: $10.00 at Door. 12 and Under Free.

Address: Thirsty Farmer Winery & Vineyard | 531 State Highway 144, Calhoun Phone: (318) 599-0076

October 7

Landry Vineyards Concert- Buddy Terzia & Friends Band

Rock out to the Buddy Terzia & Friends Band while sipping on Landry Vineyards wine!

Time: 3:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Cost: $10.00 Adults. $5.00 13-18

Years. Free 12 & Under.

Address: Landry Vineyards | 5699 New Natchitoches Road, West Monroe

Phone: (318) 557-9050

October 7

Pumpkins in the Park

A perfect fall evening in Downtown Ruston with food trucks, pumpkins, and a Halloween movie in the park.

Time: 5:30 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Railroad Park, Downtown Ruston

Phone: (318) 251-8647

October 7, 28

ULM Football Home Games

Cheer on the ULM Football team as they tackle South Alabama and Arkansas State at Malone Stadium!

Time: Kick off at 6:00 PM on Oct. 7 and 4:00 PM on Oct. 28.

Cost: Ticket Prices Vary

Address: ULM Malone Stadium | 514 Warhawk Way, Monroe

October 7

State Singles Horseshoe Tournament

The National Horseshoe Pitchers Association is hosting the State Singles Tournament at Chennault Park.

Address: Chennault Park, Monroe

Phone: (318) 614-5480

October 7-8

Louisiana College Softball Classic

Support the teams as they compete in the Louisiana College Softball Classic!

Address: Ouachita Sportsplex | 710 Holland Drive, Monroe Phone: (832) 577-3194

October 7, 14, 21, 28

Ruston Farmers Market

Every Saturday morning you will find locally grown food, handmade items, baked goods, and so much more!

Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Ruston Farmers Marketplace | 220 E. Mississippi Ave. Ruston, LA 71270

Phone: (318) 957-1305

October 8

St. Francis Pet Blessing

In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis Medical Center is hosting its annual pet blessing for the community and their animals. The public is invited to bring their pets to this celebration of St. Francis’ love for all of God’s creations. All pets are welcome, but pet owners are asked to have their pets leashed or secured for the protection of all pets at the event.

Time: 2:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Anna Gray Noe Park in Downtown Monroe across from St. Francis Medical Center, 309 Jackson Street, Monroe

October 13, 14, 20, 21

Church Basement Ladies Dinner Theatre

Strauss Theatre Center presents "Church Basement Ladies," a dinner theatre celebrating the church basement kitchen and the women who work there. Tickets include drinks and a three-course meal.

Time: 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Cost: $50.00

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

October 14

The River Market

Every second Saturday through November the RiverMarket will be hosting Monroe's finest growers, makers, and bakers. All items will be


locally grown or handcrafted, so come out and support our locals!

Time: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Downtown River Market | 316 South Grand Street, Monroe

October 14

Lagniappe Saturday- Clara McBroom

Celebrate the afternoon with friends and family at Landry Vineyards with live music by Clara McBroom!

Time: 3:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Cost: Free

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

October 14

Blocktoberfest 2023

Check out Roe City Roller Derby's new and veteran skaters at Blocktoberfest! There will be a beer garden, food trucks, local vendors, and activities for all to enjoy!

Time: 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Cost: $10.00 General. $15.00 at the Door. $35.00 VIP.

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

October 14, 28

Grambling State Home Football Game

Come out and support your Gram Fam at these exciting sporting events. Go Tigers!

Time: Kick off at 2:00 PM

Address: Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium | Ballock St, Grambling, LA 71245

October 15

The Blues is Alright Tour

The Blues is Alright Tour will feature King George, Pokey Bear, J-Wonn, the Jay Morris Group, and TK Soul.

Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Cost: Ticket Prices Vary

Address: Monroe Civic Center | 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe Phone: (318) 329-2225

October 17

Spooky Science Night Louisiana Delta Community College is having a Spooky Science Night with fun for all ages!

Time: 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Louisiana Delta Community College | 7500 Millhaven Road, Monroe Phone: (866) 500-5322

October 20

Octoberfest 2023

The Krewe of Janus’s Octoberfest will include beer tastings, various German foods, and lots of fun!

Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: $20.00 at the Door

Address: Krewe of Janus Float Den | 901 Louisville Avenue, Monroe Phone: (318) 614-8572

October 21

Black Bayou Fall Celebration

Join the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge for a grand fall celebration with a range of activites!

Time: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Address: Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge | 480 Richland Pl Drive, Monroe Phone: (318) 387-1114

October 21

Touch-A-Truck & Trick or Treat

Explore and climb on a variety of firetrucks, dump trucks, ambulances, tractors, police cars, and big rigs! Wear your Halloween costume and trick or treat at each vehicle. This event is for children of all ages.

Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Address: Ike Hamilton Expo | 501 Mane Street, West Monroe Phone: (318) 361-0487

October 21

Fall Market on the Alley Fall weather, artisan craft vendors, delectable menus from food trucks, and live music will fill this event.

Time: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Alley Park | 250 Trenton Street, West Monroe

October 21

Costumes & Cocktails

Dance the night away in your best costumes while enjoying great food, delicious cocktails, and entertainment by Dr Zarr's Amazing Funk Monsters. You'll even have a chance to win auction items!

Time: 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM

Cost: General Admission $75.00. Table $600.00.

Address: ULM Bayou Pointe Event Center | Warhawk Way, Monroe Phone: (318) 614-2474

October 21

Tab Benoit Live at The Dixie Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Tab Benoit will be performing his gritty and soulful blues.

Time: 7:00 PM

Cost: $35.00

Address: Dixie Center for the Arts | 212 N Vienna St, Ruston, LA 71270 Phone: (318) 255-1450

October 21

The Dracula Experience

Join Louisiana Delta Ballet at the Jack Howard Theatre for the premier fulllength story of Dracula told through dance, choreographed by David Ward and Missy Crain.

Time: 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Cost: Ticket Prices Vary

Address: Jack Howard Theater | 401 Lea Joyner Expressway, Monroe Phone: (318) 345-1155

October 26

Fall Picnic in the Park Picnic on a beautiful fall evening with friends, family, and the community hosted by Healthy Funroe.

Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Address: Charles Johnson Park | 3313 Bernstein Park Drive, Monroe Phone: (318) 329-2200

October 27

Downtown Ruston’s Wine Walk

This walking wine-tasting event will take you from business to business in Downtown Ruston, where you’ll find snacks, entertainment, shopping deals, and more.

Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Cost: Tickets available 3 weeks from the event date.

Address: Downtown Ruston, LA Phone: (318) 251-8647

October 27

Ouachita Live Concert Featuring Alexey Marti

This free concert features delicious food trucks and music by Latin, Cuban, and Jazz artist Alexey Marti.

Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: Free

Address: Alley Park | 250 Trenton Street, West Monroe

October 28

BOO at the Zoo

Wear your best costumes and enjoy a day of happy Halloween fun with food vendors, shopping merchants, and trick-or-treating at the zoo!

Cost: Adults- $10.00. Kids 2 and up$6.00.

Address: Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo | 1405 Bernstein Park Rd, Monroe Phone: (318) 329-2400 October 28

Calhoun Music and Makers Tour

Mark your calendars for the 2023

Calhoun Music and Makers Tour. Visit each maker location to receive your maker gift. Visit all four locations and show your stamped passports at Candy Cane Lane on October 28th and receive free entry from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Tickets available at each maker location, Apothecare Plus in Calhoun, on the website, and at each local Origin Bank.

Cost: Early bird tickets $25 until 10/20/23, $30 after

Address: Multiple locations in Calhoun

Visit Calhoun Music & Makers Tour on Facebook for more information.

October 29

Exile Live at The Dixie

America’s longest running band, Exile has spent 60 years in the music business and will be performing at the Dixie.

Time: 7:00 PM

Cost: $35.00-$45.00

Address: Dixie Center for the Arts | 212 N Vienna St, Ruston, LA 71270 Phone: (318) 255-1450

October 31

Boo with the Krewe

The Krewe of Janus invites you to trick-or-treat through their parade floats on Halloween night!

Time: 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Address: Krewe of Janus Float Den | 901 Louisville Avenue, Monroe Phone: (318) 323-0230

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