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The West Cobb Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine January 2017

Happy New Year!

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Our Town onthly M


Publishers/Editors Linda Demery & Lori McLinden


Graphics and Design Terry Tanner Tanner Graphics, Inc.

West Cobb Area. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town reserves the right to edit and or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made

Account Executive Sara Young, Feature Photographer Carelton Holt, Granite Digital Imaging, LLC


Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes in the

by advertisers. Entire contents copyright 2016 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

Our Town Monthly 109 Anderson Street Suite 109 Marietta, GA 30060

Contributing Writers Tara Hill


Leisa A. Bailey, PhD


Kelly Dean

Fax: 678-337-7825

Dr. Debra Schreibman

James Floyd Kelly

Mark Orler Gillen Joachim Amber Burckhalter




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january calendar of events WONDERFUL DAYS OF WINTER 5K/1 MILE: January 9th, registration begins at 7am, 5K at 8am, and 1 Mile at 9am. Wonderful Days Preschool is a Pre-K program for low income children. In operation since 1974, WDP is tuition free, serves two nutritious meals daily, and provides transportation at no charge. Meet at St. James’ Episcopal Church, 161 Church Street, Marietta, GA 30060. For entry form and additional information, please visit

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BOOK, CD & DVD SWAP: Clear out your bookshelves and swap your old stories for new adventures! Kennesaw Parks & Recreation’s Book, CD & DVD Swap is a fun, FREE and easy way to freshen-up your library. Here’s how it works: Drop off your gently used hardcover or paperback books, music CDs and DVD movies on Thursday and Friday, January 26-27 and receive a ticket redeemable for the same number of items during “open swap” time on Saturday, January 28. Books must have their front and back covers intact and be in good condition. CDs and DVDs must be in their original cases and fully operable. Magazines, software, record albums, VHS or cassette tapes, adult content, unauthorized or illegal material will not be accepted. After the event, all unclaimed items will be donated to charitable organizations. This is not a book sale. It is a FREE media swap. Items will not be available for purchase. Ben Robertson Community Center, 2753 Watts Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. CELEBRATION MARIETTA: The Cobb County Branch of the NAACP together with the Cobb County Government is hosting the annual celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday celebration takes place on Monday, January 18, 2016 at 10 am. The event takes place at a new location this year, the Turner Chapel AME Church, 492 North Marietta Parkway, Marietta, GA 30060. The event is free and open to all, and the theme is “Pursuing Liberties in the Face of Injustice.” The celebration features entertainment and the annual presentation of the “Living the Dream” award to a community member who demonstrates the ideals King exemplified. DR. MARTING LUTHER KING, JR. CELEBRATION, KENNESAW: A program celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2012 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Kennesaw Mountain High School Auditorium. The program, titled United We Stand, Divided We Fall, is an initiative of Reverend John W. and Evangelist Deborah J. Harris, local churches and the City of Kennesaw. Kennesaw Mountain High School is located at 1898 Kennesaw Due West Rd., NE, Kennesaw, GA 30152. TRAINS, TRAINS, TRAINS: Trains, Trains, Trains is a family event that features train crafts, operating model trains and tips and techniques for building a home layout. The event will also include interactive activities, activity center, railroad music and vendors selling a variety of train-related items. 9:30am to 5pm on Saturday January 30th, and Sunday January 31st. 2829 Cherokee Street, Kennesaw, GA 30144. For more information, please call 770.427.2117. KENNESAW VALENTINE’S DAY DANCE: Saturday, February 6th, from 6-9pm at the Ben Robertson Community Center in Adams Park, 2753 Watts Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144. The Valentine’s Day Dance Party features all your favorite tunes spun by a DJ, plenty of dancing, character entertainment, games, prizes, memorable photo opportunities, an “all-you-care-to-eat” dinner, along with decadent desserts. It’s the perfect date night with your son or daughter; or make it an entire family outing! All adults must be accompanied by a child, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Seating will be open; however, tables will be reserved for parties of six or more. This year’s Valentine’s Day Dance Party theme is New York City. Tickets are only $15 per person, and can be purchased online at www., or at the Ben Robertson Community Center. Advance purchase is required. Tickets are non-refundable after January 29. Children two (2) years of age and under do not need a ticket; however they must sit on an adult’s lap. For more information, call the City of Kennesaw Parks & Recreation Department at (770) 422-9714.


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MARIETTA ANNUAL DADDY DAUGHTER DANCE: Sunday, February 7th from 2:30 to 5pm. Open to fathers and their daughters ages 5-12 years old, and features a fun afternoon with great music, dancing, and refreshments. Dress is semi-formal to formal. This is a great opportunity to make another magical childhood memory! Bring your dancing shoes and camera! Register early because space is limited and reservations are required. Registration and more information is available online at: http://www. Tickets are $30, $5 for additional daughters. Cluster Park Sports and Fitness Center, 545 Kenneth E. Marcus Way, Marietta, GA 30060. For more information, call Marietta’s Parks and Recreation Department at 770-794-5601. ACWORTH DADDY DAUGHTER DANCE: Acworth’s annual Daddy Daughter Dance takes place on Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 7 – 9 pm, at the North Cobb High School gym. This year the theme is “Country-Western Hootenanny!” This dance is a great opportunity for dads and daughters to spend a special evening together. This event is open to all girls 13 and under with their dad or adult male escort. A DJ will be providing music for the duos to dance the night away and light refreshments will be provided. There will also be a photographer set up for optional pictures. Admission for two is $25 for City of Acworth residents or $35.00 for non-City residents. Additional daughters are $10. North Cobb High School Gym, 3400 Old US Highway 41, Kennesaw, GA 30144. For more information, please call 770.917.1234

EMAIL US WITH YOUR EVENTS! INFO@OURTOWNMONTHLY.COM. Deadline is the 15th of the month for the following month’s issue.

Photo by Johnny Walker, Walker Photos


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The Stonehaven School exists to glorify God by cultivating truth, goodness, and beauty in students through a distinctly Christ-centered classical education.

Open House - January 19 at 9:30am


JOIN US FOR OPEN HOUSE! January 7, 2017 at 2 p.m.

about the cover

Happy New Year from Autumn, Amber, and April, members of Southeastern Greyhound Adoption! The girls are featured with loveable (and adopted) Lucrezua, Rudy and Turboa. SEGA is dedicated to placing retired Greyhounds with loving families in the West Cobb area. Volunteers work tirelessly to raise funds for these endearing champions.

P.S. We thought that we would share with you a beautiful spring day that will hopefully arrive sooner than later this year!

Acworth-Based Southeastern Greyhound Adoption Finds Homes for Former Racing Greyhounds by John Parker Southeastern Greyhound Adoption (SEGA) wants to let everyone in on something that more and more people in the Acworth and Kennesaw are discovering: racing Greyhounds that were champion athletes also make champion pets.

7! e January 2 u d s n io t a c Appli 81 Lacy Street 770-428-3328 Marietta, GA 30060 SJCS does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, age, ethnic origin or disability.

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Founded in 1998 as a program of the Southeastern Greyhound Club, SEGA’s mission is to educate the public about what great pets Greyhounds make and to find wonderful homes for them when they finish their racing careers. SEGA’s base of operations is at the Lake City Animal Hospital in Acworth, where it maintains an intake facility and adoption kennel for Greyhounds who have raced on various Florida and Alabama tracks. The Greyhound breed is an ancient one, celebrated in art and literature for centuries. It is mentioned in the King James Bible, and Shakespeare made numerous references to Greyhounds in his plays. Bred for hare coursing competitions since the 2nd century A.D., the Greyhound was a breed kept exclusively by noblemen and prohibited to commoners. Greyhound racing was introduced in the U.S. as a new sport in 1919, and in time became the sixth most popular sport in the country. For decades, Greyhound racers not retained for breeding were euthanized when they were retired from racing at the typical age of 4 – 5 years because the conventional wisdom of the time was that they could not make suitable pets. In the mid-1980s, several people in the racing community who believed Greyhounds could successfully make the transition to pet life organized the first formal Greyhound adoption programs, and soon enough it became obvious that former racers make great pets. Greyhound adoption groups, some sponsored by tracks and others run by volunteers in cities far from any track, sprung up all around the country, and Greyhound adoption became one of the most successful animal welfare initiatives in history. Today, former racing Greyhounds in their pet lives can be seen everywhere, and almost everyone knows someone who has adopted a racing Greyhound. Now, every racing Greyhound in the U.S. that is not retained for breeding has a pet home available to him when his racing silks are hung up for the final time. SEGA has a widespread volunteer footprint in Acworth, Kennesaw, and throughout Cobb County. Students from Allatoona, Harrison and Hillgrove high schools have focused their senior projects on the transition of racing Greyhounds from working dogs at tracks to pets in a wide variety of homes. Lost Mountain Middle School’s students held a bake sale as a fundraiser for SEGA and raised $600 for their efforts. The sports teams of Pope High School in east Cobb are the “Greyhounds,” and Greyhounds rehomed by SEGA attend every home football game to be living mascots.

3894 Due West Road #245 • Marietta 30064 • 770-422-7500 • Store Hours: Mon.- Sat. 10am-5pm • Closed Sun.

Greyhounds are a good fit for a wide variety of individuals and families. “Retired” from racing is somewhat of a misnomer, as most racers become available for adoption in the 3- 5 year age range and typically live to be 12 – 14 years of age. For more information about adopting a racing Greyhound, you can visit SEGA’s web site at Cover photo by Carelton Holt


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Ways to Cut Your Heating Bills Even in the middle of winter, you can slash your energy bills without sacrificing comfort. Winter is coming, but it doesn’t have to bring outsized heating bills with it. Take a tour of your home and check out these problem areas; fixing them up could dramatically reduce how much you need to spend to keep the place warm and toasty.

Replace Worn Weatherstripping Worn and torn weatherstripping around doors and windows creates drafts and lets in cold air. Seven to 12 percent of a home’s heat loss occurs around windows and doors. Some weatherstripping needs to be replaced every few years because of wear. Replacing it is typically as simple as pulling off the old and tacking on the new.

The Leaders in Property Management

Adjust Door Thresholds If you can see daylight under your front door, then you’re losing the indoor air you’ve paid to heat. If the door is not in contact with the threshold, the air is going right under the door. Some thresholds have four or five screws that let you adjust the height to eliminate a gap. Turn the screws counterclockwise to lift the threshold until daylight is mostly gone. A little light in the corners is okay, but don’t raise the threshold so high that it interferes with opening and closing the door. And the door shouldn’t drag on the threshold or it’ll wear out the weather stripping.

Eliminate Drafts around Electrical Boxes Electrical boxes in your exterior walls are notoriously drafty because insulation isn’t always placed behind and around them correctly. You want to try to stop air from flowing around the box and through the box.” To stop the leaks, remove the cover plates and fill small gaps around the boxes with acrylic latex caulk. For large gaps, use foam sealant. Then place a foam gasket over the outlet or switch and replace the cover plate.

Plug Holes in Exterior Walls

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Pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables that enter your house often have gaps around them that have been haphazardly filled with some kind of caulk. But that caulk eventually cracks, peels, and falls off. These gaps let in outside air, plus they are ideal entry points for mice and insects. Seal the gaps with expanding foam. For water pipes under the sink, unscrew and pull back the escutcheon ring, then caulk around the pipe. The ring is just decorative and is not going to block the airflow.

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Put a space heater in the place where your family gathers, like the living room, and turn down the furnace temperature. The rest of the house will be cooler but you’ll be warm, and you can save 3 percent on your heating costs for every degree below 70 F that you turn down the furnace.

Tune Up the Furnace and Gas Fireplace There’s some up-front cost here, as you’ll need to pay a pro $100 or more to make the service call. But you’ll make it up in the long term with more efficient heating that lowers your bills while preserving the life of your furnace. You’ll probably also notice a larger flame that throws out more heat from your gas fireplace. The tune-up includes a furnace or fireplace inspection, preventative maintenance, and identifying parts that may need to be repaired or replaced. The professional can also find any gas or carbon monoxide leaks to keep your family safe. Some furnace warranties actually require this annual or regular maintenance.


Source: Popular Mechanics

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by Tara Hill

It’s a new month, a new year and we are about to have a new president. Regardless of how you feel about any of this, there seems to be a theme-NEW! It really got me thinking about how many times people are talking to me and I hear these words, “I’ve always wanted to (fill in the blank) but I just can’t do it”. Anything and everything from a new haircut, hair color, fake lashes, Botox, bright lipstick, skinny jeans, a workout class, the gym... but it is fear that stands in the way of trying something new. My granny always says, “If you can wash it off, take it off, rinse it out or grow it out-who cares?” But the real answer is, A LOT OF PEOPLE CARE (and have an opinion) and that is scary.

“When you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done”. Years ago I worked for an international hair color company and our job was to educate industry professionals by finding experts from all over the globe to teach them the newest and most fabulous trends. They were known as “the best” in the world so of course when I was asked to be a “model” for one of the shows I immediately said yes. The events were held in huge venues attracting thousands of attendees. The legendary stylist I was working with spoke to me about her vision for her class and what she was going to do to my sounded amazing. I was SO EXCITED and in my mind, I was about to look fresh and fabulous! I wasn’t scared a bit of my new “mod” look as she was from England and known as “The Best” in the biz! Just before we stepped on stage (like 1 second before) in front of approx. 1000 people, she turned to me and said, “Sometimes when I start “creating” I get “in the zone” and a new vision takes over.... “. I had no idea what that meant and in a fraction of a second my excitement turned to fear but there was no turning back. Friends, let me tell you what happened. She did indeed have a NEW VISION “take over”. It took over all over my head and it was a TRAIN WRECK...and super short...and super “disconnected” (as she named it on stage). It was also really red, like Bozo red. I looked completely ridiculous. But here in lies the lesson, I survived! I tried something new and I didn’t like it. Actually I hated it but I lived to tell the story. You see, for better or worse, I’ve never been afraid to try something new when it came to hair or make-up. Sometimes it is great and sometimes not so great, but if you aren’t willing to take a risk, you may miss out on something fantastic! The Huffington post wrote an article about the reasons why stepping out of your comfort zone is good and why we should all try new things. One statement I found interesting was this, “There’s nothing wrong with being in your comfort zone, unless you get too comfortable and start holding yourself back instead of challenging yourself to try new things.” Does that sound familiar? I think all of us, at one time or another, have felt this way, wanting to try something new but the fear of the unknown or the fear of other peoples’ opinions have held us back. At the beginning of every new year many of us make resolutions, set goals and high expectations for ourselves. There is nothing wrong with that. However right now, January 2017, I am challenging you to do at least ONE NEW THING FOR YOU! Stop letting fear get in the way of something new. Make the appointment for your new haircut or color, join the gym or exercise class, put on the lashes (the REALLY long ones), buy the skinny jeans, wear the bold bright lipstick...whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do, DO IT NOW! “Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take this moment and make it perfect!” In the spirit of trying something new, I thought it would be fun to have a Super Saturday, a meet and greet! Plan on a fun morning of trying something new and networking with women in the community. It is FREE and the only obligation is to wear your workout clothes and wear a smile. Join me, we will dance, sweat, laugh and empower each other to make 2017 the year of YOU! Saturday, January 14th, 9:30am Thompson Park Clubhouse • Mableton, GA

Remember, no matter what: get up, dress up, show up and NEVER give up! PAGE 11

WHY ADVERTISE IN OUR TOWN? Our Town is the only direct mail community publication that stands out from the rest with beautiful covers of local families in an OVERSIZED format. Informative articles, calendar of events, and monthly crosswords, are all designed to keep OT in your home and on the coffee table all month long!

OurTown Family Lifestyle News Magazine

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january crossword 1

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R egis

Make Your Sweet Plans for Valentine’s Day!


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We’ll have decorated heart cookies, heart cookie cakes, and image cookies as well as pre-packaged gift boxes for those last-minute shoppers. Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers, but we will also have special cookies for your mom, dad, children, friends, etc. Special customized orders are always available.

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100-CALORIE CHEESE, VEGETABLE AND EGG MUFFINS (GLUTEN-FREE) Healthy, portable little egg muffins that you can enjoy without worry at less than 100 calories each! They’re great for breakfast, snacks, before or after workouts, as a light dinner, or in school lunches. They’re soft, yet dense and chewy. The vegetables add texture, and give the surprise of biting into a juicy pea or a crispy bell pepper. Use the recipe as a way to clean out your produce drawer by taking advantage of what you have on hand and mixing and matching. You can make them in advance and keep them for up to 1 week in the fridge. TIP: Spray the muffin tins heavily with non-stick spray to prevent sticking


INGREDIENTS Approximately 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots - 4 medium peeled and trimmed carrots 1/2 cup small diced orange bell peppers 1/2 cup frozen peas 1/2 cup frozen corn 8 large eggs salt and pepper, to taste 12 tablespoons shredded cheese, divided DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a non-stick 12-cup regular muffin pan with cooking spray so that each is liberally coated to prevent non-sticking. In a large bowl add carrots, peppers, peas, and corn (or mix and match with your favorite vegetables; read blog post for suggestions) and toss to combine. Loosely pour about 3 tablespoons of vegetable mixture to each muffin cavity, or enough so that each is filled to about 2/3 to 3/4 full; equally distribute filling mixture among cavities until gone. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, crack the eggs and lightly beat with a whisk. Add the salt and pepper, to taste, and whisk to combine. Pour about 2-3 tablespoons of egg into each cavity, equally distributing. They will be about 3/4 full after being topped off with egg. Top each cup with a generous pinch of cheese, about 1 tablespoon each. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until muffins are set, cooked through, and are lightly golden. They will


puff in the oven, but sink upon cooling. Allow muffins to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing. You will likely need to rim each cavity with a small knife to help dislodge muffins. Muffins will keep airtight for up to 1 week in the fridge; reheat gently in the micro or serve cold. Recipe from Averie Cooks SKINNY SHRIMP CREOLE With Mardi Gras just around the corner, and our weight loss efforts in full swing, this is a version of a “skinny” shrimp creole. Triple the amount of peppers, onions and celery to bulk it up. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS: 2 tsp olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped 1/2 cup celery, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes 8 oz tomato sauce 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp Cajun Seasoning 1 bay leaf 1 lb of large shrimp, peeled and deveined 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 2 tsp hot sauce, to taste 1 medium scallion, sliced 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped salt to taste DIRECTIONS: In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, green bell pepper, garlic and celery and sauté until tender. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, cayenne pepper, Cajun spice, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes. Lightly season the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and add immediately to the tomato mixture. Add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce; stir together. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, adjust salt if needed. Add chopped green onion and parsley and serve. Serves well alone, over brown rice, quinoa or even zucchini noodles.



















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The National Lingering Election Hangover by Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D. Starting a new year is full of wonderful possibilities. The focus on new beginnings and fresh starts can be exhilarating. However, the lingering sense of angst about the recent (truly ugly) presidential campaign continues to be focal for so many. Even now, daily I hear about complex feelings involving the election and the ways it continues to negatively impact relationships. Intense feelings about the very polarizing, long political nightmare has impacted many and for some it has caused damage to family harmony. A Pew Research survey found that 41% of couples who voted for different candidates have had a serious conflict about the election. Additionally, the bitter rhetoric has resulted in damaged (or terminated) friendships. A recent Monmouth University study found that 7% of people have lost or ended a friendship over the presidential race. An ABC poll found that nearly 40% of Americans said the 2016 race has caused “tension” with friends and relatives; and 26% of Americans say they’ve argued with a friend about the election this year, 23% have argued with a family member, while 11% have gotten into a fight with a coworker. One reason for the intense and ongoing conflict is that many genuinely cannot see anything positive or any path to supporting at least one of the candidates. Sixty-five percent of Democrats say they can’t understand how anyone could vote for Trump, while 72 percent of Republicans don’t get why anyone would support Clinton. Independents fall somewhere in the middle, with 45 per cent saying they don’t see Clinton’s appeal, and 39 percent that they don’t see Trump’s. These numbers appear to be shifting slightly since the election but there still is an ongoing intense rejection of each of the choices in


this year’s election and an inability to appreciate the alternative view. With this new year, I am hoping there can be a time of healing with a decision that relationships are more important than the results of the election. A time to recognize that both a country divided and a house divided needs to reestablish the sense of “we-ness”. Reestablishment of a desire to move forward with either hopefulness or resignation to making the best decisions. For those who may still feel a need to vent or to celebrate the election outcome; it is highly recommended that this be done with people who share the same view. Once there is decision to prioritize the relationship when there is no consensus, some tools are helpful to navigate the discussions that can be uncomfortable. Learning these tools can be useful dealing with this contentious post-election drama, but can be used in many conflictual interactions. Probably most crucial is to develop the ability to respect another’s passion and logic of belief rather than demeaning or judging another view as uninformed or wrong. The Chopra Center advocates “practicing defenselessness”. This is defined by giving up on the need to be the smartest person in the room. “You ask your ego and intellect to sit this one out and proceed with an open acceptance of the other person’s position. You don’t have to agree with their perspective (or even like it). The point of this process is to compassionately suspend your need to defend a particular point of view.” Additional tools commonly encouraged when confronted with a difficult or confrontational interaction include: breathe and be calm in response; strive to understand the other’s intentions; validate and strive to hear the other person; separate the person from the issues being discussed; choose your battles: and strive to resist seeing a viewpoint personally. Healing after so much vitriol and divisiveness can happen in this new year. It is not a problem to disagree…but do so with respect and humility and there will be no damage to relationships. Dr. Bailey is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Marietta. You can learn more about her by visiting: You may reach her at 770.428.6698 or Your comments or questions are welcome.

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Letters from Abroad Usually when Christmas ends, it’s a sad feeling. It always seems to come and go so fast, in the US at least. However in England, Christmas season starts early. Local pubs start advertising Christmas bookings in late August. You can buy Christmas chocolates while shopping for Halloween, and I swear the lights in our town turned on November 1. If you think about, with no Thanksgiving, I guess why not start the Christmas spirit early? These past few months, I’ve been doing some travelling around the UK on recruitment trips with the university. It’s been nice to see the cities all decorated for Christmas. In a recent trip to Cambridge, I had a chance to see one of Britain’s most iconic universities. Bundling up for a chilly night, my colleague and I struck out on a walk-a-thon of Cambridge. Using our free tourist map from the train station (I never turn one down), we crossed through the city, campus, and the River Cam. In the town center, we passed a line out the door for a special late night shopping event in the John Lewis department store. Inside was a chorus performing Christmas hymns and employees passing out mince pies to shoppers. Mince pies are Christmas pastries filled with a spiced apple and dried fruit compote. Unlike earlier times, most modern recipes no longer include mincemeat. Moving on from the John Lewis, we located some of Cambridge’s Colleges. (Remember my article about Colleges at my university a few months back?) With so many beautiful and historic Colleges,


by Kelly Dean

it was hard to pick a favorite: maybe Trinity College or St. John’s College or King’s College? We peered through the gates into each one, watching the students crossing the courtyards to their residence halls or common rooms. All the students wore black gowns (again like Harry Potter). My colleague informed me that Cambridge students were required to wear robes for their evening meals. We happened to have the fun of walking in front of a group of robbed male students on their way to dinner. I listened closely behind to see what kind of enlightened conversations these Cambridge lads were having, and was much surprised to overhear a lively debate on the topic of whether bottled or draft beer tasted the same! Closer to home, Manchester puts on one of the UK’s biggest Christmas markets. Thousands of people visit these Bavarian themed Christmas markets to eat sausages, buy handmade gifts, and drink hot ghuwein (mulled wine). The markets have grown in popularity, getting bigger each year. Each winter I look forward to these markets. The UK might not have the best weather for doing things outside, but the Christmas markets in Manchester really bring the crowds. It may be pouring outside, but that’s what hooded jackets are for! This year I attended the Manchester Christmas markets with two of my German friends. They were impressed at the authenticity of these markets, claiming they were even bigger than theirs back home! This Christmas, we are going to stay with my in-laws in Spain. It’s never the same being away from home for Christmas, but you do grow to appreciate other cultures’ celebrations. Spain has a very unique way of celebrating New Year’s Eve and Epiphany (January 6), which will be the topic of my next article…. I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas season and happy 2017! Kelly Dean is a Marietta native and former Miss MHS. Kelly lives in northern England with her Spanish husband. Her travels through Europe have taken her as far as Turkey and Morocco, with many mishaps and laughs along the way. Currently, she is working in the International Student Recruitment Office at Lancaster University.

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Type 2 Diabetes: Step Outside the Box to Protect Yourself and Your Family by Dr. Debra Schreibman, NMT, D.C., PSc.D I saw my cousin in early January of last year. I was taken aback with how terrible that he looked and asked him what was going on with his health. He told me he had diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was overweight. I asked him if he wanted help getting well. He replied “No, I’m fine as long as I take my medications. I like to eat & don’t want to stop.” I told him that whenever he was ready to change his lifestyle to let me know and I would do anything to help him get well. Then, I got the call from my mom. My cousin was in the hospital with a bile duct blockage. A stent was inserted twice, as it blocked back up almost immediately. While the doctors were trying to treat that issue, they discovered that my cousin had Stage I pancreatic cancer. We thought he was one of the lucky ones, because the cancer was caught early and it was operable. My cousin died 9 months later. He died because the doctors were never able to stabilize him off of his medications long enough to perform the surgery to remove the cancer. My cousin was led to believe that as long as his blood sugar was normal while taking Metformin, he would be fine. If he took his blood pressure medication, and his blood pressure stayed within normal range, he would be fine.

the body knows excess blood sugar must still be stored, so hormones stimulate the pancreas to pump out even more insulin to overcome the liver’s adopted resistance. This creates a vicious circle of expanded cell resistance that can grow for decades and affect multiple organs and systems. Finally, the pancreas exhausts itself and no longer pumps enough insulin to chase down and store all those complex carbohydrates that dietary “authorities” have erroneously recommended (and that the processed-food has packaged in scary ways). Meanwhile, cellular and metabolic damage must be dealt with because long-term exposure to high insulin levels is toxic. Sadly, the 20th century answer to insulin resistance is to ply the body with toxic drugs like Avandia-and often adding even MORE insulin-to ensure excess blood sugar gets stored (probably as abdominal fat). That’s right: more insulin on top of an insulin excess problem! And so the damage grows from using flawed blood sugar control protocols and conventional diet recommendations that can’t possibly heal.

I miss my cousin and recall his words when I asked him when he was hospitalized, what he would have done differently, “I would have changed my lifestyle. I would have stopped making excuses. I should have taken responsibility for my health when I had the chance. Now my future is gone.”

Do you want more that that for yourself and your family? First, educate yourself on the new UN-diabetes lifestyle paradigm. All I can do here is to encourage you. The website source below is to encourage you. The website sources below includes a modern approach to diabetes prevention and reversal, plus a four-part lecture transcript on insulin and its myriad metabolic effects.

I do what I do so no one has to watch a loved one die in this way, especially from something that could have been resolved if they had the knowledge and tools to beat it.

I’ve also cited a recent book to help you master your control of leptin, a protein hormone discovered in 1994 that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism.

Insulin –resistant or Type 2 -diabetes is a serious disease that has become an epidemic across all ages. Don’t think you’re out of the woods, just because you’re feeling well. In truth, the cellular and hormone-signaling damage that leads to full-blown diabetes starts 10 to 20 years before typical physical symptoms arise.

Settle in with your study. Explore the Web links. There’s much to consider, and it may stretch your for a time.

With a doctor’s help, you can actually see it coming years in advance with the right diagnostic tests (e.g. fasting insulin levels) and divert it with drugless lifestyle changes. The rate of insulin-resistant diabetes has increased seven times in the last 50 years. Strangely enough, conventional health agencies have been advising high complex-carbohydrate, low saturated-fat diets for the last 50 years, too. Do you see a possible connection? This is the 21st century. Medical knowledge is changing rapidly. We can’t rely on 20th century medicine and dietary myths to comfort us in the face of this ever-growing diabetes epidemic. Here’s the problem: Diabetes is not a blood sugar excess disease at its roots, but a long-term insulin damage disease. It all starts with large amounts of insulin sloshing around in the bloodstream over many years, chasing after too much diet-created blood sugar. Then certain cells- at first the liver-start screaming, “I can’t stand it anymore!” These cells lower their acceptance of insulin and then don’t do their glycogen-storing jobs so well anymore. But

Next, find yourself a health professional who understands leptin signaling and who is willing to support your 21st century efforts at an enlightened diet, hormone balance and appropriate types of exercise. The less you know, the more your doctor will need to know. http:// articles. articles/archive/2099/12/31/ diabetes-most-of-what-youve-been-told-may-be- wrong.aspx

Dr. Debra Schreibman is a functional medicine practioner and wellness mentor. Her professional practice includes chiropractic chiropractic nutrition, hormone balancing and weight control. LAKE POINTE CHIROPRACTIC & WELLNESS CENTER 3950 COBB PKWY, STE 401, ACWORTH, GA 30101 770-974-5215 •

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Tech Dad

Back in May 2016, I wrote about programming options for kids, and I’ve since received a number of emails with more questions that I hope to answer this month. A few weeks backs, millions of kids across the world participated in an event called Hour of Code. You may or may not recognize the term ‘coding,’ but maybe you’ll recognize “programming.” Programming (aka coding) continues to be an in-demand skill in the workforce, and thousands of businesses and organizations are in need of skilled programmers (also commonly called coders) to fill good paying jobs. One of the most popular types of coding work involves the creation of apps that we all use on our phones and tablets.

haven’t been picked up until college or later.

One of the most popular category of apps is... no surprise here... games. Kids loves game apps (and we adults do too, if we’re honest), and would you believe there are kids out there right now creating game apps and selling them for money in a number of app stores? These young entrepreneurs have learned to code and created apps that lots of people enjoy playing, and they’re developing skills that historically

by James Floyd Kelly

to having them start with Scratch. Scratch was developed at MIT, and it’s a free tool that teaches the basic concepts of coding. It’s colorful and works by connecting blocks together (similar to building with LEGO). Kids can create simple games as well as complex ones. It all depends on how deep they wish to dive into coding. Scratch has plenty of books available as well as online tutorials, so it’s just an outstanding tool for introducing coding. If you’re looking for some books, I cannot recommend highly enough any of the Scratch books from DK. I’m particularly fond of their workbooks (four in all, with more releasing next year) that are 40 pages each and offer full-color tutorials with complete stepby-step visual and text instructions; I use them in my own camps, and their low price (each workbook is only $6.00) allows me to let the kids keep the books at the end of the camps. Start with either the Coding with Scratch Workbook ( or the Coding with Scratch: Games Workbook ( and then if your child is really enjoying coding move up to the lengthier 224-page Coding Projects in Scratch (http://amzn. to/2gOOzLk) or 224-page Coding Games in Scratch (

The Hour of Code is an annual event that encourages teachers and students to sit down and learn to code. There is no experience required, and anyone (child or adult) can point a web browser to and get started right now. Many young coders learn using either online tutorials or books or a combination of the two. Your child may also be lucky enough to have access to a programming class at school. Coding Camps are also very popular these days and popping up all over. (I teach programming camps during the summer, and I can tell you that kids LOVE to create their own games, and they pick it up quick!)

For older students who may already be familiar with Scratch or coding in general, consider introducing them to Code Combat (, a free online training tool that teaches the popular (and powerful) Python programming language. Students program their warriors and wizards to fight monsters, avoid traps, and collect treasure.

What do you need for your child to learn to code? A computer or laptop is best, but tablets will also work. An Internet connection isn’t always necessary, but many of the more popular ways to learn to code are online. I also always suggest having a stack of paper and colored pens nearby for brainstorming and drawing out ideas.

If you’re looking for additional resources, be sure to check out and Khan Academy ( for additional online programming tools and tutorials.



At school, I learned that God loves me. — Kendall (MPCS first-grader)

If your child is under age 15 and has never programmed before, you’ll want to give serious consideration

James Floyd Kelly is a technology writer from Smyrna, Georgia who also teaches a variety of technology summer camps for kids. He and his wife have two young boys. James’ latest two books are Digital Engineering with Minecraft and The Ultimate iPad, published by Pearson. More information on his books and camps can be found at


sn’t that what it’s all about — reaching the heart of a child? Mount Paran Christian School provides exemplary PK3-12 academics in small classes, and we do it all with Christ at the center. Our job is to prepare servant-leaders — in the classroom, on the ball field, on the stage, and ultimately in our community. This is our highest priority, as it is yours. Visit us at an open house or on a personal tour!

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The Double-Whammy by Mark Orler I get the double-whammy of depression every January. The most obvious is, of course, the failure to sustain any effort toward the New-Year Resolutions that I always seem to forget until the last moment, and then whip out some astronomically difficult goal at 11:59 p.m. that is typically broken less than 12-hours later. An example of that would be last year’s resolution tossed into the universe as the Champagne cork bounced off the ceiling fan that I broke a mere 8-hours later after I stubbed my big toe on the bathroom door the next morning. “Next year 2016, NO CURSING!” The second whammy is that I get to celebrate a birthday every January. Now I realize that December babies get the raw end of the deal because they have to compete with the whole Christmas thing for attention, but no one thinks about us January kids unless we are the ones born at the stroke of midnight in some cab headed to the hospital and get the local news celebrating our parent’s ability to have no birth plan in place. All of us born after that are at best afterthoughts. Let’s face it, even those of us who share a birthday in January are so exhausted from the holidays that the last thing we even want to do is jump into another celebration, regardless if it’s our own. The conversation usually goes like this: “Isn’t your birthday sometime this month?”

“Thanks, luv you Mom.” How do you put a candle on that cake-ofdull to not make it blow? That is not to say that there have not been a few memorable years that I have celebrated. Of course, number 16 was a good one because I remember it being too icy to get my driver’s license so I had to wait a week until I could take my test. That was awesome. And then there was my 21st. Wait, strike that. I don’t actually remember a lot of that one, but I am sure I had it? Or what about my 30th? Yeah, that was a joy-fest. Single, living in a new town in a state I hated and zero friends. Yep, some fun. But wait, what about my 40th? That was a blast! By that time I was back in Georgia, married to my dream who surprised me with a party in our garage in Smyrna where we rented every video game known to any kid from the 80’s and provided kegs to boot. It was the best retro-party you could have. She even had a make-out couch and black light posters to complete the ambiance. Eleven years later and I think this year’s celebration will be more Ambien than ambiance and more couch potato than make-out couch. But hey, you never know? Ten months after that last party we had our first child, sooo maybe!?

“Yep, another year older.” I reply. “Want anything?” “You know, we just got through Christmas and I really have enough socks sooo, nope, can’t think of anything?” “Okay, well if you do just call, otherwise we will just send a check or a card or something?”

Mark Orler is a full-time husband, father and part-time observationist. Mark can be reached at

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Homestead Exemptions 2017 Save On Your Property Taxes by Gillen Joachim - GANEK WRIGHT MINSK PC

Every county in Georgia offers a tax break for a person’s primary residence. In order to qualify, the owner must be the owner of record and occupy the property as the principal residence on January 1st. The homestead exemption will remain on the property until there is a change in ownership. The method by which a homeowner may file varies from county to county. Information you may need in filing: a copy of your recorded Warranty Deed or a copy of your Settlement Statement, along with photo ID. You may be asked for your automobile registration or tag numbers as proof of principal residency at the Homestead. More information can be gathered by visiting the websites below or calling the County Tax Commissioner’s office.


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COUNTY PHONE # DEADLINE WEBSITE COBB 770-528-8600 April 1 Get Application and file by mail or in person PAULDING 770-443-7606 April 1 CHEROKEE 678-493-6120 April 1 Must come in person with ID Tax Assessor’s Office: 2782 Marietta Hwy, Canton, GA 30114 FULTON 404-224-0102 April 1 DEKALB 404-298-4000 April 1 GWINNETT 770-822-8800 April 1 FORSYTH 770-781-2106 April 1 Get Application; mail to Assessor’s Office with copy Warranty Deed and ID FAYETTE 770-461-3652 April 1 Must apply in person Warranty Deed; Drivers License, SS# Tax Assessor’s Office – 140 Stonewall Avenue W., Fayetteville, GA 30214 DOUGLAS 770-920-7272 April 1

678-247-1157 MARIETTA OFFICE • 678-265-8078 KENNESAW OFFICE

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Let’s Start 2017 off on the Right Paw! by Amber Burckhalter Welcome 2017! Glad you’re here. By now, you have certainly been inundated with magazine articles, websites and television spots targeted to helping you start the year off right and achieve your goals. That’s great! Part of me really likes resolutions. They’re kind of like a reset “Let’s do this right!” button for life. But, unfortunately, more resolutions are abandoned than are achieved. 1600 Kennesaw Due West Rd., NW #507 • Kennesaw, GA 30152

770-419-0362 • Fax 770-419-8891 •


We are excited to be able to offer a budget friendly approach to pay for all of your pet’s preventative care for the entire year. There are plans that include spaying, neutering, and dental cleanings too. Some of the benefits include unlimited office visits, 2 complimentary nail trims, and a $200 credit towards heartworm, flea and tick preventative.


Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption has merged with Best Friends Animals Society to become Best Friends-Atlanta

About Best Friends Animal Society®

So, this month’s article is dedicated to a simple, yet powerful resolution – To have a better relationship with my dog(s)! Simply follow our 9 Tips for the New Year and we guarantee that your dog will be better behaved, you and your family & friends will enjoy your pup more and, in the end, you will have a better relationship with them.

A tired dog is a good dog. Make sure your puppy or dog gets healthy, adequate exercise. Good exercise improves overall behavior because it burns toxic energy – leaving your dog more relaxed and able to interact with their family in a better way. Train early and often.

Puppies trained as young dogs, using positive reinforcement techniques, are significantly less likely to exhibit behavior issues and are more likely to become a wonderful companion. Adult dogs whose parents maintain their training are happier, spend more quality time with the family and generally live longer. Don’t tell anyone, but it’s kind of like going to the gym!

Say please and thank you. Having your dog sit to exit

your home, car or other vehicles is similar to teaching a child to say thank you and please. This impulse control will result in a more likeable pup and will also keep them safe. We don’t accept rude behavior in people or children. Why would we accept it from our pups?

Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 1,600 rescue groups and shelters across the country. In Atlanta, Best Friends focuses on region-wide collaborations to support national lifesaving programs and the no-kill movement. Best Friends operates a pet adoption center in the Smyrna neighborhood of Atlanta that prioritizes adoptions for at-risk animals from the city shelters in Cobb, Gwinnett, Dekalb and Fulton counties. Since its founding in 1984, Best Friends has helped reduce the number of animals killed in American shelters from 17 million per year to an estimated 4 million.

Prevention not punishment. Punishing behaviors can cause side effects such as aggression, anxiety and fear. Management and prevention are keys to a reliable and effective training program and developing a wonderful working relationship with your companion. Prevent poor choices on the behalf of your dog by setting up the environment for success and then train for reliable control.

You Can Help by:

Tag that puppy! Sometimes dogs slip out of open doors or fences and get lost. Make sure that your four-legged friend has a secure collar and tag to help get them home safe. If they already have a tag and collar, now’s a good time to confirm that the information on the tag is easily read, is accurate and that the collar is still secure. If not, buy a new one. Also, make sure to talk with you veterinarian about micro-chip.

Adopting a pet: By adopting a dog or cat, you are helping to Save Them All, one four-legged friend at a time. Give a gift: You can make a difference to the animals with every dollar you donate to Best Friends. Volunteering: They count on dedicated volunteers like you every day to help Save Them All. Visit and follow the steps to create your volunteer profile, view a list of volunteer opportunities, and schedule an orientation date.

To become a fan of Best Friends Animal Society on Facebook go to:


Be your dog’s advocate. Your pup counts on you to keep them safe. So, avoid situa-

tions that causes stress, fear or are unsafe. Carefully choose who and what is introduced into your pup’s world. If it’s a service provider, check them out. Drop in unscheduled. Talk to their staff. Talk to their customers. If they’re good enough for your dog, they won’t have anything to hide.

Crate train.

There are many benefits to crate training. A crate trained pup can enjoy the privacy and security of a den of their own, they more easily learn to associate elimination with the outdoors only, they can still be included in family surroundings when they need to be restricted from certain things and they can more conveniently be included in family outings and trips instead of being left behind.

Have fun together! Most importantly, take time to enjoy your dog and the relationship

you develop. If you focus only on control and an “I am in charge attitude,” you will miss out. Take your pup on car rides, family trips and walks together. There is nothing quite like the relationship between a person and their pup. Develop a true companionship and you will both thrive.

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