Her Magazine December 2018

Page 1

December 2018





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Her — December 2018


December 2018




Lt. Lisa Davis-Christ thrives in a maledominated profession. Read more on page 6.

Her magazine is published by The Daily Reflector and Adams Publishing Group.

From the editor I chose to be a journalism major when I was 17

Meet our team

years old because I so desperately wanted to be a sports reporter. I was dead-set on it. There football in general, that you could tell me that I didn’t already know. (Which is funny now, because just last week I asked my friend if Tony Romo was still the quarterback of The Cowboys. Judging by her reaction, he is not.) There wasn’t a lot about about Duke basketball,

Sam is the graphic designer for Her Magazine, Bro Magazine and Greenville: Life in the East. His interests include strong coffee, long naps and soft cats. Contact him at salvarado@reflector.com.

Mackenzie is the editor of Her magazine, Mixer magazine and Greenville: Life in the East. She loves a lot of things, but specifically: beer, The Grateful Dead, and her rescue lab, Ficklen.

wasn’t a lot about The Baltimore Ravens, or

Samuel Alvarado Layout

Mackenzie Tewksbury Editor

or East Carolina University football, or honestly, sports in general, that you could tell me that I didn’t already know. But, people doubted my

Juliette Cooke is a photographer for The Daily Reflector and Her and Mixer magazines. She is also a loving mother to her rescue lab, Molly.

knowledge and my credibility, time and time again. I had an internship at a sports radio show when I was a junior in college. I would go to ECU

Molly is a recent RCC photo grad, Carolina Panthers fan and cat enthusiast. Her favorite thing to photograph is sports.

football practice, and be one of maybe two women. But there were a ton of men. I sat in classes in college and listened to almost every

Juliette Cooke Photographer

Molly Mathis Photographer

single boy say they wanted to be a sports reporter. I was told over and over again by classmates, professors and friends that my career

Christy Jones, also known as Coach Chris, is a Greenville life and business coach. Contact her at coachchris4success@ gmail.com or www. coachchriscompany.com.

Angie Watson is a Registered Dietitian working in the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSME) of the Pitt County Public Health Department.

field, an already uphill battle, would become even steeper simply because I was a woman. I wrote research papers for classes about ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews (I wanted to be like her when I grew up) getting secretly videotaped naked in a hotel room. The gender bias is real, whether on purpose

Angie Watson Contributor

Christy Jones Contributor

or not. But these ladies in this magazine, have stared the bias in the face and haven’t let it win. They are engineers. Sports journalists and coaches. Special agents. Firefighters. And they aren’t great female engineers. Female sports journalists. Female special agents. Female firefighters.

Contents Contact Her

Mackenzie Tewksbury | Editor | 329-9585

They are just great.

John Powell | Advertising | 329-9632 Samuel Alvarado | Designer | 329-9604 Email: tellher@reflector.com

Mackenzie Tewksbury — editor

Meet Her


(Wo)man's World


6 Lt. Lisa Davis-Christ 10 Savanna Elkins 14 Lisa Kirby 20 Jennifer Matherly

28 Nutrition 13 Puzzles 26 Her Panel 30 Coach Chris


Her — December 2018


Story and photos by Mackenzie Tewksbury

When I first arrived at the Greenville Fire/Rescue Station 1 on Greene Street in downtown Greenville, one thing caught my eye. There were a lot of men. That’s not surprising — the U.S. Department of Labor finds that nationwide, only about 4 percent of firefighters are women. And at Greenville Fire/Rescue, the numbers reflect that as well — out of 161 employees, about 10 of them are women — in other words, six percent of the department is made up of women. Lieutenant Lisa Davis-Christ, a 22-year veteran firefighter with the city of Greenville, is one of those 10. But, the numbers never bothered her. In fact, it was quite the opposite. “I remember the first day I went to training. There were about 80 people and I think I was one of the only women. You’re the spotlight, because you’re different,” she said. “I remember one guy saying, ‘Oh, if she passes this, she’s definitely going to get it.’ What does that mean? Just because I’m a girl, if I pass this physical test, that they’re going to hire me? I was like, ‘Whatever, I’m going to blow this out of the water." The feeling also isn’t new for Davis-Christ. When she tried out for an all boys baseball team at 7-years old, they


Her — December 2018

told her she couldn’t be on the team because she was a girl. That wasn’t enough for her, so she tried out again next year. She made the team, and was on the allstar team for two years after that. “Maybe that ‘You can’t do that because you’re a girl’ idea kind of motivated me to be like, ‘Oh yeah? I can do it if he can do it’’’ she said. Being a firefighter wasn’t always the plan for her, though. She was seeking something exciting; something active; something in the public servant field. Originally, her plan was to go into law enforcement or criminal justice, but this job at the fire station opened up and she thought, “Why not?” “One day I saw they had an opening here, and I said, ‘Wow, that looks neat.” She tried out with no prior experience, and went through an intense academy and emergency medical technician training. “They’re trying to get you ready for a lifetime of doing this,” she said. Part of the training, of course, was running into live fires. She said they would set up donated old houses to be ready to burn, room by room, and they’d run straight into it for training. To some, that’s terrifying. To her, it was just pure excitement. “It’s not like the movies,” she said. “You’re basically blind crawling around. It was always exciting.” Now she works 24-hour shifts — 7:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. — and spends the day checking reports, taking emergency calls, exercising, doing employee trainings, cleaning equipment, sleeping a bit, and staying on her toes for a possible emergency. “It’s just a normal shift to me. 8-5 is normal for someone else, but this is just normal for me,” she said. After her shift ends at 8 a.m. — typically with coffee in hand — she goes home to take care of her two children. However, she used to go straight to yet another male-dominated field: construction. “I enjoyed working in male dominated fields. I excelled at that because I felt very confident in my mental and physical abilities and the challenges of it, too.” But, after 22 years with Greenville Fire/Rescue, Davis-Christ said the fact that she works in such a male-dominated job doesn’t even cross her mind. “They look at me as just one of them,” she said. “And that’s what I’ve always wanted.”

Her — December 2018


FOCUSED ON FUTURE Story by Mackenzie Tewksbury Photos courtesy of Savanna Elkins

Local photographer, teacher turns hobby into passion


Her — December 2018

Savanna Elkins doesn’t want to be a great female photographer. She just wants to be a great photographer. “There are some times I get a little bit more attention because I’m a girl,” she said. “I’m just doing what I love to do.” And what she loves to do, stereotypically, is dominated by men. Monday through Friday, Elkins, 25, is a physical education teacher and a varsity volleyball and soccer coach at North Pitt High School. But her career path and passions don’t end when she walks out the school doors on Friday afternoon. She owns her own photography business and photographs for East Carolina University athletics. “When I was in high school, I had all male P.E. teachers. It’s rare to see a female,” she said. At North Pitt, the ratio is a bit different than she’s used to. Elkins is one of four P.E. teachers —two women and two men. Her inspiration? It comes from her grandfather, who was also a physical education teacher and principal — Elkins called him her biggest inspiration and hero. And also, Elkins said, it’s for the kids. “Sometimes for these high school kids, you’re all they have. It’s nice to be a smiling face in their school, someone to talk to,” she said. “It’s doing what you can to give them an education and a good day.” Elkins also spends her Saturday’s on the sidelines of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium or next to the dugout at Clark LeClair stadium, documenting college athletes greatest successes.

Sometimes for these high school kids, you’re all they have. It’s nice to be a smiling face in their school, someone to talk to.

Her — December 2018


“What keeps me going is being able to capture a moment in time,” she said. “Especially these ECU athletes. I’m able to help document one of the best times of their lives.” She said while it is definitely normally a field dominated by men, she’s lucky that she doesn’t have any horror stories of her own. But, she does sometimes get a double take. “You don’t think girls know a lot about sports,” she said. “But it’s cool, it’s kind of nice to know where the play is going to happen before it happens. “People are like, ‘You’re a girl taking these really good sports photos’ and it’s just because I know sports and I love sports.” Unfortunately, loving sports and being good at your job doesn’t always keep the haters away. Elkins said that thankfully for her, however, she hasn’t really experienced some of the struggles other females in the industry have. “I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve never had those problems. I'm very fortunate to not have experienced some of the negative things.” But for Elkins, the negatives have instilled a sense of determination that keeps her motivated and on her toes. “I learned you have to work hard. You have to make sure people take your work seriously.” Photos by Savanna Elkins


Her — December 2018

Clues Across

Clues Down


24. Sixers’ Simmons


19. More in time

1. A great lunch

25. Makes honey

1. Blab

20. Payroll company

4. German composer

26. Tributary of the Rhine

2. __ Bacall, actress

23. Pokes holes in

8. Expresses pleasure

27. Once home to a notori-

3. Declaration of an inten-

24. A way to steal

10. Unit of energy

ous wall

tion to inflict harm

25. Blacken with dirt

11. Genus of beetles

34. Gets back

4. The most direct route

26. Autonomic nervous

12. Type of respect

35. She was beheaded in

5. Affirm to be true or


13. City in Netherlands



27. A lab tech’s tool

15. Showing lack of skill

36. Cheer

6. Rift

28. A place to stay

16. Irish surname

37. Tropical Asian palm

7. Oil company

29. UK school

17. Exaggerated or affected

38. Darker

9. Alphabetic character

30. Moroccan


39. Figures

10. Large marsh bird

31. Where rockers work

18. Diversion

40. Old World trees

12. Hollywood event

32. Most friendly

21. Journalist Tarbell

41. Protects a broken bone

14. Scottish port

33. In a state of turbulence

22. Wrath

42. Dried-up

15. French river

34.“Bridget Jones” actress

23. Current unit

43. An enclosure for swine

17. Something frustrating

36. Hebrew liquid units


Solutions on page 19 Her — December 2018


Choose your own path City public works employee engineers own career By Mackenzie Tewksbury Photos by Molly Mathis


Her — December 2018

isa Kirby wanted to be an architect. At a summer camp right before her senior year, she had to design her own room for a final project. She had to look at the natural light, pick the materials needed and think about what features she would want in her room. But her ideas weren’t working out, so she went to her professor to work out the kinks. “I want the arch to be made out of marble, but I don’t know if the marble is going to be able to hold the roof up and I don’t know if it will be able to support the walls.” Her professor looked at her, and said “Just think about it like there’s no gravity.” Kirby didn’t get it — who the hell would build a room with no gravity, she thought. He looked at her again. “You should probably be an engineer,” he told her.

Her — December 2018


“You hear


and you can kind of assume it’s a

male dominated


Kirby, a senior engineer with the city of Greenville Public Works Department of about 16 years, is in charge of the storm water program for the city. She graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, where it was rare that there were two females in her classes. “You hear engineering and you can kind of assume it’s a male dominated field,” she said. But, Kirby said she didn’t ever think about that until she was in college. “I chose a university where the ratio was 10:1. There were 10 males for every one female,” she said. “My graduating class of civil engineering was about 175 people — maybe 15 of those were females.”


But, even being the only female in most of her college classes, it never really shook Kirby. She was raised with a lot of confidence and a lot of freedom, so when it came time to pick a career field, she said she didn’t feel a lot of social norms pulling her in a specific direction. “My upbringing — I was raised in a home where there wasn’t a lot of gender predisposition. My father cooked dinner as much as my mother did. My mom worked 50 hours a week, my dad worked 50 hours a week. I was never raised to think that there was any difference.” Kirby’s first job was writing environmental impact statements for The Department of Energy and Nuclear Weapons, but it wasn’t exactly for her. She then became a consultant

Her — December 2018

Her — December 2018



Her — December 2018

for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — working with natural disasters and traveling, and that’s where she found out she had a love for water resources and led her to her job now. Now, Kirby spends the majority of her time working on capital projects for the City of Greenville and managing construction contracts and design consultants. “The nice thing about my work, and this is rare for an engineer, is that I get to be a part of the planning process, I get to design it, and I also get to build and see it when it’s done,” she said. “That’s not typical for an engineer.” Kirby said she is definitely aware that she is in male-dominated field, but has been unaware if she’s been treated differently because of her gender. “Not that it’s not there, I just haven’t realized it,” she said. However, she said she does build strong relationships with her colleagues, and that makes getting the job done easier.

“In my environment, people aren’t necessarily threatened by me, whether that’s because I’m a female or unassuming or whatever it is,” she said. “People tend to talk to me about things, which lets you build a deeper relationship, which in turn, when you’re trying to get something accomplished, you have a basis. You have common goals, common interests. “I would say I have tapped in more into building relationships as opposed to just focusing on what has to be done.” Kirby, who has three children, said she hopes that all of her children can all choose a path that is their own path, and not a path that is formed by society and gender norms. “I don’t think there should be any gender bias,” she said. “It’s hard to buck to prejudice and the bias and choose your own path. All you can do is give them the confidence that whatever path they choose, is their path.”

Puzzle solutions from page 13

Her — December 2018



LIFE SBI agent knocks doors down to get dream career

By Amanda Parmelee Photos courtesy of Jennifer Matherly


f you ask NC State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Jennifer Matherly to describe her career path, her answer might surprise you. “I have no idea how I got here,” laughs Matherly. “People ask me that all the time and I’m like, ‘I don’t know!’ It’s one of those situations where doors were opened at a specific time, and I decided to walk through them.” In 1993, Matherly, a new graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in social work, accepted a position with the Wilson County Department of Social Services as a Child Protective Services Investigator. But the job took a toll, and Matherly ended up burned out.


Her — December 2018

“I left and said, ‘Screw everything. I’m going home,” she says. The burnout didn’t last long. After a year of babysitting, Matherly accepted a position as a Child Protective Services Investigator for Orange County Social Services, where she investigated neglect, supervision issues, and abuse in daycare facilities.

Cue door number one. “I did a lot of those investigations with the Department of Health and Human Services, with their Division of Child Development,” says Matherly. “Through that, I met a lady by the name of Jinx Kenan.”

Kenan, a Child Care Consultant, was being promoted and asked if Matherly would be interested in applying for her position. She was. For six years, Matherly worked as an Abuse/Neglect Consultant conducting investigations in legal and illegal daycare facilities for the middle part of the state. It was a great job, she said, but it wasn’t the right job. “It was work from home. I set my own schedule. As long as you did your work you were fine. But I was looking for something a little different. After six years, I didn’t want to make a career out of it.”

That’s when she found door number two.

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Her — December 2018


While working for DHHS, Matherly attended a training conducted by a Child Sexual Abuse Investigations Coordinator for the SBI, a civilian position, something Matherly says she didn’t know existed. “I didn’t know the SBI had civilian employees,” she explains. “I didn’t really know much about the SBI at all except that they were state law enforcement.” After the training, Matherly said the availability of civilian positions were always in the back of my head. “One day, I was just kind of perusing through government jobs that were open, and [the Child Sexual Abuse Investigations Coordinator position] was open with the SBI. So I put in for it.” The next door opened in January of 2005, when Matherly accepted a position working for the SBI’s civilian training coordinator. For two years, she worked under a special agent in the training section. Despite having no law enforcement experience, Matherly’s supervi-


sor had high hopes for her future. “She said, ‘You know, Jen, you would be a great agent. You really should try,’ Matherly says. “I knew I could do investigations. I’ve been doing investigations for 15 years.” Matherly’s concern was the lack of law enforcement experience. Turns out, her concern was just another door she needed to walk through. Soon after their conversation, the SBI opened a no-prior-experience hiring, something Matherly said didn’t come along very often. “[My supervisor] really convinced me to get my butt in gear and apply, and so I did. And I got selected to become a special agent.” In August 2007, at age 37, Matherly began Basic Law Enforcement Training [BLET]. In April of 2008, after completing BLET and the SBI Academy, she was sworn in as an SBI Special Agent. “So that’s kind of how I got where I am,” laughed Matherly.

Her — December 2018

THIS IS A (WO)MAN’S WORLD Despite more than two decades of experience in investigations, the idea of being a woman in what is still seen as a man’s world still surprises some people, says Matherly. “When people find out [what I do], a lot of them are shocked. Because there’s this stereotypical idea of, especially of what a female cop is supposed to be, so they will do like a double take, like, ‘You? Really?’” Yes, really. Although Matherly is one of only 44 SBI Special Agents working with the NC SBI [not including the Bureau’s 15 female ALE agents], the district she’s assigned to has more women than one may think. “In this district specifically, we’re very female heavy as far as the agents that I work with,” says Matherly. “You go to some districts and you might have one female, and the rest of them are male agents. In this district, we have 5 agents that are female, so it’s about 20% of our district. And so, statistically speaking, that’s better than average.” She also says that despite what others may have experienced, she’s always been treated the same as everyone else. “There’s no gender bias one way or another in the Bureau,” says Matherly, addressing the question of whether or not she has ever been treated differently than the males in her field. “You’re a special agent. There’s nothing that the male agents are asked and required to do that female agents aren’t asked and required to do as well. And I’ve certainly never had

any person treat me differently when I come in because I’m a female. I have not experienced that. I’ve been very lucky in that aspect, because I know some of my partners, my female agent partners in the Bureau, have had instances where they have felt like they were belittled or not taken seriously [by other law enforcement officers] because they were females.” But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things one gender does better than the other, says Matherly. “Now, on a human being level, because we are men and women, there are certain things that I concede that the man would probably be better at. Like kicking in a door. And that they concede that I’m better at, which is like, approaching children and soft-touch kind of interviews.” Don’t think Matherly is all soft touch, though. She’s currently serving on a violent crimes taskforce, a door that opened for her after her participation investigating a string of strong-arm robberies spanning nearly 10 counties. “Basically, Asian restaurant owners were being ambushed when they got home, and they were being pistol-whipped and robbed,” explained Matherly. “By the time we were done, and we arrested four suspects on it, it was a two-year operation, with like 35 different home invasion cases that were linked to these same guys.” She’s also investigated more than her fair share of homicides, including a 2017 death penalty case in Elizabeth City. “I’m the case agent on the four murdered prison guards at Pasquotank Correctional Institution, so I worked that case from the very, very beginning,” says Matherly. “I was there within two hours of the incident. So that was

Her — December 2018


a pretty big case as far as something that’s going to leave a big impression.” There’s no doubt that Matherly cares about her job. Regardless of the day or time, when work calls, Matherly answers. “On paper, we’re kind of an 8 to 5 agency, but at the same time, we’re 24/7. Sometimes I’ll get called out at 2 o’clock in the morning and there’s a homicide, and I get home two days later. When I start a homicide, I’m going to work it until the leads are all exhausted before I go to bed, and then I’ll pick it up again. It’s just how I am. Because when those leads are fresh, you’ve got to go, go, go, go, go.” But sometimes, no matter how hard you work, no matter how many leads you chase, you’re still left with questions. Matherly knows that all too well. “I have two unsolved homicides, that to this day I still think about,” says Matherly. “Their pictures hang on my wall. I’m still constantly trying to figure out things I can do, and leads get exhausted and there’s nowhere else you can take it right now. But sometimes patience pays off in law enforcement. I’m hoping that before I retire, I’ll get something on those two cases and I’ll be able to put those to rest.” Over her 11-year career, Matherly says she’s done some “pretty interesting cases.” But as far as the most rewarding? She didn’t have to think long to answer that one. “A probation officer in Halifax County was extorting clients; was threatening them with sending them back to jail if they didn’t have sex with him,” says Matherly. “And one strong lady finally said, ‘You know what? I’m done with this.’ And she contacted a law enforcement officer she trusted. And that law enforcement officer called us. And I went and met with her and knew the second that I met her she was telling the t ruth. And she helped me set him up; take him off. And after we arrested him another victim came forward. 24

And told her story. And it was exactly the same as my original victim. They didn’t know each other. It happened in separate counties. And we were able to indict him for sexually assaulting her as well. I don’t like people who misuse their authority. Whether it’s probation officers, law enforcement officers, politicians, whatever. Don’t misuse your authority.” It's obvious Matherly has a passion for justice and a respect for integrity. Despite her casual commentary about her rise up the career ladder, it’s easy to tell that she’s busted her ass to get where she is. Even though her path may not have been the most conventional, that doesn’t mean Matherly is short on advice for those who are looking for a career with the SBI. “Top priority?” asks Matherly. “Education. Get an education in something you’re passionate about because you’re going to excel in it. With being a special agent, we’re looking for a variety of people with educational backgrounds, life experiences. We’re not looking to get every criminal justice major that graduates. If criminal justice is your passion and that’s where you’re going to excel, then get your criminal justice degree. But if you excel in math, or business, or whatever, don’t let that limit you to think, ‘Okay, I’ve got to get a [criminal justice] degree if I want to be in law enforcement.’ Think outside the box.” Get an education — got it. What else? “Living your life with a moral compass is also incredibly important,” adds Matherly. “Integrity is how our oath begins, basically.” Matherly’s next piece of advice speaks to women specifically, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to anyone — regardless of your career aspirations. “It’s hard to explain to young

Her — December 2018

women what integrity means and how decisions that you make when you’re in high school and college effect your adult life so severely. I’m not saying that I was perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But our background investigations are very thorough, and it pulled every skeleton out of my closet that I had to discuss and talk about. But the environment that we live in today, it’s so easy to make a split-second wrong decision that can affect you negatively. Living an integrity-based life is incredibly important. Monitoring what you do on social media, what you post for people to see, that’s really important.” Last but not least? “Don’t burn bridges,” says Matherly. “Always leave relationships in a fixable place.” That piece of advice rings particularly true for Matherly’s experience. “When I went to work for the SBI in 2005, my supervisor from my very first job out of college? She was contacted. The Wilson County DSS supervisor was contacted. That’s 1994. In 2005, she was contacted about what kind of person I was. So even though I didn’t have a great work experience there, I left that job in good standing. I left that job having a level of respect for my coworkers and the supervisor that when they called her 10 years later, she was able to say, “Yeah, she’s probably matured a lot. She needed to. But she was a good worker, and a hard worker.’ Matherly is full of advice and wisdom, both in regard to life and her career. But something that truly makes her stand out is her confidence, something she says not all of her friends — or women in general — understand. “I get frustrated with my female friends who don’t see how confident and strong they are, and don’t believe in their ability to do something more than what it is they’re doing right now,” Matherly says. “They just either

lack the confidence or don’t see what I see for them. There’s so much more out there. If you’re not happy where you are, whether it’s personally or professionally, you have choices. You can do things. You don’t have to be stuck in that one place.” Matherly, who described herself as someone who tries to be “everyone’s personal cheerleader,” says she wishes the cultural emphasis of men versus women would change. “I wish there wasn’t so much em-

phasis on gender,” Matherly says. “I wish that we could define ourselves as individuals and build ourselves up with training and education and experience and be on the same playing field as individuals and human beings.” But Matherly also hopes her advice carries over to other women looking to make a name for themselves in careers that may be stereotyped as male-dominated. “I wish women would have more confidence in their ability to do jobs

that are not normally identified as jobs women should be in,” she says. Matherly’s bottom line? “Just know that you can do those things. Don’t let your gender define you as to what you want to do. Because a job’s not going to do that.”

“Just know that you can do those things. Don’t let

you as to what you want to do. Because a job’s not going to do that.” Her — December 2018









What is the best

What is the most

part about being

liberating part

a woman?

about your job?

“Everything! I think being a wife, mother, grandmother,

“I am retired, when I worked I loved my job, had a super

aunt, sister make my life perfect.”

boss, I worked in the office and had awesome

–Connie Moore Corey, 62, Greenville

coworkers who became more like family. I love my retirement, my freedom to get up

“The best part of being a woman to me is

and enjoy whatever I want to do most days, I

being able to bring another human being

feel very blessed.”

into this world and I was blessed with three.”

–Jeannie Cleaton, 68, Ayden

–Theresa McKoy, 60, Greenville “The flexibility. I'm a Realtor and even though my time is “The broad spectrum we have with ability to be versatile

dictated by others, I still have the convenience of running

with hair, make-up, clothes...it’s nice to have the ability to

out in the middle of the day without worrying about

be creative or just relaxed.”

punching a clock.”

–Mamie McCray, 48, Bethel

–Connie Moore Corey, 62, Greenville

“The most important for me, I was fortunate to give birth

Knowing that I get to shape the minds of

to my two sons who have given me 5 grandchildren. I was

future doctors, lawyers and rappers

also very lucky to marry my husband who I adore.”

–Deidra Morrison Adams, 32, Greenville

–Jeannie Cleaton, 68, Ayden I'm retired which is liberating in itself, but during my The best part about being a woman is that I am not a

career of 43 years of being an art museum director and


university/public schools educator the most liberating

–Mary Anne Pennington, 73, Winterville

aspect of my work was the freedom I had to use my creative skills.

Being able to wear makeup and get sexy.

–Mary Anne Pennington, 73, Winterville

–Deidra Morrison Adams, 32, Greenville


Her — December 2018

What is your

What is your favorite

favorite Christmas

thing to put on your

morning tradition?

holiday kitchen table?

“Since my sons are gone, I truly miss seeing them wake

“I normally fix the dressing for Christmas night or we make

up to see what Santa brought them. My husband fixes

Chicken/pastry. We don’t always have a traditional turkey

Pillsbury cinnamon rolls every Christmas morning for us.”


–Jeannie Cleaton, 68, Ayden

–Jeannie Cleaton, 68, Ayden

“My favorite Christmas morning tradition is we all meet at

“I have/had a big ole jolly St. Nick that I use as

my oldest son's house before midnight and at the strike of

a centerpiece. He was so old that he broke last

midnight everyone gets to open one gift”

year and glue gun couldn't fix him back. So

–Theresa McKoy, 60, Greenville

not sure what this year's centerpiece will be.” –Connie Moore Corey, 62, Greenville

“Seeing my mother’s face as she opens up her gifts.” “Poinsettias or an Advent Wreath...some type of Christmas

–Mamie McCray, 48, Bethel

floral arrangement. It makes me smile.” My favorite Christmas morning tradition is

–Mamie McCray, 48, Bethel

getting up early, sitting in front of the lighted Christmas tree enjoying a mug of hot coffee

My favorite thing to put on my holiday kitchen table is a

and re-reading the Nativity story being

knife and napkin set that was given to my by one of my

reminded of the true meaning of the day.

former students who I love so much.

-Mary Anne Pennington, 73, Winterville

-Deidra Morrison Adams, 32, Greenville

Favorite Christmas morning tradition has always been to

Favorite thing to put on the holiday table

drink at least several cups of coffee and listen to O HOLY

is my neighbor's Chocolate Bourbon

NIGHT as many times as possible before everyone wakes

Pecan Pie. Crazy good!

up. It's relaxing and helps me keep the "reason for the

-Lucia Peel, 70, Greenville

season" in mind during the mad scramble of gift opening. -Lucia Peel, 70, Greenville

Her — December 2018


Holiday Food Traps & How to Avoid Them I love this time of year – cool fall weather brings a succession of occasions from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a festive time to celebrate, enjoy friends and family and feast on delicious dishes! Although it is enjoyable in the moment, that feasting can lead many of us to woefully look back to a time when our belts were a little looser. The average American gains nearly one percent of their body weight over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. While this may not sound like a lot, for a 200 lb person that’s about 4 pounds. Also, about half of the weight gain that occurs during the holidays is never lost, contributing to the “creep” in weight with aging. In this case, over a 20 year period from age 30 to age 50 a person could gain 36 lbs! With the increasing rates of overweight and obesity in our nation, this is a real problem. So how do we help prevent those extra holiday pounds? Let’s look at a few of the food traps that work against us over the holidays and how to avoid them. 28


SKIPPING MEALS TO “SAVE UP” FOR A BIG EATING EVENT The problem is you are more likely to overeat at the big event. Instead, try eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and/ or snacks earlier in the day to avoid binging at the big meal later.


BELIEVING THAT ALL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ARE HEALTHY AND LOW CALORIE We’ve heard that cranberry sauce is high in cancer-fighting antioxidants, yet just ¼ cup of jellied cranberry sauce has 110 calories and 22g of sugar. Or consider green bean casserole - it can pack a whopping 220 calories and 14g of fat in a 1 cup serving! Instead of these calorie-packed goodies, opt for plain green beans or some roasted veggies.


DRINKING YOUR CALORIES Whether it’s eggnog, alcoholic beverages or a seasonal fruit punch, the calories can sure add up. For instance, one small (8oz) glass of eggnog has 210 calories, slightly more than a Krispy Kreme donut which has 190 calories and the

Her — December 2018

same amount of fat. Instead, choose water infused with fruit or vegetables, or make your own low calorie egg nog using skim milk (see attached recipe).


HANGING OUT / SOCIALIZING NEAR THE FOOD Whether you’re standing near the chips and dip or sitting around a table full of food after a meal, you are likely going to be tempted to indulge even if you’re not hungry. Instead, stand and chat away from the appetizers and clear the table of all the food once everyone is done eating. The socializing can continue but mindlessly munching should not.

For more information on healthy eating and to learn more about Pitt County Public Health Department’s Diabetes Self-Management Education program, contact Angie Watson, RD, LDN, CDE at 252-902-2361.

Low Calorie

EGGNOG 4 servings ready in 2-5 hrs

INGREDIENTS: 2 eggs, separated 4 cups skim milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons sugar substitute 1 dash nutmeg

DIRECTIONS: Combine the egg yolks and milk in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture coats a metal spoon. Cool. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add to the milk mixture, then add the vanilla, sugar substitute, and nutmeg. Mix lightly. Cover and chill.

TO SERVE Pour the eggnog into cups and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Nutrition: per serving: 125 calories, 3g fat, 13g carbohydrates, 11g pro www.cdkitchen.com/jumpto/31295 Recipe ID: 31295

Her — December 2018


Be present...


December is one of my favorite seasons because we get to spend time celebrating Christmas. For me, this means celebrating the birth of Christ. One of the challenges that I have is the commercialization of the holiday. I have had conversations with so many who get overwhelmed with what to buy and how much to spend that I almost feel mentally tired hearing about the process. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT related to Scrooge by any stretch of the imagination (and if you have no clue who I am talking about, please look it up and watch the movie…you will love it!) but I just wish sometimes that we would rethink the way we approach Christmas. It is during this time that we spend money that we don’t always have and we exchange gifts that we honestly don’t need or want. One of the things that my husband and I decided was we were going to focus on being more present with people and not just giving

presents to them. In other words, instead of buying gifts, we decided we would give time, give words of encouragement, and do something meaningful. Sister, your presence is often more powerful than a present. You are an amazing person with so much personality and style to give— and your presence makes more difference than the latest gadget or Secret Santa gift. Let’s be clear, I am not telling you to throw away your gift bags and put away the boxes and bows, I am just asking you to not neglect the power of your presence alone. You make such a huge impact simply being there! So, this Christmas, yes, hang all the mistletoe, bake the cookies, pour the warm apple cider but don’t forget to be PRESENT… Have yourself a very merry Christmas and enjoy the gift that can impact people more than gifts and gadgets…you! Until next time…enjoy this holiday season!!!

advice 30

Her — December 2018

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