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It’ s ALL About

WOMEN... It’ s ALL About


Publisher’s Prattle At the writing of this “prattle”, we have all just settled into warm weather: flowers in full bloom; watermelon, strawberries and peaches available and delicious; and pools open and full of happy kiddos. We are basking in the warm, sunny days of early summer. By the time this issue rolls off the press, we will have celebrated the July 4th weekend, and thoughts creep in of HOW many days left until school starts????? There are still 4 weeks of “no school” to enjoy, so take advantage of those days! As you sip your sweet tea, enjoy reading about remarkable Bowling Green women who live life with Flair; family finance; safety tips for college bound young women; back-to-school on a budget; a hilarious account of one mother’s first day of school; and, of course, there’s Sir-PRIZE! This issue is full of fun, inspiration, need-to-know information, and, of course, amazing products and services. ENJOY! See you in October. — Belinda Saltzman

Belinda Saltzman, Publisher

Come Celebrate Southern Living With Us

Come spend a leisurely day with us in one of Tennessee’s largest gift shops! • MONOGRAMMING/APPLIQUE • SPECIALTY CHILDREN’S CLOTHING • FLORAL DEPARTMENT Explore our many rooms where you’ll find treasures for your home in true Southern living style. Are you looking for just the right gift or something for yourself? You’re sure to find it here. Monday-Friday 10am-4pm Saturday 9am-4pm (open select Saturdays until 8pm)

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Our delicious Southern-style food, specialty cakes, and reasonable prices make us one of the busiest restaurants around. Come join us for our Southernstyle home cooking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. BREAKFAST: Tuesday-Friday 6:30am-10am Saturday 7:30am-10:30am LUNCH: Monday-Saturday 11am-2pm DINNER: Friday & Saturday 4:30pm-8pm

www.countrypeddlerbg.com Special Publication



— Publisher — Belinda Saltzman — Editorial — Jim Browning

features 4 Hats Off to Summer

Editorial Director

— Production —

6 Family Finances

Tricia Crawford Design Director

Lisa Frye Designer

8 First Class Style, SECOND-HAND PRICES

— Advertising — Lana Hendricks Advertising Sales Director

17 Diary of an Unstable Mother

Tonya Kirby Advertising Sales

24 Perils of Peer Pressure

— Contributing Writers —

Flair makes every attempt to ensure the material contained herein is not copyrighted elsewhere. Flair is not responsible for unintentional copyright infringement

For advertising or article submissions please contact Country Peddler office 270-842-3314 or contact us thru our website www.countrypeddlerbg.com

Amy Bingham DeCesare

10 Howell Does She Do It? Michelle Howell

Elizabeth Downing

18 Sassy Celebrity Phyllis Diller

in every issue

Tricia Crawford Flair is published 4 times per year and is distributed free to 25,000 homes in Bowling Green/Warren County.

5 the essence of

12 Don’t Rain on Her Parade

Mary Ann Barnes Hannah Bertram Marissa Brown Jim Browning Jeanne Fisher Dena Nelsen Belinda Saltzman Deborah Williams — Contributing Photographer —

featured women

20 From Bookworm to “Juice Lady” Natalie Boddeker

2 Publisher’s Prattle 14 Refuse to be a Victim: College Bound & Bullet Proof 23 Sir-PRIZE Mark Whitley

Cover Design by Elizabeth Cecil Elizabeth designed this month’s cover of Flair Magazine when she was a student at Western Kentucky University in Professor Mike Nichols art class.

26 Word Buzz: Long Live the Mason Jar Flair Magazine BG KY

Flair • 2015 • July/August/September • 3

Hats are ideal for adding spark, style, and sophistication to any plain or dreary outfit. Even selfproclaimed Fashionistas will often overlook hats as chic add-ons, investing in ones worn solely for weather protection instead of fashion hats meant for style and prestige. If your nature is to be casual or reserved, a hat may actually enhance your privacy by keeping you protected. Once you appreciate the practicality, originality, and totality a hat can bring to your overall appearance, you too may become a hat evangelist. Avoid thinking of them as foreign, intimidating, or cumbersome pieces and remember to observe proper etiquette when wearing a hat. As soon as you define the role of hats in your wardrobe, you will be excited to explore their endless possibilities.

• Beautify messy, limp, or unshampooed hair • Hide dark or gray roots • Add height to your body, as usually done with high-heels • Emphasize your eyes • Incorporate personality and flair into an otherwise ‘blah’ outfit • Create a signature look for yourself • Balance the look and style of your shoes for a complete and polished look

hats camouflage large ears and long necks and are a perfect option for balancing curvy silhouettes. Choose wide brimmed hats for lounging by the pool while sipping a frothy drink. Wear oversized floppy hats under long, loose curls with flowy maxi dresses for a romantic, retro-chic look. hats are a classic, understated hat option. Wear your Fedora tilted to one side in order to camouflage asymmetrical features or eyebrows. Tilt it forward for a mysterious and seductive look, as well as for camouflaging a protruding nose. Pair a Fedora with a tailored suit, dress, or trench coat for a perfectly refined image. hats accentuate strength and ruggedness, though they are ironically interpreted as sultry and sexy. The high-crowned structure adds inches to your

height, thereby accentuating slender physiques and balancing molded ones. Throw on a cowgirl hat whenever you want to kick your t-shirt and jeans up a notch or with a cami-top and tiered skirt for a look that is edgy yet relaxed. are easy to throw on, gender-neutral, and universal for pairing with casual wear or active wear. They are flattering for all face shapes and silhouettes. Invest in baseball caps or visors in denim and velour fabrics or classic plaid and tartan prints to combine a bit of urban with upscale. hats soften angular features, elongate round faces when worn tilted, and balance oblong faces when worn slightly off-center. They may also be dressed up by adding a decorative pin. Berets complement just about any outfit and look especially chic with military jackets.

My family: Husband - Jim Children - Brooke (18) Justin (14) Cat - Katie aka Kakers My work: WKU Public Affairs Coordinator, Broadcast Services If I were a shoe I’d be: A fuzzy house slipper. Comfort is key. My best friends say I am: Depends on who you ask. Possibly: caring, independent or fun. I wish I had known: To wear more sunscreen when I was younger. The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn: Beverly - How to say NO! Whitney - Forgiveness

My favorite place to be: Home. Haven’t you heard? There’s no place like it!


Reasons You Should Take Part in Your Family Finances

Ð Everyone is coded with their own personality strengths. Maybe you are cautious, thoughtful, empathetic, and adaptable. Perhaps your spouse thinks strategically, has the ability to focus on the future, long-term goals and the follow-up to see a plan through. Over the years you and your spouse have learned to work together. YouÕve raised children, completed DIY house-projects, faced tragedy and triumph. All of these were easier to handle because you each brought different strengths to the table. Your family finances are no different. Yes, we have to learn to communicate through the differences, but your natural strengths are an important contribution you can provide to the conversation. Even if you donÕt feel overly knowledgeable, your natural way of approaching a critical decision will help balance out your spouseÕs natural strengths.

Savings Mortgage Investments Retirement College Fund

Ð Marriage is a choreographed dance of constant give and take, and many couples choose a Òdivide and conquerÓ approach. While that may mean one spouse is a specialist Ð it doesnÕt mean the other can totally neglect a responsibility. Just as you expect your husband to have a working knowledge of the washing machine, you should have a working knowledge of your family finances. Ð Now, more than ever, women are contributing to the familyÕs financial Òpie.Ó According to US Department of Labor, 58% of women work. We are strong, confident women at work, but all too often take the backseat and let our husbands control how our money is invested. Be proud and take ownership of what you are contributing financially. After all, you worked hard for that money Ð now itÕs time to make sure it works hard for you! Ð ItÕs true, women are statistically better investors than men. A research project by Terrance Odean and Brad Barber, from the University of California, Berkley showed that women outperform men annually by about 1 percentage point. A recent Merrill Lynch project asked the same question of men and women: ÒI know less than the average investor about financial markets and investing in general.Ó 55% of women strongly agreed with this statement, compared to 27% of men. Women are less confident, thus they trade much less frequently in their investment accounts. Not only does this save in trade fees, but it prevents the Òchasing returnÓ game that naturally competitive men often succumb to. Excessive trading can be counterproductive, results in emotion-driven decisions, and may cause higher taxes. Finally, you save more. Fidelity research found that women save 8.3% of their salary on average, while men only save 7.9% of theirs. Ð Ladies, the odds are stacked against us. With the divorce rate at 50%1 and the fact that we outlive our men by an average of five years , the vast majority of us at some point will assume sole-responsibility of the financial decisions. Now is the time to step out of your comfort zone, grow and learn at your own pace. Here are some basic questions you should know the answer to.

• • • •

Are you on track for retirement? What do you need to do every year to stay on track or what kind of additional savings are needed? Is someone you know and trust managing your investments and do you understand how they are paid? Are you comfortable with the level of risk you are taking in your investment portfolio? Jeanne Fisher and Dena Nelsen are Certified Financial Plannersª with ARGI Financial Group.Ê They are honored to be some of the first women CFPs¨ in Southern Kentucky.Ê As financial planners they provide comprehensive financial plans including investment management, insurance analysis, retirement planning, education planning and estate planning to clients all across Kentucky. Ê Jeanne Fisher

Dena Nelsen

1. Divorce Statistics, Divorce Statistics and Divorce Rate in the USA 2. Center for Disease Control Life Expectancy Tables, 2014

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Back-to-School Clothing Consignment Bargains in Bowling Green

Why shop consignment stores for back-to-school? There are many good reasons. Consignment stores carry gently-used children’s and teens’ clothing and other items such as toys, books, videos, and games. Kids grow fast, and top brand names are available for pennies on the dollar on consignment in all the hot brands and a large variety of styles. Consignment stores also have brand new items with tags still attached. Consignment is eco-friendly, too. Reusing clothing means fewer new items manufactured, which equals a smaller ecological footprint. Also, consignment shopping is fun: looking for bargains and keeping track of savings. Shops often offer everyday sales of 15%-50% off, with new items consigned daily. Generally, prices work out to be about 50%-70% off retail. stores can carry clothing and accessories 1. Look for the store’s weekly for Consignment infants to teens and young adults, often in all the top sale & discounted items brands, including Old Navy, Gap, Abercrombie, 2. Watch for big sale Aeropostale, P.S., Justice, UnderArmour, and Nike. 3. Ask if you don’t see what The stores also try to carry a large selection of khakis and you’re looking for polos for kids attending schools with dress codes. During back-to-school season, the stores carry a mix of about half spring/summer and half fall/winter, but many moms shop during summer for back-to-school. Consignment shops usually have a lot of items in a small amount of space and will have to put items where they will fit. That perfect sweater might be hiding somewhere in the store, and the owner will know just where to find it. If you consign with the shop, your sales can be applied toward an account at the store, so you might end up getting that back-to-school outfit for your own child for free. As the summer advances, more people will be looking for all seasons, but at the end of the day, they’re just looking for a bargain.


Tips for the New Consigner • Make items look as new as possible: laundry detergent, stain removers, and sometimes a little bleach go a long way. • Be aware of fading, stains, holes, and excessive wear and tear. These don’t make good consignment items. • Iron appropriate garments and replace any missing buttons. • Zip up zippers and button all buttons. • Sets sell better. Pair up a cute top and bottom to make an outfit. • Shoes should not show excessive wear. Laces should be clean and not frayed. For a current list of thrift and consignment clothing stores in Bowling Green, visit... http://www.yellowpages.com/ bowling-green-ky/thrift-shops.

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Flair • 2015 • July/August/September • 9

Michelle Howell obtained a degree in agriculture from WKU, worked at Jackson’s Orchard for nine years, and had job experience helping tobacco farmers transition to fruit and vegetable production. You would think when she had children that she would feed them the healthiest food possible, wouldn’t you? However, that wasn’t necessarily the case. “I was overworked and overwhelmed and usually fed my family the most convenient, processed foods,” she confessed. It was when she experienced family health issues that she began to stop to think about the food she ate and how it was grown. “My husband Nathan and I made the commitment to become full-time farmers sustaining our family with fresh food,” Michelle said, and now they also provide a full Community Supported Agriculture diet program to help others make better nutritional choices. Michelle and Nathan have been able to create opportunities for beginning farmers, like Jordan and Jackson Rolett, in addition to offering their on-farm, certified kitchen to the new prepared food option “Farm Fresh but Already Fixed,” available at the Bowling Green Community Farmer’s Market, where the couple also sells their farm products commercially. It has become very important to Michelle that everyone in the community has access to fresh, healthy food. “Together with farmers from the Bowling Green CFM, community leaders, resource providers, and volunteers, I can go out into the community to survey citizens, learn about obstacles to buying fresh and locally grown food, and problem-solve for ways to make these items more accessible to the public,” she said. Michelle is especially proud of her partnerships with the Barren River District Health Department, the WKU Office of Sustainability, and HOTEL, INC, all of whom have worked diligently to ensure that more people have access to good food.  She is thankful to spend her days on her 20-acre farm in Halfway, Kentucky, together with Nathan and their four children: Carter, Elizabeth, Lilah, and Adaline.  “It’s hard work, but incredibly rewarding,” Michele said. In addition to farming full-time and homeschooling her four children, Michelle also writes, speaks, and collaborates across the state in order to create better opportunities for all Kentuckians.

— By Hannah Bertram, WKU 10 • Flair • 2015 • July/August/September


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Don’t Rain on Her Parade Puddles of tears . . . .Puddles of laughter . . . . Puddles of questions . . . .Puddles of love . . . . We all splash in those puddles every day, writes Elizabeth Downing, in her new inspirational self-help book, Puddles of Perspective: A Family Girl’s View of Life,” a collection of essays she began writing for her 13-year-old daughter, Goodman, now a student at WKU. “I had a teenage daughter. I started writing them to her as advice,” says Elizabeth. “It kind of grew into family memories and things a lot of people can relate to with their own families.” The essays cover topics such as body image, family relationships, and the importance of trying to do something every day to help someone. Goodman is a fan of her mother’s book. “She loves it. She’s really proud of it,” Elizabeth said. “When I got the proof, I texted her a picture of the cover, and she texted back and said, ‘My mom is a rock star.’” Here are just a few of Elizabeth’s observations on the important women in her life: • In my mid-to-late twenties, I made a string of particularly bad decisions. My mom knew and stated the truth--it was up to me now to make the right decisions and find the path I was intended to walk. • My oldest sister has more patience than anyone I’ve ever met. I have watched her encourage and support her three children, and now her three grandchildren, at times when I would have quickly gone over the edge of sanity. • My other sister has the kindest heart I’ve ever known. Her family is not four individual people, but four people who still love doing things together, even though the children are adults.

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade Bob Merrill & Jule Styne

• My older brother’s wife is a portrait of flexibility in raising a family. She taught me that a mom makes the best of every situation for the good of her children, and that a bit of agility goes a long way toward creating a strong family unit. • My younger brother’s wife embodies a certain motherly strength for which I could only hope. In her mothering situation, she has developed a keen sense of when to push and when to pull back. • My child is like no other. I encourage her to play to her strengths and to reach her full potential. One of the greatest gifts we [my husband and I] can give her is personal responsibility for the choices she makes. She will ultimately find her own path. Elizabeth Downing is a Bowling Green native and a graduate of Bowling Green High School and Western Kentucky University. She resides in Bowling Green with her husband, Mark Johnson, and daughter. She is the executive director of Timesavers Concierge, Caregiving and Chauffeur, which is proud to provide the best caregivers in Southern Kentucky and strives to forge personal relationships with their clients, whether providing respite, senior care, or driving to the airport. To obtain your copy of Elizabeth’s book, email eliz260@aol.com or go to the Facebook page “Puddles of Perspective.” 12 • Flair • 2015 • July/August/September

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“WHERE A POUND = A POUND” Flair • 2015 • July/August/September • 13

College Bound &

Bulletproof? — By Deborah Williams

So life as you know it is about to change. The protection you have both resisted and enjoyed all your life is soon to be something you didn’t realize you would miss. Yes, you are going off to college. While it is an exciting time, with freedom comes responsibility. You are not only responsible for your success; your safety is in your hands now. Every campus is unique, but there are some common things that each college student will face, especially females. You will likely be sharing space with a roommate. He or she may or may not share your morals and schedule. This person is someone you will need to have trust in for several reasons. He or she will have access to your personal property as well as you.

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP KEEP YOU SAFER • Don’t let a beautiful campus lull you into a false sense of security. • Team up with fellow students to explore your campus and make note of areas that would be unsafe, especially at night. • Many campuses have access to security officers who will escort you to locations at night. • Always keep campus emergency numbers with you and also in your dorm room for easy access in an emergency. • Never post your plans online or on your door. • Make sure that someone in your family has a copy of your schedule and notify someone if you are going to be moving around campus. It is also important to follow-up with a phone call when you are back safely. • Be very careful in laundry facilities. • Libraries are usually large facilities with multiple levels as well as many hidden areas with few people around.

SMART Partying & Dating With college life comes many opportunities to party and date. How you approach it can lead to fun or a life changing experience. • Talk with others about what they have heard about the group having the party. • Casually ask if any other women you know have been on a date or to a party with a guy who has asked you out. Use your listening and intuition when they respond. You can tell if something happened that caused them to be uncomfortable. • Never attend a party alone. Go with someone you trust. • Alcohol and drugs have resulted in many horrific experiences for young women. Date rape is real. It can be the result of having too much to drink or someone slipping Rohypnol (date rape drug) into your drink. Understand your body’s metabolism and how alcohol affects you. Generally speaking, you will lose 20% of your situation control with the first drink. Usually, you lose as much as 60% control with the second drink. All of this is assuming that you have maintained full control of your drink at all times. Drugs can only lead to injury or death……period.

You are not bulletproof… you too can be a statistic.

14 • Flair • 2015 • July/August/September

Deborah Williams has been a Firearms Instructor for 36 years and has taught Concealed Carry Deadly Weapons Training in Kentucky since 1996. She is a Certified Instructor in three (3) disciplines for the NRA which encompasses Basic Pistol, Certified Range Safety Officer, and Refuse To Be A Victim.

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FREE ESTIMATES Flair • 2015 • July/August/September • 15

16 • Flair • 2015 • July/August/September

DIARY OF AN UNSTABLE MOTHER... An Account of Sending My Kindergartener & 1st Grader Off toTheir 1st Day of School

— By Marissa Brown

5:00am Make coffee. Contemplate Baileys or not. Nah. Better not. YET. 6:00 Homemade muffins ... To put something on my stomach in case I DO decide to go the Baileys route. 7:30 Look up home school curriculum.... 7:31 Decide that me doing home school is a terrible idea. Terrible. 7:35 Commemorative first day of school picture. (Aka: most recent picture of kids to give police in case they are abducted at school today.) 7:40 Headed to school. I can’t breathe. 7:45 Raise my arms above my head and say my name to make sure I’m not having stroke. I’m good. 7:55 Judge all parents just dropping their kids off and not walking them in. They for sure don’t even love their kids. 8:00 We’re here. Kids are excited. I’m itching with hives and dizzy and might throw up. 8:10 Johnjohn and Annabelle walk to their class. Trying my hardest not to rock back and forth and scream their names (AAAADRIAAAAN i.e. Rocky.) 9:30 Crying at grocery store. Not sure if it’s the first day of school doing it or if I just hate grocery shopping that much. 9:45 Think about getting life size tattoo of kids on my back. Scratch that idea. 10:00 Check news to make sure there are no local school shooting, fires, abductions or gang riots .… or sink hole collapses …or localized rapture. 11:00 Should I do another background check on all the staff and teachers again in case it has changed since last night? 11:30 Blare Mariah Carey’s “Can’t Live if Living is Without You” and hit repeat. It’s REEEEALLY helping things. Noon Look for that one Valium I had left over from that surgery 10 years ago. 12:15 Maybe I’ll go to the humane society and adopt 20 cats! 12:45 Google parental/child codependency. Sounds oddly familiar. 1:00 Check the news again. 1:15 Drive past school ... Just to be close to them. 1:30 Decide to wear black throughout the month of August in honor of my lost time with my schnookie pies. 1:45 Apply for every open position at the kids’ school. 2:00 Question my mental stability when attempting to pick up and hug on random child in TJ Maxx to fill my child void. 2:15 See if the kid’s walkie talkies work that I hid in their backpacks to whisper sweet nothings to them throughout the day. 2:30 Going to sit in pick up line 3:00 I see my kids. “BABIES! MAMA’S HERE!. Everything is going to be just fine” .... I decide not to yell that. Can’t get to them yet. Heart racing. Dear heavens I hope they remember me. 3:15 Sweet baby Jesus. They’re in my arms again ... but I just realized we have to do this all over again tomorrow. Crap. As parents we strive daily to nurture independence and self confidence within our children, only to swiftly discover the bitter sweet victory of knowing we’ve succeeded. Here’s to all the parents embarking on your next journey in parenthood, big or small. May the tears (theirs and yours) be few and your days be blessed. Disclosure: No children, animals, strangers or public buildings were harmed during the account of this day.

Marissa Brown is a lover of coffee, oversized domestic animals, laughter, God, gummy bears, their 6 year old son in baseball pants, running, her exceptionally attractive husband, weed eating, James Taylor, their beautiful daughter’s smile, cooking, and always being right.



I admit, I have a tremendous sex drive. My boyfriend lives forty miles away.


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They elected me Miss Phonograph Record of 1966. They discovered my measurements were 33 1/2, 45, 78.


Burt Burt Reynolds Reynolds once once asked asked me me out. out. II was was in in his his room. room.

The only parts left of my original body are my elbows.



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Flair • 2015 • July/August/September • 19

From Book Worm to “Juice Lady”

A Life-Changing Leap of Faith Most young women go from “crayons to perfume,” but what about going from “books to juice?” Just ask WKU alumnus Natalie Boddeker, whose life (and longtime career as a Barnes & Noble book store manager) was changed by the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. The documentary chronicles Australian Joe Cross’ transformation of his 310-pound body by going on a 60-day juice fast while traveling across the United States. “It cured him of all his issues,” Natalie says. “He was completely off all his medications for his chronic autoimmune disease, and he felt so much better.” Inspired by Cross’ end results, Natalie assembled an unopened juicer, a gift from her mother-in-law, and did a similar fast; it changed her life, too, so she set about telling others about the benefits of juicing through local seminars. At first, she (and former business partner Tonia Johns) just provided juice to family and friends. Later, she debuted her company — Zest! Juice for Life. “Leaving Barnes & Noble was terrifying,” Natalie remembers, “because I’ve always had the safety net of a corporation. There was always a number to call if you messed something up. Now there is no number. It’s just me, so I really have to be cautious with decisions, but although I go to work every day, it never feels like a job!” On their first weekend of sales, they sold out in two hours. “It was more than we ever dreamed it could be,” she adds. On the second Saturday, she doubled the amount of what was made the first time to 200 bottles and sold out again. She makes the juice each week. It’s important to sell quickly to maintain freshness. The juice can keep in the refrigerator for three days or in the freezer for a few weeks. She uses as much local produce as possible, such as apples from Jackson’s Orchard and local greens from Plano Produce, Hickory Lane Farms, and Beechmont Farm. After running through multiple home juicers, she invested $20,000 in a giant, 500-pound cold press juicer — the Goodnature X-1, nicknamed “Gordy” — that squeezes virtually every usable drop out of the fruits and vegetables. Coming up with the various juices she sells — such as Kale Yeah, Apple Orchard, Kickin’ Carrot, and Happy Beet — was the result of a lot of trial and error. “I drank a lot of nasty juice,” Natalie remembers. Go-Go Green is one of the most popular juices. It contains kale, romaine, pineapple, green apples, and cucumbers. “We currently have 14 different blends of juice and nut milks,” says Natalie. The juices are now sold individually (or at a discount in kits for fasting) at the Community Farmers Market on Nashville Road on Tuesday from 2:00-6:00pm and Saturday from 8:00am-1:00pm and also on Saturdays at the Bounty of the Barrens market in Glasgow. She has pickups from her certified kitchen, too. Her next dream is “to have a shop where customers can get our juice seven days a week.”




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Flair • 2015 • July/August/September • 21

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22 • Flair • 2015 • July/August/September

Mark Whitley is a woodworking artist who captures the energy and movement of a living tree. He transforms rough timber into silky smooth furniture with a perfect balance of symmetry and design that will last for generations. This talented artist grew up in Hydro, Kentucky, a tiny community on the Warren County-Barren County line. After graduating from Warren East High School, Mark packed a bag and went to Southern California to attend Chapman University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Peace Studies in 1998. His original plan of becoming a college professor didn’t seem right, so he headed back to Kentucky to find another path. In 2000, Mark opened a small woodworking shop in the back of his dad’s hardware store in Smith’s Grove. Woodworking was a natural for Mark, who grew up watching (and occasionally helping) his dad who, for a while, was a cabinetmaker. By 2003, Mark had settled into his new path of furniture making. He secured a loan, bought nine acres, and started building his A-Frame home with a woodworking shop in the walkout lower level. That same year, Mark discovered a book, The Impractical Cabinet-Maker, by James Krenov. Mark remembers, “It was an event that would forever change the way I approached work and the way I perceived furniture design and building.”

Sir-PRIZE... “The book’s content presented a whole different style of woodworking: slow, intentional--treating wood with reverence, creating furniture that has the ‘fingerprint’ of the craftsman on it. What was a woodworking shop became a studio, and handcrafted furniture became art! No one was more surprised than me!” For 15 years, Mark has created luxury furnishings for spaces all over the country. His furniture art is a full-time endeavor. The process of creating each custom piece becomes all-consuming. He says, “Designing furniture is like writing a song. First there is a spark of inspiration. Inspiration leads to concept. Concept leads to refinement.” Mark meets with a client to determine the function and space for the piece he or she wants. He does a rough sketch to clarify the design esthetic, and then he starts the search for the proper wood. Only the finest quality solid wood is used. Then the heavy, dusty, just plain hard work begins: preparing the lumber for design. Mark works within the rules of the wood establishing the details. Slowly and lovingly, the vision becomes a spectacular heirloom with a beautiful, silky finish. Mark’s signature design is rooted in mid-century Danish furniture. “The art of furniture design is in seeing and creating the balance of the piece, from the raw wood to the hand-crafted handles,” he says. Mark’s is the only studio in this region that offers furniture that is one of a kind, each one a piece of art. Mark lives with his wife, son, and big golden retriever in a self-built home in the Merry Oaks community near Smiths Grove. To see a full array of his furniture art, visit www.mwhitley.com.

art: 1. creative activity concerned with the production of imaginative designs, sounds, or ideas.

By Mary A. Barnes Recently, I experienced a flashback. Couple that with a newspaper article I had just read about a young girl committing suicide because of school bullying, and I guess you could say that my mind was ripe for the memories of this experience. I was 12 years old and in the eighth grade. The inner-city school that I attended was in a rough, impoverished part of Nashville. Even in the 1960’s, many of the children were from broken homes with little parental supervision. I had begun to run with a rowdy, vandalizing, shoplifting group of girls. Finally, my upbringing kicked in, and I chose to stay at home and away from these girls. Some of them said I was just chicken, afraid of getting caught. Whatever the motivation, it is a decision that I have always been glad that I made. Believe me, though, they did not make it easy for me. Maybe they felt rejected by me. I know they perceived that I thought I had become better than they were. Fortunately, there were two other girls who had always been kind to everyone and were accepted by all. They befriended and encouraged me to make new friends. On New Year’s Eve, a Friday night, I found myself at the lowest point in my young life. The prospect of returning to school after the holiday seemed too much. I couldn’t stop crying or see any reason to keep living in that emotional pit. Loud music blocked my parents from hearing my outburst, and, as the hour got later, curling up on the floor on the far side of my bed gave me privacy. As a last resort, this heartbroken little girl began to pour out her hurt and fears in prayer. I have no idea how long I knelt

beside my bed, but I do know that I came through on the other side, the side that wanted to live, that believed the future could be better. Don’t laugh; just remember how significant the dreams of an adolescent can be; one of my resolutions for the new year was to stop eating lunch and save my money hoping that by the time I graduated from school I would have enough to travel to England, where most of the popular music originated in that decade. On Saturday, I phoned Sandy, the girl from my school. I asked her to meet me the next day at the side entrance to the church so that I would not have to enter alone. Just this willing step from her made so much difference. Sandy’s small action helped me take a huge step. Did the bullies go away? No, but they were less important for a while. By the end of the school year, I had saved $60.00, though going to London was losing its appeal. Through the years, I’ve moved away and lost touch with my childhood schoolmates, but I’ve often remembered them. Now, I also think about this generation of young people who are living in the moment when embarrassing things are electronically and immediately being shared with their peers. Too, I hope that we adults will find ways to curtail these unacceptable uses of electronic devices. Mary Ann Barnes resides with her husband Eugene in Smiths Grove, Kentucky.

F AIR S p o t lig h t o n

Erin Dolan is a Service Certified Banker at the Louisville Road branch of South Central Bank. Erin started her banking career at South Central Bank in 2008, working part-time as a teller. Erin is originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and moved to Bowling Green in 2003. She attended Greenwood High School, graduating in 2005 and later attended Western Kentucky University. Erin graduated from Daymar College in 2011 where she

obtained her degree in Accounting. Erin is an alumnae member of Omega Phi Alpha sorority and she is an active member of the Bowling Green Athletic Club. Erin attends Living Hope Baptist Church. Erin is just one of the many friendly faces you will see at South Central Bank. Stop in and see her to find out about all the great products South Central Bank offers.



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To advertise call Lana or Belinda at 270.842.3314 Flair • 2015 • July/August/September • 25

The Naughty Belle Cocktail:

How Ladies Who Lunch Drink Bourbon

The Naughty Belle Cocktail

Ah, The South. Where the women are elegant, the peaches are juicy and the booze is Bourbon. Let a Southern Belle loose in the pantry and she might very well develop this cocktail. It’s strong balanced with sweet, homegrown, and very easy to love. Just like a Southern woman.

• 1.5 oz. bourbon • 1 canned peach half, preferably home-canned • 1 oz peach syrup, from canned peaches • .5 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker or mason jar filled with crushed ice. Muddle the heck out of the cocktail components to break up the peaches into slurpable-sized pieces. Serve in a tall glass (or mason jar!), topping up with crushed ice as needed. Try to channel the self-restraint of your inner debutant and don’t slurp down four of these babies in a row. They pack more punch than they let on.

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