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Shopping pp g Music Home Travel Law Health Medical I Ellis County Living Magazine


November-December 2010/

This Could Be YOU!


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Top It Off 12 Paring Down a Closet 14

L+S 8



New Year’s Party 18 Happy Holiday Cocktails 20 Holiday Gifts 22 Holiday Decorations 24 Personalize the Holidays 26



Life & Style Before They’re Movies 29 Kitchen Staples 30 ACL Wrap-Up 32 Helping Hands 34 Hunting Season is Upon Us 36





Home & Garden Continuing a Car Lover’s Haven 39 Holidays and Hospitality 40 A Kitchen Renovation 42 November and December Plants 44 Clear It Out 45

Professional The Passage 47 Tax Updates 48 Simplified Probate in Texas 50 How the 2010 Elections Could Affect Your Returns 52

Medical ‘Tis the Season for Merriment and Mishaps 56 Woman to Woman 58 Forgotten Fluoride 60 Flu Vaccine FAQs 62 Celebrating Separately 66



MAGAZINE Volume 6 Issue 6 Cindy Camp Publisher Jennifer Kemp Art Director Kate McClendon Executive Editor Deborah Tilson Jennifer Thornhill Advertising Meagan Camp Online Editor

Contributing Writers Melinda Hines Diane Johnson Collard Melinda Kocian Jacob A. Hale Mark Singleton Dr. Katherine Donaldson, Psy. D. Cindy Burch Special Thanks to Marie Q Photography

Ellis County Living Magazine is published bi-monthly by Ellis County Living Publications, Inc. using only environmentally friendly ink. Copyright 2010, Ellis County Living Publications All rights reserved. For advertising information, please contact Ellis County Living Magazine at 972.935.0938 or Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

We are proud members of the Waxahachie, Ennis, Midlothian, Red Oak, DeSoto and Cedar Hill Chambers of Commerce. No portion of Ellis County Living Magazine shall be reprinted in any other publication without permission. The views expressed herein should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your physician.

In the past six years of bringing Living Magazine into your home, I’ve strived to showcase people and places in our neighborhood. As our staff begins to focus on the January/February Home of 2011, it’s easy to say they’ve got it! You will love the home we’ve chosen so far. In this issue we’ve got two before-and-after home remodels, holiday fashion trends that you can find in stores today, and Kate McClendon and Jennifer Kemp show you their New Year’s Eve party ideas. In the next two months I’ll be celebrating the end 2010 and the beginning of 2011, which is looking very promising. This month, downtown Waxahachie is preparing for the Candlelight Tour with ice skating and Ennis has its Celebration of Lights. Next year, CASA of Ellis County is hosting its first Valentine Gala. We wish you and your family love, hope and joy during this holiday season! -Cindy Camp, publisher

Jennifer is the art director for Ellis County Living Magazine. A graduate of the University of Texas, she has a love for all things Longhorn! She has a perfectionist work ethic and works around the clock to make sure the magazine maintains its high design standard. While ad design and page design are two very different worlds, her charming and positive nature keeps the two sides of magazine production working well together. You can send questions or comments to

Kate is the editor of Living Magazine. She grew up in Waxahachie and graduated from Baylor University in 2006 as a journalism major and studio art minor. Kate loves all aspects of the writing and editing process and has writing experience for multiple mediums. In her spare time, Kate enjoys being with her friends, family and two dogs. If you have any story ideas, comments, questions or concerns, send her an e-mail at

Deborah is working in advertising, focusing on Cedar Hill, Red Oak, Ovilla, Midlothian and corporate accounts in the Metroplex. Her passion for relationship building and selling a quality product has led her to a career with Living Magazine. When not working at the magazine, Deborah works as a professional organizer. She loves football and is an avid Redskins fan. She enjoys spending time with her family and supporting her daughter, Kelsey, in her many activities. Contact her at Jennifer is a Waxahachie native and the proudest member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2005. She has relocated back to Ellis County after years directing marketing initiatives in the family business. Jennifer has created several digital advertising programs for the magazine’s partner company, ECL Media Group and she is now managing magazine ad sales for Waxahachie and Ennis as well. Jennifer’s hobbies include traveling, photography, and spending time with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Contact her at

Guarantee you’ll receive Ellis County Living Magazine by subscribing today! Go to and click on “subscriptions.” Staff photos by Marie Q Photography Cover photo provided by Marie Q Photography • NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2010



Edit or’s Note: Happy holidays! This is my favorite time of year and I know a lot of you feel the same way. In this issue, you’ll find some of the best decorations and gifts from local stores, recipes for holiday cocktails, family celebration ideas and tips for holiday hospitality. Jennifer and I also staged a New Year’s Eve cocktail party, so you’ll be able to see exactly what we did and how you can incorporate some of our ideas into your next get-together. We’re also gearing up for our next issue—the big Home of the Year issue. We love all things that have to do with the home (so much so that we’ve included two before-and-after articles...who doesn’t love those?) and we know that our main pick for the January/February issue is a great one. We’re also thinking of featuring bits from a few other local homes, so if you have suggestions, send me an e-mail at There’s no shortage of things to do this holiday season, so be sure to check out a few of the events on the right side of the page. I always get a group of friends together to do the Candlelight Tour of Homes and it’s something we look forward to all year. But any of the Around Town activities will definitely get you in the holiday spirit! I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday season and a great beginning to 2011!

AROUND TOWN WAXAHACHIE WWII WEEKEND From Friday, Nov. 12 through Sunday, Nov. 14, come to downtown Waxahachie to experience something of what life may have been like for a small town during WWII. There will be a veteran’s ceremony at the Civic Center at 9 a.m. on Saturday and a veteran’s memorial ceremony on Sunday. There’s also a free USO-style show at the Texas Theater on Saturday night. COOKBOOK SALE AND GIFT SHOW The Waxahachie Junior Service League will have a cookbook sale on Nov. 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Nov. 21 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Briarpatch #2. The cookbook will also be for sale at the Foster Home during the first weekend of the Candlelight Tour, and also at the annual Christmas Market & Gift Show at the Civic Center on Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CANDLELIGHT HOME TOUR The 2010 Candlelight Home Tour begins the weekend of Nov. 26-28 and continues for the two following weekends. Come out to see beautiful new and historic homes decorated for the holidays. Tickets are $12 per weekend if bought before Nov. 12. COMMUNITY TREE LIGHTING On Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m., come out to the Courthouse Square to celebrate the holidays with a community tree lighting. Entertainment for all ages will be available and be sure to stay for a Christmas movie at After Hours Improv at 7:30 p.m.

BETHLEHEM REVISITED The annual trip back in time will take place this year during the weekends of Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12 from 6 to 9 p.m. behind the Central Presbyterian Church on College Street. Performances are repeated every 30 minutes and admission is free. MIDLOTHIAN STATE OF THE COUNTY ADDRESS Judge Carol Bush will be the guest speaker at the next membership luncheon Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 11:30 a.m. at the Midlothian Conference Center to give a “State of the County” address. Reservations made by Nov. 8 are $15; or $20 at the door. Please contact the Chamber for more information. RED OAK CHRISTMAS EVENT AND PARADE The Red Oak Parks & Recreation will be hosting the Annual Christmas Event and Parade on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Red Oak Municipal Center. Check the Chamber website for more information. ENNIS PARADE AND CELEBRATION OF LIGHTS Come out on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. to see the Parade of Lights, sponsored by the Ennis Chamber of Commerce. During the month of December, stroll brick streets for Holiday shopping the oldfashioned way—one store at a time. Storefronts will be decorated and lit up for the holiday season. You’re sure to find the perfect gift!

For all local events and updates on what is happening in our area, visit Do you have an event that you want everyone to know about? Send an e-mail to:






TOP IT OFF COMPLETE YOUR WINTER LOOK WITH A FEW HOT ACCESSORIES.. Red pea coat by giacca at Belk, $240 • Red and gold necklace by Temple St. Clair for Target at Target, $39.99 • Silver bracelet trio at Pistols & Pearls, $28 • Colorful scarf at Briarpatch, $13.95 • Colorful stone ring at Pistols & Pearls, $200 • Four-strand necklace at Briarpatch, $17.95 • Green plaid trench coat by L.A. Kitty at Belk, $44 • Buffalo nickel earrings at Pistols & Pearls, $50 • Suede booties by Mossimo at Target, $29.99 • Flower headband at Pistols & Pearls, $16





DAZZLING Sequin flower clutch by Ladybug at Briarpatch, $32.95 • Black with polka dot ruffle coat by ambition at Belk, $33.99 • Black and gray flower necklace and earring set at Briarpatch, $19.95 • Black jacket with ruffle collar at Pistols & Pearls, $58 • Silver oval bracelet by New Directions at Belk, $24 • Gray scarf by Converse One Star at Target, $14.99 • Black boots by Mossimo at Target, $34.99 • Gold and red ring by Temple St. Clair for Target at Target, $29.99 • Gold earrings by Temple St. Clair for Target at Target, $29.99 NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2010





Do you dread peeking into your closet in the mornings to find something to wear? Do you need space for winter clothes or possible Christmas gifts? Or maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions is to have a clutter-free closet? Well, here are some tips for clearing out what you don’t wear so you can have a neat, organized and simple closet.

DON’T GET TOO PERSONAL. Distance yourself from the item. Sure, seeing something may bring back a memory, but you’ll always have the memory—you don’t need a piece of clothing to remind you. If you do, you’ll keep having a closet full of unusable stuff.

DON’T SAVE SOMETHING. Are you keeping pieces from years ago because you know you’re going to lose 10 pounds and be able to fit into it again? That’s only setting yourself up for depression. When you lose those 10 pounds are you really going to wear it or will it be outdated? And won’t you want to celebrate your victory by buying something new? FIX WHAT’S FIXABLE. If it needs work, take it to a tailor. If it has a stain, take it to the dry cleaners. If the stain won’t come out or if something just will not fit, it’s time to say goodbye and let it go.


Here are some guidelines from The Lucky Shopping Manual to help you clear out your closet. When you pull out an item, ask yourself:


If the pieces you’re parting with are clean and in good condition, you can… • Donate. There are many thrift stores and clothing banks in the area, like Manna House and Heaven’s Attic in Midlothian, Helping Hands in Ennis, the Baylor Auxiliary Thrift Store in Waxahachie and many others, including local churches. Ask around to see where friends, family members and neighbors have donated clothes in the past. • Sell. If you’re planning a garage sale, that’s the perfect spot to unload some clothes. If not, try eBay or local consignment stores and Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet in the metroplex.



• • • •

Does it flatter my shape? Does it fit perfectly or is it fixable? Is it the right color for me? Has it been worn in the last two years?

If you can answer “yes” to all four questions for an item, that piece can stay. And remember, don’t think about what you’re losing, think about the space you’re gaining!

GO ONE STEP FURTHER. • Add a bright paint color to the walls of your closet for a subtle pick-me-up. • Buy cute bins for closet shelves to hold various items like scarves, socks, camisoles and T-shirts. Label each bin to cut back on searching time. • Add a pegboard on the closet door or inside wall of the closet to hold necklaces and earrings in an easy-to-see way. Put a small mirror next to the board so you can see how the accessories look.

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H Holiday Section Get out your coats, boots and home decorations, it’s the time of year we all love—the holidays! We have featured the best gifts and decor from local stores, along with some tips from Melinda Hines for bringing the family together when it comes to gift giving.

And we haven’t just focused on Christmas. We’ve set the scene for the perfect New Year’s cocktail party and have included everything you need to know to recreate it for yourself!



by Kate McClendon



by Kate McClendon

by Melinda Hines






New Year’s Eve Cocktail Party BY KATE MCCLENDON

TISSUE PAPER POM POMS Want a quick, easy and cheap decoration that packs a big punch? Gather tissue paper in the colors of your color scheme, scissors and strong but thin string or wire and follow these simple steps:

1. Cut 10 to 12 sheets of tissue paper into a square of any size you’d like and begin making one-inchwide accordion folds.

2. Cut a small piece of your string or wire and tie around the middle of the folded tissue paper. Tie a longer piece of string (enough to hang from your ceiling) around the small piece.

3. Cut the ends of the tissue paper into rounded or pointed shapes, making sure to cut down a ways on the sides.


Begin pulling apart the tissue paper from the middle, one sheet at a time.

During the holiday months, many people focus on Christmas and all the parties that revolve around it. But what about that holiday that falls just a week after all the Christmas chaos? Yes, New Year’s parties can be just as fun and may be a little more laid-back than some of the earlier holiday get-togethers. If you’re planning to host a New Year’s Eve party, here is everything you need to make it wonderful.

1. SET THE DATE AND GUEST LIST. Decide who you want to invite and don’t forget about allowing dates. Since some of the New Year’s fun revolves around the midnight kiss, make sure people know they can bring a guest. Next, decide on a color scheme and carry it out with your invitations. These will be the first things guests see and will set the tone for the party. Everyone loves to dress up every now and then, so make sure the invitations clearly say “cocktail party” so people know what to wear.

2. DECIDE ON THE MENU AND BUDGET. It’s sometimes fun to take on a huge project, but usually these projects end up leaving you stressed out. So, choose some simple things to make, preferably something you’ve made before. Decide how much you want to spend for food, drinks and decorations. One thing to keep you from becoming overwhelmed could be to outsource some of the food or décor. Why not buy a store-bought cake? Or have a florist create a centerpiece or two?

3. WORK ON DECORATIONS. Don’t wait until the night before to make all the decorations and decide how tables will be set. Sketch out some ideas ahead of time and decide which you like best. Be sure to incorporate the invitation’s color scheme into your décor.


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For a cheap and simple decoration, cover a solid tablecloth with strips of colorful ribbon laid out in a pattern. After working on the decorations, think about party favors for your guests. Why not tie in the favors with the holiday by giving them personalized sacks filled with black-eyed peas?

Love our menu? Want similar invitations or recipe cards? Go to to print copies for yourself!

PLAN IT OUT FOUR WEEKS BEFORE—decide on guest list and send out invitations.

THREE WEEKS BEFORE—decide on a menu. Doing it this far in advance will give you time to change your mind if you need to. TWO WEEKS BEFORE—create decorations and decide on accessories. ONE-AND-A-HALF WEEKS BEFORE—pick out what you’re wearing. This will save you last-minute whatam-I-wearing stress. THREE DAYS BEFORE—shop for your groceries. TWO DAYS BEFORE—clean house. DAY BEFORE—prep food and cook what you can. MORNING OF—clean up anything; cook what you can. THREE HOURS BEFORE—set tables. TWO HOURS BEFORE—get dressed and ready. HALF-HOUR BEFORE—cook the rest of what you have. Ask early arrivers to help you with small tasks—most people don’t want to stand around awkwardly, so don’t feel bad asking them to do something simple. Go over everything and make sure the food is ready. Relax and have fun!

BLUE CHEESE AND PEAR BRUSCHETTA 2 ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian flat leaf parsley 2 ounces sharp crumbly blue cheese (about 1/3 cup crumbled) 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil Freshly ground black pepper 1 baguette (12-inches), cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds 8 ounces mascarpone cheese 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. Rinse the pears but don’t peel them. Dice the pears and place in a small bowl. Sprinkle pears with lemon juice and toss. Add the parsley, blue cheese and oil and toss gently and thoroughly. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Set aside. (The topping can be prepared up to this point a few hours ahead. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.) 2. Preheat the broiler. Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler until lightly browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side. 3. Spread each toasted round with a teaspoon of mascarpone. Top with a generous tablespoon of the diced pear mixture, mounding it up high and pressing it firmly. Finish each one with a sprinkling of walnuts and serve. Makes 24 servings. Adapted from recipe on






Whether you’re attending a holiday party or hosting one this year, be sure you’re ready with a homemade holiday cocktail! These recipes are some of our Facebook fans’ favorites.


EGGNOG 6 eggs 2 extra egg yolks 4 cups whole milk 3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg 1 cup bourbon

Start by whisking the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt in a large pan until well blended. Keep on whisking while you slowly pour in the milk until it is completely mixed in. Next, set the pan on your stove’s burner and turn it to the lowest possible setting. Continuously whisk ingredients for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture reaches 160ºF and will coat the underside of a spoon. Next, remove the mixture from heat and strain it into a largesized bowl, making sure to get out any pieces of cooked egg. Now stir in the bourbon, vanilla and nutmeg, and transfer your mixture to a covered dish. Refrigerate the mix for at least 4 hours before proceeding. Finally, when you’re ready to serve your eggnog, grab the heavy cream and whip it well. Now just fold in the chilled mix, pour, serve and enjoy! Makes 14 servings. Recipe courtesy of

ROSEMARY POMEGRANATE CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS 1/4 cup water 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves 1/2 cup pomegranate juice 2 cups Champagne Combine 1/4 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add rosemary; let stand 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Pour 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice and 1 tablespoon rosemary syrup into 4 Champagne glasses. Top each serving with 1/2 cup Champagne. Serve immediately. -Casey Tolles Ballard




HOT APPLE CIDER BRANDY 2 oz. whiskey or apple brandy hot apple cider lemon wedge for garnish cinnamon stick for garnish 2-3 whole cloves for garnish Coat the bottom of an Irish coffee glass with honey. Add the whiskey or apple brandy. Fill with hot apple cider and stir well. Garnish with the lemon, cinnamon stick and cloves. Recipe courtesy of

POINSETTIA Fill a Champagne flute with half cranberry juice and half Champagne. Add a peppermint (the old soft, round kind) for garnish. -Shawna White Jill Hughes Brown makes this drink with vodka instead of Champagne and adds a dash of Grand Marnier to smooth out the cranberry.

HOT GERMAN MULLED WINE 1 bottle of dry red wine (750 ml) 1 lemon 2 sticks of cinnamon 3 cloves 3 tablespoons of sugar some cardamom (or ginger) Heat the red wine in a pot (don’t boil). Cut the lemon into slices and add to the wine. Then add the cinnamon, cloves, sugar and a little cardamom (to taste). Heat everything for about 5 minutes—do not boil—and let stand for about an hour. Before serving, reheat and strain. Serve in pre-warmed glasses or mugs. Serves 2-3. Recipe courtesy of

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Holiday Gifts! It’s that time again—time to get started on your Christmas gift shopping. We’ve looked around Ellis County and found the perfect gifts from local stores to put on your list this year. Hopefully our picks will help you decide what to get your friends and family.

Gifts Zoobie Petss 3 in 1: toy / pillow / blanket et

Texas Ticklebugz Go to our website to see all the different Zoobies 5153 W. Hwy. 34 • Ennis, Texas 214.200.5051

Busy B Bakery Decorative Gold Deer at Bella Misty, $299.99

Bella Misty Accessories for not only your home but for you as well! 105 S. College St • Waxahachie • 972.923.9449

Soap Goddess Christmas Clean Everyone on your gift list will LOVE E receiving artisan handmade soap, p, so be sure to bring some “bubbly” y” to all your holiday gatherings!

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Personalize the Holidays Showing someone that you care doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition this holiday season. Creating craft projects is normally inexpensive and will save you countless hours of trying to come up with the perfect gift for that special someone. Homemade gift ideas are only as limited as your imagination. So try something different this year, gather around the table and create gifts that will surely be treasured for years to come. Creating crafts is a great way for children to share in the giving process and help them understand that presents don’t just magically appear under the tree as well. Unfortunately, many of our children look at the holidays as the perfect opportunity to get all those must-have toys that they’ve seen on TV and in the stores. However, they can learn to enjoy giving as much as receiving. In addition, shopping for craft supplies will not only teach your children an important lesson about money, but it will remind them that Christmas is not all about them. Doing the decorating, creating, baking and wrapping as a family proves the old theory that more hands make light work and the time spent together is a bonus. SENTIMENTAL REASONS • Grandparents would love to receive

a scrapbooked photo album of the little ones, complete with photos. • Copy family pictures on transparencies and cut to fit inside clear glass ornament balls. • Gather all those old photos and compile them on a DVD with background music to create a new version of the old home movie or scan them all on a photo CD for a gift that will last for years to come. PRACTICAL AND PERSONAL • Create a calendar of your children dressed for each month or season to give as gifts. • Create a personalized organizer complete with special days listed, including birthdays and anniversaries. ONE-OF-A-KIND • Creating a family collage of pictures with the cousins or the grandparents throughout the year will stir memories which will last much longer than an expensive trinket or gift card. • Create a unique wall display with art painted on different sizes of canvases. • Give the gift of encouragement by placing notes about all the things you love about the recipient in a special handmade stocking. TUMMY LOVIN’ • Gifts in a jar like brownie, cookie or hot chocolate mixes are easy to

BY MELINDA HINES make and a yummy gift to receive. • Use mini-sized loaf pans to create tasty quick breads such as banana or pumpkin. • Package different kinds of homemade popcorn like cheese, cinnamon and white chocolate in pretty bags and place in a fun serving bowl. HOBBY HOOPLA • For the athlete, make them something that might be useful when at play. How about a personalized towel or bag with their initials or a special decal designed just for them? • For the musician, make organizers of all shapes and sizes using boxes or other containers to hold CDs or personalize folders for their music. Use stamps or sponges dipped in paint or decoupage with sheet music or CD covers. WRAP IT UP • Wrapping your gift can be just as personal when the kids decorate butcher paper with their handprints or footprints in red or green paint. • For a quick and versatile method, use cookie cutters or sponges to decorate plain paper bags or boxes. • Enlarged photocopies of favorite pictures are great for wrapping small packages.

Melinda Hines is a wife, mom, author, speaker, teacher and proud Waxahachie resident. Her book, “Operation Mom: Winning the Mommy Wars,” is available on her website,, and at Hastings and To get Melinda’s daily devotional, send her an e-mail at




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L+S LIFE + STYLE Next year looks like it will be a big year for movies, and we have reviewed some of the books that will be adapted for the big screen. We also have your kitchen staples covered and our rundown of our big weekend in Austin at the 2010 Austin City Limits Festival. You’ll also get to know another one of our local non-profit organizations, Helping Hands in Ennis. With the holiday season coming up, now is a perfect time to donate clothes or food. Also, if you’re a hunter, page 36 is just for you!

In This Section: Before They’re Movies 29

Helping Hands 34

by Kate McClendon

by Kate McClendon

Kitchen Staples 30

Hunting Season is Upon Us 36

by Meagan Camp

by Terry Hillger

ACL Wrap-Up 32 by Kate McClendon





BEFORE THEY’RE MOVIES… Read these books before they’re adapted for the big screen next year. That way you can say, “I thought the book was better,” and really mean it.

ONE DAY By David Nicholls Vintage “One Day” tells the story of two people, Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley, who meet on the day of their college graduation, July 15, 1988, and grow up in very different ways. The book gives us a glimpse into their relationship and their lives, from the hopeful fresh-out-of-college stage to the uncertain late 20s and early 30s, on July 15 of each year for 16 years. I loved the way the story was told and ended up rooting for both of the characters, even though they went through some rough times. Anne Hathaway is set to play Emma Morley and Jim Sturgiss is set to play Dexter Mayhew in the movie version. I’m excited to see how the characters will change (especially their clothing and style) during the time period from 1988 to 2004.

IMPORTANT ARTIFACTS AND PERSONAL PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF LENORE DOOLAN AND HAROLD MORRIS, INCLUDING BOOKS, STREET FASHION, AND JEWELRY By Leanne Shapton Sarah Crichton Books This book, “Important Artifacts” for short, chronicles the length of a relationship between Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris through various items pictured in an auction-style catalog. I’m not sure how this book is going to be adapted into a movie, but I’m excited to see how the director and actors do it. Also, Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman have been cast as Harold and Lenore, so I’m sure it will be great.

THE EMPEROR’S CHILDREN By Claire Messud Vintage Keira Knightley, Michelle Williams, Eric Bana and Richard Gere are set to star in this story of three college friends on the verge of turning 30 in pre- and post-September 11 New York City. The three main friends, Marina, Julius and Danielle, face different personal and professional ups and downs that put strains on their friendship. Indie director Noah Baumbach is doing the screenplay and the directing, so it’s destined to be a good film.

THE GIVER By Lois Lowry Delacorte Books for Young Readers While on the reading list for many students, “The Giver” hasn’t been made into a movie before now. The story illustrates a “utopian” society where everyone is basically the same, their professions are chosen for them and emotion is stifled. Jonas, a 12-year-old boy is chosen to be the new Receiver of Memories, meaning that he can see memories of things eliminated from his community’s world, like sadness, violence, love and joy. As of right now, Jeff Bridges and Dustin Hoffman are slated to star in the movie version. BY KATE MCCLENDON, STAFF BOOK-A-HOLIC NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2010





There are no manuals on what you should have in your pantry, right? While there are thousands of cookbooks and kitchen tips out there, very few help you decide what should be your pantry staples. If you’re a newlywed or someone who is just looking to be better prepared for cooking, you are most likely to keep things around that you have always had, but you could be limiting your future cooking plans by not buying out of your comfort zone. The most important thing is to not shop more but shop smart. Replace things when you run out and you’ll always be prepared.

lemon juice causes the milk to curdle a bit when mixed together and left alone for about 30 minutes. Buttermilk is essentially carefully spoiled milk and adds great flavor to baking.


There are about as many types of flour as there are flavors of cupcakes. The most used is all purpose or AP flour, which can be found anywhere and is great for everyday uses. The reason why there are so many types of flour is based on the protein found in flour which, when mixed with liquid, starts to develop gluten. Baking fans use different kinds of flour for different cookies, cakes or muffins. The only difference is in the protein in the flour. Cake flour is used for lighter cakes, cookies and anything that should be described as “fluffy.” Bread flour is used for just that, bread! It’s a more dense flour that is perfect for the crusty bread just out of the oven. Other specialty flours are only worth it if you are looking for a really specific texture in baking. AP flour is a classic and can still be used but if you are looking to experiment and bake smarter, try something new in flour.

The first thing to think about is what kind of salt you use. Why? Because we use salt for flavor and, unless you are baking, you should think about getting the maximum amount of flavor without having to use a lot of it. Iodized salt or table salt is an ultra-refined salt that dissolves easily into food. Since it is so easily incorporated into food you are going to have to use more than is necessary, which is potentially unhealthy. Try Kosher salt, which has a bit of a larger shape and therefore more flavor impact. Stick to regular table salt when you are baking, though— since there is usually not a lot of liquid in baking, the table salt works best.

MILK, CREAM & BUTTERMILK Whether you are making pancakes or pouring it over your cereal, there are many ways that milk and its counterparts are used. So how do you know what to use when and how to substitute if you don’t have a product on hand? Know their purpose! For example, if you’re making buttermilk pancakes but only have regular two-percent milk, think about why the buttermilk is so important. It’s for the tangy, light flavor. To make your own buttermilk, take one cup of regular milk and add one tablespoon of lemon juice. The acid in the




ing. Consider adding a few more tablespoons of whatever liquid you are using (water, milk, etc.) to your mixing bowl if the batter looks too dry.

Do you need light cream but you only have heavy cream? Or are you looking for a way to cut calories? Mix one cup of regular milk and one cup of the heavy cream. The milk has less fat and will thin out the creamy texture of the heavy cream.


Are you curious about using wholewheat flour instead of white flour? It is definitely worth an extra step or two to convert a recipe into a whole-wheat one. Substitute the same amount for each but consider sifting the wholewheat flour once or twice before adding it into your mixing bowl. Another thing to watch for is the dryness in your mix-

THE SCIENCE BEHIND COOKING Whatever your cooking style may be, understanding your ingredients is going to make cooking easier for you. Once you know how each ingredient works toward the final product, then the more freedom you have in the kitchen. For a more in-depth look at cooking and the science behind it, pick up Harold McGee’s “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.” It is a great reference guide on everyday ingredients and how they work when cooked. For a less science-based guide on ingredients and cooking techniques, read Michael Ruhlman’s “Elements of Cooking.” It is an invaluable resource for home cooks who what to know more cooking tricks and tools.

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ACL As it is the festival’s ninth year, they seem to have worked out all the possible kinks. The shuttle transportation from a central downtown location to the park ran very smoothly. After parking downtown, you could be at the park and enjoying music within 20 minutes and without walking.

park also serve soda, beer, wine and sangria. The sangria was a first this year, and was apparently a big hit—it sold out across the park by early Saturday afternoon.

However, cell phone reception and service isn’t the greatest at the park, usually because everyone’s trying to text or call everyone else at the same time. Veteran festival-goers have figured out a way around this—flags. Many attendees bring flags covered in odd items, like a light-up bra, or with something written on them. One flag we saw simply said “That Flag” on it. In the sea of people, if you ever get separated from your group, you can just tell them which flag you’re closest to and meet up quickly.

PETE YORN – After gaining popularity in 2001

If you get hungry while at the festival, don’t worry. Local Austin favorites, like Torchy’s Tacos and Kerbey Lane Café, as well as Fort Worth’s Love Shack, have booths where you can get everything from popcorn to truffled mac & cheese. The many bars throughout the

Now, let’s talk about the music. Some of our favorites of the festival included…

with his first album, musicforthemorningafter, Pet Yorn has sky-rocketed to fame, adding to his ever-growing repertoire a recent duet album with Scarlett Johansson. Though he’s a solo singer-songwriter, his show was full of energy and had people singing along to a wide range of songs, including a few from his justreleased self-titled album.

MONSTERS OF FOLK – This “supergroup” snagged a two-hour time slot in the evening on Saturday at one of the more intimate stages. And during that two-hour period, no one in the crowd was bored. Comprised of Jim James (My Morning Jacket), M. Ward (She & Him, M. Ward) and Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis (both of Bright Eyes), the band played almost all of the songs off their debut album and took



turns singing vocals. I’m so glad I squeezed into the crowd and caught all of their set.

THE NATIONAL – This Brooklyn-based band is touring the world in support of their fifth album, High Violet. Their time slot was in competition with a few other good acts, including Norah Jones, and those trying to get a good spot for the festival headliner, but they still pulled in a huge crowd. In a recent interview, lead singer Matt Berninger said, “With our live show it’s harder to have that intimate sort of an intense connection with an audience when there’s 10,000 people.” He may think it’s harder to do, but he did it very well.

THE EAGLES – As the main headlining act of the festival, The Eagles played an energetic and nostalgic two-hour set that had everyone singing along. They played old stuff, they played new stuff, and they played Don Henley and Joe Walsh solo stuff. All in all it was a great way to end an awesome weekend. Tickets are already available for next year’s festival, so be sure to snatch a three-day pass at www.aclfestival com before they’re sold out!


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OUR Vision

CASA of Ellis County is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to improving the lives of abused and neglected children in our County. CASA recruits, trains and supervises volunteers who are selected to act as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) to be a voice for the child in court. CASA of Ellis County is part of a nationwide organization of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) with 940 programs and 52,000 volunteers nationwide.

CASA Speak Up for Kids 5K When: Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 • 9AM Where: Getzendaner Park, Main & Grand, Waxahachie

Visit our website for more Race Day information

Save the Date! February 12, 2011 at Waxahachie Civic Center. Join us for a Valentine Celebration at the “Share Share The Love the Love” Gala benefiting CASA of Ellis County. The Gala promises to be a wonderful evening of fine dining, entertainment, silent and live auction, and special recognition of the Honorable Bob Carroll as he receives CASA’s first annual Founder’s Award. Please plan to share the night with us as we “Share the Love.”

CASA Of Ellis County 601 Water Street • Waxahachie 972.937.1455 (Office) • Rhodie Rawls - Executive Director

Sudoku is a logic-based number placement puzzle where the objective is to fill the 9x9 grid. Do you have to use arithmetic? No! Nothing has to add up to anything else. Instead, you solve the puzzle with reasoning and logic. Each column, each row and each of the nine 3x3 boxes should contain the digits from 1 to 9, only one time each (that is, exclusively). Find the answers at and click on the Sudoku link. NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2010





“It is the intent to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give water to the thirsty, and welcome strangers as commanded by our Lord, Jesus Christ in the Book of Matthew 25: 34-36,” and that is exactly what Helping Hands of Ennis does.

In 1988, three people noticed there were local community members who had needs but had nowhere to go to receive food or assistance with shelter. They decided to open a food pantry and register for non-profit status. That small food pantry has now become a huge support system for those in need in the community. “It keeps growing,” Judi Hejny, the executive director, said. “On a normal day we would see seven clients. In 2009, especially the summer and on into the winter, we were seeing 20 clients a day. And I think a lot of that was because of the economy. So we were feeding a lot of people for longer and feeding more people than we ever had. We never ran out of food thanks to the community and food drives and the support we have. It’s been awesome.” Helping Hands receives its support from a number of sources. They are a member of the Greater Ennis United Way and are supported by the Emergency Food and Shelter funds. They also receive funds from TXU so they are able to pay their electric bills. They also are a member agency of the North Texas Food Bank, which allows them to obtain food at a very reduced price. For example, for $1, they can buy four meals from the food bank. But community support is one of the biggest helpers to this organization. “Our everyday community donors are so important to us,” Judi said. “Whether they’re donating their clothes, donating their food, going to the grocery store or whether they’re giving us money. It’s all important and it’s all appreciated.” Judi said that many community members are sure to buy extra things on their weekly grocery trips to give to the Helping Hands food pantry.




“That just tells us that we’re uppermost in the minds of the community,” Judi said. “And that’s priceless. You can’t put a value on that.”

will determine if Helping Hands can help them or not.

Judi and the team members at Helping Hands try to make the most of their food donations by putting together meal boxes. Casseroles can always feed multiple people, can be frozen and can last a while. So they try to create boxes with everything a family would need to make a quick and easy casserole. And if they run out of something, all they have to do is ask.

“And we always err on the side of compassion where food is concerned,” Judi said. “There are some times that someone needs help with rent and we sympathize with them but for some reason they don’t qualify and we can’t help them. But we offer them food because first and foremost, we are a food pantry.”

“We have a Facebook page and if I put, “we need spaghetti noodles,” the next day people are bringing us bags of spaghetti noodles,” Judi said.

To keep things running smoothly, Helping Hands always needs volunteers and donations. They also want to be in people’s prayers, especially those of their clients.

In addition to the food pantry, Helping Hands has added a thrift store where people can drop off their clothes, household items and anything else a family in need could use. They have a school program where a counselor at a local school who sees a child in need will let Helping Hands know and Helping Hands will provide that student with clothing items.

“The donations are so important and obviously it’s so nice when someone wants to volunteer because they come and experience what we’re doing and get a heart for what we’re doing. A volunteer is your best billboard,” Judi said.

Last winter, a counselor called Helping Hands because a student was at school the day before a snowfall in flip-flops. Helping Hands was able to outfit him with new shoes that provided protection against the elements.

Throughout the year, people and businesses in the community organize events and food drives to bring money and supplies to Helping Hands. But their main source of funds is Taste of Ennis, which takes place in September. This year’s event was bigger than ever with more than 30 restaurants participating.

And nothing Helping Hands does goes without appreciation. “We know that when [our clients] were here, they were thankful and they’ll keep us in their prayers,” Judi said. “Our goal is to get them back on their feet so they can get on with their lives.” Helping Hands is able to assist people in Alma, Avalon, Bardwell, Bristol, Garrett, Ennis and Palmer. If someone in the service area needs help, they can come to Helping Hands between 8 and 11 a.m., fill out an application and have an interview. Potential clients will need to provide some information like a proof of address, driver’s license or rent agreement, or other documentation to support their crisis. At the interview, Rose Cervantes, the director,

Through the people they help, the volunteers and the people that donate and care about Helping Hands, Judi knows that what they do is special. “I have learned so much from working here and I know this is the best group of people to work. Everyone here has a heart for our mission and does their very best and beyond to get it carried out,” Judi said. “It’s just amazing. It really is an honor to be a part of this.”

If you’d like to volunteer or donate, or if you need assistance, call Helping Hands at 972.875.0218 or visit their location at 604 NE Main Street in Ennis.

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BY TERRY HILLGER This is the time of year that many of you have been waiting for, men and women alike. For the men it is the beginning of hunting season; for the women it is the beginning of getting rid of your husband for a short time. However, there are more and more ladies that hunt now so it is becoming becomes a family affair. At the time of writing this article, dove season has just about passed and by the time of publication the archery season will be well under way. Yes it is getting to be the time of year to make sure your rifle scope is set on zero. I know many of you started your hunting season, not only with dove, but also with antelope, which opens in early September in New Mexico, along with other bordering and northern states. The elk season starts up fairly early also with archery followed by rifle. If you have an interest in hunting for elk in Colorado, don’t forget that most of the early season tags are draw only. You can purchase an over-the-counter elk tag for the late season hunts at a cost of around $500. The mule deer season kicks off around the second week of October, which is the first rifle season and all those tags are draw. I

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know this can get confusing if you are not familiar with all the seasons.

you do not need a huge plot of land, it just needs to be where the big deer roam.

This brings us to our home state, Texas, where there is a wide range of hunting opportunities. One possibility is leasing property for whitetail deer, turkey, hogs and other exotic species. We also have a fair amount of public lands to utilize. National Forest lands are a great place to start hunting, however, make sure that you read and understand all the rules and regulations that apply. I know that Texas has several counties that have a 13-inch minimum on the spread on the antlers of whitetail bucks. The spread is the measurement between the antler beams taken at a right angle. (Straight across the antler beams) Most hunters say that if the antlers are past the tips of the ears when the buck is alert, it is wide enough for a legal harvest. My suggestion is to look at it once and if you have to think about it then do not shoot. I have found in all the hunting I have done that if I see a buck and I drop my field glasses and grab my rifle there is no question about it.

If you don’t have the time it takes to lease se property and/or scout out public land, d, Texas has a multitude of high game fence ce places to hunt whitetail and other exotics. s. There are plenty that are large enoughh to hunt so that you don’t feel like you aree hunting in a pen. Personally, I have huntedd a few of the high fence places, and let me tell you it turns into a hunt really fast. I think the main difference, other than money, is you know you are going to harvest a nice trophy, you just don’t know what it is going to look like.

If you are fortunate enough to own or know someone who owns property in Ellis or Navarro County, you probably will not have to worry about the antler restriction anyway. I hear and see several deer every year that are absolute monsters that are harvested here in our own backyard. I remember back in 2000 when David Krajca harvested the largest free-range non-typical whitetail in the state right here in Ellis County. If my memory is correct, I believe the buck scored 254 3/8 gross B&C 25 points with 24 being scored. This trophy was taken on 150 acres, so it is proof

After you have harvested your trophy, be sure to take good care of the animal and treat it with respect. If you have intentions of having it mounted, take care of the cape as well as possible. I like to tell everyone to be sure and keep it cold and dry. When skinning, make all of your cuts on the back of the legs where the hair comes together and stay away from the brisket area. This will prevent any cuts from being seen. I think to sum it all up, there are hunting opportunities for all of us, young and old alike, we just need to keep the tradition going. If you have a child that takes an interest in the outdoors, by all means take him or her. If you know of a neighbor that has a child, then take them too. If you have any questions about what to do with your trophy, or what to expect from a reputable taxidermy shop, give me a call and I will be glad to assist you. I wish you all a successful hunt this fall and look forward to hearing from you.

Terry Hillger has hunted for most of his life and has been in the taxidermy business for more than 30 years and owns and operates Trophy Taxidermy & Antler Art in Ennis. If you’d like to learn more about hunting whitetail, exotics, antelope, bear, elk and more, visit Trophy Taxidermy & Antler Art or call 972.872.9000.


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HOME & GARDEN To continue with the holiday theme, in this section, you’ll find an article by the designers at Clear Fork Home Design Studio about preparing your home for the holidays. You’ll also find not one, but two beforeand-after articles. And, as always, Melinda Kocian will show you just the plants you need for the November and December months. The next issue will be our annual Home of the Year issue. If you live in or have visited a beautiful, unique home in Ellis County, please send your suggestion our way! Call us at 972.935.0938 or send us an e-mail at

In This Section: Continuing the Car Lover’s Haven 39 by Diane Johnson

Holidays and Hospitality 40 by Andria Moore

A Kitchen Renovation 42 by Andria Moore

November and December Plants 44 by Deborah Tilson

Clear It Out 45 by Deborah Tilson







THE CAR LOVER’S HAVEN Having an outdoor building for utilitarian purposes is not always the most pleasant site in your backyard. However, if you are creative you can have outbuildings that attract a lot of positive attention. In the last issue I introduced you to an old, unsightly storage building that ruined a beautiful backyard view. As you could see from the photos, that building became a great topic of conversation for all who visit the home of Arlyn and Lora Jane Campbell. How many people do you know who have an old 1940s gas station in their backyard? Not many, for sure.

My mind started whirling with ideas. What a great project. I drew a rough sketch of a mural depicting gangsters and ladies of the night, an upright piano with a piano player, poker tables and a cigarette girl. I hired an artist, Karen Ducker, who did a fabulous job of detailing my scribbles and creating our speakeasy to perfection. As we saw the story unfold, we continued to add more and more detail to the project. Lora Jane decided that she wanted the characters to be her family members. She took pictures of some members and found family photos of others, so the artist could get them just right…which she did.

As I promised, this article is going to be talking about another outbuilding on the Campbell property. When the Campbells first saw the property, they were immediately attracted to a large two-story building with a three-car carport that stretched along the grounds behind the house.

Our contractor, Allen McKeever, built shelves for Arlyn’s truck collection and covered the laminate bar with stained plywood to look authentic and old.

Now you might say, why? What could this ugly building be used for? Well, this family collects vintage cars that needed a home. With a little imagination and wall adjustments, this building could become a perfect “car barn.”

The speakeasy and bar area floors were covered in vinyl planks that look like old warehouse wood. The actual showroom floor was covered in an epoxy product that protects the concrete from any oil spillage. It is gray with black and white flecks, so it blends beautifully with the silver, black and white colors of the Campbells’ cars.

On the first floor of this building there was a kitchenette and some broken-up rooms that were used for storage and a shop area. Removing all of the walls would create a huge floor space. More needed to be done to make room for the cars, so the three-car carport was enclosed, the interior wall separating the carport from the storage rooms was removed and more floor space was acquired. Because the Campbells entertain their car clubs regularly, they were in need of a gathering place. The new carriage doors all rise to expose the entire collection, so access and wandering space for guests is perfect. The kitchenette was a very generic bland space, but there was a row of lower cabinets with laminate countertops for storage. There also was a typical cut-out opening between the showroom and the kitchen that was divided by a raised wide bar top. What to do, what to do? How could this fit into the scheme of things? Arlyn’s family had owned a dairy and a dairy stand when he was growing up. Our first thought was to turn it into a ‘40s soda bar with a huge picture of the family dairy as a mural on the back wall. Then someone had a brainstorm—why not turn it into a speakeasy? With the old ‘30s cars and the gas station, it would be perfect and lots of fun.

To incorporate the dairy into the building, Karen painted two separate murals on other walls depicting Arlyn’s family business and cars that he has owned since he was a teenager. Other art throughout the car barn includes pictures of their roadsters and awards they have won through the years with their cars. For a car collector who loves to entertain, this is the place to be. I feel certain this job was a oneof-a-kind opportunity that I will record as another first. We have one more project at the Campbell residence. The upper level of the building we have discussed in this article is currently a very unsightly apartment. Our plan is to transform that space into a Hollywood “glam” apartment of the 1930s. Hopefully, by the next issue this project will be complete. I can’t wait to share it with you.

DIANE JOHNSON COLLARD has been decorating Ellis County for more than 20 years. Contact Diane Johnson Interiors at 972.935.8899 or





Holidays & Hospitality Steaming mugs of cider, crisp autumn air, and the smell of pumpkin spice are a few of my favorite fall things. The colors of fall are rich and inviting: deep plum, pomegranate, cocoa and burnt sienna. Fall also means guests and a plethora of entertaining beyond our regularity. Are you ready? For some it can be absolutely overwhelming to even consider planning a gathering or hosting an event. It’s frankly much easier to iChat, text or e-mail. Let me challenge you to think simple this year. Invite a couple of neighbors in that you see walking by. Take hold of the true concept of hospitality, which means welcoming others. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Martha-Stewart-style event with place cards and gorgeous table settings, although we all enjoy that, too! Keep plenty of paper products on hand for easy entertaining. Most people are simply pleased to be invited and won’t be critiquing your dishes. To get you thinking of holiday gatherings, here are a few ideas to make your home a little more welcoming. The entrance is the first impression. A nice seasonal wreath on the door, clean doormat (minus the muddy soccer cleats and dog toys) and two pots framing either side of the door is a basic formula that can be changed seasonally. Upon entering the home and depending on your space, a nice dresser can be used as a landing area. In order to keep clutter at bay, you actually have to plan for clutter. The top dresser drawer is great for storing the change bowl, keeping cell phones plugged in as well as keeping keys. The remaining drawers are ingenious for storing shoes, hats, umbrellas or whatever your family tends to leave by the door. If you keep the entry free of clutter, or at least stashed regularly

away, you won’t have to be embarrassed about that impromptu drop-in visit. Think of the five senses in your home. My favorite smell, especially for fall, is orange spice. Kirkland’s has great sachets that make your whole house smell wonderful. Tuck one somewhere near the entry or a bathroom. A simmering pot of wassill (see recipe) soothes the senses on any fall or winter day. Another easy trick to be ready for guests is to make up a large batch of cookie dough, such as pumpkin spice cookies, and freeze the dough in balls. Then, simply pop a few in the oven just as guests are arriving. Something to eat is an enthusiastic greeting, whatever the age! The living area is often the gathering spot in a home event. Pay attention to space planning of your furniture. Try not to place a large sofa so its back faces the entrance to the room. You want to discourage a “do not enter” message. Adopt the bin and basket technique for easy storage and quick clutter control. Stylish baskets can hold all kinds of things from toys, remotes, movies and blankets to cozy up with. Candles offer a warm glow and make any environment seem homier, cleaner and more inviting. Three specific spots for candles are: the entryway, kitchen counter and bathroom. It’s nice to have a small lamp or candle on the bath counter to guide guests in without fumbling for a light. During this busy and sometimes frenetic holiday season, don’t forget to carve out a space that’s just yours. Mine is a special rocker I rocked my boys in that I can’t get rid of. This




has become my “girlfriend phone chat” chair. It might be your bathtub (add some candles and a cushy pillow), corner of the guest room for a hobby, or bench in the yard to watch your kids or grandchildren play. Give yourself some place to catch a breath and relax, if only for a moment or two. Often, it takes someone else to take a look around your home to give you new ideas and suggestions. There’s nothing like entertaining to get you motivated. A good pre-holiday solution may be a home re-design. For a consultation fee, the designers at Clear Fork can offer some fresh perspective. We come out, assess your space and work with what you have to make your home more inviting and hospitable. Without overanalyzing and fretting over the details, open your home. It may seem like work and effort (it is) but the smiles at the end are worth it. If you are comfortable in your space, chances are others will be, too. Everyone’s style and tastes are unique. It is important to be proud of your surroundings, whether it’s your first apartment or empty-nester garden home. It should reflect the family that dwells there.

Clear Fork Home Design Studio is located in Waxahachie. Contact them by calling 972.937.5524 or visiting their website at

WASSAILL PUNCH 2 quarts apple cider 2 cups orange juice 1/2 cup lemon juice 12 whole cloves 4 cinnamon sticks 1 pinch ground ginger 1 pinch ground nutmeg

In a slow-cooker or a large pot over low heat, combine apple cider, orange juice and lemon juice. Season with cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer. If using a slow cooker, allow to simmer all day. Serve hot.

PUMPKIN COOKIES 8 ounces butter, softened 1 cup white sugar 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup pumpkin puree 1 cup rolled oats 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup raisins 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and pumpkin. 3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, raisins and flour. Stir into pumpkin mixture. 4. Drop cookies by the heaping teaspoonful on to cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until slightly browned around edges. 5. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks. Frost with your favorite powdered sugar glaze or leave plain. Recipes courtesy of






A Kitchen Renovation BY ANDRIA MOORE Designer, Clear Fork Home Design Studio

When Sherry and Rob Reynolds from Stanley Restoration went out of town for the weekend, they weren’t expecting to come home to flooding in their kitchen. For someone who works in the restoration business, it still isn’t fun when it happens to you. Sherry was able to update her kitchen through the process and called Tish at Clear Fork Home Design Studio to help her coordinate the project. Sherry had met with Tish before the flooding, planning on some custom window treatments and paint selections. Then, the project experienced a serious case of scopecreep. “Hiring an interior designer was a life saver for me with this project. Tish and Sacha were able to help me tie the whole project together and coordinate with contractors. They made suggestions, such as to refinish the existing cabinets and add an island to save on expenses, rather than tearing out all of the cabinets,” said Sherry. As you may have seen in the ad of the last issue of Living Magazine, the kitchen was covered in plastic with a ladder in the middle. It went from that to a beautiful, Tuscan-styled oasis in the middle of the Reynolds’ home. They removed the bar that connected to the living room wall, common in a lot of floor plans. A center island with a sink, as well as a stunning curved island opening to the kitchen nook and living area opens up the whole area and welcomes large gatherings. The sinks are both unique—they’re hammered copper from Mexico.

BEFORE An interesting bead board treatment on the ceiling highlights the brilliant pendant lights that beam an array of dazzling light patterns around the room. Lighting is one thing that is often overlooked in a project and there are so many fun ceiling, pendant, sconces and under-counter lighting options in the many catalogs in the Clear Fork studio from which to choose. Another eye-catching feature is the two different granites that were installed on the island. The rich, bronze granite on the curved island notches up a bit for the bar and eating area; giving it center stage. The backsplash tile design above the cook top and arched brick make a focal point reminiscent of an Italian eatery. Because the water leak originated upstairs, two baths as well as a playroom were also redone in the scope of the project. Often, it’s difficult to get motivated to change something until a catastrophe occurs. “It can be a blessing in disguise,” said Sherry, “because I wanted to redo some things in the kitchen anyway.” Taking on a large remodel, such as a kitchen or bath, is often overwhelming with so many different decisions to make and contractors to communicate with. A designer can guide the way and help you determine your needs and own personal style.









BOBBY GLASS 972.935.2738







BY MELINDA KOCIAN of Ellis County Master Gardeners


Mexican Bush Sage and Fall Aster Mexican Bush Sage is a beautiful perennial that grows to approximately four- to five-feet high and four-feet wide, forming a loose, spreading mound. The showy elongated, arching clusters are velvety purple to lavender-blue with white blooms. Cut the Mexican Bush Sage back to within several inches of the ground in late fall. The Fall Aster is a perennial in the mum family that has beautiful purple flowers with a yellow disk in the center. They multiply readily by stolons. The Fall Aster prefers full sun and is drought tolerant. Both perennials are late summer to mid–fall bloomers, which attract bees, butterflies and birds.

Agarita (Berberis trifoliolata) In late winter and early spring, clusters of lemon yellow flowers accent the spiny, holly-like leaves. By May, bright red, edible berries cover the heat-tolerant, cold-hardy shrubs (pictured below). Their ornamental evergreen leaves, fragrant flowers and abundant berries make them a premier landscape specimen plant or, because of their prickly leaves, a security hedge. They are at home in our alkaline soil and grow to a height of three to six feet.

PLANTING AND SOWING • Plant pre-chilled tulip and hyacinth bulbs promptly after removing from the refrigerator. Other spring-flowering bulbs also can be planted. • Plant berry-producing trees and shrubs to attract birds to your landscape and for winter color. Some good choices are possumhaw holly, yaupon holly, Carolina buckthorn, rusty blackhaw viburnum, American beautyberry, coralberry, mahonias and junipers.


TIPS FOR NOVEMBER Utilize landscape contractors, maintenance companies and laborers that are knowledgeable about and adhere to sustainable landscape methods.

• Prune trees, including live oaks and red oaks, as well as shrubs, to remove broken and unwanted branches, or to limb up (raise the canopy to allow more light underneath). • Do not top crape myrtles or the central leader of any shade tree. • Apply a root stimulator such as liquid seaweed or a high-phosphate fertilizer to newly planted trees and shrubs.



• It’s time to move trees and shrubs around in the landscape. They may need more afternoon shade, more sun or they may have gotten too large for the area where they were planted. It is not necessary to amend the soil in the planting hole. Use existing soil only. • Plant the spring-flowering bulbs that you ordered soon after they arrive. Wait until December to plant tulips and hyacinths—they need six to eight weeks of chilling.

FERTILIZING AND PRUNING • This is an ideal time to plant cool-season greens such as spinach, lettuce and arugula. • Feed vegetables that you are growing now. • Feed winter annuals growing in the ground with a regular lawn fertilizer. • Use a water-soluble plant food for containers each time you water. •

• The dormant season is a good time to access and plan landscape changes for the coming year. • Create a wildlife-friendly landscape that attracts birds, bees and butterflies, as well as other creatures, by planting a diversity of Texas native and adapted trees, shrubs and perennials. Choose among an array of draught-tolerant, sustainable plants and those with EarthKind© and Texas Superstar designations. • Contact your county’s AgriLife Office for more information.

GARDEN WATCH • Protect tender vegetation from the cold with a lightweight freeze

cloth, which is available at most nurseries and garden centers. • Continue to water, as needed, lawns and newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials if rainfall is insufficient. • Remove hoses from faucets to avert freeze damage inside your house.

THIS AND THAT • Collect leaves for the compost pile. Use a mower with a bag to remove leaves from the lawn. • Order seeds you intend to plant later on to get the varieties you want. • Perform maintenance on all power equipment. Run gasolinepowered engines dry. • Sharpen mower blades and any other tools as needed.

TIPS FOR DECEMBER Aerate your turf areas twice yearly to permit the roots to grow strong and deep. Not only will your yard be healthier and more attractive, but will hold the soil better, reduce watering needs and require less maintenance.

GARDEN WATCH • Caterpillars like to feast on cool-season vegetables. If they are a problem, use a spray containing BT. • Check potted plants growing outside for insects, and spray if needed, before bringing them indoors. • Look out for scale on cast iron and other plants. Use a horticultural oil to control.






Last issue I wrote about letting go of possessions that no longer serve a purpose in your life. For this issue, I am going to continue on that theme with the attic. My attic had become a giant warehouse of storage tubs. I pulled them all down, 32 in total and a few boxes, so that I could go through them. Many of them contained holiday decorations for every holiday of the year. I had not put up Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s or St. Patrick’s Day decorations in years. I realized that much of this stuff was excess and now that my daughter was in high school and we no longer celebrated the smaller holidays, it was time to let it all go. I also pared down my Christmas and Thanksgiving collections by half.

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I had about four storage tubs full of mementos from my own childhood. I was able to look at them clearly for what they were and threw most of the items away. I did keep some and narrowed my tubs down to two. I have a doll collection that I had been saving for my daughter and found out that she didn’t want them, so off to the garage sale they went. Next we had to attack the eight storage tubs of items that I had saved from my daughter’s childhood. I had saved clothing, stuffed animals, artwork, school work and toys. Since she is now 16, I thought I would let her decide what she wanted to keep and what could go. Many things she deemed unimportant. We had three large tubs of stuffed animals that could go. We had a full tub of clothing that was no longer important to her. Her Halloween costumes from her first five years did not bring back any special memories. I had pictures of her in each of these so I could let them go.




Happy Holidays!

We were left with eight storage tubs in total and lightened our load by more than half. I had a garage sale and was able to make a little over $300 with no big-ticket items to speak of. I had a neighbor come over and she said something that really struck home with me in regards to the state of her home. She said her husband had been on her to finish painting the kitchen and her response was, “I don’t care what color the kitchen is, but I most certainly want to remember how my son played at his little league baseball game.” It not the “stuff” you have or how your life looks that is important, it is the memories that we are able to collect of our family and friends that will bring us immense joy in the years to come.

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P PROFESSIONAL GUIDE NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH BY RACHEL MALDONADO Across our nation, the month of November is recognized as National Adoption Month. We take these 30 days to observe, remember and celebrate children who have found their forever home through adoption. The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in the foster care system occurred in Massachusetts in 1976. The idea grew in popularity and, in 1990, the National Adoption Week was expanded to a month. Throughout the month, states, communities, public and private organizations, businesses, families and individuals celebrate adoption as a positive way to build families. The month also includes National Adoption Day which is observed in courthouses across the nation as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously. This year, National Adoption Day is November 20. In 2009, there were 6,386 children waiting to be adopted in the state of Texas. The Texas Baptist Home for Children is a local foster care and adoption agency who matched more then 30 children with forever families in the year 2009—26 of these through our foster to adopt program. In this program, families become licensed to foster and adopt by completing training courses designed to give them the tools and education needed to best parent children who have been victims of abuse and neglect. As an agency, we are in need of loving, Christian families who are willing to open their hearts and homes to these 6,000 children. For more information about becoming an adoptive parent, contact Jennifer Walker at 972.937.1321 or e-mail her at

In This Section:



The Passage 47

Simplified Probate in Texas 50

by Mark Singleton

by Jacob A. Hale

Tax Updates 48

How the 2010 Elections Could Affect Your Returns 52

by Kevin McDonnell

by Michael Hill



The Passage The recent passing of Bernyce Crownover gave me occasion to reflect on the attributes of great leadership; a quality she bestowed to so many. My appreciation for the unconditional love and support Bernyce had for her community led me to think about all the other wonderful leaders we have depended upon who, now that they are in their 70s and 80s, are stepping down. A vacuum of immeasurable experience will be apparent as a younger generation takes up the calling of community service. Notable community volunteers such as Joe Jenkins, Hilda Chapman, Marcus Hickerson, Bernyce Crownover, Buck Jordan and so many others throughout Ellis County represent much more than their unselfish contributions, superb intelligence and management skills. They also characterize an era of great changes that dramatically remolded the world. In each community in Ellis County there are those in their mid 70s or older who are passing leadership roles

to a younger generation of people generally in their 30s to mid 40s. Therefore, when the retiring volunteers were in their 30s and 40s, it would have been the 1950s and 60s. During those years, technology was taking a major leap forward. The first commercially built computer, optic fiber and gas-saving car, the VW Beetle, were introduced in the 1950s. The laser, the ATM and a process called “network gateways,” later to be known as the Internet, were first used in the 1960s. Like the tremendous technology and social changes in 1950 through 1970, new community leaders are experiencing the same explosion of innovation today. The communication’s landscape is being changed with instant messaging and social networking. We are in an age when hard decisions have to be made quickly because the waitand-see approach will leave you in the dust. I am sure our controlled-chaos approach today drives elder leaders crazy. Ironically, the new tools they had in the 1950s and 60s were just as befuddling to their elders. Two facts in the passage of community leadership are vital to remember. The first is that we would not have all the amazing innovative technology that is driving a new age of communications and enterprise without the leadership of those before us. They made it possible to take advantage of this technology transformation and


we are being entrusted as a younger generation to make it right. And equally important is the second fact we should remember in this passage of community leadership. It can be summed up in two words: thank you. I wish I would have expressed to Bernyce Crownover more times than I did that her leadership and great love for Ellis County were deeply appreciated. But there is still time to relate our gratitude to all those others that led us into living in wonderful communities. To Joe and Marcus, Hilda and Buck, and the many others in Ellis County that have contributed their generosity and genius to preserve the character of life we enjoy so much, thank you. Those of us who want to make contributions back to the communities in which we live are generally traveling so fast that stopping to appreciate the people that built the highway slips our minds. It is something we should certainly do and pass on to the youth that will be following us. Although we do not express our gratitude as often as we should, it does not mean we do not recognize the contributions older patrons have made. You have built the foundation and given us the windows of opportunity. Our job is to continue the building process, one brick at a time. And, 30 to 40 years from now, hand the trowel to the next generation.






You know what they say, two things are certain: death and taxes. Well, there are actually three things that are certain: death, taxes and the fact that taxes will always change. Below are just a few changes in the tax pipeline.

self-employed individuals the same tax break that employers get on health insurance premiums they pay for their employees. As a result, most self-employed people will save 15.3 percent of whatever they pay in premiums.



The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act, which passed the House, includes a new tax break for selfemployed individuals who pay their own health insurance premiums. Currently, self-employed individuals can deduct premiums they pay for themselves and their immediate families from their income before computing income tax, but not before they compute their self-employment tax. Under the small-business act, the self-employed individuals can deduct premiums from their income before calculating self-employment tax, but only for 2010. The bill gives





There are more than 100 tax provisions that have expired or are about to expire. Here are just a few that affect individuals: 1. The size of the tax bracket for married filers in the 15-percent tax bracket is equal to twice the size of an individual filer in the 15-percent bracket. 2. Reduced individual income tax rates, which are currently 10, 15, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent. 3. Increased standard deduction for married filers equal to double that of unmarried filers. 4. Reduced capital gain taxes.

5. Reduced dividends tax rates. 6. Increase in allowable dependent care credit. 7. Refundable child credit floor amount. 8. Earned income tax credit. 9. American Opportunity Tax Credit. 10. Enhanced credit for health insurance costs

FEDERAL ESTATE TAX Many of you are wondering what will happen with the federal estate tax. The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 repealed federal estate taxes for 2010. However, the federal estate tax springs back to life on Jan. 1, 2011. This means that the IRS will tax estates in excess of $1 million and the maximum estate rate will be 55 percent. Kevin McDonnell is an attorney and Certified Public Accountant. To contact him, call McDonnell Legal at 972.923.2881 or visit

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Kevin McDonnell has his B.S. in accounting from the University of New Orleans. He received Juris Doctor from Tulane University School of Law. Kevin is an accomplished Attorney and Certified Public Accountant practicing in Ellis County. His goal is to provide efficient and effective management for all individuals at all stages of their lives. He provides reasonable rates for full accounting and legal services concentrating on asset protection, wealth preservation, all aspects of business, tax, and elder care law. Kevin will examine each individual’s needs regarding preserving wealth and assets for the future, financial security and wealth transfer. He is a founding board member of CASA helping abused and neglected children. Kevin is never to busy to take your call. *Not Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Kevin McDonnell, JD, CPA Attorney at Law and Certified Public Accountant 714 Ferris Ave. • Waxahachie • 972.923.2881

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Simplified Probate in Texas Taking Advantage of the Muniment of Title and Small Estate Affidavit unique procedures that make the process easier still—the Muniment of Title and the Small Estate Affidavit.

With a practice almost entirely devoted to arranging the property affairs of seniors, I have begun to notice a recurring fear among many of my clients. It is a foreboding weariness of the uncertainty of things to come. It is the terror of what lies beyond when they or a loved one passes away. It is the kind of uneasiness that can only be brought on by the slow cold hand of… probate. There is a long-standing opinion that the probate process is to be avoided by all means necessary. That its only purpose is to pluck the first dollars from the pocket of the deceased and reallocate those dollars among lawyers, courts and the state. And in many states, where probate is still an expensive, clumsy and tedious undertaking, that opinion is certainly reasonable. Fortunately, in Texas, we have a streamlined probate and estate administration process that makes it unnecessary to avoid probate simply for the sake of avoiding probate. Moreover, if the decedent passes away with no debt, Texas provides two




Probate exists for two reasons. The first is to formally prove the successors in interest to the decedent’s property—establish a chain of title. The second is to give the decedent’s creditors an opportunity to get paid. If a decedent had no creditors, the only goal is to prove ownership of the property. A person passes away in one of two conditions: testate (with a will) or intestate (without one). In either case, Texas has remarkably efficient mechanisms to administer the estate. A will can be probated as a Muniment of Title if the decedent dies with a valid will and the only unpaid debts are those that are secured by real estate. Typically, a Muniment of Title proceeding begins and ends when the will is admitted to the court at the hearing. No executor is appointed, no probate inventory is filed, and there is no duty to send notices to creditors or beneficiaries. Even if debts exist at the time of death, the will can still be probated as a Muniment of Title as long as the debts are paid before the hearing. A Muniment of Title is not ap-

propriate when the decedent has significant debts that cannot be easily satisfied. And while the Muniment of Title works well to distribute property located in Texas, it may not work as well with property located in states unfamiliar with this unique Texas procedure. If a person passes away without a will, it is often possible to collect the estate simply by filing an affidavit with the court. The Small Estate Affidavit procedure can be used where the value of the estate is $50,000 or less (exclusive of the homestead). No hearing is necessary at all if the judge approves the affidavit. The main drawback to the Small Estate Affidavit is that it does not ordinarily transfer title to real property other than the decedent’s homestead. If you are faced with handling the estate of a friend or relative, it is important to explore all the opportunities available under the Probate Code. Ask your attorney whether simplified procedures such as the Muniment of Title or Small Estate Affidavit are appropriate in your specific case. If so, you may be able to cut the time and expense of probate in half. Jacob A. Hale is an elder law and estate planning attorney at The Hale Law Firm in Waxahachie.


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HOW THE 2010 ELECTIONS COULD AFFECT YOUR RETURNS BY MICHAEL HILL For investors, the political outlook could add to the uncertainty about several key tax provisions that are tied to a December 31 deadline. Given the potential for a shifting balance of power, there is little indication so far of how Washington will react to election-year choices involving tax rates and expiration dates. It may not become clear until after the November elections whether taxes will increase for some or all taxpayers in 2011. Tax Cuts and Sunsets This story had its beginning in 2001, when Congress passed a sweeping tax law that included a series of tax cuts, most of which are slated to expire on Dec. 31, 2010. Another tax law in 2003 accelerated the pace at which the tax cuts were phased in but did nothing to stave off the sunset date. If Congress does not pass extensions, tax rates for capital gains, dividends, inheritances, and ordinary income will rise to their previous levels. But will legislators want to be seen as either raising or lowering taxes in an election year, amidst a fledgling recovery and record budget deficits? Capital Gains Currently, capital gains on assets held for 12 or more months are taxed at a maximum 15-percent rate for most people. For taxpayers in the 10-percent and 15-percent federal income tax brackets, long-term capital gains have been tax-free




since 2008. Beginning in 2011, the tax rate on long-term capital gains is slated to rise to 20 percent. There has been little evidence that Congress will prevent the 20-percent rate from becoming law. The White House, which has no statutory authority to raise tax rates, has proposed that Congress extend the lower rates for everyone except single filers with $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income ($250,000 for married joint filers), who would be subject to the 20-percent rate.1 Dividends Qualified corporate dividends are subject to the same tax rates that apply to long-term capital gains. However, in 2011, the law calls for dividends to be treated as ordinary income for tax purposes. Unfortunately, income tax rates, which are much higher than 15 percent for many people, are also slated to rise. Income Taxes The 2001 tax law lowered tax rates for all taxpayers, particularly for those at the lower end of the income spectrum, thanks to the creation of the 10-percent tax bracket. In 2011, the 10-percent tax bracket will be repealed outright and the first dollar of taxable income will be subject to the 15-percent rate. Tax rates on the remaining brackets will revert to their pre-2001 levels (see table below). The White House has proposed preserving the 10-percent bracket

and extending the lower rates only for people who fall into the bottom four brackets. The top two rates would return to their pre2001 levels for single filers with $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income ($250,000 for married joint filers).2 Obviously, tax policy is critical to investors because it can affect how much of their investment returns they can keep for themselves. And because taxes rank with inflation and health care as the greatest expenses that retirees must bear, taxes are of critical importance to retirees. While the uncertainty reigns, the best move may be to stick with your long-term strategy until it becomes clear that a shift is warranted. 1–2 Dow Jones Newswires, January 19, 2010.

The information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Michael Hill is owner and Branch Manager of Hill & Associates, Wealth Advisory Group. Hill & Associates have offices in both Midlothian and Plano. They have been serving investors in the DFW area since 1982. Michael Hill is an IRA Distribution Specialist and was also honored with the prestigious “FiveStar Wealth Manager Award” by Texas Monthly (August, 2009).


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M MEDICAL DIRECTORY November is American Diabetes Month. Last November, the American Diabetes Association launched the Stop Diabetes movement, with the goal of having 1 million people join in the first year. So far, more than 764,000 people around the country have raised their hand and pledged to join the fight. There are plenty of ways you can become involved in American Diabetes Month and the Stop Diabetes movement this November. There is no time to waste. Diabetes is a disease with deadly consequences. Drastic action is needed. From everyone. Tools are available to help spread the word for companies, community organizers and health care professionals. You can discover more ways to become engaged in American Diabetes Month by visiting, calling 1.800.DIABETES or texting JOIN to 69866 (standard data and message rates apply). -The American Diabetes Association

In This Section: ‘Tis the Season for Merriment and Mishaps 56

Flu Vaccine FAQs 62

Baylor Update

by Daniel J. DeNoon

Woman to Woman 58

Celebrating Separately 66

by Dr. Melody Bellinghausen

by Katherine Donaldson, Psy.D.

Forgotten Fluoride 60 by Dr. Brad Schoonover





‘Tis the Season


You sliced your finger while cutting the Thanksgiving turkey. Do you need a Band-Aid® or stitches? Your child slipped on the ice and hit his head. Does he need an ice pack or a CT scan? Your spouse falls off a stool while decorating the Christmas tree. Does their swelling ankle need to be elevated or X-rayed? The holiday season brings its own special opportunities for major and minor injuries—many of which can be difficult to assess. MAJOR OR MINOR? The new Emergency Department Clinic at Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie is designed to help take away the stress of determining the seriousness of an injury. Individuals who come to the Emergency Department at Baylor Waxahachie receive an initial assessment that determines whether they have a minor or more serious emergency. Minor emergencies, such as sprains, small cuts or coughs, can be treated in the six-bed Emergency Department Clinic, while more serious emergencies can be treated in the department’s 15 other beds. “The advantage of using our Emergency Department Clinic is that we have the full range of emergency services available,” said James D’etienne, M.D., medical director of the Emergency Department at Baylor Waxahachie. “If what you think is a minor emergency actually is more serious, we can handle it right here in the main Emergency Department.” All emergency patients are benefiting from the new clinic and, typically, pa-




tients are in and out of the emergency clinic within 75 minutes. Patient satisfaction scores are high too, hovering around 99 percent. “By adding the Emergency Department Clinic’s six additional beds, we’re facilitating faster treatment for all emergencies,” said Dr. D’etienne. CELEBRATE THE SEASON WITH CARE Avoiding holiday injuries in the first place is the best way to keep the happy in your holidays: Use the correct equipment when hanging decorations. Make sure to use a sturdy ladder that is tall enough for the job when hanging outside lights, and use a stepstool—not furniture—when decorating a Christmas tree. Cut carefully. When carving the holiday turkey, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand recommends that you never cut towards yourself; keep your knife handles dry; and use kitchen shears to cut bones and joints. Prevent food-related illnesses. Wash hands and surfaces often. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs (including their juices) away from other foods and eating surfaces. Refrigerate leftovers promptly. Keep germs at bay. Wash your hands often, keep hand sanitizer readily available for your family and guests, and teach your family members to cough into the bend in their arm. Wear appropriate cold-weather gear. Wear several layers of light, loose and

water- and wind-resistant clothing. Always wear gloves and a hat. Navigate ice with caution. When icy weather hits, remember to wear proper footwear and look carefully in front of you when walking on ice. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends that if you find yourself falling, try to fall on your side or buttocks. Lug luggage correctly. Always use proper lifting techniques when placing luggage in the car trunk or airplane overhead compartment: bend at your knees and lift with your leg muscles, not your back or waist, recommends the AAOS. Sled safely. On the rare occasion that snow falls in North Texas, kids clamor to the nearest hill to slip and slide with a group of typically novice sledders. The AAOS states that participants should: • Avoid sledding in areas that have fixed objects, such as fences or cars. • Sit in a forward-facing position; no one should be allowed to sled headfirst. • Wear a helmet. For more information about Baylor Waxahachie’s Emergency Department Clinic, visit or call 1-800-4BAYLOR.

Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System’s subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees or agents of those medical center, Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie or Baylor Health Care System.


LUIS ESCALANTE NIEVES, M.D. Dr. Nieves is pleased to join Texas Anesthesia & Pain Management Institute. He brings many years of study, honors and memberships from around Texas universities specializing in sports medicine, pain management and family medicine. As a medical graduate of many ďŹ ne Texas universities, he is here to manage your pain.

WWW.TXAPMI.COM 128 N Highway 77 Waxahachie, TX 75165 (972) 938-7319

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DR. NIEVES MEDICAL TRAINING: University of Texas Southwestern Medical School 1998 Baylor College of Medicine Anesthesia Residency 1998-2000 John Peter Smith Health Network Family Medicine Residency 2005-2008 University of Texas Southwestern Medical; Sports & Pain Medicine Fellowships 2008-2010






As a physician, I meet many women with varying needs. Of course, my first priority is to address their immediate concerns, but as a woman, I also know that every woman’s body is unique and requires time and attention in the journey toward total health and well being. It requires a partnership between doctor and patient founded on trust and honesty to navigate through health-related matters. Below I have listed helpful advice that I believe every woman should know about her health. An Apple a Day Recent studies indicate that an estimated 90 percent of U.S. adults are nutritionally deficient. The food supply that once provided us with essential vitamins and minerals is now so affected by soil depletion and overly processed with food additives that much of its nutritional value has been destroyed. It is necessary to supplement our diets with pharmaceuticalgrade supplements in addition to eating a diet rich in leafy greens and organic proteins. It just makes sense to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to experience enhanced health. Which Supplements? It can be confusing to choose a supplement line with the plethora of choices available in grocery stores, health food stores and the Internet.




A good rule of thumb is to choose a supplement line that is ‘Pharmaceutical Grade,’ meaning that the contents are manufactured to the same standard as your medications. Every pill, if tested, would contain the exact dosage stated on the bottle. It also guarantees that your supplements do not contain additives like glues, or contaminants such as pest hairs. Because of these rigorous standards, pharmaceutical-grade supplements are often times easier to digest. Your doctor can offer simple testing to help you decide which supplements are right for you. Yes, It is Hormonal Hormones are responsible for every function in the body. If there is imbalance, it can have a domino effect on one’s health. It is important as a woman to know that you do not have to experience the sometimes harsh symptoms of perimenopause or menopause. It starts with getting tested! Look for a physician that understands both saliva and serum (blood) testing, and which would be more beneficial to you. Once your results are available, your doctor should partner with you in creating a plan of action for balancing your hormone and nutritional needs. Bioidentical Hormones There has been a lot of attention given to bioidentical hormones in the

last few years, with many celebrities writing books on the subject. So what are they? Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is hormone replacement that uses plantbased hormones that have been refined to match the biological structure of the hormones produced in the human body. They contain no chemical additives. When introduced into the body through the skin by cream or orally as capsules, the body knows what to do with them because the hormones are recognized! Many women who have stopped traditional HRT have found amazing results using BHRT. It Only Takes a Minute I always remind my patients to do three things: 1. Schedule your well-woman visit and mammogram. 2. Give your body the best and purest food and water possible. 3. Remember to laugh well and often. I leave you with one last thought: a healthy woman has a thousand wishes; a sick woman has but one. Dr. Bellinghausen is an osteopathic physician, board certified in family practice. Her practice is located at 2301 S. Hampton Rd., Ste. 900 in Dallas.


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I grew up in Oak Cliff in an area know as Polk Terrace. My elementary school years, during the 1960s, were spent exploring my neighborhood and playing outdoor activities during daylight hours. I remember the sonic booms shaking the windows when the jets would break the sound barrier. I guess they were from the Naval Air Station at Mountain Creek or LTV. I used to ride horses on Saturdays on some land by Wheatland Road and Polk Street. The horses belonged to the family of a friend of mine that was in my thirdgrade class. One day his dad was saying that he would have to move his horses because they were going to build a freeway on that land. I remember wondering why anyone would build a freeway out there in the middle of nowhere. There were horned frogs everywhere. On a Saturday morning, I could probably catch five to 10 in an hour, easy. I would often get a drink of water from the garden hose. For some reason, water out of the hose tasted really good to me. I had no idea that the water I was drinking was helping to prevent cavities in my teeth because it had fluoride in it. At night, I would watch some television. I knew that the letter C next to a show in the TV Guide meant that it was in color, instead of black and white. The Crest toothpaste commercial would be on TV talking about Fluoristan and how it would help prevent tooth decay. Many things have changed since I was a young boy in Oak Cliff. I now live in Midlothian close to where my grandfather would take my cousins and I hunting and fishing in the early 1960s. I haven’t heard a sonic boom




in I don’t know how long. I don’t think it is legal to break the sound barrier around populated areas anymore. And that freeway that I thought was to be put in the middle of nowhere is Interstate 20. I’ve been told that fire ants are the reason that the only horned frogs I ever see anymore are wearing purple and white and attend Texas Christian University. Crest toothpaste still has fluoride that helps prevent cavities, but now it is a little different in composition and called Fluoristat. One thing that hasn’t changed is that there is still fluoride in our water around this area. What has changed is that I rarely drink our public water. Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful to my water utilities for supplying my home and my office with clean, fresh water. I just prefer the taste of bottled water (except when I get a drink out of my garden hose for old time’s sake). The problem, especially in the mind of this dentist, is that there is still little or no fluoride in most bottled water. That means that I, and many other bottled water drinkers, am not taking advantage of what the Centers for Disease Control lists as one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century—fluoridated water. Since I do not take advantage of the cavity-fighting fluoride in my public water, there are some other things I can do to help prevent tooth decay from happening to me. One thing I can do is brush my teeth for a longer period of time. The cavity-fighting benefit of the fluoride in toothpaste is directly proportional to the length of time the fluoride is in contact with the teeth. So, I can add another 30 seconds or

a minute to my regular brushing times that occur when I get up in the morning, after meals and right before I go to bed at night. Another thing I can do is to rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse. There are several to choose from, but make sure that the mouth rinse specifically states that it contains fluoride. It is important that I brush, floss and rinse with the fluoride rinse right before I go to bed. That will help provide a defense against the plaque that will try to decay my teeth in the six to eight hours that I am sleeping. Last but not least, regular dental check-ups are very important. Early tooth decay rarely causes pain. It also is not something that generally can be seen by standing in front of a bathroom mirror and opening wide. The best way to catch it is with a dental explorer in a trained hand. Also, decay that starts between your teeth is detected early on dental X-rays. If you wait for your teeth to hurt as an indication that something is wrong, the problem is generally much greater than you think. Plus, once a tooth begins to hurt because of decay, you could be looking at some pretty expensive dental work to treat the problem. Please see your dentist on a regular basis so he or she can provide early detection of any problems and help you keep your teeth, gums and oral cavity healthy.

Dr. Brad Schoonover graduated from the University of Texas in 1988 and has served Ellis County for 20 years. Please call 972.617.4900 for more information and to make an appointment.

BRAD SCHOONOVER D.D.S. P.A. Dr. Schoonover graduated from The University of Texas in 1988, and has served Ellis and S.W. Dallas Counties for over 20 years. Convenient hours. Please call our friendly, courteous staff to schedule an appointment.

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FAQs Flu Vaccine ne As the 2010-2011 flu season approaches, it's once again time for flu vaccination. This year, the CDC advises just about everyone to get the vaccine. That raises questions. So does the inclusion of the H1N1 pandemic swine flu vaccine in the seasonal vaccine. To answer the questions, WebMD spoke with flu expert William Atkinson, MD, MPH, of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.


I'm a healthy person. It's just the flu, why should I worry about it? That's a very good question. The problem is that we have seen some severe illnesses and deaths in young, relatively healthy people. Some were adults under age 50 who weren't aware they had risk factors for severe flu illness. It is true that most flu deaths and severe illnesses occur in the extremes of age, in infants and in the elderly. But it does kill people who are healthy. And some people who think they are healthy have medical risks they are unaware of. Even someone with no underlying medical condition can get a very nasty flu illness, with missed days of work and a trip to the doctor's office. Why would anyone want that? In addition, vaccination of healthy people reduces their chance of becoming infected with the flu virus—and passing the virus to someone at higher risk of complications, such as a baby or an elderly person.


I got a flu shot a few years ago—and a few days later I came down with the flu. Instead of risking this again, wouldn't I be safer just avoiding sick people? Probably one of the most common concerns we hear is from people who, right after getting a flu shot, got something that seems to them like flu. It is possible it could happen. After a dose of flu vaccine, it takes at least a week to become immune. If flu is in your community and you are exposed, it takes two or three days for symptoms to appear. So it is possible if you are exposed to flu to get sick before the vaccine has a chance to work. It gives people the impression the vaccine caused the flu. And the way people use it, "flu" is not a specific term. People have different ideas of what flu is. Other kinds of viral infections can cause a flu-like illness, but it is not flu. And influenza vaccine




will not protect against that. Keep in mind that the flu shot cannot produce a flu infection. It is dead—it's just protein, with nothing live in it. So a lot of this is just coincidence—either the vaccine did not have time to work, or you got something like the flu. But this is a very common perception, linking your flu shot to getting the flu. Even some doctors and nurses have this perception. The way our brains work is to have two things happen in sequence, and to conclude that the two things are connected by cause and effect. Vaccination is memorable, and the illness is memorable, and it is human nature to think one caused the other. But it is a perceptual problem rather than reality.


What about the FluMist inhaled vaccine? Isn't that a live virus? Can't that give me the flu? It is live, but it has been modified so it only grows in a person's nose or throat. It does not get down into the lung. It is modified so it does not cause lung infection. This means the virus in FluMist does not cause flu the way we think of it as a respiratory infection. It can cause a sore throat for a day or two, but not flu with cough or fever. It really does not do that.


Flu season again? I got my shots last year and the year before. Why do I need another one? The problem is the flu virus: It changes all the time. This means we have to change the vaccine all the time to keep up. Last year's vaccine is not like this year's vaccine. There are three different viruses that can cause flu. Vaccines that protect against each one are included in the 3-in-1 seasonal flu vaccine. One or more of these components is changed every year because the virus we are trying to prevent has changed.


I got the flu during the swine flu pandemic. Do I still need this year's seasonal flu vaccine? Yes. If you really had the flu during the pandemic, you probably are immune to the H1N1 swine flu. But there are other infections that can mimic influenza, and it could be some other virus that made you sick. Not all infections that act like flu are necessarily flu. Probably millions of people were infected with the 2009 H1N1 flu strain. But we can't tell which person had swine flu and which

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675 West Main Street Ovilla, TX 75154 972.617.6376

200 Dalton Drive DeSoto, TX 75115 972.223.7575

Dr. Sullivan arrived in Ennis in 2003 after completing his residency in General Surgery and Fellowship in Laparoscopic Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Since then he married Meg, who is a cardiologist, and had two boys John Michael and William Henry. Dr. Sullivan has kept at the forefront of medicine in Ennis and performs outpatient procedures now at both Southwest Surgery Center in Ennis and Waxahachie Surgery Center. He routinely performs outpatient gallbladder, hernia, intestine and anti-reflux procedures laparoscopically, allowing patients to be at home the day of their operation. He also performs diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy and colonoscopy with minimally invasive techniques for treating hemorrhoids and ulcers. He continues to care for hospitalized patients, performing inpatient and higher risk outpatient surgeries at Ennis Regional Medical Center. Dr. Sullivan’s passion is minimally invasive surgery with less pain and faster recovery times while avoiding costly stays in a hospital. With the expansions in the department of surgery, Dr. Sullivan no longer takes call 24/7 at the hospital and has found time to hunt, fish and enjoy his growing family.

Accepting Most Insurances





M had something like flu—unless they really had a viral-culture test to prove they really had H1N1 virus. Even then, remember, there is protection against two other flu viruses in this season's vaccine. If you went through having the 2009 H1N1 "swine flu," you certainly don't want to get sick again. And there's a bonus for people who had an H1N1 infection last year: It will boost their immune response to the H1N1 component of the seasonal vaccine, and they will get additional immunity from the other two components of the vaccine.


I hear the H1N1 swine flu vaccine is included in the seasonal vaccine. Doesn't that make the seasonal vaccine much less safe? The CDC and the FDA did an enormous amount of monitoring of the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine. After tens of millions of doses, we have no evidence that vaccine was any less safe than any of the vaccines we have used for years. Our monitoring showed the side effects of the H1N1 vaccine were pretty much the same as you'd see from regular seasonal vaccines. There was no indication the pandemic vaccine was any less safe than any vaccine we've ever produced.


My children are under 9 years old. How many doses of the seasonal flu vaccine do they need? It will depend on two things: • Whether the child got any H1N1 vaccine AND • Whether the child previously got a seasonal vaccination, when that was given, and how many doses they got. Children who got a previous seasonal flu vaccine as recommended—AND got just one dose of the H1N1 pandemic vaccine last year—need only one dose of the seasonal vaccine this year. We give them credit for getting the priming dose last year, but only if they previously got the seasonal vaccine. Children under age 9 years who never before got a seasonal flu vaccination will need two doses of the seasonal vaccine this year—even if they got the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine. Children under age 9 years who have had a previous flu vaccination but who did not get the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine will need two doses of the seasonal vaccine this year. If a child needs two doses of the flu vaccine, the second dose must be given no sooner than four weeks after the first dose.


It's such a hassle to get young children two doses of flu vaccine a month apart. Won't they get at least some protection from a single dose of the vaccine? No. This year, the number of doses is driven by the pandemic virus component of the vaccine. Studies at the National Institutes of Health show that children do not respond well to a single dose of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. A single dose does not provide protection to a very large number of young children.




The data show two doses are absolutely necessary. Yes, it can be a hassle to take them back a month later for their second dose— but it greatly improves the chances the child will be protected.


I'm pregnant. Why should I risk getting a flu shot? The risk is actually in not getting a flu shot. We know pregnancy changes a healthy woman's risk of severe flu illness. We had a number of pregnant women die last year of flu. Pregnancy and flu are a bad combination. Pregnancy increases the risk that a healthy woman who gets the flu will get sick, be hospitalized or die. Because the flu shot is only a protein that can't give a person the flu, the benefit of vaccination far outweighs any possible risk from the vaccine itself. That goes for the woman as well as for her developing baby. We do have 50 years of experience giving the flu vaccine to women who are or who become pregnant. We have never had the slightest indication that it could somehow be harmful to the developing baby. With billions of doses given, there is not a shred of evidence the vaccine is harmful to the fetus. It is worth saying that in addition to protecting the mother, there is some research that suggests babies born to vaccinated women are less likely to get the flu in their first 6 months of life. And infants who get the flu are at very high risk of severe complications.


I'm breastfeeding. I know babies under age 6 months should not get the vaccine. If I get the vaccine, won't it put my baby at risk? The reason the flu vaccine isn't recommended for infants under age 6 months is that not many studies have been done to see if it is safe and effective in babies that young. But if the vaccine is given to a woman who is breastfeeding, it will protect the mother. It might also indirectly protect the baby, too, because the mom won't get sick and the infant won't get the flu from its mom. And flu vaccine given to a breastfeeding woman poses no risk to the baby. I'd like to add that we try to "cocoon" a young infant against getting the flu. We try to make sure everyone in the infant's household is vaccinated, so they will not bring the flu home to children too young to be vaccinated themselves.


I'm allergic to eggs. Is there some form of the flu vaccine I can take? The answer is no. There is no flu vaccine option for people with extreme allergy to eggs. There is no non-egg-based flu vaccine here, but in the next five years it's likely we will have one. Instead of producing the vaccine in eggs, it can be produced in tissue cultures. We don't think twice about other vaccines that are raised in tissue culture, so why not flu vaccine?


Happy Holidays! IMAD ALWAN, MD, FACC INVASIVE CARDIOLOGIST FELLOW OF AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY BOARD CERTIFICATIONS TIO IONS NS: Adult Cardiology gy Nuclear Cardiology ogy Cardiac Coronary CT Angiography ngi giog ogra raph phy y

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Celebrating Separately DEAR DR. DONALDSON, My daughter is 7 years old. Her stepsister visits us every other weekend. She struggles every time her sister goes back to her mom’s house. The holidays are coming up and we are not going to get to be together this year. I know this will be hard for my daughter. My stepdaughter wants to be with her mother over the holidays and my daughter is upset that her sister won’t be with us.

Holidays can be a difficult time for blended families. There are several things you can do to make the separation easier for your daughter. • Establish traditions that include both girls. This can be done the weeks before or after the holidays since they cannot be together on the holiday. This might include decorating the house, trimming the tree, wrapping presents, shopping for gifts, making cards, or baking holiday cookies. • Celebrate the holiday on another day. Many families who are separated by miles have holiday meals and other holiday festivities on a different day or week. • Set up a time for them to visit on the telephone over the holiday. • Let them each video tape a greeting for the other that the other can watch on the holiday. • Get them a calendar so they can mark special days, mark what the other will be doing while they are apart, and count the days until they get to be together again. • Let them write letters to each other that can be opened when they are apart. • Help them create family scrapbooks to record their special times together. Although they will miss each other, these activities can help them feel connected when they have to be apart. Katherine S. Donaldson, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Waxahachie and can be contacted at or 972.923.0730.




Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise BY WEBMD Exercise is very important in managing type 2 diabetes. Combining diet, exercise and medicine (when prescribed) will help control your weight and blood sugar level.

HOW DOES EXERCISE AFFECT BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS? Normally, insulin is released from the pancreas when the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood increases, such as after eating. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscles to take in excess glucose. This results in a lowering of the blood sugar level. When exercising, the body needs extra energy or fuel (in the form of glucose) for the exercising muscles. For short bursts of exercise, such as a quick sprint to catch the bus, the muscles and the liver can release stores of glucose for fuel. With continued moderate exercising, however, your muscles take up glucose at almost 20 times the normal rate. This lowers blood sugar levels. But intense exercise can have the opposite effect and actually increase your blood glucose levels. This is especially true for many people with diabetes. The body recognizes intense exercise as a stress and releases stress hormones that tell your body to increase available blood sugar to fuel your muscles. If this happens to you, you may need a little bit of insulin after intense workouts. For a variety of reasons, after exercise, people with diabetes may have an increase or a decrease in their blood sugar levels.

IS BLOOD SUGAR EVER TOO HIGH TO EXERCISE? Yes. In some cases, you should hold off on exercising if your blood sugar is very high.

WHAT TYPES OF EXERCISE IS BEST FOR DIABETES? While most any exercise is healthy for people with diabetes, let's look at some specific types of exercise and their benefits:

Strength Training and Type 2 Diabetes The latest findings show that exercise such as strength training has a profound impact on helping people manage their diabetes. In a recent study of Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of strength training produced dramatic improvements in sugar control that are comparable to taking diabetes medication. Additionally, the study volunteers were stronger, gained muscle, lost body fat, had less depression, and felt much more self-confident.

Aerobic Fitness and Type 2 Diabetes Any activity that raises your heart rate and keeps it up for an extended period of time will improve your aerobic fitness. Aerobic exercise helps decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes and helps those with diabetes to better manage their blood sugar levels. Besides the health benefits, exercise is fun and boosts your mood. It's hard to feel stressed when you're walking fast on a treadmill or swimming laps in a pool.

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TAPAS STYLE When you land in Spain you intuitively want to immerse yourself in the country’s most traditional social ritual, the tapas bar crawl. It’s a way of life for Spaniards. A visitor can get off the plane, go straight to a tapas bar in any Spanish city and sip sangria, inhale some air-dried ham (jamón), and feel like an insider in no time. That is exactly what we did last month.

much sangria. Thankfully our Seville accommodations were in a perfect location. Hotel Casa 1800 is a newly restored three-story mansion beautifully decorated and flooded with light from its central courtyard. We enjoyed a nightcap on the rooftop terrace while looking out over the majestic Cathedral and its famous bell tower, La Giralda, where we would tour the following day.

After flying into Madrid with friends and family, we grabbed a fast train to Seville and made our way to the beautiful Andalucía region where the tapa was born in the 19th century as a free nibble to accompany sherry or wine. The word translates as “lid”— a small plate of jamón, olives or almonds that covered one’s glass, protecting it from flies and dust. Though, strictly speaking, tapa still denotes a small morsel to accompany drinks, the Andalucian mini-snack has come a long way. Today’s tapas consist of an enormous variety of delicacies, all of which we intended to consume as we made our way through Southern Spain.

From Seville we hopped back on a train and arrived in Cordoba just a half hour later. The countryside consists of rolling plains, mountain ranges and quaint villages with Baroque churches and Moorish citadels. Even our hotel was a restored 16th-century palace called Hospes Palacio del Bailío. One of our traveling companions used to live in Cordoba and showed us the town from a local’s viewpoint. She took us to several of her old hang outs, like Taberna La Cazuela De La Espartería, where we inhaled platters of Iberian jamón, croquettes, blood sausage and fried calamari. The next morning we met up with a tour guide and marveled as we walked through the famous La Mezquita. Although now a Christian site, for almost nine centuries its original construction as a mosque is inescapable and mesmerizing. We ended our day dining at El Churrasco, a beautiful restaurant in the Jewish quarter of Cordoba where I lingered over a wonderful pine nut white gazpacho and sea bass carpaccio.

When we arrived in Seville it was bustling with energy from both tourists and young Spaniards in town for a U2 concert. We dropped our bags at the hotel and hit the cobblestone streets in search of our first tapas bar. We settled on Casa Robles, a wellknown family run taverna with heavy beams and ocher walls where original oil paintings of seductive flamenco dancers and famous bull fighters hang. We drank ice-cold cerveza as seasoned waiters covered our table with an array of fascinating nibbles, such as Boquerón (fresh white anchovies in vinegar), feather-light tempura of baby vegetables, fried sardines, assorted cheeses and fresh-made gazpacho. Our next stop was Vineria San Telmo, a tapas bar I had read about in Seville’s Barrio Santa Cruz neighborhood. We dined al fresco while nibbling on foie gras with vanilla sauce, grilled goat cheese with orange marmalade, and slowcooked bull’s tail wrapped in a thin, crisp pastry. About that time I realized a tapas bar crawl can also mean you crawl back to your hotel with a combination of jetlag and too

We hired a driver and guide to take us from Cordoba to Granada, stopping along the way to tour Montilla Bodega, famous for their Fino and other sherries. Our second stop was in the quaint town of Baena at the Nunez de Prado Olive Oil Mill. We were honored to have owner Don Francisco Nunez give us a personal tour of how the olives are pressed and made into Spain’s award-winning staple. Olive oil is used for everything. Even at breakfast they drizzle olive oil on their toast as they drink their first cup of café con leche. In Granada we repeated a visit to the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to again tour the best preserved medieval Arab palace in the world,

the Alhambra. We also made a second visit to Azafran, a restaurant we loved last year that takes its roots of Moorish ancestry and combines them with contemporary Spanish cuisine. The grand finale of our trip ended in Spain’s capital, Madrid. A city described in Lonely Planet’s travel guide as, “an ex-convent school girl who pushed the boundaries of hedonism and then grew up and got sophisticated without ever forgetting how to have fun.” Our Hotel Villa Real stands in front of the Spanish Congress of Deputies and is only a five-minute walk to the Puerta del Sol, the Museo del Prado and the ThyssenBornemisza Museum. Shopping in Madrid’s Salamanca neighborhood is a combination of Highland Park Village, Rodeo Drive and the Upper East Side. My eyes were swimming with fashion, chic pedestrians and bountiful food markets. Our last two nights we made it a point to dine at La Barraca, where for 75 years they have been preparing the best paella in the world over a pungent wood fire. It was indeed the best I have ever had. We were also fortunate to get reservations at the famous Restaurante Botin, founded in 1725 on a street that reminded me of a “Harry Potter” movie set. Botin is famous for their roast suckling pig, and now I know why. I love the way Spaniards relish a meal. Pressed together at crowded counters and small tables, locals break bread with foreigners every day. Taking time to eat, converse, drink and eat some more is a way of life for them. It seems to me the way they maintain a deep-rooted sense of community and make you feel their whole country is one big village. A village I could spend the rest of my life crawling through.

Cindy Burch

Cindy Burch and her husband, Andrew, own and operate The Dove’s Nest Restaurant and Gifts in historic downtown Waxahachie. Cindy’s own cookbook, “The Dove’s Nest Restaurant: New American Recipes From a Historic Texas Town,” has sold more than 20,000 copies.




Ellis County Living Magazine November-December 2010  

Ellis County Living Magazine November-December 2010 Issue

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