Hearts for Hatcher
Moving Targets The Sport of Clay Shooting
The Pirate Bride
Father & Daughter Author Book
DEC 2010 • Vol. 6 No. 12
ENHS Senior Diagnosed with Cancer
13431 N Broadway EXT, STE 104 Oklahoma City, OK 73114
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Driving a Career in Country Music
26 HOPEFUL HEARTS FOR HATCHER Edmond Unites Against Cancer
LETTERS FROM LOUISE Silver & Gold
28 STORY BUILDER TOYS Rebuilding Imagination
10 SPORTS On Target: Clay Shooting 12 BEST OF EDMOND College Nannies and Tutors & Tobacco Exchange 15 DINING GUIDE Hobby’s Hoagies 16 CUP OF CHEER
SHOPPING GUIDE Holiday Marketplace THE PIRATE BRIDE Like Father, Like Daughter
EXPECTING MOTHERS GIFT GUIDE www.edmondoutlook.com
18 HOME & GARDEN Fireside Chats
Follow Us On Twitter
22 FINE LIVING Turning Decades into Dollars
Become a Fan on Facebook
24 HEALTH & FITNESS Bringing the Gym Home 33 AROUND TOWN
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on the cover
A special thank you to the families of Rachael Storm & Liam Mueller for graciously volunteering their time for this month’s cover shoot.
Dave Miller Stacy Brasher Joshua Hatfield Krystal Harlow Laura Beam Randall Green Rachel Dattolo Radina Gigova Louise Tucker Jones Lindsay Whelchel Nathan Winfrey Mindy Wood The Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct mail to 50,000 Edmond homes and businesses.
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A rts & Entertainment
show dedicated to previewing musicians and artists in Oklahoma. He has won multiple contests and gained stellar reviews from critics and fans across the U.S. When he isn’t performing out of a traveling suitcase or shuttling kids, he’s playing locally at restaurants like Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill, metro area clubs and statewide festivals.
Bowlin has opened for B.J. Thomas and Billy Joe Royal, Flynnville Train and Cody McCarver.
by Mindy Wood
att Bowlin is no ordinary Edmond school bus driver. Clad in sharp jeans, relaxed panhandle-slim shirt and weathered hat, he sports a handlebar mustache with goatee. At first glance, he seems mysterious to school children, appearing to hide behind a pair of sunglasses that shield him both from the sun and prying eyes, but this country music performer is anything but shy. His quiet confidence, classic country style and rugged good looks make him traditional with a hint of creativity. As a talented performer and songwriter, Bowlin started performing eight years ago and has opened for legendary acts like B.J. Thomas and Billy Joe Royal, Flynnville Train and Cody McCarver. He was featured as a celebrity co-star on OETA’s Utopia Joe, a
While many performers begin as a child star with a spoon for a microphone and a broom for a guitar, Bowlin’s career path began unexpectedly. The former U.S. Marine had every intention of fulfilling a promising 20 year military career until one night, while moonlighting as a bouncer at a club, he was asked to sing. “The DJ (disc jockey) kept wanting someone from the door to come up and sing and I finally did it. I liked it,” said Bowlin. “That’s when I got the music bug.” A couple years later, while recovering from a knee injury and hernia during his last year of military service, he wrote a few songs. Toying with the idea of performing, he started doing karaoke and entered contests. “When I started winning contests, I had to realize this wasn’t just a fluke. I had something I didn’t know I had been given. When I got out of the Marines, I wanted to do music.” Bowlin used his GI bill to study music at South Plains College, a school made famous by country artists such as Lee Anne Womack, Heath Wright (Richochet), Jedd Hughes and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. He developed his voice and style, which critics say blends traditional country sound with western swing and southern rock. Such a sudden transition from military to music is easy to understand when Bowlin talks about how
he feels on stage interacting with his audience. “I feel like me when I’m out there playing music. Offstage, people look at me funny sometimes, because I don’t have the same style as they do or dress their way, but when they realize what I do, they understand it. When I’m on stage, I feel like me and people understand me – they get it.” The independent artist has recorded six of the 10 songs right here in Oklahoma for his self-titled debut CD. Bowlin wrote from his own experiences for almost every song. “As a performer, you have to be able to relate to a song and feel very strongly about it. What I want my audience to get from my music is to be able to say things that they can’t say themselves. I want to take a song and communicate in a way that someone says, ‘that’s how I feel right now’.” Songs like “Chase My Dreams Forever” tell the listener how Bowlin feels when he sings, “I don’t want it for the money, I don’t do for the fame. It’s for the show, it’s for the people, and the music in my veins. I’m going to chase my dreams forever, ‘cause the highway road never ends.” As a man who has never lived in one place more than six years, Bowlin loves performing in different cities, seeing new places and meeting new people. “Music was something I didn’t realize was there, like God opened a door and said ‘hey – did you know you had this gift?’ I grew into it and I love what I do,” he said. Matt Bowlin’s music is available on iTunes. Check out his website at www.mattbowlin.com for upcoming shows.
L etters from Louise
by Louise Tucker Jones
can’t believe it’s December, with Christmas just around the corner. When I think of all the shopping I need to do and the events I hope to attend, I become overwhelmed. Then suddenly, I hear Burl Ives, that squinty-eyed, smiling snowman, crooning Silver and Gold. I relax and let my thoughts wander back to an extraordinary moment at the Special Olympics several years ago. My son, Jay, was competing in the state events at Stillwater. He was positioned at the starting line of the 25-meter walk, having retired from the 50-yard dash due to the progression of his heart disease. Everyone was poised to take off, including Jay with fingers stuffed in his ears to muffle the sound of the gunshot that signaled the beginning. Never having been a quick starter, Jay surprised everyone as he immediately began his gentle, easy gait toward the finish line, being careful to stay in his own lane. Slow and steady often wins the race and Jay had moved far enough ahead that he was obviously the favored one in this heat. As he neared the finish line the volunteer on the other side called out excitedly, “Come on, Jay. You can do it!” Just steps away from the gold, the crowd in the bleachers came to their feet and yelled encouragement to my son. What an event! This would be Jay’s first medal. Then suddenly, Jay stopped, turned to the people in the stands and bowed in thanks for their applause, allowing another walker to slip right by him and win the gold medal. What a moment! No one knew whether to laugh or to cry. No one except Jay. He turned and walked across the finish line, into the arms of the hugger, and captured the silver medal. He was delighted as he received the award. He didn’t care what color it was or which place he stood on the platform. He was a winner and he was having fun. When I think of that moment I am so proud of Jay for not rushing across the finish line to grab the coveted gold medal. I’m
glad he stopped along the way, enjoyed the applause of the crowd, reveled in the moment and sent a message of thanks to those cheering him on. What a perfect mindset for Christmas. We don’t need to be so obsessed with shopping and attending every event we can fit into our schedules that we become exhausted before the special day arrives. Like Jay, we need to stop and enjoy the moment, to revel in the season and remember what we are celebrating—the holy birth of Jesus Christ. Once we get our minds off the busyness around us, our hearts are free to worship and rejoice in the birth of our Lord. When we give thanks to the One who gave His life for us, we have a greater capacity to love others and to give wonderful gifts of joy, friendship, kindness, song and laughter, which makes Christmas a much happier and brighter day. So how about it? Are you going to run as fast as you can? Shop till you drop in order to win the temporary smiles of your children or grandchildren at seeing how many presents they have under the tree, or will you stop and enjoy the journey? Why not spend more time with the special people in your life and give the gift that will thrill their hearts for a lifetime—your love and your presence. You might even adopt a family that has no money for gifts or food, send packages to service men and women overseas, take a plate of cookies to your neighbor or help serve meals to the homeless. These are all silver and gold moments, and like Jay, I want to stop and enjoy them. I feel certain that’s what Jesus would do, and after all, Christmas is His birthday.
about the author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. Author and co-author of four books, her work has been featured in numerous publications. Mother of four and grandmother of four, Louise resides in Edmond with her husband, Carl and son, Jay. Contact her at: LouiseTJ@cox.net or www.LouiseTuckerJones.com.
by Nathan Winfrey
ith the echoing crack of a 12-gauge shotgun, the spinning orange disc disintegrated into a puff of clay shards that plinked upon the thousands already scattered among the grass at the Oklahoma City Gun Club grounds in Arcadia. Charles Roller may be relatively new to competitive shooting, but it’s rare that a clay pigeon escapes him these days. The Edmond resident is one of thousands across the state who have fallen in love with the fast-growing world of competitive shooting. The idea of shotgun sports may not immediately appeal to everyone, but the satisfaction of watching a clay target ripped apart in the air is addictive and near-universal. “It’s very fun and exciting to bust the clay targets,” said Will Massid of Heartland Outdoors Gun Range in Edmond. “It’s invigorating because you can say, ‘I did that!’” “If you like bowling or golf, where it’s an individual sport, you’re going to love competitive shooting, whether it be trap, skeet, or sporting clays,” says Massid says. “You’re going to get to make some noise.” Roller cautions it’s not a good sport for people who feel the need to win all the time. “You have to crawl before you can walk,” he says. “You can go out and practice all day and it doesn’t mean anything without someone teaching you what you’re doing wrong.”
Massid suggests first-timers start with trap. “Get to know the gun and learn how to break those targets going out in front of you before side-to-side,” he says. “Rent first; don’t buy, in case you don’t like it. But I’ve never seen people who didn’t like the sport — once they try it, they’re hooked.” While skeet shooting, participants stand on stations situated in a half-circle. Clay pigeons are launched from low and high towers, and fly from side to side in front of the shooter. Trap shooting is similar, except the pigeons are launched from a trap in the center and move up and away from the shooter. A yardage system is in place to ensure shooters are burdened with the proper handicaps. Everyone starts at 16 yards, and when a shooter breaks 97 of 100 targets, he gets to move back a yard; if he shoots 96 of 100 targets, he gets to move back half a yard. This can continue as far back as the 27 yard line. With sporting clays, up to six shooters travel through 10-15 shooting stations and shoot 5-10 targets at each station. Targets can fly out in any direction or even roll along the ground. “It’s kind of like golf with a shotgun,” Massid says. Silverleaf Shotgun Sports in Guthrie offers a sporting clays course, skeet, and trap shooting. Skeet and trap are also available at the Oklahoma Trap Association Shooting Park in El Reno and the Oklahoma City Gun Club. Heartland Outdoors and H&H Gun Range offer indoor gun and archery ranges.
“It’s kind of like golf with a shotgun."
Skeet-shooters typically use a double-barreled, over-and-under shotgun. Trap-shooters use a 12-gauge, single- or double-barreled shotgun. There is no standard gun for sporting clays, but they must shoot 12-gauge shot or smaller. Sporting and trap guns have longer barrels, often between 28-34 inches. “It’s going to give you extra reach and a solid, fluid swing,” Massid says. He says longer barrels are slower on the target, but they almost swing themselves. There is a psychological aspect to accuracy in competitive shooting. “If you miss one or two targets in a row, the chances of missing the next one are very, very good,” Massid says. Once, he was on track for a perfect score, but one missed shot psyched him out and ruined his record. “I don’t know what distracted me, but I missed the first one, and I missed the second one,” Massid says. He finished with a 48/50 score. Roller hit 100 targets in a row in a trap shoot in Shawnee. “It was a totally amazing feeling because I haven’t been shooting for long,” he says. He also won the next venue that day, hitting 96/100. Although he’s been competitively shooting for only a few years, Roller first shot a .22 rifle at 6 years old. He is mostly self-taught, with some help from his dad. He likes competitive shooting because of its socially diversity. “You meet people from a variety of backgrounds,” says Roller, who shoots with a former county judge, a deputy sheriff, an orthopedic surgeon, and a heart doctor. Careful to mention that many women participate in the sport as well, he says, “If you own a shotgun and you’re ready to shoot, you’re one of the guys.”
Best of Edmond
A Perfect Match by Rachel Dattolo
nowing many busy families are looking for a little relief these days, Karin Dallas opened her own College Nannies & Tutors location in Edmond near Santa Fe and Danforth earlier this year. By providing high quality nannies and tutors, Dallas hopes to help Edmond families achieve both terrific child care, as well as expert educations. “We provide customized one-one-one nanny solutions,” says Dallas, “as well as tutoring for students who need a little help catching up, or assistance to get ahead.” Tutoring is also provided for college and/or standardized test prep. College Nannies & Tutors connects you to a qualified nanny or tutor, rather than trying to find one on your own. Dallas says busy Edmond families will benefit in many ways – not the least of which is avoiding the tax hassle that usually goes along with private-pay nanny services. “All you have to do is pay for the service, as you would with any other company, rather than worry about the
legalities involved with employing a nanny yourself,” she said. The service can match you up with a nanny or a tutor for as little as two days or for several years, depending on the needs of the family. All nannies and tutors go through an extensive background check and interview process before they are hired. In fact, their careful screening starts with the recruitment process, which pre-screens potential applicants. “We personally check references and everything else in our applicants’ resumes,” says Dallas. “Then we run comprehensive county and federal background checks on all of our nannies and tutors. Once an applicant is hired, they are trained before being matched with a family, and they have opportunities within our company for continuing nanny or tutor education.” When a match is requested, Dallas personally visits the family in their home for a thorough interview to make sure all needs are properly
College Nannies & Tutors
understood in order to match the perfect nanny or tutor. “I take this very seriously,” says Dallas. “There’s very little that’s more important than the health and well-being of our children.” Edmond-area parents looking for a nanny or tutor can visit www.collegenannies.com/edmondok or www.collegetutors.com/edmondok. College students, or other adults looking to become a local nanny or tutor, can also visit the same sites to begin their application process. For more information, call 405-562-0080 or stop by 1333 N. Santa Fe Ave, Suite 116.
Sweet Success by Rachel Dattolo
f you’re looking for a comfortable lounge where you can smoke a cigar and unwind, then Tobacco Exchange is the place for you. Edmond’s only cigar store combined with a relaxing smoking lounge is located at 13512 N. Eastern, just off Memorial and Boulevard. Cigars can range from $1 to $30, with brands such as Ernesto Perez-Carillo, Punch, Tatuaje and Arturo Fuente, including higher-end cigars like Liga Privada and Padron, says General Manager Zac Troutt. The lounge’s cigars come from all over the world, including places like Nicaragua, and each brand is chosen based on customer demand. Troutt says the smell and taste of a cigar can vary significantly. “They can be sweet, leathery, nutty, woody, or spicy,” he explains. “A light, smooth cigar is comparable to tea, while heavier cigars would be similar to strong coffee.” With comfy lounge chairs, leather couches and authentic British pub signs, the Tobacco Exchange lounge is a unique atmosphere with a friendly staff.
“You get to know everyone who has been here more than once,” he says, adding, “I’d rather give up smoking, than give up the people.” Troutt especially enjoys offering advice and recommendations to light smokers or novice cigar connoisseurs by pairing them with a light and smooth product, just as much as he enjoys helping Edmond residents purchase cigars as gifts. “One of the best facets of a cigar is sharing one as a celebration,” he says. “We are one of the few places that still sell ‘It’s a Boy’ or ‘It’s a Girl’ cigars… Some people only smoke two or three times a year for special occasions, so it’s a great way to celebrate.” He says most return customers like to come in toward the end of the day to relax after work with a nice cigar. It helps them avoid the lingering scent that can be left within their home. “It’s a better alternative,” says Troutt. Special events are another big draw for Edmond residents. A recent demonstration was conducted by a Cuban immigrant, now a Floridian,
From left to right:
Zac Troutt, Dionne Baughman and Sam Cockrell of Tobacco Exchange
who taught over 50 in attendance the fine art of cigar rolling. Edmond’s Tobacco Exchange is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. A second location is also available in Oklahoma City at 2836 N.W. 63rd Street, near May Avenue. For more information, call 405-286-8093.
amily-owned and operated, Hobby’s Hoagies is “a place where you can get the best hoagies, Philly cheesesteaks and pizzas in Oklahoma,” says co-owner Kim Nixon. “We can make it anyway you like it.” Nestled in the Oakbrook Shopping Center at Santa Fe & Edmond Road, the restaurant is owned by Nixon, her dad, George Hobson and her son, Christopher Nixon. Originally from Delaware, George and his family moved to Edmond over 20 years ago, but he missed the food from back east. So he started making hoagies for himself, his family and his friends. “Everyone loved them,” said Kim. The popularity of George’s sandwiches led him to open Hobby’s Hoagies in 1991. Kim says people now come from hours away just for a taste of Hobby’s Hoagies’ authentic Philly cheesestakes because everything is handmade and fresh-to-order. “Each day, we bake our Italian rolls from scratch,” she says. “We also use the freshest meats, cheeses and vegetables... But what really makes the hoagies, are the crushed hot cherry peppers and sweet peppers that we have shipped in from Delaware.”
by Rachel Dattolo Their shop also caters sandwich and dessert trays as well as 6-foot party subs. For the holidays, Hobby’s Hoagies even sells freshly baked pies and bread that rival any secret recipe your grandma once made. “We usually have at least one family member at work and we have the best employees,” says Nixon. “Everyone cares about the food they are preparing and everyone wants the customer to have the best.” It’s these friendships and long-term relationships with both employees and customers that are the most rewarding to Nixon. We have formed a lot of friendships with our regular customers and we have become a place that they can’t live without,” she says, adding that even “employees that worked for us in high school come in with their children now.” Hobby’s Hoagies of Edmond is open seven days a week, from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. They also have a location in downtown Oklahoma City at 325 N. Walker. To check out their menu, visit their website at www.hobbyshoagies.com.
D ining Guide
CHEER by Laura Beam
“For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home." — W. J. Tucker
Edmond Wine Shop
Full Cup Bakery & Cafe
Celebrate the season with Edmond’s most impressive wine selection. Edmond Wine Shop seeks out the most diverse wines and continually introduces exciting new tastes from around the world. Shop their superb selection of collectible, limited edition wines for that special gift on your list, or choose the perfect sparkling wine or champagne for your holiday toast. Handwritten descriptions make it easy to browse at your leisure. To complete your festivities, stock up on spirits with some of the best prices in town. This innovative shop makes your holiday hosting a snap! Located at 1520 S. Blvd. Call 341-9122.
Warm up with a custom-made latte or steamer in your choice of hundreds of flavor combinations. The baristas at Full Cup artfully blend hot and cold drinks, with or without espresso, to your specific taste. Try the hot new concoction this season – butter-ale – a sweet and creamy nonalcoholic drink inspired by Harry Potter’s butterbeer. Sip a S’mores Mocha, Cinnamon Vanilla Latte or Green Mint Mocha while you enjoy scrumptious donuts, muffins, bagels, cupcakes and breakfast burritos or wraps. Stop in for a panini, salad or featured lunch dish at 300 W. Edmond Rd. Call 216-9767 or visit www.fullcupbakery.com.
Spirits A Go-Go
Your party deserves the finest attention to detail, including professional, well-planned bar service. Spirits A Go-Go will delight you with their total approach to catered bar service for any size group in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. They provide highly trained bartenders, hosted or cash bars, glasses, equipment and even the tables or bars. Bring your party theme to life with a dazzling Drink Luge with drinks pouring from an ice sculpture, Margarita Machine, Martini Bar, Shooters and more! Ask about their amazing food and dessert menus from Running Wild Catering, too! Call 751-0688.
Now Open! Edmond’s new neighborhood coffee shop is turning heads and warming spirits. Bean Juice serves up the finest coffees, French-pressed to order, plus hot and cold teas, Italian sodas, sandwiches, muffins, danishes and more. Coffee-lovers, take note - each espresso drink starts with a double shot of espresso. Stop by the drive-through window or relax with friends in the warm and welcoming café atmosphere. Don’t miss the global selection of coffees from Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and more. Stop by 15th & Santa Fe (across from Crest), call 715-2326, or visit www.beanjuice.com. Open Mon.-Thurs. 6 a.m. - 6 p.m., Fri. til 9 p.m. & Sat. 8 a.m.- 9 p.m.
H ome & Garden
by Radina Gigova
n a cold winter day, nothing brings more warmth and comfort to a home than a fireplace. While sipping from a cup of hot cocoa and gazing into the roaring fire, you might get distracted by the imperfections of your current mantle or hearth. But don’t worry, experts in the field say there are endless ways to upgrade or renovate your fireplace. The facade of the fireplace is often the first thing people notice, so consider a fresh, new look by upgrading the finish to stone, brick, tile, marble, limestone or granite. Heritage Renovations owner Leslie Peake says Edmond residents often opt for a more traditional look, rather than metal stove fireplaces or brightly-colored modern styles or shapes. “They usually choose brick or stone; they want them to be a little “old world,” warm and inviting, and also functional,” she said. Peake provides a number of ideas to give a facelift to a fireplace, such as custom mantles, columns on both sides of the opening, or even custom shelves surrounding the focal point. Windowed doors with trim painted in a color that complements the home’s interior can spice up your fireplace, or an ornate cast-iron hearth insert can add the unique look you’re seeking, she says. One accessory that is both decorative and functional seems to be dominating the market – a television. “We have been installing a lot of flat screen TVs above fireplaces,” Peake says. “The fireplace is the focal point of the room and
if you don’t have a lot of extra wall space, you can put the flat screen over the top of the fire place, as long as it’s not too close to the opening so that it doesn’t get too hot.” Peake also sees a trend toward larger fireplace openings, beyond the traditional size of 48 inches wide by 36 inches high. “Sometimes we will double or even triple that size,” she said. The larger fireplaces are usually made of brick or stone to radiate a lot of heat within larger rooms. For those who decide to go with gas logs, the market offers various sizes and shapes. One extravagant twist to the gas log concept is a newer product called FireBalls, offering a contemporary alternative. Found at Bachles Fireplace Furnishings and Outdoor Living at 9422 N. May Avenue, FireBalls come in different colors; they are round in shape; and they can be stacked in a number of ways inside the hearth. But for those who like the traditional sound and aroma of burning wood, harder seasoned logs like black jack, pecan, red and white oak or walnut would be an excellent choice. They burn for a long time, producing more heat.
Harder seasoned logs like black jack, pecan, red and white oak or walnut burn for a long time, producing more heat. However, often the glamour of a fireplace becomes dimmed when it’s time for the routine cleaning. Don Wilson, owner of the Hearth Shop in Edmond, says a new generation of pre-engineered fireplaces use airtight burning technology to basically clean themselves. They are considered the upper end of the line, reaching up to $35,000. Airtight systems create more efficient combustion and less residue, Wilson explains. The inside pipe in this type of unit is made of stainless steel that heats up very quickly and almost nothing sticks to it. There is an insert that works as a second chamber where gas and residue are burned before they go up into the chimney, keeping it clean. “With the airtight systems, it could be even 4, 5 to 6 years before you
Continued on page 20
Continued from page 19 need to clean your chimney,” he said. The insert can also be installed to retrofit an older fireplace. Sooner Fireplace owner Galen Sparkes recommends Isokern Fireplace Systems for durability. Constructed of volcanic ash, which has a high insulation value, this type of fireplace is very reliable and efficient. “People are usually looking for something that is going to be there for a long time so that they don’t have to replace it,” he said. Sparkes also suggests a chimney cap to protect the system from the rain, bird’s nests and all the animals drawn to a chimney’s warmth and cover. If rain goes down the chimney, it can absorb into the brick, causing damage. Fireplaces are permanent fixtures in many Edmond homes, so the selection of each element should be carefully thought out. While deciding on the upgrades, keep in mind that the hard work spent on every detail will make the look and feel of your home more personal to your taste, and also add resale value for the future.
F ine Living
hat’s the story behind that Civil War rifle? Who was locked up in those handcuffs? The sense of history in an antique store can be intriguing. The items for sale were once in peoples’ homes or businesses for years, if not generations. Each antique sits ready to be purchased by someone new; ready to take the next step in its journey through time. Bill McConnell, owner of 23rd Street Antique Mall, says he and his wife, Denny, wish their antiques could tell them where they’ve been. “I’ve always been interested in history,” he says, “and antiques are a natural extension of history.” At just 10 years of age, McConnell put together a list of 300 items he was seeking. “I was going to be a great antique collector,” he says. He went door to door, asking his neighbors if they had any of the items on his list. “They never gave me anything of value, but it was interesting, the things I dragged home.” It can be fairly inexpensive to build a collection. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get some nice pieces,” McConnell says. He recommends new collectors start by checking out antique shops to get a sense for their taste. “If you’re going to be a collec-
by Nathan Winfrey tor, zero in on one area and not shotgun it. Usually, your tastes change over the years.” McConnell encourages collectors to go after things they like, instead of what will bring them the most money in a few decades. “Go out there and find what looks good on your wall. Go out and find what you enjoy,” he says. “Find what turns your head.”
“If you get the collecting bug, it’s an incurable disease." Judy Thorwart, owner of Antiques Boutique in Edmond, has been in the business for 17 years. She regularly searches for items in Florida and Pennsylvania to bring back. She also goes to auctions and consignment sales. “You have to know what you’re doing,” says Thorwart. “It takes awhile; you learn by trial and error.” There are many reasons why someone might be interested in antiques, like if he inherited a glass and wants to find more to go with it. Shopping online is another option, although most collectors like to see what they are buying face-to-face. Good antique items can be cheaper than new ones, and they will usually be worth more, later. Es-
tate sales are a good place to find rare items, but the antique community is fairly small and word gets out if there’s something great. There are very few, truly exceptionally rare antiques. So when a collector sees one, he can sense it. However, Thorwart warns, “If you see something that might be rare, sometimes it isn’t as rare as you think it is.” McConnell encourages collectors to only buy high-quality items. “It’s better to buy one quality piece than a lot of junk. Quality will be worth more, later. Low quality will be worth the same or less,” he says. Although it’s tempting to save money buying chipped and marred antiques, Thorwart says it’s important for collectors to buy the best they can afford. “They should try to buy them perfect, if they can get them.” Furniture for example, should not have been refinished in order to retain value. McConnell and his wife collect match safes and American oak furniture from the 1890s to 1910s, such as Victorian Walnut and Renaissance Revival pieces. Even though Victorian items aren’t very hot right now, McConnel says, “We buy it because we enjoy it. We’re passionate about everything Victorian.” Although the term “antique” is used for a wide range of items, purists will say an item is only antique if it’s at least 100 years old. Objects any younger would be better described as “collectibles.” Popular antiques include old guns, silver, glass, and pottery. McConnell says one of the safest bets is toys. For the few who kept their G.I. Joes and Barbie dolls in mint condition, preferably still in the box, they are worth many times more than if they’d been roughed up and played with. Star Wars is big. Beanie Babies are out and Hummels aren’t as popular as they used to be. “The thing to avoid is being caught up in a fad,” Thorwart says. “I had a woman who bought $11,000 in Beanie Babies, thinking she was going to get rich. Needless to say, she lost her shirt. You just have to really watch what you get yourself into.” McConnell says, “If you get the collecting bug, it’s an incurable disease.”
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H ealth & Fitness
hat if “the gym” was no longer a place down the block packed with sweaty people and workout equipment? Imagine instead, your dream home gym: perfectly designed to match your taste and to suit your workout goals. Instead of being down the street, it would be merely downstairs. Ahhh, that would be the life. Robert Grider, owner of Fitness Equipment World, says a workout should involve the three main types of exercises—cardio-vascular, strength, and stretching—and ideally your dream home gym should have a piece of equipment that focuses on each of those areas.
CARDIO Grider says one of the most popular machines for cardio-vascular exercises are ellipticals. “I sell more ellipticals than anything. Almost anyone can use them; they are easier on the joints. If you are having ankle, knee, or back issues, you can still do an elliptical,” he said. Treadmills are a good fit for those who like walking or running. Bikes are also another piece of cardiovascular equipment to consider.
by Radina Gigova If you have a high-end budget, consider treadmills and bikes with built-in flat screen programs that display dozens of thrilling virtual courses and simulate an outdoor ride. Some bikes are equipped with handle bars that turn left and right to add to the experience. You can even choose to compete against the person next to you.
STRENGTH-TRAINING Rick Hartline, Regional Market manager for Push Pedal Pull, says one of the most popular types of machinery for strength exercises is the functional trainer. “It is a tremendous core activity. The functional trainer will do more for your core than any other weight machine you can buy,” he said. If you are ready to invest in strengthening equipment, Hartline recommends the brand Precor. “Precor dominates the industry. If you walk into any quality gym, hotel or resort, when money is not an issue, you are going to see Precor.”
STRETCHING Stretching is the third type of exercise, according to Grider, and should also be part of the workout routine. Hartline agrees, suggesting people should stretch at the beginning of the day, at the end of the
day, as well as before and after workouts. “After the age of 35, it’s the most important thing you can do to stay feeling young, and moving young.” He says if a person lets themselves stiffen up, then they start moving like an older person. “You can keep that from happening for years and years if you remain flexible,” he says. For stretching exercises, Hartline recommends the Precor stretch trainer.
SPACE PLANNING Once you are done with the important equipment selection, concentrate on which room you’re designating as the home gym. Creating an enjoyable atmosphere is key to your success. “The best way to overcome the challenge of staying consistent is to do things that you enjoy and look forward to doing,” said Hartland. That might be a flat screen TV on the wall or even a high-end hidden stereo system that allows you to rock out to your favorite beat. Wall-mounted flat panel screen televisions are a good choice because they wouldn’t use extra floor space. Other things to keep in mind when you start building your gym are adjoining restrooms, storage for accessory equipment and wall mirrors. An interior designer can help with the selection of luxurious accessories that can add comfort and glamour to the room, including a personalized water cooler, water bottle holders and towel racks. There are even colorful gym mats, engraved iron weights, as well as custom-made medicine balls and squat bars.
Flooring selections can add a specific feel, depending on your home needs—quality carpets for cushion, organic cork floors that prevent the spread of an echo sound, or an easy to clean hardwood, like the extremely durable, yet exotic Brazilian Teak. “You can use industrial carpet, or you can use rubber flooring,” says Grider, but he cautions Edmond residents to research because rubber made from recycled tires can have a strong smell, whereas refined rubber does not have the same odor. Heartland says workout equipment manufacturers have started using more contemporary, natural colors for the equipment that blend in with the home decor, such as beige, tan, lighter grays and earth tones, instead of the black and white or bright colors that are going out of style. “The bottom line is very simple, it all works equally well, as long as you use it,” Heartland said. “You don’t have to kill yourself. You can pick and choose, 30 minutes to an hour, 5 days a week, and you’ll live a long and healthy life,” he adds. For more information or advice, visit www. pushpedalpull.com or call Fitness Equipment World at 405-715-1761.
ost Americans think the good old days, when neighbors were close and communities pulled together, is an era that has vanished from modern society. But not in the heart of Edmond, Oklahoma where families, teachers, businesses and churches have rallied support for one of their own, Jessica Hatcher. The Edmond North High School senior was diagnosed with cancer last year and is determined to win her second battle with the disease that resurfaced on her lungs about two months ago. Ella Voss, fellow English student and close friend, decided to do something about it.
“It makes you feel good inside to see that Edmond is the kind of community that’s willing to help in whatever way they can." “I was devastated when I first heard about her condition, but then I decided to think positively about it and realized it was an opportunity to step up and help her. Last year, a teacher, Mrs. Wiedenmann, led a fundraiser for Jessica, so I asked for her help,” said Voss. “But this is the first time students have completely taken it over.” In less than eight weeks, the student-led “Team Jessica” raised $12,000 and they show no sign of slowing down. Students and friends started by asking for donations in their neighborhoods but quickly became more creative.
by Mindy Wood They’ve sold T-shirts, handmade bracelets and baked goods. At a car wash held in late October, students raised an impressive $2,300. Their latest fundraiser was held during the Powder Puff game in Mid-November, totalling almost $13,600. Basketball coach and teacher, Katy Korstjens coaches several of Hatcher’s close friends who decided to help with the Powder Puff fundraiser. “Every year the girls get involved in the community and Hopeful Hearts for Hatcher was really important to them. A lot of them are good friends of Jessica’s, so we discussed the idea of 16 teachers and coaches shaving their heads, including two female coaches. They loved it,” she said. Korstjens was one of them. “They called it, ‘Edmond North is Going Bald.’ Each teacher had a price on their head, $5,000 for the women and up to $200 for men, depending on how much hair he had. Each teacher had a donation bucket in the office,” she explains. “I coach girls basketball at Edmond North and teach 6th grade at Sequoyah and they were so pumped to see me get my head shaved that they went door to door getting donations. I really didn’t want to shave my head,” she laughed, “but I’m glad there was something I could do to help.” This type of overwhelming support from students and the community has helped Hatcher’s outlook. “I was surprised by all of this. It does a lot for me emotionally to know that people are so supportive,” she said. “When I’m sad and thinking about the way things are right now I remember all the people that are doing these things for me. Ella will text me about something they’re up to when I’m getting ready to go through
faculty shaving their heads to raise funds for Jessica Hatcher
chemo and it just motivates me to keep going,” said Hatcher. “She (Jessica) came to the car wash and you could just see it boost her spiritually. I want it to be that for her, not just financial support but I want her to see that we care and we believe in her. She’s always smiling and upbeat,” said Voss. The school administration is also showing their support by making the school year easier for Hatcher. “When I’m sick, they let me do classes online and when I want to come to school I can. They gave me a lot of options so I’m not stressed about that.” Korstjens believes that the entire experience has been good for everyone, especially the students who have worked so hard. “It makes you feel good inside to see that Edmond is the kind of community that’s willing to help in whatever way they can,” she said. “It’s good for the kids to see that because not every community they will visit or live in will be like that. When they leave their hometown they’re going to take that perspective with them and be proud they’re from Edmond.” Hopeful Hearts for Hatcher will continue to raise money and are now planning a benefit concert. Financial donations are being accepted at Edmond North High School. Checks should be addressed to the Edmond North Lady Huskies with Jessica Hatcher’s name listed on the memo line and mailed to 215 W. Danforth Road, Edmond, Oklahoma, 73003-5206.
by Lindsay Whelchel
hildren everywhere plead with Santa each Christmas, writing letters for that one perfect gift. As Edmond children drop their letter in the mail, they may daydream of elves scurrying about to construct their special toy at the North Pole so far away. But little do they know that one local couple has created their own Santa’s workshop only a few miles from their very own home. Just north of Edmond, Joanna and Lukas Mueller, owners of Story Builder Toys, create intricately crafted wood and plush toys that give children all the magic they wish for during the holiday season. Joanna says the idea for their products came from an old fashioned love of what a toy should be for a child, and more importantly, what it should not be. “It seems like toys these days, kids just push a button and the toy does everything for them itself. There’s something refreshing about toys that really are just a prop for a child’s imagination,” she said. While Joanna handles the character and fabric design of the plush creations, her husband Lukas utilizes his technical skills for
the wood-carved toys. As though they were in Santa’s workshop themselves, this local husband and wife team create toys that are not only imaginative, but works of handmade art with finite details to please the eye. You certainly won’t find “digital” or “pod” anywhere on these hand-made creations because the couple strives to maintain a blank canvas for childhood imagination and games. “The kid is the fuel behind it, the one making things happen and building their own fun out of it,” Mueller said. Their love for child’s play and innocent imagination is where the couple derived the name for their company, Story Builder Toys. “The idea is that our toys – they’re characters and they’re props – so the children can build their own stories.” Joanna and her husband have quite a story builder of their own. Joanna’s brother introduced her to his overseas online gaming pal, Lukas. The two spoke online for over a year before she went to Bonn,
“The idea is that our toys, they’re characters and they’re props, so the children can build their own stories." Germany to meet him. Just two years after meeting online, Lukas moved to the United States – a place he’d visited during high school as a Kansas exchange student. “We realized we were as good together in person as we were online and he introduced me to his family; then asked me to marry him,” she said. This adventurous spirit of Joanna’s was contagious – both in love, and business. After graduating from UCO, she found herself working with a retail toy store. “I wasn’t particularly happy with it,” said Joanna. So, after she and Lukas welcomed a new son, Liam, into their lives, she took yet another risk. “When I became a stay at home mom, I decided this was my chance to find something I could be happy with. My husband and I were always
talking about making a business together,” she said. The risk paid off and Story Builder Toys was born, where Joanna uses her talent for doodling as she designs whimsical characters like “Milo,” a floppy plush bunny who has become the company mascot. Milo even toured Germany with the family this past summer and blogged about his travels. Lukas’ background in multimedia helped him build their website, which is where most of the toy designs are sold; although, they do have some for sale in Guthrie and are looking to branch out to Edmond retailers soon. “We think that would be a great community for our toys,” she said. Growing up in Germany, he spent many hours woodworking with his father, which influenced his creative style. Lukas now implements his German heritage into each toy design. “Because of all the extra little details that are incorporated in the wood toys, people have said these look like old-fashioned German wood toys,” said Joanna. All of their toys are made from natural materials without metal or plastic pieces. Their adherence to safety regulations is the foundation of the company. “When our son was just a baby, that was when the big toy recalls started happening and that was really scary, especially to new parents,” she said. Safety recalls helped spur the parents to take matters into their own hands. “We decided, ‘wouldn’t it be neat if we could just make our own stuff. We wouldn’t have to worry about what’s in it because we’d know. We put it there.” Now, a year into their business venture, the couple has a routine when introducing a new toy to their line of products. First, they develop a prototype of a design they like. Then, they produce around 12 of the toy. “Everything is all handmade so it is all small batch,” Mueller said. Their son, Liam, acts as official toy-tester. If it passes his test, and sells well, they begin to make more. Mueller is careful to balance her role as a business owner with her role as mother. “If I’m trying to do something and have to stop to go build a Lego tower or be a dinosaur for a little bit, then that’s just the way it is,” she laughs.
From left to right:
Joanna, Liam, and Lukas Mueller
The family expects business to grow right along with their son. They are learning a lot from this holiday season rush. “You’d think after working at a toy store for so long I’d be used to how busy it gets at Christmas, but it’s such a different atmosphere when you have to actually make the toys,” Mueller said. No doubt, she can empathize with the elves. For more information or to place an order visit: www.storybuildertoys.com.
Stop by Edmondâ€™s finest pet groomer and boutique to adopt a recently rescued kitten. Blue Ribbon has taken in a dozen kittens that are spayed, neutered, immunized, litter-trained and in need of homes. Give the gift of your love and devotion to a rescue pet this holiday. Shop for fun boutique items for your pet too! â€˘ 359-0601 Located at 356 S. Kelly
by Mindy Wood
airytales are a treasured past time for parents and their children. They listen with delight as mom and dad tell stories that awaken imagination and emotion; but for Edmond resident Ryan McKinley, it was his 11-yearold daughter Anna’s story that sparked a little magic in him. It all started one day on a family hiking trip when McKinley told the story of Hansel and Gretel. Anna piped up with a tale of her own, complete with the title “pirate bride.” The idea captivated McKinley and he later decided to pursue writing a book with his daughter.
“Rachel’s care giving skills and family experiences prove useful to the band of swashbucklers" Anna and her brother Kyle, fourteen, kept forgetting homework assignments so their father decided to fix the problem by doing schoolwork in the library. “I didn’t know what I was going to do there for an hour and a half so I decided to bring my laptop and start writing this story. I would sit Anna beside me to do her homework and then I’d ask her about how a character should respond or get something from her perspective,” said McKinley. “After we got the first rough draft down I made sure we had significant plot elements and characterization.” Their book, The Pirate Bride, is the result of Anna’s intuitive imagination, Ryan’s talented writing, and Jerry Bennett’s whimsical illustrations. The process from idea to print was truly a trio of creativity. “I wouldn’t have been able to write this story without Anna’s original idea and input,” said McKinley. “Anna
wouldn’t have been able to complete it without my writing experience and ability to put together a compelling story. Jerry’s sketches let me visualize the characters and expand the story.” The Pirate Bride is the humorous and suspenseful tale of 13-year-old Rachel, who is weary of the responsibilities that often befall an eldest daughter among younger brothers. They embark on a family vacation to the Bahamas when Rachel is kidnapped by a ship of lost pirates. Rachel’s care giving skills and family experiences prove useful to the band of swashbucklers who can’t decide if she’s on their side or not. Anna, Ryan and Bennett have been on a string of book signings at schools all over Edmond, Oklahoma City and rural areas. “Anna talks to students about her inspiration, I lecture about the writing process and Jerry talks about his path from child artist to fulltime illustrator,” said McKinley. An unusual twist to the creative process was bringing in Bennett before the book was finished. “In the publishing world, a book is finished before they hire the illustrator,” said Bennett. “This was my first children’s book to design … and I really liked doing it this way.” Prior to The Pirate Bride, his illustration interest was dedicated to comic books, now “illustrating for young adult fiction has become a passion I never would have considered before,” says Bennett. The experience has been meaningful for both father and daughter as well. In 2002, McKinley almost lost Anna and her mother Shawna to a car accident. “I realize that every day is a blessing. When I saw this opportunity, I realized this would be something to enjoy together but something for her to look back on as something we did together,” said McKinley. “This is a special time that goes by so fast.” The story’s touching message is a mirror of the values the McKinley family holds. “The moral of the
story is that our family can be the greatest treasure,” said Anna. Her father agreed. “Family is a big part of the book’s message. Basically, hate them or like them, they’re a big part of who we become. If you don’t like your family, that affects you the rest of your life so you better learn from them what you can.” The close knit McKinley family made storytelling a habit while the children were young and their father would write stories about their family experiences. The children drew the pictures and stapled the pages. When Anna’s creativity began to emerge in singing and painting, writing was also a strong interest. “I’ve always liked to write when I had free time,” said Anna. Since most book agents don’t take on new authors, they decided to self publish through Outskirts Press and the feedback they’ve received has been so encouraging that they’ve decided to write a sequel. The biggest compliments for these two story lovers comes from parents. “They tell us their kids won’t go to bed until they read them another chapter,” said McKinley. The Pirate Bride is available at Best of Books in Edmond, Barnes & Noble on 63rd and May, Hastings in Norman, and www.amazon.com. Visit the McKinley’s website for more information about the book: www.thepiratebride.com.
DECEMBER 16-18 Enjoy a toe-tapping evening of your favorite holiday tunes by some of UCO’s finest music theatre vocalists at the Jazz Lab December 16th-18th. Performances begin at 8 p.m. and are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. For more information, call 359-7989 or visit www.ucojazzlab.com.
DECEMBER 17 DECEMBER 8-11 Henderson Hills presents their 2010 Christmas production, The Christmas Chain, December 8th-11th. Enjoy free dessert and coffee after the show. To reserve your tickets online free visit www.thechristmaschain.com.
DECEMBER 10 Energetic Wellness is hosting a Holiday Open House Friday, December 10th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy a fun-filled evening of door prizes and Q&A with Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor Michele Menzel, ND. For more information visit their website at www.energeticwellnessok.com.
DECEMBER 10-19 The Oklahoma City Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Civic Center Music Hall December 10th-19th. This colorful and enchanting production is a perfect way to create holiday memories with family and friends. For tickets, call 848-TOES or visit the OKC Ballet’s website at www.okcballet.com.
1st through 5th graders at St. Mary’s Episcopal School will perform Nine Lessons and Carols – a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus, Friday, December 17th at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy Bible readings with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music at 505 East Covell Rd. in Edmond.
DECEMBER 19 Jami Smith’s 4th Annual Christmas Concert honoring teachers is Sunday, December 19th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Everyone is invited. Admission is $10 or $5 for educators. All teachers will be eligible to win airline tickets, flat screen TV, gift baskets and more, the concert is located at 222 N.W. 15th in OKC.
DECEMBER 31 Ring in the new year at Firelake Grand Casino December 31st from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Enjoy fireworks, live music, party favors and more. Located at 777 Grand Casino Boulevard in Shawnee. Call 964-7263 for more information.