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Celebrity Style 14 Getting Your Skin in Shape 18 A Healthy Blend 20 Healthy Cookbooks 22 Get Moving! 24 Supplement Your Life 26 Less Stress and More Success in 2011 28 Massage—Not Just a Luxury 30 Music to Make You Move 32 Marketplace 34 Precious Things 36 Green Floors 38 Is Your House Making You Sick? 42 March and April Plants 44 Lead, LEED, Lead 46 MARCH-APRIL 2011



Don’t Let Your Funds Go Up In Flames 48 Consumers Can Take More Control of Health Care Expenses 50 If Your Clutter Could Talk, What Would It Say? 52 The Lady Bird Deed 54 Working Out a Cold 56 How to Sleep Like a Cat 58 Coping with Infertility 60 I’m Too Busy to Exercise 62 Don’t Miss the Bus 64 Nutrition Basics 66



MAGAZINE Volume 7 Issue 2


Jennifer Kemp ART DIRECTOR


DEAR READERS, One of my favorite sayings is, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I feel like that saying fits as a part of our county seat burned in January. Many of us were shocked that this could happen in such a modern world. Yet it did happen, and now the rebuilding begins. We hope that each business recovers—as I said, it will take all of us to help and encourage them to rebuild. Spring can not get here fast enough. One of the events I enjoy is the Ellis County Master Gardeners Show on March 26. If you are ready to be outside, then join us that Saturday. Go to the local chambers’ websites and see what’s happening in our community. -Cindy Camp, publisher

Deborah Tilson ADVERTISING


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.




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 Kate and Jennifer’s Hair by Amy Ernest, J. Paris Spa &Salon, DeSoto, 972.298.0054 Kate’s makeup by Amber Thompson, Blush at Vault Salon & Spa, Red Oak, 972.617.7333 Deborah’s hair and makeup by Spa Vita, Midlothian, 888.318.VITA

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 Thibaut • 800.223.0704 •!! !""!903-872-2533






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As we’re entering the third month of the new year, it may be getting harder to keep up those New Year’s resolutions we’ve made. Things like busy schedules, quick fixes and waning motivation may be coming in between our desires and our actions. But you know what? Those things will always be there, getting in the way. We just have to find a new way to push through. This issue focuses on health and wellness and, hopefully, you’ll find something within these pages to help you keep up your healthy motivation. For healthy recipes, pick up one of the books featured on page 22. For tips on how to relax and take care of yourself, turn to pages 28 and 30. For information about vitamins and how they can help, flip to page 26. Here at the office we’re all glued to our smartphones, and I know many of you are, too. So we scoured the app store and have found apps to (hopefully) make your life easier, from cooking to home decorating and even closet organization. In these pages you’ll find all the apps we felt we had to install immediately! Our May-June issue focuses on travel. If you’ve been somewhere exciting and would be interested in telling us about your adventure, contact me at Happy reading!



LAWN & GARDEN EXPO Come out Saturday, March 26, to the Waxahachie Civic Center to learn all about the latest in gardening at the Master Gardeners’ 10th annual Lawn & Garden Expo. For more information, visit

FOOD FEST The City of Red Oak and North Ellis County Outreach are hosting Food Fest on May 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Red Oak Municipal Center. Come out to enjoy delicious local food, live music and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit North Ellis County Outreach. For more information, call Lauren Findley at 469.218.1202.

ARTS AND CRAFT SHOW The two-day Heart of Texas Arts and Craft Show will take place on April 1 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and April 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Waxahachie Civic Center. Admission for adults is $4; kids 12 and under are free. For more information, visit MIDLOTHIAN EASTER EGG HUNT Bring the kids and search for eggs at the Easter Egg Hunt, put on by the Midlothian Downtown Business Association and the City of Midlothian. Beginning at 10 a.m. on April 16, kids ages 1 month to 10 years old can search Kimmel Park for all the eggs they can find! SPRING FLING The annual Spring Fling Arts and Crafts Festival will be held on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heritage Park. Come out to browse through products created by local artists and food from local restaraunteurs. Admission is free! Signups for booth space ends April 29.

ENNIS SUGAR RIDGE WINERY OPENING Sugar Ridge Winery in Bristol will be hosting their grand opening on April 1 and 2. After the opening, the regular store hours will be Fridays from noon to 9 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays noon to 6 p.m. The winery will be located at 353 Sugar Ridge Road. Please call 214.557.1405 for more information. BLUEBONNET TRAILS FESTIVAL During the weekend of April 16 and 17, take some time to explore “the official bluebonnet trail” and take some pictures in the fields of our lovely state flower. Visit downtown Ennis for art, crafts, souvenirs, food and live music. RELAY FOR LIFE Relay for Life in Ennis will take place at the Texas Motorplex on April 29. Put together a team and participate in this event that benefits The American Cancer Society. For more information, visit

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:








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Your New Year’s resolutions may have caused some noticeable changes in your skin. It turns out exercise and diet play a big role in the way our skin looks and feels. Get the skinny on skincare while working to lose weight and know what foods to eat to support healthy skin.

EXERCISE ACNE Often times, acne occurs on our face, back or neck due to bacteria and sweating during workouts. Clothing made to wick away sweat can aid in acne prevention. This type of breathable clothing can be found where active wear is sold.

CLEANSE PRE- AND POST- WORKOUT Always cleanse the face of any makeup, oil or debris with a gentle cream or gel cleanser before exercising. Then, shower immediately after the work out and wash with a blemish control facial cleanser containing salicylic acid, known for its antiacne properties. There are cleansers that are made specifically for the back if this is an area of concern.

BLOCK THOSE SUN RAYS If you prefer to take your workout outside, you need to take measures to protect your skin from sun damage and pollution that contribute to things like skin cancer and premature aging. Make sure to wear a hat and protective clothing. Always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays, 20 minutes pri-




or to sun exposure so that it will have time to absorb into the skin.

STAY HYDRATED Hydration is vital for healthy skin function. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water per day allows the body to flush toxins from the skin and hydrated skin cells are able to repair easily and perform at their highest level.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT What we put in our body directly affects the health and appearance of our skin. Diets deficient in certain foods can lead to skin conditions like sallow coloring, dryness and acne. Likewise, diets rich in healthy foods will result in a gorgeous complexion. Shop local farmers’ markets, filling your basket with a colorful assortment of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to fight premature aging. Food with essential fatty acids like salmon, flaxseed and walnuts truly give the skin its glow.

CAN’T GET RID OF THOSE DARK CIRCLES UNDER YOUR EYES? Vitamin K-rich foods like strawberries and leafy greens have been proven to help. A supplement or eye cream with Vitamin K may increase the body’s ability to eliminate dark circles.

GET AN A+ IN CLEAR SKIN Vitamin A promotes cell growth and can help reduce acne and slow the aging pro-

cess. Food such as yogurt, carrots and beets are a good source of vitamin A. Retinoic Acid, a derivative of Vitamin A can be applied topically to smooth the skin.

ANTI-AGING SUPER STARS Vitamins C and E are essential for skin’s health and are especially effective when taken orally. When combined, C and E minimize photoaging, neutralize free radicals, and helps build collagen. Keep up the exercise and healthy diet to not only have a more fit body, but also better, brighter, beautiful skin.

*Please consult your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements.

Amber is an esthetician with more than 10 years experience in the beauty industry, including top Estee Lauder companies and Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas. She now manages and provides esthetic services at the Spa at Equinox, Preston Hollow. Amber also operates BLUSH Makeup Artistry, servicing brides and others in need of flawless makeup application. For an appointment, reach her at



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ALLRECIPES DINNER SPINNERChoose an element of your meal, like an appetizer, and spin for quick meal ideas.


A Healthy Blend

Want an easy, quick and delicious meal? Try one of these smoothie recipes. They’re great as a post-workout treat or any time you need a cold pick-me-up. The beauty of the smoothie is that you really can’t go wrong. Experiment with different ingredients, toss them all into a blender and blend until smooth.

TROPICAL SMOOTHIE REAL SIMPLE: NO TIME TO COOK Search through hundreds of meals that take very little prep and cook time. .

2 cups fruit (pineapples, mangos, bananas) 1 container strawberry banana yogurt 1/2 cup pineapple-coconut juice or coconut milk 1 cup crushed ice

NIKE TRAINING CLUB Shows you moves for any kind of workout you’d like, from cardio to strength training.

“GREEN MONSTER” SMOOTHIE 1 banana 1/2 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 container yogurt (vanilla) 1 cup mixed fruit (strawberries, cherries, blueberries, etc.) 1 handful spinach 1 teaspoon peanut butter (or any kind of nut butter) 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa 1 cup crushed ice

MIXED FRUIT SMOOTHIE RUNKEEPER PRO Track your run distance and get coaching advice; even set up your own intervals.




2 cups fruit of your choice (try strawberries, blueberries, peaches, mangos, etc.) 1 container yogurt (any fruit flavor) 1/2 cup juice of any kind 1 cup crushed ice

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BANANA SMOOTHIE 1 banana 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 1 heaping tablespoon creamy peanut butter 1 container vanilla yogurt 1/2 cup milk 1 cup crushed ice

ADD-INS If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re feeling brave, try adding these ingredients into your smoothie for more of a nutritional boost.

PROTEIN POWDER 1 scoop Protein powder provides additional protein for postworkout recovery. It contains amino acids and can improve immune system health. Plus, some studies have shown that a boost of protein first thing in the morning can stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the rest of the day.

CHIA SEEDS 1 teaspoon Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and calcium and help build muscle, keep you full, provide energy and stabilize blood sugar. Before using in your smoothie, soak the seeds in liquid for about an hour.

FLAX SEED 1 teaspoon Whether you use seeds or oil, this nutritional aid is rich in Omega 3, fiber and lignans, which may protect the body against some cancers. The high Omega 3 content is good for the immune system, as well as hair, skin and nails.

WHEAT GERM 1 teaspoon This seemingly super supplement, made from the embryo of the wheat seed, is high in folic acid, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, protein zinc and more. It aids in the development of muscle strength.





HEALTHY COOKBOOKS While you’re focusing on getting healthy, changing your diet is a big factor. Try these cookbooks with options for deceivingly low-calorie meals.


Lean and Lovely Recipes for a Healthy, Happy New You By Candice Kumai Rodale Written by former “Top Chef” contestant and host of Lifetime’s “Cook Yourself Thin,” this gorgeous book showcases simple, low-calorie recipes and beautiful pictures. At the front of the book, you’ll learn about Candice Kumai’s tips for saving both calories and money and all about her favorite FWBs (Foods with Benefits). Try the Pad Thai—it was simple and tasty!


Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark and Live Like You Mean It! By Kris Carr Skirt! This book isn’t so much of a cookbook as it is a lifestyle book. Kris Carr was diagnosed with a rare cancer seven years ago and decided to change her diet and daily routine in order to try to heal herself. So far it’s worked wonderfully—her cancer is under control and she feels great. If you’d like to learn what foods are toxic, what foods are best and steps for a 21-day adventure cleanse, you’ll want to pick up this book.


The Cookbook that Reveals the Secrets to Cooking Your Favorites in a Healthier Way By Devin Alexander Broadway Devin Alexander, author of “The Biggest Loser Cookbook,” wrote this book in 2008, but it’s still one of the best resources for recipes that taste fattening but aren’t. Most recipes take 30 minutes or less to prepare and use ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. One of my favorites was the Curry Chicken Wrap—yum!

COOKING LIGHT’S ESSENTIAL RECIPE COLLECTION: SLOW COOKER 58 Essential Recipes to Eat Smart, Be Fit, Live Well By Editors of Cooking Light Magazine Oxmoor House What is easier than throwing ingredients into a Crock-Pot® and leaving it to cook all day? You get to come home to a finished, delicious meal that hardly took any hands-on time at all. This cookbook is filled with easy slow cooker recipes that are all less than 500 calories per serving. Some of my favorites are the red beans and rice and the barbecue chicken. BY KATE MCCLENDON, STAFF BOOK-A-HOLIC




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• Restorative & Cosmetic Procedures • FREE Nitrous Oxide • Over 20 Years • Children & Adults Experience Welcome


135 W. Ovilla Road (at Hampton) • Glenn Heights MARCH-APRIL 2011




Get Moving!


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TREADMILL INCLINE INTERVAL WORKOUT Take this with you next time you go to the gym and get in a great interval workout using inclines on the treadmill. In the following chart, Level 1 means a run or jog at a comfortable pace at a zero-percent incline. Level 2 means running at the same pace but at an incline setting that is hard enough feel challenging. Test out some of the speeds and inclines before you get started.

We all know that the keys to a healthy lifestyle are diet and exercise. But how do you get the most out of your exercise routine? Or how do you start a fitness program that works for you? If you’re stuck in a workout rut or need an exercise kick-start, here are some tips.

MIX IT UP At some point if you’re doing the same workout routine, you may hit a plateau where your weight loss or overall fitness progress stalls. But there’s an easy way to combat this—just mix up your routine. There are so many exercise options out there—strength training, yoga, bootcamp, pilates, Crossfit, Zumba, kickboxing, spinning, etc.—all you need to do is try a few. The same goes if you’re just starting out. Test out a few options until you find some you really enjoy. If it’s fun to you, you’re more likely to keep going.

INTERVALS Another way to mix up your workout and fight boredom is to incorporate intervals into your routine. All you need to do is alternate periods of high- and low-intensity work. This works best for many cardio workouts you do as an individual. For example, if you’re running, switch between 15 seconds of sprints and 45 seconds of jogging. Interval workouts are said to be efficient at burning fat both during and after the workout. When choosing an interval workout, be sure to consider your current level of fitness and stay within a range where you feel comfortable.

REST Your body needs time to recover, repair and rebuild after intense workouts, so make sure you take some time out. This doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch and do nothing. You can enjoy active rest—going for a walk, playing with kids or taking a relaxing yoga class. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you give your body and mind this little treat weekly. It is recommended that everyone fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. If you’re busy and tired after a long day, then be sure you get your workout in first thing, before the craziness of the day starts. Just make sure you’re moving and doing something you enjoy. And, as always, please consult your physician before beginning any fitness routine.



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In an ideal world, everyone would get all the nutrients they need from their food. Since that isn’t always the case, you can look to additional supplements and vitamins to boost your health. Before taking any supplements, you should consult your doctor.


• VITAMIN C AND E -counter the affects of sun exposure, reduce the damage caused by free radicals like sunlight, smoke and pollution; apply Vitamin C topically, take 400 mg of Vitamin E • VITAMIN A -aids in maintenance and repair of skin tissue; apply topically • VITAMIN B COMPLEX biotin and niacin (apply topically) are two of the most important of the B Vitamins— they help skin retain moisture so it looks plumper and soothe dry, irritated skin • VITAMIN K reduces circles under eyes; apply topically • SELENIUM protects skin from damage; take 200 micrograms • COPPER helps develop elastin; apply topically • ZINC tames oil production and helps reduce acne; take 15 mg or apply topically • ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID gives a boost to aging skin and neutralizes skin cell damage caused by free radicals; 20 to 50 mg


• VITAMIN C OR QUERCETIN ease inflammation in digestive tract; take 60 to 90 mg • PROBIOTICS add good bacteria that help digest food; take in pill form or try yogurt, but make sure the yogurt is organic with cultures added after pasteurization • FLAXSEED eases constipation; sprinkle over food • PEPPERMINT OIL eases painful gas and bloating; take one capsules • GINGER helps with occasional nausea; take one gram or two capsules • DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root) – helps heal and protect against heartburn-related damage; take three chewable 380-mg tablets





All of these vitamins, minerals and supplements aid in hair growth and healthy hair maintenance. • VITAMIN B COMPLEX take 50 mg • VITAMIN C WITH BIOFLAVINOIDS take one to two grams daily • VITAMIN E take 400 to 800 IU (International Unit) daily • BETA-CAROTENE take 10,000 to 15,000 IU • MAGNESIUM, ZINC take 400 mg of magnesium and 15 mg zinc • FLAXSEED OIL take one tablespoon or one tablet daily


• VITAMINS C AND E fight free radicals so energy can be directed towards burning fat; take 60 to 90 mg of Vitamin C and 400 mg of Vitamin E • B VITAMINS (Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Biotin, Folic Acid) – Assist with chemical reactions that break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats necessary for converting food into energy. • CLA (conjugated linoic acid) – aid in muscle development


• B VITAMINS low levels of B12 have been linked to depression; take one B-complex vitamin a day • OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS works as effectively as some antidepressants in treating depression; take 200 to 1,600 mg per day

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LESS STRESS AND MORE SUCCESS IN 2011 Yoga is a practical and enjoyable way to attain balance in your body, peace in your mind and focus for your spirit. The physical practice of yoga offers so many variations for everyone’s different needs. Yoga can be very physically active, depending on the style. Our yoga style is called Vinyasa—this means each pose teaches the importance of breathing during practice and is associated with an inhale and an exhale. Learning to breathe may sound automatic, but not breathing fully is a stress reaction and can be a symptom, or even a cause, of many diseases. After learning techniques on your yoga mat in class, you will develop new skills to utilize in real life. You may quickly experience better awareness, less reaction and more pro-action; plus getting more oxygen is always a lovely benefit. Healthy living and doing yoga go hand in hand. As we grow and practice in yoga, we develop our character and learn to take that very important time to disconnect




from stimulus, technology and the constant bombardment of our senses—or over stimulation. But we can learn to live in peace in a chaotic world. We instead find a moment for ourselves, away from our regular routine, for just a simple hour on our yoga mats. As we push ourselves physically in class, we also take what we learn and translate that to pushing through any hard situation in life. We then, in turn, help nurture our relationships with others through loving kindness. Yoga ultimately helps us respond with love by using our practice as a mirror. We see our self and develop discipline; this yoga is about developing character, learning to find stillness, getting stronger, more balanced and, of course, more flexible, in both body and mind. By each of us committing to have a positive outlook and by utilizing these learned skills, we will be contributing our small part to making this community and, ultimately, our planet a better place to live!

OTHER TIPS FOR LIVING HEALTHY IN 2011 • Get enough rest—7.5 hours is ideal for most people. • Eat foods that are colorful and avoid too many soft foods. • Eat foods that you can identify their source—know where the ingredients came from. Think, “the closer to the Earth, the better for you,” as a general rule. Look for and go out of your way to make sustainable choices, do it for your grandchildren’s children. • Drink pure water—half an ounce per pound of body weight daily is recommended. If what you’re drinking isn’t just water, drink 100% juice, organic or non-dairy milk and drinks that are caffeine free and free from artificial color and fake sweeteners. Keep a travel bottle with you at all times. Americans are almost always within 25 feet of a water source and most go around dehydrated every day! • Prepare your week in advance. Avoid wasting time and energy running around. Plan major tasks for each role in your life and write them down. Be open to change, as change is the only continuous pattern in our life. • Set realistic goals and make lists. If you set your aim high and shoot for the moon you may sometimes miss, yet you will land among the stars! • Do something every day to connect to a higher source or a bigger cause, however that connection relates to you most. Whether it translates to giving time or resources for charitable works, spending time in nature or setting your intention in prayer or meditation. Make this a daily commitment to yourself. • Allocate time for special friends and family. Keeping those relationships nurtured and caring about others makes you feel better and is what really helps us through the hard times. When life is stripped to the basics, these are the people that matter most. Demonstrate random acts of kindness. • Learn something new! Set things to look forward to in one week, one month, this year, etc. Read, study, travel, spend time at the barn or creating artwork—do whatever lights you up! • Be good to your body. Do a physical activity daily. Sweat, focus and get your heart rate up, change it up to keep it interesting, but most importantly have fun doing it!

Lisa Ware is the founder of Yoga4Love, LLC and Owner of Dynamic Yoga and Fitness Studio in Red Oak. She has practiced yoga for longer than she can remember and has been teaching since 2008.

&'',%:.!*%)*-:".1 Early Bird Specials, call now!



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Pain Free!



Enjoy the benefits that we can offer you. Our clinic can help you have pain relief from back pain, leg pain and headaches. For 18 years our clinic has taken the pain out of everyday aches and pains. Make an appointment today for a confidential consultation.


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!"#"$%&'"()&*'"%(+,'-(.*/ EASTER EGG HUNT Friday, April 16th, 10AM GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE Friday, April 22nd, 7PM EASTER SERVICES 8:30AM, 11:15AM Sunday, April 24th

972-723-0002 4250 FM 663

(2 miles south of bypass)


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Massage as a healing tool has been around for thousands of years in many cultures. Touching is a natural human reaction to pain and stress, and for conveying compassion and support. Due to our busy lifestyles these days, we have lost sight of the miraculous effects of this powerful tool. We are so busy dealing with life’s issues and taking care of other people, we forget about our own health. Now there is scientific proof that we should take advantage of the benefits of massage—ranging from treating chronic diseases and injuries to alleviating tension and stress. If you’re not sure whether a massage is right for you, ask yourself these questions:

1. DO YOU HAVE ANXIETY OR STRESS IN YOUR LIFE? It’s no surprise the major toll that daily stress takes on our bodies and minds. Experts estimate that 80-90 percent of disease or illness is stress related. Massage therapy not only provides relaxation and relief to muscle strain and fatigue, a therapeutic massage may improve your health. There are many benefits to massage therapy, including physical, emotional and physiological improvements in the body. Massage is even more effective if utilized as a preventive, frequent therapy. Massage not only feels good, but it can cure what ails you.

2. HOW MANY MEDICATIONS DO YOU TAKE? We may take one medication for hypertension, one for anti-depression, one for pain, etc. Depending on the side effects of these medications, they may add another symptom or require another medication. What if you could trade all those meds for a regular massage? Massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and humanistic approach based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

3. DO YOU WANT TO FEEL BETTER? Evidence is showing that the more mas-




sage you can allow yourself, the better you will feel because the incredible benefits of massage are doubly powerful if you use massage as a therapy, not just a luxury. No time or resources for a 60-minute weekly massage? Studies have shown that even in small doses (15-minute chair or 30-minute table sessions), massage is beneficial. Beginning your wellness plan now with regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for massage at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. Just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider regular massage as a necessary step in your health and wellness plan, and work with your massage therapist to establish a treatment schedule that’s right for you.

4. ARE YOU ARE WORTH IT? YES!! Everybody deserves a massage! There is no denying the power of massage, for all of us. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your health care regimen. It may seem strange but achieving true relaxation of body and mind takes practice. You must treat it like any other good habit—with practice, repetition and commitment. Take charge of your health and wellness today, schedule yourself a massage and experience the power of touch. Your body and mind will thank you!

Patti Godfroy is a long-time resident of DeSoto and a licensed massage therapist at J. Paris Spa and Salon. Contact her at 972.298.0054.

BENEFITS So, what exactly are the benefits of receiving regular massage treatments? • Reduces stress • Encourages relaxation • Reduces hypertension (high blood pressure) • Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs • Boosts immunity by stimulating the flow of lymph, the body’s natural defense system against toxic invaders • Improves the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin • Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles • Reduces spasms and cramping • Increases joint flexibility and range of motion • Reduces recovery time • Releases endorphins—the body’s natural painkiller • Relieves pain for migraine sufferers • Provides exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles and reduces shortening of the muscles for those with restricted range of motion • Improves mood • Lessens premenstrual syndrome symptoms and arthritis pain • Reduces lower back pain and other bodily aches • Promotes digestion • Decreases illness-related fatigue • Calms aggressive behaviors • Decreases depression and anxiety and helps to promote a healthy mind • Alleviates age-related disorders, sleep disorders and many more emotional and physical problems • Eases medication dependence • Reduces fibromyalgia pain There are certain health conditions that do prohibit the use of massage. People with the following conditions should consult their doctors before receiving a massage: • Blood vessel/cardiovascular diseases: massage may dislodge blood clots causing them to move • Certain forms of cancer • Skin conditions: burns, cuts, cold sores, bruises, open sores, herpes and swelling should be avoided during massage • Severe back pain: massage may exacerbate an existing problem, so ask your doctor first • Symptoms such as high fever or chills may be signs of serious illness • Pregnancy: seek a massage therapist certified in prenatal massage, but always ask your doctor first • Osteoporosis: people with a mild stage of osteoporosis can benefit from massage if permitted by their doctors, but anyone with severe osteoporosis should not receive a massage

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Many of us prefer to listen to music when we workout because it motivates us to get started or keep going and makes the work more enjoyable. It’s actually been proven that music reduces the feeling of fatigue, improves motor coordination, increases levels of psychological arousal and promotes a physiological relaxation response. Because music can improve coordination, it may help people with movement disorders develop, maintain and restore physical functioning in rehabilitation. In addition to improving physical output, music can have a significant role in improving pain by serving as a distractor and causing the body to release endorphins that counteract pain. Music has also been shown to reduce blood pressure, aid in post-stroke recovery, ease chronic headaches and migraines and boost immunity. So whatever music genre you prefer, just make sure you listen daily to improve your mental and physical health and wellness.

WORKOUT SONGS These are some of the songs we’ve been listening to lately to get us moving: “DOG DAYS ARE OVER” – Florence and the Machine “HELP, I’M ALIVE” – Metric “HOWLIN’ FOR YOU” - The Black Keys “EVERY NIGHT IS FRIDAY NIGHT (WITHOUT YOU)” - The Old 97’s “MONEYGRABBER” - Fitz & the Tantrums

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Swan Song (Led Zeppelin tribute band)


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Soul Sacrifice (Santana tribute band)


Fastlane (Eagles tribute band)


Third Power and Tech Effects

and) 4/29 Voodoo Blue (Stevie Ray Vaughn tribute band) For August shows and more information, visit




ALBUM REVIEW ADELE – “21” “21,” the follow up to 2008’s “19,” is British pop singer Adele’s latest effort, released on Feb. 22. This highly anticipated album lives up to the critical success Adele has already achieved, but the sound is somewhat different than her debut album. What stands out most about Adele is her tremendous voice—both dark and light, soulful and strong, she can grab your attention and hold it in place. Be sure to check out both “19” and “21” (the titles of the albums refer to her age when writing each one), especially “Rolling in the Deep” and “Set Fire to the Rain” on “21.”



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.

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CRESCENT YOGA STUDIO Special! New customers can enjoy one month of unlimited yoga for only $25! (Expires April 30, 2011) 16 classes a week, open seven days a week. Classes for all levels. 810 B Alex Lane Midlothian 469.285.3559

THE STUDIO Authentic Native American turquoise jewelry plus a large collection of one-of-a-kind jewelry! We have copper bracelets too. 20% off everyday. Mon. – Sat., 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Highwayy 77 at Tracy Lane Waxahachie

GIFTS, ETC Playful, fun and bright! 205 S. College St. Waxahachie



THE GREENERY Fountains that fit your lifestyle from traditional to contemporary. 3708 N. Highway 77 Waxahachie


SPIRIT FILLED Custom letter jacket patches, embroidery, rhinestone embellishment, team sports wear and full-service T-shirt shop. 3009 Hwy 287, Ste. A • Midlothian 469.672.6340






Teaching the art of


Adult & Children’s Classes Available

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ARE YOU READY FOR CHANGE? !"##$%%&'()& *$&+,"-%. My name is Sheila and I am a certified personal fitness trainer, boot camp instructor and indoor cycling instructor. Reforming U provides tools to help you gain success on your journey to a healthful life. I can help you learn effective ways to reform yourself through a lifetime of fitness.

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!"#$"%&$"'()*+,-."#$"/% 000,1))(2(+3.(4/./$1.* Grades K4 – 12 ACSI Accredited 3251 OVILLA ROAD • OVILLA 972-617-1177 EXT. 327 Visit our website for Open House Dates WWW.OVILLACHRISTIANSCHOOL.ORG

Sheila Micken 507-261-8701 MARCH-APRIL 2011




Precious Things If our home is where the heart is, then it’s just natural to fill it with things we love. We asked a few women in Ellis County what their most precious item in their home is and here’s what they said.


CINDY KEMP, WAXAHACHIE This dress was made by my grandmother in 1922 for my mother. Since the hem of the dress is crocheted there is a pleat made in the middle of the skirt to allow for the length of the dress to be let out. The dress was made for my mother when she was 3 years old. This is a picture of my mother in the dress that was made by my grandmother in 1922.

DIANE JOHNSON, WAXAHACHIE When I purchased my 1879 farmhouse I found this piano in the shed. After gathering history from the original family, I found that it had belonged to the eldest daughter, Elsie. Elsie broke her foot when the house was being built. Because she could not play outside with the others, her father bought the piano for her. It became her best friend for life. Now her memory is mine.




M wedding bands are very old. My They belonged to my grandTh mother who was married to my grandfather in 1933. Those bands stayed on her hands while she did many things—working hard, taking care of children, gardening, cooking and praying. Although very fragile and worn, they remind me of the strong woman she was and I hope to be.

CINDY CAMP, WAXAHACHIE Great-Grandmother Ida Worsham LaPrelle, Dallas 1905 This painting is so wonderful because it’s family. It captures an era of style and grace. She is approximately 17 years old in the painting and born in 1888 in St. Louis. She moved back to Dallas with her family. The frame and the painting are so beautiful, plus I enjoy having her in my home as if she is watching over us. It’s large, too—about 30 inches by 40 inches. The frame is carved wood and needs some attention. One day I’ll have it restored, but right now she silently reminds me of family.

SHERRY EVANS BURN, SANTA FE (SOON-TO-BE MIDLOTHIAN) The bowl was purchased sometimee in the late ‘30s or early ‘40s from the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog by my grandmother who lived in Frost, st Texas. She gave the bowl to my mother in the ‘50s. I remember mixing and making cakes, cupcakes and cookies from this bowl in our house in Oak Cliff. I can also remember her making a jello salad for Thanksgiving. When my mother had a stroke and went into a nursing home in 2007, my sister and I cleaned out her house and this is the one item that I had to have. My mother passed away last June. I have many beautiful things in my home but this is the one item that I treasure the most.

CINDY BURCH, WAXAHACHIE The special item in my home is my dad’s size-15 custom-made ostrich cowboy boots. Having played professional football, he was a giant of a man and as a kid, my friends and I thought it was funny that we could stand inside his boots with both feet. I keep them on a shelf in our living room to remind me of the gentle giant I dearly love and miss.

JANE VOISARD, MIDLOTHIAN I grew up spending part of my summers at Fishville, Louisiana. My family had a screen-porch cabin in the woods, with a spring-fed creek that ran through our property and spilled out to a branch with three swimming holes. My best summer memories are of rope swings, sand cities, watermelon spitting contests and the skating rink at night—things that are special for my husband and kids now, too. When I was little, I didn’t give a second thought to the trees, but now, they’re something to marvel at—some with canopies at over 95 feet. When Hurricane Rita came through Louisiana in 2005, one of the “smaller” trees blew over. It had a long, straight trunk and my husband, Mark, arranged to get in a portable sawmill to saw it into rough planks. We brought those back to Midlothian and cured them in storage. Mark did all the work himself, planing and cutting the boards, installing and finishing them. Now our staircase and game room floor are beautiful and full of meaning. As my dad says, “We’re walking on Fishville. My feet feel happy.” MARCH-APRIL 2011





Going green is something you relate to insulation, heating units, wallboard and paint products. Going green just doesn’t seem to relate to anything attractive. It is much like thinking of eating organic foods. Tofu, wheat germ and yogurt are just not as appealing to the eye as ice cream and cookies. While that is what the majority would say, it is really not true. It is especially not true where going green



MAR ARCH A RCH CH--A APR PRIL P RILL 2 2011 20 201 0 11 01

in your floor covering is concerned. I would like to introduce you to some products that you might not consider normally, but after becoming more informed you might spark an interest. Hardwood floors are all the rage. Wide planks, narrow planks, hand scraped, distressed, inlaid, tongue and groove, glue down and the list goes on. Hardwood has always been a great choice for floor coverings, especially now that they do not have to be waxed and polished a couple of times a year. Environmentally friendly wood has always been very highly rated, but have you ever considered some of the similar options?


Cork, for instance, is environmentally sustainable, non toxic and healthy. It creates a warm, resilient surface that is easy to walk on. Besides being beautiful to look at, it is made from recycled products, so it is good for our planet. Believe it or not, cork is made from scraps discarded from factories that create wine stoppers. The bark waste is ground up and formed into sheets under extremely high pressure. It is cut into 12 x 12-inch tiles and 12 x 36-inch tiles. These tiles can easily be installed by a do-it-yourselfer. The tongue-and-groove “click” system makes installation a snap. No glue, no mess, no chemicals.


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BAMBOO Bamboo floors have become more and more affordable in recent years. This natural product’s environmental features are very impressive. The greatest benefit is the rate in which bamboo grows. A crop is ready for harvest in three to five years. It reproduces itself without replanting and it is hardy and requires no fertilizer or pesticides. Bamboo is as hard as oak and just as durable. It has an unusual grain that creates a natural pattern that is pleasing to the eye and adapts to most any décor. You might pay a little more up front for a solid bamboo floor, but it will pay for itself. These floors will last 30 to 40 years. It takes a lot longer than that for an oak tree to be ready to harvest, so you will be saving our trees and gaining a lovely floor.

LINOLEUM Linoleum is a word rarely used in today’s design world. However, it is truly a green product that needs to be considered. I am not referring to sheet vinyl. Linoleum is a solid floor where the pattern and color is top to bottom and front to back. It doesn’t tear. It doesn’t peel and it doesn’t get snagged under the refrigerator. Linoleum is made from all-natural products such as linseed oil, rosin, wood flour, cork flour, limestone and jute. Natural pigment is used to create incredible colors without chemicals. Linoleum contains virtually no trace of toxic materials or heavy metals. It is easily cleaned




and often used in health care facilities because of its resilience and longevity. Because of its natural bactericidal properties, microorganisms cannot reproduce, making this floor one of the healthiest on the market. Last but not least, antistatic properties allow for a dustfree environment. Dust and dirt do not easily adhere to this surface.

MARMOLEUM My favorite linoleum product is called Marmoleum. Unlike ceramic floors, it is easy to walk on, warm and comfortable. It is versatile and fun to use because your imagination is the only restriction when creating a floor design. The beautiful accent borders can create rug looks and dividers between living areas. Geometric designs make game rooms and children’s rooms colorful and fun. With linoleum products, your installer is your best friend. A good

installer has had special training and knows how to create a seamless look and custom patterns. Not just any installer can do this floor justice. Make sure you find someone who has experience with a solid linoleum floor, not vinyl floors. They are totally different in every respect. If going green is a goal for you, these recommended floor-covering options are definitely a must to consider. If allergies and breathing issues are part of your life, solid surface linoleum might be right for you. Put the word linoleum back into your vocabulary and breathe easily.

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


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Is Your House Making You Sick? BY JIM JOHNSON, GRADUATE MASTER BUILDER, CERTIFIED GREEN PROFESSIONAL Indoor air quality is very important to your family’s health. On average, people spend about 80 percent of their time indoors, and most of that time is in their homes. The air in today’s home is filled with dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, chemical vapor off gassing and other things you can’t see that aggravate allergy and asthma sufferers. How does the air in our homes become so polluted? The most significant source is from attached garages. Car exhaust contains many known carcinogens and can migrate into the living space. Also, occupant activity (like smoking a cigarette), combustion of gases from burning fossil fuels (operating a water heater), gases released from building materials (emissions as paint cures), and gases from cleaning products (chlorine from bleach) are some sources, though there are many more. As the complexity of houses, especially with the use of synthetic products, increase, so do the risks to human health, not only for the chemically sensitive and the allergy sufferers but also for all of our children. What is missing in our new tight homes is air leakage. Homes that were built years ago had many air leaks because the envelope was not sealed properly. This is not very energy efficient, but it does make for healthier indoor air. I remember being in my grandparent’s home and holding a lit match next to a light switch on an exterior wall. On windy days, the wind would blow the flame and sometimes even blow it out. Thinking back on this, I wonder why my grandparents let me play with matches in their home, but that is another subject. This process of outside air leaking into the home and pushing the stale inside air out of the home is known as air exchange (good air in, bad air out). We homebuilders are now building much




tighter houses than we did in the past. This is a good thing, however these tight homes present us with an indoor air quality problem. Tighter houses prevent outside air from getting in, but they also prevent indoor air pollutants and allergens from carpet, pets, mold, cooking and tobacco smoke from getting out. Your family could be breathing air inside your home that is five times more polluted than the air outside.

fresh air ventilation. ERVs exhaust stale indoor air while providing outdoor fresh air with only a small energy cost. ERVs use a heat exchanger core to condition fresh air drawn in from the outside. During hot days, energy from the cool indoor air being exhausted is used to cool hotter outdoor air being drawn in. Many of these units help to pressurize the house slightly, reducing infiltration and resisting radon and car exhaust intrusion.

Every new home that is built today is made up of many systems and these systems need to work together, not against each other. It may make good sense to implement a new and improved system in one area, but other systems may need to be added or adjusted to keep all of the systems working together. When implementing the “build it tight” system, a homebuilder should also use mechanical ventilation to make sure the air exchange rate is high.

Over the past few years, we have seen a trend of homebuyers moving away from carpet and going more towards hardwoods and tile for their flooring as carpet harbors many pollutants. This is one good idea for source control of indoor air pollutants.

Proper ventilation is vital for healthy indoor air. It provides a constant source of fresh, filtered outdoor air to flow through your home. Ventilation exhausts harmful pollutants that are not eliminated by filtration to the outside and it controls humidity, especially important during cold seasons. Fan-powered ventilation is recommended to remove air from single rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens, where the pollutant levels from human activity, cleaning agents and mold are high. HVAC systems use fans and ductwork to constantly heat, cool and remove humidity from your home. Unfortunately, most HVAC systems installed in new homes do not have any means or system for bringing in fresh air from the outside and removing stale air from indoors. This is a real problem in our tight homes. Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) are designed to work with HVAC systems without paying an energy penalty for direct

Fresh air is critical to optimal health. Remember, there are three ways to improve the air in your home—source control, ventilation and filtration. It is a good idea to create a personal action plan. What are the sources of the problem, where are they and what can I do to correct them? I hope this little bit of information helps you breathe much easier in the future.

Jim Johnson is the owner of Jim Johnson Group, a full-service custom-home building company specializing in luxury homes and light commercial properties. Visit their website at

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BY MELINDA KOCIAN of Ellis County Master Gardeners


Squash Casserole By Pam Daniel

PLANTING • Annuals started from seed in January can be planted in late March. Wait until after March 14 to plant tomatoes and peppers. They should be hardened off (gradually exposed to outside temperatures) before putting in the ground. Cover if frost or freeze is predicted. • Sow seeds of warm-season vegetables such as beans, corn, squash and melons in mid to late March. Wait until April to plant okra. • Plant herbs and perennials in raised beds with soil amended with organic matter. • This is the time to plant warm-season annuals (begonias, marigolds and impatiens) from four-inch pots. • Castor beans and cosmos can be planted from seed. • Vines, including hyacinth bean, Cyprus vine, black-eyed Susan vine, potato vine, Malabar spinach and others can be grown from seeds to climb a trellis or arbor.

• • • •

1/2 stick margarine • 1 package cornbread 1 onion, chopped stuffing mix • hot pepper sauce to taste 2 pounds squash 1/2 pint no-fat sour cream • 2 cans low-fat cream-ofchicken-soup

Cook/steam squash; mash, salt and pepper to taste. Save 1 1/2 cups cornbread stuffing. In a large bowl, melt margarine with onions and cook until tender. Add sour cream, soup, hot pepper sauce and rest of stuffing. Add mashed squash to mixture. Spray baking dish with Pam. Sprinkle a thin layer of stuffing mix on bottom of pan. Pour squash mixture into pan. Top with remaining stuffing mix and grated cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 325º F.

FERTILIZING AND PRUNING • Prune spring-flowering shrubs and vines such as quince, azaleas, forsythia, bridal wreath (Spiraea), Lady Banks rose, Carolina jessamine and coral honeysuckle immediately after they finish blooming. • Remove dead top growth (Bermuda grass only) by lowering mower blade one or two notches. • Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer to pecans now and again in April and May. • Begin fertilizing roses with plant food specifically designed for roses. • All trees, shrubs, vines and groundcovers can be fed with an allnitrogen fertilizer.




GARDEN WATCH • As needed, control black spot, powdery mildew and thrips on roses with an appropriate fungicide or systemic insecticide. Use a stream of water or an insecticidal soap on aphids. • When a pesticide is needed, use the least toxic one first. • If needed, apply a pre-emergent on lawns to prevent spring and summer broadleaf and grassy weeds. A weed and feed fertilizer is not recommended because it is too early to fertilize lawns.

Bruschetta By Melinda Kocian • 1 large loaf Italian bread, sliced into 1/2-inch slices • 1 clove garlic, halved • Ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped • Balsamic vinegar • Salt & pepper to taste

• Basil leaves, slivered, to taste • 1 shallot (or mild red onion) minced fine • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, to brush on toast • Grated fresh parmesan cheese

Put tomatoes, shallots, vinegar, salt, pepper and basil into a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil—adjust to your liking. Set aside for one hour. Place bread slices on a large cookie sheet. Lightly toast both sides under broiler. With pastry brush, lightly brush one side of toast with olive oil. Then, gently rub with the cut side of garlic. Spoon tomato mixture on toast slices, sprinkle cheese on top and enjoy.




PLANTING • Plant St. Augustine and hybrid Bermuda sod. St. Augustine can take some shade, but Bermuda needs full sun. Make good seed-to-soil contact and keep the sod moist until new roots are established. Common Bermuda can be started from seed, but it is better to hydro-mulch. In either case, keep the area moist for several weeks. • Plant warm-season annuals from transplants. For sunny areas, consider zinnias (particularly “profusion” or “narrowleaf,” also called “Mexican” zinnias), firebush, pentas, moss rose, purslane, butterfly weed, lantana, sweet potato vine and Dahlberg daisy. Plants that prefer shade include: begonias, coleus and impatiens. Wait until May to plant caladiums. • April is the time to plant okra, black-eyed peas, corn and watermelons, either from seed or as transplants. • You can still plant cucurbits like squash, cucumbers and melons. Many herbs can also be planted from transplants (for example, dill, parsley, fennel, mint, oregano, thyme). • Wait until May to plant such hot-weather tropicals as hibiscus, esperanza and plumbago.

FERTILIZING AND PRUNING • Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer to lawns. This is usually after the third mowing when the entire lawn is green. Follow up with additional fertilizer in June (optional) and again in September. St. Augustine and Bermuda grass need one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, two to three times a year. • Mow Bermuda grass frequently at 1 1/2 inches to keep thick and healthy; mow St. Augustine at 2 1/2 inches. • Use a mulching mower and leave grass clippings on the ground. They will provide a source of nitrogen to feed the lawn.

GARDEN WATCH • Closely inspect plants for insects; identify pests. Many insects are beneficial: ladybugs, garden spiders, praying mantis and assassin bugs. If the insect is a type that must be controlled, use an insecticide for that insect. Carefully read and follow label instructions. • Treat individual fire ant mounds with an appropriate bait. Beneficial nematodes (microscopic worms) that may be purchased at many nurseries are also effective. Make sure you purchase the type that kills fire ants. If only a few mounds are present, avoid treating the entire lawn with an insecticide. It can kill earthworms and other insects that are not harmful.

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Lead, LEED, Lead: What do we make of it? With corporate business and product development in the lead, conservationist concerns and government regulations are translating into beneficial and timely products for the average consumer and building and remodel tradesmen alike. From highly advanced paint coatings to innovative building products, these recent offerings not only provide ease of use and superior quality, they are also timely during this current economy with energy- and cost-saving attributes, making it the right time to stay in and remodel our current homes. Continual advancement in polymeric resins has birthed products that are beautiful and aesthetically long lasting, while remaining structurally strong, durable and energy efficient. Paints, which started out as vegetative- and mineral-based coatings, and which have evolved through the health-threatening and now illegal lead-based technology, are now available as beneficial and convenient products due to new resin technologies. Today’s component paint coatings provide superior appearance, coverage, durability and unlimited color choices delivered in non-toxic, water-borne, low-odor (and sometimes noodor) formulas. Especially effective for exterior use are the 100-percent acrylic resin formulas with their superior tough, adhesion and colorfast properties, as well as the developments in nano-technology, which involves modification of paint components at a molecular level to increase durability and longlasting appearance. A note of caution about lead-based paint—it’s still around on many older homes and buildings, sometimes peeling off right in front of your eyes (and lungs). Homeowners and those who work in building trades and management should be aware that as of April 2010, those who are paid to work on residential homes and certain other buildings built before 1978 must have federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required certification if a minimum amount of lead-based paint is disturbed in the course of the work. Of course, these regulations are in place to protect everyone, however, it is wise for pro-




fessionals to be certified in lead-based paint handling procedures, not only for the safety of the building’s occupants but to avoid steep fines and penalties; and for homeowners to keep in mind that legally they are ultimately responsible for the renovation activities occurring in their home. Another notable health concern in recent years is the prevalence of mold. The number one progenitor of mold, and one involved in many other problems in our homes is moisture. Moisture is also the precursor and contributor to rotting of building materials, insect infestation and unwanted odors. The best defense against excess moisture is adequate ventilation and ensuring that there is no exterior intrusion or conductive formation (condensation) of water within the building envelope. One building component that can contribute greatly to the prevalence, as well as the reduction of excess moisture is fenestration, or windows. Old single pane and metal frame windows are notorious for producing condensation on the interior window surface. The condensation is produced by the hotter or colder air inside the house coming in contact with the glass/metal surface that, through conduction, has assumed the opposite temperature of the exterior air. The real problem occurs when the conditions which led to the condensation prevent the resulting water formation from evaporating, leaving the water to run down and seep into the building material below the window, possibly leading to other moisture-related problems. Since its introduction more than 50 years ago, today’s vinyl window units are engineering marvels when taking into account their material (polymerics again), construction, operation, and energy efficiency. In fact, vinyl windows have been specified in “green building” projects to help achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation as sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council. Vinyl has become a generic term for the resin-based process from which these non-conductive window materials are made. The frames and sash of these windows

BY PETE LEWISTON combined with dual-pane glass, known as insulated glass, virtually eliminate the “sweating” or condensation problems as described earlier. Other components becoming standard in vinyl window manufacturing include what is commonly known as “low-e” glass coating, which rejects the most harmful and heatproducing ultra-violet rays of the sun; and a gas filler (usually argon) sealed between the double panes of glass, which helps to deter the conduction of heat from one side of the window surface to the other. Vinyl replacement windows are designed to replace any type of window now existing in a residence or other building. One other innovative building material to note when considering maintenance and remodeling is vinyl siding. As with vinyl windows, the technologies and use of resin-based exterior clad veneers has become more advantageous since first widely used. The properties of today’s siding materials not only accommodate an enormous array of dimension, texture and color choices, but companion features such as integrated insulation components and weatherizing options benefit the energy efficiency of a home or building. Virtually every component surface of a building exterior has a corresponding vinyl counterpart which, in terms of the need for repainting, replacement of rot damaged wood or annual weatherizing, renders a building virtually maintenance free. As with all technologies, the longer they’ve been around and the more market presence they have, the cost tends to become more reasonable. Considering the superior quality, energy and health benefits, and long-lasting durability that these products offer, the difference in upfront cost versus having to maintain outdated, inefficient materials is really negligible. Not to mention helping to wipe out those nasty old carbon footprints of yours and mine.

Pete and Sharon Lewiston are long-time residents of Ellis County, having moved to Midlothian in 1982. For questions regarding remodeling and renovation, contact Pete at 214.924.8980 or

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In the early morning hours of January 18, 2011, a devastating fire destroyed a large section of 100-year old buildings that graced the County Square in Waxahachie. Spectators watching from the Courthouse lawn felt that by 6:30 a.m. the fire appeared to be under control. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, ceilings and walls collapsed and the buildings became an inferno. We may be experiencing the same sort of misconception that the scorching economic recession is now just smoldering. However, as a banker who must watch the financial landscape hour-to-hour, I must take this opportunity to warn that shielded behind the walls of optimism may be a firestorm of further destruction. How many times in recent months have you looked at packed parking lots of malls and felt some relief that the recession must be over? I reluctantly say that there are still a lot of thorns in the bed of roses.

There are indicators of a blaze kindling above a false ceiling. Unemployment remains above nine percent. Home foreclosures continue at record numbers. Consumers are using credit to buy necessities because they can’t stretch their paycheck far enough. The economies of many foreign countries are on the brink of collapse. These are worldwide headlines, however, I have my own litmus test on a local level. It is the “desperate people do desperate things in desperate times” tracking I do. And, it is never more prevalent than with identity theft. Our bank has spent millions of dollars installing safeguards to protect our customers from hackers and hucksters. Our vigilance must be kept constant every day to stay ahead of hustlers intent on finding ways to electronically steal funds. However, all our work goes up in flames if people do not do their part in the protection process.

Building a Trusting Relationship One Client at a Time

We’re here to answer your call personally and solve your legal, accounting and IRS needs.

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. !"#$%&#'()%*+($,!%+)%-.%$/+%0+1'2%&#'()%#3%4+5'6%78+9,'6,:'$,#;

Kevin McDonnell, JD, CPA

Attorney at Law and Certified Public Accountant 714 Ferris Ave. • Waxahachie • 972.923.2881

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Recently, a good Samaritan customer brought in a debit card he found on the ledge of one of our outdoor ATM machines. Obviously, the user had laid his card on the ATM while retrieving his cash and receipt, then drove off forgetting the card. That forgetfulness may be careless behavior, but it could happen to anyone. What was absolutely inexcusable was that the person leaving the debit card at the ATM had scribbled their password on the back of the card. All the time, effort and dollars we spend to protect our customers funds are wasted on individuals that recklessly allow crooks easy access to their money. Here are some disturbing numbers. Surveys show that one in five people use their birth date as their password. The survey also showed that 15 percent of respondents had their password written down in their wallet, 17 percent had it recorded on their mobile phone and more than 50 percent use the same password for all their accounts. Again, a bank’s huge investment to protect accounts from criminals is only as good as their customers’ care or carelessness. Hijackers of ID information have developed sophisticated systems to steal passwords from social networking. ID gangsters scour Facebook, Twitter and other electronic communication channels looking for common redundancies in the chatter. Gather enough information about a person and finding their Social

Security Number, date of birth and passwords to access banking accounts becomes much easier. Even children often inadvertently pass along key data about their parents that experts in identity theft use to gain access to what would seem like secure financial assets. So what can you do to protect yourself from the bad guys? The first step is to use a password that is random in non-sequential numbers or letters. Keep it etched in your mind, not written down or recorded anywhere else. Try to use only the same ATM machines and be conscious of any new device, especially a camera, that may be visually recording your transactions. Subscribe to your bank’s instant credit/debit transaction program. The system immediately lets you know when you, or anyone else, is using your debit or credit card. It even can call you on your cell phone any time your card is used. If it’s not you (or someone you authorize) using the card, then you can immediately track where the thief is stealing your funds. Just when spectators took a sigh of relief that the fire in the historic downtown Waxahachie buildings was under control, the unexpected happened. The loss was monumental. And, seeing your bank accounts go up in flames can have the same catastrophic effect if you are not diligent in protecting your hardearned funds. Take precautions now.

!"#$%&'($)!*#)+*,') -"(')!"#.("/)"0) 1'*/.23!*(')456'#$'$ BY ANDREA WALTON, STATE FARM® AGENT

Are you looking for a way to trim your healthcare costs, reduce your federal income tax liability and potentially save more for your future? You can contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA) which, when used in conjunction with a high deductible health plan (HDHP), helps individuals save for qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a taxfree basis. Anyone may contribute to an HSA on behalf of an eligible individual—you, your employer or anyone. Your contributions and the contributions of others are tax deductible and, if your employer chooses to contribute, those contributions will be deductible by your employer and not included in your income. All earnings in an HSA are tax deferred and distributions are tax free if used for qualified medical expenses, including long-term care premiums. This allows you the opportunity to pay for your medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. In addition, any unused HSA funds may be withdrawn after you turn age 65 with no penalty. The funds will be taxed as ordinary income. HSAs are portable, with rollover provisions, allowing you the opportunity to move funds from one HSA to another. If you obtained an HSA through your employer and change jobs, you can roll over your HSA into a new HSA and take the funds with you. HSAs are important, particularly for those who are uninsured or underinsured, small business owners or anyone facing the challenge of affording quality health insurance coverage. But the advantages don’t stop there—even if you’re adequately insured, but want to reduce the cost for health care, HSAs may apply to you as well. Talk with an insurance professional for more information on HSAs.

Andrea Walton is a local State Farm® agent. Contact her at 972.617.7770.




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Michael W. Hartley Attorney & Counselor at Law

Michael W. Hartley has been practicing law for 30 years. He is proud to call himself a trial lawyer. He believes that power in America should remain with the people through the exercise of individual freedoms. Trial lawyers give the voice with which to respond to big business, government and the judiciary. AWARDS: The Brown and Judge award for Academic Achievement in the area of Products Liability. He was a member of the Board of Barristers and Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity while in law school. Represents both Plaintiffs and Defendants: Family, Probate, Contract, Corporate, Real Estate, Product Liability, Commercial Collections, Appeals to the Court of Appeals & Supreme Court of Texas, Trial of civil cases including misdemeanor & felony charge, including Capital Murder and appeals to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

• B.S. degree in 1975, Texas Tech University • J.D. degree in 1979, Texas Tech School of Law • Practiced in El Paso, Texas for 11 years • 1991, Practice relocated to Waxahachie

216 Franklin Street • Waxahachie

972.938.0088 MARCH-APRIL 2011





I made a miraculous discovery the other day. Snow and ice forced us inside for unusually long periods of time and, after taking care of various household tasks, I decided that I finally needed to clean up my study.

To those of you who never have clutter, I commend your discipline. For everyone else, hopefully my story will invoke a sympathetic nod of the head and a smile of recognition. And if I have done my job properly, my tale of clutter gone mad will entice you to follow the steps described to dissolve your own resistance. You see, my study is the one room in our house that is totally my domain. No one else uses that desk or computer; no one else pays the bills. Just me. And the oncespacious room had somehow morphed into a messy, disorganized cesspool of piled up papers, stacks of books, loose files and numerous projects. All of which needed my attention and focus, but from which I avoided with a passion. Sound familiar, anyone? Not wanting to examine why I refused to address the mess, I just kept adding to it, adopting the Scarlet O’Hara approach— “I will think about it tomorrow.” Well, “tomorrow” finally arrived on the back of the worst snowstorm that our area had seen in 20 years. Forced to be idle, I finally chose to look with an objective eye at the one area of my home that does not reflect me. After taking a deep breath to calm myself, what I discovered was truly amazing. Every one of the piles and stacks had a message for me! When I detached myself




from the emotional reminders triggered by the clutter, I saw with crystalline clarity the reasons I allowed the room to become so unlike my neat, organized self. The clutter was really my resistance to accepting and integrating painful lessons from several past events. The root for the word “integration” is the smaller word “integer,” which means “whole.” When we move too quickly from one event to another, we fail to integrate our experiences into the broader canvas of our life. If the events were painful or disappointing, the end result is a cauldron of strong emotions that have been pushed down, below the surface of our awareness. Just like a beach ball that is held under water, at some point, it will bounce back to the surface. And in my particular case, instead of a beach ball, it was clutter. Once I identified my resistance and saw the lessons learned, I quickly dispatched of the piles of books, stacks of papers and filed everything in its proper place. A sense of calm and joyful creativity returned to the one place in my home that is truly mine. To recap how your clutter can guide you toward peaceful coexistence, just follow these simple steps: 1. Look at the area in question and ask yourself, “What does this mess say to me?” 2. Listen to whatever thoughts flit across your mind. Do not judge—just let the thoughts form. If you get stuck, take out a piece of paper and start writing down thoughts about that area as they come to

you. Trust in the process (and yourself) and the answers will soon flow. At some point, you will experience an “aha” moment. 3. Relax and accept your newfound insight. See the clutter for what it really represents—your resistance to accepting and integrating a painful or negative emotion or circumstance. Be gentle with yourself and say, “Now that I understand what I was doing, I can release the negative emotions I feel about this.” When you meet your resistance face to face, you can see it for what it is—a failure to integrate a past experience or emotion into your current self. Accept what you were resisting, and then let it go. The clutter will soon follow.


Who would have thought a freak snowstorm and a bunch of clutter would be the ideal environment to learn a valuable life lesson? Kathryn Eriksen is an attorney and local resident who discovered a passion for writing. She has written two books, including “Walk With the Master, A Biblical Story of Canine Proportions” and “Images in America – Waxahachie.” Kathryn also leads the SIMS Writer’s Group, serves on the Board of Historic Waxahachie, Inc. and works as the Special Projects Director for the Ellis County Judge.


Business Essentials !"#$%&'()*'#$'+,-'.)/0#1 E-mail Marketing

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There’s no better way to get the word out about your event or service than by utilizing our e-mail database of more than 7,500 Ellis County community and business leaders and readers of our exclusive publication, Ellis County Living Magazine. Our database e-mails have all been verified. We design an e-mail with the content you choose (including links to social media) and e-mail it to our database and yours. We will then provide a detailed open-rate and click-through report.

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2011 Ellis County Living Magazine Calendar We’ve designed a calendar of special features for maximizing your advertising promotions. Our magazine has five reading sections: Fashion, Life+Style, Home & Garden, Professional and Medical.

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Lawyers go to great lengths to make the mundane memorable. No law student can escape those three long years without discovering how Marvin the Martian adversely possessed Blackacre from Yosemite Sam. Or determining on an exam whether Luke committed battery against Darth or merely assault. It is rare, thankfully, that these lame examples and nerdy fact patterns find their way into the outside world. But one did: the Lady Bird Deed. It is commonly thought, even among most attorneys, that the Lady Bird Deed was named after a special conveyance of property between President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird. And to an extent, this is true. Only it never happened in the real world. It happened only in the lecture materials of Jerome Solkoff, an elder law attorney in South Florida. Mr. Solkoff used Lyndon and Lady Bird as fictional characters to describe a novel legal concept he created in 1982: the “Enhanced Life Estate Deed.” The Lady Bird Deed, or “Enhanced Life Estate Deed,” was originally conceived in an effort to assist in Medicaid eligibility planning. And while it is extraordinarily useful in this regard, it also contains certain features attractive in a more general estate-planning context. Solkoff’s creation, like most great legal or scientific breakthroughs, was simplicity itself. A Grantor deeds real property (his home for instance) to a Beneficiary. However, in the deed, the Grantor reserves all rights of ownership. That is, the right to possess the property for life; the right to sell the property and reinvest the proceeds; the right to mortgage




or otherwise encumber the property; and the right to rescind the deed at any time. What’s more, the Grantor relieves himself of any liability for committing waste on the property. The Grantor could burn the house to the ground and owe the Beneficiary nothing.

right of ownership, no present gift or “transfer” is made and no penalty is assessed. And because these reserved rights lapse upon the death of the Grantor, full title to the property passes immediately to the Beneficiary at death, bypassing the need for probate.

This deed was designed to answer two important Medicaid planning questions. First, how to transfer real property without incurring the dreaded “transfer penalty.” And second, how to simultaneously ensure that this property passes outside the Medicaid recipient’s probate estate.

While the Lady Bird Deed originated in Medicaid planning, its benefits extend to ordinary estate planning as well.

Some background: one condition of qualifying for nursing home Medicaid benefits is that the applicant must not have made any gifts of property (with limited exceptions) within five years of making application. Otherwise a “transfer penalty” is assessed, which results in an ineligibility period of days, months or even years. To make matters more complicated, the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993 directed all states to impose a mandatory recovery program by which the states may recoup their Medicaid expenditures through a deceased recipient’s estate. Because a Medicaid recipient’s liquid assets are generally nominal, the estate recovery program is focused on the recipient’s exempt resources, namely the homestead. In 2005, Texas implemented its Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP). Fortunately, with our state’s long history of strong homestead protection, the Texas Legislature limited MERP’s reach to the probate estate. This means that the State may only recover against a deceased’s property passing through a probate proceeding. Therefore, the Legislature thoughtfully allowed its citizens the opportunity to plan around probate and thus avoid the recovery program altogether. The Lady Bird Deed kills two with one stone. Because the Grantor has reserved every

For starters, it allows a Grantor to retain enormous flexibility and control over gifted property. This flexibility is an especially important asset protection feature if the Beneficiary falls on hard times. The Beneficiary’s creditors have no right to the property until the death of the Grantor and the Grantor may simply rescind the deed and name a different beneficiary at any time. Also, when real property is the only asset of value, the Lady Bird Deed has become a relatively low-cost alternative to the preparation of a will or trust. Lastly, because the transfer is not completed until the death of the Grantor, the Beneficiary receives the added benefit of a step-up in basis. Thus, any capital gains realized by a future sale of the property would be calculated using the fair market value at the time of the Grantor’s death rather than at the time the Grantor purchased the property. So, while the Lady Bird Deed may not have the pedigree its name implies, it is extraordinary nonetheless. And there is no doubt that the First Lady would be proud to lend her name to a deed saving hundreds of family homesteads across Texas.

Jacob A. Hale is an Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney at The Hale Law Firm, P.C. in Waxahachie. To learn more about this topic, please visit or e-mail the author at







WEBMD Check your symptoms and get answers for many different medical questions.

LOSE IT Track your calories in and calories out and set a weight-loss goal.

When you have a cold, you probably don’t want to do anything except lay in bed and watch TV. You don’t want to go to work, and you certainly don’t want to work out. However, while your job can run you down, leaving you more susceptible to getting sick, exercise can actually help prevent catching the cold bug in the first place. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has revealed, simply, that more exercise equals less illness. Of the 1,000 participants in the study, those who reported exercising for at least 20 minutes a day at least five days a week benefitted from 40 percent fewer sick days. The study bolsters similar findings in other research conducted over the past decade.

PUMPING UP THE IMMUNE SYSTEM “It’s believed that exercise increases the number and aggressiveness of certain immune cells in the body, which helps fight off infection,” says Natalia Southerland, MD, a family medicine physician on the medical staff of Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie These immune cells— called T-cells—are a type of white blood cell instrumental in directing the body’s response to viruses, including a cold. They are often compared to soldiers sent out to destroy foreign invaders in the body. “I always try to talk to my patients about the benefits of exercise, and how critical it is to overall wellness and keeping from getting sick.”

THE BIG QUESTIONS RXMIND ME Put in all your prescription information and get reminders to take your medicine.

Two of the most common—and somewhat debated— questions people have for physicians and personal trainers alike are how much exercise and what kind. After all, walking from the couch to the kitchen can be considered exercise. Luckily, when it comes to getting the immuneboosting benefit of exercise, the answer is pretty straightforward says Diane Anderson, CPT, fitness and weight management coordinator at BaylorWorx Rehabilitation and Fitness Center. “The best exercise is the one that you’ll do. It’s important to find out what you’re apt at doing. That’s why walking is so popular–because it’s one thing that people don’t need instruction on.” Dr. Southerland agrees that any exercise is good exercise but adds, “Aerobic exercise is probably the best thing because it’s something that is going to increase your heart rate.” She, like Anderson, points to walking as a great place to start. Although you don’t have to train like an Olympian for your immune system (and your waistline) to reap the rewards of exercise, to maximize the benefit, managing stress, getting enough sleep and, of course, eating a good diet is essential. Eating foods high in antioxidants,




like fruits, vegetables and lean meats, is a tried and true method for staying healthy. “It’s often said that if everyone would work out 20 to 30 minutes a day and eat a healthy diet of five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, a lot of personal trainers would be out of business,” says Anderson.

PREVENTING A BACKFIRE Since exercise can help prevent a cold by boosting the immune system, it stands to reason that it can help get rid of a cold or other illness if it has infected the body. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. “If you have a full-blown cold, with symptoms at their peak, you should let your body rest–give it time to recover before getting back in the gym,” says Dr. Southerland. She also says that people with certain heart or cardiovascular conditions need to be extremely careful when undertaking even a moderate exercise regimen. Though she points out that exercise may have a place in the treatment of these conditions.

GETTING AN ASSIST If this is the year you’ve decided to get back into an exercise routine after a long absence, you should consult your physician first. He or she can help you design a program that’s right for you and any health challenges you may be facing. Besides a physician, there are other exercise resources readily available to get in shape, lose that weight and reinforce your natural defenses against illness. “I think a personal trainer is very helpful in terms of motivation,” says Dr. Southerland. But she cautions, “If you have a condition like diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease or are pregnant, it’s safer to go to a trainer or fitness facility like BaylorWorx that has experience working with people with medical conditions rather than a general health club trainer. “

People without chronic health problems, who are not overweight and eat healthy may not think they need to exercise. Anderson hopes that the growing volume of research on exercise and its positive impact on the immune system will give everyone a reason to get active. “Exercise is less expensive than any doctor visit,” she says. ”It’s your first, best line of defense.”

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 nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie or Baylor Health Care System.



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 fine Texas universities, he is here to manage your pain.

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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

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FOR WOMEN Dr. Paul Lansdowne, M.D. “Providing comprehensive obstetric and gynecologic care for the women of Ellis County and Tarrant County.”

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I’m not really sure why humans sleep, and I don’t really care, as long as their sleep doesn’t disturb mine. I am told that sleep is necessary to process memory and to restore some of the chemical transmitters in the brain. That probably explains why cats are so intelligent. Mostly I just like it, especially in front of the window on a sunny day. Even better is on top of the dining room table when the staff is not around to complain. They are so picky about what they refer to as“hygiene.” Since I spend much of my day cleaning myself I am insulted at the staff’s insinuation that I am “dirty” and must stay off the table. DO YOU HAVE A SLEEP DISORDER? They say you should be able to stay awake for 14 to 16 hours without a nap. I cannot imagine why you would want to, but apparently it’s a human thing. If you sleep most of the day and are tired the rest of the time that is normal if you are a cat. If you are a human, that is decidedly abnormal. Basically, if you fall asleep easily and wake up refreshed and aren’t tired during the day, you’re probably getting enough sleep. DO YOU HAVE SLEEP APNEA? If you snore and snort and are tired in the day, you may have sleep apnea. If that racket you make disturbs your cat’s sleep, you can bet you will pay for that some day. If house plants begin to die unexpectedly, small objects go missing, maybe a dead mouse shows up under the table at your next dinner party, you should get your sleep apnea fixed before something worse happens, like a heart attack or stroke. Seriously, humans need to fix their sleep apnea for their sake as well as for their cat’s sake. It’s easy to di-




agnose and treat and, if left untreated, can considerably increase your risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Ask your doctor about it. DO YOU HAVE INSOMNIA? That is a question that never would occur to a cat. Insomnia for us cats is sleeping less than 20 hours a day. Humans, the weak and inferior species that they are, seem to have quite a bit of trouble sleeping. There are, I am told, three kinds of insomnia. One is the kind that lasts a few days and is associated with some kind of stress. Stress is something else we cats don’t understand. We don’t really have stress, but we may be carriers. Stress happens to dogs all the time. Ever see a Chihuahua? They are born wound up tighter than Elvis Presley’s pants. Poor things. Anyway, insomnia that lasts a few days is usually associated with stress, like a big test coming up, or some big presentation at work (work is another concept that is absolutely foreign to us cats). It will go away in a few days once the stress is over. Longer-term stress, like that associated with financial difficulties, problems in a relationship or excitement about moving, etc., may last a few weeks to a couple of months and may require treatment. I find some warm milk and a nice nap on the table does wonders, but humans seem to do best with some reassurance and maybe with some sleeping medicine for a few weeks, no more. Insomnia that lasts six months or more may be serious and you really need to talk to your doctor about it. DO YOU HAVE RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME? You see cats make all sorts of adjust-

ments in their position before lying down to sleep. That is the sign of a real sleep expert. Humans, I am told, sometimes have funny feelings in their legs that make them want to move their legs and moving the legs usually helps for a few minutes. This could be restless legs syndrome. It may not make you sleepy in the daytime but it can make it difficult to go to sleep and, much more importantly it could disturb your cat’s sleep. Not a good plan since a cranky cat is not a pleasant sight.

SOME HUMANS ARE SLEEPY ALL THE TIME, NO MATTER HOW MUCH SLEEP THE GET. ARE YOU ALWAYS SLEEPY? Some humans are sleepy all the time, no matter how much sleep the get. They are kind of like cats, but not nearly as intelligent or sophisticated. If they snore, it may be sleep apnea and if they don’t, it may be narcolepsy or a similar problem called hypersomnia (a fancy word that means excessively sleepy). Unless you are a cat, you really need to get this checked out since driving sleepy is very dangerous and these problems are fairly easy to fix. Occasionally humans do some strange things in their sleep. They do a lot of strange things When they are awake, too, come to think of it. Like getting in a shower or a tub of water. Or shaving. What’s up with that? Cats would never do either one. Some humans walk or talk in their

sleep and others seem to be acting out their dreams. From the looks of it, human dreams are pretty dull. They don’t seem to be chasing mice or driving dogs off the property in their dreams. Sometimes they claim to be running from or chasing after something in a dream and they actually are running or walking or fighting while they are still asleep. Occasionally they will hurt themselves or someone else in the process. Fortunately it is pretty easy to fix once the correct diagnosis is made. Then the cats can count on the uninterrupted night’s sleep that they so richly deserve after an arduous day of napping. So, what can you do to sleep like a cat? Nothing really, since you will never have the professional sleep skills that a cat is born with, but in the interest of inter-species harmony I’d like to make the following suggestions: • Get up about the same time every day, weekends included. It will help if you get some bright light since that helps set the clock in your brain. Speaking of brains, I have never understood how a creature like a cat, with a brain the size of a walnut, can dominate a species like humans, which has comparatively much larger brains. Can you imagine what we could do if our brains were that large? Or if we had opposable thumbs? • Only go to bed when you are sleepy, which for us is all the time. Never lay in bed for more thaN about 20 minutes “trying to sleep.” Get up and go sleep in the other room. Lying in bed trying to sleep actually makes the insomnia worse, not better. • Don’t nap. This really sounds stupid to a cat, but it makes sense for humans. Maybe one 30-minute nap, but NOT while driving. That is not only sure to generate much unwanted excitement, it will get you killed. If you snore, have insomnia, restless legs or some other problem with sleeping or staying awake, ask your doctor about it. Only then can you hope to sleep like a cat.

Edwin Charnock, MD, FCCP, FAASM, is the medical director at Medical Sleep Solutions in Waxahachie. Call 888.768.SLEEP for more information.


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!"#$%&'($)*'+%,-.)$/$)0 DEAR DR. DONALDSON, My husband and I have been married six years and have been unable to conceive. We have sought medical help, but the further along we get with this process the more distant we are feeling from each other. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want this to ruin our marriage. You are not alone. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of couples are infertile. You and your partner may feel hurt, stressed and frustrated with each other. This is likely the greatest challenge you and your husband will face, so it is no wonder it has placed a strain on your marriage. Perhaps you are finding it difficult to share your feelings about the emotional, physical and financial toll this is taking. Your situation may also be causing stress with family and friends. The physical process of monthly (sometimes even weekly or daily) examinations is expensive, embarrassing and tiring. To add insult to injury, medications often have unpleasant side effects. When surgery is required, the stress is intensified. Over time, you begin to feel the toll of having your privacy invaded as you, or your partner, are subjected to yet another examination or procedure. You may feel uncomfortable when well-intentioned family and friends ask for updates as they wait for your good news. To make matters worse, they may offer unwel-




come advice. Hearing the news of friends or family members who become pregnant only serves to intensify your distress. These experiences can cause you to feel like a failure as another month passes, another treatment fails or another friend becomes pregnant. Disappointment intensifies after each expensive procedure or round of treatment that does not produce a pregnancy. This can lead to depression and anxiety. The strain in your marriage may feel overwhelming. Your self-esteem may suffer. You and your husband can feel lonely, sad and even angry. If one partner has been identified as having the medical problem causing infertility, the resulting guilt can be unbearable. It is understandable with these pressures that you and your husband are now feeling distant from each other. Some infertile couples I have worked with have found themselves resenting physical intimacy. You may be staying away from family gatherings and social

events to avoid discussions about pregnancy and infertility. This may be especially true if friends and family have children. These distressing feelings can be intensified for you if you are prescribed certain drugs. However, now is not the time to cut yourself off from the valuable support of family and friends.

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Dr. Donaldson is a clinical psychologist practicing in Waxahachie. She can be contacted at or visit


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!"#$%&&$'()*$ +&$,-./01).2 BY STEVE CROSS

I’m too busy to exercise! How familiar does that sound? It’s amazing how often I have heard this line and how many people use this as an excuse to not exercise. Working out not only makes you happier but also helps you to make the right decisions that you have to make everyday in your business. It’s proven that the best way to release work-related stress is to work out. Why think about where you want to end up in 20 years if you are never going to make it there anyway? What are some tips for finding time to exercise? Try going to the gym early in the morning or on weekends with your kids or your friends. Or you can simply play an organized sport once a week, like soccer, or try something on a more individual basis, such as martial arts, gymnastics or dance. Use a stairwell every time you can, park as far away from the store entrance as you can when you go shopping and walk for 15 minutes every day after lunch. We have a lot of small segments of time that end up being lost when they could be more productive parts of our day. As the year goes on, the reasons for dropping a fitness program start to multiply. They grow to become large, unmovable facts that permanently prevent motion. Some of the reasons for the lapses are really good ones! You may recognize yourself somewhere in this article. Here’s how it goes: “Where have you been? What have you been doing with yourself?”




Answer: “Eating!” That’s logical, honest and usually true. Or, “I haven’t been to class because I’ve been digging a hole for our hot tub.” That is an especially good excuse because it came from a woman! There’s the wife who missed six weeks of her workout because she broke her tailbone during her kid’s roller-skating party. It gives me goose bumps thinking about it. Let’s not forget about the guy who was gone for a year to Iraq. He had to be in shape to go, and he’s in better shape now! One woman threw her back out trying to back flip on the neighbor’s trampoline. I used to do that when I was in high school; I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser. There are exercise excuses for personal reasons. “I got married, I moved to Alaska, I got a divorce, and…now, I’m back!” There are the re-used excuses that some people can use over and over. When it comes to fitness and weight-loss excuses, they can be quite entertaining. “I had my jaws wired shut,” or, “I had my stomach stapled.” These catchy little reasons for dropping exercise always turn up when you least expect them. Sometimes you wish they hadn’t! The exercise excuses that I have a hard time listening to are those from students who stopped exercising because they went on a vacation in Europe or on a cruise to Hawaii. Realistically, I know that people get hit with golf balls, get into trouble riding

bikes, do face-first landings in hang gliders and even slip in bathtubs. These are all legitimate excuses for not exercising. But what it points out is that active people who get injured, hopefully, will not be injured severely enough to stop all movement. Active, physically fit people will be able to do more with their bodies than the sideliner who does nothing to stay fit. So, once in a while, you might find a little suffering along the way. Life, however, is much more interesting when it is filled with those little challenges. Maybe you have moved to a new town or retired, maybe you have changed your lifestyle, your wife or husband or perhaps you’ve added a new activity. None of these counts for reasons to stop exercising…but it does give me something to write about! You can always find time if it is really important to you. Just remember—a healthy mind exists only in a healthy body, so no matter how smart you are in your business, it would be hard to stay happy if you are not moving. Humans are made up of approximately 90 percent water. Now, take a minute and think about what happens when water doesn’t move? I’ll see you on the mat!

Steve Cross is the head instructor and owner of Cross Martial Arts Center in Midlothian. Cross is a 5th Degree Taekwon-Do black belt, a certified international instructor, and a high school communications teacher. For questions call 972.775.1857 or go online at

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While on an international trip, I had a layover of several hours in Frankfurt. I had time to enjoy a few tourist sites before catching my flight to Prague. After returning to the airport three hours early, I checked in at the ticket counter and proceeded to browse the shops— after all there was plenty of time. I leisurely roamed around buying German chocolates and T-shirts, I even had a Wurst dog at nice little kiosk. Unaware of the differences in foreign airports, I arrived at my gate about 30 minutes prior to flight time. It was then I learned that I had missed my flight. No, the flight had not left, but the bus that took the passengers down the tarmac to board the plane, had departed. Wow! It cost $500 to re-book the flight—five times what I had originally paid! I then arrived in Prague much later than I had planned, which led to additional expenses. I won’t even mention the inconveniences that I suffered. What a mistake! It was quite costly in both time and money. The moral of the story is you may think you are doing things right. You might even think you are prepared. That doesn’t change the fact that something else might be going on that you are unaware of. And that something else could affect you in a lot of ways. Your dental health can be just like this. If you fail to “catch the bus” you could be harming yourself. Just because you didn’t know a bus ride was required, doesn’t change anything. The bus still left without you. Dental health, admittedly, is not the most exciting topic in the world; however, your overall health and well-being could be at stake. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can develop by failing to practice proper oral hygiene. While gum disease wreaks




havoc with our teeth and gums, scientists have discovered that it is also a culprit in a wide range of other serious health problems.

HEALTHY SMILES The obvious reason to practice good oral hygiene is to have a beautiful and healthy smile. Gum disease can and will lead to a whole host of oral problems that affect your ability to talk, laugh and eat comfortably. Gum disease causes bad breath, gum recession, tooth movement and tooth loss. Healthy gums are imperative to a healthy smile.

SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS So you are still not convinced your oral health is important? Serious health problems have been linked to periodontal disease. Persons with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. It is speculated that the inflammation caused by gum disease increases plaque build up in blood vessels, contributing to arterial blockage. It is also reported that pregnant women with gum disease may be seven times more likely to deliver prematurely. Apparently the presence of gum disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor. Periodontal disease is closely associated with diabetes. It is clear that gum disease is one of the common complications of diabetes and may, in fact, contribute to the onset of diabetes in adults. Gum disease has recently been identified as a contributor to lung conditions. Bacteria grown in the mouth can be aspirated into the lung. People with respiratory problems should be particularly concerned about their oral care.

SO WHAT CAN I DO? Clean your teeth and gums regularly— ideally brushing and flossing after every meal. The use of an electric tooth brush or antibacterial rinse may also improve your home health care routine. Avoid tobacco products. Research shows that smokers have an increased risk of developing gum disease. However, quitting smoking and improving general oral hygiene can reverse the negative effects of smoking. Maintain a healthy diet, including drinking plenty of water. A balanced diet is just as critical to your oral health as to the rest of your body. And the water will help you produce saliva which helps neutralize harmful bacteria. Visit your dentist and dental hygienist at least twice a year. These professionals are trained to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy and they will identify concerns before they become serious issues. And, what if you are already suffering from some of these symptoms? Your dental team can help you get back on track. We want patients to enjoy the benefits of a healthy smile. It doesn’t matter what stage of gum disease you are suffering with, there are solutions. We can help you have the smile you want. I missed the bus because I didn’t even know I needed a bus. I couldn’t get on the plane without first riding the bus. I don’t want you unknowingly miss out on good health. Your dental health is an important part of your overall health. Don’t miss the bus! Call your dentist today.

Davis W. Morgan, DDS, is located at 102 S. 7th Street in Midlothian. Contact Dr. Morgan by calling 972.723.5544 or visiting

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Nutrition Basics BY KATE MCCLENDON

Eating right is key to a healthy lifestyle, but with so many foods out there boasting their “low-fat,” “low-sodium,” or “no trans-fats” qualities, it’s hard to tell what exactly you should be eating. To figure everything out, look to the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” put out by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. Since 1980, this group looks at what we should be eating and creates a detailed pamphlet every five years with the most important dietary messages we need to hear. This year they’ve updated the guidelines keeping two overarching concepts in mind—maintain caloric balance over time to achieve and sustain a healthy weight and focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods and beverages. Here are the top recommendations from the “2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:” Balancing calories to maintain weight:




• Control total calorie intake to manage body weight. • Increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors. • Maintain appropriate calorie balance during each stage of life—childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy and breastfeeding and older age. Foods and food components to reduce: • Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. • Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids by replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. • Consume less than 300 mg per day of dietary cholesterol. • Keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible by limiting foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils, by limiting other solid fats.

• Reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars. • Limit the consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars and sodium. • If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. To make these guidelines work for you in your daily life, try to be active at least 30 minutes per day, increase vegetable (especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables) and fruit intake, eat more whole grains, switch to fat-free or low-fat milk products, choose a variety of proteins, increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed, choose foods and oils that replace solid fats and choose foods that provide more potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D. For more information about the dietary guidelines, visit w w w. h e a l t h . g o v/d i e t a r y guidelines.

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WHO CHANGED THE RULES? I was born in 1960 when kids were taught, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” We didn’t play score-free games or receive trophies for doing nothing. We were taught that losing is not the same as failure, but rather losing teaches you perseverance and learning from your mistakes can make you a stronger individual. So whose idea was it to begin raising children with the notion that everybody is a winner? I beat my whole third grade class at Indian leg wrestling, including the boys. I don’t recall anyone having emotional issues after losing to me, except maybe Tom Van Winkle, whose pride was a bit bruised because he was hoping to impress Lisa Landry, the class favorite. I wasn’t that good of a soccer player when I was a kid but I don’t remember soccer moms trying to change the rules so their child’s delicate psyche could handle a league loss. I do however remember our parents teaching us that sometimes we lose because our skills aren’t as good as our opponents’ skills, sometimes we lose because of bad luck or a bad call, and sometimes we lose because we didn’t play our best. It’s important for children to learn to take risks and sports provide the perfect setting. In high school I had the privilege to play girls basketball. Coached by the great Sandra Meadows at Duncanville High School, we became the 1978 State Champions. Coach Meadows taught us that a good sport has respect for teammates, opponents and the game. She

showed us how to be graceful at winning and losing, while teaching us to be empathetic and aware of our opponent’s feelings. We were never allowed to gloat or put others down. Never would she have put up with the winning-at-all-cost ugliness we see in some teams today. It was an honor to play under her. Kids need to hear that in this real world of ours, failure is much more common than success, and that losing is not a disgrace. I don’t know of anyone who has achieved greatness who hasn’t used his or her failures as stepping stones to success. I’m sure the move to a score-free world for elementary school children is well intended, but are we really doing them any favors? You’re telling a kid that keeping score is something negative or shameful or wrong. To learn to cope with adversity in life, you need adversity. I started showing horses at a very young age. If my parents hadn’t made me get back in the saddle every time I was thrown off, I would have never developed the courage to keep trying. Because of my perseverance I ultimately went on to become a top contender in the American Quarter Horse Association. I worked hard to win and losing occasionally made me work even harder. Studies are now showing that when children do finally lose they often cry out that it’s “not fair.” The study goes on to say that kids are more likely to place blame, point fingers and basically become poor sports in all aspects of their life. Could this be the root of what is being called the “wussification” of American kids?

I admit I’m not a parent, but I was a kid and I don’t think I would be an entrepreneur as an adult if I had not been encouraged to take risks. Temporary setbacks teach resilience and build character. Losing is a part of life and teaching children to accept this fact and learn from it will help them grow into well-adjusted adults, and ultimately to succeed. When a child is cushioned from defeat at an early age, are they less prepared to cope

“I DON’T THINK I WOULD BE AN ENTREPRENEUR AS AN ADULT IF I HAD NOT BEEN ENCOURAGED TO TAKE RISKS. “ when real competition arises? Have we raised a generation that doesn’t know how to accept a loss, much less fight for what’s important? As a competitive society, we seem to have been thrown from the saddle, so to speak. Have we lost our American swagger, our ingenuity and our grace to countries that have pushed their children to excel, take risks and succeed? Unless our future generations are encouraged to dust off their ego, face challenges, and get back to our roots of perseverance, we will stand and watch countries like China and India eclipse us. It won’t be a score-free game.

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.




March 2011 Ellis County Living Magazine