Heartland LIVING February & March 2021
Celebrating 10 Years 2012-2021
October 1961, Havana
True Friends. Easy Living.
Florida’s ultimate playground At Sun ’n Lake, our friendly neighbors are just the beginning of an affordable Florida lifestyle that serves as the foundation of our great community. Our variety of rich amenities offer something for everyone — a recreation complex with a zero entry lagoon pool, 36-holes of championship golf, the Island View Lakefront Restaurant & Pub featuring New Coast cuisine, two excellent schools within the district, hospital and medical facilities at our front entrance, and more!
With desirable building lots, preferred builders, and existing resales, we have options for resales every budget and way of life. Come see for yourself what Sun ’n Lake is all about.
Sebring, Florida . VisitSunNLake.com . 863.382.2196
“I cut commercially so I need heavy-duty mowers and Gilbert’s brands get my job done. And when my mower goes down, Gilbert gets me in quick and back out to finish my job.” 315 S Parrott Ave, Okeechobee, FL 34974 (863) 763-6434 www.GilbertOutdoors.com
- Charlie Williams
Owner, Charlie Williams Property Management
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021
Tooth be told we LOVE our patients! Remember it’s never too early to start encouraging healthy dental habits. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association recommend that every child should visit a dentist as soon as the first tooth appears.
We know that everyone is eager to get back to normal and we are excited to announce that we are open for business. Please call our office to schedule an appointment!
¡ Preventative Care ¡ Restorative Dentistry ¡ In-Office Sedation ¡ Interceptive Orthodonic Treatment ¡ Extractions Melissa Kindell, DMD
OKEECHOBEE 863-357-7338 FAX: 863-357-7342
2029 Hwy 441 North Okeechobee, FL 34972
¡ Emergency Dental Treatment ¡ New Patient Exams ¡ Dental Care for Special Needs & Medically Compromised Patients
Your child’s health is important and finding a positive relationship between kids and their dentist is a good way to build lifelong healthy habits. Everglades Pediatric Dentistry, provides dental care for children in the Greater Lake Okeechobee area and Sebring area. Most insurances are accepted and emergencies are welcomed.
SEBRING 863-382-0340 FAX: 863-357-7342
5606 US Hwy 27 Sebring, FL 33870
www.evergladespedodent.com 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021
In matters of the heart, it’s ladies first Learn how to stay in front of heart attacks A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s by almost eight beats a minute. And that’s not the only difference. Women are more likely to experience “atypical” symptoms when their hearts are in distress. Signs of heart attack in women could include: • Nausea or vomiting
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his issue we celebrate us. Heartland LIVING printed its Premier Issue in Spring of 2012, when the economy wasn’t at its best. Businesspeople were skeptical that a lifestyle regional magazine wouldn’t make it, I prayed everyday that God lead me in the right direction. Well, we’re still here, and we’ve grown more than I could of ever dreamed. We went from a quarterly publication our first year to a bi-monthly and have won numerous awards along the years from Florida Magazine Association. Celebrate with us as we take a look back, and a look ahead, to the next 10 years.
Cindy Sebring Adams
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Love October 1961, Havana,Cuba By Rebecca Maglischo
February & March 2021 Volume 10 Issue 1
The Brighton Valley Water Project A Step Towards Healing Florida’s Heart By Christy Swift
Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco Texas By Katy Fassler
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021
February & March 2021 Volume 10 Issue 1
In Remembrance of Women's Freedom: A Historical Celebration By Kimberly Blaker
FOOD & HEALTH 82
Eating Well Healthy Recipes Recipes: Healthy - by Marlowe
Why Can’t I Survive a Week of Meal Planning By Lisa A. Beach
12 Letter from the Publisher 18 Behind the Scenes 20 From Our Readers
Heartland LIVING February & March 2021
Celebrating 10 Years - 2012-2021
Life, Liberty and thE Pursuit of Love
Painting used on cover of Loly Trelles' book, Strides of Destiny (published 2011)
October 1961, Havana
Artist: Carneiro ©2011
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
WOW, 10 Years!
Yes, I can’t believe we are in our 10th year with Heartland LIVING. As I sit here writing this letter, so many wonderful memories and emotions fill my heart, from my cherished relationships with people I have met through these years. Thank you to all of my team, past and present, for our proud accomplishments and yes, the sheer fun and challenge of creating Heartland LIVING for you.
It is hard to put into words the satisfaction that we get providing our Heartland Communities with a beautiful regional magazine that mirrors the very best of who we are and what we do. So much of Mother Nature at her best surrounds us in our communities, as well as inspiration and talent, personalities from artists, athletes, to unsung heroes and worthy causes. There is no end to the stories we can bring to the pages of Heartland LIVING in the years to come. If you had asked me ten years ago if I thought we would be where we are today, I probably would have said “in my dreams.” The response I get from you, our readers, is such a joy. You let me know if we faltered, but mostly you let me know how much the magazine enriches your lives, from finding out about new businesses and restaurants to discovering a “new experience” that has been here for years you never knew about. Either way, you let us know, and our magazine is better for it. Heartland LIVING is created for you. Time has been a little tough for print media over the craziness 2020 brought us. We have been fortunate enough to be in a space where your support has kept the magazine flourishing. We have heard readers are tired of being connected all the time and instead want to sit down with a cup of coffee or glass of wine, pick up the magazine and feel what’s in the pages. We don’t take this for granted. It is so nice to walk into a home or office and seeing a stack of Heartland LIVING past and present issues on the table. I have heard from so many of you that you have saved every issue starting with our Premier Issue. It shows me that what we provide has so much value that you hold onto it. It is the best compliment! Over all the years I am grateful for every single one of you, our advertisers and supporters and our readers. You are why we do this. I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. We hope you enjoy all the inspired stories we have filled this issue with. “It didn’t even come to my mind that failure was an option.” God Bless,
Cindy Sebring Adams 12
VINTAGE w ELEGANT w WEDDINGS Southern Grace is designated by the state of Florida as a century pioneer family farm and has been a homestead to the Gill family for well over 100+ years. A premier all-inclusive historic wedding venue, where every detail on our estate grounds, includes event planning design+styling for an exquisite wedding celebration. Love is in the details, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the little things and extra touches, flawlessly executed, that are sure to exceed your wedding day dreams!
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www.SouthernGraceWedding.com 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 13
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After 89 years of service to the community, Wells Motor Company has been acquired by Huston Motors. The Huston family, with over 40 years of automotive experience, currently owns Huston Cadillac Buick GMC in Lake Wales and Huston Chevrolet in Avon Park. They look forward to continuing the professional and personalized service that customers from all over Central Florida have been receiving for years. While you will still continue to see many familiar faces at the dealership, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also find Tim and Dave Huston actively greeting customers and forming relationships in the community.
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 15
February & March 2021 Volume 10 ď&#x201A;&#x2013; Issue 1
Celebrating 10 Years 2012- 2012 CEO | Publisher Cindy Sebring Adams
Photography Director Rafael Pacheco
Editorial Director Jessica Pleger
Cover Artist: Carneiro
Creative Director Bridgette Waldau
Feature Photographers Sharon Cannon Jones Rebecca Maglischo Christy Swift
Feature Writers Katy Fassler Rebecca Maglischo Christy Swift
Contributing Photographers Linda McCarty
Contributing Writers Lisa A. Beach Kimberly Blaker
South Florida Water Management District Nick Swain
Contact: 412 Rest Haven Road, Zolfo Springs, FL 33890 863-781-0344 E-mail
Cindy@Heartland-Living.com Become a fan on facebook
Florida Magazine Association
Heartland LIVING February & March 2021
Celebrating 10 Years - 2012-2021
Life, Liberty and thE Pursuit of Love October 1961, Havana
Cuba Published by
Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc.
Awards Winner of 16 FMA Charlie Awards 2014 - 2018
2017 Best Department Design 2018 Best Feature Design Silver Awards 2014 Cover Photo Illustration 2015 Best Self-Promotional Ad Best Feature Design Best Table of Content 2017 Best Feature Design Best Photography Image 2018 Best Overall Writing Best Photography Image Gold Awards 2015 Best Feature Design 2018 Best Overall Design Best Feature Design Best Traditional Illustration Best Department Design Best Photography Image
Heartland Living Magazine is published bi-monthly by Heartland Publications & Marketing, Inc. Copyright 2021, all rights reserved. Reproduction of contents in print or electronic transmission in whole or in part in any language or format must be by expressed written permission of the publisher.
All articles, descriptions and suggestions in this magazine are merely expression of opinions from contributors and advertisers and do not constitute the opinion of the publisher, editor or staff of Heartland Living Magazine, and under no circumstances constitutes assurances or guarantees concerning the quality of any service or product. Heartland Living Magazine specifically disclaims any liability related to these expressions and opinions. Heartland Living Magazine is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions. The advertiser agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the publishers from all liability.
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 17
Behind the BEHIND THEScenes SCENES Creative Director
BRIDGETTE WALDAU has been a
graphic and fine artist for over 30 years. She received her A.A. from the Ft. Lauderdale Institute of Art and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Stetson University. She moved to Okeechobee in 1994 where she opened her art studio. Bridgette has been creative director for several publications, working with Heartland Publications & Marketing as art director since 2011, winning eleven Florida Magazine Charlie Awards (2015- 2018). She is Arts & Culture Alliance Director (13 years) for Okeechobee Main Street. Bridgette is married to James Waldau, a retired firefighter from the City of Hialeah.
JESSICA PLEGER is a wife, mother,
editor, writer, and caterer. She attended the University of Central Florida where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Finance. Before working full-time at Heartland LIVING, Jessica was a paralegal for over 15 years. She is also the owner and operator of Pink Pineapple Catering. Jessica enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and participating in community events throughout the Heartland. A lifelong resident of Florida, Jessica was raised in Hardee County and now resides in Avon Park with her husband, Jonathan and daughter, Finley Grace.
RAFAEL PACHECO I am a Pisces
and was born on the island of Puerto Rico. My dog thinks I am crazy for locking the door so many times in 10 seconds and my cats think I am made of catnip. Everything I wear is black, gray or blue. If I put on something colorful I must have been in a hurry. Photography is how I have let my artistic visions come to life since the early 90’s. Patience, kindness, sharing, sacrifice, love and not to judge I saw my mother practice these and they stayed within me. We are collective energy and all from the same Source. I don’t see the world through my eyes. I see it through my soul.
LISA A. BEACH is a freelance journalist
and copywriter. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, USA Today Back to School, Parents, Edible Orlando, and more. Check out her writer’s website at: www.LisaBeachWrites. com.
KIMBERLY BLAKER is a freelance
lifestyle and licensed real estate agent. She's also founder and director of KB Creative Digital Services, an Internet marketing agency, at kbcreativedigital.comat
KATY FASSLER has been telling stories
since she was able to scribble her name in crayon on the wall. Hailing from Akron, Ohio, she moved to Sebring in 2006 to attend the Great Commission Bible Institute. Katy, an avid reader and book collector who lives by Dr. Seuss’ advice, “Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” Katy lives in Sebring with her husband, Sean and their two daughters, Adia and Emery.
Writer | Photographer
CHRISTY SWIFT has been a freelance
writer for over 13 years, working as an award-winning newspaper correspondent, magazine article writer, and web and social media content provider. She is also soonto-be published author of Young Adult and Adult fiction. You can find her at www.christyswift.com.
February & March 2021 Photographer
Writer | Photographer
REBECCA MAGLISCHO is a wife
and mother of two boys. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Human Movement with an emphasis on Corrective Modalities. She has completed a two year study in Full Body Systems through the Holistic Nutrition Lab and a certification in Functional Range Condition through the Functional Anatomy Systems. Rebecca opened Haka Fitness in Lakeland, FL.
SHARON CANNON JONES
Sharon's passion has always been photography. She is an award winning photographer having transitioned from amateur to professional in 2010. She is a member of Okeechobee Main Street, on the arts and cultural committee. Recently married to Ronald, Sharon has lived in Okeechobee for many years, and has one son, Karl. “I love the history of our little town. I want to preserve all of our ‘todays’ through the lens of my camera, for our future ‘tomorrows’.”
"Every GREAT design begins with an even BETTER story."
- Lorinda Mamo, designer
Advertising Helps You Get to Where You Want to Go. You can advertise in the most widely distributed and read magazine in the Heartland! Your ad will not only be seen in print but also on our website.
Call or email us if you want to become a part of this fast growing publication
Heartland LIVING www.HeartlandLivingMagazine.com 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 19
Heartland LIVING December 2020 & January 2021
I truly believe the ads in Heartland have helped us this past year, especially in a time of uncertainty and some of the most challenging times to be in the wedding and event business. With so many business owners, families, and vendors that we know of having to cut back or shut down as they were and still are trying to survive these trying times. Thank you Cindy for everything.
They are special memories that are passed down from generation to generation and a time to share love and joy with family and friends." - Jessica Pleger
Pictured (L-R): Behr Prescott, Finley Grace Pleger, Santa Claus, Lucy Prescott and Kane Prescott
December 2020 & January 2021 37
Debbie Gill with Southern Grace
Loved all the holiday pictures! RE/MAX Realty Plus, Sebring
Perfect in a imperfect world. Gingerlee Dread
Love it love it so cute and special. Jacqueline Condo
Hey, I think I know those youngins’. Great cover! Roberta Beattie
My ad looks great. Hobby Hill Florist
Okeechobee Main Street’s Second Annual By Bridgette Waldau Photography by Shirley Palmer and Pam Peppers
Thank you for sharing our Festival of Trees event in Heartland LIVING Magazine. We are so proud of this event, where part of the proceeds go to Hospice of Okeechobee and the article was beautifully done. We are honored to have graced the pages in your wonderful publication.
Christmas mask winners: Three-way tie for first - Jennifer Busbin, Faith Nielson and Connie Williams; 2nd place award went to Melisa Jahner (pictured second from left)
In their new home, Okeechobee Main Street held their annual Festival of Trees event on Nov. 21 at 111 NE Second Street. This well-attended event featured a silent auction of donated Christmas trees and holiday décor. A portion of the proceeds was donated to Hospice of Okeechobee, Inc. The silent auction began in the afternoon from 2 pm-5 pm with a free preview of the trees and decorations. The Festival of Trees party began at 6 pm with attendees enjoying the holiday decorations in the beautifully renovated building. Everyone had fun bidding on their favorite items, while enjoying time with friends and business associates. An abundance of donations filled the rooms. which included twelve full size trees, numerous tabletop trees, wreaths, gift baskets, centerpieces and a handcrafted quilt. All the items donated showed all the hard work and dedication by businesses and individuals, and because of their efforts the attendees were generous with their bids, making this event very successful.
Okeechobee City Mayor, Dowling Watford
Christmas Mask contest trophy
Angie Griffin, Okeechobee Main Street
Tree donated & decorated by Faith Nielson & Jennifer Busbin
OKMS Festival of Trees Committee: Kathy Scott, Angie Griffin, Bridgette Waldau, Sharie Turgeon and Marion Heddsheimer. (Not pictured: Shirley Palmer and Pam Peppers)
If you would like to share your thoughts, please leave a post on our Facebook page or email us at Cindy@Heartland-Living.com
Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners Brad Goodbread and David Hazellief
Tree donated & decorated by The Lounge at Sacred Sanctuary Spa Team
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The Brighton Valley Water Project
Noah Handley, Director of Engineering, Lykes Bros. Inc. 24 Heartland LIVINGMagazine.com
A Step Towards Healing Florida’s Heart By Christy Swift
It’s a perfect “old Florida” winter day in Brighton Valley: clear blue sky, cool breeze, endless sunshine. Across the rippling shallow water, clumps of cabbage palms shake their heads at one another like gossiping neighbors. The wind plays the native grasses like a string instrument. An anhinga stands knee-deep in water, wings outstretched, a feather-covered worshipper of this paradise. The only proof that I haven’t traveled back in time are the six, tall black pumps lined up like android guardians at the pond’s edge... But those pumps are what has made all of this possible, because the Brighton Valley Water Project represents one of the challenges of our modern world—trying to fix the mistakes of the past.
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 25
Photo by Nick Swain
We now have 26,500 acres of our property in proven cost-efficient shallow water storage projects and we’re very proud of that. Lykes CEO Johnnie James
A LITTLE BACKGROUND Brighton Valley is located on Lykes Ranch just to the northwest of Lake Okeechobee, and the natural scenery I’m enjoying is what this land probably looked like 400 years ago. Back then, water flowed from the Kissimmee River into Lake Okeechobee and then through a natural mosaic of ponds, sawgrass marshes, hammocks, sloughs, and woodlands that we know as the Everglades. Early developers, however, not understanding the ecological importance of one of the world’s largest wetlands, decided to drain it to make the land usable for development. Fast forward to today, when Lake Okeechobee has only two major drainage points—east to the St. Lucie River and west to the Caloosahatchee. These drainage points are controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps orders water releases from the lake when levels get too high. There are two major problems with this: one is that dumping large amounts of freshwater into the sea throws off salinity levels in fragile estuary ecosystems. Another problem is that the water being released is polluted, choked with nutrients from historic land use changes, causing algae blooms that kill fish and other wildlife and can even cause illness in humans (remember the 2017-2018 red tide?). The need is twofold: A) to keep Lake Okeechobee levels low enough to reduce or eliminate the need for releases and B) to reduce water pollution. 27
PART OF THE SOLUTION Fixing Florida’s water problems isn’t going to be easy, but the State of Florida has a plan. It’s called CERP (the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project), and the Brighton Valley Water Project is a small piece of it. In fact, Brighton Valley is one of 29 projects the State of Florida has challenged the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to accomplish in support of its overarching goal. The powerful pumps I’m looking at can move 560 cubic feet/second from an adjacent canal onto Brighton Valley land. Lykes head engineer Noah Handley puts this into perspective: “They make it rain about two inches a day.” By leasing their land to SFWMD for water storage and operating and maintaining the project, Lykes not only helps lower Lake Okeechobee levels but also allows its wetland to clean the water through a natural filtering process. As the water gently flows westward through the roughly 8,000 acre basin, plants take up the excess nutrients through their roots (remember, this land is already ecologically designed to hold water). At the southern barrier, the water passes through a set of culverts back into a regional canal after having as much as 3.2 tons of phosphorus pollution removed per 95,000 acre-feet of water. Basically, it’s Mother Nature’s Brita.
CELEBRATING GOOD WORK BY GOOD PEOPLE When the stakeholders took turns at the podium for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and initiation of the Brighton Valley pumps in September 2020, the joy and pride was palpable. “Noah, we’re gonna find out if it works,” Charlie Lykes, the family patriarch, teased Handley before he threw the switch. “We now have 26,500 acres of our property in proven cost-efficient shallow water storage projects and we’re very proud of that,” said Lykes CEO Johnnie James, referring to the Brighton Valley project as well as two previous projects: the West Waterhole project (launched in 2008) and the Nicodemus Slough project (launched in 2015). “This is restoration in action,” SFWMD Executive Director Drew Bartlett added before thanking the Lykes family for sharing their land. “When Mr. Charlie turned on the pumps (...) it took a quarter foot off the top of Lake Okeechobee,” SFWMD governing board member Ben Butler said. He went on to explain that those three inches can make the difference between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ordering a release from Lake Okeechobee or not.
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 29
A LUCKY “SIDE EFFECT” In addition to the benefits to estuaries and a reduction in pollution levels, Bartlett mentioned a “bonus” advantage of water restoration projects like Brighton Valley—they provide crucial habitat for native plants, wildlife, and birds. “It’s going to be a wildlife spa!” Bartlett predicted.
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And it is. Due to an unseasonably wet fall, the pumps were run from September until the first week of January. The herons responded very quickly. So did the fish (both small and large fish are able to travel safely through the pumps). On a short ride down the eastern berm, Handley’s truck spooked no fewer than nine deer. Along the bumpy, wet northern border, five enormous alligators churned the water. A flock of meadowlarks buzzed us along the way.
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 31
Drew Bartlett, SFWMD Executive Director
Mallory Dimmitt, Charlie Lykes and Thompson Lykes
Johnnie James Jr., President and CEO, Lykes Bros. Inc.
Florida State Senator Ben Albritton
Audubon’s Everglades Science Coordinator, Dr. Paul Gray said to expect the area to host 14 species of wading birds, 20 species of waterfowl, lots of fish, amphibians, and even otters. He claimed the wetlands might have the largest impact on North American migratory birds, whose populations have declined 30% in the last three decades. Because Florida acts as a “funnel” for North American birds going south for the winter, they often spend time in our area “fattening up” for the long flight over the water to South America, Gray said.
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“Songbirds can double their body weight in two weeks. They may only be here for two weeks, but those two weeks are extremely important. You’ve got to make it all the way across,” Gray said.
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A TRUE PARTNERSHIP Another unexpected benefit of the Brighton Valley water project might be the truly win-win nature of the collaboration. For those who work the land, it’s a welcome opportunity to practice good land stewardship (one of Lykes’ core values). For policymakers and water management districts, it’s a costeffective way to move the needle forward on lofty environmental and public health goals. For ecologists and the species they care about, it’s a gift.
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Meanwhile, amongst the bird calls, rustling palm fronds, and the gentle whisper of moving water deep in the heart of old Florida, there’s something else to be felt: inspiration. And hope. As Senator Ben Albritton said during his turn at the mic, “Twenty-five years ago this kind of stuff wasn’t popular, but we see today the value. What are we going to see the value in next?”
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This is going to be a wildlife spa! â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Drew Bartlett
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Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco Texas
By Katy Fassler Photography by Sharon Cannon Jones
"We believe in human kindness, knowing we are made better when we all work together." MAGNOLIA MANIFESTO
Everyone knows and loves Chip and Joanna Gaines. People everywhere are inspired by the clean lines, beautiful, farmhouse décor, and of course, shiplap! Beginning their tv show in 2013, the Gaines family has built a home décor and renovation empire. Besides the exclusive collections with Target and Anthropologie, the Gaines family have created a destination spot in their hometown of Waco, Texas. In 2015 the Gaines’s opened their new site location: the Silos. The property, located in downtown Waco, featured two rusty grain silos, a 20,000 square foot barn, and 2.5 acres of property and was the former home of the Brazos Valley Cotton Company. While the interior of the silos is not yet restored or in use, there is a big plan for future renovations, the property is now a bustling marketplace and a mustsee travel destination. The Silos and surrounding buildings encompass a two-block area of downtown Waco. 39
Visiting Magnolia is a bucket list item on many “Fixer Upper” fans. “There's a little something for everyone at Magnolia Market at the Silos. Shopping, games, the garden and even a bite to eat. The Market itself is staged and set up with one goal in mind: to inspire you to own the space you're in. We hope that you'll come to visit and leave excited about your home,” says Magnolia.com. Our own Sharon Cannon Jones, a photographer for Heartland LIVING since 2015, has had the opportunity to explore and experience Magnolia Market at the Silos and all Waco, Texas has to offer. “I love their hometown values. Their restoration is inspiring.” Sharon and her husband Ron have visited several times and always leave inspired and wanting to return. "Magnolia Market at the Silos is well worth the visit. It has a little something for everyone. I enjoy shopping and the amenities as well as the history and renovations that have been made to Magnolia Market. I leave inspired! Be sure to check out Waco, it's a quaint little town with much to offer as well."
Sharon Cannon Jones
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 41
"We believe in home, that it should restore us from today and ready us for tomorrow." MAGNOLIA MANIFESTO
Magnolia Market at the Silos is the main location for shopping, dining, outdoor games, and food trucks. On this site is home to the bakery, church, and ball-field. Here you can visit the garden, a place to explore and experience seasonal produce. The Magnolia Seed + Supply store sells garden supplies, kits for children, as well as seeds and pots. Kids can make fairy gardens and play under the tee-pee. The grounds also include many food trucks to choose from. One of the most iconic food trucks is Alabama Sweet Tea, where your sweet tea comes in a commemorative glass jar.
Silos Baking Co. is one of the newer additions to the Magnolia Market. In this little building, you can order Joanna’s own recipe baked goods. The bakery sells Joanna’s famous cupcakes in a wide array of flavors, scones, biscuits, and more. Fan favorites include “The Silos Cookie”, “The Prize Pig” bacon and cheddar biscuit, and the “Nuts and Bolts” cupcake. Joanna always suggests her biscuits with strawberry butter! 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 43
Magnolia Home is a retail space that showcases fully staged rooms in which visitors can see furniture, dĂŠcor items, and more in place. You will be inspired with ideas for your home. You can see the many collections of furniture, wall art, and rugs. Â&#x201E;
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 45
Magnolia Table is an offsite breakfast and lunch restaurant located in the historic Elite CafĂŠ building. The cafĂŠ was the first place in Waco to have air conditioning and it is rumored that Elvis Presley once visited and ate here many years ago. Chip and Joanna restored the building in 2016. It is approximately 10 minutes away from the Silos.
The Old Church: The Second Presbyterian Church was purchased and moved onto the Silo grounds in 2017. The church was built in 1984 and sat vacant for decades. As one of the oldest buildings still standing in Waco, it quickly became a passion project for the Gaines family. It now stands strong and restored at the silos as a resting spot for guests. Â&#x201E;
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 47
Katy Ballpark at the Silos is a nod to the rich history of Waco. Waco was home to the minor league Cubs. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig with the New York Yankees traveled to Waco to play ball. Katy Park has been abandoned due to the Great Depression, restored with the Waco Pirates, destroyed by a tornado and restored again only to later become a parking lot. Creating Katy Ballpark at the Silos, which is a wiffle ball field, honors the past with having the home plate right where it was located all those years ago. Guests are invited to play with equipment ready for a pickup game!
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Little Shop on Bosque is the original home of Magnolia Market opened in 2003. You can still visit and find clearance items as well as last seasons goods. Magnolia Press is an onsite cafĂŠ selling coffees, teas, seasonal drinks, and savory and sweet pastries. What trip is complete without a good cup of coffee! Â&#x201E;
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Magnolia Market is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 6pm. There is free parking and much to do in the surrounding area. There is a free trolley that travels the Silo District you can take to explore all downtown Waco including the same shops Chip and Joanna frequent.
"Of all heroic pursuits large or small, we believe there may be none greater than a life well loved." MAGNOLIA MANIFESTO
If you are a fan of “Fixer Upper” or just simply love the “Farmhouse-chic” style, traveling to Waco, Texas to visit Magnolia Market at the Silos is a must. There is so much to see, taste, and experience. For more information, please visit www.Magnolia.com and if you make the trip, let us know how you were inspired!
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October 1961, Havana
By Rebecca Maglischo
Loly and Alex share a love story that, literally, took them across oceans.
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 59
oly Trelles stood at the Police Station with her Mother and younger siblings presenting the visa documents obtained through Operation Peter Pan. Alex Garriga strode through the doors, purposeful. He grabbed her hands and gazed into her eyes “Would you stay and marry me and spend the rest of your life with me?” With the words “I will stay,” Loly changed the course of her life at 18 years old. Operation Peter Pan, a covert program that helped school-aged kids escape repression in Cuba, was designed to protect Cuban children whose parents were being targeted by Fidel Castro’s new regime and to shield them from the Communist ideologies feared by the U.S. at the height of the Cold War. From 1960 to 1962, fourteen thousand unaccompanied minors were welcomed to the United States. Cuban parents who heard of the program took advantage of U.S. sanctioned visa waivers under the Eisenhower administration. Many felt it was worth the price to rescue Cuban children, even if the risk was high. Some never saw their children again.
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 61
oly chose to stay. She chose to stay with Alex, to stay in Cuba, to stay under the watchful eye of Fidel Castro’s government. She was young and in love. Alex was a 5th year medical student in Havana and they planned to leave as soon as he finished school. Loly’s younger sister landed in Miami where she stayed with friends until she could connect with an Aunt. She began working in a factory at 15 years old in order to provide for herself. Her younger brother found himself in an orphanage in Nebraska. Her parents squeezed off the island a year later as the great exodus of Cubans trickled to an end. On September 25, 1965, President Fidel Castro of Cuba made a surprise announcement that Cubans with relatives in the United States would be permitted to leave the island if their relatives asked for them. Following the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, this news was shocking and Cubans scrambled to be included in the emigration. Men of military age—fourteen to twenty-seven—were not permitted to leave. Alex and Loly filed for permission to leave and join the rest of her family. Now with a young daughter, they felt hopeful that they would reunite on American soil and escape the increasing oppression of Fidel Castro’s regime.
n October, hundreds of vessels of all sizes arrived at the Port of Camarioca in Cuba and were allowed to pick up relatives and friends. Bad weather ended the boat lift prematurely and only 5,000 of the permitted 200,000 Cubans arrived safely in Florida. Additionally, Castro quickly realized that medical professionals were amongst those fleeing and blocked the requests of essential workers, like doctors. Alex and Loly had been denied. They were punished with a reassignment to a rural medical appointment on the north coast where they waited to be allowed housing. The conditions were dismal. On November 6, 1965, after the Camarioca Boat Lift, the United States and Cuba had signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" that Cuba would permit immigration and the United States would accept emigrants, with relatives of those already living in the United States given first priority in processing and movement. This permission was not granted to essential workers, such as doctors. All avenues for legal emigration had disappeared and plans for escape became the hopeful whispers shared in clandestine spaces. Arrangements were made with another doctor who had connections.
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Loly was 23 years old with a toddler and her mind raged between the seemingly known dangers of remaining in Cuba versus the unknown dangers of escape. But days before the planned departure, the young family was quickly transferred away from the coast. A second opportunity came in 1967. Alex and Loly made preparations for their escape by shredding letters from family, scouring their home and destroying all evidence of dissidence. Then they headed back to the north coast “for a visit.” Dressed in dark clothes, 10 people loaded in cars and drove toward the city, terrified. As they approached, the city experienced a complete blackout. It became too dangerous to proceed and the group decided to abort. A final chance at escape with the group came just months later. Loly was newly pregnant and the decision was made, once again, to stay in Cuba. The remaining members of the group successfully left Cuba that day. They were picked up by an American ferry and the small boat that carried them to sea floated back to the Cuban shore empty. 10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 63
he United States furthered their agreement with Cuba by providing air transportation to Miami for 3,000 to 4,000 Cuban emigrants per month. In 1969, that permission was granted to Loly and Alex. The militia men came to their house and allowed them each to select three outfits before boarding up their home- no food, no memorabilia, no permission to sleep in a hotel, nothing. Every aspect of life in Cuba belonged solely to the government. When they arrived at the airport, Alex was seized. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go!â&#x20AC;? Alex insisted to his wife and 2 daughters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will be on the very next plane.â&#x20AC;?This time, Loly did not stay. She slept in the airport with her two young daughters, worried and hungry. Yet, she was determined to hold her family together. As the airplane took off at 9 am, Alex waved from outside the runway gates. He would do whatever it took to see his family again.
Loly and her daughters landed in New York City where they initially shared a one-bedroom apartment with her parents. She got right to work building a new life and learning the skills she would need to provide for her girls. Like many Cubans, Loly scraped by with the help of a strong community and periodic, though unpredictable, correspondence with Alex. But after 5 years, the strain felt like too much. She needed her husband and as she lay in bed one night, made the decision to find out how to go back. The very next morning, Loly received a phone call from her sister in law. Alex was on a plane to Spain! After flying to Spain to retrieve her husband and prove her American Citizenship, Alex still had much to do. Back in the States, he studied to pass the Medical Board and get a new license to practice. He had to start over again. But together, after all they had experienced, the couple felt they could conquer any challenge. Â&#x201E;
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he story of the Garriga Family is a story filled with the lessons most needed in a world that can feel challenging and overwhelming. Loly documented their story in her book, Strides of Destiny (published 2011). The words tell a story of discipline, of putting one foot in front of the other, of always just focusing on the next right step. The sentences convey the never-ending hope of freedom and the stories demonstrate the importance of community and family. But the greatest of these is love. Loly and Alex share a love story that, literally, took them across oceans. Today, the Garrigas live in Lakeland, Florida where Alex practiced General Medicine for over 40 years. The few pictures and memorabilia they were able to rescue from Cuba decorate their beautiful home but the memory of their reunion is forever burned into their hearts.
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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 67
Would you stay and marry me and spend the rest of your life with me?” —Alex Garriga
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 69
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Live Bluegrass and Country Entertainment Bear Hills BluegrassBill D. Williams Prime CountryDave O’Brien Gospel Jubilee in Pioneer Village More to be announced!
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10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021
Credit: Artist Cherly Harness, Mazza Museum
In Remembrance of Women's Freedom:
By Kimberly Blaker
"There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers." --Susan B. Anthony, 1897 Anthony was right. It wasn't until 1920, when women gained the right to vote, that the pace toward women's equality gained momentum. Women have come a long way in the past hundred years. So this March in honor of Women's History Month celebrate women's liberation by remembering the accomplishments of some of history's most dedicated and resilient women. A HISTORY OF SUBORDINATION Until the emergence of women's movements, American women were considered inferior to men. Though some inequalities persist still today, they pale in comparison to that of only a century ago. Women were denied the right to vote or obtain an education, unable to work in certain occupations, and couldn't hold office. Their rights in the home were severely limited, as well. They couldn't write wills, sign contracts, obtain loans and had minimal property rights. Fathers owned their daughters until marriage, at which point their husbands took possession. A multitude of historical events and accomplishments have taken place over the last 150 years. These landmarks have brought American women the freedom we possess today, making us complete and independent women. THE ROAD TO EQUALITY The women's suffrage movement didn't come into full swing until the mid-1800s. But years earlier, courageous women began carving a path toward independence. In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft, in her book the Vindication of the Rights of Women, argued, "I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves." In the early nineteenth century, girls were encouraged to attend elementary school to reduce illiteracy. But those who desired to continue their education were often banned from it. Not until 1837 were women able to attend the same schools as men. In that year, Oberlin College became the first coeducational institution in the United States by admitting four female students. Still, this was a rare exception for several decades to come, and women's institutions remained few and far between. Â&#x201E;
The beginning of the women's movement began in 1848. That's when Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton called a women's rights convention to be held in Seneca Falls, New York. The purpose was "to discuss the social, civil, and religious rights of women." At the convention, a "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, "stating that "all men and women are created equal" and defining the goals of the women's movement was signed. Over the years, disputes arose among the women's movement dividing it in 1869 into the more conservative American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) and the more radical National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). Susan B. Anthony, of the more radical group, registered and voted in Rochester, New York, in the 1872 presidential election. She was arrested several days later and taken to trial. During that same election, Sojourner Truth was denied the right to vote in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after she demanded a ballot. Four years later, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an ally of Anthony, wrote a Declaration and Protest of the Women of the United States and requested to present it at Philadelphia's centennial celebration. Stanton's request was denied. But Anthony and four other suffragists, unwilling to hold their silence, boldly rushed to the speaker's platform and forcefully handed over the document. Not long after, in 1878, a Woman Suffrage Amendment was introduced to the United States Congress granting women the right to vote. The Nineteenth Amendment, however, would take over 40 years to pass both houses. In 1920, a year following its passage, the Amendment was ratified, marking a new era for women. In 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment was proposed. Its purpose: to eliminate gender discrimination. In 1972, nearly 50 years following its proposal, Congress passed the Amendment. It still fell short of three states
for ratification, and in 1982, was defeated. Its deadline for ratification had expired. Still, the years between saw a significant change. In 1936, birth control was ruled legal for preventing pregnancy. The ability of women to limit their family size began with the introduction of reliable condoms in 1859. It played a crucial role in women gaining equality, as they were no longer forced into roles of lifelong child rearing. In 1960, the FDA approved birth control pills. Finally, in 1973, the landmark Roe v. Wade case established a woman's right to abortion, giving women complete control over their reproduction. Many accomplishments marked the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963, the Equal Pay Act was passed prohibiting discriminatory compensation in federal jobs. The Civil Rights Act, which passed the following year, banned discrimination based on gender and race. In 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded. Its purpose was to promote the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion rights, and childcare for working mothers. Massive marches marked the next couple of decades with NOW leading the way to women's reform. One of those marches, in 1973, was to voice outrage over violence against women. Twenty-four years later, the Violence Against Women Act was passed to protect battered women. Today, feminists are still striving for total equality in areas such as healthcare and equal pay. At the same time, they continue to fight measures that undermine women's reproductive rights and protections against spousal abuse. PIONEERS OF WOMEN'S EQUALITY Many women today and throughout history have taken risks to bring us independence. The following are just a few who championed women's rights.
Artist: Allison Adams
(1820-1906), co-founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association, dedicated much of her life to the women's movement. Among other notable actions, she campaigned for women's suffrage, property rights for married women, and equal wages for female teachers. Anthony coined the phrase, "Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less." This became the motto of the National Woman Suffrage Association. In 1868, Anthony organized the Working Women's Association in her campaign to gain better working conditions and fair pay for women. Anthony published The Revolution from 1868 to 1870. She also took part in drafting a proposal on which the Nineteenth Amendment was later based and co-authored the History of Woman Suffrage, 1881 to 1886. In 1904, she founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance in Berlin, and she also organized the International Council of Women. Â&#x201E;
(1921-2006) wrote The Feminine Mystique in 1963, which began the contemporary women's movement in Britain and the United States. Her book was a challenge to long-held attitudes that woman's place was in the home. In 1966, she founded the National Organization for Women; in 1971, the National Women's Political Caucus; and then, in 1973, the First Women's Bank. Friedan was also an organizer of the 1970 Women's Strike for Equality. She later authored It Changed My Life (1976) and The Second Stage (1981), both related to the women's movement.
(1885-1977), of the radical women's camp, organized a suffrage parade in Washington D.C. in 1913, on the day of Woodrow Wilson's inauguration. Although violence ensued, it helped the women's movement to unite. Four years later, the fearless Paul went to jail while picketing the White House along with nearly 100 other suffragists. They were charged with "obstructing traffic." Most of the women were with the National Woman's Party that Paul had recently founded. Her group also held a hunger strike that year and had to be force-fed. Paul worked unstoppably toward the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment and the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1938, she founded the World Woman's Party. Â&#x201E;
(1879-1966), a nurse, founded the National Birth Control League in 1917 that would later become the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Sanger's commitment toward birth control and reproductive freedom for all women was a result of the horrifying deaths and deformity caused by self-induced abortions she had witnessed. In 1916, she opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States, in Brooklyn, and she briefly went to prison for it.
Artist Emily Arno
(1815-1902) co-founded the N a t i o n a l Wo m a n S u ff r a g e Association and became its first president. She was outspoken and better known in her day than even Anthony. Stanton went before the New York State legislature in 1855, where she argued for the expansion of the Married Woman's Property Law. Along with Anthony, Stanton started The Revolution, a newspaper on women's rights. She co-authored the History of Women's Suffrage, 1881-1886. Then, in 1895, she published The Woman's Bible critiquing Biblical passages that supported the subordination of women. Stanton was the author of the Nineteenth Amendment and organized the International Council of Women in Washington, D.C.
Artist: Cliff Spohn
-Susan B. Anthony, 1897 Artist: Stacey Schuett
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Eating Well Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.
Spring Pea Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
Spaghetti squash is a great substitute for regular pasta – it has a very similar look and feel, yet is low calorie (4o calories per cup) and low glycemic (glycemic load 2), unlike traditional pasta which is 220 calories per cup and higher glycemic (glycemic load of 23). You get all the fun of pasta without eating refined carbs. That is a WIN! The creamy “Alfredo” sauce is made from a mix of soaked cashews and hemp seeds. You could use just cashews, but I love the benefits of hemp seeds. They provide essential, anti-inflammatory omega-3s, complete protein, and minerals like iron and magnesium. Cashews are an excellent plant-based substitute for dairy, because they add a rich and creamy texture. You can add additional parsley and baby greens or sprouts.
THE RECIPE Serves 4
Ingredients Spaghetti Squash Pasta 1 medium spaghetti squash Hemp Alfredo Sauce -½ cup cashews (soaked in filtered water at least 2 hours or overnight) ½ cup hemp seeds (soaked with cashews) 2 cloves garlic 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup water ½ tsp. pink salt ½ tsp. black pepper or more to taste Toppings 1 cup peas frozen 1 cup parsley chopped, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the spaghetti squash into 1½-inch thick rings, scoop out the seeds and discard or reserve for another use. Lay the rings out flat on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 40 minutes.
To make the alfredo sauce, add the soaked cashews and hemp seeds (including the water), garlic, lemon juice, additional water, salt and pepper to a blender (a bullet blender works well) and blend on high for 1 minute or until super creamy and smooth. Set aside. To make the peas, fill a medium saucepan with a few cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the peas, and cook for about 3 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain and put back in the now empty pot. When the spaghetti squash is done, use a fork to scrape the flesh into spaghetti squash strands into a large bowl, and discard the skin. (Watch the video on how easy it is to make spaghetti squash). Then add the squash back to the pot with the peas. Pour the alfredo sauce over the spaghetti squash, and add the chopped parsley (if desired) and mix everything well until all the spaghetti squash is evenly coated in the sauce. To serve, add a little extra fresh cracked black pepper, if desired. 83
Gluten-free Keto Breadsticks These tasty and
easy to make gluten-free breadsticks work for both paleo and keto lifestyles. Garlic, basil, thyme, and oregano add a nice Mediterranean flavor. Dip them in a little olive oil or tomato sauce to serve. Perfecto!
Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 13 minutes Total Time 28 minutes
Ingredients Dry Ingredients 1 cup almond flour 3 Tbsp coconut flour 1 tsp baking powder ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp oregano ½ tsp basil dried ½ tsp thyme dried 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 Tbsp water let sit for at least 10 min 2 tsp apple cider vinegar 1 egg Topping olive oil 84
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix until evenly combined . Make a well in the middle of the dry bowl and add the soaked flaxseed, along with the apple cider vinegar and egg. Whisk all ingredients together well with a fork until a dough forms. Then use your hands to knead it for about 1-2 minutes. Put in the fridge for 10 minutes to rest. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 6-8 pieces. Brush with a little olive oil. Then, roll each into a long, evenly sized stick. Bake for 10-13 minutes.
Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Bread…need I say more? This easy recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free and will blow your chocolate-loving mind.
Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 40 minutes Total Time 50 minutes Servings 4
Ingredients Wet Ingredients 3 bananas ripened 3 organic free-range eggs ½ cup almond butter preferably unsalted 1 Tbsp. coconut oil melted ¼ tsp. vanilla extract Dry Ingredients 1 cup almond flour ½ tsp. baking powder pinch pink salt only if your almond butter is unsalted 1½ oz. dark chocolate chunks * Topping ½ banana sliced (optional) ½ oz. dark chocolate chunks *
Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a bullet blender, blend the bananas in it until liquefied, and pour into a large bowl. If no blender, in a large bowl, mash well with a fork for a few minutes, until they turn into a smooth, lump-free liquid or soup-like texture.
If you like, lay the sliced banana down the middle of the loaf, and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chunks on the top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
Recipes credits: Healthy - by Marlowe
Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from pan. Slice and enjoy!
Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the bowl and stir well until fully combined. Next, add the dry ingredients: almond flour, baking powder and 1 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate chunks. Stir well. Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan with coconut oil. Pour the batter into it.
Recipe Notes *For the dark chocolate chunks, you can make your own from a high quality dark chocolate bar sweetened with a gentler natural sweetener, such as coconut sugar. Simply put it on a cutting board, and chop into small chunks.
Maria Marlowe is a Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She helps busy women develop healthier eating habits, based on a plant-based paleo diet. www.MariaMarlowe.com 85
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gratitude, With humble el, Ph.D. Thomas C. Leitz President
015 Years 1965-2
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FOR CHILDREN FOUNDATION OF HIGHLAN DS COU NTY, INC .
Heritage Festival 2021 Celebrating Highlands County Centennial
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Raising awareness and increasing the safety of our children
April 17 & 18, 2021
Edna Pearce Lockett Estate, Hwy 98 and the Kissimmee River in Fort Basinger. Gates open 10am–4pm | Admission $5 per car
There will be plenty of Good Family Fun in 2021 •Color Guard Presentation •Artisans •Food Vendors •Antique Cars •Craft Vendors •Great Entertainment
•Quilt Displays & Quilt Turning •Pontoon Boat Tour •Informational Speakers •Cow Camp •Pow Wow Dancing •Much More...
COVID 19 Protocols will be followed Sponsor and Vendor Opportunities are still available.
Please consider supporting a local family in need. All donations are tax deductible. Make contributions payable to Champion for Children Foundation. 419 East Center Ave., Sebring, FL 33870 (863) 382-2905 • Nonprofit 501(c)3: Federal ID #65-0444941 • Charitable Organization Florida Registration Number CH6601
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Why Can’t I Survive a Week of By Lisa A. Beach
To make life easier, some people follow the once-a-month meal planning and cooking approach, where you basically buy, prepare and cook a month’s worth of meals in one day and then freeze them until you need them.
I am not one of those people.
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 89
I like the idea of stockpiling 30 days of ready-to-heat dinners in my freezer like an end-of-the-world underground bunker. But that would require way more planning than I’m capable of. And a Costco-size freezer. Besides, even my best-laid plans usually fall apart with my family’s hectic schedule. Top that off with the typical craziness of the meal-prep witching hour and you can understand why I shy away from once-a-month cooking. But I figured I could handle seven days of meal planning. So I buckled down one Sunday afternoon to tackle the weekly chow plan. I knew that weeknights would run smoother when I planned what to make for dinner and stocked my kitchen with all the necessary ingredients. Sounds simple enough. But the reality of meal planning took a turn for the worse mid-week, as my carefully crafted meal plan morphed into a meal ban, one dreadful dinner at a time.
I make a no-fail Vegetable Soup for Veggie-Haters, falsely believing that my take-no-prisoners recipe will convert my meat-loving-men to healthier eating at least once a week. My carnivore clan (less than thrilled with the lack of a dead animal in their entrée) immediately start dissecting their soup. My husband stealthily pushes all the carrots to one side hoping no one notices. In between looks of disgust, the boys pick out the onions while asking, “Ew! What’s that green stuff floating next to the potato?” I lie and call it parsley, knowing I will burn in hell for trying to conceal chopped kale. After much cajoling and a few spoonful’s later, my finicky teens push their half-empty bowls away and claim they’re both “full” as they grab a couple more slices of bread and bolt upstairs. Day One: Fail.
Tonight, I tempt taste buds with gourmet cuisine, taking my cue straight from The Barefoot Contessa herself. I channel my inner Ina Garten as I whip together an elegant meal of chicken with Asiago cheese and basil, oven-roasted dill carrots, and penne pasta with roasted red peppers, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s piping hot and ready to serve---until family plans go awry. My husband Kevin needs to work late, my older son Trevor has to help with a group project at school and my younger son Parker has his soccer practice rescheduled. After an extra two hours of keeping dinner warm, my epicurean entrée and sumptuous side dishes meld into charred chow. I’m 0-2. 91
I attempt to appease everyone’s picky palate with a family favorite: a Crockpot full of chili simmering all day. I toss a couple pounds of beef in the slowcooker, add some chopped onions, herbs and diced tomatoes and we’re good to go---perfect for our super busy day ahead. Eight harried hours later, we walk through the door, anticipating the spicy aroma of chili to welcome us home. Strangely, we smell nothing. I head to the kitchen and see the cord dangling next to the Crockpot like a lifeless snake. Crap! I forgot to plug it in before we all left today. The opposite of last night’s overcooked dinner, tonight’s meal sits raw and bloody in my cold Crockpot, practically mooing when I crack open the lid. I grab a bag of tortilla chips, dump salsa in a bowl and dub it a Tex-Mex appetizer. I suck at meal planning.
After three failed attempts, I’m cursing the meal plan and popping open cans of condensed soup, wondering if anyone will even notice it’s not homemade. Trying to make me feel better, Parker and Trevor both remark how delicious the soup is and encourage me to “make this more often.” Yeah, I’ll hold on tight to that Campbell family recipe. Dear God, why do I even try?
With everyone on a different schedule tonight, I ditch the idea of a home-cooked meal together. Trevor eats at the mall food court with his friend before they see a movie. Parker eats a PB&J in the car on the way to his soccer game, while I chug some water, grab a cheese stick and pop a few pretzels in my mouth as I drive him there. Kevin (if he remembers to bring cash) hopes to eat a concession-stand hot dog at halftime. My meal plan is dying a slow and painful death.
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 93
By the weekend, the boys are fighting, Kevin’s cursing his way through a plumbing project and I’m crying into my cookbook as I throw frozen fish sticks at the kids and run for the front door, pretending not to hear their pleas for “just one more chance.”
Tonight I’m dining alone with a glass of wine and my head buried in a copy of Erma Bombeck’s Aunt Erma’s Cope Book, reminding myself that I cannot divorce my family or just opt-out of dinner for the rest of my life. I eye-up the stack of menus on the counter and realize it's time we start supporting the small businesses in our community. I pick up the phone, dial and hear the words that bring joy to my ban-the-meal-plan heart: “China Wok, may I help you?”
10 Year Anniversary 2012-2021 95
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