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contents Features

14 Finding the Right Fit 17 Making the Most of Your Home 22 How to Say No 26 Service Excellence 31 2017 High School Baseball Preview 51 Making the Choice to Go Solar 56 Meal Prep in a Snap

17

Columns 11 Faith Matters 61 David Clark

31 Say it ain’t so! Hasbro has just announced that the thimble is being retired as a player piece in the new “modern” Monopoly board game. Reading that tidbit of news yesterday made me sad. Staying at Grandma and Pap Pap’s house during summer vacations as a kid, we played a LOT of Monopoly. Choosing who got what game piece was always a fun way to start the game. My brother and I always fought for the race car, and the loser of that fight was the dog. Pap Pap was the top hat, Mom had the iron, and Grandma was always the thimble. Grandma loved to sew. In the mid80s when JAMZ (remember those bright, multi-colored shorts?) were all the rage, Grandma made her own version of them for my brother and me. I nicknamed them GRAMZ. She was talented at her craft. She made dresses and skirts for Mom, and shorts and shirts for us. Watching Grandma operate her sewing machine was like watching Michael Jordan dunk a basketball. She was awesome! While sewing, she always wore a thimble on her thumb. To this day I’m not exactly sure of the thimble’s purpose, but she had a wide assortment of them. One Christmas I bought her a display rack, and our family began giving her collectible thimbles. Grandma proudly displayed her thimbles in the family room, and the rack soon filled up. Grandma passed away 20 years ago.

56 Now I no longer fight for the race car, and there is no debate. I am the thimble. Life is busy, and I sure don’t play Monopoly as often as I’d like. But this weekend I’m going to make it a priority to break out the Monopoly board with my family and enjoy our time together. As we circle around the properties, I’ll share stories of Grandma and Pap Pap’s legacy. I’ll even Google to learn and explain to my family what a thimble actually does. Grandma would think that’s pretty neat. Thanks for reading, Todd Shevchik toddshevchik@gmail.com

Departments 7 From the Publisher 9 Events 13 Lexington Leaders 62 Spice of Life

L to R: Elizabeth Johnson, Katie Gantt, Elinor Fatato, Kim Curlee, Tracy Tuten Publisher & Editor-In-Chief Todd Shevchik toddshevchik@gmail.com Director of Sales Donna Shevchik shev26@aol.com 803-518-8853 Editor Katie Gantt kpgantt@gmail.com Editor Emeritus Allison Caldwell Office Assistant Elizabeth Johnson

Elinor Fatato Elinor.fatato@gmail.com 803-447-0873 Beauty & Fitness Editor Amber Machado GRAPHIC DESIGNers Jane Carter, Kim Curlee Website Designer Paul Tomlinson Contributing Writers Kristi Antley, Kristen Carter, Calvin Farrell, Kevin Oliver, Jackie Perrone, Marilyn Thomas

Account Executives Tracy Tuten tracy.tuten@outlook.com 803-603-8187

Contact Us: 5483 Sunset Blvd., Unit G, Lexington, SC 29072 • 803.356.6500 • info@lexingtonlifemagazine.com

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woodandfabricfurniture.com | 819 E Main St., Lexington, SC | 803-490-2097 Open Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

March 2017 Events *Subject to Change*

March 9th - Lexington School District One Arts Showcase March 12th - 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival March 16th - Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce Oyster Roast March 27th - Friends of the Main Library Children’s Author Reading

www.icehouseamphitheater.com ~ 803-358-7275. 8 | LEXINGTON LIFE | March 2017

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March

Sunday, March 5 Cancer Care Ministry Midlands Christian Church, 1312 W. Main St. Lexington, 6 p.m. Guest speaker, Whitnei Jeffcoat, of the American Cancer Society will be sharing information on cancer prevention and recognition. This program is open to the public. Contact Judith Knight for more information at 803.808.6933.

Sunday, March 12 The Dog and Pony Show Columbia Historic Speedway, 2001 Charleston Hwy., Cayce, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Enjoy dog pageants, mobile laser tag, ring slide, climbing wall, face painting, and a car show. Entrance is free. Tickets are available for purchase to play games. All proceeds benefit Patter Pets. Patterpets.org for more information.

Friday, March 10 – Sunday, March 12 51st Annual Carolina Classic Home & Garden Show SC State Fair Grounds, 1200 Rosewood Dr., Columbia, times vary With over 250 exhibitors inside and out, special events, seminars, and $30,000 in door prizes, this will be an event you don’t want to miss. Admission $5/adults, free/kids 14 and under. Times: Fri. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. 803.256.6238 for more information.

Thursday, March 16 Oyster Roast & St. Patrick’s Day Party Icehouse Amphitheater, 107 W. Main St., Lexington, 6 p.m. The Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center will host its 8th Annual Oyster Roast and St. Patrick’s Day Party. Event features live music from Tokyo Joe; food from Travinia, Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, and more; beer, wine, Topper’s Rum, and oysters. Tickets are $50/advance, $60/the day of the event.

Saturday, March 11 Electronic Recycling, Tire Collection, and Paper Shred Event Southern Tool Works parking lot, 438 W Railroad Ave. Leesville, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lexington Co. residents, rid yourself of those old electronics and used tires, and shred once valuable documents. Acceptable items include: computers (and accessories), monitors, printers, fax machines, TVs, stereos, DVD players, VCRs, phones, gaming systems, and more. No refrigeration units. Sponsored by Lexington County SWM and Town of Batesburg-Leesville. Call 803.785.3340 for more information. Sunday, March 12 St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017 Main St., Downtown Lexington, 3 p.m. The Lexington County Blowfish, Lexington Jaycees, Greater Lexington Chamber & Visitors Center and the Town of Lexington invite all families from Lexington County to enjoy this tradition. Parade is free to attend.

Saturday, March 18 Build a Bluebird Nest Box Wingard’s Market, 1403 N Lake Dr., Lexington, 2:00 p.m. Come spend a Saturday morning with your child building a bluebird nest box! To register visit wingardsmarket.com or call 803.359.9091.

Thursday, March 30 A Taste of Lake Murray 2017 Doubletree by Hilton, 2100 Bush River Rd., Columbia, 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Performances by Tokyo Joe and Going Commando. Food vendors include Alodia’s, Bistro on the Boulevard, Blue Marlin, Liberty on the Lake, Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse and more. Tickets/$65 and include food, drinks, and live entertainment. Purchase online at lakemurraycountry.com/tickets, on the phone at 803.781.5940 ext. 9, or in person at the Lake Murray Visitor’s Center. Friday, March 31 6th Annual Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt Gibson Rd. Sports Complex, 104 Duffie Dr., Lexington, 6 – 8:30 p.m. Enjoy carnival rides, inflatables, games, and over 100,000 candy filled Easter Eggs. All proceeds benefit the Lexington Co. Recreation & Aging Commission’s Meals on Wheels Program. Purchase tickets at lcrac.com.

Saturday, March 25 “Celebrating Lexington County’s Agricultural Heritage” Fundraising Gala Lexington Municipal Complex, 111 Maiden Ln., Lexington This year’s Friends of the Lexington Co. Museum’s annual fundraiser will focus on Lexington’s rich history of agriculture. Tickets $60/ advance, $65/at the door. Tickets include all you can eat and drink and live music. Sponsorships available. All proceeds go to the restoration of the museum’s historic structures. Call 803.359.8369 for more information.

Submit your event info five weeks in advance to lexlifeevents@gmail.com. Events will be included as space permits.

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Pastor Ken Jumper The Harvest Wow! 2017 is here, and I trust you are ready for the best year of your life. Now don’t push back on me, but let’s have some good ol’ Biblical faith. I strongly believe that God is love, and, for me, that translates into His desire to bless and prosper my life, family, and career through my relationship with Jesus Christ. A few weeks ago, I was reminded of a story in the Bible where a man named Jesse was asked to present his sons to the Lord, and a prophet named Samuel would anoint one of them as king. What a huge moment in the life of this man. What would he do? He lined them up in front of God’s prophet. Samuel looked around . . . and, after a few moments, asked Jesse if he had any other sons. If you know the story, he did have another young son named David who was out in the field with the sheep. At that point, Jesse brought David to the prophet, and the rest of the story is in your Bible. That scenario caused me to consider why Jesse hadn’t called his youngest son to begin with. The Bible doesn’t say. Maybe he thought he was just a little boy and insignificant to God’s grander plan. Maybe he really liked him a lot and didn’t want to risk losing him. Maybe he thought he needed him more than God did. For whatever reason, I’m not sure, but here is my takeaway after reflecting on this story. Whatever you keep for yourself and refuse to offer God, He can’t bless. Think on that a moment. When I hold back from a full heart’s commitment to God, when I hesitate to use my talents for God, when I keep back God’s portion of the financial blessings He has given me, then I may be “holding back” and “keeping for myself” the very thing God desires to bless the most in my life. I surely don’t want to do that. I don’t want to risk missing God’s best in 2017 by holding back anything. Will you join me this year by bringing everything and being “ALL IN”? Make Jesus the Lord of your life and watch His blessings come upon your life, family, and future.

n

It worked for Jesse. It will work for YOU! Have a blessed and prosperous NEW YEAR!

The Harvest • 4865 Sunset Blvd. Lexington, SC 29072 • 803-808-6373 • the-harvest.org Saturdays: 378 campus 6 p.m. Sundays: 378 campus 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. Whiteford and Northeast campuses, 10:30 a.m.

SANCTUARY Pastoral Care Center 600 Columbia Avenue, Lexington, SC 29072 803.356.4011 | sanctuary@the-harvest.org | www.the-harvest.org

We offer counseling services to help people struggling with unmanagable life circumstances. lexingtonlife.com

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Kirk Morgan is proud to have been voted “best litigation attorney” in Lexington for the past 7 years. “Litigation” is a term used to describe civil legal proceedings between people or corporations to enforce a legal right. Walker & Morgan, LLC focuses on serious and catastrophic personal injury cases which often involve unique and complex theories. Since graduating from the University of South Carolina School Of Law in 1983, Kirk has been involved in hundreds of legal proceedings taking place in the South Carolina judicial system. In order to obtain the best result for one’s client, one needs to have an experienced lawyer representing you who is fully prepared by both experience and resources to proceed to trial. Kirk has served as president of the South Carolina Association for Justice, a group of more than 1,300 trial lawyers, who exclusively represent clients in civil litigation matters. He is also past president of the National Melvin Belli Society. Since 1998, Kirk has been board p certified in civil litigation by the prestigious National Board of Civil Trial Advocacy. Walker Morgan is a law firm composed of Kirk’s partner of 33 years Bill Walker, and two younger partners, Will Walker and Chuck Slaughter. Together they form a team that focuses on a select number of cases in order to maximize interaction with clients and quality of representation. For the past 15 years, Walker Morgan, LLC has gained a national reputation as a firm that emphasizes representation of clients with significant burn injuries. If you or a member of your family has a legal matter that may require resolution within the civil court systems, the attorneys of Walker Morgan, LLC invite you to contact their offices at 135 East Main Street in downtown Lexington.

135 E. Main Street • PO Box 949 • Lexington, SC 29072 km@walkermorgan.com | www.walkermorgan.com Phone: 800-922-8411/ 803-359-6194

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by Jackie Perrone

George Rentz Maybe today’s hospital patients take the Lexington Medical Center for granted. After all, it’s been serving, growing and thriving for 46 years on the forefront of technology and proudly offering the Midlands the best of medical care. But ask the fellow who was at the helm when it was getting started: George Rentz, who can recite the problems and obstacles that threatened to derail Lexington’s attempts to open a hospital. “1971 was the year it opened,” he reports. “But it took about 15 years of controversy and effort to make it happen. Money, of course. Location, a priority issue. Opposition from the existing medical services across the river. Questions as to the availability of doctors, and connections with other medical facilities. Government red tape. Don’t sign on to start a hospital unless you’re willing to fight – and win – the battles.” George Rentz served as president and CEO of Lexington Medical Center from its inception to his retirement 22 years later. He grew up in Columbia and earned his degree in business at the University of South Carolina. His first job at McLeod Infirmary in Florence set the tone for specializing in medical services, and when Lexington leaders were looking for a leader to head up their new hospital, Rentz was the right fit. “We embarked on a campaign for support,” he says. “We ran into complaints about new taxes and conflicts with Columbia. But we were able to persuade the county eventually. The question of where to locate the new facility was solved when Mrs. Hulon donated 50 acres on Highway 378. The county bought 12 more acres in order to qualify for Hill-Burton funding – that’s the federal law that provides financing assistance for hospitals. Two-for-one matching funds, support from County Council, and it became possible.” One of the notable features of Lexington’s new institution was its commitment to make all the patient rooms private. This was a huge step up from the wards and semiprivate accommodations common at the time. Lexington Medical Center was fully accredited on its opening day in January 1971. Its first patients: a mother and her new baby. Last year, 3,640 babies were delivered at LMC, ranking this facility number two in the state in that service. George Rentz enjoys looking back on those exciting years. He points out that the campaign to add full services for heart patients occupied another 15 years of fighting red tape and opposition, but LMC now offers premier medical care for heart patients, including an affiliation with Duke Medical Center. Now 91 years old, he and his wife Mary Ann recently moved into the Presbyterian Retirement Community near Exit 61 on Interstate 20, a location just a short distance down 378 from LMC. He is an avid gardener, focusing on roses for a while. Some medical problems have slowed him down, and he finds pansies an easier way to indulge his gardening hobby. Three adult children, six grands and three great-grands complete the family. n lexingtonlife.com

March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 13


RIght Fit s p m a C r e m Sum

Finding the

Winter break is hardly over when many families start making summer plans for their kids. The reasons why summer camps are such a popular choice among today’s parents are plentiful. Camp gives children an opportunity to put down their cell-phones, iPads and video game controllers and get physically active. At camp, kids get to experience new challenges, achieve success, gain confidence and even learn to cope with failure. They get an opportunity to develop life-long skills ranging from artistic to adventurous – forage for food in the wild anyone? They can also gain independence, by Kristen Carter learn social skills and even make lifelong friends through their various expe-

riences at summer camps. Parents can often feel overwhelmed at the choices of summer camps for their children, and choices can change year to year as children mature. Day camp or sleep-away? Religious or interfaith? Sports, hobbies, academics or performing arts? The possibilities are endless, and finding the right fit takes plenty of research, dialogue and decisions. But the best place to start? Ask your child. Be sure to include them in the decision-making process. Take time to assess your child’s current challenges, strengths and interests. That information, along with knowledge of your child’s temperament, personality and level of maturity will help you choose a suitable summer camp.

Summer Programs at Heathwood Hall

Gearing up for LEGO Robotics 2017 Summer Camps Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church–Lexington July 10–14 OR July 24–28 Instructors: Sherry Clapp & Susan Shepherd

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For More Info Visit: techknowtime.com Or Email: tktrobotics@techknowtime.com LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse our programs.

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It’s obvious that not all children thrive under the same circumstances. Children perform at their highest level when they pursue an activity in which they have both interest and ability. Think of camp as an opportunity for discovering a new interest area. Maybe your child just needs a real break from ongoing lessons and tight schedules. Camps can be the perfect cure to regenerate the mind and body. They can provide a unique environment and activities to help your child regain self-esteem, relax and have fun or explore exciting new pursuits. A successful search begins with three important pieces of information: • A clear understanding of your child’s wants and needs for the summer • Information on the types of camps available • Your family’s summer schedule and budget Armed with that information, you can then start asking other children and parents for referrals, searching the Internet, talking to camp directors and narrowing down the long list of choices. Summer camp can be the experience of a lifetime. And while the happy campers are away, you might just be lucky enough to find a little rest and relaxation of your own. n

“Take time to assess your child’s current challenges, strengths and interests. That information, along with knowledge of your child’s temperament, personality and level of maturity, will help you choose a suitable summer camp.”

Try Your Hand at Something New! Whatever you’re looking for this summer, look no further! Our broad array of programs is designed to provide opportunities to develop talents, acquire new skills and knowledge, or explore something that piques your interest. If you are seeking a full-day summer program, looking for supplemental academic programs, an athletic workshop, or want to try your hand at an arts class, you’ll find it at Hammond.

A wide variety of FUN, active summer and day camps for all ages, abilities, and interests are offered at Seven Oaks, Crooked Creek and Saluda Shoals Parks!

HAMMOND SCHOOL • 854 Galway Lane • Columbia, SC 29209 803-776-0295 • hammondschool.org #SUMMER@HAMMOND

Seven Oaks Park | 803-772-3336

Crooked Creek Park | 803-345-6181 For a complete list of Saluda Shoals Park | 803-772-1228

Summer @ lexingtonlife.com

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yourhome make the most of

Professional Kitchen and Outdoor Space Remodels by Calvin Farrell

A well-designed and comfortable kitchen can become the center of a family’s domestic life. It can be a place for informal dining while catching up on the day’s events and give a real feeling of home with its enticing smells and welcoming atmosphere. On the other hand, it can be a place in which you host formal dinner parties and put your finest china on display. If your kitchen doesn’t meet up to these ideals, however, you could make a real difference by having it remodeled. This is possible no matter how big or small the space you have to work with. Aspects to Consider Everyone’s idea of a perfect kitchen will be different, depending on how one plans to use it. Are you a big cook? In that case, you’ll be looking for plenty of work surfaces and storage space, along with modern appliances carefully positioned to make cooking sessions easy. Are you more of a convenience food aficionado who wants to use the kitchen as a relaxed social space for chats with friends? If so, it’s probably a better idea to focus on providlexingtonlife.com

ing plenty of room for a comfortable dining area while keeping the culinary features to the minimum needed for everyday life. The choice is entirely yours, along with many other details that can have a great impact on your final design. A chat with a professional contractor may open up possibilities you’ve never even considered. How to Start? Some rooms in your home can be redesigned over time, with minor changes here and there, adding up to your desired final result. This is difficult in a kitchen, especially if the needed modifications are fairly major. If your remodeling project takes too long, the inevitable disruption can become extremely tiresome. Because of this, it’s a good idea to carry out the work as quickly as possible. For this, a well-thought-out plan is invaluable.

A good contractor or interior designer with experience in kitchen remodeling will be of great assistance here, helping you to finalize as many details as possible before beginning the job, working with you to maximize the use of space to your preferences, and ensuring that the whole project can be finished on time and within your desired budget. There is of course no reason you shouldn’t undertake a kitchen remodel entirely on your own. However, if you want to enjoy the benefits of a perfect kitchen, as quickly as possible and with the minimum of disruption and stress, why not get the help of an expert? The backyard is another area of your property that can greatly increase your quality of life with a few minor changes or additions. Improving your backyard can more than March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 17


“With a few simple changes, or depending on your preference and budget, major overhauls, you can upgrade your double the living space of your home – all for a fraction of the cost of an addition. Even the most elaborate outdoor transformation will cost less than adding rooms to your home, and the enjoyment factor can be even greater. Here are some ideas for transforming your backyard into an oasis of tranquility for yourself and your family. Some of these ideas are elaborate, but others are simple – so you can choose the backyard transformations that work best for you and your family. Create a Container Garden This is one of the simplest and least ex18 | LEXINGTON LIFE | March 2017

pensive ways to transform your backyard environment. If you would love to have fresh vegetables all summer or beautiful flowers all spring, you could tear up your backyard and plant a garden – or you could do it all with a few strategically placed containers. Container gardening is a lot of fun, and you can grow a wide variety of crops in a limited amount of space. Whether you are an experienced gardener looking for a new challenge or a beginner looking for a way to get started, a container garden makes a wonderful addition to your backyard, deck or patio.

outdoor living space and/or kitchen and enjoy your home even more.”

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Set Up an Outdoor Kitchen If you love to grill, you might want to expand your outdoor cooking with a full backyard kitchen. Setting up an outdoor kitchen is not as difficult – or as expensive – as you might think. You can make that outdoor cooking environment as simple or as elaborate as you want to. If you want to keep things simple, you could simply add a utility table to hold plates or a small storage cabinet to house supplies. If your goal is to become an outdoor entertainer and chef, adding a small refrigerator to hold those special ingredients and a brick oven or grill will get you well on your way.

in the comfort of a space -- whether indoor or out. It can also add a decorative element. Shopping at a specialty store versus a big chain can provide the customer with a lot of advantages: employee expertise, a larger variety, and a more personalized shopping experience.” You can build your own gazebo using plans

from local hardware stores or on the Internet or buy a kit you can assemble at home. If you would rather have someone else do the work, you can hire a contractor to design, build and install your new gazebo. No matter which option you take, you will have a relaxing place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

Design a Relaxing Gazebo There is nothing like a gazebo to create a relaxing and romantic environment in the backyard. Your gazebo can provide a bit of privacy for romantic getaways or become a great place to relax and unwind after a hard day at work. A large gazebo can even be a gathering place for family parties or a dry spot when a sudden rainstorm threatens your barbecue. Add a ceiling fan to keep cool and keep those pesky gnats at bay. John Flambolz, owner of Dan’s Fan City on Harbison Blvd. for over twenty years says, “A ceiling fan really can make a big difference

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20 | LEXINGTON LIFE | March 2017

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Add a Lighted Garden Path Whether your backyard includes a formal garden, a gazebo or just some lush green grass, a lighted garden path will help you enjoy it even more. You do not have to spend a lot of money –or a lot of time – to add a beautifully lighted path to your garden. All you need is a supply of solar-powered lights and enough paving stones to stretch from here to there. Depending on the size and length of your garden path, the entire lighting project can cost as little as $100. When you are done, you will have a backyard living space you can enjoy at any time of the day or night. Light Things Up with a Fire Pit If you want to enjoy your backyard at night or in the winter, adding a fire pit can help you do just that. A fire pit provides a natural focal point for your backyard celebrations, a great place to roast marshmallows and cook hotdogs and a perfect spot for telling ghost stories when Halloween rolls around. You can build your own fire pit with a few simple materials or purchase a readymade model that can be easily moved from place to place. No matter which option you choose, you and your family can spend more

time outside and enjoy your outdoor living space even more. With a few simple changes, or, depending on your preference and budget, major overhauls, you can upgrade your outdoor living space and/or kitchen and enjoy your home even more. Whether you choose the convenience and low cost of container gardening and lighted pathways or a whole new kitchen, the possibilities are endless. n

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March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 21


NO

How to Say

with Confidence

by Kristen Carter

Do people ask you to do things you don’t want to do, but you find it hard to say no? If so, you’re not alone. Most people have uncomfortable moments when they wish they could easily turn down requests. Instead of letting others know they aren’t interested, they say yes, or they flounder and fumble to offer the right words. The right words, of course, are those that meet your needs without making you look unkind. There are times when you can’t, or don’t want to, do others’ bidding. However, you don’t want to hurt anyone by refusing to meet their wishes, nor do you want to appear selfish. When such difficult occasions occur, you get a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. Anxiety arises. How others see you is important to you. What should you do to keep everyone, including yourself, happy? Practice Practice saying “no” aloud. If you can’t say it when no one’s there, how are you going to do so in company? Think of different ways of turning down requests, making notes for reference. People find the word no difficult to say because it’s associated with selfishness. You’ve been led to believe nice people command respect. To be nice, as you know, you have to consider others. Naturally, you think you should say “yes.” You don’t want to seem rude and thoughtless. Change the way you think of the word no. It’s time to change your attitude. You need to alter the mindset that holds you back from saying no. To do so, link “no” with positive connotations.

Why should the kids have all the fun? 22 | LEXINGTON LIFE | March 2017

When you say no to people, you say yes to yourself. You have needs, some of which will not be met if you spend most of your time addressing the needs of others. No is an empowering word. It raises your self-worth, confirming to yourself and the world that you are valuable. The more you say no, the more the strong, confident part of you can emerge. “No” sets the bar, letting others know your time and energy are precious. Once they understand you insist on meeting your own needs, they will stop seeing you as an easy touch. Instead of making unreasonable demands, they’ll assume you won’t comply. They’ll stop thinking you will run around after them unless it’s for a worthy cause. When you say no with confidence, you become a teacher. Your words show others who have low self-esteem how it’s possible to stand tall and be counted. You can be a worthy role model for people who need the courage to stand up for themselves. As you get better at the art of refusal, you might straighten your back and breathe more freely as you open your chest by holding your shoulders back. Your body language will demonstrate the power of no. You’ll come to remember when refusing requests was awkward because you hadn’t practiced saying no. You didn’t comprehend how empowering it is to turn down the unwanted demands of others. You can continue to bump up your courage. Say no aloud and recognize your ability to stop saying yes. As a result, you’ll evolve into a more confident person. n

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SERVICE e c n e l l xce

E

The Public Safety Department by Marilyn Thomas and Fire Service Division

The Public Safety Department and Fire Service Division: Service Excellence The first responders of Lexington County perform the essential function of safeguarding the well-being of the local community. Efficiency in organization, equipment and communication is key to successfully fulfilling this role. For this reason, the fire services, 911 communications, emergency medical services and emergency management are consolidated under one umbrella, which is coordinated by the Lexington County Public Safety Department. “Though we are a government organization, we are much like a family,” says David Kerr, director of the Lexington County Public Safety Department. “We are here to 100 percent serve the citizens … and we do it seamlessly.”

26 | LEXINGTON LIFE | March 2017

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Lexington’s Public Safety Department is comprised of 536 employees and volunteers and operates as four separate divisions, but because of the “overlap in emergency services,” Director Kerr explains, “we have to work together as one organization.” He also mentions that the department is currently accepting applications for new employees and volunteers. Public Safety’s main focus is to prevent emergencies and disasters, but the department “responded amazingly well,” says Director Kerr, to three presidential declarations in the last three years. As an example, Fire Chief Bradley Cox mentioned the approximate 200 swift-water rescues that Lexington County’s Fire Service Division performed during the three-day floods of 2015. “A lot of people see us as (just) the fire department,” says Chief Bradley Cox, who has worked with this department for six years but boasts a 42-year career in this service field. “We don’t just put the ‘wet stuff’ on the ‘red stuff’ anymore.” According to Chief Cox, the fire department responded to more than 12,000 calls last year, and of that number, only 1,600 involved fires. “We have a lot of specialized functions,” he explains. “We do hazardous material … extrications, rescues from vehicles, high-level rescue, confined space rescue or structural collapse.” Specialized equipment and technical training ensures that the firefighters are aptly prepared to face a diversity of emergencies. Because 99.7 percent of all residents and businesses are located within five miles of a fire station, many fire fighters are also certified as emergency medical responders and, when needed, can be dispatched to provide basic life support until an ambulance, with more advanced medical equipment, can arrive on the scene. As would be expected, all of Lexington County’s 24 fire stations have at least two primary pieces of equipment: the “traditional” lexingtonlife.com

March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 27


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engine and the tanker truck, which are both instrumental in extinguishing fires. Recently, mobile data terminals (MDT) were installed on the engines, and plans are underway to add them to the tanker trucks in 2017. The MDT provides the firefighters with

“What’s awesome about being in Lexington County is the amount of support from the citizens for our public safety responders … for every department.” available data and a link to the dispatch system, so they can make more informed decisions during emergencies. The traffic interrupter system is another technological advancement that has also been installed at one Lexington County fire station. This equipment controls the traffic signals to safely clear congestion, so responders can expeditiously reach their destination during a crisis. Developments such as these have enabled Lexington’s Fire Department to improve its Insurance Service Office (ISO) grade from a 7 in 2011 to a 3 in 2014 (10 is the lowest and 1 is the highest grade possible on a scale from 1–10). Chief Cox says insurance companies may lower premiums for local homeowners and businesses because of these ratings. Behind the scenes, “A lot of employee involvement helps a great deal in the decision making,” says Chief Cox. “I think that’s had a lot of benefit to the service we provide. … Our motto inside this department is: Service Excellence.” This collaboration of services extends beyond the boundaries

of the city of Lexington. Chief Cox explains that they have established automatic aid agreements with other local municipalities that enable area emergency responders to work together within the dispatch process when the situation demands it. The fire department connects with the local community in other ways, as well. Besides attending numerous educational and charitable events, it collects funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the spring. In the fall, it hosts an annual boot drive and 5K to solicit donations for the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation’s Jeffrey Chavis House and, to date, has raised more than a half million dollars for this cause. “What’s awesome about being in Lexington County is the amount of support from the citizens for our public safety responders … for every department,” says Harrison Cahill, Lexington County’s Public Information Officer. “You just see this overwhelming response of support for each one of these departments.” n

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NGTON LIF I X E LE

Baseball Preview by Kevin Oliver

As winter fades, the spring sports season begins to heat up, with baseball the major focus on local high school athletics fields. “America’s pastime” is a popular sport in Lexington, and our area teams have sent many talented players on to play at the collegiate level for major programs at big universities and smaller squads in more regional colleges. It’s the love of the game that drives the players and coaches during the high school years, however, and the community support for the teams. Lexington schools are always competitive on the statewide sports scene, and baseball is no different. The new region alignments and addition of 5A size levels to those regions means that rivalries and competitors will change, but the competitive spirit will remain. To find out what to expect from our area teams this season, Lexington Life talked with the coaches at White Knoll, Lexington, River Bluff, Gilbert, Pelion, and Northside Christian. lexingtonlife.com

March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 31


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s t a c d l i W n o t g n i Lex

The Lexington Wildcats made it to the district championship game before their season ended last year at 16–11. Varsity head baseball coach Brian Hucks states the team’s goal this season as unchanged, however.

“Our goal for 2017 is the same as every year and that is to win the last game we play in the playoffs,” he says. “Our region is one of the toughest in the state, and the new teams in 5A are some of the best programs in the state.” Hucks says the team will be competitive and adjust to its overall abilities, a target that changes every season with experienced players graduating and newer talent rising to the occasion. “Our style of play requires pitching and defense as constants that we bring to the field every day,” Hucks says. “We will compete in every at bat on the offensive end and employ an aggressive style on the bases. We constantly adjust our style offensively year to year based on the type of players we have and what their individual strengths are.” Hucks is a longtime coach who never takes his duties for granted, on or off the field. “The best thing about coaching is forming relationships with my players and hopefully making a positive impact on their lives,” he says. “Being called ‘coach’ is an incredible responsibility and one I never take lightly.”

“We constantly adjust our style offensively year to year based on the type of players we have and what their individual strengths are.” lexingtonlife.com

March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 33


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s r o t a G f f u l B r Rive

Lexington’s newest school, River Bluff has already seen some success under head coach Mark Bonnette going into the team’s fourth season. The team scored region titles each of the last two years, and Bonnette was named Coach of the Year in 2016. That’s not enough for him, Bonnette claims. “Our motto is to not be satisfied with what we’ve done so far,” he says. “We want to advance farther in the playoffs, and our new 5A region just got a little deeper, and tougher.” The Gators lost four senior starters from 2016, but the majority of the starting lineup is intact. Watch for Aaron Adams, a four-year starter at third base and a College of Charleston commitment, all-region four year starter

“We’re here for these kids to give them the best experience we can” at shortstop Walker McDowell, outfielders Josh Center and Steven Kight, and second baseman Patrick Manley. Hunter Garris, Colby Leitner, and Victor Kelly will all contribute on the pitching mound. The Gators will be an aggressive team as always, Bonnette says. “It depends on the team skill set, what type of players we have determines what we can do. We like to be aggressive and move runners when the opportunity is there, and we do have guys who can hit but also some who can run. We will play hard, be disciplined, and play the game the right way.” Bonnette has built a great young program at River Bluff and he’s grateful for the chance, he says. “We’re here for these kids to give them the best experience we can. We have a great administration, excellent facilities, and support of the district, so that our players have the opportunity for a lasting experience.”

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March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 35


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n a ti s i r h C e d i s th r No s r e d Crusa

It’s a bit of a different scene for the Northside Christian Academy Crusaders when it comes to sports, including baseball, as the team competes in the smaller South Carolina Independent Schools Association division against similar private school teams from all over the state, and the school has only been involved in team sports for a few short years. Last season’s team for Northside Christian notched a 10–5 record and a run into the second round of the playoffs, a more than respectable finish for a still young program that’s just now graduating its first class of four-year players. Without 2016 all-region catcher Jared Stamey and fellow senior Turner Neal, there are a lot of unknowns for the squad heading into this season. Head coach Matt Murphy will need new faces to step up to the plate and deliver for the Crusaders to continue to improve. Watch for Peyton Blake, a pitcher who was named 2016 Region Player of the Year and is being touted as a college prospect, to be Northside’s strongest ace, but Brandon Pack and Davis Motley will also contribute.

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March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 37


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ll o n K e it h W s e v l o w r e b Tim

The Timberwolves baseball tradition is a winning one, and 2016 was another high point for the program with a final ranking of #6 statewide and a 22–8 record after a 13–0 start that saw the team rise to #3 in South Carolina and a #21 national ranking in USA Today. The team did this with a squad of 12 seniors, which normally would mean that it’s now a rebuilding year—but head coach Charles Assey doesn’t see it that way. “We’re not going to rebuild, we are going to reload,” he says. “We will be bringing along younger guys to gain experience and do the same as we always have by playing aggressively to force other teams to make plays. Our goals are simple: make the playoffs and win a title. If we keep getting better and play our best at the right time, we can make a run at it.” This year’s leading players are a trio of seniors who have all committed to play at Newberry College next year: Pitchers Ryan Harbin, Jacob Jeffcoat, and Tanner Lane. Also returning with varsity experience will be junior outfielder Parker Wieder. Coach Assey says they’ll stick to the basics of scoring and defense to win games. “Offensively we try to score one more run than the other team when the game is over,” he says. “Defensively we stress the routine plays, not hurting ourselves, and getting to 21 outs as quickly as we can.” Coach Assey has a unique perspective on the high school level, having coached on the collegiate side as well: “Being at this level has given me the chance to connect with younger kids and mold them into young men and hopefully good ballplayers.”

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March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 39


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s n a i d n I t r e b Gil Winning is a familiar tradition at Gilbert, as the Indians notched a 2A state championship as recently as 2012. Last season the Indians finished at 20–7 and made it to the district finals; varsity head coach Ashley Burnett says that the program will keep doing what it has been doing to get to this point.

“We hope to continue the tradition of success this year at Gilbert High School with our baseball program,” he says. To do that, Burnett and the Indians will rely on a veteran pitching staff, with all of 2016’s starters coming back. The team is loaded with talent, including Anderson University commitment Tyler Berry, USC-Aiken commitment Jacob Rye, and USC-Sumter commitment Chase Swygert, but Burnett says that the team will adjust to be successful. “We lost three of our best hitters to graduation so that’s a concern, but we try to focus on our strengths,” he says. “Some years we play small ball, others we wait for the big inning; it varies based on the personnel we can put on the field.” While they’re playing, the focus is on the field, but Coach Burnett knows that there is more to his job than that. “My favorite part of coaching is the impact I get to have on young men,” He says. “Hopefully they are able to learn much more that baseball from their time at Gilbert.”

“My favorite part of coaching is the impact I get to have on young men.”

lexingtonlife.com

March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 41


Start the New Year Off with Us! Plan Today Protect Tomorrow

Thanks

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Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SPIC. Investment Advice offered through Crescent Financial Group, LLC a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial. The nomination for this award is based on Lexington Life Magazine reader votes. This nomination is not representative of the views of clients and is not indicative of future performance or services.

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s r e th n a P n o Peli The Panthers finished last season with a solid 18–9 record and a region championship in the 3-AA division, but for 2017 the team will be moving up a class into the AAA ranks. Coach Barry Fogle sees it as an opportunity to prove themselves all over again.

“We hope to be competitive and challenge for a spot in the playoffs,” he says. The team will do that with a host of talented players on the field expected to contribute, including Erskine College commitment, senior shortstop and pitcher Austin Fogle, and his fellow seniors Travis Poole, Dalton Smith, Ethan Gentry, and Kirby Edwards. Underclassmen who will be expected to step up this season includes sophomores Dylan Williamson, Jacolby Myers, Drew Boozer, and Austin Shumpert.

The Panthers return some game experience with this lineup, despite losing three starters. “We’ll stress playing good defense and throwing strikes,” Coach Fogle says. “We will try to manufacture runs by bunting and stealing in addition to getting on base. Everyone will count, as our region will be extremely competitive.” Coach Fogle enjoys the challenges and the responsibilities that come with the game of baseball, both on and off the field. “My high school coaches were influential in my choosing to be a teacher and a coach,” he says. “The best thing about it is having that same opportunity to be a positive influence in kids’ lives.”

“We hope to be competitive and challenge for a spot in the playoffs.”

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March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 43


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s r e th n a P e idenc

Prov

The Providence Panthers, a homeschool team based at the Providence Athletics Club, won their second consecutive state homeschool championship last year, finishing 23-10 and notching a second place finish at the NACA Division II tournament under head coach Jim Blevins.

To hit their goal of three state titles in a row, the Panthers will rely on a quartet of seniors including shortstop and closing pitcher James Reed, senior third baseman Cal Hucks, and senior center fielder Parker Pocock, who led the team in hitting last season with a .430 average. On the mound they’ll have senior Matthew Derrick, who led the team in wins last season at 7-3 along with a .219 ERA. Coach Blevins says the Panthers use solid defense and aggressive offense to win. “We try to place the maximum amount of pressure on the opposing team and we aren’t a home run hitting team, so we bunt, steal, hit, run, and always look for those extra bases,” he says. “Defensively, we work to keep opposing offenses away from big innings, we pound the strike zone and make you beat us with your bats.” Blevins says that as a homeschool, private Christian program, the Providence Panthers are always about more than just winning on the field. “We remind our players that there are more important things in life than baseball,” he says. “We work hard to build team unity through the consistent application of our values – respect, unity, leadership, excellence, and diligence.”

“We remind our players that there are more important things in life than baseball.”

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March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 45


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As this story was being prepared in January, and the White Knoll Timberwolves baseball team was gearing up for the new season, the tragic news broke of the sudden passing of one of the team’s players, sophomore Brett Williams. Coach Assey had mentioned him among the Timberwolves top returning talent, and Williams had just committed to the University of South Carolina. USC coach Chad Holbrook issued a statement saying “Brett Williams was a special kid. He had all the traits coaches love to have on their teams. He had great character, a tireless work ethic, and an incredible personality that we were all drawn to.” Williams’ team, school, and community mourned his loss with multiple tributes in addition to the formal services, and Assey offered his own observations of Williams to Lexington Life: “Brett was an unbelievable young man that stood for way more than just being a baseball player. There is a reason he was committed to play at South Carolina, he was special all the way around,” Assey said. “One of first to show and last to leave, an A/B student, and he never had a detention. He was the epitome of an all-around young man.” n

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Get tickets now at HarlemGlobetrotters.com, ticketmaster.com, the Lexington Medical Center Box Office inside Colonial Life Arena, or by phone at 800-745-3000 Come as a group and save! For more information, contact 803-576-9077 or groups@coloniallifearena.com

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Thinking of Going

Sol ar? Six Critical Things to Consider First by Kristen Carter

Critics are still in doubt about the dangers of global climate change, and politicians continue to debate over what to do about it. At the same time, the market has spoken, and there has been a quiet revolution in the world of energy production. If you have been thinking about joining the solar revolution, you probably have a lot of questions. Adding solar power to an existing home is no easy feat and incorporating solar into new construction can be nearly as complicated. Here are six critical things you should consider and six vital questions you should ask when contemplating a solar equipment installation.

Many communities still have outdated zoning restrictions in place, leftovers from the days of huge bulky solar panels and ugly roofs. If you are part of a homeowners’ association, it is important to carefully check your paperwork before embarking on a solar equipment installation. Even if your home is not part of an HOA, your municipality may impose restrictions on solar energy, and checking for those restrictions should be your first move. 2: How Much Sun Do I Get? The amount of sun you get will obviously play a role in how efficient any solar

power installation will be. If your home is blessed with abundant sunshine, and you have a south-facing roof, then installing solar panels could be considered. If you live in a shady spot and receive indirect sunlight, the practicality of a solar installation becomes a bit murkier. Many solar energy firms have detailed mapping programs and predictive algorithms in place to determine the relative value of their services. Simply giving your address to the firm will allow them to determine the amount of sunlight you can expect and how much value you will receive by adding solar power to your home.

1: Are There Any Zoning Restrictions? While acceptance of solar power has never been higher, not everyone has embraced the renewable energy revolution.

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3: Will My Roof Handle Solar Panels? Modern solar panels are far lighter and much smaller than the ones made just a few years ago, but they can still put strain on your roof. Checking the strength of the roof is an essential first step when contemplating any solar energy conversion, so be sure to have an experienced roofing engineer check your property before you begin. Before investing in solar panels for your home or business, Michael Mason and Chad Bauer, co-owners of Homestar Solar Solutions in Columbia, also recommend that you seek a well-established and experienced solar company. “It is important that the staff is certified and has expertly trained installers. The company you select needs to be able to address your questions regarding rebates and out of pocket expenses to make your transition to solar as stress free as possible,” they say. 4: What Are the Installation Costs? The installation costs of solar panels have come down quite a bit, but the price of a solar power equipment is still significant. The exact cost will depend on a large num-

ber of factors, including where you live, the amount of local competition and the size of your home. Mapping all these expenses out ahead of time will make budgeting easier and help you determine if solar energy is even feasible. You should also get several quotes so that you can compare cost per watt as well as warranty information. 5: What Are My Current Utility Costs? Your current utility costs will obviously play a big role in the feasibility of adding

solar power. The higher your current utility costs, the more sense it will make to supplement your home with solar energy. If your current utility costs are very low, investing your money in solar power may not make as much sense. Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative’s energy advisor Matt Porth says, “The most important thing to do when considering solar is to understand all of the costs as well as the expected payback.” Much of the payback comes from tax incentives. Talk to a qualified CPA, who understands your tax

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“The cost of solar power continues to fall, even as the price of traditional power is rising. That makes solar power feasible for many more people, which is good news for everyone, including the environment.” situation and can explain to you how to get the full benefit of the tax incentives. Also, talk to your utility provider to understand what your bill could look like if you install solar to your home. Solar power is an additional power source that is intermittent in nature. Most solar power systems are tied to the existing utility, or grid tied. 6: How Much Maintenance is Required? While modern solar panels need less maintenance than the ones made years ago, no solar installation is truly maintenance-free. It is important to research the maintenance needs of your solar panel installation and understand how much of that upkeep you can, and cannot, do on your own.

Keeping the solar panels clean is important because dirty panels will reduce the efficiency of the power system and reduce the amount of energy that is produced. If you are not comfortable on a ladder, you will need to factor the cost of hiring a contractor into your budgetary equations. The cost of solar power continues to fall, even as the price of traditional power is rising. That makes solar power feasible for many more people, which is good news for everyone, including the environment. If you have been thinking about adding solar power to your home, now is the perfect time to act. Doing your homework and answering the six critical questions listed above can make your decision a lot easier, and possibly save you a lot of money down the road. n

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Snap

Healthy Meal Prep in a

W

by Kristi Antley

e’ve all been there, scrambling for a healthy meal option because we’ve been too busy to slow down and think ahead. It’s no mystery that we typically eat three times each day and need intermittent snacks to keep strong and have energy. Regardless of whether you are only feeding yourself or an entire family, the work and cleanup are basically the same. Make it easy to eat clean with meal preparation in four simple steps: plan, buy, cook, and store. You will avoid the hassle of cooking every day by preparing items in bulk for the coming week. Then it is smooth sailing; no more last-minute trips to the grocery store or paying for overpriced salads.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST

Don’t even think about starting until you have determined the number and type of meals you need, which depend on your personal preference, fitness goals, and time restraints. Opt for simple, familiar recipes with slight variations. Usually it makes sense to prepare lunch for each day of the week because most of us are home for breakfast and/or dinner. Sundays are the most popular day to meal prep, but choose a time that fits your schedule best, even if it means splitting it into two separate days. Do the math and know how much of each item you need before you hit the store to avoid waste. Be realistic: meal prep must be manageable so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and begin to dread the task.

STOCK UP

A strong foundation of these staple items will ensure that you only need to grocery shop once weekly or biweekly: 1. Fresh, leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard, watercress, romaine, red or green lettuce). Use these to create beautiful salads and add flavor and crunch to sandwiches. Packed with vital nutrients, greens add low-calorie volume to any meal, making it more satisfying. 2. Frozen vegetables (corn, spinach, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, brussels sprouts). Because fresh produce is often limited and expensive, and canned versions typically lose most of their lexingtonlife.com

nutrients through processing, frozen veggies are often the best choice. 3. Whole wheat pasta. Easy and so versatile when you add veggies and herbs. This variety of pasta has more fiber, which will make you feel full faster and resist eating another serving. 4. Eggs. One of the cheapest sources of protein available and not just for breakfast. Make a low-calorie egg salad, fried egg, used boiled eggs for snacks, omelets with tomatoes and broccoli, frittatas, etc. 5. Dried or low sodium canned beans (black, kidney, butter, lentils, garbanzo beans, etc.) A real power food packed with fiber and protein, quick and easy to store, transport and prepare. 6. Oatmeal. Rolled or steel-cut oats are best and can soak overnight in the fridge for a low glycemic snack full of fiber and protein. Add fruit or maple syrup if you like it sweet or just a hint of cinnamon and nuts. 7. Meat. Choose lean cuts of chicken breast, ground beef, pork, fish, flank steak, and lunch meats. 8. Healthy Fats. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, walnuts, olive oil, and coconut oil.

USE THE RIGHT CONTAINERS

Having the right containers can make or break your meal prep efforts. There is nothing quite like the smell or sight of a dripping container of fish or broccoli in the fridge or in your car. Take a few extra dollars and invest in containers that are the right size, March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 57


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sturdy, stackable, and have a firm seal. If you use glass, you can cook, store, reheat, and eat from the same vessel time and time again. Also, have a supply of strong plastic bags for salad, fruit portions, or stir fry ingredients that you can keep in the fridge until it’s time to pour it in the pan or bowl.

CUT, COOK, AND PACK! • Multitask to maximize your time. Use a slow cooker, your stove, skillet, and counter at the same time. • Rinse/slice vegetables ahead of time. Cut veggies will typically last three to five days in the fridge. • Skewer meats for easy, fast portions. Weighing meat and placing it on a skewer will control how much you consume at each meal. Leftover cooked meat will generally last three to four days in the fridge, and ground meats will last one to two days. Use a variety of spices and vinegar/oils on the same meats in different trays so that you don’t get bored with the taste later in the week. • Roast different types of vegetables with the same cooking time. Asparagus, tomatoes, and mushrooms have a shorter cooking time; potatoes, carrots, onions, and cauliflower have a longer cooking time. • Split snacks into small portions. Grab-and-go packs are easier and less tempting than opening a huge bag of nuts or pretzels. • Freeze cut up fruits and veggies for smoothies in individual bags. This is a win-win situation; buy fruits and veggies in bulk, and they will keep for months in the freezer. Simply add liquid and blend when you’re ready for a smoothie. • Use muffin tins to spice up your normal meal and control portions. Make mini egg muffins, pizza bites, pancakes, oatmeal cups, desserts, and mac and cheese cups. • Pack mason jars with delicious combinations: meat and salad ingredients, oatmeal and fruit, pasta and tomatoes with cheese, apples with nuts and berries. Remember dressings go on the bottom of the jar. Evaluate your meal prep plan periodically to see what needs to be tweaked to make it flow more smoothly each week. Adapt it to fit changes in your schedule, finances, or lifestyle to get the most out of your time, build the body you want, and keep your hunger satisfied. There will always be a healthy meal waiting on you at home or with you at the office, which will save money, time, and trim your waistline. n

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Where Is the Purpose? T

Requests for mindless mouse clicks of being “liked” has replaced continuing mindful acts of earning respect.

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he sight of a door ahead gives one pause and causes a fairly continual stream of sober reflection. The verse that talks about “seeing through a glass darkly” is as good a description as I can imagine. The first step beyond the door’s dark glass will be magnificent, but that step will take care of itself. The continual sober reflection has instead been about the steps directly in front of me today. Sober reflection does not mean sad reflection. The process has been filled with relief, as I let go of ideas, attitudes, actions and reactions. It has been filled with an interesting peaceful joy, as I see things previously blocked by mental and emotional clutter. The clarity of seeing an end to my days is a good thing. This is not to say that suddenly I have mastered anything. It’s somewhat akin to getting ready to relocate into a much smaller space. It becomes easier and easier to say to myself: “Nope, don’t need that anymore.” There’s also a recognition involved: “Hey, that’s an outlook I need to use as often as I can.” Our modern highly evolved, overly educated, speed-of-light culture has been grossly overfilled with nonsense called “information.” Old Fudds like me have noticed that hundreds of channels of idiotic data have replaced common sense and decency, loyalty, honor and trust. Requests for mindless mouse clicks of being “liked” has replaced continuing mindful acts of earning respect. Sarcasm has become the standard mode of communication in all exchanges, extending the eighth-grader’s newfound skill of verbal slaughter into all age groups of society. This trend’s followers aren’t willing to face the truth and accurate description of the old saying that “sarcasm is the protest of the weak.” The greatest nation on Earth has become terribly obnoxious. I no longer join the audience for ninth-grade spoiled-brat temper tantrums trapped in adult bodies. Self-control is at best a dying art. I will not listen to endless tales of tragedy wreaked by spoiled-brat alcoholic or junkie children and grandchildren of people I meet. These tantrums and stories are all the same. While I have compassion for those affected, it’s their decision to not support the predictable insanity. No decision is still a decision. I cannot change this tidal wave of poor behavior. Even better, I no longer even stop to judge it. I have simply become keenly aware of it and go around it as if it were a big steaming pile of dog doo. This navigational choice means I may not interact with certain characters, and I wonder why it took me so long to make the decision. The decision to watch my step creates more space to reflect and help others on the less traveled path. Drawing boundaries can mean excluding crazy behavior, and it always results in having more opDavid Clark writes and works portunities to give. Our neighbors are everywhere, in Cochran, GA. and many of us are needed. If we make the internal Connect with him at cw.w4trj@gmail.com. space, the Lord’s purpose is revealed. n March 2017 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 61


Taste of the Irish overnight. Before serving, soften slightly, by letting the dip warm at room temperature. Garnish with another pinch of chopped fresh parsley. Serve with crackers or flat bread.

Cheddar Guinness Dip 8 oz cream cheese, softened 2½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp half & half sprinkle of kosher salt ¼ cup Guinness draft beer 2 scallions, chopped 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish) dash of hot sauce, or to taste Combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, mustard and half & half in a food processor. Sprinkle in a pinch of kosher salt and pulse until combined. Pour in the beer and blend until smooth. Add in the scallions, parsley and hot sauce; pulse a few more times. Taste for seasoning. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill for at least an hour or

62 | LEXINGTON LIFE | March 2017

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage 2–3 lb corned beef brisket with spice packet 1 head green cabbage, chopped 1 lb red potatoes, cut in half 1 lb carrots, chopped 1 onion, chopped 4 cups water Add potatoes, carrots and onion to bottom of slow cooker. Add corned beef brisket on top. Sprinkle spice packet on top of meat. Pour water on top of all the food. Cook on high 6 hours. Add cabbage and cook 1 to 2 additional hours on high or until cabbage is tender. Remove corned beef brisket to serving platter. Slice thinly across the grain

F. Line one or more baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat on medium for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, peppermint extract and food coloring. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and combine until the flour is not quite incorporated. Add half of the chocolate chips to the dough. Chop the other half coarsely, with a knife or in a food processor. Add the chopped chocolate to the dough and mix until just combined. Use a 2-inch cookie scoop to form balls of dough and drop them on the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 8–10 minutes, or until BARELY starting to brown on the edges. Let cool 5 minutes on the pan, then remove to a cooling rack.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies 1 cup butter, softened 1½ cups sugar 3 eggs 1 tsp peppermint extract (or more to taste) 9 drops of green food coloring (apprx) 3¼ cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cream of tartar ½ tsp kosher salt 12 oz milk or dark chocolate chips Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

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Lexington Life Magazine - Mar 17  

Lexington Life is a premiere publication serving the residents of Lexington, SC Published since 2004, Lexington Life Magazine is a family-ow...

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