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VOL 7, NO 4

COMPLIMENTARY

CELEBRATING, MOTIVATING, AND EDUCATING WOMEN

Real

TM

BIGGER THAN

BASEBALL

The Lexington High School Varsity Team inspires a community

KNOW the

GLOW

The Porters share the experience of their children’s battle with Retinoblastoma Eye Cancer

Hima Dalal on

Living Life to the FULLEST


In this Issue

TM

22

36

www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Lori Samples Duncan (loriduncan86@gmail.com)

MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES

Crystal Poston Cathy Williams (info@lexingtonwomanonline.com)

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Elizabeth Beutel Lori Samples Duncan Mayor Randy Halfacre Ashby Jones Steven Lanham, DDS Tim Loonam, DVM Beth McCrary Amy Pittsenbarger Suzy Shay E’Lane Tipton

COVER PHOTO

Robert Patrick Image Design

DESIGN

Melissa W. Morris

PHOTOGRAPHY Clark Berry Photography Cynthia Pace Photography Robert Patrick Image Design

From the Editor

Health & Wellness

2 Summer’s End

Events

3 What’s Happening?

Let’s Talk

5 7 8 10 12 15 16 20

Talk of the Town with Mayor Randy Halfacre Retirement Luxuries — Life Never Looked This Good The Ashby Chronicle: The Greatest Prayer is Patience Happy Birthday! Eddie is Turning 10 Years Old A Mother Shares Her Northside Experience Summer Spinach Salad Bigger Than Baseball About Munchies and Men

22 26 28 31

Live Life to the Fullest – Meet Your Full Potential The Importance of Sleep Wellness Expanding a Legacy of Service and Care for People with Alzheimer’s Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: No App for That

Professional

32 Becoming a Well Armed Woman 35 Welcome to the Indian River Golf Club Family

Celebrating the Survivor in You! 36 Know the Glow

Pets

40 5 Steps to Fix Behavior Problems In Your Pets

Business & Web Directory 43 Contact our Advertisers Find us on facebook!

Personal Note

44 Who Will You Smile at Today? Lexington Woman Magazine Woman 2 Woman Publishing (803) 785-4475 602 Northwood Road Lexington, SC 29072

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. However, the publisher cannot assume responsibility for errors or omissions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. © 2013

Savor the last days of

SUMMER! www.lexingtonwomanonline.com




C

an you believe we are just over a month away from summer being over? Where does the time go? I hope you have enjoyed a vacation by now. If not, I hope you can find time to take one. It is always a privilege and a pleasure to bring to life another edition of Lexington Woman Magazine. This last issue brought forth a ton of emails and phone calls of appreciation. We never get tired of hearing that we did a good job. Doesn’t everyone enjoy a pat on the back from time to time? As usual, this issue hosts a variety of stories. A few community profiles are included as well, and as safety continues to be an issue for all of us; some words from our friends at Tego Tactical. One of my favorite articles is about the Lexington High School baseball team and the impact our friend Kennedy has had on the students of LHS. Dr. Loonam shares some good information about our pets and their behavioral issues, and as always Ashby Jones has imparted a few nuggets of wisdom for all of us Lexington people. We are so pleased to be a part of the Lexington community. Thank you for continuing to support us through your readership and the support of our advertisers. These local businesses are committed to celebrating the women of Lexington and providing us all with quality products, services and customer service. Let them know you saw them here in the pages of Lexington Woman Magazine. Don’t forget to join us on Facebook for some great back to school giveaways! God Bless and let’s keep dry and cool. “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” — Helen Keller

Lori Samples Duncan Editor-in-Chief



Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women


Events

What’s HAPPENING? South Carolina State Museum Roadshow July 27 Tickets Sales from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Appraisals from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. South Carolina State Museum

Aunt Martha’s coin silver wine holders, Kewpie dolls, a Picasso drawing, a Japanese bayonet, a Russian samovar, an Edgar Allan Poe first edition – you never know what might turn up at the Museum Road Show! Inspired by PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow,” the program will offer informal (verbal) appraisals of a variety of objects. Museum curators and local experts will be on hand not only to discuss items, but also to provide tips on caring for the objects. Call (803) 898-4999 for more information or visit their website. www.museum.state.sc.us

Countdown to Kindergarten August 9, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. EdVenture, Columbia

All rising kindergartners and their families are invited to the Tenth Annual Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration. The evening will feature FREE admission to the museum, costumed characters, games, face painting, karaoke, dental and vision screenings, information booths and resources for parents on keeping kids safe and healthy. www.edventure.org

South Carolina Pelion Peanut Party August 9 – 10, Friday 5 – 11 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Pelion Community Club, Pelion

Farmers in Pelion, a mere 20 miles or so from Columbia, have been producing and harvesting peanuts for years. It has long been an autumn tradition for the

townspeople to gather for the annual boiling of the peanuts. Today, members of the Pelion Ruritan Club continue the tradition at the annual Pelion Peanut Party. The Ruritans use a secret recipe for boiling the peanuts; however, they are more than happy to share the final product with festival-goers. This year’s festival features the Princess Pageant, a craft show, parade, exhibits, fabulous festival food, the “Peanut’s Your Way” tent and amusement rides for all.

2013 Children’s Trust Benefit Gala and Auction August 24, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. Marriott Columbia

Children’s Trust of South Carolina is holding their signature fundraising event. The gala is a black tie optional party featuring heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and live music by Finesse. Just like children like to have fun and play games, they will have some entertainment and unique features like “Heads or Tails” and the “Wall of Wine.” Tickets are $100 per person (tax deduction is $30 per ticket). The funds raised at this event support the mission and the programs of Children’s Trust. Join them as they work to prevent child abuse, neglect and unintentional injuries in South Carolina. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit the website below. www.scchildren.org

21st Annual Dottie Dunbar All Woman Fishing Tournament October 5, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Palmetto Bay Marina, Hilton Head Island

and $50 at registration. The fee includes dinner, T-shirt, prizes and awards. Please mail a check to DDAWFT c/o Dottie Dunbar,114 Candar Court, Chapin, SC 29036. To register in advance, please include your phone number and email address. On Friday, Oct. 4, register in front of Palmetto Bay Marina Charter Office, where the Angler meeting will be held during registration from 6-7:30 a.m. The fee includes a T-shirt and dinner for the angler. Weigh Station opens at 3 p.m. at Palmetto Bay Charter Office. The awards dinner starts at 5 p.m. and is $10 for non-anglers. Tournament T-shirts are available for $10. The public is invited to attend. For information and registration, contact Dottie Dunbar at (803) 932-7685 or (803) 206-0598 or via email at noah2x2@sc.rr.com. Or, contact Cindy Sullivan at (843) 384-2466 or at cshhi@aol.com.

BACK TO SCHOOL DATES Lexington One & Three: August 19, 2013 Lexington Four and Five: August 20, 2013 Lexington Two: August 21, 2013 Richland One: August 19, 2013 Richland Five: August 20, 2013 Richland Two: August 21, 2013

Only women may fish in the tournament. Targeted species are: spotted sea trout, and spot tail bass (red fish). Anglers must have a current South Carolina saltwater fishing license and a boat. Rental boats are available at marinas. Women anglers must strike and land all fish. The angler entry fee is $40, if received by Sept. 17,

Sponsored by:

Come explore the world of the butterfly in this unique, living, outdoor exhibit at the South’s largest children’s museum.

Now through October 6, 2013

211 Gervais St. | Columbia SC | edventure.org | www.lexingtonwomanonline.com




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Let’s Talk

TALK

of the town

with MAYOR RANDY HALFACRE

T

he Town of Lexington opened its 3rd Annual Farmers Market in June at 206 N. Church Street (the Old Shoebox building). It will operate every Saturday from 9am-1pm until October 26. We are proud to offer this community service to our citizens and to showcase local produce, nursery, food and artisan vendors.

very excited of the Town’s possibilities and thus our Farmers

The Farmers Market was the first project spawned under the Vision Plan, actually opening in 2011 while we were still formulating the overall plan. We knew that a key component to our Vision Plan was to bring activity back downtown and to create a social/networking opportunity spot ALL residents could enjoy beyond the market.

Our goal for Lexington is much like Greenville’s... move the Market to Main St. in the coming years. This will come to fruition through Project Icehouse, as it would allow us to expand the Farmers Market to Main St. and incorporate it with activities happening at the Amphitheatre Plaza.

The premise for the market came from a visit to Greenville where along with members of Council, staff and our Vision Plan team, we visited Greenville’s Main St. to learn how we can infuse the same programming to transform Lexington’s downtown. We learned that Greenville’s Saturday Farmers Market, opened in 2002, moved to the heart of downtown on Main St., giving the event a prime location to be hosted in tandem with other events. From this trip, Council, staff and I became

Market was born. Using the same concept as the Greenville Market, we are now housed in an indoor location, giving patrons an opportunity to shop, rain or shine, and in the comfort of air-conditioning.

Lexington is doing some “Good Stuff ” as we continue to implement our Vision Plan. We are on the cusp of transforming downtown to a destination filled with retail, restaurants and family activities. We are happy you and your family will be able to take this journey with us and look forward to what tomorrow brings to our Town! Have a great Summer! Randy Halfacre, Mayor Town of Lexington

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RETIREMENT LUXURIES — Life Never Looked This Good

by Amy Pittsenbarger

N

estled along the Congaree River, just across from downtown Columbia, South Carolina is Laurel Crest, a retirement community that offers a whole host of lovely amenities and services. Laurel Crest is currently home to approximately 120 residents, aged 62 and older, and has something to offer for everyone. “Laurel Crest is what we like to call resort style living,” says Amanda Mahan, Director of Sales & Marketing. It certainly is resort style, down to the freshly prepared multi-course meals (where can we sign up?) Everything at Laurel Crest is housed under one roof, with the exception of eight residential cottages set slightly apart from the main building. Each resident has a designated parking place, so you never have to worry about fighting for that perfect spot again. Transportation is also available through the community, which goes into the Columbia metropolitan area on a posted schedule, as well as to special events such as South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra concerts. There are plenty of events and activities offered within Laurel Crest’s community too. Every month, the Community Life Services team organizes events ranging from author book signings and crafting workshops to musical performances and speakers on local history.

Laurel Crest offers both apartment and cottage homes, depending on the needs of the resident. Both the apartments and the cottages are equipped with full kitchens, washers and dryers. The residences have been designed with modern finishes and include updated features, such as stainless steel appliances, brushed nickel fixtures and wood floors. If residents choose not to prepare their own meals, dining services prepare three meals a day, one of which is included in the cost and can be of the resident’s choosing. These meals are served in courses, tableside, from a daily menu of over 60 items! Laurel Crest aims to feel as much like a home as possible, allow-

ing residents to bring small fourlegged friends with them when they move in. There is also a beauty salon, barbershop and postal center on-site. “We want to make sure that residents are not worried

Laurel Crest aims to feel as much like a home as possible... about the responsibilities of running a house, but instead are free to do what they love,” says Mahan. Laurel Crest also wants to ensure that payment is akin to a “onestop shop”. This means that weekly housekeeping, lawn maintenance

of the cottages, and all utilities, in addition to telephone, cable, and Internet, are included in the cost. Laurel Crest is what is known as a “continuing care” retirement community, meaning that it provides for the medical needs of the residents as needs may arise. They offer assisted living as well as dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Laurel Crest gives residents the chance to seek social interaction with their peers, to live in a vibrant and modern community, and to experience life free of the daily stresses of running a house. If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about Laurel Crest, call (803) 7960370 or visit online at www.laurelcrest.com. www.lexingtonwomanonline.com




Let’s Talk

THE ASHBY CHRONICLE:

The Greatest Prayer is Patience by Ashby Jones

photo by Clark Berry Photography

I

Ashby Jones

And I don’t need yoga to remind me of that. I got there too early, so I took that opportunity to respond to 18 emails and text messages from my cell phone, which is like yoga “cocktail hour.” I took my shoes off and socks off like the lady said, and she showed me this room with rolled up mats and flowery cushions, foam block things, and belts. She told me to pick my favorite colors. I had not really thought about my favorite colors in a long time. The problem was I couldn’t collect all my yoga accessories because I was still hanging on to my cell phone. (Maybe this is why my friends want me to try yoga, because I will be forced to put the phone away). A few women entered the yoga place. We met and they seemed nice. But, then they warned me that because this was my first time trying yoga ever, it would be tough. My brain automatically



Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

finally tried yoga. It’s not that I have not known about yoga, or that I object to yoga in any way. My reluctance has been the number of times yoga has been suggested. Mostly my sister, many times it has been Becky, and once . . . a Judge encouraged me to consider yoga. Instead of realizing these folks want me to experience something calming and beautiful, I concluded they all think I am a nervous ball of atrophied-muscle psychoses. went to my lawyer stand-by response to “warnings” about “tough situations”, and I thought Bless her heart, she thinks she can scare me. It was GAME ON. Or, I should say it was yoga GAME ON. Or, I guess I should say it was yoga GAME OM. Whatever. It started deceptively simply. And then a few minutes later I got stuck. Seriously, this lady had me twist until my leg was folded up under me at a weird angle. She told me the weird angle was not quite weird enough, as my goal was to bend my leg so my shin would be parallel with the top edge of my mat. I was not at all certain I would be able to unfold myself and get back right, or stand up straight, or be able to sit at a desk, or even stand in court and argue. Ever again. Somehow, I was able to unfold my parallel leg and move on to the next yoga phase. This phase is called People May Say Bad Words

Real Women

Now. The lady beside me said a few bad words, sort of loudly, and I was embarrassed for her. I pitied her and her lack of yoga manners. But just as I had mentally banned her to second rate yoga-placement (thus elevating myself) I heard the teacher tell her “it’s ok if you need to say that bad word.” Then the yoga lady said some other surprising things: Be yourself. Just do the best you can. You are safe here. She also said: The Greatest Prayer is Patience. This reminded me of my mother, who used to have a sign over the sink that said “Lord, give me patience. But hurry.” I don’t think yoga lady was talking about patience with our children, patience with our co-workers, patience with the cloyingly nice checkout people at the grocery store, or patience with our electronics. She might be talking about being patient with ourselves. This yoga place might be somewhere to go and stop the ticker tape of conversations run-

ning through our heads, one place where the To-Do list is left in the car (maybe even the cell phone too). This might be one place where we finally forgive ourselves for sometimes getting stuck and saying our favorite bad words. When it was almost over, the yoga lady passed out chilled damp cloths that smelled like lavender. We placed them over our closed eyes. We rested on our mats, cloths over our eyes, and knees bent over pretty pillows. And just as the ticker-tape-to-do-list started up again in my head, I felt yoga lady at my toes. Yoga lady unclenched the balls of my feet with her hands, pulled my legs down to a more restful spot, and reminded me to relax. I had not even realized the To-Do list had begun running again. I did not know my toes were clinched. Now I know why she calls it your yoga practice. Patience with ourselves must take practice.


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Fax (803) 359-1378 www.lexingtonwomanonline.com




by Lori Samples Duncan

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Eddie is turning 10 years old 10

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women


Let’s Talk

E

dVenture Children’s Museum, the dream of mothers Sue Williams and Katherine Frankstone, emerged into its fully formed museum on November 8, 2003. Credited with bringing the concept of the museum to life, Catherine Wilson Horne, President and CEO, has been with EdVenture from the beginning.

“The past 10 years have culminated into a decade of record breaking accomplishments and recognitions that we never dreamed we could achieve,” says Catherine. Some of those things include being recognized as one of the top children’s museums in the country by numerous magazines and lists, and being the recipient of the 2011 National Medal for Museum Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, DC. “We have also been embraced by this community and by South Carolina. People know EdVenture, and they know EDDIE!” The largest children’s museum in the South, EdVenture boasts of 92,000 square feet of turbocharged learning and fun. Designed for children 12 and younger, it is perfect for families, teachers, caregivers, and the child in all of us. There are nine spectacular galleries, a library, classrooms and laboratories, the museum store, and last but not least, the world’s largest child. The first thing visitors see upon walking through the doors is EDDIE®, the museum’s centerpiece. A 40-foot, 17.5 ton, hands-on exhibit, EDDIE® is large enough for children and adults to climb through. You can explore the inner workings of the human body as you climb his vertebrae to his brain, crawl through his heart, bounce around his tummy, and slide out his intestines. For the past several years, the imaginative folks at EdVenture have been rebuilding and expanding exhibits, and adding new ones. The Blooming Butterflies exhibit, open May through October, is an outside butterfly garden where kids can witness butterflies emerging from their chrysalises and spreading their wings for the first time. They have also added both human health and pet education exhibits. In Body Detectives, visitors explore the science behind the prevention of chronic disease, specifically heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. In Wags & Whiskers, children learn about responsible pet care by taking on the role of pet owner, veterinarian or groomer. With Farm to Fork exhibits, guests can visit the Speckled Hen Market, The Busy

Bee Farm and the Lil Spot Diner, or they can go to the new cooking lab called Taste Buds. With even more big plans coming up, including a waterfront addition to EdVenture, this fun learning park is sure to be a family favorite adventure for years to come. EdVenture also rents out its space to businesses, associations, and individuals for birthday parties, baby showers, meetings and weddings. “It is amazing how many brides like to come down the slide of EDDIE,” says Catherine with a smile. “I think being a children’s museum in the 21st century is really one of the greatest opportunities in terms of being able to reinforce that learning should be a joy and a passion. The most important lesson we can teach children is one of curiosity, because curiosity is what stimulates someone to work a little harder in a subject that is challenging or they do not feel natural affinity for. So, I think we are creating curious kids who are willing to try different things, building confidence and the willingness to take risks.” The hands-on learning approach at EdVenture offers children and their families the opportunity to explore, and then reflect on what they have done. EdVenture is one of the very few places in South Carolina where the child is the primary audience. At a very basic level, the public goes to EdVenture and has a great time. “It is years later when you think, ‘Oh! I remember extracting my DNA for the first time at EdVenture, and now I am a research scientist,’” says Catherine. “I can remember the museums I went to as a child, and the experiences my family provided for me that bring me to the other thing that is important to us at EdVenture. That is accessibility. Access is not just about location and convenient parking. It is about making sure that we are financially and geographically accessible to audiences. As part of our 10th year, we began a program called Yes, Every Child that allows $1 admission for families receiving SNAP benefits. That touches hundreds of thousands of individuals in South Carolina. All they have to do is present their benefits card for free admission

to EdVenture any day of the week, any time of year. “This is only made possible through donor dollars from people who understand that this type of experience can be life changing for a child and an adult who might not otherwise have this opportunity. So we work to raise money to offset expenses associated with serving each visitor and donors have been very supportive of this effort. To celebrate 10 years, EdVenture is focusing on 10 Things for the 10th Year…exciting additions to their exhibits and programs. Starting in the first part of 2013, the museum began opening new exhibits like the Taste Buds Cooking Lab where families can explore the methods of cooking and nutritious meal preparation under the guidance of a real chef. EdVenture also recently added a gigantic crane to the Building Boom exhibit and are scheduled to open Make Shop in June There will also be major public events, such as Countdown to Kindergarten on August 9 which provides rising kindergartens and their families with a free evening of museum exploration and an opportunity to prepare for the first day of school. EdVenture will also be hosting South Carolina’s first Maker Faire on June 1. During First FriYays at EdVenture, the museum will be staying open late on the first Friday of June, July, August, and September, and a family friendly concert on their terrace will be part of each evening. They are redesigning the popular Dalmatian Station exhibit in the winter, hosting a tenth birthday ball for adults on November 7, and a Story Book Ball for children and their families on November 8. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Visit their website at www. edventure.org to find out more about the fun things going on at EdVenture during this very special year. Even though my family and I are “frequent flyers” at EdVenture, I suspect this year we will be visiting even more often than normal. Happy Birthday EDDIE®! www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

11


THE COLBY FAMILY: Dr. Randall Colby, Dr. Billie Jean Waddell Colby, Emily (age 9, rising 4th grader), and Riley (age 8, rising 3rd grader) (photo by Cynthia Pace Photography)

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Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women


Let’s Talk

A Mother Shares Her

NORTHSIDE EXPERIENCE

W2W: If you will share with us a little about your experience at Northside? Billie Jean Waddell: God led our family to Northside Baptist Church in the fall of 2008. Our children loved it from the first moment we visited due to the nurturing, loving and safe environment. We soon got plugged into a Life Group under the teaching of Pastor Scott Crede and developed close relationships with other believers. When Pastor Crede shared his vision of starting a Christian Academy at Northside, we were ecstatic! For a few years, I had been praying about the possibility of home-schooling my children, but I knew deep down that it would be a bigger challenge than I could handle. I really felt that Northside Christian Academy (NCA) was an answer to my prayer. Our children started Northside Christian Academy the first year it opened and have absolutely thrived there. Pastor Crede, the headmaster, and Michelle Brewer, the principal, are two of the most sincere and spirit-led people I know. Their passion and purpose is to instill a love for Jesus Christ into the hearts of thee students so that they will make a difference for eternity. They know each student by name and genuinely love each student as if their own, and as a result the students feel so welcomed and encouraged. The teachers at Northside Christian Academy are absolutely amazing. Each one of them is there because they love the Lord and want to teach in an environment where they can model Christ-like behavior. The education at Northside is exemplary. These students are being equipped for their futures not only academically, but also morally, relationally and spiritually. We have had only positive experiences at Northside Christian Academy. We absolutely love it and cannot imagine sending our children anywhere else! W2W: How old are your children?

Billie Jean Waddell: Our two daughters, Emily and Riley, are 8 and 9 years old. W2W: How do you feel your families lives have been enriched by this experience? Billie Jean Waddell: Our family has had the joy of seeing both of our daughters accept Christ and be baptized while at NCA. They both have grown in their spiritual and prayer lives. We have seen their personalities flourish because they are always being encouraged and loved. It is such a pleasure to see them get up each morning excited about going to school! Our children have a newfound appreciation and love for education as a result of NCA.

ally feel that a private Christian education, such as the one at NCA, provides the foundation needed to develop a Christ-centered life. W2W: What is the significance to you personally of a faith based program? Billie Jean Waddell: The average child goes to school for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year. That is a tremendous amount of time to be influenced by teachers and peers. Most of the time spent at home during the school year is spent asleep. So when you look at how little time we as parents are interacting with our children versus teachers, it is VITAL that we place our children in the hands of people who have the same values as we do. I want my children to hear the word of God daily while at school. I want them to learn how to handle the stresses and difficulties of life using biblical principles from teachers whose lives model Christ. This can only be done in a faith based program such as Northside.

Our children have a newfound appreciation and love for education as a result of NCA.

W2W: What would you say to other parents who are considering a private education for their children? Billie Jean Waddell: First let me say that I am a supporter of public education. Lexington County public schools are top notch. But it saddens me that God has been taken out of public schools. Unfortunately we are living in a time where there seems to be a general intolerance of freedom of religion in the form of Christianity. So, for the family that desires character and moral education in addition to academic excellence, I would suggest private education. W2W: Why do you feel like this was the right choice for your family? Billie Jean Waddell: When my children are grown, I want to know that I provided the best well-rounded education possible for them. Yes, I want my children to succeed…… but my definition of success is not determined by career, job title, salary, size of house, style of car, etc. My definition of success is based on having integrity, character and peace that comes only from a life committed and devoted to Christ. I person-

W2W: What are three things you feel separates Northside from more traditional forms of education? Billie Jean Waddell: 1 — Word of God is taught and lived daily by staff and teachers; 2 — Students are truly loved by staff and teachers; 3 — Curriculum incorporates integrity and moral values. Billie Jean had one last thought to add to our interview about Northside Academy. Billie Jean Waddell: As you can see, we absolutely love Northside Christian Academy. We are so thankful that God placed this vision in the hearts of Pastor Crede and Principal Brewer. We are so thankful that they were obedient to His calling and made the vision become a reality. God is at work at NCA!!! www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

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Looking for Academic Excellence with a Biblical Perspective? NCA offers a truly balanced education: Spiritual | Academic | Social | Athletic SCISA Accredited – Exceed State Standards – Small Class Size Now offering 9 Sports, Art & Music Programs! “We are so amazed at the positive changes in our children after just a few months at NCA. Their academic and spiritual growth has enormously exceeded our expectations. Our children have a new found desire to go to school and learn!” - Drs. Randy and Billie Jean Colby

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Non-Chemical Liquid Gel Nails Manicures | Pedicures | Waxing | Facial | Massage

Relax, Refresh, Rejuvenate

Become our friends on facebook at "Aqua Nails Spa" for specials!

1223 South Lake Drive, Suite C, Lexington | (803) 359-0585 | www.aquanailsandspasc.com 14

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Real Women


summer

Spinach Salad

{Makes 8 servings}

Salad:

• 6 oz salmon filet • 8 cups chopped spinach • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes • 1 large avocado, sliced • 1/3 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Dressing:

• 3 tbsp white wine vinegar • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste On both sides of salmon filet, drizzle olive oil and cover with your preferred seasoning. Pan sear to blacken. Once cooked, cut salmon in one inch strips. In a large bowl, mix spinach, salmon strips, tomatoes, sliced avocado, cheese and nuts. Mix the dressing in a separate bowl, and drizzle over salad. Toss to coat salad evenly.

HEALTH FACTS Per serving: 165 calories 13g fat 5.3g carbohydrates 2.75g fiber 8.5g protein 125mg sodium

www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

15


Let’s Talk

Bigger than

BASEBALL by Beth McCrary

photos by Lexington Wildcat Mom

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Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women


Let’s Talk

D

uring the 2012 baseball season, several of the Lexington High School varsity players approached Coach Brian Hucks about doing something in support of a local student who was battling brain cancer. Coach Hucks suggested they invite her to throw out the first pitch at the first game of the district playoffs and for them to brainstorm about other ways to show their support. He pledged to get behind anything they came up with. Later that day during the JV game, Coach Hucks began receiving text photos of his varsity players. One by one, he received a photo of every player with their head shaved. It was just days before many of them would be attending their junior/ senior prom and they wanted to surprise her with their show of support. Coach Hucks remembers that as a truly incredible day and the beginning of their two season journey to win a state championship for Kennedy Branham. As most of Lexington knows, Kennedy is one of 3 young students in our community battling brain cancer. She was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer on her 13th birthday on February 23, 2012 and quickly captured the hearts of many because of her strong spirit and faith. Pray 4 Kennedy car magnets and t-shirts quickly became commonplace all over Lexington, the Midlands and beyond. Multiple fundraisers to help offset medical expenses were planned and implemented by adults. But the most compelling show of support would come from a group of high school students, a varsity baseball team who vowed to win a state championship for Kennedy. Drawing from her strength and determination to beat cancer, the team decided to dedicate the remainder of the 2012 season and pursuit of the 4A State Championship to Kennedy. They placed her photo in the dugout by the lineup card for every game as a reminder of why they play and to battle just like Kennedy. In addition, each player’s batting helmet was adorned with a pink and white Pray4Kennedy sticker. Yet the team wanted to do more. After a student suggested selling tshirts as a fundraiser for Kennedy, Coach Hucks and Brian Smith of

‘Kennedy is the teacher and we are all her students. She has put baseball and life into perspective for the rest of us.’ Todd & Moore Sporting Goods came up with a t-shirt design and using the slogan “Win It 4 Kennedy”. Coach Hucks confesses that he greatly underestimated how many t-shirts would sell and had to reorder twice to fill the demand. The team would go on to sell 700 t-shirts, enabling them to present Kennedy’s family with a check for $7,000 to help with medical costs. “Words cannot describe what it feels like to be walking through a grocery store and see somebody wearing a “Win It 4 Kennedy” tshirt!” What Coach Hucks can put into words is that he knows God put Kennedy in his life for a reason and not just to inspire his players. He admits that her calming spirit has had a huge impact on him and he has lots of Kennedy stories to share. “Kennedy is the teacher and we are all her students. She has put baseball and life into per-

spective for the rest of us.” Coach Hucks also shared that while going through old photos last year his wife Stephanie came across one that would leave them speechless. It was a photo of their daughter Caroline and a friend named Kennedy from daycare when Caroline was just a year old. “We knew we felt a strong connection to Kennedy, but it was not until that point that we knew why. Kennedy Branham and the Kennedy that Caroline knew from daycare 9 years ago are the same person.” While the Wildcats would fall short of the championship title in 2012, their biggest disappointment was letting Kennedy down. They resolved to work hard in the off season and come back strong in 2013 to “Finish It 4 Kennedy”. It would not be the first time that the Wildcat baseball program had faced adversity. Prior to Coach Hucks becoming head coach, the talent-

ed group of players had not been finding the success they should on the field. “When I arrived, I told the players and parents that whatever happened prior to my arrival was irrelevant. We were starting over and each player would be evaluated from this day forward. What I found was a group of players, parents, and community that were willing to do whatever it took to bring Lexington back.” With the support of not only the parents of his players, but the entire community of Lexington the team hosted the inaugural Run 4 Kennedy 5K on February 9, 2013 to kick off pre-season scrimmages. Over 300 people participated in the race enabling the team to raise another $10,000.00 to help Kennedy’s family with medical expenses. Combining totals from t-shirt sales, the Run 4 Kennedy 5K and LHS Relay for Life fundraisers, the team has been able www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

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LHS BASEBALL All 12 senior players on the 2013 team have committed to play college baseball. It is the most of any graduating class dating back to 1984. In 2 years, Coach Hucks has had a total 18 players commit to play college baseball. The commitments from the 2013 class are:

Dalton Addy

David Barboza

Brandon Camp

Nick Ciuffo

Glenn Daniels

Matt Godleski

Elliot Lance

Cole McMillan

Zach Paquette

Josh Reagan

Cody Smith

Jeremy Wallace

USC Aiken

The Citadel

The Citadel

18

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Newberry College

Florence-Darlington Technical College

USC

Real Women

Lenoir Rhyne University

Wofford College

Spartanburg Methodist College

USC

USC

Midlands Technical College


to donate close to $20,000.00 to Kennedy’s family. However, the team’s ultimate goal was to win a State Championship in Kennedy’s honor. After an incredible 2013 season that included being undefeated in the region and at home for two consecutive seasons, winning both the Region V and District V Championships, a consensus top 10 national ranking and having 9 out of 11 seniors commit to play college baseball, the Wildcats would indeed play for the 4A State Championship on a huge stage. On May 17th, the Wildcats played the final game of a best of 3 series against Blythewood High School in front of over 6200 fans in Carolina Stadium (home of the USC Gamecocks). Coach Hucks describes it as one of the most special nights in his coaching career. “To see that many people show up to a high school baseball game was incredible! More importantly to see the Lexington High School student body and our

community come out in droves was very humbling. Then to see so many wearing the Kennedy tshirts. That is when it really hit me that the young men in this program have made a lasting impact on their community! It is truly amazing to see this community rally behind our program and Kennedy. Lexington is truly a special place to live.”

Reece, Brice, Cameron, Marshall, Glenn, Cody, Dalton, David, Zach, Ryan, Cole, Will, Michael, Bubba

We have watched the team and Kennedy draw inspiration from one another and build an incredible bond.

Part of what makes Lexington a special town is Lexington Dixie Youth Baseball on Ball Park Road. The baseball community of Lexington has been watching many of the Wildcats show how it’s done on the diamond since their playing days began on the t-ball field. 19 of the 23 players on the Varsity roster got their start in this program. Elliot Lance’s dad aptly states, “The Wildcats are 2013 State Champs and LDYB is where they cut their teeth. Elliot, Josh, Jordan, Dillon,

and Chase are all alumni of the program.” Coach Hucks gives the program lots of credit in developing players and providing the community support that follows them from Ball Park Road to their high school, college and professional playing days. “All you have to do is go to Ball Park Road on a Saturday and see how many young people are playing baseball to know how important baseball is in Lexington. The games are competitive and

there are a lot of talented players. Baseball is a game that is learned through proper coaching and repetition and they get that opportunity at Ball Park Road. It serves as a great feeder program for Lexington High School baseball.” Over the past two years Lexington has witnessed the Wildcats battle on the baseball diamond and Kennedy battle to beat cancer. We have watched the team and Kennedy draw inspiration from one another and build an incredible bond. We should be most proud of watching the town of Lexington rally around both and put the unity in community.

Beth McCrary is a freelance writer living in Lexington, SC. She is known as @wildcatmom17 on instagram, twitter and vine. She takes credit for helping raise several of the Wildcat baseball players and Kennedy Branham.

www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

19


Let’s Talk

I

confess. I have an obsession. My name is Melissa Pelkey-Hass, and I am a foodie. I am super excited to have been asked to write this column for y’all about my passion, cooking and FOOD! We’re going to have a great time together discussing everything from planning and preparation of 30 minute weeknight meals to elaborate, five and seven course weekend dinner parties. We’re going to make romantic meals for two and meals that can feed a family of five. We will discuss football season and sports parties in GREAT detail as that is one of my personal favorite subjects, and then to baby and bridal showers and beyond! We’re going to learn what items are budget friendly, where you can skimp and where you should…ahem…not. We will talk about health friendly foods and their benefits to decadent desserts and how you can grow a pallet garden in a very limited space. We’ll even discuss how to can foods from your garden with recipes like Mama’s Chow Chow to Bread and Butter pickles. After all that, we’ll all sit a spell and have a picnic! I’ll tell you all about my Mr. Hass Sweet and his take on my kitchen shenanigans, to virtually inviting you to our dinner parties, celebrations and dinners out on the town. We’re going to explore ideas for fresh and funky breakfasts, amazing appetizers to wow your most special guests, innovative entrees, homemade breads and butters, herbs and spices, spunky sides, and easy crock pot meals! PIES! CAKES! COOKIES, COBBLERS, and ICE CREAM OH MY! Some days we’ll be New York Classy and other days, downhome, Southern and sassy! You name it; I love it all! No topics are off limits here! Since this column is a two way street and ALL about US, I would LOVE to hear from you! What would like to see featured? What is of interest to you when it comes to meals, planning and preparation? How about 30 minute meals, health conscious recipes, how to repurpose leftovers into brand new meals your family won’t recognize from the night before? Is there something that no one seems to address, and are there things you are just really tired of reading? I want to hear it all! I also want to hear when you’ve tried a recipe, all trials, tribulations and triumphs as TRUST ME, I’ve experienced them ALL from fallen cakes (that make great trifles!) to pots spot welded to the stove! Your stories are safe with me. You can email me at any time with questions or “how tos” and I’ll respond throughout the day. You can even email me a list of what’s in your fridge and pantry and I’ll help you figure out dinner! So are you ready to come along with me? Let’s get our mixing bowls, whisks and Kitchen Aid mixers ready….this is going to be a fun ride and there’s always a place at the table for YOU! Let’s start…NOW!

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Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women

About MUNCHIES and MEN! by Melissa Pelkey-Hass

Since I am all about order and beginning at the beginning, let’s do just that! After a long day at the office, my husband Keith, affectionately known as my Hass Sweet, really enjoys sitting on the back deck and watching the sun set with a nice glass of wine, a cold beer or aperitif, and gorgeous tray of antipasto (mostly Mediterranean style marinated veggies and cheeses), charcuterie (smoked meats tray), canapés (small slices of breads with toppings), finger foods, hors d’ouevres or just plain munchies! No matter what you choose, or what you call it, it’s a great way to unwind, relax and discuss the day. Not to mention they are super fun to prepare! They can be as fancy or as simple as you like. I love small bites and the following items fit the bill. They also serve as the beginnings of a great picnic! All of these items can be found in your local deli or specialty foods stores. I encourage you to add one or two things to your tray you’ve never tried. You may find a new favorite! Always serve a small side of really good balsamic vinegar, seasoned olive oil, honey and a dab of jam or fruit preserves. And always include at least one dip. I usually spend time over the weekend cutting extra veggies, fruits and cheese, and making extra dips, so in the evening, I can just grab them from the fridge, and arrange on the plate. Voila! Hass used to think I was a magician pulling these beautiful trays off so quickly. Now we live together. So much for kitchen magic! Although…I can still pull off a few surprises. ;) TIP: Make the investment in a really good, high quality balsamic. You will NOT be sorry. It is great drizzled on hard cheeses, vegetables, tomatoes and meats.


TRAY FOODS:

• Olives, black and green (My personal favorites are blue cheese stuffed green olives and Mediterranean Olive Blends) • Anchovies  • Sliced sausage • Peppers  • Artichoke hearts • Caper Berries • Prosciutto wrapped mozzarella • Various mix of hard and soft cheeses • Smoked Meats, Salami, Turkey, Prosciutto, Capicola, Sopressata • Okra Pickles • Jerkins or Cornichons • Small breads • Variety of Crackers • Hummus • Spinach Artichoke Dip • Smoked Salmon or Smoked Salmon Dip • Fresh Crudite • Fresh Fruit

DIP: Baked Brie with Sun Dried Tomatoes on Rosemary Olive Oil Bread Ingredients:  

• 8 oz package Brie cheese • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced • 1 tsp fresh rosemary • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper • Rosemary Olive Oil Bread (You can make your own or this can be found in Publix bakeries. If you cannot locate the bread, baguettes will work just fine.)

Directions:

Remove the rind from the Brie and cut into chunks. Stir together garlic, rosemary, tomatoes and black pepper. Layer cheese, then topping in an oven proof casserole or black iron skillet. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes. Stir once after ten minutes and place back in oven. When the brie is melted and you have a toasted top, remove from oven and serve with bread.

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21


Live Life to the FULLEST –

Meet Your Highest Potential by Suzy Shay

photo by Robert Patrick Image Design

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Real Women


W

hen your life is thrown off track due to chronic pain, no energy, trauma, medical illness, or injury, slowly impairing your ability to function with daily life (ADLs, homemaking, work, play), and impairs your thinking ability; your entire world can be affected (i.e., career, family, finances, self-worth). With Vital Energy Occupational Therapy and Wellness Center’s comprehensive approach, will aid in working with your strengths and learning new skills to optimize your functioning to the fullest with Vital Energy’s CAM Therapy.

Mind, Body, Spirit – Total Health and Well-Being At Vital Energy we are all about mind, body and spirit. Our building is eco-friendly and welcoming. The first thing you see as you drive into Vital Energy is our waterfall fountain, providing a sense of serenity and calm. As you enter our facility, you are greeted with colors that were specially selected for their soothing and warm feel. At Vital Energy we work on healing you from the inside out, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

FOR YOUR BODY: We treat your physical body through our services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and aquatic therapy. We also treat fibromyalgia/ chronic/acute pain, migraine headaches, cervical/shoulder/back pain, arthritis/osteoarthritis/ rheumatoid arthritis, orthopedic injuries, sports injuries, work injuries, scoliosis rehab, cancer rehab, and neurological/neuromuscular impairments. Pediatric patients we treat can have diagnoses such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy, autism, physical dysfunction, ADHD, writing disorders, and torticolis. Our alternative / complementary therapy services consist of myofascial release treatment, craniosacral therapy, muscle energy treatment, lymphedema therapy, massage therapy, and meditation/relaxation (mindfulness) techniques.

We will make you feel right at home so you can relax and concentrate on healing.

The harmony which exists between the environment and staff of Vital Energy aids in reducing stress and anxiety levels. We have strived to create a family atmosphere which we share with our patients. We will make you feel right at home so you can relax and concentrate on healing.

FOR YOUR MIND: The staff at Vital Energy will help motivate you to have a positive approach toward your symptoms and an inner desire to be healed. Your emotions play an integral part in your physical healing. Any diagnosis begins within your emotional body (state of mind), surfacing as negative emotions, thoughts or impressions. These negative emotions create and imprint in our conscious mind as pain or discomfort. We will help strengthen your intrinsic desire for healing. As your physical body becomes stronger, more flexible, and simply healthier, your mind cannot help but follow.

FOR YOUR SPIRIT:

When our emotions are negative in nature or our mind is bombarded with worrying thoughts, our health can become compromised. At Vital Energy, as you begin to heal your physical body, your stress and anxiety levels will decrease and your mind becomes at peace. This peace of mind results in your spirit being cleansed of the negative energy within you due to your physical ailment. Here we teach you to focus on healing and not focus on what is hurting in your body. This change in focus allows the “good feelings” to surface as your body heals. What we have created here at Vital Energy is focused on the whole well-being of the individual. Your environment can help keep you calm. Rooms take on positive energy when cooling, yet warming colors are used in conjunction with soft meditative music and ambient lighting. These things combined with professional therapists work together to provide the most tranquil atmosphere for healing and rejuvenation. www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

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Occupational Therapy

Our goal is to achieve mental and physical wellness through our combination of Alternative therapies with traditional Occupational Therapy.

Physical Therapy

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE: • Occupational Therapy • Physical Therapy Pediatric Therapy

Aquatic Therapy

• Sports Physical Therapy • Reiki Therapy/Meditation • Pediatric Therapy • Aqua Therapy

• Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome • Chronic/Acute Pain • Migraine Headache Treatment • Yoga/Personal Fitness • Neuro/Ortho Injury Rehab

• Scoliosis Rehab • Myofascial Release Treatment and Craniosacral Therapy • Rheumatoid/Osteoarthritis Therapy Underwater Treadmill

Main Location:

803.359.1551 163 Charter Oak Road Lexington, SC 29072

Reiki Treatment

• Work Reconditioning

• Hand Therapy

• TMJ Therapy

• Cancer Rehab

Hima N. Dalal

Occupational Therapist • Reiki and Myofascial Release Consultant • Fibromyalgia Consultant

www.vitalenergytherapy.com FM/CFS Support Group Meets Monthly

NEW Satellite Location:

803.359.1551 Inside Gold’s Gym - Forest Acres 4114 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29206

Quality Home Care You Can Trust®

Your Home

Our Care™

803-661-7557 24

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• Light Housekeeping, Meal Prep & Companionship • Transportation Appointments & Errands • Medication Reminders • Grooming & Bathing Assistance • Free Initial Consultation • Free In-Home Safety Assessment • Medical Equipment Solutions • Custom Care Plans • 24/7 availability (nights, weekends & holidays)

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CALL TODAY and SCHEDULE YOUR YEARLY EYE EXAM 803.996.2020 Like Us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/envisionfamilyeyecare 803.996.2020 • 5166 Sunset Boulevard, Suite J, Lexington www.EnvisionFamilyEyeCare.com


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25


Health & Wellness

The IMPORTANCE of

SLEEP WELLNESS by Steven Lanham, DDS

T

he importance of sleep to physical health has been a fundamental tenet of common medical knowledge for centuries. Sleep allows our bodies to relax, rejuvenate, and dream, permitting the mind to work on a subconscious level, solving problems and preparing for the coming day. While we sleep our bodies burn calories, create vital nutrients and hormones, and perform complex chemical processes that keep our bodies internally balanced, or in homeostasis.

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Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

Real Women


Health & Wellness However, as a result of what has become the norm in American society – a much busier life – the healthy sleep of many adults and children is often compromised. This lack of sleep in large percentages of the population is causing widespread concern with the medical and dental communities all over the United States – and it’s about time! More awareness to sleep concerns is coming to the forefront because of articles on sleep in popular magazines and news telecasts. A recent special report on sleep was presented on the cable news station CNN, narrated by medical expert Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Also, sleep articles have appeared in Newsweek, US News and Time, and many more. We know sleep is important. The physical and mental manifestations of lack of sleep, such as weight gain, hormonal imbalances, headaches, inability to concentrate and even depression are becoming more and more commonplace.

Sleep Total Wellness Nutrition

spouses report their bed-partner snores loudly, yet only 5% of their counterparts even admit that they do. This is alarming, because whether it stems from denial or ignorance, the end result is anything but bliss. Research shows, some sleep deprivation can be psychological (mental stresses at work, in relationships, or in family life). However, there is a serious physiological cause of lack of sleep that exists as well, it’s called an airway obstruction. An airway obstruction at night results in what health care practitioners call sleep disordered breathing. Everyone is at risk, and snoring is an alert call which can signal a much greater problem.

According to a poll in USA Today, 45% of spouses report their bed-partner snores loudly, yet only 5% of their counterparts even admit that they do.

Snoring, sleep disordered breathing, and obstructive sleep apnea are all major health concerns and possibly the number one health risk in America today. A common sign or symptoms of sleep disordered breathing is snoringwhich some people ignore or are embarrassed to talk about. Loud snoring takes an intolerable toll on a persons health, and not only on the individual, but on the bed-partner as well. According to a poll in USA Today, 45% of

A severe airway condition, called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a commonly undiagnosed disorder, and in many cases fatal when not treated. It is estimated that 70% of loud snoring is indicative of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Proven treatments for sleep apnea include a pressurized breathing mask (CPAP), the “gold standard” since 1981 of treating this condition, and Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) which is an oral device fabricated by trained dentists to advance the mandible (the lower jaw) to prevent the tongue from falling back and blocking the airway during sleep. Orthognathic surgery

Exercise

to advance the mandible is 95% effective in treating this condition in appropriate patients. Some airway surgeries that remove excessive tissue blocking the airway can also be effective. Weight control is always a concern and 50% of OSA can be related to obesity - but that is only half, the others could be petite women and children as well. Untreated sleep apnea carries significant medical risks and is documented to reduce life expectancy between eight to ten years. Some of these medical conditions include hypertension, diabetes, depression, erectile dysfunction, and decreased oxygen desaturations which often accompany OSA, have been related to the increase in Alzheimer’s and some forms of cancer. Many times, medical history and dental exams will reveal signs and symptoms of this condition such as; high blood pressure, morning headaches, tooth abstractions, a coated tongue (can be indicative of acid reflux) or a scalloped border to the lateral border of tongue. Also enlarged tonsils and an elongated uvula also can cause narrowing of the airway. The real “heart” of the matter is if you, or one of your loved ones are one of the many Americans who desperately need better sleep wellness, or believe you may have a sleep disordered breathing issue, please seek treatment before sleep apnea can cause its damage, and make you a part of this ever increasing statistic.

www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

27


Health & Wellness

Expanding a Legacy of Service and Care for People with Alzheimer’s by Elizabeth Beutel

A

lzheimer’s disease is growing at a rapid rate. Currently over 5 million Americans are living with this disease and every 68 seconds another person is diagnosed. Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina (PCSC) understands the challenges these diseases can cause loved ones and has experts available to help find solutions. Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina (PCSC) has been serving older adults since 1958. Over the years PCSC recognized the continued need to support families who are caring for a loved one with a dementia related disease. Based on their expertise, PCSC opened a memory support center in 2002 at the Columbia Presbyterian Community. Now named Jasmine Place, the memory support center continues to be in high demand. To meet the growing need, eight new private accommodations have been built and the new addition will open this summer. Jasmine Place offers the comfort and pleasures of home. Residential areas, which include living room,

28

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating

den, kitchen, and laundry, allow for supervised activities to maximize independence, encourage familiar tasks and stimulate activity. Most accommodations are private but semi-private rooms are available. Residents are encouraged to furnish and decorate their personal space to look like home. “Often caregivers do not understand the full extent of stress they are under, says Chaplain Fran Bragan. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, between 35-40% of caregivers actually die before their loved one. Our Mission Statement says – We are a compassionate Christian ministry dedicated to enriching the quality of life for seniors of all faiths. Part of this min-

Real Women

istry is supporting family members and friends with counseling services and helpful information to help decrease this stress.” PCSC is dedicated to providing person-centered care for all residents. “We have found that when using person-centered care techniques our residents tend to stay relaxed and calm, have a sense of purpose, and enjoy life more fully.” says director of nursing Tamara Rutland. “Companions” are hand selected and trained especially to serve in Jasmine Place. Continuity in service is important so companions are purposely assigned to the same residents. “Our commitment to person centered care means learning about each individual and using this special knowledge to understand and provide for each resident’s unique needs and desires,” states Frazier Jackson, Administrator. “This innovative approach results in forming strong emotional bonds between the service team and the resident. As a result we learn each resident’s habits, routines, preferences, and can offer guided choices throughout the day leading to pleasant experiences with low anxiety.”

PCSC is also dedicated to providing life enrichment and wellness programming to enhance quality of life. At Jasmine Place, being flexible in offering activities suited for the specific preference of residents is part of the companions’ daily service. In addition, scheduled activities that focus on the Six Dimensions of Wellness, Physical, Intellectual, Social, Emotional, Occupational, and Spiritual are offered. Each program, event, or activity is designed for enjoyment, not achievement which promotes feelings of success and belonging. Every resident has the choice to participate or not. Throughout each week, residents enjoy fitness classes promoting strength and balance, puzzles and games designed to stimulate memory, and gatherings with conversations which foster relationships and positive feelings of self-worth. Devotional time and hymn singing offer ways to experience meaning and purpose. Friends and family are always welcome and encouraged to visit to enjoy conversation, laughter, and activities. If you are interested in learning more about Jasmine Place, The Columbia Presbyterian Community, or need help looking for solutions in caregiving, please call us at 803.227.8342 or Toll free at 1.866.315.4722 or visit us online at www.preshomesc.org.


Are you the next

member of our team? We’re now hiring for sales positions! If you are interested, please send your resume to info@lexingtonwomanonline.com

Drs. Cross Raines Gomez & Nieders Pediatric and Family Dentistry 139 Whiteford Way, Lexington | 803-951-9100 www.palmetto-smiles.com

Quality, Compassion, Experience, Integrity "We love what we do!"

A Tradition in Senior Living For Over 25 Years LIFE IS A LUAU at The Columbia Presbyterian Community The Columbia Presbyterian Community has been serving seniors of all faiths for over 35 years! Residency options from patio homes and apartments to assisted living, health care and memory support. Come and experience the friendship, fellowship and fun! Also offering Rehabilitation Therapy custom designed for seniors delivered in a quiet, comfortable setting by a caring professional staff. Call today for a complimentary lunch and tour.

700 DaVega Drive Lexington, SC 29073 (803) 227-8342 • 1-866-315-4722

Visit us online at www.preshomesc.org www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

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Carolina Behavior & Beyond, LLC is a home-based early intervention provider serving children with special needs ages birth to five

Chapin Pet Lodge 1212 Beagle Run Road

Chapin, SC 29036 ian ar ded n i r n e e t 803-345-5082 Ve omm c Re www.chapinpetlodge.com Boarding, Grooming, and Playtime Airport Transportation Enclosures Indoor Climiate Controlled Separate Cattery Luxurious Multi-Level Condos or Garden Apartments with Individual Porches Hours: Mon-Sat: 8am - 6pm Sunday: 1pm - 6pm 20 Years of Unsurpassed Quality Pet Care!!

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2009 Torch Award Winner for Excellence

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Your Journey is Our Passion Services available: One on one early intervention services Service coordination • Behavior planning • Potty training Parent support groups • Free developmental screenings Play groups • Infant massage Adrianna Kleckley (803) 446-8113

Suzanne English (803) 447-8449

Office Fax (803) 808-7951

Serving these counties:

Calhoun • Lexington • Newberry • Richland • Saluda

www.carolinabehaviorandbeyond.com


Health & Wellness

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: No app for that

D

o you check your Facebook page and play Words with Friends before turning in at night? Maybe your phone moonlights as an alarm, drawing you from your slumber?

Guide to BETTER SLEEP

‘The brain is like a lone shark, it will get sleep any way it can.’

Many people have trouble sleeping through the night or staying awake during the day; the reasons for this can vary. The average adult needs eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Signs that you are not getting enough sleep include irritability, difficulty staying awake while watching television or reading, difficulty paying attention at work or in school, memory problems and using caffeine to stay awake. Common sleep disorders include: Sleep Apnea, snoring, insomnia, hypersomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder. The physicians at Lexington Sleep Solutions are able to provide a comprehensive evaluation for sleep issues that are multi-factorial, such as airway obstruction, breathing problems, drug side effects and interactions. Frequent waking, snoring, daytime or constant sleepiness and even the uncontrollable urge to move your legs may be signs of an underlying sleep disorder.

Dr. Francis Dayrit

Lexington Sleep Solutions at LMC

Living in a digital society has its perks. We can multitask, check our mail, read the newspaper and share our kids’ accomplishments at all hours. But when it comes to a good night’s sleep, there is no app for that. “Sleep is not an option”, said Dr. Francis Dayrit, of Lexington Sleep Solutions at Lexington Medical Center. “The brain is like a lone shark, it will get sleep any way it can.” Most people need eight hours of sleep, a number that fluctuates depending on the person. Quality is just as important as quantity. Today, smart phones and tablets that are set to alert the very moment anything happens constantly interrupt us. If these items are in our bedroom, surely they are disrupting our slumber. “A person at 60 years old would have slept 20 years of their life and if they are not sleeping well then they have had 20 years of bad sleep. This has a major impact on the quality of life,” said Dr. Dayrit.

Lexington Sleep Solutions sleep labs are located in West Columbia and Irmo with a new location in Northeast Richland County opening soon. To schedule an appointment call (803) 791-2683. West Columbia location: 109 West Hospital Drive, West Columbia, SC 29169 Irmo location: 7043 St. Andrews Road, Irmo, SC 29212

Some sleep issues are simple and can be remedied by making small changes to everyday habits. Many who suffer from poor sleep may need a more comprehensive evaluation for issues that are multi-factorial, such as airway obstruction, breathing problems, drug side effects and interactions. Frequent waking, snoring, daytime or constant sleepiness and even the uncontrollable urge to move your legs may be a signs of an underlying sleep disorder.

While sleepiness and fatigue are the most common issues associated with poor sleep, the more severe side effects include hypertension, heart disease and even stroke. So what can we do to ensure proper rest on a nightly basis? “Humans are creatures of habit; sticking to a routine is critical,” said Dr. Dayrit. It is more important to wake up at the same time each morning than to head to bed at the same time each night. We should listen to our brains when it says we are tired. When sleepiness is physiological, naps can be helpful. Naps should not be any longer than 15-30 minutes. Also, it helps to stay away from caffeine at least eight hours before bedtime. As for all those staying plugged into the electronics that go “ping” in the night — keep TVs out of the bedroom, turn tablets off and charge phones in a place that is out of ears’ reach. This can help the quality of your sleep.

Lexington Sleep Solutions’ physicians’ office is located at 146 North Hospital Drive, Suite 400 in West Columbia, South Carolina. The office can be reached by phone at (803) 791-2683 or by fax at (803) 739-0002. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

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Professional

Becoming a Well Armed Woman by E’Lane Tipton

B

eing “well armed” is far more than simply owning a weapon; it is about owning the appropriate weapon and being proficient in its use and care. There is also more to being well armed than having a Concealed Weapon Permit (CWP). I am a well-armed woman. I think it is worth your consideration to become one as well. Learning to properly handle a handgun, rifle and shotgun is empowering. I didn’t grow up shooting — I learned to shoot a rifle at summer camp. When I realized I was good at it, it quickly became my favorite activity. I liked the competition! Hitting a bull’s eye, with a .22, or a beanbag, is fun. Hitting the bull’s eye repeatedly, in a consistent group is hard work. It takes practice no matter the projectile! There are an amazing number of competitive shooting disciplines for women, men and young people. Shooters, at least the legally armed ones, are nice people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences! I began shooting before I married my husband, Tommy. I didn’t want to be scared of the guns that he had

in our house. I wanted to be able to handle them safely. I did not think that I would actually enjoy shooting! I was surprised by the impact learning to shoot and properly handle a firearm had on me. I immediately felt I stood taller, carried myself more confidently and believed in myself a bit more. When I realized I could do it, I wanted to do it MORE! The more I shot the more comfortable I got and not surprisingly, the better I shot! It is also something Tommy and I did, and continue to do, together, as a couple. (Might shooting together be something that you and your husband or boyfriend can do for fun?) Still, I never saw myself as a “gun girl” or “firearms enthusiast” or even “ a well armed woman”! I certainly never thought I would be an SC CWP holder, NRA Basic Pistol Instructor, SLED Certified SC CWP Instructor, and co-owner of Defender Firearms Training! Oh, and a member of the Single

Action Shooting Society (SASS) the “cowboy action” shooters! My registered alias is Scarlett Darlin’. I shoot with the Palmetto Posse the first Saturday of each month at Mid Carolina Rifle Club in Gaston. Spectators are warmly welcomed! Well, I am a “gun girl”, “firearms enthusiast”, “well armed woman” and I love it! I am also the Leader of the Lexington Chapter of The Well Armed Woman. It is a group for women of all experience levels — from scared to death to the competitive shooter. It is about sharing our experiences, practicing together, learning together and developing friendships along with our shooting skills. It is about claiming our power — not with a gun, but with our numbers, our knowledge, and our commitment to one another. Being a well armed woman carries a great deal of responsibility, which we do not take lightly. It is in light of this awesome

responsibility that we come together monthly on the last Thursday. We begin with informal meet and greet time followed by a lesson and safety briefing. We then head to Defender Indoor Range, our Host Range, to shoot together. There are several Range Safety Officers/Instructors present to make sure that all safety rules are followed and no bad habits are picked up! For more information about Defender Firearms Training, see our ad on the facing page or come see us in the Red Bank Shopping Center on S. Lake Drive/Highway 6 down from DSS and the Health Department. We’ve got one day and multi-day CWP classes for men and women, including women only classes, that will meet a variety of schedules. Private classes can be arranged for groups of at least six people. To learn more about TWAW, visit www.tegotactical.com and click on The Well Armed Woman tab.

I was surprised by the impact learning to shoot and properly handle a firearm had on me. 32

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Professional

Welcome to the

Indian River Golf Club Family by Jean Gray

S

pring has come and gone at Indian River Golf Club, leaving us with pleasant memories of beautiful weather, busy days of tournament and junior play, and some major staff additions.

The “Indian River” family includes our loyal staff, our faithful members, our frequent walk-on players, and very importantly our junior players. White Knoll and Pelion High Schools have called our course “home” for practice and matches since 2001. This includes boys and girls golf teams from both high schools and girls golf team from Heathwood Hall. Their access to Indian River involves free golf for the players, four days of practice, and tournaments and team meetings at the clubhouse. The schools also host an annual team dinner and a father-son tournament at the course. We believe in investing in these students as a way to give back to our community and to the young men and women they will become. We have been privileged to host the last three 2A High School Championship Tournaments, including high schools from all over SC. We are scheduled to welcome

We believe in investing in these students as a way to give back to our community and to the young men and women they will become. them again in the spring of 2014. We are proud to do our part in this community by supporting our youth and their parents and coaches, by promoting them through the super game of golf. Golf is a game that will complement and enhance their future in business and social situations throughout their life, even into their senior years. We realize that all sports are about competition and the ultimate score and of course “WINNING”, but

there is so much more to gain by a round of golf than just that. Life lessons are learned here.

Depending on your partners, it can be a time of fellowship and reconnection with family and friends, or a chance to present an idea to a business associate. During the time of play, there is an opportunity for conversation and sharing in a way that might be very different than in an office or home setting. Putting all that aside, just taking that time out of your busy day to enjoy the beauty of the creation God so graciously gives us is rewarding in itself. The quiet solitude of your surroundings, noticing the trees and birds or just taking the time to reflect on the bigger picture of the world we inhabit. Sometimes it just puts all the rest

of our mundane problems in a better perspective. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome two new members to the family, Terry Birchfield, as our new superintendent and Debbie Wilson in our snack bar. Terry is taking over for Larry Smith who is retiring for the second time. We will miss you Larry, but hope you enjoy this time with family! Thank you so much for your service and dedication to the continuing improvements at Indian River. Terry brings experience and enthusiasm as he comes on board. His love of agronomics and golf course development will be reflected in his work. We look forward to getting to know him better and having him as a team leader. There’s plenty of room for you in our family, so come on out to “The River” and join us. Whether you come as a new member or player, we will welcome you and yours! www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

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Know the GLOW by Beth McCrary

photos by Clark Berry Photography

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Real Women Lexington Woman c e l e b r a t e s t h e s u r v i vo r i n yo u

Celebrating, Motivating and Educating


Celebrating the

Survivor in You!

L

ooking back at photographs of their boys, Jayme and Jeff Porter of Lexington wish they had known. They wish they had known that the white glow reflected by a camera flash in their son’s eye was a sign of a serious eye disease. Not until both of their young sons were diagnosed with retinoblastoma eye cancer were they able to look back and see the glow.

At first Jayme and Jeff thought their youngest son had a lazy eye. They mentioned to Jamison’s pediatrician at his 9 month well check-up that his left eyed drifted out. They were told to bring it up again at his 12 month well check-up if they still noticed it. Three months later his left eye was considerably worse and Jamison was referred to a local pediatric ophthalmologist. Dr. Cheeseman of University Specialty Clinics immediately ordered a CT scan and ultrasound for the next morning. In order to be scheduled for an early morning scan, Jamison had to be inpatient and was admitted for his first of many hospital stays. On November 11, 2010, the Porters received the devastating diagnosis of bilateral retinoblastoma for their 14 month old son. Retinoblastoma is the most common type of eye cancer in kids and can be life-threatening to the retina within the back of the eye. It is generally diagnosed in babies age 4-24 months, although it can be found at earlier or later ages. Three days later the Porters were on a plane to Philadelphia for a new patient appointment with Dr. Carol Shields, the ocular oncologist of Shields and Shields at Wills Eye Hospital. Dr. Shields confirmed the diagnosis of retinoblastoma and sent Jamison to his first appointment with Dr. Ann-Marie Leahey, an oncologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Jamie recalls discussing chemotherapy options with Dr. Leahey just 5 days after learning her son had cancer. The stage of advancement of the cancer would determine how aggressive the chemo would be. “The first goal is to save the life, then the eyes, then the vision.” Jamison had his first of 13 examinations under anesthesia (EUA) and received his first round of chemo on November 17th. He also received cryotherapy and laser therapy, freezing and heating during the EUA. His regimen of chemotherapy drugs

They wish they had known that the white glow reflected by a camera flash in their son’s eye was a sign of a serious eye disease. included Vincristine, Carboplatin, and Etoposide which he received once a month for six months on the Wednesdays and Thursdays after his EUA’s. That first week after learning their child had cancer remains a blur to Jayme and Jeff. It was filled with various appointments every day, Monday through Friday, that included blood draws and collecting saliva samples from both Jayme and Jeff to complete genetic testing. Several months later, April 13, 2011 proved to be a bittersweet day for the Porters. They were given the news that Jamison was now stable after 5 months of treatment, but they were also told that his cancer was hereditary and that Jeff was a silent carrier of the mutation with no fam-

ily history. Due to the knowledge of the genetic mutation, there was a 50% chance of their older son Cole having the mutation. Previous local eye exams for Cole had been clear, but Jayme and Jeff had to know if Cole, like his younger brother, had retinoblastoma. Genetic testing revealed that Cole did have the mutation and he was scheduled to have a EUA along with Jamison on September 12, 2011. Cole’s new patient appointment with Dr. Shields was difficult and emotional as he was 3 ½ and knew words. Examination of his right eye was clear, but Dr. Shields saw a small lesion on the left eye. At first the Porters were told Cole would not require chemo and were heartbroken to later be told it would be the best treatment option since he had the genetic mutation. www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

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Celebrating the

Survivor in You! Having seen the effects of chemo on Jamison, the Porters were relieved that Cole’s treatment would be less aggressive due to the staging of the cancer. Cole received chemo once a month for six months and handled it much better than Jamison, although he now has a few longterm side effects. The Porters received wonderful news that Cole’s tumor was stable in November of 2011. He completed his chemo on February 2, 2012. Since their journey with retinoblastoma cancer began, the Porter boys have traveled to Children’s

For most of their young lives, battling cancer is all that Cole, age 5 and Jamison, age 3 have known. Hospital in Philadelphia a combined total of 13 times to receive examinations under anesthesia and their chemotherapy regimens. With retinoblastoma, they will not be considered to be cured or in remission for many years out. The chance for reoccurrence is high, so for now they are stable. Also, due to the mutation they have, they are at a higher risk for secondary cancers. They are both currently on a every 5th month follow up schedule for MRI’s and EUA’s. For most of their young lives, battling cancer is all that Cole, age 5 and Jamison, age 3 have known. Jayme and Jeff openly discuss their cancer with them in order to prepare them for their futures. “They need to know to always protect themselves from the sun and to let us know if they are feeling bad or if something is bothering them.” Despite all they have been through,

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Real Women

they are typical little boys. They love trains, animals and playing outside. Cole just completed 4 year old kindergarten at Rocky Creek Elementary School and Jamison is enrolled to attend there in the fall. Both boys have Individualized Education Plans in place due to their cancer. Cole’s is related to the side effects of chemo and Jamison’s is because of his low vision. “Their battle is still on-going, but they appear to be healthy, so their battle is only known if we share what they have been through.” Family members fighting cancer has been a part of Jayme and Jeff ’s life since the day they were married in the cancer unit of St. Francis Hospital in Greenville, SC. They moved up their original wedding date from May of 2006 to December 23, 2005 so that Jeff ’s mother could see them get married. Jayme also knows firsthand what it’s like to live with a chronic disease. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 14 and is continuing to learn how to balance her own care with that of her two young sons. Jayme Porter‘s personal goal is for everyone to “Know the Glow”. Parents need to know to take pictures of their young children in low light with a flash, with a real camera and with the red eye turned off. Childhood cancer is scary, so it is important to be proactive and be aware of changes in our children. As parents, we must trust our instincts and remember the earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis. The Porters help raise awareness of retinoblastoma through volunteering for TKE – Through Kyle’s Eyes Foundation. Visit www.kylelograsso.org for more information.

Beth McCrary is a freelance writer living in Lexington, SC. She shares the Porters passion for advocacy for their children’s health and well-being.


www.lexingtonwomanonline.com

39


Pets

5 STEPS TO FIX

Behavior Problems in Your Pets by Tim Loonam, DVM

B

ehavior problems in pets are almost as frustrating for veterinarians as they are for owners. By the time I complete a comprehensive physical exam and discuss dental care, heartworm and flea prevention, and whatever the presenting complaint is, there is little time left in a 20-30 minute appointment for a behavior work-up and treatment plan. However, we know behavior problems are a common complaint from veterinary clients and sadly, unresolved behavior problems are the leading cause for pets to be turned over to animal shelters.

If you can predict it, you should prevent it, because practice makes perfect. Learn to recognize and

avoid situations that trigger problem behaviors; this achieves 3 important results. First, avoidance increases safety, which is paramount when the problem includes aggression. Second, avoidance reduces stress and anxiety for pet and owner. Owners need ways to prevent issues so that they are not overwhelmed trying to change behaviors 24 hours a day. Third, avoidance prevents unwanted learning. A pet with a behavior problem or exposed to anxietyprovoking stimuli is learning with each occurrence. Through classical conditioning, the animal learns to associate the feelings of anxiety and accompanying responses (i.e.

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Real Women

Apply these 5 steps below for any behavior problem and work with your veterinarian to minimize or even eliminate the problem and enjoy your pet as your companion and not a nuisance! The first 3 steps are appropriate for all behavior issues and can be implemented to help the owner and patient even before pursuing full diagnosis. Add Steps 4 and 5 to provide a comprehensive behavioral treatment plan after your veterinarian has established a definitive diagnosis.

Step 1: Avoidance

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rapid heartbeat, panting) with that situation. For example, a dog with separation anxiety may grow anxious when the owner dresses for work. Operant conditioning may occur when a patient’s undesirable behavior produces a response from which it receives some degree of relief. For example, if strangers retreat after a fearful dog barks at them, the dog’s anxiety is somewhat alleviated and they’ve ‘learned’ to bark at strangers! Owners can also accidentally reward anxious behavior. If owners come home while the dog is howling, it may

learn to associate howling with the owners’ reappearance. If the patient continues to learn to associate these situations with a stress response and reacts accordingly, teaching a new set of behavioral responses can become an uphill battle. Tools for avoidance in the household include baby gates, crates, and exercise pens; and physical management tools to humanely gain control over an animal’s physical actions such as head collars (i.e.


Pets Gentle Leader), body harnesses, and basket muzzles.

Step 2: Relationship Building

The relationship between an owner and a pet with behavior problems is often frayed, so rebuilding a healthy, trusting, predictable relationship is important in treating any behavior problem. I recommend reward-based training to give both pet and owner a common language (request–response–reward). Owners can consider this similar to teaching children good manners by asking them to say “please” for anything they want; pets can do the same by sitting. Remember, Nothing in Life Is Free; if your dog jumps up on you to get attention, he needs to sit before you even recognize him! Unpredictability can develop from normal owner–pet interactions. One example occurs when owners allow pets on furniture sometimes but refuse access other times and get made like when the pet is wet. Although this unpredictability may not seem random to the owner, it is to the pet and can be a source of anxiety. Unpredictability may also result from owner attempts to correct behavior problems, especially if

punishment is used. The owner’s behavior may seem unpredictable because the animal was not previously punished for the behavior. In addition, punishment must happen immediately with the commencement of behavior and must be administered consistently. This is difficult, if not impossible, outside of planned training sessions. Tools for relationship building include determining a reward gradient so you can give the best reward for the most difficult behaviors. Remember, every pet has his favorite reward: it might be a special treat, a certain toy, clickers, or even just petting, praise and your attention. Use the high value treats and favorite toys to teach new ‘tricks’ and then saved for behavior modification.

Step 3: Tool Implementation

Pet owners often don’t know how to implement the prescribed avoidance and relationship-building steps. See your veterinarian for help with the proper use of products and techniques such as fitting a dog with a head collar or introducing clicker training. There are many helpful and reputable sites on the Web that can help too (kongcompany.com, clickertraining. com, premier.com, etc.). Remember, family ‘buy-in’ to the avoid-

If you can predict it, you should prevent it, because practice makes perfect. ance and relationship-building plans as well as consistency from all family members is important to success!

Step 4: Behavior Modification

Problematic behavior can be changed. Behavior-modification techniques typically used by veterinary behaviorists include operant conditioning, classical conditioning, desensitization and counterconditioning, and extinction. As with performing a complicated surgery, these techniques require special training to be effective. Ask your veterinarian for help with behavior modification or for a referral to a board-certified veterinary behaviorist or Certified Pet Dog Trainer experienced in such techniques (ccpdt.org)

Step 5: Pharmaceutical and Adjunct Treatments

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Most behavior problems didn’t occur overnight so it’s important for owners to realize there are no quick fixes and it will likely take time to appropriately correct an unwanted behavior. At your pet’s next annual exam, let your veterinarian know of any behavioral problems in your pet.

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sis supporting the use of a behavior modification medication must be made before a behavior drug is prescribed. Also medications are not a ‘quick fix’ but rather a tool prescribed and monitored by your veterinarian to help with behavior modification. Although only 3 medications are labeled in the United for use in veterinary behavior patients (Anipryl, Clomicalm, Reconcile) your veterinarian may be able to prescribe other drugs off label. Your veterinarian may also recommend specific diets (Hill’s Prescription Diet b/d and Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Calm) to help with behavior issues. Also, over-thecounter agents (i.e. pheromones, homeopathy, herbal supplements) may be helpful but aren’t free of adverse effects and are best used under the supervision of your veterinarian.

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A Personal Note

I

think I will change the title of this article to “Update on the Duncan Children.” Thank you for giving me a voice to emote about my everyday life in Lexington. I hope this page in LWM assures you my life is just as busy and sometimes stressful as yours, but there is always time to take a few moments and be grateful for all that we have been entrusted with — especially our children. Trey finished his Junior year at WKHS. He is looking at colleges and has spent a week of his summer at Palmetto Boys State. He came home with a desire to make a difference in the state of South Carolina. I am so proud of all his accomplishments in the past three years. I would list them here, but you would think I was bragging — and I would be. It is hard to not be proud as a parent when your children make the right choices. Recently he led the music for our praise and worship team at church. It is a blessing to see him growing in his faith as he becomes a man. He is loved. Proud, yes, but I am also humbled every time I start to think on the goodness of God and how He has brought us so many blessings in the form of each of our children. Abby and I have grown closer as she gets older. Sometimes her wisdom for a young woman astounds me. I look back at pictures of myself when I was younger and I think, “Why didn’t I appreciate the woman I was at twenty? She wasn’t so bad. She certainly didn’t have some of my current flaws… Her eyes were bright, she was always positive, and though she wasn’t perfect, she was pretty ok.” I want to give that to Abby. I want to teach her not to be too hard on herself now. Just enjoy who you are in this moment. Life will take you places you don’t want to or even mean to go, and those things will change you, some of those roads will make you wiser… some more appreciative… some a little distrustful… but all of them will make you the woman God intended for you to become someday if you allow Him. I hope she knows how I love the young woman she has become and is becoming. Colton the encourager is strong and independent. I have said this to you before. He was my easiest pregnancy and the easiest delivery. He has a mind of his own and there is no changing it. He has a deep rooted love of his father. I watch the way he looks at my husband and I think, I hope he always looks at his dad that way. A wise man once said to me, “Children always have their mothers and mothers have their children, but children belong to their fathers.” Blessed are the children who have good fathers. Colton has a strong constant faith and the world is simple to him. You don’t buy things you already have. You don’t change routines and plans unless you are vacationing or having company. He has rules that he lives by. He is learning to make choices. I am so pleased those choices are governed by his sense of right and wrong. He is kind to everyone and very accepting of new friends. He is bothered by injustice in any form. I remember when he learned about slavery at school. He came home outraged. He

said, “Mom, did you know people used to be treated differently based on the color of their skin?” What a wonderful gift to have been ignorant to the prejudices of the world until a history lesson. Every fiber of my being tells me my son Colton will be a family man. “Colton, do you know how much I love you?” Ryan is my cuddle bunny. He is my long legged six year old who Dr. Reynolds says will probably be the tallest Duncan boy. He still wants “cuddle time” every day. I thank God for giving me a little one who still loves to be held. Ryan isn’t afraid to make friends from complete strangers at a park or wear something other kids might not be wearing yet. His name means “little King” and I may have made the mistake of telling him this a few years ago. Trust me when I tell you he believes in his birthright. There is a kindness in Ryan. From the time he was only four he has talked about having a family one day and being a dad. He loves to laugh and his big brother Colton is his best friend. He has helped me see the world in a different light. He was never supposed to live past a few hours. They scheduled me for genetic counseling and a level two ultrasound, but God had other plans for the Duncan household. I am so thankful that even tests are wrong sometimes. He graduated kindergarten this year and is ready for first grade. I am not sure I am. I asked him recently, “Ryan, do you know that I love you?” “Yes.” He answered very matter of factly. “How do you know?” I asked. I am always intrigued by the way his mind thinks. “Because you smile every time you look at me.” Oh joy! My prayer today is that I smile every time I look at each of them. That no matter what life is throwing at me with both barrels I can see the face of my children, and affirm that they are loved. After all, according to Ryan, it only takes a smile. Who will you smile at today?

God Bless,

Lori Samples Duncan

We love because he first loved us. —1 John 4:19

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