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A New Year, A New You!

Featuring: Cecilia Grasinger, M.D. A Woman’s Best Friend Plus Plus other other stories stories of of hope, hope, inspiration inspiration and and motivation motivation for for the the journey journey to to health health and and fitness fitness in in 2009. 2009.

JANUARY 2009


Stacy A. Conn, DMD Board Certified, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

MAKE IT PLAYTIME!

Martha Hardaway DMD, MS Board Certified, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

TASTE COUNTS!

SING A SONG!

9 ways to make toothbrushing more fun!

Most are 2 minutes long.

Let your child pick the toothpaste flavor.

KEEP SCORE! Star charts & rewards motivate.

SPREAD THE JOY! Don’t make it a chore, laugh and have fun.

WALK THE WALK! Actions are louder than words. Show your child that you brush and floss.

2 JANUARY 2009

Your child brushes a doll or superhero first.

JOB WELL DONE! Praise efforts and encourage showing off that smile.

THE TIME IS RIGHT! Too sleepy before bed? Brush after dinner or during a TV break.

SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE! Let child brush half than you follow uo throughly.

Call for a Free Infant Oral Health Exam for your 12 month old 1-800-478-6058 • 828-264-0110 www.opsmiles.com 373 Boone Heights Drive Boone, NC 28607 www.aawmag.com


Photo by Mark Mitchell

Gaines Kiker from Gaines Kiker Silversmith/Goldsmith is All About Women

828.295.8485

132 Park Avenue Blowing Rock, NC 28605

www.BlowingRockRealEstateNC.com

The Simplicity of Mountain Living and Memories to Last a Lifetime

Residential www.aawmag.com

Land

路 Commercial

Investment

Development JANUARY 2009 3


JANUARY 2009

A New Year, A New You!

4 JANUARY 2009

editor Sherrie Norris sherrie@aawmag.com 828-264-3612 ext. 251 SALES/MARKETING MANAGER Sara Sellers sales@aawmag.com 828-264-3612 ext. 248 Graphic Artist Dan Johnston dan@aawmag.com

contents: PROFILES / FEATURES 6 Stephanie Returns Home 9 From LA To Boone 10 Living Her Miracle 12 Spirit Of Women 13 Café Chica 18 Every Day Is A New Beginning 22 Heather Jordan: Midwife 24 Triathamoms 33 Numina 37 Yes, You Can 38 Sheri’s Life-Changing Journey 40 Angela Church: The Best Gift 41 Appalachian Women’s Fund 42 The Essentials Of Self-Care 44 “Break A Leg” 48 Eating Well On A Budget 54 Local Women Keep The “Dream” Alive 56 Be Active Partnership 60 New Beginnings With Evelyn

PUBLISHER Nancy Morrison nancy.morrison@averyjournal.com 828-733-2448

In every issue 14 Food & Entertainment 16 It’s A Woman’s Job 20 All About Crafts 26 Minding Her Own Business 28 Mom’s World 29 Parenting Page 30 Heartfelt 32 High Country Courtesies 34 Cover Feature: Cecilia Grasinger, M.D. 36 Healthy Lady 46 You Go Girl! 50 Pet Page 51 By The Book 52 Cent$ & Sensibility 58 Your Home 62 Young At Heart 63 Dr. Mann 65 January Calendar

CONTRIBUTING Artist Jennifer Canosa Contributing writers Evelyn Asher Genevieve Austin Sharon Carlton Bonnie Church Yozette “Yogi” Collins Melanie Davis Heather W. Jordan Cara Kelly Corrinne Loucks Margie Mansure Jason Reagan Vicki Randolph Teri Wiggans Heather Young PHOTOGRAPHER Mark Mitchell Cover photo by Mark Mitchell Contents page photo by Sara Sellers Any reproduction of news articles, photographs, or advertising artwork is strictly prohibited without permission from management. ©Copyright 2009 A Mountain Times Publication

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Nancy’s note...

Sherrie’s note...

A Happy New Year To All Of You!

Happy New Year!

The old year has finally seen its ending and a brand new year is beginning. New years are like blank sheets of paper and blank canvases to me. I just can’t wait to put something on them! I find it exciting to contemplate what the new year may bring. There are sure to be some real surprises. Sherrie talks about New Year’s resolutions in her column and that’s okay, but I’ll share with you my deep, dark secret—I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I just always find that, no matter how good my intentions are and how hard I try when I start, I always eventually get away from doing the things I resolve to do. So, if I don’t do resolutions, I don’t set myself up Photo by Mark Mitchell for failure! It works for me. Actually, I do have two “sort of traditions” I carry out each year. One of the last things I do at the end of the year is to spend several hours writing down all the major things that happened during the year.Years later, it is fun to go back and read these notes. It is surprising how much we forget.The notes are always a good “quick reference” for finding out when something important happened. I’ve made these notes since I was a child and it is interesting to go back and take note of how the things I deemed important changed from year to year. The other thing I do at the end of a year is to make some postulates for the new year. Postulates are merely assumptions that certain things are true. I list everything I want to happen in the coming year as though it were true and real and happening already. For example, “I am successful in my work during all of 2009” or “All About Women grows each month during 2009 in terms of content, readers, and advertisers.” I assume the postulates I make will happen and I leave it up to the Creator/Universe to figure out how it all will come about! My postulates usually do come true, but sometimes in very unexpected ways. For instance, one year I needed a roof badly, but I had my daughter in college and money was tight. I postulated that I would have a new roof during that year. Several months later, a good friend from Arkansas called me and told me he had a friend who was going through difficulties in his marriage and, knowing I had spent years as a psychologist, asked if he could have his friend call me. To make a long story short, the friend called and we talked a lot over the next several months. During the summer, my grateful new friend (who just happened to be a professor of technology at Georgia Southern) came up on several weekends and put a new roof on my house to thank me for, as he put it, “saving my sanity.” Never in a million years would I have envisioned that! So, make some postulates for the new year and see what happens. And here is my postulate for all of you: 2009 is the best year you have ever had and you and your family are healthy and happy all through the year.

With the dawning of a new year, most of us spend a little time reflecting on the past 365 days and about as much time contemplating the changes we want (or need) to make in the coming 12 months. There’s something refreshing for me about opening a new calendar. Everything speaks of “new” – there are no blemishes, no reminders of life’s important appointments that might have been fulfilled, cancelled, simply forgotten or half-heartedly erased. There are no little notes to remind myself of a loved one’s death or other disappointing event. The unspoiled empty blocks represent the coming 365 days that await me in 2009, each one invisibly holding its own little surprises. At first glance, it’s easy to imagine no deadlines and hectic schedules await, no dreaded appointments and payment schedules—unlike the 2008 edition, marked up with what must have been significant at one time. Despite having transferred birthdays and anniversaries of special friends and family members to the new calendar – I still forgot several of them last year. Those same reminders will be entered neatly into my new book this year and hopefully, properly acknowledged on that date – not weeks later. As the New Year approaches, most of us are resolving to “do better” – whether with our diets and exercise or spending less money and more time on people and things that matter. Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others show that more than 50 percent of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and to spend more time with family and friends this year. Sounds like a winner to me – and right up there with those well meaning “losetwenty pounds by Valentine’s Day” promises and “stop smoking in a day” attempts. We all mean well when we say we want to make changes and I’m sure we all desire to be healthier and happier. So why is it so hard to succeed at something we want so badly? In this month’s magazine – A New Year, A New You – we are taking positive steps to help jumpstart healthier lifestyles by sharing inspirational, motivational stories from those who have risen to the top and vow never to go back, as well as including advice from others who know what it takes to be a winner. With the hectic, stressful lifestyles that many of us choose to pursue, it’s often difficult to find just the right time to make changes and do the right thing. Let’s join together now and make it the right time – even if it’s just one step at a time. Sometimes, those baby steps are less daunting (and much more successful) than taking giant leaps in an effort to reach the summit in one single day. Our problem situations did not appear in one day and we all know they won’t disappear that quickly, either. Let’s embark on this journey together. Let’s learn to love ourselves again - from the inside out - and enjoy life like never before. Let’s be happy and healthy together in this New Year. We need it - deep down inside we know we want it - and most of all - we deserve it!

Nancy Morrison, Publisher AAW staff members: (left to right) Dan Johnston, Sherrie Norris, Sara Sellers, Nancy Morrison

WELCOME www.aawmag.com

Walking beside you all the way – Sherrie Norris, Editor

We want to hear from you. E-mail us at comments@AAWmag.com. JANUARY 2009 5


Stephanie Pate Greer Returns Home To Lead Cannon’s Behavioral Health Unit

BY SHERRIE NORRIS

When Appalachian Regional Healthcare System opened the Kate B. Reynolds Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville on October 1, the area received an added bonus with the appointment of Stephanie Pate Greer as the Director of Behavioral Health Services. Having worked in Behavioral Health for the last 11 years, the last four as director of Adult Admitting Services at the 133-bed inpatient unit at Broughton Hospital in Morganton, Stephanie considers it a true honor to return home at the helm of a much-needed service in western North Carolina. Stephanie has seen, time and time again, how women in our society are constantly faced with persistent pressures to be “superwoman.” She says, “It is the common belief that a woman should be able to excel in her career, raise her children, care for her home, be actively involved in the community, and accomplish all of this while maintaining society’s idea of the perfect shape.The reality is that women have to allow themselves the freedom of understanding that the “superwoman” concept is a myth. The result of these societal—and often internal—pressures is that women are more likely to experience anxiety and depression, to be victims of trauma, violence, and/or abuse, and to suffer from substance abuse disorders, post partum depression, and eating disorders.” She adds that one of the greatest gifts a woman can give herself and her family is the gift of self-care (physically, spiritually, and emotionally). “So often women are so focused on taking care of others that they put themselves last on the list. The key is to find a personal balance between giving and receiving.When it comes to mental health, it can be quite difficult to discern the difference between normal painful thoughts or emotions and mental illness. If a family member experiences any disturbed thoughts, emotions, or behavior, it is important to have that family member evaluated by a mental health or medical professional. Most employers offer some type of access to employee assistance programs, which can prove to be invaluable in gaining access to professionals who can help.” Under Stephanie’s guidance, the Behavioral Health Unit provides acute stabilization of psychiatric issues like those mentioned above for both men and women—including anxiety, depression and thought disorders. “Statistics say that one in four adults will be diagnosed with some type of mental illness in his or her lifetime and two-thirds will not seek treatment. We are proud to provide these services and hope to alleviate the stigma associated with getting help for these illnesses.” The inpatient unit serves primarily the High Country region, but accepts referrals from outside the area. Patients must be between the ages of 18-64, have a diagnosed mental illness and be medically stable to be eligible for admission to the unit. A team composed of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, recreational therapists and CNAs treats patients admitted to the unit. In referring to her chosen profession, Stephanie says that early on she began to realize that there was very little separating one person from another in being diagnosed with a mental illness. “Whether it is situational—a result of some traumatic life 6 JANUARY 2009

Photo by Marilyn Ball circumstance—or a lifelong illness, all people suffering from mental illness are just regular people in need of help.They are our mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, neighbors, and friends. I believe that, unfortunately, this segment of our population is one of the most misunderstood in our region.” She returned home, she says, “not just to get closer to my family and my roots, but because I truly believe that I can play a part in leading the development of a wide range of services, so that no matter what an individual’s age, illness, or financial situation, something will be available for anyone who needs them.” It [helping with this development] is especially meaningful for her, she says, “Because I know that in my own way I can provide something beneficial and, in essence, give back to the community that raised me. I feel honored to be given this opportunity by Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and very blessed to have this opportunity in a location that is truly home to me.” www.aawmag.com


She says her family gives her additional motivation to work hard to provide something meaningful for this area. “My entire family is here and I plan to raise my children here.” Her husband Allan, originally from Watauga County, is a State Trooper now stationed in Avery County. Her son Zack is a kindergartener at Crossnore Elementary and her daughter Reagan (“Bob”) at 2 1⁄2, is enrolled in daycare at Crossnore School. “My husband and I are both members of Crossnore Baptist Church. Ten years ago, we were married in that very church in which I had been raised. At that time, we never dreamed that we would one day be raising our children there! It’s certainly a blessing.” Her father, Dallas Pate, is retired from the North Carolina Highway Patrol and is now Chief Deputy for the Avery County Sheriff’s Office. Her mother, Geneva, works for the Avery County Department of Social Services. Tim Pate, her brother, is a lieutenant with the Department of Corrections. She has two nephews, Coty, who is a graduate of Avery High and is enrolled at Mayland Community College and Adam, a senior at Avery High. Her niece, Sumer, will start kindergarten next year. “Because of all of these people who are so dear to my heart and for all those people in need of help, I am willing to work as hard as possible to make a positive impact in our community.” Prior to accepting her latest position, Stephanie was responsible for approximately 300 employees in a variety of clinical and support disciplines at Broughton, providing administrative leadership to many of the facility’s integral services and directly supervising the chiefs of psychiatry, psychology and social work; the recreational therapist; treatment mall coordinator; and nurse manager for the Adult Admissions Division. She was an important contact for all area mental health programs within the 37 westernmost counties of North Carolina and communicated extensively with local mental health area programs/Local Management Entities, magistrates, community hospitals, families, and law enforcement personnel. She was Broughton’s key representative on various hospital, regional and statewide committees and groups and a driving force behind major decisions concerning overall expenditures, equipment and supplies, as well as the development of departmental policies and procedures in accordance with hospital policies, state statutes and regulations, and various accrediting agencies. Through the years, she worked in various other capacities at Broughton, including that of Management Specialist, Special Assistant for Forensic Services, Assistant Director of the Adult Admissions Division and Human Services Coordinator, Interim Treatment Center Director and Recreational Therapy Supervisor. A 1993 graduate of Avery High, Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy at Western Carolina University in 1997, followed by her Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care Administration, from Gardner Webb in 2002. She serves as an advisory board member for Frye Hospital’s South Campus, a 16-bed adult psychiatric unit, and is a member of the Western NC Consortium of Psychiatric Services, a group comprised of Behavioral Health Unit Directors for the western part of NC and upstate SC. She also has served as an advisory board member for the State Employees Credit Union and as Director of Youth Services for New Horizon Baptist Church in Marion. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System also offers two outpatient behavioral health programs in Boone and Linville. The outpatient program provides an environment for adults to identify and to develop and increase coping skills for dealing with anxiety, depression and mood or thought disorders. The program is now accepting children and adolescents for individual therapy, family therapy and medication management.

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For more information about inpatient services, please call (828) 733-7600. For more information about outpatient services, please call (828) 268-9454 (Boone) or (828) 737-7889 (Linville). For more information about Appalachian Regional Behavioral Health Services, visit www.apprhs.org/behavioral. www.aawmag.com

JANUARY 2009 7


A New Year, A New You! On behalf of Dr. Alicia Caroll and staff, we would like to thank these beautiful women whose courage empowered and opened the eyes of so many others.

From our professional family to yours, Happy New Year.

8 JANUARY 2009

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Christy’s Journey

To Boone - By Way of LA BY YOZETTE “YOGI” COLLINS “The hair is the richest ornament of women.” ~Martin Luther

N

ative Floridians living in the High Country is nothing new, but the journey Christy Dunne, owner of Christy & Co. in Boone, took to get here is nothing if not colorful. Born and raised in Orlando, Christy knew she wanted to go to school to learn the art of hair care— cutting, styling and coloring. With limited hair schools in Orlando at the time, Christy decided to visit her uncle in Los Angeles and check for schools there. First, she did some research. “I went around to all of the salons there and asked, ‘If you were hiring, who would you hire from?’ Everybody said Vidal Sassoon.” After applying to the Sassoon Cosmetology School, Christy bemoaned the eight-month waiting list to her brother-in-law over dinner. An insurance agent in Beverly Hills, he told her he insured Vidal Sasson and that he would see what he could do to help. “He called Vidal himself and two weeks later I started school. It was so cool,” Christy says, adding with a laugh, “The funniest thing was, here I was from little Orlando, and the school people were trying to figure out who I was.” Following graduation from the 10month course, Christy was asked to work for the school as a stage instructor traveling to the hair shows. “But,” she says, “I was just 21 and wanted to get my feet wet, so I went and worked with people who had worked for Vidal Sassoon on his original team in the ‘70s.” It was an incredible experience that gave Christy the opportunity to learn from some of the most talented professionals in the field as well as to appreciate working in a salon. However, film studios were being built in Orlando and Christy began hearing about new opportunities there. “I had been in L.A. for six years. At the time they were building the [Orlando] studios, so all I heard was ‘Florida, Florida, Florida.’ So, I gave Florida one more try.” Cutting hair out of her house and working with photographers on Disney destination weddings provided a solid income, but Christy missed the banter and interaction of working in salons. When she learned her father was ill she put everything on hold, came to Boone where her parents had retired, and helped care for him. After her father passed away, Christy planned to move back to Los Angeles.Then, her car engine blew up. “I took it as a sign that maybe I should stay,” she says. So, she stayed and found she really loved living here. “I worked at www.aawmag.com

Changes for seven years and when I turned 40, I decided it was time to branch out on my own. I felt I had all of the experience I needed to do it.” In 2004, Christy & Co. was born. With 20 years in the salon industry, Christy knew the atmosphere she wanted in her salon. “I wanted to create a space that was different. I wanted it to be casual; I wanted it to be elegant. I wanted it to be comfortable. I didn’t want it to be stuffy. I am very aware of the fact that, these days in particular, for a man or a woman to be able to take an hour out of a day and sit down and do absolutely nothing is precious time. Time is a commodity. That’s why I wanted to create something nice.” When asked if she thinks she “missed out” by leaving Los Angeles, Christy says, “There’s absolutely no way there’s anything I missed. I was living life in the fast lane for a long time. I’m not married, I don’t have kids. In this industry you tend to run, run, run. I think it was divine intervention that sent me here.” Christy’s life here is devoted to her salon and the six dogs that live with her and her mom. “I’m an animal freak.” All of her dogs are rescue dogs and, she adds, the Humane Society and OASIS are two local charities she holds most dear and supports as often as possible. Ultimately, living amid the excess of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills shaped Christy and makes her appreciate the simplicity of Boone. “Working and living in Beverly Hills made me realize everybody puts their pants on the same way and I will never, ever let the size of anyone’s wallet dominate. Everybody deserves the same treatment. I saw a big lack of that [there], unfortunately.” So, if you are looking for a salon where doing “good hair” is the focus, check out Christy & Co. “We don’t do a lot of advertising.We sort of fly under the radar and do our “thing.” We do hair. I’m proud of it. I’ve never been prouder of anything in my life.”

Christy’s New Year Tips: 1) Take time out for yourself. If you are not well, everyone you take care of will flounder. 2) Treat your hair like your skin. As the seasons change, consult your hair professional to learn exactly what your hair needs. 3) Do not color your hair yourself! Leave it to the professionals. If you are trying to save money, you will spend double the amount fixing a mistake. JANUARY 2009 9


Shirley Hodges

Is Living Her Miracle

BY SHERRIE NORRIS

Never far from Shirley Hodges are pictures and memories of her late grandson, Christopher (shown here at a young age), who motivated her through many rough days. His innocent, childlike approach to life gave Shirley a reason to hang on. Photo by Sherrie Norris For approximately three years Shirley Hodges was basically incapacitated, unable to care for herself and her family. A 1992 diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease eventually led her from one doctor to another and to a medication that improved her symptoms, but at the same time caused adverse reactions. Any hope of improvement seemed dismal as her condition grew progressively worse. Not only did she suffer physically, but she also became depressed, adding to the frustration she and her family experienced. She was just “not herself,” says her husband Edsel, a revered building contractor, who basically traded in his outdoor labor for housework and caring for his bride of 50-plus years. “He had to do everything for me,” Shirley recalls. “He put me in the bed, got me 10 JANUARY 2009

out, cooked and cleaned. Chris and Mitzi, our children, were always helping, too, when they could, but they both had families and jobs of their own. They were all so good to me and so were our pastor and (Rutherwood Baptist) church family. Today, the loving mother and grandmother acknowledges that she is a “new person,” grateful for her family, faith and good friends who helped carry her through. “I give God all the glory for healing me.” From local hospitals, as well as those in Winston-Salem, Ft. Payne, AL and Richmond, VA to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, the Hodges family continuously sought quality care for their loved one. Mitzi says, “She really got tired of just going from one hospital to www.aawmag.com


another. It was not easy for her. She had always been so active and had worked for 19 years at Project on Aging. She was never one to just sit around and let someone wait on her.” After hearing about a life-changing surgery from a man Shirley’s sister bowled with each week who had Parkinson’s, the Hodges family became hopeful. “My sister said after he had been out for a while, he returned to bowl and his symptoms were gone. He told her about a surgery (Deep Brain Stimulation) that he’d had at a hospital in Charlottesville, VA. He even came by here to talk to us about it. I made up my mind right then that I would have that surgery if there was any way possible.” In the meantime, however, the Hodges family experienced a tragic loss in August 2007 with the sudden death of Shirley’s 19-year old “special” grandson, Christopher, who motivated her – “kept me going” through many rough days. His innocent, childlike approach to life kept his family and all who knew him inspired and gave Shirley a reason to hang on. “He stayed with me in the afternoons while his parents worked and we always had the best time together. At night, he would call and want me to come to his house.There were times I felt so bad I didn’t want to leave the house, but I’d go anyway,” says Shirley. Mitzi adds with visible emotion,“She had four other grandchildren, but he was special to all of us and our lives were centered around him. He could get Mama going when no one else could. He’d say things to her like, ‘Nana, hop like a bunny.’ That’s all it took to lift her spirits.” Christopher and his “Nana” were crowned king and queen at their church’s Valentine’s Day celebration a short time before his death. It was a highlight for all to witness, as everyone knew of their deep love for each other. The devastation of his death added to Shirley’s deterioration. “That year was the worst and the best of my life all rolled into one,” she describes. Two months after Christopher’s death, the waiting room of the Virginia hospital was overflowing with family, friends and fellow church members as Shirley endured a seven-hour Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery – the majority of which required her to be awake. “I was very calm and knew that God had brought me to that place.” She and her family had learned earlier that the surgical procedure was used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms— most commonly those associated with Parkinson’s disease—with some indication of it helping with depression, too. Could it be their answer? Her son Chris describes how DBS uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator (battery pack)—similar to a heart pacemaker and placed in the chest wall to deliver electrical stimulation to the part of the brain that controls movement, blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause tremor and Parkinson’s symptoms. Prior to the surgery, Shirley went through a battery of tests to determine if she was a candidate. “Not everybody who has Parkinson’s can have the surgery,” Edsel notes. “It depends on what stage of it a person’s in.” Mitzi remembers the moments before the surgery began, her mother’s head covered with a device that was “screwed into her head in four places.” Shirley recalls only “a crunching sound” as it was put into place. During the final stages of the procedure, as the wires were connected from her brain through her neck and into the device placed in her chest, she was given anesthesia and recalls little else. www.aawmag.com

Shirley remained in rehab following surgery. The second week she returned for a follow-up at which time, Chris says, the stimulator was activated for the first time. “She literally went in pushed in a wheelchair and came out pushing it herself. We just stared at her, amazed.” The results were nothing short of a miracle, Shirley and her family agree. “She’s like a different person – but more like she was years ago.” Mitzi says For over two years, she missed going out to eat and shop; she was unable to drive her car, to cook and clean. Now, her husband laughs and says, “She’s on the go every day, making up for lost time.” She smiles in response, “I get out every chance I can.” Whether attending church functions at Rutherwood Baptist, shopping, eating, or cooking and delivering meals to the shut-ins, Shirley doesn’t let any grass grow under her feet these days. She and her family were delighted this past year to resume their annual beach trip that they had been missing. And recently cooking a meal for 15 was another major milestone for the lovely lady of the house. However, her return to a “normal” lifestyle was not without challenge. Three days after coming home from the hospital (“a little too confident,” according to her husband), she fell in their living room breaking her back. Despite another six-week recovery, she says, “I didn’t let it get me down.” She has continued to have concerns with balance and is urged to use a cane, but she just walks slowly now, reaching for a rail or other safety device if she feels the need. Shirley is known as an encourager to others and never misses a chance to talk about her miracle. Many people remain in awe of Shirley’s strength and zeal for life. “She has been an inspiration to me and so many others over the past several years,” says close family friend, Jeannie Kahle. “Her decision to have brain surgery at her age and with all the risks involved was absolutely amazing to me. Her courage and faith is staggering. What a role model she is for us all! I admire Shirley because she took a tremendous leap of faith and she has been a whole new person ever since.” While her surgery was not a cure and she still has Parkinson’s written on her medical records as her diagnosis, it’s a new day and, hopefully, this new year will be the best ever for Shirley Hodges and her loving family as she continues to live her miracle. (Shirley says she will be happy to talk with anyone who has Parkinson’s and may be considering DBS.)

What is Deep Brain Stimulation?

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS), Deep Brain Stimulation surgery consists of three components: the lead, the extension, and the neurostimulator. The lead (also called electrode)—a thin, insulated wire—is inserted through a small opening in the skull and implanted in the brain. The tip of the lead is positioned within the targeted brain area. (story continued on page 49) JANUARY 2009 11


Local Healthcare System Is All About

“The Spirit of Women” BY YOZETTE “YOGI” COLLINS

I

t is no secret that Americans spend far too much on healthcare. The problem is that, despite all the dollars spent, we are less healthy than people in other developed countries who spend a fraction of the cost. The U.S. accounts for 50 percent of all healthcare spending in the entire world, yet we still rank only 48th in life expectancy rates. “We don’t do a good job of being healthy for all of the money we’re spending in healthcare,” says Alice Salthouse, Director of Community Outreach for the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. “Seventy-five percent of healthcare costs are caused by just a handful of preventable illnesses like heart attacks, stroke and diabetes.” With statistics like these, the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System recognized the need to attack preventable illness in the High Country. Considering Registration table for “Spirit of Women” events is always a busy place. women make 85 percent of health decisions in families, Photo by Healthy Carolinians. ARHS joined the Spirit of Women network in hopes their hearts. Heart disease is the leading killer of women and that healthier women in the community would lead to is on the rise, but women still are not assessing their risk or healthier men and children. seeking diagnostic tests as often as men. The National Day of The Spirit of Women network consists of 65 hospital Dance demonstrates that exercise can be attained through systems across the country—four in North Carolina— various forms of dance—clogging, line-dancing, belly dancing, and aims to advance the cause of women’s health. “It’s a and others—and can be fun. A major problem in the United designation that we have that helps us focus on our women States is that, as Alice puts it, “We sit and we eat and it causes and what we can do for the women in the community,” says problems for us.” Gillian Baker, V.P. of Marketing and Business Development. “It These free, fun, and conveniently located programs are also gives us a state-of-the-art women’s health programming for every member of the community. If you are looking for package. They are doing the research at the national level to ways to be healthier this New Year, plan to attend the Health see what issues are happening across the country and we see Maze on January 30th at the Boone Mall where, among other if they are true for our community.” If so, ARHS determines things, you can have your blood pressure checked and your ways to deal with the issues locally. body fat measured. Through Spirit of Women, ARHS offers free programs in Candy Jones, ARHS Community Health Nurse, who the community that make exercise and learning about healthy works with Alice coordinating events, says, “It’s ‘health-uways of living fun. “One of the programs we’ve been very tainment’ where you do fun activities and entertaining things successful in implementing over the past two years is called while you bring in the health aspect.” She also notes how Walk with Spirit. It’s an exercise walking program [that] kicks helpful and cooperative Meredith Golden, manager of the off in the spring.We partner with the community. People wear Boone Mall, has been. pedometers and record their steps on a Web site. We were All in all, having a Spirit of Women hospital in the in competition with 20 or 30 hospital systems larger than community benefits every member of the High Country. And ours across the country. Both years [that the High Country it is each individual member who must take responsibility for competed] we won that competition.” the state of her health, says Gillian. “We encourage people to There are two other programs Spirit of Women promotes come learn what they can do to make themselves healthier. in the community—HeartCaring and Day of Dance. The They have to take the reins of their own health and be HeartCaring program motivates women to actively protect proactive in becoming healthy.” 12 JANUARY 2009

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Café Chica: Coffee with a Cause BY MELANIE DAVIS During the cold winter months, everyone needs a warm pick-me-up.The High Country Women’s Fund and Bald Guy Brew have teamed up for a coffee offer that will warm body and spirit. Café Chica coffee sales serves as a fundraiser to help women and children, both locally and in Latin America. Boone-based Bald Guy Brew imports fair-trade organic coffee beans from El Café Femenino, a women’s cooperative plantation in Latin America. The profits from the sales enable the women to earn a living in a country where it would be difficult to support themselves and their children. Bald Guy Brew roasts the imported beans for sale as “Café Chica: Coffee with a Cause.” The El Café Femenino co-op sells to roasters only if

a portion of the sales is distributed to local women and children. Bald Guy Brew donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Café Chica to the High Country Women’s Fund. Founded in 2006, the HCWF is an initiative of the High Country United Way, specifically for assisting women in Avery and Watauga counties to become self-sufficient. The money raised through the coffee fundraiser will be used in the many areas of support offered by HCWF.The organization helps women with transportation, childcare, education, housing, personal needs and prevention.The prevention aspect involves sponsoring programs that empower women and girls. Café Chica, organic, fair-trade, and locally roasted, retails for $13 per pound. A sample bag is available for $5 and is a great hostess gift. It is sold at Bare Essentials, Black Bear Books, Erick’s Cheese and Wine, Kojay’s Coffee, Green Mother Goods, and Peabody’s Wine and Beer. The coffee may also be purchased through the HCWF by e-mailing info@ highcountrywomensfund.org or calling (828) 264-4007. www.aawmag.com

Once You Wear Hatley “Perfect Pyjamas” You Will Wear NOTHING Else

Boone Drug Our clinic is located at:

345 Deerfield Rd • Boone, NC across from Watauga Medical Center 828-264-3055 www.BooneDrug.com JANUARY 2009 13


BY MARGIE MANSURE, NUTRITIONIST AND Food & Entertainment| EXTENSIVE AGENT, NC COOPERATION EXTENSION

Maintaining Motivation For Healthy Lifestyle Not Always Easy

We’ve all heard the standard advice about how to be as healthy as possible. The messages are canned in different ways (through health books and magazines, support groups and health classes), but the basics are the same: eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains; don’t eat too much artery-clogging fat or processed

Margie Mansure explains healthy cooking at a recent demonstration. Photo Mark Mitchell. 14 JANUARY 2009

foods; get enough sleep; manage stress and be physically active. Most believe a spiritual component is essential as well. Living a healthy lifestyle sounds simple but can seem so difficult. We live in a society that promotes bad health habits, and it’s easier to “go with the flow”—like water running down the mountain. If only I could put long-term motivation in a pill and sell it, I’d never be tied to the strings of a paycheck again. Think about what motivates you to take good care of yourself. My aunt recently quit smoking when her physician told her she wouldn’t live to see 50. That seemed to work for her. As a registered dietitian for the past 18 years, I’ve gained little insight into what motivates people. It seems that we all have a different answer and remaining motivated is even more challenging. If you ask me to describe my personal motivation for almost any challenge, I think about “beginning with the end in mind.” You may have read about this idea in Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. According to Covey, to begin with the end in mind is to begin with the image of the end of your life as the frame of reference by which everything else is measured.You may be busy, you may be efficient, but you will be effective only if you begin with the end in mind. Covey believes that all things are created twice—once with a mental creation and then with the physical. If the endeavor fails, it’s usually because the mental creation was not strong enough. For the challenge of a healthy lifestyle, I divide the “end” into three segments of my life. I think about how I want to feel and look and what condition I want my physical body to be in now, when I’m post-menopausal, and when I’m really old. Visualizing and feeling what I want, instead of what I don’t want, seems more sustainable to me. So instead of falling into the societal concern about personal weight loss, I want to feel alive and stimulated. I want to have the energy I need to do what’s important in my life, especially being active with my nine- and eleven-year-old daughters. I realize that I’m a role model for my children in all areas of life and I want to be a good one. Like all moms, I want them to have every advantage possible. Being able to concentrate better and being sick less often than many peers are current benefits of their healthy lifestyle, and I expect to experience more blessings as they grow. Visualizing myself growing older, vibrantly healthy and active, feels good. Bicycling vacations, rafting and kayaking trips, bird watching tours, before and after retirement is worth the challenge now. Being able to visualize and feel what you want is useful in all areas of life, not just for physical health. It can certainly help with

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career satisfaction. As a cardiac nutritionist in my 20s, I taught people who had chronic diseases how to eat smarter in order to be healthier and live longer. Over the years, I’ve counseled thousands of people with a variety of physical conditions. I felt that I would be more satisfied in my career in a more positive environment, seeking ways to help people stay healthy. Working to improve the health of the community was my vision. In 1998, I was hired by the NC Cooperative Extension with the charge of working towards that goal. Over the last decade, I’ve offered educational programs that help people make healthier choices at worksites, schools and other settings. Looking at the bigger picture, I’m able to work with groups who are interested in building a local food system, where locally-grown and processed food would be available year-round.We’re working on a Farm-to-School program. I serve on a Town of Boone alternative transportation committee, seeking ways to make it easier to walk and bicycle around Boone. With the technical expertise of my co-workers, we offer an Organic Gardening 101 class for families—a fun, active way to stay healthy. But the issue of personal motivation still mystifies me. If you think what motivates you could inspire or at least entertain others, please share with me at margie_mansure@ncsu.edu.

Helpful Hints for the New Year:

Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium low heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach and • Decide on one or two small changes you can make to improve next 4 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. your health. Add other changes only when the first two seem Add tortellini; cook until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese. routine to you. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 ½ cups soup and 2 teaspoons • Think about how you will stay motivated. Consider visualizing cheese). and feeling what you want in the future. • How will you add physical activity to your life? Be specific. CALORIES: 281 (18% from fat); FAT 5.7 g (sat 2.1 g, mono 1.7 g. Writing it on a calendar as you would a meeting may help. poly 0.6 g); PROTEIN 15 g; CARB 43.9 g; FIBER 4.2 g; CHOL 23 • Pack your lunch and snacks for the next workday in the evening. mg; IRON 2.8 mg; SODIUM 562 mg; CALCIUM 158 mg Include fruit, veggies and whole grains. • Have a weekly plan for the evening meals. Looking at your week, think about how you will eat healthy meals at home, even with extra-curricular activities. (This tasty recipe has a southwestern flair while using lean meat • Prepare large quantities of food, like casseroles and soups on and providing plenty of vitamins.) the weekends. Freeze some for a later date and keep some in the refrigerator for an extra busy workday. 2 teaspoons olive oil • Be thankful that you live in a country of abundance and have the 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts ability to make choices that will keep you vibrant and energetic. 1 onion, chopped

HOMINY SOUP

Soups are a great way to get plenty of vegetables and less meat. With busy lifestyles, they may be cooked in large batches and frozen in meal-sized containers for instant meals later. Here are two of my favorite recipes:

TORTELLINI, WHITE BEAN AND SPINACH SOUP

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 summer or winter squash, coarsely chopped 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 (10 oz.) can red enchilada sauce 2 (15 oz. each) cans white hominy, drained 1 can diced tomatoes ½ teaspoon dried oregano

(This recipe uses beans and cheese tortellini for protein. It’s also Spread olive oil in Dutch oven and warm over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each packed with health-enhancing vitamins from the vegetables.) side. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, 2 teaspoons olive oil or until tender. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. 2 cups chopped onion Add the chicken, squash, broth, enchilada sauce, hominy, tomato, ½ cup chopped red or green bell pepper and dried oregano to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes to blend the 3 garlic cloves, minced flavors. Ladle the soup into bowls to serve. 2 cups coarsely chopped spinach Makes 6 servings 1 (16 oz.) can navy beans 2 (14 ½ oz.) cans vegetable or chicken broth 1 (14 ½ oz. can) diced tomatoes 1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts 1 (9 oz.) package uncooked fresh or frozen cheese-filled tortellini ¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese www.aawmag.com

Per serving: CALORIES 234, PROTEIN 22 g, CARB 27 g, FAT 4 g, SAT. FAT 2 g, CHOL 47 mg, SODIUM 674 mg, FIBER 6 g.

JANUARY 2009 15


It’s A Woman’s Job| BY CORRINNE LOUCKS

Approaching The Bench With Tamara DiVenere

No arguments here –Tamara DiVenere is one to have on your side when it’s time to approach the bench. Photo by Corrinne Loucks 16 JANUARY 2009

When Tamara DiVenere’s parents refinanced their home with new-to-town attorney Jeffrey Walker, they had no idea it was a prophecy of things to come. Louise and Peter DiVenere were among Walker’s first clients after his opening in late 2002. Leaving the office, Louise turned and asked Walker if he might need summer assistance, as her daughter was in pre-law, a political science major at Duke University. He said yes and thus began an ensuing partnership and long term friendship. “Tamara had known she wanted to be a lawyer since she was eight years old,” Louise stated. Tamara’s elementary school took a field trip to the Ashe County courthouse and she came home and announced her intentions. When asked if Tamara was an argumentative child, Louise described her as tough, aggressive, determined and very goal-oriented. “She always excelled at whatever she put her mind to.” From ROTC captain to homecoming queen to valedictorian of her Beaver Creek High School class, Tamara has proven those words to be true. Louise believes that Tamara inherited her determination and sense of law from her father, Peter, who passed away three years ago. Peter DiVenere was a captain in the Army and, although he was in transportation and a teacher, he was always the one to argue a case for any of his men who had to appear in a courtroom. Louise tearfully describes how proud Tamara’s dad was of her and how proud he must be “looking down now at her success and how sweet she is to others in her job and in her personal life.” So sweet, in fact, that Amanda, a corporate family law paralegal in their law office, described Tamara as “awesome to work for!” And Allison, described as the law office’s “real estate department,” said that Tamara is the type of person who is “instantly your friend.��� Kelly, the www.aawmag.com


office’s personal injury, civil litigation and workman’s comp expert, and the ladies who make up the office described it as being “all about women!” Attorney Jeffrey Walker has no argument in this case. He proudly recounted Tamara’s first court case. Tamara was only six months out of law school when Walker and his wife Donna were stranded at the airport in California on their way home from New Zealand.The attending judge would not postpone the case, so Tamara proceeded to select the jury, give the opening statement and even tried most of the case after Jeffrey returned. “Most new attorneys don’t try a case for a couple of years after law school,” explained Walker. “She did a terrific job and still does today.” He says Tamara is great with clients. “She is a good listener and really cares about her clients, but don’t let her fool you - she is a bulldog in the courtroom!” The ladies in her office agree that Tamara is a very kind and compassionate person and that, in her case, the age - old attorney jokes do not apply. Taking pre-law as an undergrad at Duke University had been another goal of Tamara’s since childhood. Her mom reported that Tamara also had wanted to go to Duke since she was in kindergarten. She used to watch Duke’s ballgames with her father and one day, when the team came to Ashe County, she got a team shirt signed by all the players and declared that she’d be going to Duke one day! After graduating from Duke, Tamara attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked summers in Boone as a clerk in Walker’s law office. Although acquainted as youngsters, Tamara and her husband, Jak Reeves, did not date until meeting again at UNC. Jak, a few years her senior, came back to West Jefferson after law school to work with his father’s firm,Vannoy and Reeves. Jak now has his own firm in Ashe County. Tamara’s mother said she was thrilled when the two began dating, as she knew he was the one for Tamara and his coming back to the area meant her daughter would be coming back home to stay, too! Tamara said she never strayed from her desire to be a lawyer since she was a child. She enjoys “picking things apart,” but even more so, she believes that the practice of law is a noble profession and enjoys the aspect of helping people above all. She remembers well the first court case she handled, describing her client as a “very sweet older gentleman in overalls and a cap.” She was happy to have assisted him and other client who hire her to be on their team. She enjoys the working relationship she has with Walker. “Jeffrey and I are a perfect fit,” Tamara explains. “We work together so well and he is generous to a fault. I especially appreciate the team effort in our office. Thursdays we all have lunch together and talk about our clients and how we can help them. Jeffrey and I balance each other well and I’ve learned so much from him.” Tamara explains that the most important thing he has taught her is to keep her clients www.aawmag.com

informed.The difference between being good and being great, she believes, is communication with clients and always letting them know what’s going on. There is plenty going on in the life of Tamara DiVenere, Esq., these days! She and her husband Jak were married in March of this year at the Carolina Inn in the town of their alma mater—Chapel Hill. If that weren’t enough to celebrate, Tamara was made a partner of the firm now known as Walker and DiVenere in May of this year. Treasurer of the Watauga County Bar Association, women’s and animal rights activist, vegan and ambassador to her community and clients, Tamara has come a long way to fulfill her little girl dreams - all the way “back home!”

JANUARY 2009 17


Photo by Vicki Randolph

Every Day Is A New Beginning When Someone Lends A Loving Hand BY VICKI RANDOLPH The High Country is home to many people who add to its beauty and charm by opening their hearts and helping others. New Beginnings is just one more example of a group of concerned citizens taking care of those around them. New Beginnings is a non-profit organization with a mission to enhance the lives of Ashe County children in foster care or in crisis situations. Unlike numerous other non-profits, however, there are no hefty grants or government funding providing financial assistance for this group. All members are volunteers; all income is derived directly from individual donations and fund raisers, the bulk of which comes from 18 JANUARY 2009

bazaars they host each year. The items they sell are high-quality, handcrafted works made by volunteers who donate their time to make a difference in the lives of children. When asked why they donate their time and talents, the response from volunteers is unanimous - “Because it’s rewarding knowing we’re doing it for a good cause.” All proceeds from their craft sales go to pay for the countless things these kids need. Every child helped by New Beginnings is involved in crisis in one form or another. Whether coming from homes where meth labs have been www.aawmag.com


set up or from other unfortunate home life experiences, each of these children has experienced either physical, verbal or sexual abuse. New Beginnings began twelve years ago, providing toiletry bags for kids going into foster care. It has since expanded to do much more. As social workers from the Department of Social Services are on their way to help a child in crisis, they often stop by the New Beginnings house to pick up prepacked duffel bags filled with clothes, toiletries and other items that will help get the kids off to a fresh start—or a new beginning. Sandy Chatman, vice-chair of the organization, says,“These children deserve the best that society can provide for them in the way of new clothing, haircuts and other things to boost their self esteem and encourage them.” In addition to duffel bags, every child also receives new clothes and school supplies at the beginning of each school year. There are also diapers, new coats, books, toys, blankets and “stuffy friends” to provide comfort for these precious children, ages birth to 18, throughout the year. Christmas takes a big bite out of the supplies. This past December, dozens of Ashe County kids had a happier holiday because of gifts from New Beginnings volunteers. Many of those were from the safe house run by A.S.H.E. (A Safe Home For Everyone), a shelter for women and their children who may be victims of domestic abuse. All of the “New Beginnings kids” also receive gifts on their birthdays and other surprises throughout the year—Valentine bags, Easter baskets, and Halloween treats, to name a few. If one of the children has a special need, the volunteers of New Beginnings make sure it is met—summer camp, sports supplies, even prom dresses—every effort is made for every child to live a normal, happy life. The women behind the scenes at New Beginnings welcome other volunteers to join them. Donations of money, new clothing, school supplies, blankets, diapers or even craft supplies, are always appreciated. Anyone with crafting talents can donate their time as well. The Monday morning craft team is always looking for more hands. Not only is it a great cause, but it’s also a lot of fun getting together with others to help kids in need. Monday morning volunteers have a blast working together and coming up with unique items to sell at the craft bazaars. There are traditional handcrafts and painted wooden furniture along side of edible flower arrangements made from candy kisses and other confections. Craft volunteer Pat Lindsay, while stuffing an Easter bunny’s ears, says, “I really enjoy the fellowship.”

Dr. John J. Freeman is pleased to announce our New Weight Loss Clinic. Our goal for you is to lose unwanted pounds and gain a healthier lifestyle in today's busy world. Call us today for an appointment and more information...

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For more information about New Beginnings, to find out how to help, or how to host a fundraising event, call Sandy Chatman at 336-982-5406. Donations are appreciated at any time and can be sent to P.O Box 381,West Jefferson, NC 28694. www.aawmag.com

JANUARY 2009 19


All About Crafts|

Stemware Charms

BY NANCY MORRISON

Fig. # 1

Fig. # 3 Fig. # 2

Photo by Nancy Morrison

January’s craft is very simple, easy, and fun and will delight your guests at any party. Best of all, no one will get his or her wine glass mixed up!

Materials: Wire: silver, gold, or bronze in 20 to 26 gauge (“memory” wire works best) Beads, assorted—in any style you like Alphabet beads Gold or silver beads Jump rings to attach beads Small pliers Wire cutter pliers Charms Cut a 3-inch length of wire for each stemware charm you plan to make. (Actually, I found that the “memory” wire you can buy in the jewelry-making section of craft stores works really well. I bought the kind used for looped bracelets with many loops because it holds its shape better than regular wire.) With the small pliers, bend one end of the wire about 1/8 of an inch (see figure 1). 20 JANUARY 2009

Now you get to choose. For some of these charms, I used alphabet beads to spell names. If you know all the people who are coming to your party or dinner, spell out their names and let them take their charms with them when they leave. Be sure to get more than one pack of beads—invariably you will need more of some letters than you will find in the pack! If the names aren’t long, separate with beads (make sure these beads are larger than the holes in the alphabet beads.) Other suggestions are beads of any color or shape (see figure 2). Just make sure they aren’t too heavy. Charms in gold, silver, or bronze also work well (see figure 3). The possibilities are endless. Just make sure every stemware charm you make is different from all the others. After all, keeping the glasses from getting mixed up is the whole point! When you have strung everything you want on your wire, simply bend the other end in the opposite direction with your pliers so the ends will hook together around the stem of your wine glass. Cheers!

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Eating Well In The New Year Arugula, Fennel, and Orange Salad

1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 cup olive oil 1 bunch arugula 2 oranges, peeled and segmented 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons sliced black olives Whisk together the honey, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to whisk. Place the arugula in the bottom of a salad bowl. Scatter the orange segments, fennel slices, and olives over the arugula. Drizzle the dressing over the salad to serve.

Healthy Mix Casserole

1/3 cup brown rice 1 cup vegetable broth 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/3 cup diced onion 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced 2 cooked skinless boneless chicken breast halves, chopped ½ cup sliced mushrooms ½ teaspoon cumin Salt to taste Ground cayenne pepper to taste 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chili peppers, drained 1/3 cup shredded carrots 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese Mix rice and vegetable broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes, or until rice is tender. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large casserole dish. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion until tender. Mix in zucchini, chicken, and mushrooms. Season with cumin, salt, and ground cayenne pepper. Cook and stir until zucchini is lightly browned and chicken is heated through. In large bowl, mix cooked rice, onion, zucchini, chicken, mushrooms, beans, chilies, carrots, and ½ the Swiss cheese.Transfer to prepared casserole dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover casserole loosely with foil, and bake 30 minutes in preheated oven. Uncover and continue baking 10 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Herbed Whole-Wheat Couscous

¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth 2 scallions, sliced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley ½ cup whole-wheat couscous Bring broth, scallions and parsley to a boil in a small saucepan.Add couscous, return to a simmer, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

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Paint Your Wings

A Paint Your Own Pottery and Art Studio 125 New Market Center in Boone

828-262-9919

Perfect for:

•Girls’ Night Out •Bunco Nights •Play-Dates

•Red Hat Club •Bridal Showers •Birthday Parties •Gifts JANUARY 2009 21


Birth Belongs to the Families Area Midwife Heather Jordan Shares Passion for Life

exploring the topic as a result of a suggestion by one of my mentors in the anthropology department. I had discussed with her that I was interested in women, birth, and maternalchild health. She suggested midwifery and I started exploring.” The first midwife Heather interviewed was Lisa Goldstein, familiar to many in the Avery, Mitchell and Yancey County areas. “Once I met Lisa, I became passionate about women and birth. I read everything relating to midwifery or birth that I could get my hands on, went to birth conferences, and started networking with women. I began to see birth as a transformative experience and started to see some of the downfalls of the medicalization of birth. To be sure, I came to better appreciate the importance of western medicine and modern obstetrics in my exposure to true obstetrical emergencies when I worked as an RN on labor and delivery. But I still found that many practices seemed more entrenched in avoiding malpractice lawsuits than in good, evidence-based care for women.” Helping bring new life to the world is one of Heather Jordan’s greatest joys as Heather admits she was fascinated by evidenced by this scene with infant Nicholas Chase Filmore. Photo by Mark Mitchell women who spoke of the empowerment they felt through their birth experiences BY SHERRIE NORRIS while also recognizing a need and willingness A decade out from her first thoughts of becoming a midwife, (in modern medicine) to explain rationales for different practices Heather Jordan was ecstatic when she joined Dr. Sabine Maas in “and to listen to women regarding their care and that of their Linville and started the first nurse-midwifery service at Cannon babies.” Memorial Hospital. She worked with Dr. Maas for five years until Unfortunately, she says, she witnessed too many health care Maas discontinued obstetrical services, then moved down the hall providers who came in and performed various procedures without to her current “home” with Dr. Charles Baker and Dr. David Yale. even describing them to the woman until after they were done— “I am thrilled to be where I am and love working with family “such as breaking the water, putting in internal fetal monitors, etc.” physicians. I feel that the philosophies of nurse-midwifery and family Once she started reading and talking to more women, she medicine mesh well—plus, I love getting to see the babies I deliver became interested in the role of midwives in other cultures. “I grow up in the practice.” traveled abroad fall semester of my senior year and gained valuable Heather is appreciative of the excellent working relationship insight into community-based health care and public health. It was she shares with both physicians, as well as the mutual respect they after this that I decided not to pursue a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, have for each other. but rather to become a midwife! It was after my time abroad that In the Linville office, she continues to see many women from I truly felt midwifery to be my calling. There was nothing that was the High Country and beyond. In the last 16 months, she has made going to discourage or dissuade me from the path—although, I it even more convenient for her patients by having office hours in clearly had to field some doubts from my parents and others who Boone one day a week. were not familiar with the role of midwives in current society.” Having received her B.A. in anthropology at Davidson College Obtaining her B.S. in Nursing from the University of Washington in 1992, Heather graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with (Seattle,WA), she graduated summa cum laude in 1996. “After much high honors. Her senior thesis focused on a cross-cultural look at deliberation, I decided to enter the nursing profession in order to midwives and traditional birth attendants in America (specifically become a certified nurse-midwife. I strongly considered becoming NC), India, and Indonesia. a “direct-entry” (i.e. non-nurse) midwife, but was disappointed that “I really did not know anything about midwives until I started 22 JANUARY 2009

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these are not recognized as legal providers in all states.” Although she was reluctant to go into nursing, she found it to be “a fantastic profession that gave me valuable experience, background, and opportunities to be with women from a variety of circumstances.” She worked as a labor and delivery nurse for almost six years before getting her master’s degree in nurse-midwifery. “I found that there are many women who would not or could not consider home birth but that truly desired a less medicalized approach to birth.” Her nursing colleagues quickly recognized that she thrived on helping women through natural childbirth. “They also started asking for suggestions if they had patients who were not progressing and they were trying to help someone avoid a c-section. I learned in nursing that you can certainly turn a baby by moving a mama and that, epidural or not, movement is critical to helping those babies make their grand entrance. I am grateful for my nursing background and feel especially grateful for my nursing colleagues with whom I work and share many friendships.” She received her Master’s in Science of Nursing, with a NurseMidwifery concentration at East Carolina University in 2002 through the Duke-ECU Partnerships for Training program, graduating with high honors. She was able to avoid commuting to the Greenville campus and have more of her clinical experiences closer to home in Salisbury. “I enjoyed many of my clinicals, which included Catawba Memorial (now Catawba Valley Medical Center), a practice in Charlotte, the health department in Greenville, and a free-standing birth center (Carolina Birth Center) in High Point.” Heather Jordan has maintained her passion and is truly compassionate for those she serves and the methods for which she is known. “It really comes down to the fact that I highly value the relationship I develop with women and their families. I love involving other siblings in prenatal visits and welcome participation from dads as well. I feel that the birth belongs to that family—that I am there to support it, to watch for any medical problems—but that birth for the vast majority of women is not, and should not be, a medical event but rather a celebration. I believe that women and their partners should be able to have a dialogue about the decisions that affect care of the woman during the birth process (provided, of course, that the decision on doing or not doing a particular procedure is not for something life threatening). Heather says she immensely enjoys what she does and feels honored to take part in the miracle of birth.“I love working at Cannon and find the nurses endlessly supportive and accommodating to me and my patients. We have had births in all positions, and in various parts of the room; we have had people come in and decorate their room with small strings of lights, music, and aromatherapy—all to create a mood. We have had numerous doulas come and support women and their families. We have had singing, music and attempts to ‘dance’ the baby out. We have had walks to the playground, up to the water tower, and throughout the hospital. We have had birth plans and specific requests that have been honored with few exceptions.We have routinely waited for bathing and measuring the baby so that those precious moments immediately after birth could be utilized for bonding and nursing, if the woman so chose. All in all, I truly feel that I am able to practice midwifery in the finest sense of the word, with very few hoops to jump through and a great deal of support from my colleagues and the staff.”

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R U E T A M A E BOON S M O M A H T A I t I r TR o F n u R a g BY CORRINNE LOUCKS

Mak in

Approaching 40, running her three chldren around and still carrying a little extra “mommy” weight, LeAnne Gregory wanted to challenge herself and wondered what to do next. It had to be something big. Something that seemed to be the most impossible thing she could do. Participating in a triathlon turned out to be that “big” something! Claiming to have no motivation to endure exercise, LeAnne says that before she committed to this, she had never run more than a quarter of a mile, wasn’t much of a swimmer and had to be pushed up even the slightest hill when biking with her cyclist husband, Carey.Training for the triathlon has proven to be just the motivation she needed to exercise six days a week for seven months prior to her first race, a victory in itself. “I knew I needed to have accountability if I were going to do this,” LeAnne confessed, “so I invited a friend to train with me.” “LeAnne called me one day to ask if I wanted to enter a “sprint” triathlon,” wrote Shaele Massey in her testimonial on the Triathamoms’ Google group. “I’d never heard of a ‘sprint’ triathlon before, but when I found out it was shorter than normal triathlons, it seemed to be the 24 JANUARY 2009

type of thing I was looking for!” Admitting to gaining some weight even after her babies were born, as well as trying many diet programs and tricks, Shaele decided that training for the triathlon would be just what she needed to get in shape and keep up with her three very active, kids. Changing her goal to one of getting in shape and being healthier, rather than losing weight, has inspired Shaele to exercise, train and compete in sprint triathlons. The Triathamom group can be found online at htttp://groups.google. com/group/triathamoms. On their site, you will find testimonials from some of the 20+ members who have joined, as well as resources for the three triathlon areas of swimming, bicycling and running. A standard “sprint” triathlon race consists of a 750m (.47 mile) swim, 20km (12.4 mile) bike and a 5k (3.5 mile) run. A 500m swim is also common. “Sprint” triathlons are the fastest growing triathlon race distances in the country. Another type, the “Super Sprint” is about half as long in each category. Experts advise working your way up to swimmimg consistently for 20 minutes, biking 30 and running 20 minutes before www.aawmag.com


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beginning the recommended 13-week sprint triathlon training program. The triathamoms’ Web group explains that reaching these levels may take one to several months depending on your individual strong and weak areas. You can get your prep in by running and swimming 2-3 times per week and swimming 1-2 times, increasing the amount of time a little each week. Once you’ve achieved these levels, you can find the recommended 13-week training program on various online sites, including www. beginnertriathlete.com/sprint. In the beginning, many of the members took swimming lessons, many bought bikes, (there are used bikes for sale on the Boone Amateur Triathamoms’ “Cycling” page!) and most still complain that running never gets any easier! Their first race was the Angel Race at Tanglewood Park near Winston-Salem in September of 2008. Seven Boone area members participated in this first race and all were victorious! Besides finishing the race, everyone claimed victory in having found the time to train, in finding the motivation in each other and in not quitting even when they sometimes felt like it. All finished at their personal best and with the commitment to continue training and competing in races. With 19-25 members in the online group, about 10 or so train together regularly.“I worried that I wouldn’t have the time to train, having three children at home,” Dell Lowe confessed. “I have always loved to exercise and am pretty competitive with myself, but with everything else on my plate, I wondered if this were possible.” Dell started out slowly, working out at the Wellness Center and taking spin classes. Her commitment turned the corner, however, when Dell bought a bike, started bicycling outdoors and fell in love with it! Still a busy mom, she got creative with work-outs—taking the kids along to the Blowing Rock pool and getting support from her husband.This support grew when the Triathamoms started meeting to run, bike and swim together. Dell says she gained much more than just finishing that first race and she knows this because, “Since the race we’ve still exercised together, but we have spent much more time celebrating life together!” Heading off to their first race last September, many of the ladies stayed at the home of Emily Wilson’s parents, sharing dinners and inspiration. “We were all there to cheer each other on and it was a great feeling to be supported that way,” said Emily. “My daughters were there for my first two races and I’m thankful to set an example for them,” she added. Dell explains to her daughters that it is a victory to finish and to complete a goal rather than having to win. She also wants them to understand that anything is possible and how important exercise is for a healthier and happier life. Emily explains her participation as being a very spiritual experience and one of the best of her life thus far. Each of the moms whos make up the Boone Amateur Triathamoms group has had little or no experience competing in triathlons. They have each found the desire to make the time, as well as the motivation to challenge the limits of their athletic abilities in order to train and complete races. “After LeAnne and Shaele assured me that it would be easy, I said sure,” Erika Hubbard remembers.“It was six months away and it sounded like a good way to meet other adventuresome women in Boone.” Erika later admitted that she got scared and much more serious about training just a few weeks before the first race when something strange began to happen. “I went from just wanting to cross the finish line to wanting to do my personal best!” she exclaimed. And that’s really what being a Triathamom is all about. The Triathamoms don’t claim to be super athletes. Some of them started out having never run a mile or even knowing how to swim a lap. But they are determined to get more fit and to help motivate each other along the way. They say that if the idea of completing a race sounds too hard for you, then you’ll fit right in! To learn more about the group and/or to get in on the act, check out their group online at the address above. Future events include the MAP Triathlon on March 29th in Huntersville, NC, the Bridge Run in Charleston in April and the Ti Latta Triathlon on June 14th in Charlotte - just enough time to start that 13-week training!

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JANUARY 2009 25


MINDING HER OWN BUSINESS|BY VICKI RANDOLPH

MICHELLE BEITZEL

I

The Healthy Way

t’s January - cold and dreary - but full of good intentions for the new year. As we women are often prone to making resolutions that set us up for failure, there are a few places in the High Country that help promote our steps to improving ourselves and the world around us. One senses it’s “the right place” when entering Cultural Health Revolution, a relatively new business in the heart of downtown West Jefferson, with a comfy, cozy charm - colors, aromas, music - all enveloping visitors as they step inside. Inspirational quotes are placed high on every wall, drawing people in to feel comfortable and, well, inspired. Cozy plump chairs and a couch invite folks to relax, the tea and smoothie bar offering to feed body and soul. It doesn’t take long for one to realize, it’s more than just a vitamin store. Michelle Beitzel, owner of Cultural Health Revolution, is a calming force in our fast-paced society. She’s not immune to the busy world in which we all live; she’s just found positive ways to deal with it. Like so many others, she has a family to care for, kids’ homework to help with, and many other commitments that demand her time. She’s also doing her part to help women and to make the world a better place in general. “I wanted to change the face of natural medicine,” says Michelle. “I wanted to create something that would change the sterile, intimidating atmosphere. I wanted a place that affords you the opportunity to relax, and not be overwhelmed.” Mission accomplished, for sure. But her ongoing goal includes offering education to the community. “The well-being umbrella goes beyond the individual - it extends to the community and globally,” she says. Everything offered at Cultural Health Revolution serves a purpose - the most obvious being a wide range of vitamins and supplements, accompanied by self-help books that line the shelves. Michelle even makes deliberate choices when it comes to the justfor-fun things, too. Everything she carries is either a fair trade product or something designed specifically to help women. One example the cute Java Jackets made by two stay-at-home moms. She supports cottage industries when she can and is always looking for new, unique items to offer her customers. “Barnes & Noble meets GNC,” is a basic idea of the business, as her Web site indicates, but it goes way beyond that idea. One can purchase vitamins, cuddle up with a book on the suede couch, all the while sipping on a cup of tea specially blended to individual tastes. Michelle offers a collection of dozens of teas and more than seventy dried herbs she will mix and match to suit each customer. One of the quotes on the wall says it all, “Tea is a cup of life.” It is Michelle’s hope that we all slow down and enjoy them both - tea and life! As an experienced Certified Natural Health Professional, Michelle is more than a sales professional and is able to make proper recommendations to suit the needs of her customers. Whether simply searching for a better supplement or an improved wellness plan, patrons rely on Michelle’s wisdom and knowledge. She offers onthe-spot advice for purchases, as well as more thorough consultations by appointment. Her goal, she stresses, is not to “overwhelm” her customers. She 26 JANUARY 2009

knows how discouraging that can be since at one point in life, she was advised to take 40 supplements per day! Following one-on-one consultations, she tries to keep suggested supplements at a minimum, in an effort to help others realize that “natural health,” does not have to be complicated or expensive. The fun does not end at the smoothie bar, customers soon realize. Michelle adds new workshops and classes on a regular basis. Among the most talked about are the belly dancing classes. She is always thinking of new and exciting ways to offer a healthier lifestyle to the women in her community. She sends out a free monthly wellbeing newsletter with health tips and a schedule of upcoming events to those in her database. Other opportunities currently offered, in addition to two levels of belly dancing, include massage workshops, tea workshops, how to build your natural medicine cabinet, and everyone’s favorite Ladies’ Night. When she says there will be tea and chocolate, she’s not kidding. Seventeen different varieties of chocolate make going out on a cold January evening worthwhile. She also invites other health care professionals in, offering “cutting edge” techniques such as noninvasive health screenings. As you face the new year, don’t get caught up in the tradition of making resolutions that are impossible to keep. But do get caught up in the revolution! Promise yourself a happier, healthier, more beautiful life and let Michelle Beitzel at Cultural Health Revolution be your guide. For more information, visit www.culturalhealthrevolution.com or call (888) 514-7117.

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Mom’s World| BY HEATHER JORDAN, CNM, MSN

A New Year, A New You! New Year’s Eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted. Yet no [wo]man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie A New Year really does feel like the permission slip for a new day and a new you - as if you are leaving the principal’s office and returning to your life, with a newly found dedication towards not doing those things that got you into a mess in the first place. Or perhaps it is like the warning ticket from a police officer when you stepped a little too hard on the gas in a place where you weren’t expecting to be caught and breathed a deep sigh of relief when you were spared points on your license. Either way, many times we look to change behavior at the start of every year because of a prompt of some sort. After all, it is the time where fitness centers and nutritional clinics are quite quick to help you towards your better self. Advertisements abound claiming no enrollment fees, two-for-one memberships, and so on. Truth is, most of us have barely finished eliminating the Christmas cookies, fudge, and candies when our thoughts turn to “How can we get rid of the belly roll following the third child?” (wink wink, nod nod) and “What will help us to reach our goals for regular exercise?” Some will quit smoking (perhaps for the second or third or fourth time). Others will devote themselves to more work and less play. Still others will feel the pull of home life and strive for less work and more play. Whatever the motivating factor, whatever the drive, New Year’s still seems to rely on some sense of guilt that this turning over a new leaf is what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to resolve towards a better self, although at times it seems we do little self-analysis of our real issues and instead just “jump on the bandwagon,” so to speak. It occurs to me that the reinventing of ourselves requires looking at ourselves in the way that our children look at us. Let’s face it.You cannot fool your kids for long.They know when you have taken a corner out of a brownie at breakfast time as you glance at the oatmeal or wheat bread and contemplate the healthy choice. They catch you when you have sworn to more days at the YMCA, but your gym bag has not been opened in weeks. They scold you if you are up watching movies late and are cranky in the morning or if you sip from a soda (diet or not) instead of the milk that you’ve poured for them. Children keep you honest and certainly provide excellent incentive for not only claiming your new Self, but also are certainly a key reason for our wanting to set the right example in eating right, exercising, and living a healthy lifestyle. Mark Twain wrote, “Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall 28 JANUARY 2009

have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever.” How true these words seem. So, how do we get it right and strive towards those healthy behaviors without it being the temporary thirty-day burst of energy that fizzles before the Valentine’s chocolates hit the shelves? In my mind, I think it involves not only taking a good, long look at our personal weaknesses, but also embracing our relationships as means to the end. In taking inventory of a personal weakness, perhaps we need reminding that we do have strength and success in our lives. Surely, if we have been able to have willpower in certain aspects of our life (e.g. avoiding alcohol because of one’s work), then we should be able to apply this willpower to other vices (e.g. do NOT eat that corner of the brownie that is calling to you over the droning of the oatmeal). In addition, we should be able to recognize that healthy choices are not as hard as we make them out to be. I have many friends who are excellent at making healthy food extremely appetizing, and yet I do not always take advantage of what they know, asking for recipes or guidance in healthier cooking. Try writing down just one new recipe a week from a friend and rotating it into those meals you’ve cooked for years. I have certainly found that children can learn to eat different food, particularly if it becomes a fairly regular occurrence (and you don’t cave in and provide an alternative meal). Finally, friends, your children, and spouse or significant other can be either great motivators or deterrents to exercise. Identify which categories your friends, kids, or spouses fall into, and use the motivating ones to engage you into some sort of routine, even if just once a week. Exercise can certainly be a time to play with your kids, socialize, and spend time with your loved ones if you choose an activity that is enjoyable for all. Put the same degree of importance on making these changes happen as you place on making it to meetings or other important events on your calendar. Remember that, while the New Year provides an obvious starting point for these changes because it is a new year, time does not stop, the universe does not pause, the need to wait for this moment is only in our minds. Change simply requires the desire (and perhaps the occasional nagging!). For comments or questions on this article, please feel free to contact Heather Jordan, Certified Nurse-Midwife, at the office of Charles E. Baker, MD at 828-737-7711 x253 or e-mail her at landh@localnet.com.

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Parenting Page| BY THE STAFF OF WATAUGA COUNTY CHILDREN’S COUNCIL

New Year’s Resolutions For Kids,Teens and Parents

This New Year help your kids to make New Year’s Resolutions and encourage them to follow them all through the year. For better understanding New Year resolutions for kids have been divided into resolutions for Preschoolers, School Age Kids, and Teens.The article also includes New Year’s Parenting Resolutions to help moms and dads raise their children in a more effective manner. New Year’s Resolutions for Preschoolers · I will brush my teeth twice a day. · I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating. · I will clean up my toys. New Year’s Resolutions for School Age Kids · I will do my homework on time. · I will go to sleep on time. · I will drink milk and water and limit aerated drinks. · I’ll never give out personal information such as my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet or to strangers. · I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends - like someone who is shy, or is new to my school. · I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt. · I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors. · I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports. · I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (skipping rope, dancing or horse riding) that I like and do it at least three times a week! New Year’s Resolutions for Teens · I will eat at least one fruit and one vegetable every day and I will limit the amount of soda I drink. · I will take care of my health through physical activity and nutrition. · I will resist peer pressure to try cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. · I will wipe negative “self talk” (i.e. “I can’t do it” or “I’m so dumb”) out of my vocabulary. · I will choose non-violent television shows and video games, and I will spend only one or two hours each day - at the most - on these activities. · I will be nice to my parents, teachers and elders and show respect to them. · I will help out in my community - through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need. · When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find www.aawmag.com

constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend. · When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk with an adult about my choices. · I will be careful about whom I choose to date, and always treat the other person with respect and without coercion or violence. New Year’s Parenting Resolutions Here are some New Year’s parenting resolutions for moms and dads who want to be more effective parents in the coming year: *I will be a good role model for my child Parents have profound influence on the way their children grow up. This New Year give up your bad habits like procrastinating, smoking, etc., and be a role model for your children. *I will make efforts to understand my child Instead of cribbing over your child’s tantrums and unhealthy habits, try and understand why he is behaving in that peculiar manner. This will help you understand and resolve the issue in a much better manner. This not so easy goal can be achieved by spending quality time and being patient with your child. *I will Teach my Child to Eat Healthy Encourage your child to develop healthier eating habits, which include consuming fruits, milk and vegetables and giving up junk food. Of course, you need to practice this before you preach. *I will encourage my Child to take Regular Physical Activity Obesity in children is rising because of their sedentary lifestyles. It is extremely important to make your children realize the benefits of regular physical activity. Enrolling them in the sports class of their choice will be a good idea. *I will Reward My Child for His Good Behavior For the proper personality development of your child, it is important to praise and reward his achievements and good behavior. Besides, it is also important to show a calm and patient behavior when your child misbehaves or is in trouble. This helps him become a cool and levelheaded person. Source: http://www.newyearfestival.co For more information, contact the Watauga County Children’s Council at 225 Birch Street, Suite # 3, Boone, NC 28607 (828) 262~5424

JANUARY 2009 29


Heartfelt|BY TERI WIGGANS

A Clean Slate When I was younger, I thought we came into this world with a clean slate. We could create whatever we wanted to and then when we were done with that, we could erase the slate and begin again. Since I am now an adult, it doesn’t seem quite that easy. Our creations can become entangled with tugs of doubt or fear or can involve other people. Our slate doesn’t always feel so clean. When we think of the New Year, we think of new beginnings or of erasing the previous year and beginning with a clean slate. New Year’s resolutions are popular. The one I’ve heard most frequently is, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds” or “I’m going to start a diet right after the holidays.” I’m sure I’ve declared that at least ten times. I recall having said it with a feeling of dread since my batting average of success has been low. When the New Year rolled in, I would begin with a clean slate with all good intention and then the old patterns would creep in again, often before January ended. My resolution seemed doomed. I found myself trapped in a loop of returning to old eating patterns that did not seem to support me. I hereby pass on a technique that has allowed me to escape the loop of insanity and go in new directions. By the way, the definition of insanity is, “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” Before I share the technique, however, I want to emphasize the importance of forgiving yourself for all those times you regressed into the looping pattern without seemingly making the progress you had hoped to make. Let go of any feelings of anger and regret toward yourself from the past and begin fresh. About seven years ago, I declared I wanted to lose weight. Instead of focusing on changing my diet or joining a health club, which I had done in the past without success, I chose to focus on a more encompassing goal that would still include losing weight. My declaration was,“I am creating an environment where I am lighter in body, mind and spirit.” I proceeded to design my new environment. I chose to alternate practicing yoga and jumping on the mini trampoline every other day for 15 minutes. The yoga allowed me to deep breathe, relax and stretch my muscles and ligaments. The mini trampoline strengthened my muscles and helped condition my heart and circulatory system. My jumping was independent of the weather since I could use the mini trampoline in the house. I wrote a minimum of three pages every day in a journal, usually in the early morning. I wrote whatever was on my mind and did not stop to edit my grammar. Often times I expressed feelings of frustration or worry about something going on in my life at the time. This also provided me with a sense of freedom, a letting go process of whatever might have been weighing me down. I did deep breathing, allowing my mind to be in quietude 30 minutes a day.This was probably one of the most important activities I did. Spending time in quietude without all of the mind chatter of “I should do this” or “I wish I would have done that” allows for the brain and heart to work in harmony. This, in turn, increases

30 JANUARY 2009

the efficiency of the communication systems within the body. Old patterns of thought that no longer serve us can be disrupted and new supportive patterns can be developed through visualization. I was able to focus on feeling light in the moment rather than having racing thoughts about the past or future. Lastly, I joined a ballet class for the first time in my life. The brochure said adult beginning class. It took a bit of courage to join since I did not know who my classmates would actually be. Yes, I even purchased the ballet shoes. The vision I held onto was seeing me do one of those beautiful and graceful leaps into the air like the famous Russian ballet dancer Nuryev.That vision really clinched the idea of me becoming lighter. I know you are waiting with bated breath to see if my declaration did indeed work. I became lighter in weight by 12 pounds over a three-month period. I was very attentive to my activities and I became lighter not only in body, but also in mind and spirit. I didn’t become bogged down in the dread of having to lose weight through the former loop plan of diet and exercise. The journaling allowed me to express my thoughts. If they were heavier feelings I was expressing, writing about them put them outside my body and therefore lightened me up. The 30 minutes of quietude gave me the time to place my mind and body into harmony and let go of old patterns and create new ones through visualization. I also used this time to ask God for guidance and to listen for answers. I was supporting myself and being supported. Did I ever leap into the air like Nuryev? No, I have never leapt what seems like 10 feet off the ground, however, I did feel lighter as I danced. I actually had fun accomplishing the more encompassing goal of creating an environment where I am lighter in body, mind and spirit. My confidence level soared and, with me taking that ballet class, I knew that anything was possible.

Thank you, Appalachian Ski Mountain! This month’s staff photo was taken in the winter wonderland we all know as Appalachian Ski Mountain, one of western North Carolina’s premiere resorts between Boone and Blowing Rock. www.aawmag.com


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JANUARY 2009 31


High Country Courtesies|BY Sharon carlton

The Etiquette of

Being Green

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~Native American proverb y your own action or inaction, you impact the quality of life around you. Are you aware of ways that you can reuse and recycle materials, reduce the amount of waste in our landfills, and dispose properly of toxic household materials so they do not pollute? Do you choose to make the effort and to act on that knowledge? As we enter this new year of 2009, ripe with hope and dreams for the future, I encourage you to consider incorporating a few simple “green” approaches into your daily lives that will ultimately impact the health of our precious planet. Choosing to reduce, reuse, and recycle are the right choices—the courteous and kind choices—that will benefit you, and our quality of life for generations to come. Here are a few easy things you can do that require little effort and expense, but provide big benefits for us all.

B

1. Use your own cloth tote bags and recycled shopping bags. Most grocers, health food stores, and discount stores conveniently offer inexpensive (starting at $1) reusable bags for sale. Be prepared by keeping cloth bags and recycled bags in your car or carrying a compact Chico bag in your pocketbook, backpack, or clipped to your key ring. Avoid using new plastic shopping bags as much as possible. Most plastic bags are used for an average of 10 minutes and only a dismal one percent of plastic bags are recycled. 12 million barrels of oil are required to produce the 14 billion plastic bags consumed annually in the United States. Plastic bags may take as long as 100 years to break down (sturdy plastics never decompose). Using your own bags can save trees and cut pollution.The production of 10 billion paper bags requires 14 million trees and creates (smelly) air pollution. 2. Stop (or reduce) buying napkins and paper towels. Choose reusable cloth napkins and cleanup cloths, washing them only when soiled. Leave an “in use” napkin at your place setting or designated place. Consider using decorated napkin rings to assist family members in identifying their napkins when napkins are clean enough to be reused for another occasion. (Allow children or guests to decorate their own ring.) Keep a container of cloth towels or rags in a handy location for clean ups.You can make your own cloths from worn cotton clothing or towels. If you are buying new cloths, choose organic linen and hemp fabrics, which are even more sustainable than cotton. If you do choose to purchase paper products, purchase products that contain 100 percent recycled materials with a minimum of 90 percent post-consumer waste for a minimal environmental impact. 3. Use energy efficient light bulbs. Compact florescent light bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs and they last up to 10 times longer. CFL bulbs can save about $30 in energy costs over each bulb’s lifetime, a benefit for your pocketbook and our environment. Energy Star, a joint program of 32 JANUARY 2009

the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy, recommends installing Energy Star approved CFLs in fixtures that are used at least 15 minutes at a time or several hours a day. For guidelines in choosing the best CFL bulb for your fixtures, visit www.energystar.gov. (The downside of CFLs is that they contain mercury, so they must be carefully disposed of and require special handling if broken. Watauga County’s recycling coordinator, Lisa Doty, recommends placing used CFLs in a zip lock baggie and giving them to an attendant at a Watauga recycling and trash service center. If a CFL is broken, sweep rather than vacuum, and air the room out for 15 minutes. Carefully collect shards in a zip lock bag and take to a recycling center.) 4. Reduce your water consumption. Living in drought conditions has reminded us that our water resources are not necessarily endless. Consider these opportunities to conserving water in our homes. Run the dishwasher only when full. Wash in your clothes washer only full or wash very small loads. Save the water that runs while you wait for it to run hot (or cold). That clean water can be used to water plants or your garden, to fill pet bowls, or for a basin in the kitchen to wash or rinse dishes. Repair any dripping faucets. One leaky faucet dripping at a rate of one drip per second can waste 2,700 gallons of water over the course of a year. Make, or invest in, a rain barrel to save rainwater for use in your yard or garden. Recycle papers and buy recycled paper products. For every ton of paper that is recycled, 31,780 liters of water is saved. Keep our water supplies clean by recycling waste products (paint, chemicals, oil, old batteries) properly. More drought water conservation ideas can be found at the American Red Cross Web site (www.redcross.org). 5. Use rechargeable batteries. Many of the 15 billion batteries that are produced and consumed in the world annually are single use, disposable lithium batteries that can be replaced by rechargeable batteries. The cost for using rechargeable batteries is less than $1 per kilowatt-hour. In comparison, disposable batteries are the most expensive way to use energy, costing $400 and up per kilowatthour. Reasonably priced chargers and batteries are available through local merchants. You can research types of batteries and chargers appropriate for your purposes at www.greenbatteries.com. There are many more ways to conserve our resources. Consider reducing your car trips, carpooling, reusing wrapping papers (or fabrics) and bags for gift wrap, carrying your own reusable container for water, coffee, or lunches, buying wooden toys, and minimizing (or avoiding) the purchase of products made of non-recyclable plastics.

Refusal to do what we know is right will result in dire consequences. Resolve to be a wise steward, increasing your efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle for the good of your family and your local and global neighbors. High Country Courtesies © Dec 2008 www.aawmag.com


Numina

Exploring And Nuturing Our Deeper Selves NUMINA—The divine feminine in me greets the divine feminine in you. Patricia Dee, a 2007 NUMINA graduate, has this to say about her NUMINA experience: “I have seen dramatic changes in myself, the life I am creating and the new people I am drawing into my life.” NUMINA is a non-profit creative mentoring program for women. NUMINA I is a four-weekend residency series held in a beautiful mountain retreat center in Saluda, N.C. Spanning the months of April through November, this time commitment enables women to build community and to explore, over time, the deeper meaning of the inner journey and its outer expression. It is especially meaningful for those in a life transition such as divorce, retirement, death of a family member, or career change. The NUMINA founders and facilitators, many from the Boone area, are committed to creating safe space and intentional community in which to explore and nurture our deeper selves. Open to women of all ages, backgrounds, and sexual orientation, NUMINA teachings embrace seven core principles: · ABUNDANCE: We already have everything we need to be who we are created to be. · EMPOWERMENT: We must know ourselves before we can accept the trust of leading others. · INTEGRATION: We journey inward so that we may journey outward from wholeness. · CONNECTEDNESS: We deepen our connections by living fully the present moment from our heart-wisdom. · DELIGHT: Humor and play are our necessary companions as we learn to speak our truth. · SERVICE: Service means listening ourselves and others into greater being. · RENEWAL: When we live as one, we are renewed and transformed. Through these teachings, group sharing, creative time, journaling and ritual, participants become co-creators in their own process of self discovery as well as supporting others in making their unique journey. Spaces are available for the 2009 class. Residency dates are: April 17-19, June 19-21, September 11-13, and November 6-8. We are looking for women who want to be more comfortable in their bodies and want to live more fully their unique and authentic path, as well as find play and joy in themselves and others. The facilitators are not masters or gurus, but themselves “works in progress.” All are NUMINA graduates, and will mentor you (be available www.aawmag.com

to you for support) between the residencies.We offer no prescribed right path to wholeness, but rather a dynamic program and process comprised of large and small group discussions, guided imagery, body movement, silent time, music, laughter, tears and play. And,YES, you are worth it! Class size ranges between 8 -12 women. Attendance at all four residencies is required. Cost: $300.00 per residency. Cost includes lodging, great food, program materials and mentoring. There are no additional charges. An early registration discount of $50 on the first residency is available with application and deposit of $100 on or before Feb. 10, 2009. Limited financial assistance and CEUs available. For additional information, refer to www.numinaprogram.org. Our life’s call is to be who we are created to be. Our life¹s work it to give it away. Come join us. For a personal contact and conversation, call or e-mail one of us. Boone area: Betsy Willis blwillis@skybest.com Trinja Merritt Rogers 828-963-4642 Amy Ikall toddfunnyfarm@aol.com Judith Phoenix 828-264-5130 Asheville area: Karen Hamilton 828-350-0964 or cell 704-458-0185 Charlotte area: Maxine Gordon mgordon@carolina.rr.com 704-391-8739 or cell 704-957-6482 Mocksville area: Patricia Dee 336-751-5847 JANUARY 2009 33


Cecilia Grasinger, M.D. A Woman’s Best Friend Cecilia Grasinger, a medical professional who balances compassion with quality care to make a difference. Photo by Mark Mitchell. BY SHERRIE NORRIS

After nearly a decade of taking care of women in the High Country, the area’s first female obstetrician/gynecologist is still happy to be here and pleased that other female physicians are among the growing number of medical professionals in the area. Dr. Cecilia F Grasinger became a woman’s best friend to many High Country women when she began practicing in Boone in 1999, initially joining Drs. Marchese and Shirley. She later teamed with Drs. Shirley and Peterson nearly four years ago in opening their own office, now known as Watauga Women’s Center. During the seven years prior to moving to Boone from Charlotte, Dr. Grasinger was in a medical practice at Rankin Women’s Center with four older gentleman, including Dr. Rankin himself, who as her revered mentor, introduced her to 34 JANUARY 2009

Blowing Rock and the surrounding area. “We fell in love with the area and loved visiting here. The kids had a wonderful time each time we came - there was almost something magical about being here.” Her husband, John, a respected developer, desired to live in a smaller, safer community, but his wife was reluctant to leave an established and highly successful medical practice in the city. The Grasingers purchased and remodeled one of the Rankin properties in Blowing Rock, which they call home today. A number of factors, she says, finally led the family to move to the mountains. “I’m so happy that we did.We’ve never regretted for one minute our decision to come up here.” Dr. Grasinger, a lovely and petite mother of two sons, was a bit overwhelmed “but in a good way,” she says, by the reception www.aawmag.com


she received upon arriving in Boone. Her appointment book filled immediately, with some women finding no openings for months, even a year in advance, for routine physicals. Her patients know that once their names are called and they are escorted to her examining rooms, they will be treated with dignity and respect by nurses, as well as by the doctor countless women have come to love and respect as a friend. She takes time to comfort and reassure her patients and really listen to what they have to say. Her expertise, as well as her genuine kindness and compassion, are traits that are often lost in the medical world today. To Cecilia Grasinger, a personable approach to care is important. “I enjoy getting to know my patients as people first. Oftentimes, any physical problems they may be dealing with are related to personal issues.What they deal with emotionally and mentally are closely related to their physical well-being.” When asked what advice she might give women, in general, about maintaining healthy lifestyles, her reply is simple,“There is no question about the importance of practicing and promoting preventative health – a well-balanced life is very important. I try to make sure that women realize that they need to do things for themselves and that it’s not being selfish to do so. Most women are caretakers for everyone else in their family, and more so these days, helping to care for elderly parents as well as their spouses, children, etc. Sometimes they have little time left for themselves.” It’s never easy for doctors, and especially those filled with compassion for their patients like Grasinger is, to deliver bad news to their patients. However, the most gratifying and, at the same time, stressful part of her job is delivering babies. “Not only is there one person to take care of, but two – and only one who can talk to you and tell you if something’s not right.” Typically seeing 20 to 30 patients in her office daily, there is no real way to plan how each day may evolve, she admits, with emergencies, labor pains and other unforeseen circumstances often requiring flexibility in her busy schedule. But it’s the life of a doctor and one she chose and certainly one that she loves. The decision to become an OB/GYN was not planned – nor was medical school on her agenda when she moved to Oklahoma right out of high school to be near her boyfriend who later became her husband. Born in California, Cecilia had moved back east as a child with her family to her father’s native Ohio home after the space aeronautics industry on the west coast, for which he worked, closed its doors. During her senior year in high school, her family moved once again to Raleigh, NC, where she graduated from high school. John Grasinger, who she had earlier met in Ohio, headed to the University of Oklahoma on a wrestling scholarship. Cecilia soon followed with no plan in mind. A good student with little motivation, she had contemplated pursuing a business degree. “I was more of a socialite in school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” She had “tested the waters” in science, took a lot of women’s studies, always enjoyed literature and English and got involved in women’s issues.

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“I began volunteering in a battered women’s shelter in Oklahoma and, along the way, started thinking about obstetrics and gynecology.” After taking chemistry as a college freshman, she remembers her parents being “blindsided” when she mentioned her interest in medicine. “My dad basically said to do what I wanted to do, but suggested I try being an EMT or something like that. My father had helped build the Apollo spacecraft and shuttles. My mother was a home economics teacher and wonderful cook. I have one sister, but no one expected to have a doctor in the family.” What she did inherit from her parents was their people skills and enjoyment of being around those from all walks of life. Cecilia ended up graduating from the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences in Norman, OK in June, 1984 as a chemistry major, (working her way through as a waitress). She received her medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City in June, 1988. She did her internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City from 1988 to 1992. She received her North Carolina medical license in June, 1992 after she returned east with John, whom she had married between her freshman and sophomore years in college. Their first son, Chris, was born between her third and fourth year of medical school. “It all worked out really well for us.” Chris is now a senior at UNC-Wilmington majoring in business. The couple’s second son Connor, 14, who was born in Charlotte, is now a freshman at Watauga High School. With many awards and honors attached to her professional resume, Dr. Grasinger is, above all, a friend to many women who look for but rarely find such a strong ally along life’s oftendifficult journey. She knows the pangs of giving birth, the angst of yearly pelvic exams and mammograms, and she practices what she preaches. She says she has enjoyed growing older with the patients she first met when she came to Boone. “I’m now relating very well to those in menopause and those experiencing peri-menopause.” She takes good care of herself to a fault sometimes, her children say, accusing her of being “a little obsessed” with healthy eating. She keeps in shape by exercising regularly—she loves tennis—and she tries to get adequate sleep. “By nature, I’m a night owl.” She is passionate about reading (it helps her unwind) and is involved in area book clubs. Her concern for women goes beyond her practice as she has served on the board of directors for OASIS since arriving in Boone. She and her family attend St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Blowing Rock. Cecilia Grasinger, MD—a rare jewel in these mountains and best friend to many women who know she understands— more importantly—that she truly cares.

JANUARY 2009 35


Healthy Lady|BY Bonnie church CNC, Wellness Coach

The Truth and Grace of Wellness The Journey toward wellness is pretty straightforward. - Don’t do the things that lead to disease. - Do the things that lead to health. The problem is: - The “wrong things” are so easily accessible. - The “right things” take effort. Then there is the “denial” component. Connecting the dots between what you are doing today and its effect on your health tomorrow is difficult. Diet/lifestyle-related disease is hidden and progressive. Eating a donut is not like eating poison. You don’t suddenly collapse on the floor with the first bite. It takes years of eating the wrong things before you enter a disease state. Despite these challenges, we need to seriously consider the consequences of our choices on our health. Inattention to these critical matters impairs and destroys life. Not just physical life, it affects our bottom line, too. If you, like millions of Americans, are under-insured, one serious incident could wipe out your income and your earning power. There is another, more sublime, reason to clean up our act. Universal health care is on the national agenda. Many of the diseases clogging our health care system are related to personal choice.Yes, it is a good thing for all Americans to have access to the health care they need, but our nation can’t afford a bailout program for personal irresponsibility. Enough tough talk. The good news is—there is abundant grace in the wellness journey. Our bodies are amazingly resilient. The ability to restore itself, profound. Most of us can weather dozens of donuts over a lifetime with little damage. It is only when we allow our occasional lapses to grow into a lifestyle that we begin to wreak serious damage on our bodies Here is a simple action plan for those who are struggling. If you are the type of person who, once committed, immediately sanctifies the kitchen and signs up for the gym - you don’t need this. This is for the rest of us – those of us who need to wade into the waters of wellness one step at a time. Caveats: Be sure to partner with your health professional before making changes and get the professional support you need to keep you on track. (Join a wellness support group, enlist an addiction counselor, etc.) THE “ALL ABOUT WELLNESS” 90-DAY JUMPSTART STEP ONE: Make a decision to move toward wellness. Change in your habits will never happen until you change your mind. Write down on an index card your commitment. Example: I, Bonnie Church, commit to enhancing how I look and feel through making

36 JANUARY 2009

some sensible changes in my diet and lifestyle beginning today (put date). Put your signature and date on the card. Post it where you can see it daily. STEP TWO: Identify and write down your reason why. Personal development guru Tony Robbins once said,” No matter what goal you set, the more reasons you have for achieving it, the more you will convince yourself of wanting to achieve it and you’ll go out and get it.” Take 30 minutes and write down every reason for moving toward wellness that comes to mind. Be specific. Example: I want to be able to walk up Grandfather Mountain with my granddaughter. I want to reduce my medications. I want to look good in a size 12 again. STEP THREE: Identify the things that are making you unwell. There are some indisputable health-destroyers in the standard American lifestyle. To name a few: o Too Much Sugar Sugar is not the bad guy. We need sugar to function. Too much sugar flooding our blood stream all at once is the bad guy. This happens when candy, refined flours, or starchy foods become the centerpiece of our eating plan. Eating them is like putting rocket fuel into a Toyota Corolla. Your natural insulin will work hard to pack that excess sugar (fuel) into fat, muscle, and liver cells. This causes your blood sugar to drop. Your body then goes into a panic as it does not want your sugar levels to drop too far and too fast – so it releases hormones to stimulate you to eat more sugar and store it as fat The roller coaster of sugar/carbohydrate addiction and weight gain begins. This vicious cycle persists until your body wearies and you go into a disease state. o Toxic Fat Trans fat and hydrogenated fat is found in fried foods like French fries, fried chicken, smooth peanut butter, margarine, doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers. It is an artery-clogging fat. It increases blood levels of “bad” cholesterol, while lowering levels of “good” cholesterol. It contributes to constricted arteries and sticky blood platelets. It reduces our bodies’ ability to balance our blood sugar. o Sedentary Living We were designed for movement. Exercise detoxifies our body, stimulates fat burning, de-stresses our minds and deepens our sleep. Without daily exercise, we grow toxic, fat, grumpy and tired.

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STEP FOUR: Develop a do-able action plan. This 90day plan involves eliminating a negative behavior and replacing with a positive behavior every month for 90 days. Follow the month action plan at least 5 days a week. To get and keep your head in the game: o Subscribe to a wellness magazine. (Browse magazine racks at local bookstore or health food store and find one that catches your eye.) o Subscribe to a nutrition oriented Web site: (Suggestion: http://ginews.blogspot.com/ [all back-slashes necessary] This is an excellent, non-commercial Web site with lots of valuable information.) o Rent the movie “Supersize Me” (Based on the experience of a man who went from eating fairly well, to eating fast food for every meal for several months. The effects on his health are alarming.) o Identify a couple of friends to participate in this 90-day action plan with you. Schedule a time to get together and compare progress once a week.

Wellness -

“Yes, you can!” - Bev’s Story

JANUARY PLAN: o Eliminate soda and sugar/corn syrup sweetened drinks. o Drink 2 quarts of water daily. o Take a high-quality multivitamin (Ask at your local health care store about options). Choose an exercise option: Buy a fitness video (suggestion—“Walk Away the Pounds: A Plan for Beginners” by Leslie Sasone) Buy a pedometer. Average the number of steps you take in a day. Increase those steps by 500 a day until you are taking at least 5000 steps a day. Join a local fitness class. FEBRUARY PLAN (add the following to January plan): o Eliminate candy and vending machine food o Eat an apple and a few almonds (or other healthy snack) twice a day MARCH PLAN (add to January/February activities):

BY Bonnie church CNC, Wellness Coach At 65, Bev Pinske’s creative energy was blighted by obesity and diabetes. Her days were riddled with naps and punctuated with restless nights. She was unable to walk, even short distances, without discomfort. She used a motorized scooter for grocery shopping, mall walking or sightseeing on vacation. In April 2007, she made a commitment to wellness. That commitment included: • Food choices: reducing the sugar and toxic fats in her diet. • Sensible supplementation: a high quality multivitamin/mineral formula, omega 3 fatty acids and co q 10. • Exercise: walking and water aerobics.

Bev maintained her commitment through: o Eliminate fatty foods that contain trans or hydrogenated fat. o Eat a vegetable rich salad with a sugar-free dressing daily o Reading wellness books [Dare to Lose by Dr. Shari Lieberman, Creation At the end of 90 days, you will have chipped away at the bad Diet by Joy Clary Brown] habits, and reinforced some good. At this point – you decide the o Daily prayer next steps. For example: If you want more specifics on eating well o Journaling – join a weight management support class. If you want a more o Accountability calls to a friend/coach aggressive exercise program – join a local gym. If you are struggling with addictions - find a ministry or counselor who can help you Within 12 Weeks, these are the changes overcome. she saw. Weight/inches lost: dress size before – 20, dress size after - 14 If you would like e-mail encouragement and guidance through this Reduction and/or elimination of several medications: Blood 90-day Jumpstart, e-mail Bonnie Church at simplewellness@charter.net sugar and hypertension control medications, pain medications and sleeping pills. Quality of life before: A sedentary life focused on accommodating pain and fatigue. Dependent on frequent naps, motorized carts and wheelchairs. Quality of life now: No longer takes daily naps. No longer needs a wheelchair and motorized cart to get around. Savors time with her family and WALKING In the mall—something she had not done in years. www.aawmag.com

JANUARY 2009 37


Bariatric Surgery A Life-Changing Journey For Sheri Cornett

Sheri Cornett is 120 lbs. lighter than five months ago. She is living the good life and helping others see the light. Photo by Mark Mitchell. ARTICLE BY SHERRIE NORRIS

Sheri Cornett cannot remember weighing less than 100 pounds in her entire life. As a fourth generation diabetic, the third person in her family diagnosed with MS, and inheriting her family’s strong history of heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol requiring 22 pills a day - the 42-year-old surgical technician from Avery County recently decided she wanted to live a full, healthy and happy life. Gastric bypass surgery appeared to be her last option. “I knew I had to do something or die young,” she says. Working in a hospital’s operating room, she knew only too well the risks listed in bold print on the 15-page consent form: “Gastric bypass is only a tool used by a patient to lose weight.You must also eat a proper diet and exercise to lose weight.” In other words, Sheri understood clearly, “It was up to me. I knew it would be life-changing—I just didn’t know how much of a change.” Today, she is 120 pounds lighter than she was five months ago before her surgery and requires only two pills a day to treat existing medical conditions. “I have had good days and I have had days in which I thought I would die. This surgery is far from easy.

38 JANUARY 2009

It’s a long hard road and it’s something you work at every day.” She compares her surgery to “having a baby that, with time, you forget how bad it really was.Your whole life changes.” The dangers are the greatest, she says, if you don’t follow the rules, if you don’t stick with it and most of all, if you don’t learn from your mistakes that got you in such bad shape to begin with. “You have to keep moving forward.” When asked the pros and cons of the surgery, Sheri starts with the positives. “You will live longer and feel better about your self. You truly become a cheap date—two ounces is all I can eat at one time, so I have to eat off my husband’s plate or get a takeout box. You get excited about hand-me-downs. My body changes each week, so it’s really useless to by new clothes until my weight stabilizes—about a year out from surgery. Thanks to my co-workers and friends who have given me their clothes! It’s great to get glared at in the plus-size department because you don’t belong there anymore and, most of all, the scale at Wal-Mart no longer says ‘One at a time please.’”

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On the down side, Sheri says she can never eat coconut again temple of God and we shouldn’t do anything to harm it. I had let and rice becomes an enemy. “No red meat or soft drinks for six my weight get to the point that I didn’t care about myself. I know months after surgery. Around five months out, your hair turns God loved me for me, but I didn’t love me. This will take longer loose and I mean—it turns loose. You can’t blame the dog for then the weight coming off. I still look in the mirror and see me shedding! If you eat too fast, if the food is too dry, if you eat too fat. But I know I am doing everything I know that I can to be a much and if you don’t chew your food, you can become deathly healthier temple.” sick. Also, your breasts and your butt are When Sheri sees overweight kids, her the first to go. Instead of a Wonder Bra, heart breaks. “I was the kid who was you need a Wonder-Where-They-Went made fun of - I know their heartache.” Bra!” She’s now trying to make better When asked how her life has improved, decisions regarding her entire lifestyle. “I Sheri says, “Before surgery, the hardest can say I’ve been there, done that.” She often wears a shirt that tells the world, thing for me was taking our church youth group to Carowinds. I couldn’t fit on one “There is a better way.” of the rides. The kids were disappointed When speaking of support, Sheri says her husband Larry has been the best from and embarrassed for me. When we went out to eat, it was hard for me to fit in a day one. “He has loved me at my heaviest and he loves me now. He keeps me on booth.” Sheri believes it wasn’t always how much she ate, but what she ate. track and makes sure I care for me. I have Today, she has little choice. “I have the best husband in the world. Other to eat 60 grams of protein a day to keep family members have been supportive as my system running normally. I have to eat well, including her youngest sister. She gets all my clothes.” protein first and, with just taking in two or four ounces at the max in three meals, Sheri says her story is no different from most people who have traveled the I have to be really picky what else I eat. I am not to eat and drink together and have same road, “except I feel called to shine a light where there isn’t one. Most people to wait 30 minutes before or after I eat to drink.” Sheri Cornett at her heaviest weight prior to who have gastric bypass or gastric band feel like no one understands what they’re Sheri realized she just couldn’t walk her surgery. Photo submitted. into the doctor’s office and say,“I want going through. No one understands how to be skinny.” It took research, soul searching and a lot of time hard each day is, much like our water fitness logo ‘If it was easy, and preparation—both physically and mentally (with required everyone would do it.’” psychiatric counseling)—before she was accepted into the What has she learned through it all? “That I can do it if I Hickory-based surgical weight management program at Catawba have faith in myself, that Rome was not build in a day and that Hospital. “Not to mention work shops with your support person, my journey will not be over in a day. I have been given a second meetings with a dietitian before and after, as well as with the chance at life and how I use it is up to me.There is no quick fix. If Bariatric program coordinator. I follow the rules and do my best, that’s all I can do. I have a story Another consideration, Sheri says, is the cost of the surgery, and I have a goal to be a team player and help others. It’s more which easily ranges from $48,000 to 68,000 dollars, depending on then a new look, it’s a life change. It’s all up to the individual!” location. “Most insurance will pay if you meet their guidelines.” The “holistic approach” is vital, she adds.You have to be open With the help of Libby Shaver, Catawba Valley Medical to a new way of life and lots of changes that will take place along Center Bariatric Program Coordinator, Sheri Cornett is the way. Your body will go through a lot of changes like never establishing the High County Gastric Bypass Support before. You have to take time for yourself. Exercise has become a Group. de-stressor for me. Water fitness works best for me.” The first meeting will be held in the Linville Room on Most surgical patients require a 3- to 6-day hospital stay with the main level of Cannon Memorial Hospital on Jan. 7 at six weeks out of work, Sheri says, cautioning others, “Don’t try it 8:30 p.m. with monthly meetings to follow on the second any sooner.” Tuesday of each month. The group will be open to anyone, When asked about other life changes, she says, “I have always male or female, who has had the surgery, regardless of where eaten when I get stressed or upset, but I can’t do it now. I have to or when. make good choices and find other means of dealing with stress. I Sheri says,“I’m learning that it’s not about me, but about go for a walk or exercise or just say what’s on my mind. Food was doing what I can to help others. If we have only five people always a blanket for me. And now I have to work at doing other who show up, that’s five people who know what we’re going things.” through together. It’s about taking one day at a time.” As a strong Christian, Sheri says, “I know the body is the www.aawmag.com

JANUARY 2009 39


Angela Church Chooses The Best Gift For Her Children

Angela Church is taking new steps every day on her way to happiness. Photo by Mark Mitchell BY SHERRIE NORRIS During the summer of 2007, Angela Church was reminded by her mother of a piece of parenting advice she had often given to others: “The best gift you can ever give to your children is to be a happy individual.” Those words were spoken as Angela was contemplating bariatric surgery. She knew it was the right thing to do, despite feeling guilty about spending money that she knew her family could use for other things. Not only did her decision to have surgery result in her happiness, it has also turned her life completely around. The ultimate decision to go through with the high-risk procedure did not come easily or quickly, she admits, nor did the weight that had piled up during and following an abusive marriage. 40 JANUARY 2009

“Eating was my comfort and my retreat.The larger I became, the less chance of any intimacy or contact. I did eventually get the courage to leave with my two small children, ages one and six, in tow. On the outside, I was charging ahead. I went back to school, retrained for a new job, and set about raising the children with no family nearby and no help from their dad. I became larger than life - literally.” On the inside, Angela says, she was still retreating and food was her escape. “Only the larger I became, the smaller my life grew.” Soon, she couldn’t go to the movies because she couldn’t fit into the seats. “I couldn’t eat at certain restaurants because the booths were too small. Even a day of shopping was too exhausting.” In 2007, her scales hit 315. She was borderline diabetic and was being treated for high blood pressure. “I had thought about the surgery before, but I was afraid. I also felt so guilty to spend family resources on a problem that I, myself, had created.” After her mother’s words of wisdom, Angela decided not to let any more of her life go by. “I had the surgery at Frye Regional On October 30, 2007 and have lost 130 pounds. I no longer take blood pressure medication and my blood sugar is normal. Now when I shop, the money runs out before my energy. I walk, swim and hike.” Angela admits that she was ashamed to have allowed her weight to escalate to the point that it did, adding, ”Shame are guilt are the very things that keep us trapped in our problems. If sharing this story helps just one person to know that they, too, can reclaim their life, then I am blessed for the opportunity.” Angela is involved in a support group that has been very helpful and has allowed her to make new friends. “This group of women, with an occasional male, has become very close. We each have our own unique story.” Angela does not have a “before” picture of herself, simply because she would not allow anyone to take her photo. But today, the healthy, well-respected insurance agent representing NC Farm Bureau in Boone doesn’t mind smiling into the camera at all. And, we’ve learned, she has a lot to smile about these days: happy children—Jon and Jenny—who are proud of their mother, and a supportive, handsome gentleman friend with whom she enjoys sharing her time. Angela is willing to talk with anyone interested in learning more about the surgery or the Watauga County support group of which she is a member. She may be reached at (828) 264-5270 or by e-mail at angela. church@ncfbins.com.

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Appalachian Women’s Fund Sponsors

“Basic Buckets for New Beginnings” So often in life, the best ideas are hatched around the kitchen table. Such was the creation of the “Basic Buckets for New Beginnings” project. During a recent visit with OASIS Director Jennifer Herman, members of the Appalachian Women’s Fund were told how costly it is for women to set up a new household. Upon leaving the shelter, clients have very limited financial resources. The day-to-day items needed to run a home are often expensive but necessary. Cleaning supplies and hygiene products are among the most expensive items that we all purchase. Further discussion around the table led to the timely topic of “going green.” Cathy Williamson, AWF member and owner of Kilwin’s Ice Cream Shops was saying that the recycling center no longer accepts the many plastic ice cream tubs generated in her stores. Within minutes, these creative women of the Appalachian Women’s Fund solved a problem for both OASIS and Kilwin’s - fill one bucket with cleaning supplies and another with personal hygiene items.

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As the client leaves to begin her new life free from violence, she takes two “buckets of basics” to get her started. It’s a small gesture some would say, but Herman knows what it means for these women not to have to pay for the items we all take for granted. Within days, AWF members Mary Barcellona, Leslie Shavell and Susan Geldmeier were out in the community collecting donations to fill the buckets. Currently the AWF is distributing the Basic Buckets through OASIS and the Hospitality House. Other agencies supported by the AWF will soon be added to the list of recipients. The cost of filling one bucket is approximately $25.00. If you would like to help with this or any project sponsored by the Appalachian Women’s Fund, you can send donations directly to the AWF office at P.O. Box 1838, Boone, NC 28607, e-mail them at info@appalachianwomensfund.org or call the office at 2644002. Membership information is available as well. JANUARY 2009 41


The Essentials of

This team of women at Bare Essentials is always ready and willing to assist their customers. Photo by Yogi Collins. BY YOZETTE “YOGI” COLLINS

Ringing in the New Year often ushers in new promises -- promises to lose weight, be more organized, or eat more healthfully. While these promises hold great intentions, they can be loaded with potential guilt and feelings of failure. This year, why not go easy on yourself and make the more general promise to just take care of yourself? The staff at Bare Essentials Natural Market can help you keep that promise and even make it manageable. With a combined 110 years of experience in the natural products industry, the employees appreciate the importance of self-care and see it in a broader light. Co-owners Mary Underwood and husband Ben Henderson recognize self-care to mean that body, mind, and 42 JANUARY 2009

spirit function as a whole and need to be cared for as a whole, or holistically. A day at the spa is relaxing, but care cannot stop there. Before you feel overwhelmed, meet the team of women (there are men, too, but for AAW purposes we will focus on the gals) at Bare Essentials who are ready to serve you. Mary and Ben bought Bare Essentials 20 years ago from a friend. Growing up on a Century Farm in a small Minnesota town, Mary understands where food comes from. “Everything was from the garden. I feel fortunate that I knew -- and know -- where food comes from while so many people now just think you go to the grocery store and they really don’t understand [the process].” www.aawmag.com


That is also why Mary and Ben are passionate about supporting local farms. “We have a lot of local products in the store.We just really believe in local. Even if our sales are down in produce in the summer, I feel like people should be buying local. They should be buying whatever is grown right here or produced right here.” Mary and Ben’s approach to living makes owning Bare Essentials the perfect situation for them. “We don’t just do this for the money,” Mary says. “We’re passionate about how we eat and live. I used to weigh forty pounds more. Even when Ben and I first owned the store, I was twenty pounds more than now. To actually lose weight when you’re fifty from when you’re thirty? I’m probably in better shape now than when we first bought the store [twenty years ago].” Jodie Davis has worked at Bare Essentials for 14 years and began living a holistic lifestyle when a naturopathic doctor suggested treatment for a problem her conventional doctor had treated with few positive results. When the natural approach worked within a week, she began taking a holistic preventive approach to her health. Jodie sums up the pursuit of health simply. “There’s not a person in the world who can’t benefit from a better quality of life.” Applying her knowledge and hearing positive results from customers is Jodie’s favorite part of working at Bare Essentials. “We do not diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe. But, when we make recommendations to people based on a diagnosis and explore with them their choices and make some recommendations for products and changes of their lifestyle and they apply those things, they come back with their wife, brother and mother.” Erin Peters found a more natural way of life while overseas. “I was in London on a walking tour. I had a knee injury and all the walking was making my knee start to buckle. The tour guide said, ‘Just slip into a drugstore.’ They had homeopathy everywhere with charts that made it easy to figure out what I needed, so I picked one and within ten minutes I was back with the tour.” That was fifteen years ago. Since then Erin, an artist whose homeopathy-themed cards are for sale in the store, also has enjoyed sharing her knowledge with customers. “A big part of what we do is educate people. We’ve got great resources at our fingertips that we can pass along to our customers. We have a lending library that is free so people can check books out. Once people are educated, then the dialogue opens up.” Andrea Morgan’s education in natural living began through a job.“In my early 20s I was already on a few different prescriptions and not feeling well. I fell into a job as a cashier at a natural market and it set me on a whole new path.” It is a path that led Andrea to Bare Essentials where she encourages women to take care of themselves. “I think a lot of us tend to put pressure on ourselves based on what we perceive other people want us to do. I think the best way to care for ourselves is to be really honest about what we need. For a lot of women that looks like taking some conscious steps to reduce stress levels and workloads.” All of the women mentioned, as well as others working at BE -- Laurie Bienko, Rene Johnson, Jessie Heeney, Marlene Harderwww.aawmag.com

Horst and Jessica Bell -- have their own strengths, but their main goal is great customer service. It is something Mary is proud of. “The thing I’m proudest of is how the store has grown because we’ve worked hard and given good customer service, but in return we’ve gotten a lot of customer loyalty. The community has helped us grow. It really is that holistic approach again. We’re all helping each other.” Homeopathy is a system of healing based on the theory of treating “like with like.” Remedies are diluted natural substances that, if given to a healthy person, would produce the symptoms the medicine treats. Western medicine tends to be suspect of homeopathy although it has been widely used for over 200 years, but is a fairly new concept in this country. However, more and more people and mainstream medical professionals are recognizing that homeopathy safely and effectively complements conventional medical treatments.

Dr. Maggie Sparks Dermatology •Skin Cancer Surgery •Moles •Acne •Botox •Spider Veins •Restylane/ Juvederm We now participate with: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medcost, Cigna, United Healthcare and Medicare

www.lasermd.com We pride ourselves on short wait times

828-263-0067

381 Meadowview Dr., Boone, NC 28607 JANUARY 2009 43


“Break a Leg” BY YOZETTE “YOGI” COLLINS

This New Year

Are you or your kids looking for a challenging and fun creative outlet as the New Year begins? If so, Kim Cozort Kay, Education Director of the Blowing Rock Stage Company, hopes you will consider taking theater classes with her. The Blowing Rock Stage Company is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing cultural excellence to the High Country. Along with their theatrical performances, BRSC also offers theater education to children and adults living in Watauga and surrounding counties through the company’s Theatre Education and Outreach Program (TOPs). Kim Cozort Kay (standing second front left) makes acting fun for students at Kim, an energetic, Blowing Rock Stage Company. engaging woman, has worked with the stage and have fun.’ My very first role was a child in THE KING AND company since 2001. What made Kim decide she wanted to I. I was five.” act? Kim decided to act professionally after doing a season She says, “I was very lucky in that growing up in Drexel, of summer stock theatre in graduate school. She had played NC, my teachers never said no when I wanted to try different Eliza Doolittle in MY FAIR LADY and her voice teacher asked ways of telling a story. I was able to act out book reports, her, “Now, didn’t you get tired of that?” Kim says she thought enter monologue contests—plus I came from a very musical and said, “No, I really never did.” She made the choice then family. My mom, my sister and I were always singing. So I had and there in her mid-twenties. a lot of confidence in front of people very early on. And my Kim says the highlights of her life and career were playing mom and dad had bought us a set of Childcraft books, which the role of a dog in a play called SYLVIA and also singing the I still have in my library—terrific pictures, poems, and stories. role of Papagena in the Greater Miami Opera production of My imagination would just go wild. I would act out everything DIE ZAUBERFLOTE, where her entrance every night was in a I saw and read. balloon high above the stage and the audience. “I remember “By the time I graduated from high school, I had performed thinking this is a truly happy moment, doing what I love and roles from six different musicals. I always remember having flying high—literally!” castles, huts and secret places around our house and my When asked if she ever aspired to be famous, Kim grandmother’s house that allowed me to create these wacky replies,“I think when we start out as young actors, we all have characters and equally wacky stories. But no one ever said those Broadway aspirations. But as I have gotten older, I have ‘Don’t do that.’ From family to teachers, they always said, ‘Yes, realized that you can be a working actor in the region and 44 JANUARY 2009

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have lots more opportunities creating ranges of characters in challenging works. It’s the work and the process that matter, not the personal attention it may give. “I have realized that the joy I get in acting is telling stories about the human condition. I love every part of the acting process, the research, the costume fittings, the evolution of a character—not to bring attention to myself, but rather to honor another person’s voice—just using my instrument to tell the story. This realization happened gradually, but I think I am a better artist for it. I also love celebrating the written text. Theatre is an important vehicle for that. About her husband Ken, Kim says, “The joke is Ken and I met in a whorehouse!!! I actually met Ken when we were cast in THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS at a dinner theatre in Boca Raton, FL. He played a senator and I was a lady of the evening named Angel. We are very supportive and respectful of each other’s gifts and talents. Plus, he is the love of my life. We are extremely fortunate. We love what we do and have an extraordinary home in which to work.” Kim says she gets extremely nervous still, but after about five minutes on stage, she calms down. Her aspiration is “to finally get a show I am presently writing DONE and to perform it before I get too old to do it. I would also really love to sing more operetta. My dream roles: Anna in THE KING AND I and Magnolia in SHOWBOAT. I would also love to do Maggie the Cat in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, but [I] may be a bit long in the tooth for that one.” Asked if her current job fits with her career goals, Kim replies, “When I was going through undergraduate and graduate school, I got my master’s in education, which has fared extremely well for this job. But, while in graduate school at UNC-G, I did MY FAIR LADY and BABES IN ARMS. I remember coming away thinking, ‘Wow, I really want to do this.’ I wanted to be a professional actress. I did this [acted professionally] before I got up here and I still do because I think it’s important that people who teach our children stay fresh. We are professionals teaching and we are still in the arena. But, all throughout the time I was working as a professional, I went into the schools teaching music or drama. Now, I’m beaming because I get to do both.” A member of the Screen Actor’s Guild who still performs in venues around the country, Kim believes theater is really a service industry. “Our students know that ego is left at the door. We all mop and sweep to make the show happen. They [students] see that, ‘Wow, this is for them [the audience]. It’s not about me.’ I think it’s a really pretty important message for people to know. This is not a strange ‘other world.’ It’s pretty basic. It’s just what we do for a living.” Because BRSC is in residence at the Mariam & Robert Hayes Performing Arts Center, the company holds various classes there year-round.The building is a blessing considering that classes used to be held wherever they could find space – sometimes even under the awning of a school building. The building is large, but Kim says,“I’ve heard people say you come up to this building and it’s such a huge one that they think, www.aawmag.com

‘There’s no way I would feel comfortable there or understand what goes on in there.’ I just wish people would walk in and experience it.Theater is not about the building.Theater is the experience people have together. This building is nice and we love it, but it’s not about this building.” Theater is not about clothing, either. In fact, Kim shudders at the thought that worrying what to wear might keep someone from attending a performance at the Hayes Center. “Jeans are great. Shorts are great. We just want you to come and be a part of what we’re doing.” If what they are doing interests you, classes are offered for students from ages four to senior adult beginning in January. Kim limits classes to between 10 and 12 students so each person has enough individualized attention to feel safe and comfortable. And, if performing before an audience does not sound appealing, there are also classes on set design, costuming, and other behind-the-scenes skills. “If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, I understand that. If you don’t want to apply for a scholarship because you’re afraid your financial information is going to get out, I can help you with that. Come volunteer with me. Give me eight hours of your time; I’ll give your child eight hours of classes. I am not going to turn anybody down. We don’t ever want to turn anybody away who is having a rough time.” Kim’s favorite aspect of her job is seeing students of all ages bloom with confidence developed during their experience. Some of those students now make up the Teen Actors’ Guild (TAG), a branch of TOPs that Kim started eight years ago. Students, ages 14 -19, audition for a spot in TAG, which allows them to write, produce and direct their own productions. For Kaitlin Felts, a member of TAG, the experience she gains is immeasurable toward her goals of performing on Broadway. “I want to be able to grow in my acting and broaden my horizons and learn more about it because you can never learn too much. To find ourselves as actors is a big purpose of TAG.” Mostly, Kim wants the goals and benefits of her classes to be understood. “I think sometimes people misunderstand theater education,” she says. “They think that it is ‘I am teaching my child how to be in the theater.’ We can because we have the staff to do it, but it’s more important than that. It’s that we have a lot of things going on that can teach your child to be more confident if they have to read scripture, if they have to give a presentation, or to even walk into a job interview. It just gives them confidence and skills.” For more information about the Blowing Rock Stage Company or for class scholarship applications, please log on to www. blowingrockstage.com. Information about the Mariam & Robert Hayes Performing Arts Center can be found at www.brcac.org

JANUARY 2009 45


! L R I G O G U YO Julia Dale

Photo by Mark Mitchell BY SHERRIE NORRIS

During her junior year at Watauga High, Julia Dale attended a presentation by a former Peace Corps volunteer who spoke of the vast experiences available through the international organization. Afterward, she gave some thought to joining up. “Last year, I found myself thinking about the Peace Corps more and more and decided that the time was right to begin the lengthy application process.” Just as the New Year begins, so does a new and exciting chapter of Julia’s life. She’s leaving the High Country for Guatemala this month in great anticipation of living abroad and learning about other cultures as a Peace Corps volunteer, an experience, she believes, that will give her 46 JANUARY 2009

more insight than if she were simply traveling through. “Some people are turned off by the two-year commitment that the Peace Corps requires. I think that length of service is necessary for volunteers to become integrated into their communities and to figure out the ways in which they can be most useful,” Julia states. “The Peace Corps allowed me to state a preference about what area of the world I want to serve in, but there are no guarantees that volunteers will be placed in the area they choose.” Though Julia was willing to go anywhere, she requested to serve in Latin America because of her interest in improving her Spanish skills “and finally becoming fluent after years of Spanish classes.” www.aawmag.com


She spent six months in Quito, Ecuador, during her junior year of college and her experience there piqued her interest in travel, Spanish, and Latin America in general. “After my interview in March, I was told I would be sent somewhere in Central or South America, but I didn’t receive my placement in Guatemala until late September. After discovering that I would be going to Guatemala, I got in touch with friends and others who have been there and, from what I have gathered, it sounds like it will be an interesting place to spend my two years.” Julia’s journey will begin on January 6, when she joins a group of trainees for a brief orientation in Washington, DC, before traveling to Antigua, Guatemala for three months of training. “During this time, I will live with a host family and receive language and technical training related to my assignment. Then, I will be assigned to a community in rural Guatemala, working as a school health facilitator, partnering with teachers in several different elementary schools to develop health education classes/programs for students and parents. From what I understand, much of my work will be aimed at improving hygiene efforts of school students - developing relatively simple habits such as hand washing, tooth brushing, etc.” Julia sees her tasks being made more difficult due to the fact that many schools lack basic infrastructure such as running water and latrines. Admitting that she lacks extensive background in health education, her experience with children should prove most helpful - three summers working at Blowing Rock Park and Recreation’s day camp and last year’s job as an assistant teacher and tutoring at the elementary school near Kenyon, Ohio, where she attended college. “I am trying to go into the Peace Corps with relatively few expectations. I know that the experience varies for each person and I want to leave myself as open as possible to whatever comes my way.” Julia says, according to a slogan of the Peace Corps, she’s up for “the toughest job” she’ll ever love. She believes that this idea can serve as a helpful reminder that while the challenges of the job may seem daunting, “the rewards that are reaped in return will more than compensate for these difficulties.” She adds, “I hope to come out of the Peace Corps with a greater knowledge of the world and the ways in which I can contribute to it positively, and with a sense that I played a beneficial role in a community, whether as a friend or teacher.” In looking past her two-year commitment, she doesn’t have anything specific in mind. “I have tossed around the idea of doing something related to public health. By that time, my experience should certainly help me determine if that is something I would enjoy. I am excited to see what new interests and ideas might develop during my time in Guatemala.” Julia attended Hardin Park Elementary School following her family’s move to Boone from her native Madison,Wisconsin in 1988. As a 2003 graduate of Watauga High, she was on the Pacers dance team during her junior and senior years. Involved with dance for many years, she began taking classes at Northwestern Studios at age five. In 2007, Julia graduated from Kenyon College, a liberal arts college in central Ohio, where she studied history, and continued to be involved with dance as a part of the Kenyon Dance Ensemble. Following graduation, she moved to Chicago for a year, working nearby as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school in Evanston, Illinois. She returned to Boone where she took several classes at ASU and worked at Stick Boy prior to joining the Peace Corps. Both parents are employed at ASU. Her father, Michael, is a professor in the education department and her mother, Patricia, a technology support analyst in the Registrar’s office. Her younger brother, Ian, is a freshman at UNC - Chapel Hill. www.aawmag.com

JANUARY 2009 47


Eating Well On A Budget

BY BONNIE CHURCH WITH RENE REYNOLDS

When single mom Rene Reynolds moved from the northeast to Boone, her quality of life improved. Her income did not. Rene is a model, actress and dancer who traveled internationally with the Alvin Alley dancers and the American Ballet Theatre. In addition to her artistic abilities, she studied both acupuncture and massage therapy. In major cities, Rene’s abilities opened many doors to jobs that paid well, but the city scene did not provide the wholesome environment that she wanted for her three children, Loupe (14), and Cyenna and Leon (11). So she moved to Boone.

superior, not only because of what they don’t include, but for positive nutritional factors like complex carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. When you do eat meat—make it organic.We eat organic meat or fish a couple times a month. Make it organic! You do not want to put artificial growth hormones and antibiotics into the bloodstream of your children. Fruits and veggies should be the centerpiece of our diet. Yes, they can be expensive. Eat them in season. Eat fresh when possible, but frozen sometimes offers a less expensive alternative. Don’t forget to explore the Farmers’ Market and local farms for good food at a discount. Some foods need to be organic, others don’t. There are some fruits and vegetables that contain higher levels of pesticides than others. They are called the dirty dozen as they have very high levels of pesticides that cannot be washed off. These include apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, raspberries, spinach, and strawberries. Other fruits and vegetables contain little to no pesticide residue. It is not as important to buy the more expensive organic version of these foods: bananas, kiwi, mangos, papaya, pineapples, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, corn (though beware of genetically modified), onions, and peas.

Rene Reynolds is a mom who cares. Photo submitted. Quality of life for Rene’s children includes feeding them well. She is a master at maintaining a wholesome diet on a budget. “Junk food is not really that much less expensive. It is just more readily available and it takes planning to overcome its lure.” Here are some of her tips: Brainwash your children’s taste buds. Whatever you expose your children to, they will acquire a taste for. My children never developed a taste for McDonalds. Use spices and herbs to enhance your foods. They are healing and delicious when artfully used.You can make a simple wholesome dish of beans, rice and veggies into a masterpiece with the right spices. Choose beans and wholegrain rice for your main protein. Beans and wholegrain rice when combined offer a complete protein. Plants can supply all our protein needs while lowering the amount of cholesterol, fat, and pesticide residues. Plant-based proteins are 48 JANUARY 2009

Desserts should not be the main course, but make them healthy. I teach my children to make delicious desserts that are rich in grains, fruits and good things. Filter and carry your own water in stainless steel bottles. Water in plastic bottles is very expensive and there is concern about the effect of plastic on the quality of the water. Teach your children to appreciate food and its preparation. The kids and I worked on a farm during the summer. We traded our labor for food. This helped us stock the freezer with veggies to get us through the winter. The children also learned about the business of farming. Make wellness fun. Once a month we have healing night with massage and music. Count Your Blessings. Yes, children sometimes don’t like living on a budget. That’s when we take a ride into poor neighborhoods. I change the focus to those who have less then us.Together we talk about what we can give away, rather than whine about what we don’t have. www.aawmag.com


What is Deep Brain Stimulation? (continued from page 11) The extension is an insulated wire that is passed under the skin of the head, neck, and shoulder, connecting the lead to the neurostimulator. The neurostimulator (the battery pack) is the third component and is usually implanted under the skin near the collarbone. In some cases it may be implanted lower in the chest or under the skin over the abdomen. Once the system is in place, electrical impulses are sent from the neurostimulator up along the extension wire and the lead and into the brain. These impulses interfere with and block the electrical signals that cause Parkinson’s symptoms. Unlike previous surgeries for Parkinson’s, DBS does not damage healthy brain tissue by destroying nerve cells. Instead, the procedure blocks electrical signals from targeted areas in the brain. Thus, if newer, more promising treatments develop in the future, the DBS procedure can be reversed. Also, stimulation from the neurostimulator is easily adjustable— without further surgery—if the patient’s condition changes. Some people describe the stimulator adjustments as “programming.” Although most patients still need to take medication after undergoing DBS, many patients experience considerable reduction of their Parkinson’s symptoms and are able to greatly reduce their medications. The amount of reduction varies from patient to patient, but can be considerably reduced in most patients.The reduction in dosage of medication leads to a significant improvement in side effects, such as dyskinesias (involuntary movements caused by long-term use of levodopa). In some cases, the stimulation itself can suppress dyskinesias without a reduction in medication. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) supports research on DBS to determine its safety, reliability, and effectiveness as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Currently, NINDS-supported scientists are trying to determine the site(s) in the brain where DBS surgery will be most effective in reducing PD symptoms. These researchers are also comparing DBS to other PD therapies to find out which is more effective.

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JANUARY 2009 49


Pet Page|By Genevieve Austin

Happiness Is a Journey And A New Friend

“Happiness” is a thread in our American cultural fiber. To seek it we often go to great lengths, spend more money than we should and even find ourselves in regrettable scenarios that originate in an innocent pursuit of happiness. Happiness can be elusive and temporary. Father Alfred D’Souza wrote, “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” We seek it, consider it our right, and chase it like it is a pot of gold at the end of an ethereal rainbow. As Father D’Souza reminds, we find happiness in the “living” of life - not as its end reward. As I interview the women of the High Country who love their pets, I find over and over that this elusive pursuit is attainable. Beyond question, companionship with another species - a pet - enhances life and increases happiness. Sharing time and investing in their pet’s well being brings satisfaction and continued happiness to pet lovers. While America’s economic hardship is felt universally in humankind, pets are vulnerable to our vulnerabilities. While some families are struggling to make ends meet, the challenging decision to unite households is increasing. Foreclosures have caused families to become homeless or to find new living arrangements. While families are willing to share their homes with one another, family pets are exceptions. The manager of the Watauga Humane Society in Boone, Lynn Northup, states that this is one way in which beloved family pets end up at the Humane Society. America’s economic transition is prompting family pets to be given to the Humane Society. She notes that some people buy animals from breeders because they stereotype shelter animals, believing them all to be strays. Now, more than ever, it is essential for public education about rescued pets to expand. Lynn stresses their animals are not “just stray animals.” She says, ”Several of our animals have been beloved family pets. They are socialized and affectionate.” Lynn emphasizes the sociable nature and potential affection of all the shelter animals. “Even those who come to the Humane Society as strays are quickly socialized and affectionate as they regain trust in volunteers and helpful human beings.” There are estimates that 30 percent of the animals in shelters are purebreds. Watauga County Humane Society is turning forty years old this year! To celebrate this milestone, stop in, check them out and get to know new friends. During those 40 years, the community has come together to create multiple programs to slow the increase of unwanted animals. Local veterinarian, Dr. Cara Roten-Henson, DVM and her staff volunteer their time and services to micro-chip animals for a reduced price at the Humane Society’s monthly micro-chip clinic. Any pets adopted through the Humane Society are now microchipped. When Animal Control picks up animals, those animals that are micro-chipped can be directed home and not go through the experience of being lost and displaced. Valuing life is a major element in the pursuit of happiness. Watauga Humane Society is addressing its mission from multiple facets and is improving our communities. Affordable spaying and neutering is available year-round. The clinic takes animals every 50 JANUARY 2009

Thursday from Boone to Humane Alliance, a spay/neuter clinic in Asheville, where the animals are tended and returned. For those unable to pay the reduced rates, the Humane Society has financial assistance. According to Lynn, Animal Control’s stray animal numbers have declined. They attribute these declines to the combination of adoption and sterilization programs. In 2007, 23 percent fewer dogs were turned into Animal Control and 17 percent fewer cats ended up there. Watauga Humane Society remains a haven and seeks loving homes for beloved animals. While programs encouraging pet planning through adoption and sterilization are decreasing the overall number of unwanted animals, the shelters remain full. If you’ve not checked out Watauga Humane Society, they welcome volunteers, families, visitors and animal lovers. While they have many animals in need, they have multiple approaches to meeting the current societal changes. Lynn Northup offers ample information on the many options the Humane Society has created to insure that animals will remain our beloved friends and not suffer abandonment. When we find ourselves in transition and not able to adopt a pet, volunteering and/or fostering an animal is a way to share the care and companionship of animals. Volunteering your time can be done in a variety of ways. Dog walking, cleaning kennels, assisting Humane Society staff with animals or contributing to the Thrift Store are a few helpful options. Fostering animals, providing comfort and love, develops socialization in sometimes frightened or traumatized animals. When the time is right for bringing a new friend into your life, look no further than the Watauga Humane Society. A new year is a very good time to meet a new friend. Contact Lynn Northup and let her introduce you. Happiness awaits you!! http://www.wataugahumanesociety.org mailto:adopt@wataugahumanesociety.org 828-264-7865. 200 Casey Lane, Boone, NC 28607 www.aawmag.com


By The Book|Courtesy of Black Bear Books I Just Want My Kids to be Happy by Aaron Cooper and Eric Keitel While millions have pledged allegiance to the happiness of their offspring, kids today are less happy than ever – more worried, anxious, and depressed. In this groundbreaking and highly readable book, a psychologist and an educator explain the troubling connection between “I just want them to be happy” and the problems affecting our youth. The authors describe the ingredients – the eight seeds – that research has revealed to be the basis of authentically happy lives. Ingredients like gratitude, optimism, a life of meaning, and acts of loving kindness are all essential to our children’s happiness. Through numerous “Plant a Seed” suggestions, I Just Want My Kids to be Happy will show you how to sow the right ingredients into your children’s lives today, so that authentic happiness will bloom for them tomorrow.

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Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book entitled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by JK Rowling, and an extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Not only are these fairy tales the equals of the stories we know and love, reading them provides new insight into the world of Harry Potter. This purchase represents another very important form of giving: From every sale of this book, Scholastic will give its net proceeds to the Children’s High Level Group, a charity co-founded by JK Rowling. Locally, Black Bear Books is donating 10 percent of the purchase price of each book to the Hospitality House. A Mercy by Toni Morrison A powerful tragedy distilled into a jewel of a masterpiece by the Nobel-Prize winning author of Beloved and, almost like a prelude to that story, set two centuries earlier. In the 1680s, the slave trade was still in its infancy. In the Americas, virulent religious and class divisions, prejudice and oppression were rife, providing the fertile soil in which slavery and race hatred were planted and took root. A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart, it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and of a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment. Acts of mercy may have unforeseen consequences.

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JANUARY 2009 51


Cent$ and Sensibility| BY corrinne loucks

Your Money, A

Your Way

couple of months ago we talked about saving money, including putting some away in an Individual Retirement Account.There are many ways to do this.The most exciting way is through your company’s program where your money can be matched—up to 100 percent—by the company.The IRS allows up to 6 percent of your yearly income to be invested into an IRA (by you) with no limit on how much your company can match. If your company matches your IRA contributions, don’t hesitate! We also compared the traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Basically, the traditional IRA consists of tax-deductible contributions. The money you contribute is tax deductible (up to a certain amount) and taxes are paid on the interest earned upon withdrawal, after the age of 59 ½. Roth IRA contributions are, on the other hand, NOT tax deductible. There is no mandatory deduction age and penalties are not imposed for taking out at any time, provided a few minimal conditions are adhered to. There are some other qualifications, such as income limits, that must be followed with a Roth, so certainly see your financial advisor to know which of the two works best for your situation. What we alluded to in the past article, something not many people know about, is that you can use your IRA money to purchase investments other than the traditional mutual funds, stocks, bonds and CDs that we’re most accustomed to. You can now use your IRA funds to purchase real estate investments and other investment vehicles. There are several very important things to know about using your money this way (referred to as a “Self-Directed” IRA). It is labeled self-directed because, once you move your funds from a money management account such as an American Express Financial or an E.F. Hutton to a holding company, your money is then used how you direct it to be used without a “money manger,” or in other words—“self-directed!” Before you begin, you will need a custodian to hold your funds and through whom you will perform your investment transactions. Self-Directed IRA custodians are each a little different and you’ll need to research who is the best custodian for you considering their reputation, fees, experience, results, knowledge, client service, and protection of your assets. A “custodian” company is the company to which you will transfer your IRA money.They will hold your money as in a savings account and then disburse your money when you make your investment purchase. The next thing is deciding how to invest your funds. We say “invest” because you can’t actually cash out and use your funds for personal, everyday use. You can, however, choose an investment vehicle like a rental property or a parcel of undeveloped land and purchase it with your IRA funds. Other types of investments that you can make include but are not limited to: real estate, promissory 52 JANUARY 2009

notes, mortgages and deeds of trust, tax liens and sale certificates, limited liability companies (LLCs), judgments, equipment leasing, mobile homes, and auto notes. Note that any investment you make with your IRA funds is just that, an investment. The investment cannot be used for personal use nor can the profit or gain be used for immediate personal profit. For example, if you have $50,000 in mutual funds with your current financial planning company, you can move that money to a Self-Directed IRA custodial company and then use that money to purchase a student condo in Boone. Any money put in to the condo, outside of that initial purchase, is your everyday money. Also, any rent received from the lease of that property goes right back in to your IRA. When you sell the property for $75,000 several years from now, that gain of $25,000 (minus any of the fees incurred in selling) goes right back into your IRA. So, you’ve gained $25,000 plus the rent collected for the duration of ownership. Would I want to do this, you ask? Certainly before making this move, you would have to determine your level of risk as well as the fact that there is no guaranteed return on your investment. It’s no different from stocks or mutual funds in that respect. However, if you run in to a tremendous investment opportunity, such as a neighbor’s home for a fraction of market value, then you may have the confidence to take that risk and get a very high return on your investment! Remember, your IRA money cannot be used for immediate personal gain. Before its maturation date (or yours, actually), IRA money cannot be borrowed without penalty. You cannot lend to family members of linear descent. Nor can you sell your personal property to your IRA. You cannot receive compensation for managing your IRA’s property.You cannot use your IRA money to secure a loan and you cannot use IRA funds to purchase property for your own personal use. To learn more, talk to your current IRA brokerage or financial planner, or call an IRA custodial company. If you are interested in researching and taking charge of your own money and/or if a great investment opportunity comes your way, then a Self-Directed IRA could work wonders for YOU!

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Local Women Keep The “Dream” Alive

January Events Honor King’s Birthday BY TERI WIGGANS

“I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the was laughed at by the other students because of her Welsh American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will accent. It was shocking and very painful to her as she realized rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold that for them, her culture, her people and her very identity were something to these truths to be selflaugh at. evident that all men Betty Wells, also a are created equal.“ member of the Task (Martin Luther King, Force since its inception, Jr. from his “I Have A believes deeply in the Dream” speech spoken importance of our on August 28, 1963.) having knowledge and In 1992, the Ku Klux Klan marched appreciation of different through Boone cultures as the only and Blowing Rock means of bringing us to on Easter Sunday. unity in our diversity. “Darkness cannot Over the years she has drive out darkness; created a program for only light can do that. school children called Hate cannot drive out Appalachian Heritage, hate; only love can do sharing skills required that.” (Martin Luther for everyday living in the King, Jr., “Strength to days before electricity, Love,” 1963.) indoor plumbing and women Two supermarkets. The of the Baha’i faith, students learn to churn Mary Gray and Cindy butter and peel apples Pacileo, chose to shine with an antique apple light and love on the peeler. Betty’s family Mary Gray and Cindy Pacileo help keep the Dream alive. Photo submitted Boone community has its roots here and by organizing a peace she has many antique rally that same Sunday. Sheldon Hanft and his wife Beryl artifacts to demonstrate. She states that it is such a joy to see Anne, members of the Jewish faith, joined the peace rally to the students’ excitement and amazement that people can live support the principles of integration, brotherhood and ethnic and even find enjoyment without the modern conveniences diversity. A number of churches opened their doors during they take for granted. the marches so that people could have places to pray for an Loretta Clawson, Mayor of Boone, firmly believes that as we continue to move forward in recognizing that all people end to injustice. After the march, a number of participants, mostly from are created equal and we work together with the spirit of the Unitarian and Baha’i congregations, decided to remain love and acceptance, our goals are achievable. She has been a active and form what eventually became the I Have A Dream member of the Task Force for several years and has witnessed Task Force. The IHAD Task Force became official in 1998. our community come together to honor all people. She says, Mary and Cindy have sustained the group through their “Every person brings his or her own strengths and on these commitment, leadership and energy over the past ten years. strengths we can build a community that is not about one, Why is the “Dream” important to keep alive? From the but about all of us joining together to make a better world.” outset, a primary focus has been on helping young people Cindy Pacileo draws from the richness of her Baha’i faith in our community have a greater appreciation of racial and focusing on the oneness of mankind. She states, “It is my deep belief that we are in truth one human family, undivided by cultural diversity. Mary believes that learning about different cultures is race, culture or creed. And it is my heart’s longing to share enriching and something to be enjoyed rather than feared. this belief with our children that keeps me going.” She says Mary grew up in rural Wales, in the United Kingdom. When that our many levels of diversity enrich society much like the she was eleven, she went to a boarding school in England and variegated colors and shapes of the flowers in a garden make 54 JANUARY 2009

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a garden more pleasing. Elizabeth Percival, Chair of IHAD Task Force, grew up in a family that did not foster prejudice. Her father published a newspaper called the “Forum,” which gave their small town community the opportunity to write their opinions and share what they stood for. Throughout her life she has participated in groups expressing her strong interest and conviction in the importance of unity. She has contributed to the Unity Festival for several years sharing Brain Gym, forgiveness exercises and supporting participants in artistically expressing ideas about peace. Both Teri Wiggans, a member of the Task Force for the past three years, and Mary Gray have spent time in Africa, which influenced their perspectives about unity in diversity. Teri was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire for two years. In the early 1970s, there was much chaos with the Viet Nam War, a focus on obtaining material things rather than connecting with family and friends, continued racial strife, women defining new parameters for themselves, etc. Teri states, “Zaire seemed so beautifully simplistic with the focus remaining on human love and connectedness.” She brought those African values home to America with her and is sharing them as much as possible through her work in the IHAD Task Force and other arenas. Mary spent a total of 8 years in Africa. She learned from the people of Lesotho that we are all—of whatever color, race or nationality—one people, wonderfully varied and diverse, but all belonging to one human family. She carried this reflection to Boone with her and has contributed her heart and soul sharing with our community through multiple IHAD projects over these past ten years. A few of the many projects include having artists from various cultures come into the schools to share through music, storytelling and dance throughout the year. Students also have been asked to write essays on the importance of Dr King’s message and then share their essays on Sam Tate’s “Young World Radio Show” during the month of January. The Task Force honors Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Dream” each January by sponsoring events which support cultural diversity.The Watauga County Library has sponsored activities for pre-schoolers as well as poetry readings for all ages. Churches have organized panel discussions with local people from minority religious, ethnic and cultural groups explaining unique aspects of their religion, culture or national identity. ASU hosts the annual MLK Challenge, a day of service where two hundred or more students and community members work together on specific projects for the many non-profit organizations that need help. The Task Force also works with the ASU community to sponsor the Unity Festival in April. We want to thank those members of the Task Force who have continued to believe in the “Dream” of Martin Luther King, Jr. and to work towards making this a richer and more loving community. “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”) If you have an interest in becoming involved in the IHAD Task Force, please contact Mary Gray at (828) 264.5620 www.aawmag.com

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JANUARY 2009 55


Get Movin’ To A Healthier New You

BE ACTIVE APPALACHIAN PARTNERSHIP Susan Tumbleston is always climbing to new heights as director of the Be Active - Appalachian Partnership. Photo by Mark Mitchell. BY CARA KELLY

“I’m going to start exercising to lose that 10 pounds I gained this year!” Most women have made a similar New Year’s resolution. Luckily, women in western North Carolina have a partner to help them be successful on the road to healthy living. Be Active NC has partnered with Appalachian State University since July of 2005 to help residents of western North Carolina become more physically active. The mission of the Be Active-Appalachian Partnership is to “promote physical activity and lifetime fitness for the citizens of western North Carolina.” The Partnership program director, Susan Tumbleston, has been working zealously for three and a half years to achieve this mission by collaborating with local organizations in 28 western counties. Currently, Tumbleston has established collaborations with more than 65 organizations, including locally the Appalachian Regional Health Care System, church groups, Watauga County Schools, and the Appalachian District Health Department. In 2008 alone, the Partnership has worked with 15 health departments, 18 school systems, four cooperative extension services, five senior programs and 16 Healthy Carolinians organizations in the western region. 56 JANUARY 2009

By offering resources and expertise in physical activity initiatives, the Partnership has made a deep impact with local collaborating entities. “This is a tremendous service for a rural county without a lot of resources,” health promotions director of Toe River Health District, Jana Bartleson, said. “Without this service, our programs would not be the same.” In the last year, the Partnership has provided direct assistance for approximately 18,000 western North Carolinians, with Tumbleston and Kara Visser, the special projects coordinator, logging an average of 1,200 miles a month participating in planning meetings and community events, facilitating workshops and training sessions, and presenting at conferences. Tumbleston’s initial interest in and passion for physical activity stems from the knowledge of the benefits of regular physical activity. “We know that people who get the recommended amount of physical activity, which is 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, are much healthier,” Tumbleston said. “We also know that people who get this amount of physical activity are probably going to live a decade longer.” The thought of ten additional years to live life helps inspire www.aawmag.com


Tumbleston to exercise regularly, even on bad weather days or at times when other options seem more inviting. “If you think about what you can do with ten years of life, whether it be seeing your grandchildren grow up or just thinking what that means, that is all I need to know,” Tumbleston said. “Regular physical activity lowers your risk of some types of cancers, particularly breast cancer and bladder cancer. It gives you stronger bones and a lot of post-menopausal women deal with the issue of osteoporosis.” Tumbleston and her colleagues know the statistics regarding physical activity and health as a result of another aspect of the Partnership—funding provided for research studies by Appalachian State University students. The Partnership has donated a total of $12,000 to the Office of Student Research at ASU to assist with student research in the field of physical activity. In addition, over $90,000 was directed from the Partnership for faculty research for several large studies, including “Physical Activity in Western NC”, “An Evaluation of HOPSports Training System”, and “Strategy for Improving the Physical Health of Low-Income Populations Using Public Physical Activity Areas.” Tumbleston and the Partnership are available to direct interested citizens to local organizations that provide opportunities for physical activity at low or no cost. The Partnership collaborated in the development and implementation for “Win with Walk with Spirit,” a walking program through the Appalachian Regional Health Care System. Tumbleston is available to assist other organizations initiate their own walking programs. A climbing wall is being sponsored at the Children’s Playhouse to encourage physical activity for children while at the Playhouse. The Partnership is also serving as a strategic partner for the Childhood Obesity Prevention Program legislative grant with the Appalachian District Health Department. The Be Active—Appalachian Partnership is funded by a five-year grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and is housed in the university’s Institute for Health and Human Services. To learn more about the opportunities made possible by the Partnership, call Tumbleston at (828) 262-7155 or send an e-mail to beactive@appstate.edu.

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Who Is Susan Tumbleston? Thanks to her passion and belief in the power of physical activity, Susan Tumbleston has made the mission of the Be Active Appalachian Partnership a reality. Yet, the former employee of the Mary S. Shook Student Health Service at ASU describes her involvement with the Be Active—Appalachian Partnership as “one of those fortunate things.” About her decision to apply for the position of program director, Tumbleston said, “It sounded like something very interesting to me, particularly because I had my RN and also my MBA. I have a real passion about the benefits of being physically active. That has been part of my life for years and I felt that it just fit so well with one of my values.” Tumbleston, a Boone native, credits her active lifestyle with helping her cope with difficult times in her life. Her time spent running is therapeutic, she says, enabling her to focus her thoughts and enjoy the beauty of nature. In addition, Tumbleston says staying active helps her manage her physical, emotional and spiritual health, as well as maintain an overall positive outlook. “I couldn’t take a medicine that would do for me what physical activity does,” she said. Encouraging other women to take part in regular physical activity is an elemental part of Tumbleston’s life.“Many women say they just don’t have time. I say to them, “There are 1,440 minutes in a day, and you can take 30 of them to be physically active. “Even if you get in 10 minutes a day, it lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease.” Tumbleston continues to put her 30-plus years experience in nursing, physical activity programming, and management to use in a creative outlet, planning and designing activities, trainings for providers of physical activity programming and producing informative materials. Leading by example and with encouragement, Tumbleston is an inspiration as she works to improve the health of western North Carolinians.

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Your Home| By Corrinne Loucks

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful….” Key word—outside. As temperatures fall in the High Country, it’s important to keep our homes in good shape. It’s not too late to get buttoned up for winter and prepare for the really cold months ahead. • The first and most obvious way to winterize your home is to check for leaks. Check the exterior doors, windows and any other holes or cracks or for cold air coming in. An easy way to do this is to hold a candle or incense stick to drafty areas such as recessed lighting, electrical outlets and window and doorframes. Now is the time to replace or beef up the weather stripping around doors and to recaulk windows where necessary. Make sure any entry pipes are sealed and repair or replace any cracked windows. Cover basement window wells with plastic to keep air out and install storm windows where you still have screens. At the same time, make sure your home has plenty of insulation. While 12” is the rule, if you can see the ceiling joists in your attic, you can use more. • Check the furnace. It’s good to have it checked and cleaned annually and, during winter months, change the filter once a month. A dirty filter hinders airflow, reduces efficiency and could even start a fire. Check the ducts to make sure they’re clean.This is easiest in basements, crawl spaces and attics. Make sure your furnace’s fuel pipe has no leaks. If you don’t have one already, consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat. Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans for winter to keep the warm air down. Fans should be circling in a clockwise direction in the winter. • Clean out your gutters and make sure that they are easily draining water away from the house. Frozen, clogged gutters can cause ice dams and eventually lead to water seepage into the house. Check the flashing around the house and replace any shingles or roofing materials that need attention before it gets too cold. Trim all tree limbs or bushes that could touch or even fall on the house to prevent damage or additional water damage. • Now is the time to clean and service your chimney and fireplace. Call a chimney sweep, if necessary, to remove soot and debris before starting a fire. Chimneys should be cleaned once per year and wood stoves even more often to prevent ash build up, which creates lye and can corrode chimney walls. Cap the chimney so no birds or animals come in that way for warmth and 58 JANUARY 2009

make sure the damper properly opens and closes.

• The biggest problem in the winter can be water—frozen water, that is. Inspect all of your pipes and make sure that garden hoses are removed and the outdoor faucets covered with faucet insulators. Shut off any valves that lead to outdoor faucets. If those faucet handles freeze, and then the pipes, this could cause big problems when you turn the water on for the first time in the spring. Make sure everyone in the household knows how to turn off the water main in case of emergency. Wrap or insulate all exposed pipes, such as in basements and crawl spaces, with pipe insulators or heat tape (sold in your local hardware stores). When you leave for vacation, keep the heat on at least 55 degrees to prevent plumbing freezes. • It’s great to be prepared for winter emergencies. Keep matches and candles handy and have the phone numbers to your local utility companies ready and available. Make sure your smoke alarms are working and their batteries fresh. Now is the time of year for carbon monoxide leaks, so adding those detectors is a great idea. Have bags of ice melt and sand ready at home and in each vehicle’s trunk for sidewalks or vehicle slides. This one has saved many a commuter. Keep battery backups on hand for your computers and radios. Of course, have lots of warm blankets, nonperishable food, plenty of water and strong flashlights available in case of extended blackouts or emergencies. Winter in the High Country is stunning and exciting. Protecting yourself and your family will enable you to enjoy the winter wonderland without the woes.

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New Beginnings

BY EVELYN ASHER

Education was not on my mind when I left Ohio State University (OSU) after my freshmen year to marry and put my future husband through law school at OSU. After 17 years of marriage and five children, divorce led me to be one of the first working women in my family and circle of friends. I ventured on to a successful career in real estate in Toledo, Ohio where I became the first woman to join a seven-member real estate firm. As I reflect, I wish I could remember how many times I attended my children’s activities. My mature children ask me not to apologize, as they are healthy individuals and model citizens with giving hearts. However, when interest rates rose to 19 percent and temperatures fell to 6 degrees, the bottom fell out of the real estate market. What was this self-supporting woman to do? When I went to South Florida for my father’s surprise 70th birthday celebration, I decided to take the crash course for a Florida real estate license and passed the exam. I soon moved to Boca Raton where sales were dynamic during the season. However, the halt after the season affected my pocketbook and made me think again.While I gathered my thoughts, civic mindedly I rallied to a silent auction to benefit a middle school program in Boca in 1993. Arriving late in the afternoon, I heard an announcement, “Bids are cut in half.” Lynn University – that computer course was what I have been thinking about for some time. Twenty dollars was my bid on the $100 item, the only bid, which led to my calling to register for the class the following Monday. “That class won’t be given for another three months,” the assistant told me on the phone. “However, if you are thinking of going back to school, you can apply the $100 certificate to any class.” That was the hook after a 37-year hiatus. I loved being on campus, being in class with adult learners eager to increase their knowledge base and opportunities, and learning something new every day. At the time, I was coordinator of a fast-paced marketing department of a publishing company. I took classes two evenings a week while balancing being a caregiver for my father, first in a nursing home and then at my parents’ condo. My major in healthcare administration helped me deal with issues surrounding my father’s debilitating stroke and eventually led to geriatric-care consulting. When Internet dating became popular, I tested the waters with a leap of faith and joined a gentleman of high character in northeast Georgia in late 2000. After 18 months, a traumatic life event took him across the country to be with his children with whom I still correspond on an annual basis. At first when I thought I would be a primary caregiver, I enrolled in a master’s program at Brenau University where I was an academic coach in the Learning Center. Though I would have preferred a master’s in creative writing, that degree was not offered at Brenau. However, Brenau had an excellent healthcare administration master’s program online. Free tuition, as long as I worked for Brenau two years after my last 60 JANUARY 2009

class, was an added incentive. The online environment suited me perfectly. No longer could I sit in class for hours on end. I would be able to erase loneliness in my adjustment. I enjoyed interacting with other students in management positions and keeping abreast of the business arena. Two years went by very quickly.This was the second graduation I did not attend, though I had great respect for my education. I will never forget my son’s exclamation to his children, “Grandma has her master’s!” Today there are more choices than ever for online (distance) learning. My daughter Daryl, a late bloomer like her mother, will earn her undergraduate degree in leadership management through Northern Kentucky University this month. At the same time she is taking online classes, Daryl holds a full-time management position and is able to support her stepdaughter’s school activities. Another new beginning with which I was blessed, only because I was encouraged to be open to the world’s abundance, was moving to Boone in October, 2006 to partner with someone very special. I was fortunate to land a ¾ position with the National Center for Developmental Education at Appalachian State University. How infusing it is to see mature graduate students changing careers from nursing to education, for example, and seeing others in equally challenging positions pursue doctorate degrees. With my passion for online and lifelong learning and adult learners, I am now teaching Effective Interpersonal Communication online for Brenau University and a hybrid Business Communication class for App State, which means one day in class and another in the online environment. With emphasis on intercultural exchanges in higher education, I have corresponded with communication departments in Australia and New Zealand. The next new beginning?

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Young at Heart|BY Heather Young

Attention, Customers: New Noses on Aisle Four Once upon a time, there was a beautiful lovely somewhat attractive not altogether hideous young woman who hated her nose. Whenever she gazed upon her reflection in the mirror, she saw a large, crooked snout staring back at her. She tried makeup to make it look smaller. She wore a veil to hide it from an unsympathetic world. Alas, no trick of light or well-placed scarf could make her offending beak look better to the young woman.With an acquiescent sigh, she turned from the mirror and let the scarf fall to the floor, sure that she would never feel beautiful. Having resigned herself to living with a huge, bent nose, the young woman went about her business and tried not to despair. One day as she was shopping in her favorite store, she heard a voice over the intercom, “Attention, customers—new noses on aisle four.” The young woman perked up her ears and wondered if she had heard correctly or if her despair was now causing hallucinations. Eager to see if the angelic voice spoke true, she dropped the pair of red stilettos she had been considering and made her way to aisle four.There she saw, to her delight, box after box of new, perfectly shaped noses. Giddy with anticipation, she tried on nearly every nose in stock and selected one that seemed just right.The young woman found the closest mirror and planted herself in front of it to admire her reflection. “It’s perfect,” she thought. “Just the right size. And, so straight.” Tearing herself away from the mirror, the young woman made her way to the register, purchased her new nose and walked home with her head held high, sneaking looks at her face in the window of each shop as she passed. The next few days seemed to erase the years of self-loathing. The young woman proudly wore her new nose. She thought she had found contentment and was excited to show off her new nose to friends and family. She was most eager to show her mother and, therefore, arranged to meet her for afternoon tea the next day. Upon arriving at the teashop at the arranged time, the young woman found a quaint corner table, seated herself and waited for her mother. To pass the time, she stared at her face in a polished knife. Suddenly, a shadow was cast over the table and she looked up to see her mother standing there. Her mother looked long and hard at her daughter, as she slid down into the unoccupied chair. “What on earth have you done to your face?” her mother demanded. “I changed my nose. Isn’t it delightful?” the young woman responded. “Hmmm,” her mother said,“Delightful is not the word I would use. Ridiculous might be more appropriate.” The young woman sat frozen in horror as her mother continued, “You had a beautiful nose. You know, you had your grandmother’s nose. How could you change it? Thank goodness your grandmother died never knowing …” Her mother continued to berate the stunned young woman for the remainder of the afternoon. Her delight over her new nose had turned to desolation over her mother’s reaction. Returning home, the young woman went to her favorite spot in recent days – in front of her mirror. She evaluated her image, hearing the echoes of her mother’s harsh words, and found that her new nose was not so lovely anymore. “Did I really had my grandmother’s nose?” the young woman thought. Certainly she had certainly never realized it if she had, seeing only the imperfections and not a distinctive family trait.“No!” she yelled in denial,“I love my new nose. I don’t care what anyone says. I’m sure my

62 JANUARY 2009

grandmother would understand; she probably hated her nose, too.” The next morning, the young woman woke at the usual time, showered, dressed and departed for work, careful not to spend too much time in front of the mirror lest her mother’s voice fill her head again. As she walked down the crowded sidewalk, she began to notice that all of the faces passing by looked strikingly similar, but she could not figure out why. The young woman paused at an especially large shop window and turned look at her image in the glass. At that same moment, another girl coming from the opposite direction did the same. The two women looked at their reflections and then at each other. Each suddenly realized that they had the same nose. “But,” stammered the young woman in outrage, “You are wearing my nose.” The girl replied, “Well, it’s hardly your nose. I bought it at Macy’s. They had an entire display. I heard this model has been the most popular.” The young woman continued to stare at the girl, not knowing how to respond. She knew that the girl was right – there had been an entire display of noses at the store. “Why did it never occur to me that someone else might select the same nose as I?” the young woman pondered as she stumbled past the girl and continued on to work. As the hours dragged by, she continued to brood over her new nose. When the workday drew to a close, the young woman walked back home with fresh eyes, noting all of the faces with the same nose she had. They were everywhere she looked. Resuming her spot in front of the mirror after dragging herself through the door of her apartment, encumbered by her realization on the walk home, the young woman sighed. Looking at her new nose no longer held a thrill. She did not want to look like everyone else. She missed her old nose! Detaching the new nose, the young woman replaced it with her old nose, which had been discarded on her vanity. Old nose back in place, she scrutinized her reflection once more. “It is my grandmother’s nose,” she realized. “I had never noticed before.” The young woman spent the next week getting reacquainted with her old nose. She no longer felt ashamed; she felt unique.You might even say, she felt pretty.When she walked down the sidewalk, she now knew her nose was hers and hers alone. Two weeks after returning her old nose where it belonged, the young woman was once again shopping in her favorite store. While browsing the shoes for the red stilettos she had discarded in her rush to get to the new noses, she was approached by a mother pulling two children along behind her. “Did you get your nose here?” the mother enquired. “It’s just what I have been looking for.” “Sorry,” answered the young woman, “This nose was my grandmother’s.” She began to walk away, but turned back to the mother, saying, “But, I like your nose the way it is.You shouldn’t change a thing.” Just then, the announcer spoke over the intercom. “Attention customers: New lips on aisle six.” The young woman picked up her handbag, again dropped the red shoes and quickly left the store without a glance back. www.aawmag.com


Dearest Dr. Mann, It’s a new year and I have all my resolutions lined up in my Day-Planner waiting to be unleashed. One problem. No. 45 on my list reads: “Help husband make and keep resolutions.”You see, my beloved seems to have born without the ability to make plans, create goals or even make a New Year’s resolution. If something isn’t already written out for him — like, say, the TV listings — he just doesn’t follow through with any of our family’s plans. Can you help? ~ Resolved in Rutherwood

Dear Resolved: Your dilemma reminds me of an ancient Japanese proverb I just made up: “She who attempts to dress a spider monkey in the silver robes of an emperor will live in a palace of soiled silk.” OK, that has nothing to do with your question, but Dr. Mann has resolved to make up more proverbs in the New Year. Feel free to use that one and send 50 cents to the good doctor every time you do so. It sounds like your husband — for the sake of anonymity let’s call him Sluggish McLiesAround — simply needs a quick kick in the mission statement, but since Dr. Mann frowns on time-management themed violence, let’s focus on incremental change. It also sounds like Ole Sluggish agrees with Mark Twain’s analysis concerning resolutions — to wit — “New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” To avoid adding Hades to the state’s growing roadwork schedule, let’s turn to the experts. They suggest, when setting goals, that we make them SMART (making them form a neat acrostic like “SMART” is also hip among “success-perts”). “S” stands for specific. Specifically, Sluggish better get his game face on or it sounds like you are going to specifically grab him by a specific body part and squeeze until he specifically agrees to change. “M” stands for measurable. If Hubby doesn’t start starring in his own production of “The Man With the Plan,” you are likely going to measure off how many feet your boot travels into a place a boot was not designed to travel and you will then be able to measure his resolve in decibels of painful screaming. “A” stands for attainable. Again, I’m guessing if a new year of change is not attained, your soul mate may be attaining an uncomfortable chunk of real estate known as the downstairs sofa. “R” stands for realistic — as in, homelessness may be a realistic option for your Cuddle Bear if he can’t even agree to stop his dangerous Doritos and Deep-fried Twinkies Diet and get in shape. “T” stands for timely. From your point of view, the time for change was yesterday. From his point of view? Well, he lost his watch while playing laser tag with the guys, so that may be a moot point. Dr. Mann suggests helping Sluggish set at least one resolution no matter how simple. An example might be, “Put down the remote, wipe the Fun-yuns crumbs from your sweatshirt and walk around the block. It’s specific — you can even mix up the snack food in question depending on his feeding habits. It’s measurable—by the time he carts his carcass one block, he’ll be counting the steps and counting all the missed Fun-yuns. Is it attainable? With the right amount of sweat, love and an industrial-strength cattle prod, all things are possible. Realistic? Again, think cattle prod. But will it be timely? With the exception of prying the remote out of his chubby fingers, this resolution can begin anytime, but Dr. Mann recommends waiting until all major NCAA bowl games are over. As Forrest Gump never said, “There’s timely and then there’s just plain unrealistic.” In the end, your plans to totally change a loved one will prove as difficult as teaching an angry groundhog to fetch your slippers (Dr. Mann knows — he has GOT to get out more). But with a loving nudge here and an electric shock there, you may find your formerly goal-less heap of man will slowly transform into a mean, lean planning machine — with or without Fun-yuns.

There’s an ancient proverb in there, somewhere. Dr. Mann Do you have a question? Dr. Mann has the answer. E-mail: boonedrmann@yahoo.com. www.aawmag.com

JANUARY 2009 63


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JANUARY: 1

Happy New Year!

2 Downtown Boone Art Crawl 5:30 p.m., King St., Boone. Local artwork featured at various gallery, merchant and restaurant locations in the downtown area. (First Friday of each month.) All media and price ranges available for sale. (828) 2624532. 7 - Feb. 6 Dreams of Summer, Ashe Arts Center. Paintings and photography bringing a reminder of warmer days to come. January 8, reception for artists, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Ashe County Arts Council: (336) 846-2787. 13 Septuagenarian (70 & Older) Party to recognize Sugar’s “Senior Citizen Skiers.” Sugar Mountain Ski Resort: (828) 898-4521.

12th Annual Musical Unity Service, 7 p.m., Mabel Methodist Church. Guests Audrey and Sam Tate and Rev. Morris Hatton. Includes a presentation on the Underground Railroad and a rich musical program. Desserts follow. (828) 2973568. Martin Luther King Holiday Celebration, Ashe Arts Center, 7 p.m., featuring actor Mike Wiley with excerpts from Tired Souls. Ashe County Arts Council: (336)-846-2787. 20 ASU’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration, 7 p.m. at Farthing Auditorium, ASU campus, featuring retired Lt. Colonel John Tuesday Slade, one of the founders of the AfricanAmerican international Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, established in 1963. (828) 2626252.

22 – 25 11th Annual Blowing Rock Winterfest, Three full days of fun. WinterFeast, wine auction, live music, chili cook-off, kids’ activities, ice carving, Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake, and much more. Free hot chocolate & hayrides. Don’t hibernate, celebrate! www. blowingrockwinterfest.com or (877) 2957801.

20 – 24 Open Crafts Table for all ages in celebration of Chinese New Year, Tues Sat. at Watauga County Library (828) 2648784.

16 “World Famous” LIPIZZANER STALLIONS 7:30 p.m., The Holmes Center, ASU campus in Boone. (828) 262-6603.

24 Dances Of Universal Peace dedicated to the “Dream.” Saturday, 7:30 p.m., St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Boone. Suggested donation of $5. (828) 2641384.

18 – 25 I Have A Dream Week:

23 Winter Blues Festival, 7:30 p.m., Hayes Performing Arts Center, Blowing Rock. (828) 295-9627.

18 MLK Celebration, Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 10:30 a.m. noon. 381 E. King Street, Boone. (828) 264-4456.

24 Harmonia Baroque, Ashe Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. An evening of chamber music. Ashe County Arts Council: (336)846-2787.

19 MLK CHALLENGE, A Day ON, not a day off! 10th annual day of community service projects, 8.30 a.m. - 6.30 p.m., based at Legends with ASU ACT office coordinating. (828) 262-2193.

24 The John Cowan Band, Hayes Center, 7:30 p.m. National recording artist John Cowan brings his unique style of Americana / Bluegrass / New Grass. (825) 295-9627.

24 – 25 27th Annual Bathing Beauty Contest, Ski Beech. Male and female categories. Brisk fun! (800) 4382093 for details. Cardboard Box Derby, Ski Beech. Call 800-438-2093 to confirm dates and for further information. 25 A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 11 a.m. Mennonite Brethren Church, Church Street, Boone. (828) 2630502. 27 African Children’s Choir: Unforgettable Journey of Hope, 8 p.m., Farthing Auditorium, ASU Boone, NC. Blending traditional song and dance inspired by the entire continent of Africa, the Choir delights audiences all over the world. Experience this unforgettable “journey” that tells of the choir’s inspirational journey out of war-torn Uganda. 30 Wake Up Watauga, 8:00 a.m. Dan’l Boone Inn. Hosted by Boone Chamber of Commerce. Guest speaker Harry Davis, Professor of Banking at ASU. RSVP to Wysteria White, (828) 264-2225 or e-mail info@boonechamber.com.

31 New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, Appalachian Ski Mountain will ring in the New Year in style! Fireworks, torchlight skiing and more. Moonlight ice-skating from 10 p.m. to midnight. Breakfast available from 9 p.m. to midnight.

The Mayors of Boone and Blowing Rock, ASU’s Chancellor, the Watauga County Commissioners and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce have proclaimed Sunday, January 18, to Sunday, January 25 to be I Have A Dream Week, a celebration of Martin Luther King’s vision and lifetime of service to humanity.

Do you have a special upcoming event?

Send us a note to: comments@aawmag.com and we’ll add™ it to that month’s calendar page! www.aawmag.com

JANUARY 2009 65


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All About Women - January 2009