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FA M I LY L I F E S T Y L E N E W S M A G A Z I N E MAY 2013

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Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes in the West Cobb Area. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town reserves the right to

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edit and or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made by advertisers. Entire contents copyright 2013 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

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ATLANTA CYCLLING RIDES - SATURDAY VININGS LOOP: Year round on Saturdays, at Atlanta Cycling Vinings, 4335 Cobb Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339. Meet at 9am for a 55 mile ride and at 10am for a 22 mile in-town ride. Pace on all rides is optional, so ride at your own pace and enjoy the route or ride with the group. The painted routes are very well marked and easy to follow. For more information, call 770.952.7731 or visit www.atlantacycling.com/articles/rides-and-events. SMYRNA FRESH PRODUCE MARKET: Saturdays, May 4th through Fall, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Here's a great market in your backyard! Visit our local farmers market on Saturdays and stock up on all your fresh fruits and veggies at the Fresh Produce Market. Market opens at 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the parking lot between Smyrna First Baptist and the Market Village (1275 Church Street SE Smyrna, GA 30080-3595). Enjoy and be healthy! F.A.R.M. FARMERS ATLANTA RD. MARKET: Every Tuesday at 4:30pm at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church, 2160 Cooper Lake Rd., SE, Smyrna. St. Benedict's Episcopal Church as a weekday source for Cobb Co. and Atlanta residents to buy fresh local produce and other foods. Local means we eat seasonal items that will taste better and be better for you while supporting farmers in our own community. Weekly Seasonal Produce from Georgia Farmers. FARM is a "Georgia Only" Market. Our vendors either grow their own produce or their creations are from Georgia ingredients.

calendar of events

MOM’S WALKING GROUP: Meets Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10am at Smyrna First United Methodist Church, 1315 Concord Rd., SE, Smyrna, GA 30080. Come meet other moms and enjoy a walk by the river. Contact Deb Cook, www.smyrnafumc.org or email dcook@smyrnafumc.org for more information.

FOOD TRUCK TUESDAYS: Food Truck season is upon us! Taylor-Brawner Park will roll out the dinner bell each Tuesday from 6pm-9pm. Through October nine trucks with dinner options and three trucks featuring deserts will be serving it up to Smyrna familes. 10% of the proceeds are given to a non-profit charity. Make it a weekly family event! THE VININGS PHOTOGRAPHY CENTER-LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR CAMERA!: One day workshop on May 9th, 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Taylor Brawner House, 3188 Atlanta Rd., Smyrna. Are you confused about all the bells and whistles on your camera? This is a basic camera workshop for those who want to gain creative control and better understand your camera’s features. To register, call 404.987.8612. The workshop is $49. Bring your DSLR campera and manual. Visit www.viningsphotographycenter.com for more information. 2nd ANNUAL MOTHER-SON DANCE: Saturday, May 11th from 7-10pm at the Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna. There will be food, music, contest, give-aways, picture packages and so much more!!! This year a portion of the proceeds will go towards research for a cure for Autism. They will be participating in the 2013 GA Autism Speaks Walk which is held on May 19,2013 at Atlantic Station. Please go to www.walknowforautismspeaks.org and search for our team "LANDONKARTS" and join the movement!! $35 per couple, $10 each additional son. Please contact Halaveshia or Kim for any additional questions at kaidysface@gmail.com or thekimberlyrenayfoundation@gmail.com.

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YAARAB SHRINE CIRCUS: The circus is coming to town, and it happens to be the biggest Shrine Circus in North America. Don’t miss the opportunity to see all-new top circus acts from around the world with clowns, bears, elephants, horses, motorcycles, acrobats, and daredevil acts. Plus, enjoy a giant Carnival midway featuring over 40 rides and attractions. The circus begins on May 3rd, and ends on May 12th. The Big Top rises at Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta. For schedule and further information, call 404.872.5818, or visit www.circus2013.com. GEORGIA MINER MOTHER’S DAY GEM AND MINERAL SHOW: Friday May 10th, - Sunday May 12th, at the Cobb County Civic Center, 548 Marietta Parkway. Jewelry for Mom, rocks, minerals, fossils, and gems. Free admission, door prizes, and demonstrations. For more information visit www.gamineral.org. OPEN MIC NIGHT AT REV COFFEE: You're invited to play your music every Wednesday night in an open mic forum in front of a cozy, supportive crowd. Performers are encouraged to bring their own instruments however, partly in due to Rev’s community atmosphere, but mostly due to the friendliness of our fellow Rev-goers, just because you forgot your instrument doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to play. A musician sign-up board will be set up near the coffee counter, so you’ll know when you’re up. Though a lot of the music played at Rev is acoustic, don’t be afraid to crank up the dial. People can read the newspaper and play chess between 8:00am-8:00pm. The hours of 8:00pm-10:00pm are for music. No purchases are necessary. But we hear caffeine is good for dexterity and teas are great way to warm up your vocal chords. www.revcoffee.com 1680 Spring Road SE, Smyrna.

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(Continued on page 26) Our Town


A graduate of Auburn University, Lisa has lived in Smyrna for the last 20 years and is proud to call it her home. She and her husband, Andy, live there with their three children, Evan, Alex and Kate. In her free time you can find her on the tennis court or the stands of Smyrna Little League games. For more information about Lisa Phillipson Photography please visit www.LisaPhillipson.com or give Lisa a call directly at (770) 595-6134

feature photographer

Lisa Phillipson specializes in custom portraiture of newborns, children, families and High School Seniors. Lisa's studio in Marietta is perfect for newborn sessions and she prefers to work on-location with High School Seniors and families to promote a relaxed and fun environment. Lisa is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and is an award winning Senior photographer with the National Association of Professional Child Photographers.

about the cover

The fun loving students on our May cover are Junior Master Gardeners and members of King Springs Elementary School. Catie, Jack, Mackenzie, Jimmy, Sophia, Alexandra, Zachary, Kristoffer, Sydni, Macy, Haley, Sara, and Mickella all participate in this unique program. The gardens at King Springs are a featured stop on the Keep Smyrna Beautiful Garden Tour and are a work in progress, with many generous benefactors carrying the vision forward. Garden visitors will notice the new landscaping at the front of the school, starting with the marquis area and the building entrance. A butterfly garden, also located at the front, is not just a thing of beauty, but serves as a laboratory for the students. At the back of the school you will be delighted with the beauty and whimsy of the Bennett Woods garden with its hardscapes, herbs, and a beautiful collection of perennials, annuals, trees and bushes. The teaching garden, accessed by a small footbridge over a dry river bed, is hugged by the proverbial picket fence and holds 19 raised beds, a weather station, a compost bin, and two rain barrels snugged up to the potting shed. Provided by Beth Tovi, Media Specialist at King Springs Elementary.

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PAGE 8

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by Ann Kirk, Director of Keep Smyrna Beautiful The fifth annual Keep Smyrna Beautiful Garden Tour will take place May 18th, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. The tour includes five very unique residential gardens, in addition to the gardens of King Springs Elementary School, plus delicious food and a plant sale at the historic Taylor-Brawner House Tea Room. Tickets are only $10 in advance and $15 the day of the tour. Tickets are available in Smyrna at Atkins Park Tavern, Love Street, Back Yard Feed and Seed, the Smyrna Community Center and the Recycling Center. The tour is a rain or shine event and is self-guided and self-paced covering gardens within a 4.5 mile radius. The entire tour can be easily done within a few hours, depending of course, on how much time you wish to spend at the Tea Room and plant sale! All proceeds will go to fund the planting of more trees in Brawner Park and other public spaces. The Keep Smyrna Beautiful Garden Tours have a dual purpose of highlighting the beautiful spaces in our community and also of educating those who attend on successful gardening practices and problem solving ideas. The gardens range from professionally designed and installed landscapes to totally do–ityourself labors of love. Garden owners are encouraged to be onsite to answer questions and share resources. Plant lists will be available at most homes. The Hunter Native Plant Garden was featured on the Georgia Native Plant Society tour last year and is a certified GNPS Native Plant Habitat. The 1.7 acre property features mostly American native plants including sun, shade and bog areas. It also includes an extensive trillium planting area and a corner Asian Garden featuring native plants of China, Taiwan and Japan. Plants are well labeled. The Spearman Garden was designed professionally with a great deal of input from the homeowners. A sloping .5 acre lot, it includes a sun garden, raised vegetable beds, a shade garden and a woodland garden accessed by a lovely custom bridge over a dry creek. Arbors, potted plants, beautiful artwork, annuals and perennials mix well here, tied together by an interesting variety of pathways. The Hillyer Bennett Garden has been a labor of love by the owner, Jennifer Bennett, evolving over the years in honor of her father, who she watched build stone walls as a child. It is a treasured retreat that includes multiple water features, an arbor and circular patio all designed and built by Ms. Bennett. It is a great example of a beautiful use of urban neighborhood space. The Kyle family has created an appealing example of one-acre urban homestead in their popular Forest Hills neighborhood. With two small children and concerns about the quality of food motivated them to try to raise more of it themselves. The house is circa 1920, and original fruit and pecan trees remain on the property, which is maintained organically. They keep an assortment of bantam hens, some rare, which provide eggs. They have recently added two Nigerian miniature goats which will provide milk for cheese and soap. Raised beds provide vegetable garden space in the back. The front yard is home to many long lived, well adapted perennials, as well as a small pond near the front porch. Betty William’s garden brings to mind your grandmother’s vegetable and cut –flower gardens. For years, she has successfully grown a wide variety of vegetables and flowers that she likes to share with neighbors. She says that she has always been gifted with a green thumb, but is willing to share her secrets as well. The Tea Room alone is a treat worth the ticket price! Located in the historic Taylor-Brawner House, you will be welcome to sample the savory and sweet treats, enjoy a refreshing glass of iced tea, and visit with friends and the Garden Tour sponsors inside. The Campbell High School Band will also be playing live music throughout the day. Out on the porch and lawn you will find a selection of favorite perennial, shrubs and plants for sale. The Garden tour is very fortunate to have great sponsors, including a first –time Presenting Sponsor, the Charyn Darby Foundation. Charyn Darby was a prominent business woman who was active in numerous civic and non-profit organizations and her legacy continues through her foundation. Nell Robinson and Joan M. Stuart serve as 2013 Garden Tour co-chairs. Planning Team members include Angie Bolton, Gina Bridges, Jan Campbell, Liz Davis, Ann Kirk, David Stewart, and Eva Tackett. Our special thanks to Joan Stuart, Beth Tovi, and Lisa Phillipson for help in organizing this month’s cover photography.

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How old you are is your business... how young you look is ours!

by Holly and Diana Parks

We’re always racing. Cars, microwave ovens, computers, phones – even tans, diets, and educations – are placed on the fast track yet made immediately obsolete by newer, speedier models. Ironically, flying through life creates stress that robs us of the very things we long to preserve – time and youth.

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Emails, texts, tweets, and instagrams give us swift satisfaction, immediate answers, and fleeting fixes. Sound bytes and Evites are not only quick but also green. Although grateful for the Georgia pines and most of the advances of technology, I grieve the near extinction of the written letter and argue that its value far exceeds the time we save and the trees we cut. Reaching into the mailbox and pulling out a hand-addressed envelope rather than the usual bill or flyer sparks a smile across any face, no matter how young, how wrinkled, how popular, how lonely, how rich, how poor, how busy, or how bored.

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From kindergarten through middle school, children often begin each morning in their journals. Instead of being boxed up and shoved into the attic, what if all the childhood stories and sentiments written in #2 pencil were regularly sealed, stamped, and sent to grandma, a soldier overseas, or a best friend who moved away? A grandfather maneuvering through Alzheimer’s forgets the phone call within moments of the “I love you” sign-off and ensuing silence, but the trifolded letter on the end table next to his favorite chair gradually becomes dog-eared with the repeated unfolding, holding, and once again new news of his family. Forty-odd years ago, I wrote Alabama Governor George Wallace a get-well letter after the assassination attempt on his life. In my best eight-year-old cursive, I scribbled, “I’m sorry you got shot.” I may have also shared with him that my dog Shadow was healing up too, although he was only run over by a car. A couple months later I received a large white envelope with a thank you note and an autographed picture of Governor Wallace next to an American flag. I all but declared us official pen pals. I receive texts now from my children in college thanking me for my letters. Though tethered to the Internet and the iPhone, they don’t value my emails and snapchats like they do my letters. And they certainly don’t save the electronic correspondence. There’s a difference between collecting and saving. People collect stamps, coins, and baseball cards, but they save letters. What starts out as fresh ink on linen stationary over time yellows, and current news becomes history, recent events are remembered as precious memories, and blushing crushes are sometimes the long-ago seed of a fifty year-old marriage. To reach beyond the “How are you? I am fine” introduction of a letter creates a shift from introspection to an outward focus. To share interests, recent good books, or to describe a slice of the week in your own style not only draws the reader into your world but also prompts you to consider theirs. To write about what would interest them pours your mind into their hearts. My daughter claims that seeing my handwriting is like smelling my perfume; it is a tangible part of who I am. We know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have time to write letters…” The next time you’re stuck in a long, no-cell-phone carpool line, take five minutes to update your godmother. Or the next time you reach for your laptop to scan Google News, grab a notecard first. Sending a letter has less to do with what you write than the sentiment you convey in taking the time to send your thoughts on paper. Pick up a pack of notecards next time you’re at the store and make ten people’s days over the next couple months. In this fast-paced world, we will all slow down long enough to read a hand-written letter.

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Changes that Come With Becoming a Mother by Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D. “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~Unknown author~ When you become a mother, you expect some changes – less sleep, a different body, less free time. But what may be less expected is the ways that motherhood changes you on the inside. More than any other milestone, becoming a mother simply changes everything in life. When we become mothers something very deep within us is changed forever. Over time, regardless of the age of her child, a mother’s love and bond with her “baby” remains strong and unique. Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D., author of The Gift of Motherhood: 10 Truths for Every Mother, states: “How could I describe the indescribable? How could I put into words what it is like to be the shepherd, the guardian, and the caretaker of a tiny, helpless human being… and to gradually wean and empower him or her to be able to live a healthy, happy, and successful life? The intense connection between a mother and her children brings with it a new level of responsibility. You are the one who watches over them, and guides them. You are the person who nurtures their spiritual core and their well-being. You are responsible not only for seeing that they are wearing warm enough clothes and that that they drink their milk. In the beginning, even their basic survival is your responsibility.” Daniel N. Stern, M.D., wrote The Birth of a Mother in 1998 and was met with criticism and praise. This book was controversial as it chalLeisa Bailey with daughter, Ali lenged that the “Hallmark” image of the glow and joy of motherhood also came with more negative and difficult adaptations. Dr. Stern stated the purpose of his book was “to take the edge off the loneliness and isolation so many mothers experience when they face the dramatic change in their inner landscape, and don’t know whether they are the only ones to whom it’s ever happened.” Dr. Stern asserts three stages in the development of what he terms the “motherhood mindset”. 1. “Preparing to be a Mother” The months of pregnancy and the birth is when a woman

emotionally prepares for motherhood by exploring her expectations, fears, and fantasies about her child.

2. “A Mother is Born” The months following the baby’s birth a mother has engaged in the feed-

ing, nurturing, and caring for the new baby. The first and strongest concerns are keeping the baby alive and then making the baby grow and thrive. Additional is the development of an intimate, loving relationship with your new baby. During this stage the new mother needs connection with other mothers to help her develop her own mothering identity. She seeks affirmation, support and validation from other women in the mothering role- particularly her own mother. 3. “The Mother Adapts” The phase involves the process of merging the mother identity with

other roles. A refocus on the role of being a wife is essential. The birth of a child creates momentous and unpredictable changes to the marital relationship. The couple still needs time together to keep that relationship strong. Perhaps most difficult in this phase is the challenge of finding harmony with mothering and resuming a career. The realities of returning to employment necessitate significant adjustments and are a major emotional challenge in the third phase of the birth of a mother.

Mothering is unique to each woman, and no two mothers have the same experience. While it is a whole new level of responsibility and the most challenging experience for any woman; it is also the most joyous.

Happy Mother’s Day to all! Dr. Bailey is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Marietta. You can learn more about her by visiting: www.marietta-psychologist.com. You may reach her at (770) 428-6698 or LeisaB@marietta-psychologist.com. Your comments or questions are welcome.

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art • cooking • dance • sports • language • science • lego • Dr. Seuss • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory • Harry Potter • & more

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1 Winter hazard

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2 Locust

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51 Elated

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Captured

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59 Felony

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12 Music

49 Joiner

13 Grain

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45 Sun's name

24 Swiss-like cheese

66 Arose

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67 Eskimo canoe

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As you gear up for enjoying spring sports, such as tennis and golf, it’s important to be aware of some of the most common elbow injuries and how to prevent them and treat them, if they do occur. “Tennis Elbow,” also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a very common condition caused by overuse of arm and forearm muscles that result in elbow pain. It develops when either an abrupt or subtle injury of the muscle, and tendon around the outside of the elbow, occurs. Tennis elbow specifically involves the area where the muscles and tendons of the forearm attach to the outside bony area (called the lateral epicondyle) of the elbow. It most commonly strikes people in their dominant arm, though it can also occur in the non-dominant or both arms. You don’t have to be a tennis player to be affected by tennis elbow. In fact, anyone who participates in activities that require repetitive arm, elbow, and wrist movement, such as baseball players, bowlers, gardeners or assembly line workers, may be at risk for tennis elbow. Common symptoms are experiencing pain slowly increasing around the outside of the elbow, with pain worsening when shaking hands or squeezing objects.

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Another common elbow injury is medial epicondylitis, also referred to as “Golfer’s Elbow” or sometimes even “Pitcher’s Elbow.” Although it’s less common, this condition is similar to tennis elbow in that it’s an overuse syndrome. However, the affected muscles and tendons are on the inside of the elbow, rather than the outside. Repetitive flexing, gripping or swinging is what causes the tiny tears in the tendons, which contribute to this form of elbow tendonitis. There are several ways you can decrease your risk of tennis or golf elbow. Though it may sound simple, it is vital that you engage in simple stretches to warm up your muscles before playing a game of tennis or a round of golf. It also helps to strengthen the forearm muscles by doing exercises such as squeezing a tennis ball for five minutes at a time or doing wrist curls with a light dumbbell. If you’re diagnosed with tennis elbow or golf elbow, your doctor will likely advise that you take a break from your sport, or whatever the activity may be that’s causing the overuse of your elbow. Ice, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications may also be recommended. In some cases cortisone injections are required, and in severe cases, surgery, though that is rare.

At Pinnacle, our physicians maximize results and minimize recovery time. How? By using leading edge technologies and the most innovative techniques. We take this advanced approach in every area of orthopaedic care, including Pinnacle specialties such as sports medicine, joint replacement, fracture care, spine, foot and ankle, hand, general orthopaedics and pain management. Visit www.pinnacle-ortho.com for a complete list of services, physicians and locations near you.

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While tennis elbow and golf elbow are some of the more common diagnosis, there are a number of conditions that can contribute to elbow pain. Therefore, if you’re suffering from elbow pain, it is important to have your orthopaedic surgeon examine the elbow in order to give you the proper diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment for you. So, best of luck as you hit the courts, or the course, and enjoy your favorite sports this spring! Dr. Jaffe is a board certified, orthopaedic surgeon with Pinnacle Orthopaedics. Get to Know Pinnacle. Call 770-9443303 or visit www.pinnacle-ortho.com for a complete list of physicians, services and locations near you.

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Awaken Your Outdoors! by Meredith Warnock, RID After the pollen is gone and the warm breezes are here to stay, it is time to reevaluate your outdoor living spaces for the season. Porches, patios and balconies should be an extension of the interior decor of your home. This month, try a few ways to freshen & showcase your style beyond your interior footprint.

Color, Please! The great outdoors is an excellent backdrop for vibrant color. Blue and white is a timeless, classic color combination. Saturated punches of color such as emerald green, purple, fuschia and turquoise are widely available in outdoor fabric offerings on the market. Whatever your color preference, add color to your outdoor decor. This simple step will make everything more beautiful. A Blue for You

Photo by Meredith Warnock Interior Design

A Southern tradition of painting the porch ceiling blue is enjoying a renaissance among new generations of enthusiasts. Blue is a cool, calm color which mimics the sky, allows for the day to linger and the temperature to let on a little cooler than reality. Blues have a widerange of color variation and intensity, so take care in choosing the right shade that will marry well with the elements of your home’s facade and the natural light of your space. Think Outside of the Set Of course, it is easy to replace old outdoor furniture by choosing a single manufacturer’s line and using all the applicable pieces for your space. However, this can yield an uninteresting result. Instead mix wood, metal, stone and ceramic pieces for a look that suggests pieces were pulled together overtime and with a designer’s eye in mind.

Doors & Shutters This is the time of the year to give your front & back doors a new look. Whether you simply repaint or you change out the door all together, do something different than your current look. Though this is just one element of the facade of your home, a new “do” for your door will make all the difference in the world. Outdoor Lighting While you are updating your door, take this opportunity to get new exterior lighting. Many times, the outdoor lighting that came with the purchase of your home is outdated, under-scaled and/or aging in finish. This simple change will upgrade your facade’s “bling” factor!

As seen in fashion over the last year, mixing up patterns is a vivacious way to liven your look. The same is true with your decor scheme. Mixing patterns will add interest and give your decor a polished finish. Co-mingle large & bold patterns with small, intricate designs and you have a recipe for success. Beauty Afoot Adding an outdoor rug is the quickest way to elevate your outdoor space into an outdoor room. A rug defines the furniture layout and sets the tone of the overall design. Also, at your front door, throw out your tired, winter-laden, doormat and refresh your welcome with a new one.

PAGE 19

Photo by Matt Boyd Photography

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Meredith is a registered interior designer (RID) with a design career that spans 12-years with residential, commercial and hospitality projects throughout the U.S., including Georgia, Texas, California and New York. meredith@meredithwarnock.com 210.464.2366 www.meredithwarnock.com

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mommy moments

A Call to Homeschool by Shasta Clark I am up to my eyeballs in mothering—the messes, the carpooling, the timeouts, the kisses, the cooking, the forgiveness, the play dates, the Band-aides, the correcting, the guilt. All this leaves little time for me. Take one look at my hobbit-like toenails, my 3-inch-long roots, or my thickening waistline, and it’s clear that I don’t spend much time on myself.

For about two years now, I’ve been mulling over homeschooling. And after two years of research, thought and prayer, here’s what I’ve determined: I don’t want to homeschool! I want my kids to go to school so I can go to the gym and finally feel good in my jeans again. I want to meet other moms for lunch. I want to pick up the journalism career I put down more than seven years ago. I want to accomplish something more than three loads of laundry, three meals, and three bedtime stories every day.

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I always thought homeschooling was strange. I pictured girls with long braids and longer jean skirts. I heard all the arguments about socialization, and I mostly agreed with them.

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Then, a few years ago, my husband became close friends and business partners with a man who had been homeschooled as a kid. I was amazed; he was so “normal”. Come to think of it, he was better than normal. Normal was what I was. I went to normal schools, got a normal education, and led a normal life. Normal was what I strove to be as a teenager, desperately seeking acceptance from the crowd. Yet as an adult, I realize that I don’t want my sons to strive for normalcy. I want them to be abnormal, just like my husband’s friend— educated, honest to the core, faithful, good, kind, true to oneself and to God, a devoted husband and father. What a bold decision his parents made, especially several decades ago. Nowadays, homeschooling is becoming more accepted, not just among Christians, but people from all walks of life are choosing it for different reasons. Yet decades ago, when his parents chose to homeschool, it was nearly unheard of.

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Seeking answers for my own family, I called his mom to ask why she chose to remove her children from the well-worn and well-accepted path of public school for the often-criticized and misunderstood path of homeschooling. She told me that homeschooling wasn’t an escape from the world; it was a way to teach her children real life. That made a lot of sense to me, but going against the grain still burdened me, and burdens me to this day.

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I live in a town similar to yours. The schools are excellent, the teachers are outstanding, and the parents move here purposefully for the school. If I choose to homeschool, I will be the only one in my community who does. Being the only one isn’t easy. It’s lonely, and I hate lonely. If I choose to homeschool, it won’t be a popular decision, even among my friends. Already, a fellow Christian mom found out I was merely entertaining the idea, and she gave me a half-hour monologue about why I shouldn’t. She let her feelings be known right in front of five other moms at a dinner party. It’s hard to stand up to that. But parenting takes courage. We parents, and especially we Christians, are often called to make decisions that are scary to us and strange to others.

PAGE 21

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But sweet relief is in my sights. Next fall, two of my three children will be in school, one in second grade and one in half-day kindergarten, leaving four hours a day just for me, well, just for me and my toddler. Nonetheless, me-time is so close I can almost smell the lacquer of the nail salon, and boy, does it smell good!

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Bedtime Rituals

We Create Beautiful Smiles

by Mark Orler What makes something a ritual? Many of you will be experiencing a series of rituals this month as your children, or even yourselves, line up in front of an audience to accept a piece of paper that says you graduated from high school or college. If you look up ritual in the dictionary, the term basically boils down to a set of repeated actions that have a symbolic meaning ascribed to them. Much like walking across a stage wearing a robe and flattened hat to receive a scripted note telling you that your “real diploma will be mailed to you in a few days…Congrats!” At our house we have similarly created rituals to mark moments that would otherwise go unnoticed. Like the ritual of the Evening Liquid Immersion, or “bath-time.” At our house this ritual begins around the dinner table as the cacophony of gluttony is broken by the matron of the household when she screams, “you children stink, go take your baths.”

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This ritual is followed by the Destructive Dance of Progressive Nudity where three young souls attempt to strip themselves naked while running from the kitchen to the bathroom to be “first.” We don’t know why this is so important, but apparently it is worth destroying everything in your path to accomplish. The next ritual is the Authority of Temperature Battle where six sets of toes determine whether or not their father has created the perfect water temperature for the rest of their precious bodies and which one will comfortably enjoy the soapy immersion while the other two must suffer their fate as either “too cold” or “too hot.” Again, I don’t know why it’s so important but many a tear has been shed by the losers of this battle while the single victor frolics amidst the bubbles. Donning of the Dry Towel follows where the chosen one is allowed to leave the confines of the tub first, and is then enrobed in a large towel and carried into the bedroom for the removal of moisture. The remaining children get to enjoy the Donning of the Less-Dry Towel as daddy is a habitual reuser of towels and doesn’t think their little wet bodies warrant fresh towels each and every time their behinds need drying. He could also be cheap and lazy, but such is their lot in life.

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The last ritual is the Rites of Pagan Pleasure where each child performs their own interpretive dance in a seemingly hilarious attempt to avoid having underwear and pajamas placed upon their naked frames. This may also be the result of not getting completely dried by the dampened towel they were forced to don by their father. Maybe they will learn to be First Finished with My Bath?! The final ritual is not ritual at all, because it is neither symbolic, nor just repetitive: it is the nightly Conversation with God where each child is given the chance to thank their Creator and his Son for their blessed day, and for their father to weep with gratitude.

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Mark Orler is a full-time husband, father and part-time observationist. Mark can be reached at mlorler@yahoo.com

PAGE 23

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The Real Estate Market

A SNAPSHOT OF THE REAL ESTATE MARKET by Deborah Ratchford

Inventory is the discussion point in the housing market right now. The shortage of homes for sale in advance of the busy home shopping season that comes with the warmer weather and kids getting out of school is a hot topic.

A Bird in the Hand

The overall number of homes listed for sale is down almost 20% from last year. Understanding when the inventory shortage will fully lift requires an understanding of what’s causing the squeeze in the first place. So, I thought I would provide a bit of background.

Before sellers commit to listing their home, they first must be convinced they can buy a home better suited to their needs after their current home sells. Due to the inventory shortage, many sellers fear they may not find their next home if they list their current home. Homeowners become convinced that inventory shortages will mean they won’t be able to find another home if they decide to sell, so they keep their home off the market, which contributes to still more inventory shortages.

Negative Equity

Constructing a Solution

By far the largest single factor contributing to the shortage of homes on the market is the overall number of homeowners with negative equity, or homes that are “underwater” which means that the homeowner owes more on their mortgage than their home is worth. Believe it or not, this is about 25% of homeowners. As a result, many potential sellers are stuck where they are, and many potential listings instead sit unlisted, contributing to tight inventory.

The last major factor that will contribute to more for-sale listings are new homes currently under construction and in the construction pipeline. The GOOD NEWS - Housing starts are up 20% and permits issued for new housing rose 35%. The housing crash put many planned residential construction projects on hold over the last 5 years. But as demand began to return, so did developers and their previous projects. New construction will help ease inventory constraints and moderate sometimes over appreciation in many areas.

These homeowners can’t list their home for sale because their outstanding loan balance is more than the home would likely sell for. Therefore, the seller would have to bring cash to the closing table to satisfy their obligations to their lender and in most cases, this just doesn’t make sense.

What Should You Do?

The GOOD NEWS - Home values rose over 6% year-over-year and are expected to rise another 3%+ through the rest of the year. These rising values will help free many homeowners trapped by negative equity. Holding Out While buyers always want to buy as close to the bottom as possible, and sellers want to sell as close to the top – the objective of both, of course, is to walk away with the most money in their pocket – that’s almost impossible if you are selling and buying. Currently, the market is much closer to the bottom than it is to the top with national home values hovering at 18.5 percent less than their 2007 peak. So, many would-be listings are not on the market because homeowners are convinced their home is worth more than it might currently sell for or some sellers are emotional and can get stuck on a figure they think they must achieve before selling. The important thing is to consider all aspects in the selling or buying of a home. The GOOD NEWS - your real estate professional is an expert that can help you prioritize your goals and help you consider various scenarios and perspectives that you might not have considered including rising prices, your location, timing, interest rates and more!

PAGE 24

The current inventory shortage is a product of new household formation, near-historic housing affordability and low interest rates. The GOOD NEWS is that these fundamentals should remain in place in the market for the foreseeable future. And, yes, supply will struggle to keep pace with demand but only in the short term. As a result, many buyers in the upcoming spring home shopping season may get pulled into bidding wars over what inventory is available, which can be frustrating. The best advice is to remember the value of patience, to understand that more supply will be coming and to not commit to paying beyond your comfort level in the heat of negotiations. Your real estate professional can help you create your picture perfect scenario.

Deborah Ratchford Keller Williams Realty Cityside 678-570-4779 • debratchford@kw.com

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what’s cookin’?

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta (JLCM). The League truly strives to make a positive impact in our community with a constant focus on making a difference in the lives of women and children in Cobb County. This year the JLCM sponsored its 3rd annual Foster Care Party, expanded the Kids in the Kitchen program, and collected over 90 coats for Operation Warmth. Additionally, the JLCM is preparing for another strong year in service through its various fundraising events: Mistletoe Market, Marietta Mardi Gras Run, the sale of cookbooks, as well as financial support from sponsors and donors to the Annual Giving Campaign. Together, we are building better communities. This month we encourage you to try this delicious anniversary dinner from the JLCM’s cookbooks as you celebrate an anniversary or celebratory occasion in your family. Copies of the JLCM’s cookbooks, Georgia On My Menu and Southern On Occasion, can be ordered by visiting the JLCM website www.jlcm.org. All proceeds from these award-winning books go directly to the JLCM.

Caesar Salad with Rich Dressing Southern On Occasion, page 94 2 cloves of garlic 1 (2 – ounce) can anchovies, drained 6 ounces parmesan cheese, grated Juice of 2 lemons ½ cup olive oil 1 teaspoon cracked pepper 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce Mixed greens (romaine and endive) Croutons Process the garlic in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Add the anchovies. Pulse until chopped. Add the cheese and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, processing constantly until blended. Add the pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Process until blended. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Serve over mixed greens. Top with croutons made of pumpernickel, wheat, or rye bread, seasoned with Greek seasoning and toated in butter or olive oil. To serve six to eight

PAGE 25

Pan-Seared Garlic Pork Roast Southern On Occasion, page 94 6 cloves of garlic, minced 1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon paprika Salt and pepper to taste 1 (3 to 4 pound) pork loin roast Vegetable Oil 2 Bay leaves Juice of ½ lemon ¼ cup butter Juice of ½ lemon 2 large onions, thinly sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced Mix 6 cloves of garlic, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Coat the roast with oil. Press the garlic mixture into the roast. Brown the roast on all sides in a skillet. Remove the roast to a roasting pan, reserving the pan drippings. Press the bay leaves on top of the roast. Drizzle with the juice ½ lemon. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees. Discard the bay leaves. Heat the butter and juice of ½ lemon with the reserved pan drippings. Add the onions and 2 cloves of garlic and mix well. Saute until the onions are tender. Spoon over the roast on a serving platter. Slice and serve. To serve eight

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Blackberry Shortcake Southern On Occasion, page 97 1 quart fresh blackberries 2 teaspoons sugar • 2 cups flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt • ¼ cup butter, chilled ½ cup finely chopped pecans 1 cup whipping cream • Sugar to taste 1 cup whipping cream, whipped Sprigs of mint • Blackberries Toss 1 quart blackberries and 2 teaspoons sugar in a bowl. Chill in the refrigerator. Mix the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well. Cut in the but-

ter until crumbly. Stir in the pecans. Add 1 cup whipping cream and mix well. Roll the dough thin on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Coat each round with sugar to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes or until brown and puffed. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. For each serving, layer 1 shortcake round, chilled blackberries and whipped cream on a dessert plate. Repeat the process. Top with a pastry round. Garnish with blackberries and sprigs of mint. To serve six to eight

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calendar of events (Continued from page 6)

SMYRNA GARDEN TOUR: May 18th, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Smyrna has fabulous gardens and this year Keep Smyrna Beautiful gives you a chance to get an inside look at the gardening talents of our active and resourceful citizens. Tickets for the annual Smyrna Garden Tour are $10 in advance /$15 day of the tour and will be available for purchase in April. Enjoy beautiful gardens, music, art, food and more! The day of the event, get tickets at the Taylor-Brawner House on the grounds of Brawner Parks on Atlanta Road. For more information, contact Keep Smyrna Beautiful at 770-431-2863. MABLETON DAY: Mableton Day Coalition (MDC) exists to organize and present an annual celebration for residents of Mableton, GA and surrounding areas. The purpose of the celebration, "Mableton Day" is to bring together the diverse residents of the Mableton area in order to foster pride in the community, meet neighbors and learn more about businesses, organizations, services and facilities in the Mableton area. Mableton Day will be held May 18th from 8am to 2pm at the Mable House Complex on Floyd Road. There will be a kids corner, a 5K race, car show, entertainment, arts and crafts, and many local businesses. For more information call 678.590.2803, or visit www.mabletonday.com. COMMUNITY EDUCATION CLASSES AT EMORY-ADVENTIST HOSPITAL: Emory-Adventist Hospital will offer a free class, “Preserving Eye Health in an iWorld” on Tuesday, May 7, at 7:00 PM. Protecting your eye health in an ‘iWorld’ is as important as wearing sunscreen to protect your skin. The use of digital technology is a common cause of eye symptoms such as tired eyes, dry eyes, eye strain, and headaches as our day-to-day lives become increasingly tied to computers, smartphones and tablets. Dr. Jefferies, board certified ophthalmologist and fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology will share important tips to keep your eyes healthy and feeling good in a digital world as well as additional information on preserving your healthy vision as time goes by. Reserve your seat in this free class by calling 770-319-2025. Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna will offer a free class, “Osteoporosis—The Silent Threat”, on Wednesday, May 22, at 7:00 PM. Osteoporosis is a disease that results in the loss of good, hard bone tissue. It is a silent disease until it results in a fragility fracture. Learn about screening tests and treatments for osteoporosis that can be used to prevent and treat this disease by attending this free seminar by an internist and orthopedic surgeon. They will also discuss the non-operative and surgical treatment of osteoporotic fragility fractures. Make your reservations for this important topic by calling 770-319-2025. VININGS HISTORIC PRESERVATION SOCIETY 8th ANNUAL VININGS GOLF CLASSIC: Tuesday, May 21st from 8:30am to 4:30pm at Pinetree Country Club, 3400 McCollum Parkway NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144. There will be a Pairing Party at SOHO Sunday evening, May 19th with entertainment, food and libations along with a silent and live auction. To register for the golf classic, or to become a sponsor, please contact Gillian Greer at 770.432.3343 or vhps1874@bellsouth.net, or Dr. Richard Block at 770.314.8229. For SOHO Pairing Party tickets only, please visit www.vinings.org/golf. MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY: May 27th, 9:30am. Join the City of Smyrna for Memorial Day at 20th Century Veterans Memorial on May 27, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. The Smyrna ceremony is organized by members of the community and it is those members of the community who officiate. Join us on this day to honor and appreciate our commitment to peace through strength and sacrifice. Seating will start after 8:00 a.m. and pre-ceremony/ceremony activities will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Smyrna Community Center (200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, 30080). The ceremony is sponsored by the City of Smyrna and coordinated by the Smyrna Veterans Committee, an organization composed of the City of Smyrna, The Veterans Memorial Association of Smyrna, and American Legion Post 160. RELAY FOR LIFE OF VININGS-SMYRNA: May 31st at the Lovett School, 6pm. The Opening Ceremony brings everyone together for a high-energy event kickoff to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, to inspire hope by sharing recent accomplishments and progress, and to remind everyone that while we are winning this battle, fighting cancer is a year-round priority. Dr. Gordy Klatt; founder of Relay For Life, is scheduled to appear pending his health! For more information and to participate, call Amy Haygood at 404.582.6135 or email amy.haygood@cancer.org. The Lovett School is located at 4075 Paces Ferry Rd., NW, Atlanta, GA 30327. www.RelayForLife.org/ViningsSmyrnaGA. SMYRNA SUMMER CONCERT SERIES: Saturday, June 8th at the Village Green, 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080. There is plenty of fun, great music and good vibes on the Village Green (200 Village Green Circle) as we kick off the Smyrna Summer Concert Series. The Cumberland Collective is a community of independent singer/songwriters and musicians from across the U.S. It's American sound at its best. Call it "Americana," or call it an artful and powerful mix of amazing talent with the soul of all great music of this land, but don't miss it. Learn more at www.CumberlandCollective.com. The City of Smyrna concerts are Litter Free events. Keep Smyrna Beautiful will have recycling bins next to the garbage bins throughout the concert area for all concerts. You can recycle your glass, plastics, and aluminum cans. Thanks for helping us keep Smyrna clean, green and beautiful! For information call 770-434-6600, or for sponsor information email twallace@smyrnaga.gov.

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Some Interesting Facts Concerning Canine Obesity Did you know…..approximately 50% of U.S. dogs are overweight or obese. Do you have a dog that is on the heavier side of pudgy? If picking him up challenges your strength or your dog cleans the floors with his stomach—you and your dog definitely have a problem! All joking aside, health risks of obesity are real. Obesity contributes to many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, compromised immune function and can even predispose to certain types of cancer. It has been well documented that dogs maintaining an ideal body weight live 15% longer, and with less disease, than overweight dogs. It is a fact that dogs will live shorter lives if obesity is an issue. While most dog owners realize that their dog may be “a little heavy”, they often don’t recognize when their dog is truly obese. When a vet says “Fido” should lose 5 pounds, it often goes in one ear and right out the other. Really… who doesn’t have 5 pounds to lose? But this is us thinking in human weight terms. Did you know…. 5 extra pounds on a (should-be) 12 pound Shih Tzu is like 58 extra pounds on a 140 pound woman. 5 extra pounds on a (should-be) 25 pound Beagle is like 28 extra pounds on a 140 pound woman. 5 extra pounds on a (should-be) 70 pound Lab Retriever is like 10 extra pounds on a 140 pound woman. What causes obesity? While some dogs do indeed have a medical condition that predisposes them to obesity, most often it is a result of simple overfeeding. While dogs are frequently overfed their food and treats are also a major source of hidden calories. Look at this telling example: A premium pig ear on average has about 230 calories. If you give this pig ear as a treat to a 40 pound dog (who should be eating around 620 calories each day), it is the same as a person (on a 2300 calorie diet) eating 2 double cheeseburgers as a treat in addition to their normal meals. This pig ear represents close to 40% of that dog’s daily calorie requirement. What can you do? The first step is to admit there is a problem. Get motivated on your dog’s behalf! Talk to your vet about getting your dog a full medical checkup. Find out just how overweight or obese your dog is. Find out what their ideal body weight is. Find out how many calories they should eat each day. Choose the best food for weight loss in your dog. Exercise your dog briskly for at least 20 minutes every day! Monitor your dog’s progress and stay on track.

Ending your pet’s pain & suffering IS THE KINDEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE, and in the comfort of your own home We offer… •Guidance and consultation •Helpful information to assist you with the grieving process •Professional relationships with local veternarians •Cremation/burial options and services

www.SweetDreamsGeorgia.com 770.880.1596 • info@sweetdreamsgeorgia.com

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 • www.ourtownmonthly.com

Our Town


Michael D. Friedlander, D.V.M. Cat Care of Vinings Services Early Morning Drop-Off and Late Pick-Up Services Annual Examinations, Vaccinations, Behavioral Consultations Surgery, Dentistry, Ultrasound and Digital X-ray Condominium and “Special Needs”Boarding Supervised by Our Highly Trained Medical Staff

4 6 9 1 S . AT L A N TA R D . • S U I T E 2 0 0 • S M Y R N A Located in the Vinings Court Shopping Center-Upper Level

404.792.0700 • www.catcareofvinings.com HOURS: WEEKDAYS 7AM - 7PM, SATURDAY 8AM - 12PM

• Full-Service Animal Hospital • In-House Bloodwork

SMYRNA

• Late Evening & Weekend Appointments • On-Line Services • State of the Art Digital X-Ray

1860 Spring Road • Ste C • Smyrna (Right next to Cumberland Animal Clinic in the Spring Village Shopping Center)

Call to schedule an appointment (770) 874-3647

$6.00 OFF GROOMING SERVICES with this coupon. Expiration: May 31, 2013. Not valid with any other offer. One coupon per household. Must be presented at the time of service.

PAGE 27

Monday and Friday 8 - 6 Tuesday thru Thursday 8 - 8 Saturday 9 - 1 • Sunday CLOSED Become a fan of CAC on Facebook

1860-D Spring Road Smyrna - in the Spring Village Shopping Center 770.433.1414 • www.cumberlandanimalclinic.com

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 • www.ourtownmonthly.com

Our Town


Our Town Smyrna-Vinings May, 2013  

Smyrna-Vinings May, 2013

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