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The West Cobb Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine JANUARY 2011

Happy New Y ear!

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OurTown Marietta Kennesaw Acworth PowderSprings Publishers/Editors Linda Demery & Lori McLinden Graphics and Design Terry Tanner Tanner Graphics, Inc. Feature Photographer Theresa Burt Burt Designs Contributing Writers Michael Pittman Dr. Gregory J. Matechak, FAAFP Shelia Frey Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D Lindsey Weber Jason Goggans Leonard Mutch Dara S. Hosch, MD, FAAP Karen Hartley, DDCD Shasta Clark Pam Walker Mark Orler Matt Papa


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 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 2010 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

Our Town Magazine 109 Anderson Street Suite 109 Marietta, GA 30060

678-337-7844 Fax: 678-337-7825

6 8 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 27 28 29 30 31 33 34

in this issue

The West Cobb Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine

Calendar of Events About the Cover January Crossword How to Spot a Scam Business Spotlight, Deborah Ratchford Heart Attack and Arteriosclerosis World Class Neurosurgical Care, Close to Home Shopping with Shelia How to Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions Twenty Something Health & Fitness Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know Our Town Gardening - Pruning Family Focus – Fainting Home & Design Mommy Moments Travel – Peruvian Beaches and Spacemen Happy New Year! Better Food Choices in 2011 Vitamins and Your Skin What’s Cookin’? Counting Calories for Your Pet

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e have been helping families raise healthy children for more than 30 years.

MARIETTA 410 Villa Rica Way Marietta, GA 30064 (678) 504-1199

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770-974-3633 Dr. Doug Singleton and family.

Dr. Singleton’s actual patient. Dentistry by Dr. Larry Snyder Photo by Sherri's Portraits

3104 Creekside Village Dr. • Suite 401 • Kennesaw, GA 30144 WEST COBB - Kroger Shopping Center Across from The Avenue PAGE 5

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Tone Up . Feel Great

In-Home Personal Training - “I Come To You”

calendar of event s


WONDERFUL DAYS OF WINTER 5K/1-MILE RACE: Join runners in Marietta on a January jog and help at-risk pre-school children. If you don’t want to run, you can be a phantom runner for the sixth Wonderful Days of Winter race. The 5K/1 mile race starts at 8 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 at St James’ Episcopal Church, 161 Church St., Marietta. Registration begins at 7 a.m. The entry fee is $15 or $20 after Jan. 1st. The race has raised $85,000 for Wonderful Days Preschool, Inc., an accredited program that helps children prepare for kindergarten. Contact Anne for a registration form at 770-434-0136 or

SCHOOL FAIR AND TOUCH-A-TRUCK SAFETY DAY: Mothers and More of West Cobb to host 1st annual School Fair and Touch-a-Truck Safety Day. Sat. Jan 8th 11am-2pm at Cobb County Central Library, in Marietta. Get info on the best local area preschools, home-schools and special needs schools and Mother’s Morning Out programs. Fair will be held in the large conference room; Safety day and touch a truck will be held in the side pavilion of the Library. Kids can see local firemen, policemen and EMT’s! For more info visit the West Cobb Mothers and More website at or call 770-843-0681.

678-596-8863 • www.MYTRAINERPAUL.COM “I appreciate that my trainer Paul addresses strength training, cardio, goal setting, and dietary changes. Paul helped me lose 22 pounds despite my food allergies and busy schedule.” Nancy, Smyrna resident 13 years.

First Presbyterian Church Weekday Preschool invites you to an OPEN HOUSE & TOUR Thursday, January 20, 2011 • 9:30am PRESCHOOL FOR AGES 18 MONTHS TO 4 YEARS


For more information call 770-427-2166 or visit our website:

KIDS NEED DADS, TOO!: Organizational meeting January 22nd, 2011 6:00-8:00 p.m, Meeting place in Cobb County TBA. Please RSVP to 770-309-6237 or Find us on Facebook for more information about our organization or visit our blog at We are starting a non-profit organization set up to raise awareness of the GA Laws pertaining to children born out of wedlock, to help unmarried parents protect their child(ren)’s rights to their entire family, provide unwed fathers the knowledge and support to begin or continue a parenting role in their child’s life, and provide unwed mothers the knowledge and support to protect their child’s future. Everyone welcome, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, concerned citizens. MOMPRENUER WWB CHAPTER: New networking chapter for moms who own their own businesses. The inaugural meeting will take place on January 24th at 9:30 am at J. Christophers Restaurant, 2700 Town Center Drive in Kennesaw. This is a FREE event and will meet regularly on the 4th Monday every month. For more information, and to RSVP, please call Nicole Wolfson at 770.919.1262.

BOOK, CD, AND DVD SWAP: Give stuff away. Get stuff you want. Drop off your gently used hardcover or paperback books, CDs and DVDs on Thursday and Friday, January 27-28 from 12:00pm to 8:00pm. Receive a ticket redeemable for the same number of items during “open swap” time on Saturday, January 29, 8:00am to 11:00am. Meet new friends, relax in the Aaron’s furniture lounge, listen to some great music and enjoy refreshments courtesy of Krispy Kreme (Saturday only). This is not a book sale. It is a FREE media swap. Items will not be available for purchase. Books must be in good condition with front and back covers intact. CDs and DVDs must be fully operable and in their original case. No magazines, software, record albums, VHS or cassette tapes, adult content, unauthorized or illegal material please. Any item left after the swap will be donated to a local charity. The SWAP will be held at the Ben Robertson Community Center, 2753 Watts Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144. Call 770.422.9714 for more information.

189 Church Street . Marietta, GA 30060

Continued on page 32

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about the cover

feature photographer

Happy New Year to Our Town readers from the Curtners! Chad, Amber, Camden, Chloé and Ayden moved to Georgia 4 and a half years ago. Chad, raised in Ohio, attended college at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Chad has taught at McClure Middle and is now at Barber Middle school in Acworth teaching 8th grade. Chad also umpires baseball at Kennworth Park. Amber, an Indiana native raised in South Florida, is a busy stay at home mom for their three children. In her spare time, she enjoys singing with the praise team at their church and spending time with her family and friends. Chad and Amber will be celebrating their 11 year anniversary in February. They had their first two children in Florida, Camden (7) and Chloé (5). Their youngest, Ayden (4), is their Georgia boy born at Kennestone hospital. Their oldest, Camden, enjoys playing baseball, football, loves reading and his favorite subject in school is Math. Chloé enjoys kindergarten and learning new things. She also loves dressing up like a princess and coloring. She is their little princess among her two brothers whom she loves. Ayden is their youngest and a miracle from God. He was born with Spina Bifida and has truly prevailed over the statistics and gets along very well. They didn’t know of his diagnosis until shortly after they moved here, and were so blessed to live close to some amazing Children’s Healthcare doctors in Atlanta. Ayden is doing so well and has a serious love of trains, which suits him very well living in such a historical and active train town! After 4 yrs of living in the Acworth/Kennesaw area, they are starting to feel more at home and have enjoyed the new friends and experiences they have shared living in the Cobb area. The Curtners wish you all a safe and happy 2011!

Our feature photographer this month is Theresa Burt of Burt Designs. Theresa is a graphic designer and a professional photographer. She has owned her own business for over 12 years and “enjoys capturing life moments”. Theresa grew up in West Cobb and attended Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina specializing in Print Production and Imaging Technology. She is the mother of twins and serves on the “Cobb Parents of Multiples”, CPOMC board as their web manager. For more information on Theresa’s work, visit, 770.846.1775

New Smile, New Attitude

Lan T. Vo, DMD

$100 OFF ANY RESTORATIVE TREATMENT Offer valid for new patients only. Expires Feb 1, 2011.

Lan T. Vo, DMD • Sean H. Breckley, DMD 600 Chastain Road • Suite 422 • Kennesaw, GA 30144 770.423.1132 • PAGE 8

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ONLY $20 TO ANYONE WHO NEEDS HELP BUT HAS NEVER BEEN TO A CHIROPRACTOR BEFORE (Or Hasn’t Been In A Long Time) Dear Friend, If you’ve ever thought about going to a chiropractor but you’ve hesitated because you weren’t sure it was right for you please read on… My name is Dr. Amy Valente. I would like to show my heartfelt thanks to the community by celebrating the New Year with the announcement of Community Health Week. It’s my way of saying THANK YOU to the people who have been so helpful and mean so much. I hope this will benefit you and yours. I have agreed to “give away” (to anyone who asks for it) $200 worth of my services for only $20. That’s right-$20. In the years that I have been practicing I have helped many people in the North Georgia area feel better and live healthier, more productive lives through chiropractic care. I would now like to introduce you to the many benefits my profession has to offer. For instance, chiropractic care may be able to help you if you are suffering from any of the following conditions.

• • • • • • •

Low back pain Neck Pain Migraines Sciatica Herniated discs Degenerated discs Shoulder/arm pain

And a whole host of other problems, ranging from TMJ to carpal tunnel. These symptoms can be caused whenever the vertebrae in your spine are out of alignment, because this “misalignment” directly affects your nervous system. Fortunately, if you are suffering from such problems or similar conditions right now, they may be relieved or eliminated by proper chiropractic treatment (commonly called “adjustments”). So if you’ve always wanted to “check out” chiropractic care and see what is in it for you, now is the best time because… Right now $20 will get you all the services I normally charge my new patients $200 for!



Everything. Take a look at what you’ll get… • An in-depth private consultation about your health and well being. • A chiropractic spinal examination… • A set of specialized X-rays to determine if a misalignment in your spine is causing your pain or symptoms… (NOTE: Nobody gives these kinds of X-rays FREE. They would usually cost $100)… • An analysis of your X-rays and spinal exam results so we can see what needs to be done to help. • Helpful literature that shows how your body works and why you experience pain… • Answers to all your most probing questions about chiropractic care and what it can do for you….

Absolutely! When you come in I’ll provide you with studies that show why chiropractic is a preferred method of treatment. But what provides the best “proof” on how well chiropractic works is what our patients say about it.

The appointment will not take long at all. And like I said, we normally charge $200 for this (most of which just covers the cost of the set of X-rays). But now, as a part of this one time offer, you can come in and find out for certain if you need chiropractic care and how it can help you eliminate the pain you are feeling. Before you come in, though, you’ll probably want to know a little bit about me. So let me tell you….

MEET THE DOCTOR Prior to obtaining my Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in Marietta, GA, I received my B.S. degree from Excelsior College. I am nationally and state board certified in Chiropractic and Physiotherapy. I am one of the few doctors in this area that performs specific Activator analysis technique for the treatment of degenerative discs, scoliosis, herniated discs just to name a few. I have happily donated my time to organizations such as MUST Ministries, YWCA (Domestic Violence Shelter for Women), and Ross Memorial. I am very proud to be a wife and mother of four boys and a member of Liberty Church in Marietta, GA.

ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS AND BACK PAIN Although Chiropractic care has been an enormous help to me and my family for 30 years when I met the doctor’s at NLCC I was not currently under care. As I started getting adjusted again the relief was almost immediate! I was suffering from soreness, stiffness and sleepless nights. “Feeling better” affects everything in life and helps us cope with the daily stresses. I suppose I am most amazed by knowing that one’s spine has to do with every part of the body. God made us that way- “fearfully & wonderfully made” (Ps.139) Your FriendPastor Ron Mobley

feel 100% better. The doctors and staff here at NLCC really do what they say and are very professional and friendly. Chiropractic care really works great! Thanks, Thomas Weems

SCOLIOSIS When I first came into the office I did not know the extent of my health issues. After the exam, the doctor told me I had a scoliosis that affected my health in many different ways. Chiropractic has helped me to restore my physical balance and as a dancer that is very important! I also had numbness in my hands and now I can take notes without my hand going numb. Since I have been getting adjusted I have more energy and my heartburn and circulation has improved! I am happy to say that chiropractic is easier than I expected and not as time consuming as I once thought. Thanks!, Christine Pearce

GUARANTEE OF GREAT SERVICE Obviously we can’t guarantee results. No one can. But there is one guarantee we can give you and that’s a guarantee to accept your case only if we truly feel we can help.



I was in a lot of pain when I started coming for my adjustments at NLCC. I suffered with pain in my jaw and severe headaches. Now that I have been receiving chiropractic care my pain has decreased tremendously and I don’t have to worry about constant headaches. I can walk my dog without pain and my posture has gotten better. My husband is also very pleased with my progress. I am thrilled at how quickly I have improved due to chiropractic care and I love the positive caring atmosphere they have in the office. Thank you, Denine Wolden

Obviously, with an offer like this we can’t afford to do it for very long. So we’ve picked the dates of Jan. 1st-15th. If you would like to take us up on our offer and see what chiropractic can do for you, all you have to do is call our office and set up an appointment.

KNEE PAIN/SLEEPLESSNESS The reason why I came into the office was because I was having knee pain and I was not sleeping very well at night. I am now getting 3-4 more hours of sleep at night and my knees have gotten a lot better. I interact more with my family and I can ride my bike with my granddaughter. I

Call our 24 hour help line @

678-574-5678 and tell the receptionist you’d like to come in for the

Special Introductory Examination during Jan.1st-15th I expect to get flooded with appointments for this event, so please call me as soon as possible to be sure that you don’t miss out. Thank you very much, and I look forward to helping you get rid of your pain so you can start living a healthier, more productive life. God bless. Sincerely, Dr. Amy Valente, D.C. Paid Advertisement Total Practice Management International©

Don’t Let Allergies Spoil YOUR Fun! YOUR FAMILY’S EYES

ARE IN GOOD HANDS! The doctors and staff of Advanced Eye Associates are committed to ensuring your family has the best vision today and in the future by providing a comprehensive eye health exam using state-of-the art technology. Come in to experience our elegant optical gallery, where we can assist you in selecting the best frame design and lenses for looking your best at work or at play. We also carry the latest in Contact Lens design. Be assured that you will be taken care of with our 2 year Frame and Lens Warranty, experienced staff and modern facilities. Call today to make an appointment. We are here to help!


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 for a complete list of services, physicians and locations near you.

770-944-3303 PAGE 11

Once you Get to Know Pinnacle, you won’t want to go anywhere else.

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january crossword

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Or call for a tour Compare our Rates! 2958 North Main Street • Kennesaw, GA 30144 770-422-3254 •

*Manuel A. Davila, D.M.D. *Chris Vandewater, D.M.D. *Scott P. Rose, D.M.D., M.D. ***Neysa Alice Coker, DMD. MD. *Diplomates, American Board of Oral &Maxillofacial Surgery **Diplomates, American Board of Cosmetic Surgery ***Board Eligible

PROCEDURES OFFERED: Dental Extractions, Including Wisdom Teeth

5 Convenient Locations: Dallas Marietta Woodstock Blue Ridge Acworth

770-505-9100 770-422-7630 770-924-1083 706-632-7801 770-429-2326

We are on most insurance plans and GA Medicaid. PAGE 12

Dental Implants Facial & Oral Trauma Maxillofacial Reconstruction Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology Corrective Jaw/ Orthognathic Surgery Sleep Apnea & Snoring Surgery Surgical TMJ

1. Bow 5. Fourth down option 9. Bargain-basement 14. "___ Ha'i" 15. Sundae topper, perhaps 16. Crush 17. Beehive, e.g. 18. Brand, in a way 19. Part of "the works" 20. Race ties 22. Fertile soil 23. Boredom 24. Four-bagger 26. J. Edgar Hoover's org. 29. Iridescent 33. Fidgety 38. Uncommon football score 39. Reduced instruction set computer 40. Common sense? 42. Persia, now 43. Flew too close to the sun 45. Bicycle component 47. Glean 48. Affirmative vote 49. Donnybrook 52. "But of course!" 57. Game ragout 60. Random 63. Church member 64. "Well done!" 65. Clip 66. Literally, "dwarf dog" 67. Taro root 68. Coastal raptor 69. Bees _____ 70. Casting need 71. Textile worker


1. Domicile 2. Deep black 3. Fresh from the shower 4. Caste member 5. Ask 6. CO(NH2)2 7. Poet's "below" 8. Bit of statuary 9. Acute intestinal infection 10. Conferring respect 11. Ashtabula's lake 12. Bothers 13. Composes 21. LP player 25. Lose 27. Astronomer 28. Theory 30. "Buona ___" (Italian greeting) 31. Flight data, briefly 32. Fraction of a newton 33. Bone-dry 34. "Good going!" 35. Boris Godunov, for one 36. Practice game 37. Unsheared sheep 41. Grassland 44. Eye infection 46. Cost of living? 50. Avid 51. Chip away at 53. Like a rainbow 54. Dawdle 55. Grimalkin 56. Abnormally active 57. Use a straw 58. Soon, to a bard 59. Euros replaced them 61. Be an omen of 62. "American ___"

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

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How to Spot a SCAM! The metro Atlanta area has unquestionably seen its share of storms during the last couple of years. These storms have often left homeowners with a mountain of repair and remodeling in their wake. Now more than ever, it’s very important to be aware of the scams that occur in the contracting business. As you know, new home building has slowed, and therefore, given way to an influx of less than desirable contractors. The following checklist consists of a few things to consider before choosing a contractor to work on your home: 1. TRUST YOUR GUT!! The guy that has a beat-up old pickup with a pair of torn overalls on probably isn't the most neat and tidy when it comes to their workplace. If they can’t afford to keep a reasonable means of transportation, how can you trust him with thousands of dollars of your money? On the other hand, if a contractor is driving around in a sedan and doesn't have a tape measure, he is probably not someone you want to entrust with your house either. Make sure your company looks like they have the tools to complete the work. 2. Confirm that the company has been in business for at least 3-5 years. Since the building slowdown, every person in the home building business has become a remodeler, and as soon as the economy picks back up, they will probably be going back into homebuilding. Ensure that the company you choose is going to be there for you if ever you have a problem. 3. Check to make sure that the contractor has the PROPER insurance for the scope of work. Many contractors have “handyman” insurance which isn’t enough. True roofers, must carry roofer’s insurance which costs in the neighborhood of $100,000 per year. A handyman policy might cost a few hundred dollars. Take a look at the following situation: You have contracted with a company to have your roof replaced and after the old roof is removed a rainstorm moves in and your home becomes flooded with water. The amount of damage incurred might add up anywhere from $50,000-


by Michael Pittman

$100,000. One policy will cover the damage and one won’t. It’s always a good idea to call the contractor’s insurance company to see if they are properly covered. 4. Request to see the contractor’s business license. If they don’t have a license, then chances are they aren't planning on being around very long. You want to make sure a company is as vested in your community as you are. 5. Get more than one bid, and compare them side by side. It’s very revealing to see what each company thinks about your project. Are they using the same materials? Are they giving the same warranty? What training do their workers receive? 6. Ask for a reference. Contact at least three people that the company has worked for on similar jobs in your area. Ask these references relevant questions pertaining to the job. Did they show up on time? Did they clean up? Did they do quality work? I feel that one of the best questions that you can ask a reference is, “If you had to do it again, would you choose this company?” If you use the above guidelines as a checklist, you will drastically reduce your chance of being one of the thousands of people in Atlanta that get taken advantage of by disreputable contractors each year. In this economy, NOBODY can afford to throw away any amount of money. Be careful and ultimately trust your natural instinct… number one on my checklist and our ultimate gauge of character. Happy New Year!

Michael Pittman is the Sales Manager at Atlanta South Construction 770.614.8191

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

business spotlight


Deb Did It Again!

Deborah Ratchford of Keller Williams Realty Cityside doesn’t really remember when she started using the slogan “Deb Did it Again” but she started hearing this phrase from satisfied clients and it just seemed to stick. Deborah has been a driving force selling homes in the area “again and again” despite a slumping real estate market. Our Town caught up with Deb to find out what makes her tick, and how she remains one of the most successful real estate agents in metro Atlanta.

Deborah’s journey can hardly be called typical. She actually moved to Cobb County from Hickory, North Carolina on the urgings of a friend who was interested in interviewing with Delta for a position as a flight attendant. Deborah was offered the job, but sadly her friend was not. As she flew the friendly skies for Delta, Deborah secretly held a dream of becoming a real estate agent. In a nutshell, Deborah took advantage of Delta’s offer of a leave in a down turned economy and honed her real estate skills. She began her career with Keller Williams in East Cobb and was named “Rookie of the Year” that very same year. As with most successful people, Deborah has worked hard. She reminisced, “I would wake up in the morning and convince myself to canvas neighborhoods door to door introducing myself to homeowners. To this day, these are still people who are some of my best friends and clients. They may have moved on to larger homes, but we still keep in touch. Cobb County is such a great place and feels like home to me. The people are kind and giving. My satisfaction comes from seeing a happy homeowner getting the house of their dreams at the best price. I love my clients and try to make sure they are really taken care of. I love what I do and I think my clients can tell. Cobb County is one of the best places to live in metro Atlanta. In most cases, we have great access to the airport and downtown, and we are lucky to have Cobb County taxes, as well.” Deborah has extensive knowledge of the residential real estate in our area. She has strong connections with leading lending institutions, is familiar with both new and established subdivisions, and makes it a point to understand the school systems and the county tax assessments in the area. Deborah takes pride in earning the respect of homeowners and will gain your confidence because she takes the time to understand your individual needs, she listens, and above all she really cares. Deborah’s awards and achievements speak for themselves. Over the years, she has been recognized as the #1 Individual Agent at Keller Williams Realty Cityside from 20042009. She has also been honored as the #1 Keller Williams Agents in Georgia in 2007 and 2008 and the #1 Agent in the entire southeast region in 2008 with Keller Williams Realty. Shaun Rawls, Operating Partner of the Rawls Groups who owns the Keller Williams franchise in Atlanta says, “Deborah is a natural. She is one of the hardest working real estate agents I know, and is dedicated to finding her clients the right home.” This is not to be taken lightly when Rawls oversees six market centers and 1000 real estate professionals. We asked Deborah what she thinks the keys to her success have been. “I really try to be upfront with my clients. I’m personable and very hands on with each and every one of them. I’m a straight shooter with both my buyers and sellers, and do everything possible from laying out all of the options, to helping them secure competitive financing, to making sure that the closing goes smoothly. Often people don’t like to hear things about their homes that affect the price, especially in this market. We’ve seen prices slide in the last few years and neighborhoods that once sold in the $500,000$600,000 range are now listing far below those price points, but in the end my clients


appreciate the truth. And we get the job done for them.” Deborah’s listings average 55 days on the market before they are sold. “I had one home sell not too long ago in 2 days. This isn’t typical, but it was great for the homeowner and the buyers knew what they wanted and were pleased.” Keller Williams announces Deborah Ratchford Joins the Luxury Home Division in Cobb County Deborah is extremely proud to have added another jewel to her talented crown. Keller Williams Realty recently announced that Deborah has been appointed to the Luxury Homes arm of its business. Dedicated to serving the high-end home market, the members-only Luxury Homes division of Keller Williams Realty offers extensive training and a luxury home designation. Deborah will continue to work with her current client base throughout Cobb County but will now be available to focus on the luxury market as well to fill the needs of the residents and her past clients. The Keller Williams Realty division is spearheaded by Dee Shultz, a longtime leader in the luxury homes market in Austin, Texas. She says that this program allows more KW associates to capitalize on the luxury homes market across North America. “When you look at the luxury homes market – it’s been more stable than the real estate market as a whole, so we want to arm our agents to capitalize on that opportunity,” says Shultz. The educational requirement is provided by industry heavyweight, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (, as part of a continuing partnership between The Institute and Keller Williams Realty. “We know that when we listen to what our agents need, we develop the right product for them,” says Mary Tennant, president and COO of Keller Williams Realty, Inc. “This program was built by our agents, for our agents. As an agent-centric company, we wouldn’t do it any other way. We are so pleased to have an agent with Deborah Ratchford’s credentials to be heading up this program in Cobb County.” Deborah told Our Town, “I am so excited to be working with the Luxury Home Market division. I feel that my team and I are well equipped to work with this exclusive group of buyers and sellers. We are already using our expertise and the Keller Williams’ marketing knowledge and experience to satisfy this targeted market with great results.” Since the program made its official debut in late 2007, KW Luxury Home Consultants and their clients have been introduced to new branding and marketing materials, an international Web presence ( and a highly-successful agentto-agent referral system, as well as discounted pricing for advertising in targeted print publications. Adds Shultz: “We know that this program provides greater visibility for our luxury listings, a strong support system for our agents currently servicing affluent clients, and a firm foundation for growth to our associates who are looking to key into the market. It’s a win-win for everyone.” When it’s time for you to sell your home, move up or downsize, remember that Deborah Ratchford with Keller Williams Realty Cityside is in your corner and has made hundreds of homeowner’s dreams come true. We are certain that you will find yourself saying,

“Deb Did It Again.” Deborah Ratchford, Keller Williams Realty Cityside can be reached at 678.570.4779 (direct) or 770.874.6200 (office), •

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

Deb Did It Again! CALL TODAY for a FREE RECORDED MESSAGE (Press 4 Digit Code ex. 2222)


11 23 2659 Coolwood Cove - PRICED TO SELL! Open Floor Plan to family room from kitchen w/spacious breakfast area & bar. Hardwoods. Separate Living & Dining Room. Bedroom & full bath on main level. Large Master w/ Fireplace in Sitting Room. Double vanity w/tile floors. Fenced in level back yard. 3 car garage.

DEBORAH RATCHFORD Keller Williams Realty Citywide • Top Producing Agent


00 0 , 5 $ 12 2635 Foxglove Drive - Well built home with new thermal pain windows. Gorgeous living room with brick fireplace, Berber Carpeting, great kitchen with large, separate dining area. Spacious master with trey ceiling. Private bath has separate shower and garden tub. Large deck off kitchen with level, fenced in backyard.

678.570.4779 • Off: 770.874.6382 Each Keller Williams Realty Office is Individually Owned and Operated.

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HEART ATTACK AND ARTERIOSCLEROSIS by Dr Gregory J Matechak, FAAFP, Kennesaw Mountain Medical Group Heart attacks are the number one medical killers in the United States. As recently as 2006 more than 1,255,000 people had new or recurrent coronary attacks and more than 425,000 died from heart attacks. Meaning that, about one third of the people who experience their first heart attack also experience their last heart attack. Arteriosclerosis (we discussed Arteriosclerosis in November’s issue) is the starting point for coronary artery disease and heart attacks. The coronary arteries are the small blood vessels that carry blood to your heart. The heart is unique in that its blood supply occurs during its relaxed phase. When the heart pumps blood out to all the organs it also pumps blood out of itself. Then when it relaxes, blood flows back into the heart providing oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. Therefore there is lower pressure to pump blood through any restriction. Arteriosclerosis is the process by which a fatty plaque substance builds up on the inside of arteries restricting or blocking oxygenated blood flow. When blood flow is just restricted and the heart is under stress, it causes a squeezing pain in the chest is called ‘angina’. Usually cutting back on activity will reduce the heart’s blood flow demand and relieve the pain; sometimes a ‘nitro’ pill is needed to relax and dilate the artery to restore blood flow. When the blood flow is blocked, it causes a crushing chest pain that is called a heart attack. The most common way that an artery gets blocked is when the plaque buildup inside an artery suddenly ruptures and the body’s blood clotting system thinks that it needs to make a clot to prevent bleeding. Unfortunately the clot blocks the blood flow through the artery and thus prevents blood flow to the downstream parts of the heart. Then the heart gets starved of blood and quits pumping. When the heart stops pumping blood, things get bad in a hurry. The common cause of arteriosclerosis and coronary artery disease (CAD) is cholesterol and how your body processes it. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that everyone’s body makes. It is also in meats and dairy foods. There are several types of cholesterol. The ‘bad’ kind is the low-density lipoproteins (LDL); these are the ones that build up in your arteries. ‘Good’ cholesterol is the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) which prevent plaque buildup in your arteries. Both men and


woman can get coronary artery disease. It often runs in families. It is worsened if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or have diabetes. There are several things that you can do to reduce your risk for coronary artery disease, and the probability of a heart attack. First and foremost, if you smoke, you have to quit. If your family has a history of high cholesterol, get yours checked often, (sorry we can’t fix your family history.) Exercise, exercise, and exercise some more, at least 30 minutes each time at least 5 times a week. Exercise strengthens your heart, and a strong heart keeps your risk low. Watch your diet; by that I mean, high fiber and low fat. If you have other diseases like diabetes or hypertension, make sure they are under control. Talk to your doctor about taking an aspirin a day to keep the clotting system from aggressively blocking the coronary arteries if a plaque ruptures. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you have any chest pressure or squeezing chest pain, (guys listen to your wife on this one), go to the ER, because if you are having a heart attack every minute counts for a successful intervention. Dr Greg Matechak is a Family Medicine Physician from the Kennesaw Mountain Medical Group, corner Stilesboro & Kennesaw Due West. He serves on the medical staff at Kennestone hospital and is part of the Sports Medicine staff at Kennesaw State University and Life University. He earned his MD from the Medical College of Georgia, completing his training at the Atlanta Medical Center Family Medicine program. He also has degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn and Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois.

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World-Class Neurosurgical Care, Close to Home According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, over two million neurosurgical procedures are performed each year. And those brain and spinal surgical procedures are not what they used to be. Increasingly more high tech and less invasive, brain and spinal surgery is safer, quicker and more successful than it was even a decade ago. So says William J. Benedict, M.D., neurosurgeon for WellStar Health System. On staff with the System since 2007, Benedict recently was tapped to lead and expand the neuroscience service line for WellStar. State-of-the-Art, Dedicated Neurosurgical Care “WellStar’s state-of-the-art when it comes to neurosurgery,” said Benedict. “You don’t need to travel across the country or across town for world-class care.” “At WellStar, we have a dedicated neuro intensive care unit, with nurses who eat, drink and breathe neurosurgery,” he explained. “We have dedicated floor nurses on a dedicated neuro unit. And in the operating room, our nurses are neuro specialists as well. It’s truly subspecialty care.” Neurosurgeons diagnose and treat brain and spinal disorders, such as brain tumors, aneurysms, malformations and bleeding; and spinal cord compression, tumors and deformities. Pioneering Surgical Innovation


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Benedict’s practice is 60 percent spinal surgery and 40 percent cranial surgery. He is proud that WellStar is the only health System in the area – and the first to consistently offer – minimally invasive, endoscopic surgery for tumors of the pituitary gland. “In the old days – and by that I mean 10 years ago – this surgery required a fairly large incision,” said Benedict. “Now we go through the nose with tiny television cameras, or scopes, and make only a small hole in the sinus cavity.” Benedict partners with WellStar colleague John Chastain, M.D., an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist and surgeon, on this unique surgery. He cites this multi-disciplinary approach as just one of the many advantages of receiving neurosurgical care at WellStar. The Advantage of Integrated Healthcare

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“The sophistication of our system wide imaging capabilities is second to none,” Benedict emphasized. Imaging, a critical component in successful neurosurgical care, is a WellStar strength – the System offers the largest and most comprehensive imaging network in metro Atlanta.


“Our high-resolution, 3T MRI System offers unsurpassed detail,” said Benedict. “And we can perform functional MRI, which helps determine exactly which part of the brain is handling critical functions such as thought, speech, movement and sensation. This type of precise imaging is essential for not only assessing the effects of stroke, trauma or degenerative disease, but planning surgery.” Also, thanks to WellStar’s Picture Archiving and Communications System, patient images can be reviewed by Benedict, no matter which WellStar facility performed the study. “I can review imaging studies immediately, and get patients precisely where they need to be within our System,” said Benedict. “I can oversee cases and act as on-call specialist.” Benedict explained he often provides such consults to WellStar Emergency Department physicians for head or spinal trauma cases. WellStar Accolades WellStar Kennestone Hospital recently received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get With the Guidelines” – Stroke Silver performance Achievement Award. The award recognizes WellStar Kennestone Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations. WellStar Cobb Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission as a Stroke Center of Excellence. The Joint Commission is the industry organization nationally responsible for continuously improving the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of healthcare accreditation and related services, which supports performance improvement in healthcare organizations. WellStar Neurosurgery is located at 55 Whitcher Street, Suite 130, in Marietta, and 100 Market Place Boulevard in Cartersville. To make an appointment or for more information, call 770-422-2326. About William J. Benedict, M.D. • Doctor of medicine from Loyola University, Chicago • Residency in general surgery at Loyola University Medical Center; named Resident of the Year in 2001 • Completed six-year residency in neurological surgery at Loyola University Medical Center • Member, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons • Former assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University • Has worked as a staff physician at Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Grady Memorial Hospital


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Resolution List

Would you like to be more self-assured and confident this year? As an Image Consultant, I see firsthand the insecurities that rule so many women's lives. I can provide help in achieving outer beauty, but in order to have the whole 'package', women must develop inner confidence as well. Let 2011 be the year you take control of your life and gain confidence in yourself as a valuable human being, inside and out. Joanne Wallace's book, The Confident Woman, outlines seven steps to better self-esteem: 1. Associate with positive people - Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up and make you feel good. Whiners and complainers will poison your life and color your world in a critical, cynical way. Don't sabotage yourself with your own negative self talk, either. When that ugly, putdown voice starts - don't create a mental snowball. Put up a stop sign and change your focus. Don't say to yourself what you would not say to someone else. 2. Find a good sounding board - Share your frustrations with someone you trust. I had a client recently who really did not need fashion advice; she just needed someone to talk to and I was glad to listen. Women are constantly comparing themselves to others. We look at "Suzy" and say "Wow, she's really got it together!" Guess what? Suzy is just as plagued with insecurities as the next person. Sharing our feelings can be a big relief. 3. Seek professional help if necessary - If your low self-esteem becomes crippling, seek counseling and medication, if needed. We don't have all the answers, especially if we have been the victim of someone else's bad decisions or behavior. It is not a sign of weakness to seek help. Don't waste anymore time being miserable. 4. Learn to accept praise - According to Joanne, one of the true indicators of a woman's self-esteem is how well she can receive a compliment. People with low self-esteem are always putting themselves down no matter how hard others try to raise their value. Practice accepting compliments and stop apologizing for yourself, your spouse, your children, your house, your cooking, etc. Don't rob others of their gift of a compliment to you. 5. Find a meaningful cause - Nothing brings greater satisfaction than helping others. A few summers ago, I was sensing a dark cloud of depression settling overhead. As I started to sink into a funk, I remembered a pamphlet I had picked up at a friend's house about a women's shelter. I immediately made a phone call to the organization and went to meet the director next day. I have been volunteering for them ever since. Taking the focus off of myself and contributing to others improved my mood instantly. Something as simple as walking in to a room full of strangers or even friends can cause us to be anxious. Using the same technique of refocusing our attention on others -how can I make someone feel valued or heard - will decrease your anxiety. Shyness is so self-involved. You can't think about others if you are always worrying about yourself. Listening is one of the greatest gifts you can offer someone. Standing up straight, taking a deep breath and putting a smile on your face also helps you feel more self-assured. One of my favorite quotes is "Insecurity is pride turned inside out." 6. Change your appearance - Outward changes can cause inward changes. My favorite part of being an Image Consultant is seeing the positive change in a woman’s demeanor when she feels good about how she looks. Your wardrobe is one of the ways you tell others about yourself. 7. Learn to laugh at yourself - The relief that comes from having a good laugh at yourself is priceless. We all need some humor when dealing with our own mistakes or the mistakes of others. Remember the saying, “low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on." So move forward this year in confidence.


Happy New Year!


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How to Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions

New Year? New You?

No Problem!

by Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D.

Keeping a resolution is clearly harder than making one. The statistics indicate resolutions are kept over time- past the first week: 75% - past 2 weeks: 71% - after one month: 64% - after 6 months: 46% This suggests that while resolutions are often broken, many do result in real change and therefore can be truly useful. Making a lasting change in behavior is rarely a simple process, and usually involves a commitment of time, effort, and emotion. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) offers these tips to help keep New Year’s resolutions: • Choose your own resolution. Make sure your goal is something you want for yourself and not for anyone else and that you are truly ready and willing to make a life change. Just because it’s the New Year doesn’t mean the time is right for you to focus on a change. Having a strong initial commitment to make a change is essential to successfully achieving a resolution goal. The more specific your commitment, the better. Take the time to write about the resolution and why the change is valuable. Keep this writing to remind you later why the resolution is important to you.

• Make a plan and write it down. Break your overall objective down into smaller goals so that there can be successes of small steps over time. This gives a sense of accomplishment and helps with motivation to keep going. Plan what time frame makes sense and be realistic. Part of what makes a resolution work is when it can be tracked, day to day, to determine whether you are on your goal. Keep a written record of progress and setbacks as a good way to keep track of progress.

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• Don’t make too many resolutions. Pick a realistic, attainable goal with a reasonable time frame. Trying to change too much at one time is a guarantee for failure.

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Many see the New Year as a time for new beginnings. Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition and for many a yearly ritual. Research indicates that 40 to 45% of Americans make one or more resolutions each year. While a lot of people who make resolutions break them, research indicates that resolutions are helpful because people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve a change goal than people who don’t articulate specific resolutions. The top New Year’s resolutions are about weight loss, exercise, smoking cessation, and better money management.

• Involve family and friends. Support from others can help maintain motivation. • If (when) you get off track don’t beat yourself up - forgive and move forward. Reexamine your plan and make adjustments. Expect some bumps on the road, and have coping strategies to deal with problems that will come up. • Reward yourself when each small step towards the overall goal is achieved. It takes about a month for anything new to become a habit. Celebrate each step towards making your resolution change a new habit. The keys to keeping a resolution include picking a realistic goal, taking small steps toward the goal and learning to navigate the set-backs. The secret is not willpower. Those who rely on hopes, wishes or desire fail at a higher rate than others. Successful resolution-keepers make specific, concrete action plans to change behavior.

You don’t have to make changes on New Year’s Day. Pick a time when you know you are ready. It is important to be well-rested, motivated, and excited about making an important change. Perhaps, wait until spring. Sometimes the best way to successfully accomplish a New Year’s resolution is to make it at a different time of year.

Good Luck with your resolutions and Happy New Year!! Dr. Bailey is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Marietta. You can learn more about her by visiting: You may reach her at (770) 428-6698 or Your comments or questions are welcome.


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twent y-something

What I Won’t Be Quitting in 2011 “Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

The presents have been unwrapped and broken in. The Christmas and New Year’s parties are over. You survived the holidays—which brings us to the weird part of January when you get kind of introspective and wonder about what you’re doing with your life—or maybe that’s just me. Usually people set goals this month, and identify things in their life they’d like to change in the coming year. I actually want to take a look back at where I’ve been and why I’m doing this with my life—writing. In the past year, I have graduated college, started grad school, gotten another job, and instead of spending my precious free time sleeping like a normal human being, I’m here, sitting in front of my computer screen at five in the morning. I know I will be miserable all day if I don’t get up right now and write. It sounds kind of noble, like I have all of this amazing wisdom to share with the world, but it’s just the opposite. I don’t understand writers who live like hermits—they’re true geniuses. For me, I have to get out in the world to get any smidgeon of inspiration. Reading other writers is good; but the girl with the fluorescent orange hair in Trader Joe’s, Thursday morning coffee dates with my brother, unhappy teenage girls, and the terrier that lunges towards my car like it has a death wish every time I turn out of my neighborhood—this is the food for what I write about (note--the dog is always on a leash, and I always yell, ‘don’t do it!! You have so much to live for!’ As of today, he is still alive). It might be kind of sick, but in every situation, like burning a cake or watching a man try to pick up make-up for his wife by reading the products from a list as quickly as possible; my creative demon nudges me and says, “Hey—there could be a story there.” The world—even our normal little world here in Metro-Atlanta—is teeming with untold tales. All I do is listen carefully, and then type them. So writing is a nice pastime, but you can’t make a living out of it. Or at least, that’s what people tell me. I’ve gotten, “Oh you majored in English? I think O’Charley’s is hiring.”


-— Ruyard Kipling

Maybe in this economy, that person was just trying to help me find a job at a reputable dining establishment like O’Charley’s. It’s ok. I have a second job. But that’s what it is— a second job to pay the bills while I keep writing. Maybe I’ll have a second job all my life while I’m endlessly working on the Next Great American Novel, maybe not. But I could never give up writing for something that is “more realistic.” I don’t know what reality is until I have a second to write it down. I may not be able to make a living out of writing, but I certainly can’t live without it. There’s just one other thing about writing—I cannot detach. Not even for a term paper on the history of Indian reservations. I write elated, or depressed or in a poetic fury, but I never write nonchalantly. I know my words aren’t going to rock the world, I know the majority of the things I write should be hidden away in my computer never to be seen again. But, sometimes the right inspiration hits the right emotion with the right words, and I can successfully let my heart bleed out onto a sheet of paper. It’s disgusting. But I just have to do it. So there it is. I may seem like a generic twentysomething, but just behind my eyes is a psychotic brain demanding to write, and wreaking havoc on my guts until the next fix. So I have to ask: what is the thing in your life that makes you alive? Dancing? Drawing? Parenting? Hiking? Writing is my drug of choice—what’s yours? Lindsey Weber can be reached at

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health and fitness

Your Fitness and Weight Loss Resolutions… The Secret to Success by Jason Goggans

It’s no secret that millions of people make resolutions every New Year. By far the most popular New Year’s resolution is losing weight. The problem is that 94% of people who begin a fitness and weight loss program on January 2nd quit by February 2nd. This leaves people feeling frustrated and hopeless. The good news is that this year your resolution failure does not have to be inevitability. In this article, I am going to share with you my 7 secrets to winning the battle of the bulge for good this New Years!

Before I unveil my 7 secrets, let’s discuss the psychology of New Year’s resolutions and why so many fail to succeed. December is a festive time of year filled with parties, food, family, and friends. However, there comes a point where you have eaten, drank, and partied too much and it simply gets old. This is the time when people tend to make that New Year’s resolution because they have had it with the bad food and alcohol and they are ready for a change.

Then comes January and it’s time to lose weight. You cut back on the bad food, you exercise more and it’s easy at first because, like I said, you have had enough. But as January comes to an end, you begin feeling deprived and exercise becomes a strain. You are missing those yummy foods again and for some reason getting to the gym is getting more and more difficult. Next you start making excuses again as to why it’s okay to revert back to your old lifestyle. You promise yourself that you will get back in it when things “calm down”. Well here’s the problem…things NEVER calm down. The next thing you know it’s November again, you still haven’t made exercise and healthy eating a part of your life, and you are right back where you were the previous holiday season (except 10 – 20 pounds heavier).

Well, here are 7 ways to ensure you succeed with your resolution and get that body you have dreamed of once and for all! 1.)Do it for the right reasons. If you are looking to lose weight and get fit, do it because you REALLY want it for yourself. Don’t do it because someone said you need to. Don’t do it because everyone else is doing it. Those are not motivating factors and in time you will quit because you are not doing it for the one person who really matters…YOU! 2.)Do not procrastinate. Jump on your fitness routine on January 2nd and not a day later. The longer you wait the less likely you are to even begin. Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage. 3.)Start slow. If you are eager to lose weight and get fit then you may be tempted to come out of the gate running. The problem is that starting too fast for your current fitness level will lead to injury and illness. NOTHING will derail a fitness routine life injury and illness. Progressing slowly but steadily is much better way to go. 4.)Set realistic and attainable goals. You are not going to lose 30 pounds in a month so don’t make it a goal. A better (and healthier) way is to set short term behavioral goals that can be achieved. An example would be: “I am going to eat right every day this week and get to the gym at least 5 times.”

Notice that that is not a weight loss or inches goal; instead it focuses on your behavior. Behavioral goals are easier to control and therefore achieve. Achieve your behavioral goals and weight loss and fitness will be a fantastic by-product! 5.)Track your progress. Few things will kill your motivation like not seeing results. On the other hand, seeing them may be the one thing that will springboard you to fitness success. Often times when people begin a workout routine they try to assess their results the wrong way. For example, most people want to lose weight in their mid section but this is most often the last place your body will burn fat. So if you are only focusing on your midsection then you will become frustrated quickly. Most people will burn fat in their face, arms, and legs first. But if you aren’t paying attention to those areas you may miss it. Once the fat is gone from those areas, the body will usually turn to the midsection next. So be sure to track your progress in all areas by measuring your body fat percentage, taking girth measurements, and paying attention to how your clothes are fitting. 6.)Allow for bumps in the road. Your fitness and weight loss journey will not be an easy one. You will have good days and bad days. Even the fittest of people have bad days. A bad day can mean skipping a workout or deviating from your eating plan. The difference is that those who are fit don’t let one bad day turn into two, three, and four bad days. So, if you have a bad day along the way, who cares? Just get right back on the horse the next day. Remember, it’s not how many times you fall down that matters, it’s how many times you get up! 7.)Have a strategy. I saved this for last because it may be the most important. It’s impossible to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals if your strategy is flawed. This will lead to a lack of results, frustration, and an abandonment of your resolution. Burning body fat is a battle. It’s definitely not as easy as exercising more and eating less. If it were that simple most people would be fit and obesity rates wouldn’t be growing by the minute. You have to make sure your exercise plan is effective and ever-changing. A stagnant exercise routine will lead to plateaus and disappointment. You also have to make sure your eating plan is an effective one. Eating the wrong foods, eating too many calories, or too FEW calories will all lead to fitness and weight loss failure. If you need help with your workout strategy see a local fitness and nutrition expert in your area. These are 7 surefire strategies that will make your New Year’s resolutions a raving success!! Jason Goggans, B.A., ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, graduate of the University of Florida and fitness professional located in Kennesaw and Marietta, GA. Goggans is the owner of BodyBack! Women’s Fitness Boot Camps and has posted more information on his website, Log on to receive a copy of Jason’s latest report, “10 Quick Ways to Weight Loss…How to Look and Feel Better FAST!” or call Jason @ 404-452-5208.

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Happy New Year

COOL STUFF EVERY KID SHOULD KNOW BY KATE BOEHM JEROME Do you know….. What surprised the city of Atlanta on March 14, 1993? (Hint: There was no sign of Hotlanta weather on that day!) Which event was called the the Celebration of the Century in Atlanta? (Hint: It shared a tradition with Ancient Greece!) That the state of Georgia has five different regions? What the highest point in Georgia is? The lowest point?

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Director - Janet Rowthorn Cobleigh

These are just a few of the questions in this interesting little book about a very special place on the planet. Atlanta, Georgia! Arcadia Kids presents a new series of fun, colorful easy-to read books for children ages 7-11 featuring attention-grabbing cover art, inviting conversational style content, and vivid full-color images of landmarks and geography. It’s a great little series for parents, grandparents and kids! The books are perfect for popping into a backpack or tossing into the back seat, where kids can quiz each and their parents on those long car rides. And the price is also easy on the pocketbook, $9.99. Besides Atlanta, other books in the series include Charleston, Orlando, Tampa, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston, and Dallas. In April, 14 additional cities will be added to the series. For more information visit 888.313.2665

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by Dara S. Hosch, MD FAAP • Cobb Pediatrics

Fainting, also called syncope, is a temporary loss of consciousness caused by inadequate oxygen to the brain. In pediatric patients this condition is usually harmless but occasionally it indicates a serious health problem. Understanding the physiology behind fainting is helpful to explain why some children are more prone to this phenomenon. As a healthcare provider, I want to help parents prevent fainting episodes in their children. This article explains what happens in the body when someone faints and common causes of childhood syncope. The article also discusses when loss of consciousness could be a warning sign of an underlying health condition. Human organ systems work together to ensure adequate nutrients and oxygen are provided to the brain. A simple change in position from sitting to standing causes a redistribution of the body’s blood supply. To get enough blood and oxygen up to the brain, the blood vessels in the legs need to squeeze tighter and the heart needs to pump slightly harder and faster. This happens automatically but may be too slow in a growing adolescent, someone who is not well hydrated, or following an emotional or physical trauma. Passing out is a safety mechanism that improves perfusion of blood to the brain.


Fainting after standing up too quickly is very common in adolescents. Prolonged standing or sudden inactivity after exercising can also cause blood to pool in the lower legs resulting in syncope. Small children who have breath-holding spells when they get angry can momentarily reduce oxygen to their brains and pass out. Fortunately, these causes of fainting result in no long term damage and usually no injury. Fainting from these causes is often preceded by a prodrome or warning that passing out is imminent. Typical prodromes include lightheadedness, decreased vision and a loss of facial color. Parents and children should recognize and respond to these symptoms to prevent injury during a faint. Less commonly syncope is the result of an underlying heart problem. If there is a defect in the heart’s rhythm or ability to contract, the brain may not receive enough blood to sustain consciousness. Red flags for doctors that fainting is due to a heart problem include the following: fainting during exercise or exertion; passing out while swimming; a murmur that gets louder when the patient stands up; an abnormal EKG; and shortness of breath, chest pain or heart palpitations prior to passing out. Another important warning sign for doctors is a family history of sudden death, SIDS, pacemakers, or genetic heart arrhythmias. Sports physical exams should include questions about the athlete’s underlying health and family history to identify those athletes at risk for heart related syncope or death. Patients with these warning signs or relevant family histories deserve more detailed attention, such as an EKG and cardiology referral.

family focus


Staying well hydrated with non-caffeinated beverages is the best way to prevent fainting. Proof of proper hydration is clear and abundant urine. Anxious patient breathing too rapidly (i.e., hyperventilation) can be treated by having the patient breathe into a paper bag until the respiratory rate normalizes. If a child feels lightheaded after prolonged standing or upon changing positions, the child should lie with the legs elevated above the level of the heart or sit with the head hanging between the knees. Patients feeling faint after injections or blood work, should lie down until the feeling passes, usually about fifteen minutes. Athletes playing strenuous sports at a high school level or higher should have a sports physical at least annually. Consult a doctor if your child has any of the warning signs discussed.

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A Little Known Secret to Successful Outdoor Gardening by Leonard Mutch


ering shrubs can be pruned at the beginning of the growing season. Many shrubs are grown for the color of their stems, and will need to be pruned at frequent intervals if the color is to be kept. A technique called "coppicing" where the shrub is pruned hard close to the ground is usually involved.

Outdoor gardening is so much easier when you know how. Outdoor gardening is also so much more enjoyable when you know a few secrets. Much of the enjoyment of outdoor gardening comes from the care and proper maintenance of the garden. Not many plants look their best without some help, and pruning is one of these techniques considered essential to outdoor gardening if plants are to flower, fruit well, and keep pests and diseases at bay.

Coppicing is also used for the production of wood suitable for fencing. In outdoor gardening however, it is used most often to stimulate fresh new growth in the colorful stems of trees and shrubs. The shape of trees and shrubs in the outdoor garden can be changed by pruning and crossing branches that are close together. The object here is to construct a natural open shape so that air can circulate freely.

For those inexperienced in outdoor gardening, pruning can often be a reason for concern. Questions may arise, such as when is the best time to prune, and how, and where. We prune our trees and shrubs mainly to increase flowering and fruiting, to control diseases, and to change the size or shape of the plant.

If some of your older shrubs are getting a bit woody and ugly you might try cutting the plant back hard while trying to keep some leaves on the lower branches, before deciding to pull them up. It's worth giving the plant a feed and mulch at this time too.

Some shrubs such as Forsythia need an annual prune of their older wood to help maintain vigor and to produce new flowering shoots. These new shoots are produced from the base of the plant. If Forsythia is left un- pruned it can become overcrowded, allowing little room for new shoots to grow and flower. I recommend that after flowering each year you cut out a good quarter to one third of the old wood around the base of the shrub.

It is essential to the health of your plants that you prune correctly. Cut out all diseased, weak and dead growth. Always cut back to healthy wood, free from the staining of infected tissue. Generally when pruning cuts are made on trees and shrubs it should be made to a bud, which will then grow away without leaving a dead stump. You should choose a bud that is facing the direction you want the branch to grow away from, and then make a slanting cut about 2 inches above the bud. If the plant has opposing buds, then cut straight across. To remove a branch from a shrub or tree, you will first need to cut the branch back to about a foot from the trunk. This will help to prevent the branch from tearing. Don’t cut the remaining stub flush with the trunk, but leave a small swelling which can heal on its own. Pare off ragged parts left on sawed surfaces.

A number of shrubs can be encouraged through pruning to develop larger foliage with no flowers. This is usually done in late winter or early spring. The shrub is either cut back to the ground, or cut back very hard while removing dead wood and twigs. Some trees are suitable for this type of pruning, and this can totally change the appearance of these plants. Ornamental fruit trees will produce more flowers and fruit when pruned correctly. As a rough guide for outdoor gardening, the plants that flower early in the season should be pruned as soon as flowering has finished, while late flow-

Enjoy your outdoor gardening by pruning successfully. Make the right cut to improve your outdoor gardening skills.

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home and design

Creative Combinations = Home Blending!

If you’ve ever had the task of combining furnishings from two different households, you know the difficulties this dilemma can present. Whether it’s a blended family, a new marriage, new housemates or even furnishings coming from a family member who is downsizing, mixing all these often diverse elements from different styles of decor can be challenging. So here are a few tips to help you get started!

First, take a careful inventory of all pieces. Include not only the large items, such as furniture, but also items such as area rugs, lamps, pictures and even accessories that you may want to incorporate into your new decorating plan. Be careful not to assign where the piece will go yet. Just because it has always been in the living room doesn’t mean that’s the only place it can go! For larger pieces, you may want to take measurements. It’s always easier to measure the space and see if the pieces will fit before you actually bring the furniture in.

Once your list is complete, go through it carefully and check off the items you definitely want to keep. Your final list may include antiques, high quality furnishings, and items of sentimental value. It could even include that comfortable old chair that you’ve enjoyed many hours sitting in with a good book in hand. If you have a large quantity to access, you may even want to prioritize or rank the pieces based on which are most important to you – or to the others will share this space.

It’s key in planning your new room design that you create harmony between the sizes of different pieces of furniture you select for your new room. Simply defined, harmony is the pleasing and orderly arrangement of all design parts so that they form a consistent and satisfying whole. Another key consideration in creating a harmonious eclectic style is to definitely consider mixing periods and styles in your furniture pieces because it will not only make for a more harmonious feeling in your room, but will ultimately create a more interesting decorating scheme. It’s important to remember that when you decide to mix different periods or styles of furnishings, that your pieces all be in the same or similar mood – that is, either formal or informal, gay and frivolous or serious, dignified and formal.

So, what do you do if the items you wish to keep don’t blend or match with your new homes’ existing décor? Take heart! The eclectic look has been officially “in” for years now. Gone are the days when every single piece of furniture has to match. The Dallas Ewing clan of the 70’s and 80’s may have had a perfectly matched “suite” in every room, but not the high tech families of today’s generation. The first consideration will be scale. Large rooms with high ceilings will best take larger pieces. Mother’s small chairs will be great in a bedroom but may look tiny in the family room! Small end tables may seem really out of place next to a large chair. Place the smaller pieces in smaller rooms. There truly is a difference between not matching and not coordinating. In fact synonyms for eclectic include: discriminating, particular and selective. If the fabric on a chair or sofa doesn’t work and the frame is still in good shape, consider having it reupholstered. A good upholsterer can restyle, add a

l a i c e p S r e t Win

by Karen Hartley

skirt, eliminate a skirt and add new legs. Cushions can be replaced. Tables can be refinished or painted. Bed frames can be resized with new longer rails; a full size headboard can be used with a queen mattress. Two twins can be combined to make a king. Mother’s end tables from the living room could make great nightstands or side tables next to that little lounge chair in the guest bedroom. So, if a piece does not belong anywhere, get rid of it, but always consider recycling first! The classifieds, EBay, or even a furniture consignment shop sale might even help bring you some extra cash for more decorating or donate it to a great charitable and take the tax deduction. Harmony is also very important when placing artwork and accessories in any room. Hanging a series of pictures on one level therefore creating a better sense of order, and making a more eye-pleasing grouping will allow you to use the smaller prints to fill a bigger space. They do need to have a common thread- all botanicals, all similar subject matter, common style or period. Conversely, placing the same art in a stair step fashion would create a very unattractive arrangement by losing all cohesion and harmony. Consider mixing art with other items of interest on brackets or small shelves. Finishing touches can do wonders to unite a mixture of furnishings. Look for common elements in your pieces – perhaps a color or texture that catches the eye. Even something as simply as a decorative pillow in a patterned fabric that picks up colors from a couple of blended pieces will help to unify the room and tie the colors together. Use the accessories to link colors in a room. When a color is used once in a space it may look like an accident; if it’s used three or more times, it becomes an accent! Create a room everyone can enjoy! Be careful not to clutter! All those special pieces can have a totally new look in a new home. Karen Hartley is a DDCD, Decorating Den Certified Decorator and is a member of the Interior Design Society. She has been the owner and designer of Decorating Den Interiors since 1986, celebrating 25 years! You may preview her portfolio at\khartley. Karen can be reached at (770) 459-9096 or by email at

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Sunrooms • Screen Enclosures • Conservatories • Pool Enclosures PAGE 25

Style, Comfort, Elegance It simply couldn’t be easier! With design solutions you’ll adore. A talented decorator you’ll love. Impeccable service you’ll rave about. Visit our website and then call for an appointment. I look forward to seeing you soon!

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Mommy Moments How Great a Mot her’s Love

This month, Shasta reflects on the past Christmas holiday and how mothers young and old can relate to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

by Shasta Clark Once you’re a mother, you can’t look at Christmas the same again because, in a small very human way, you now can identify with what Mary, mother of Jesus, must have experienced.

If Mary wrote a birth plan, it obviously got scrapped pretty quickly. She delivered in a stable, farm animals watching her struggle with every contraction, no medication, and her only earthly visitors, as opposed to the celestial angels on high, were shepherds and wise men who were kind enough to bring gifts, but complete strangers nonetheless. Just imagine that for a second. The Bible isn’t clear what Mary knew of her son, other than His name was to be Jesus and that He was the son of the Most High. When she cradled Him for the first time, did she completely understand that her tiny, infant was God in human flesh? Would we have known?

We mothers remember the moment we first discovered we were pregnant. Whether we anticipated the news or not, our hearts skipped and our veins coursed with an instant rush of excitement, joy, fear, and trepidation.

In a similar way, we didn’t know our child before birth. When we cradled our baby for the first time, we didn’t think about whether he’d become a great leader or a high school dropout. We just loved him because he was our child. Like many of us, Mary was an unselfish mother from the start. When the angel told Mary she’d become pregnant with a son, her response was, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever He wants.”

I imagine that’s how Mary felt when she found out she was expecting a child. For most of us, the announcement came from two pink lines on a stick. At the time, we may have viewed the home pregnancy test as heavenly, but for Mary, the experience was celestial; angels visited from heaven, saying that she would have a son, and not just any son, the Promised One who would save anyone who believes in Him.

I, for one, am thankful that Mary selflessly obeyed God by giving birth to His Son, Jesus, because without Him, I’d be lost. But now I am found. How great a mother’s love.

Like Mary, we waited nine long months to see our child’s face. During that time, we grew to love the tiny person, even though we’d never met.

Shasta Clark, a former writer for CNN Headline News is a freelance journalist who writes about her most challenging job yet, motherhood. You may contact her at

In anticipation of meeting our child, some of us wrote a detailed birth plan about where we would deliver, what medication we’d use, who would be allowed in the room, and who could hold the baby afterward.

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Many people don’t know that our seasons of the year are exactly the opposite of those in the Southern Hemisphere. When it is cold and dreary in Atlanta, it is warm and sunny on the beaches of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. When I lived in Peru many years ago, I would take my kids to the beach every summer. On New Years Day, the beach was always a special treat! In those days, there were no beach resorts in Peru. Most families would either go for the day or if they had the money, purchase a house on the beach. Weekends and during the summer, the entire family (Mom, dad, grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles and all the kids) would escape the cold dreary weather of Lima. The cold Humboldt Current which flows along Peru’s coast comes close to land at Lima and creates clouds of mist that are present most of the year. So a short trip south to the beaches of Paracas Bay, nearby famed Nazca Lines, is a great alternative for Peruvian families and now foreigners alike. Paracas, Peru, has long been one of those getaway beaches for the rich and famous of Lima. Now it is the star in a chain of beaches that dot Peru's coastline from Lima south. The old haciendas and beach front homes of the wealthy have been bought up in droves and in their stead, bright new hotels have appeared to host the new middle and upper class of Lima. These hotels are also catching the eye of the world’s vacation market. Paracas is about a three hour drive south of Lima along the Pan American Highway. The "Pan American" as we used to know it was a two lane highway winding up and down the sand dune mountains with tons of trucks going both north and south. Now there is a super toll highway that goes straight as an arrow across the top of Atacama Desert. The waters in the Bay of Paracas are calm and smooth with lots of parasailing, jet skiing and other water sports happening all day. The beaches are a bit grainy for those of us who love the sugar white beaches of the Caribbean, but here at some of the mega resorts, they have brought in lovely white sand to enjoy. These beaches are lovely clean spots for children to play and so safe because if there are any waves, they are small ripples in contrast to the other Pacific beaches in Peru. New hotels go from the economy Hotel Hacienda, a local Peruvian brand, to the Hilton Doubletree and the Luxury Collection; Hotel Paracas have been built along the shore of the Bay. Aside from the beach activities you can enjoy, dune buggy rides, parasailing, deep sea fishing, sea kayaking and much more. Paracas Bay lies on the edge of the Nazca Reserve, home to the famed Nazca Lines. All the hotels have tour agencies that can arrange anything from a private fishing charter to a fly-over of these famed lines said to have been created from visitors from other planets. There is even a local belief that if you watch the clear night sky, you can see these space ships from time to time coming and going above the desert dunes. From Paracas you can also visit the nearby Ballestas Islands, home of Humboldt Penguins, birds of all kinds and of course the wonderful sea lions. From the islands you also get a view of the famed "Candalabra" the mysterious geoglyph that stands watch over the Peruvian coastline. Was this another visit by the beings from outer space? You be the judge! What better way to get away from the cold of North America and instead of the Caribbean, try something a little more exotic...the beaches of Paracas, Peru! Pam Walker is a Virtuoso travel consultant and can be reached at You can follow her travels by visiting Pam's blog at


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Happy New Year! I am going to go ahead and say what everyone is thinking; January is a terrible month to start the New Year. Not only is it in the dead of winter, but it follows so closely to Christmas that you barely have enough time to enjoy all the effort you put into your holiday decorations before your wife is telling you, “Get that tree and lights down right now, they have been up there since last year!” And I am convinced the only reason most people make commitments to diet and exercise in January is because they get all their holiday shopping bills and realize they don’t have enough money for food or medical insurance premiums. “I resolve to eat only bologna sandwiches with gub’ment cheese and bicycle to work this whole year…or until Macy’s, Dillard’s and L. L. Bean quit calling.” I think we should return to the pre-Revolutionary War New Years which was celebrated in March. Now I am not advocating a return to British Colonialism, but wouldn’t it just make more sense to celebrate the New Year at the same time that the Dogwoods are about to bloom versus celebrating around a dehydrated pine your wife has repeatedly told you to remove because is poses some female-concocted “eminent fire hazard?” Just think what kind of awesome celebrations we could have on the eve of March 31st versus the Eskimo-like gatherings we now witness where shivering adults (who can actually find baby-sitters) with chattering teeth watch a frozen ball, or peach, drop at midnight and are too cold to even kiss each


by Mark Orler

other without major dental damage. If it were held during the eve of the Spring Solstice instead of in the frigid clutches of Old Man Winter we could all go to the local parks and watch midnight fire-works while maidens in light sundresses and daisy-duke shorts flittered about in the gray glow of the full moon. Just think ladies, what kind of resolutions your chubby hubbies would make if that were the scene of your New Year as opposed to the Frosty-Fest we now suffer through. “Honey, next year I want to be in the kind of shape that will allow me to flitter….pleeeeeze.” versus “Honey, by next year I promise to own a jacket that covers more of me when I bend over.” If the Spring were the beginning of the New Year I wouldn’t feel so bad about paying my taxes; come April 15th it would feel as though I had pre-paid for the entire year and could spend like a madman for the next 10 months. The economy would get a much needed jolt as Spring Forward soirees would require party planners, florists, event rentals and sober drivers. Not to mention the untold increase in groceries to cover all the New Year Bar-B-Que’s and Pig Roasts…this is after all the South. It all sounds too perfect and I could spend a vast amount of time and money in trying to promote this awesome idea to the rest of the world…or I could just do what my wife says and take the stupid tree down. It’s 2011 already. By the way, do you smell burning pine?

Mark Orler is a full-time husband, father and pert-time observationiest. Mark can be reached at

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BETTER FOOD CHOICES IN 2011 Dr. Vincent S. Scott is pleased to announce the opening of his new practice specializing in the medical and surgical care of the non-pregnant woman. With 23 years of experience, Dr. Scott intends to focus on the needs of this special group of patients. From adolescence to beyond the menopause, we will be there to listen and address the important medical issues affecting women during the most challenging phases of life.

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Now that the cookies and cakes are not hanging around in your kitchen and you’ve had your fill of mashed potatoes and stuffing, it’s time to get in the groove and make some healthier choices in 2011. Don’t consider these choices a “diet”. Just choose. Choose to bake, broil, or grill your lean meats. Choose multigrain bread instead of white. Choose to pass on the bread at your favorite restaurant. Choose sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Even (baked) sweet potato fries! Choose brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice. Although not a common item in most kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa's amino acid profile is well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, and quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other healthbuilding nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Choose whole grain pasta instead of white pasta. White rice, white bread, and white pasta are chemically processed. White flour manufacturers first remove the wheat seed’s bran, its six outer layers, and the germ which contains most of the vitamins and minerals. Most of the fiber is also lost in the process. What little is left is then bleached, preserved and aged with chlorine dioxide. It is further whitened by adding chalk, alum, and ammonium carbonate to make it look and feel more improved and appealing to the consumer. An anti-salting agent called sorbitan mono-saturate is added in the final stage. A few synthetic nutrients are then added back into the white flour and it is then called “enriched.” Always choose foods in their natural state. Choose fruit, raw nuts, or low fat cheese sticks for snacks. Eat often throughout the day to keep your metabolism fueled. Choose to eat good fats like olive oil, avocado’s, and raw nuts. Avocados are packed with vitamins (like B & C), dietary fiber, and monounsaturated fats, which may help lower cholesterol. Lean proteins and good fats keep you fuller, longer. Choose to limit or omit all processed foods, or foods with additives and preservatives. Choose to limit or omit all refined sugar. Sugar in its natural state, like in fruit is better than a candy bar by far! Choose to drink water instead of soda’s, juices, or other sweetened beverages. Choose to drink water between cocktails. Remember, alcohol slows down weight loss and promotes water retention. Choose a day to PLAN for the upcoming week. Take a walk down the health food isle. Stock up on healthy choices at the grocery store; keep healthy snacks in your purse or car so you are not caught hungry. Planning helps you make better choices for lunch and dinner. Choose to park in the furthest spot in the parking lot so you will move your body more. Choose to take baby steps, or choose it all. The good choices you make will look GREAT on you!



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Vitamins and Your Skin Vitamins A, C and E In this current day and age with the internet bombarding us with the greatest and latest anti-aging products, infomercials promising us they can turn back time, and celebrities putting their names and reputations on the line with products that promise that they are the real deal, it’s often hard to decipher what our skin and bodies really need and what actually works. In addition to the many proven products carried by dermatologists and skincare professionals there are some basic vitamins that can aid you in keeping your skin look younger and healthier. Dermatologists and skin care professionals seem to agree that the use of Vitamins A, C and E can be very useful in keeping your skin looking youthful and healthy. Let’s take a look at each of these vitamins and why they benefit our skin. All of these vitamins can be consumed in a healthy diet, but they can also be applied topically for greater benefits. Consult your dermatologist or skincare professional on recommended products for use. Vitamin A Vitamin A is found in many fruits and vegetables. Sources of vitamin A include beef liver, sweet potatoes, carrots and carrot juice, cantaloupes, watermelon, spinach, broccoli, lettuce and dark


leafy greens, winter squash, apricots, asparagus, green beans, yellow corn, eggs, and peas. Vitamin A found in tretinoins (Retinoic acid Retin A /Renova) is especially important as we age and is one of the few products that has been used for decades with favorable results. Vitamin A rejuvenates the skin by stimulating cells to produce more collagen and elastin. Vitamin A in tretinoin form is only available by prescription, but over the counter products with a reduced potency are also available. Vitamin C Vitamin C also helps promote healthy skin. Foods rich in Vitamin C include mangos, strawberries, blackcurrant, lemons, oranges, kiwi, clementines, raspberries and grapefruit. The ascorbic acid contained in Vitamin C can be effective in reducing wrinkles. Many skin creams that contain a rich amount of Vitamin C can play a role in destroying free radicals. Not only is Vitamin C a strong anti-oxidant, it has anti-inflammatory properties which can help to repair skin damage related to sun exposure. Vitamin C is also a key ingredient in the synthesis of collagen, the protein that supplies the basic support structure for the skin. As skin ages, the collagen support structure which gives skin its integrity starts to break down causing the appearance of loose, saggy skin. Vitamin E Vitamin E can be a powerful anti aging tool if it’s used correctly. Foods that are rich in vitamin E include corn oil, soybean oil, wheat germ oil, broccoli, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds and peanuts. Vitamin E added to lotions, creams, and other skin care products, as well as taken orally, can play a role in the anti-aging of skin. It aids skin in looking younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Because of its antioxidant activity, Vitamin E aids in protecting skin cells from ultra violet light, pollution and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals. It is believed that Vitamin E is more effective in its natural alcohol form rather than its acetate form where it is less of an effective antioxidant.

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Calendar of Events Continued from page 6 CELEBRATE AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH AT CENTRAL LIBRARY: The Georgia Room staff will have an open-house, Feb. 1 from 4-7 p.m. to showcase the Cobb African American Connections web page. Attendees can get an introduction to the Cobb African American Connection, a growing collection of materials highlighting the cultural life and contributions of people of African descent in Marietta and Cobb County. It contains materials that highlight the historical, social, civic, religious, economic, and cultural life of African Americans. A visit to the Georgia Room will also allow visitors a chance to see all that the genealogical and historical collection has to offer. The Georgia Room is located in the Central Library at 266 Roswell St., Marietta. Refreshments will be served. For information on this free event call 770-528-2320. Join the library staff for a special program celebrating African American History Month, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m. in the Central Library’s large conference room (266 Roswell Street, Marietta). A special steel-drum performance, dancing, art, and readings from Langston Hughes’ works will delight attendees. For information on this free event call 770-528-2320. THE MARIETTA MARDI GRAS RUN kicks off on Saturday, February 12 rain or shine in the Marietta Square. The 5 K race begins at 8:00 am, the 1K race starts at 8:45 am and the Tot Trot will begin at 9:00 am. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in numerous age categories and everyone receives a specially designed technical race t-shirt. Registration is $25 before February 7th and $30 afterwards. Register at The Marietta Mardi Gras Run, sponsored by the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta, is a Peachtree Road Race Qualifier.

tion,, or call the information line at 770-924-1474.

WEST COBB BUSINESS ASSOCIATION: WHO DO YOU KNOW? Monthly luncheon meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at the Lost Mountain Baptist Church. Doors open at 11:30 am. Cost is $12 for members/$17 for non-members. Find out about West Cobb happenings and become involved with other businesses interested in giving back to the community. Register on line at, or call 678.776.6331. THE ROTARY CLUB OF NORTH COBB: Weekly meetings are held on Thursdays 7:30 a.m. at Pinetree Country Club. Find out how we support our groups individual projects in SERVICE ABOVE SELF. We provide humanitarian service that encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build good will here and internationally. Become involved with other businesses who are interested in giving back. Visit our web site @

WEST COBB SENIOR CENTER: A variety of activities take place at the West Cobb Senior Center. Movie Madness, Dining Out, The Stardust Dance Club, and even Bingo! Call 770.528.8200 for a complete schedule and detailed information.

Visit for other ongoing calendar of events.

KENNESAW BUSINESS ASSOCIATION: Climb Aboard! With over 300 members, the KBA has been around for over 30 years. Monthly luncheons are held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Kennesaw State University Center on Busbee Drive. Buffet lunch begins at 11:30 am and costs $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Alive After Five is an evening mixer held on the third Tuesday, and the Wakeup KBA morning mixer is held at Bar B Q Street on the fourth Tuesday of selected months. For more information, check their website at or call 770.423.1330. MARIETTA TROLLEY TOURS: The Historic Marietta Trolley offers tons of fun for everyone this spring and summer. From Scary-etta Ghost Tours, to a great ride to and from the Braves games’. For details and complet tour schedules, please visit

COBB PARENTS OF MULTIPLES MONTHLY MEETING: Please join us on the second Monday of every month (except December) at 7:00pm for our monthly meeting at North Metro Church in Marietta, Georgia. We are a parent's club for families with or expecting twins, triplets, quads, etc. We also offer monthly play dates, Mom's Nights Out, and special family events throughout the year. Please join us at our fun and informative monthly meetings and find out more about us! Visit our website for more informa-


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january crossword solut ion Our Town

what’s cookin’?

Happy New Year!

It is hard to imagine that the holidays have passed and 2011 has finally arrived. Many of you are making resolutions to eat healthier and we at the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta completely understand! We hope that you will enjoy the following recipes from one of our two cookbooks, Georgia on My Menu. For more information about purchasing cookbooks from the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta, please access our Website at We hope that you and yours have a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Crock-Pot Vegetable Soup

½ pound green peppers, cooked Soak beans in water overnight. Add salt and boil until soft. Crush in a mortar, the garlic, oregano, cumin and vinegar. Heat the oil in a pan, adding the onions and peppers and sauté until the onions are brown. Add the crushed ingredients, sautéing slowly. Drain some of the water off the beans before adding them to the onions and peppers. Cook slowly until ready to serve. Best served with rice. Yields 6 servings

p. 48 Georgia on My Menu 2 pounds stew meat, cubed 1 16-ounce can tomatoes 2 carrots, sliced 3 stalks of celery, sliced 2 medium onions, diced 2 medium potatoes, diced 1 7-ounce can green beans 1 7-ounce can whole kernel corn 3 cups of water 1 teaspoon of salt 4 peppercorns 3 beef bullion cubes Put all ingredients in a crock-pot. Cover and cook on low for 24 hours. Yields 6 to 8 servings

Cuban Black Bean Soup p. 49 Georgia on My Menu 1 pound black beans 2 quarts of water 2 tablespoons salt 5 cloves garlic, peeled ½ tablespoon oregano ½ tablespoon cumin 1 ounce white vinegar 5 ounces Spanish oil ½ pounds onions, chopped PAGE 33

Chinese Shrimp and Peapods p. 127 Georgia on My Menu 1 ½ pounds shrimp, peeled and cleaned 2 tablespoons of butter 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons of parsley 1 package frozen peapods (thaw 10 minutes) Chinese noodles (baked)

Zucchini and Walnuts p. 181 Georgia on My Menu

¼ cup olive oil 1 pound zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices 2 tablespoons onion, minced 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice 1 cup walnuts, chopped Salt and pepper to taste Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the zucchini and onions for five minutes, until tender. Add the lemon juice. Add nuts and salt and pepper to taste. Yields 8 servings

Sauté onions and shrimp in butter. Cook for three minutes (five if shrimp are large). Add remaining ingredients, except peapods, blending well. Add peapods and sauté for two minutes or until tender and hot. Don’t overcook! Serve over brown rice and top with baked Chinese noodles. Yields 4 servings

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Our Town

Counting Calories for Your Pet by Matt Papa We know that obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States. OVER 63 % of American adults are obese. But there's another statistic that is even more startling to pet owners and veterinarians: according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, approximately half of all dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. That's 84 million animals that weigh more than they should for optimal health. Just as with people, obesity in pets is associated with many health risks, including osteoarthritis, Type 2 diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, and many forms of cancer. What causes obesity in pets? It generally comes down to consuming more calories than the pet needs. According to veterinarian Susan Nelson, assistant professor of clinical sciences at Kansas State University, “Pets are overeating and under-exercising, and they're eating too many high-fat foods and treats.” Dr. Nelson suggests a number of factors to consider when feeding your pet, including paying attention to the nutritional information and calorie content of what your pet eats. While we look at the nutritional information and calorie content marked on our own food, we may not think to do the same for our pets. Is My Pet Overweight? It's relatively easy to determine if your dog or cat is overweight. First, take a look at your pet's ribs. If your animal is a healthy weight, the ribs shouldn't be seen but should be easy to feel. They should be covered with a thin layer of fat. If they are difficult to feel under a large layer of fat, this is a sign your pet is overweight. Next, take a look at the animal's stomach. A sagging stomach, where you can grab a handful of fat, is also a sign of excess weight. Finally, take a look at your pet's general body shape. When looking at the animal from above, you should be able to easily make out a waistline. A dog should be an hourglass shape, broader at the shoulders and hips and narrow at the waist. A broad, flat back is a sign your pet is overweight. How Much Should I Feed My Pet? Figuring out how much you should be feeding your pet is not as straightforward as it may initially seem. Amounts vary based on the type of food, your pet's metabolism, and the amount of exercise it gets. If your pet is a healthy weight, a good place to start is with the amount suggested by the guidelines on the pet food packaging. If your pet is just a bit overweight, look at the guidelines and feed it the amount suggested for its ideal weight, rather than the weight it currently is. The typical domestic cat should weigh about 10 pounds, and needs about 275 calories per day. Unlike cats, the caloric needs of dogs vary greatly depending on breed, a variance expected when dogs can range in weight from under 5 pounds to over 100. A 10-pound dog needs about 300 calories per day, while a 50-pound dog needs 1,200. Feeding guidelines on your pet's food bag will take into account approximate caloric needs, but it's important to realize that food amounts may change if you change the type of food you're feeding your dog or cat. Since pet foods can vary greatly in fat and calorie content, one cup of Type A food will not necessarily equal one cup of Type B food. What About Treats? Just as we sometimes don't realize (or don't want to realize!) how many calories snack foods can contribute to our diet, it's easy to forget to consider the number of calories contained in the treats we give our pets. Luckily, it is becoming more common for pet food manufacturers to list nutritional information, including calorie content, on packaged pet treats. Nutrition and calorie information is also often available online, so try visiting the company's website if you can't find what you're looking for on the packaging. It is fine to include treats in your pet's diet, but calories from treats should account for 10% or less of your pet's overall caloric intake. Hidden Calories Pets, particularly dogs, can be scavengers. While some dogs are very well-behaved, others go through the trash, beg at the table, and try to help themselves to anything that looks particularly tasty. In households with small children, often one of the first things a pet realizes is that children are an excellent source of table scraps. Everything the child drops will be devoured by a waiting animal. And it usually doesn't take long for children to discover that feeding their pet is a fun game, leading to even more shared calories. Adults are not completely innocent either. Many people feed their pets table scraps, or allow them to eat food that drops on the floor. Rarely do we consider how many extra calories human food is adding to our pet's diet. A Family Affair As Dr. Nelson says, “It's important to count calories if your pet is overweight.” If you have a dog or cat that needs to lose a few pounds, counting calories can help you achieve that goal and help your pet stay healthy. But everyone in the family needs to be involved in this process, not just one person. No matter how careful you are about feeding your pet an appropriate diet, it won't be successful if other family members are slipping their beloved pet treats and table scraps. It's important that the entire family realizes the importance of helping their pet maintain a healthy weight. Giving food is a way to show love, but an even better way is to help your pet stay healthy and live a long life as a member of your family. Courtesy of


• Medicine • General Surgery • Vaccinations • Dentistry • Orthopedic Surgery

• Laser • Ultrasound • Dermatology • Behavioral Counseling • Boarding • Grooming

Suzanne Newsom, D.V.M. and Cardi

770•590•1234 3703 LARGENT WAY MARIETTA, GA 30064 Office Hours: Weekdays 8am - 6pm Saturday 8am - Noon

Pablo is a very handsome two-year-old Domestic Short Hair kitty with the most beautiful dilute orange coloring. This sweet boy was abandoned after his family moved away. Pablo is a very friendly and playful guy. He is not shy and warms up quickly to new people. Pablo loves to have a warm lap to sit in and really enjoys being petted. This brave boy even does well with dogs! Pablo is sure to be a wonderful lifetime companion for one lucky adopter! Atlanta Pet Rescue is open Tuesday – Friday 11am-4pm and Saturday 12pm-5pm.

Benji is a sweet one-and-a-halfyear-old Schnauzer mix who weighs 17 pounds. He has a little bit of hair loss due to fleas on his legs and rear end. Benji is friendly, lovable, and playful. He gets along well with other dogs and loves getting attention from his person. Benji sure can run fast, so he will need to go to a home that will give him regular exercise and a chance to kick up his heels and run. Atlanta Pet Rescue is open Tuesday – Friday 11am-4pm and Saturday 12pm-5pm.

For more information about Atlanta Pet Rescue or how to adopt Pablo, Benji, or any of our 80+ dogs, cats, puppies and kittens looking for homes, visit our web site: If you would like your pet to be Our Town’s Pet of the Month, please send a photo with a short bio to: Our Town Magazine, 109 Anderson Street, Suite 109, Marietta, GA 30060 or email it to

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Our Town January 2011 - West Cobb  

Our Town January 2011 - West Cobb