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The West Cobb Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine April 2017

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Publishers/Editors Linda Demery & Lori McLinden Graphics and Design Terry Tanner Tanner Graphics, Inc. Account Executive Sara Young, Feature Photographer

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 2017 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

Our Town Monthly

Jody Lynn Photography, Click Studios

109 Anderson Street Suite 109 Marietta, GA 30060

Contributing Writers

660 Whitlock Ave NW, Ste E • Marietta, GA 30064 NaturesPickMarket


Leisa A. Bailey, PhD Tara Hill Jen Bonner Kelly Dean Mark Orler Dr. John Kayal Gillen Joachim James Floyd Kelly Amber Burckhalter

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Allatoona Choral and Orchestra programs proudly present the musical theatre production of My Fair Lady. My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. All cast and crewmembers are part of the Fine Arts Department of Allatoona High School. This year’s musical production guarantees to have you singing along and tapping your toes to such musical favorites as, “I Could Have Danced All Night, ”“On the Street Where You Live,” and “Get Me to the Church on Time”. Allatoona High School is located at 3300 Dallas Acworth Hwy NW in Acworth. Tickets will be available at the door for $10 and all proceeds go to the Choral and Orchestra programs at Allatoona High School.



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april calendar of events KENNESAW BUNNY BREAKFAST: Tickets are now on sale for a Bunny Breakfast to be held on Saturday, April 8 at the Ben Robertson Community Center in Kennesaw. Treat your family to a buffet including hot and ready pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausage as well as a medley of fresh fruit and delicious breakfast sweets. Everyone’s favorite cottontail will be making his way from table to table to say hello to all the boys and girls. Be sure to bring your camera to capture all the memories. Seatings are available at 8 am and 10 am. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Ben Robertson Community Center, 2753 Watts Drive. Advance purchase is required. For more information, visit or call (770) 422-9714. EASTER EGG SCRAMBLE: The Marietta Parks & Recreation Department will host the City’s Annual Easter Egg Scramble on Friday, April 7, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at Laurel Park located at 151 Manning Road. Children 10 and under are invited to attend this event and will be divided into three age groups for the hunt: 3 and under, 4-6, and 7-10 years old. Additionally, the Easter Bunny will be available for photographs after the Egg Scramble. The event is free, and the public is encouraged to arrive early to find your child’s correct age group. MARIETTA BUNNY BREAKFAST: The City of Marietta’s Parks & Recreation Department is pleased to announce it will host a special Breakfast with the Easter Bunny event on Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 10am –Member 12pmSIPC at the Custer Park Sports and Fitness Center located at 545 Kenneth E. Marcus Way, Marietta, GA 30060. The event is $8 for City residents, $5 for fit-pass holders, and $10 for non-City residents. Breakfast treats will be served while children have the opportunity to create Easter crafts and meet the Easter Bunny. Space is limited so hurry up and register for Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. Register for the event in person at the Custer Park Sports and Fitness Center. Call Marietta’s Parks & Recreation Department, 770-794-5630 to register on line. ACWORTH ART FEST: The highly anticipated Acworth Art Fest will spread its colorful wings for the fifth annual Art Fest on April 8 and 9, 2017. The historic Main Street in downtown Acworth is a delightful backdrop for 100 whimsical and talented artisans from around the country. Their creative booth displays will again decorate the beautiful street with paintings, pottery, metalwork, folk art, glass, jewelry, yard art and much more! At Acworth Art Fest, a magical Kidz Zone will be filled with creative activities that are sure to make children smile. 4415 Senator Russell Avenue, Acworth, GA 30101. Saturday, 10am-6pm, and Sunday 11am-5pm. FREE. ACWORTH EGG HUNT: April 7th- 6 pm at the Acworth Sports Complex, 3882 Old McEver Rd. 50,000 eggs will be scattered all over the field for the kids to collect. Lots of exciting activities will take place and concessions will be available. NEW BEGINNINGS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA: Saturday, April 15th, from 2-4pm. FREE. Easter learning stations and activities, egg hunt, door prizes and food sales. Public invited. 2925 Mack Dobbs Rd., NW, Kennesaw. For more information, please call 770.421.9980. NORTHEAST COBB COMMUNITY EGG DROP: Bring the whole family out for the 8th Annual Northeast Cobb Community Egg Drop presented by Piedmont Church and Superior Plumbing. More than 90,000 eggs and pieces of candy are spread out and dropped from a helicopter at the football fields at Sprayberry High School April 15, 2017! The event begins at 10 a.m., and in addition to gathering up all the eggs, there will be candy, face painting and the Three-13 Salon, Spa and Boutique Kids Zone with inflatable slides and bounce houses for the toddlers and the older thrill seekers alike, unlimited rides can be purchased for only $7 per child. Also plan to have your photo taken for free with the Easter Bunny courtesy of LGE Community Credit Union. Capture the memories for a lifetime! For more information or to sponsor the event please contact Bill Watson at 770.423.1330, email him at

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3rd ANNUAL EASTER EGG HUNT AT SMITH-GILBERT GARDENS: Smith-Gilbert Gardens is holding the 3rd annual Easter Egg Hunt from 10AM-2PM on Saturday, April 15! Pre-registration is required to participate in the Egg Hunts: $10/child; $7/adult; $6/seniors. Special prices and early registration for Garden members. This event sold out last year. No walk up registrations will be accepted. Fee includes garden admission, 1 Easter egg hunt ticket based on child’s age, games, crafts, and an opportunity to meet the Easter Bunny. Visit or call 770-919-0248 for complete details. Smith-Gilbert Gardens is located at 2382 Pine Mountain Road in Kennesaw. LINKS FOR CHARITY: The Acworth Business Association is teeing it up at Cobblestone Golf Course on April 18, at 9 am for their annual golf tournament to support the ABA Education Outreach and the Horizon Field. ABA is looking for golfers and sponsors to help make the tournament another success in 2017. The Ft. Lauderdale Scramble starts at 9 a.m. Registration is $125 per person or $450 for each foursome. Registration includes greens fees, cart, goodie bags, breakfast and snack with lunch and a silent auction at the conclusion. For more information about ABA and this year’s golf tournament, please contact JRM Management Services, at 770.423.1330. PLANT SALE AND GARDEN FAIR: The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cobb County, Inc. are

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

(Continued on page 27)

Our Town

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The Transition Grant’s resume includes serving as the principal of South Cobb and Campbell High Schools in Cobb County, as well as, at Westlake High School in Fulton County. He moves from the position of Chief of Staff of Cobb County Schools under the leadership of Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. His move back to Cobb was specifically targeted to work with a talented administrator like Ragsdale. “I was honored to work with Chris in this capacity and my goal was to garner as much experience and knowledge from him as possible. I also knew that Emily Lembeck would be retiring sometime in the future, and the superintendent position at Marietta City Schools was my ultimate goal.” The Marietta Board of Education unanimously voted him in as the school district’s 13th superintendent in November. For those that live in Marietta, tradition is a way of life. Grant and his wife, Jenn Hobby, morning radio personality at Star 94.1 and their two beautiful daughters, Lauren and Reese, recently made the move to Marietta from Virginia Highlands. They are looking forward to participating in the traditions that are steeped in Marietta: Concerts in the Square, weekend Farmers Markets, the annual 4th of July parade, Blue Devil pride at Northcutt stadium and much more. Mariettans share a sense of ownership and pride in living in one of the few metro Atlanta bedroom communities that still feels like a “small town”. With a glimmer in his eye Grant told us “When the students welcomed us to Marietta by toilet papering the trees in our yard, I considered it an honor.”

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The Marietta school system is much smaller than neighboring Cobb. Grant remarked, “We’re actually situated just about 2 miles from the Cobb County School District, but it often seems like the other end of the earth. Marietta is so unique and we have so many opportunities to make a difference. Our prospects are limitless. I believe that Marietta can offer its students and families an educational experience that is Special, Different and Better and I am honored and humbled to be a part of this community.”

Moving Forward with Dr. Grant Rivera, Marietta City Schools New Superintendent After serving more than 29 years in education, 11 of those as the Marietta City Schools superintendent, Dr. Emily Lembeck passed the reigns on to Dr. Grant Rivera on January 1st of this year. During the transition, Dr. Lembeck shared with Dr. Rivera, “This is a great district, now go make it greater.” Grant Rivera takes on the challenge with enthusiasm and fervor, “I am honored to serve, proud to lead, and ready to dream with every educator, every family and every child.”

Marietta City Schools (MCS) became one of Georgia’s first Charter Systems in 2008. MCS is comprised of 11 schools: seven k-5 elementary schools, a sixth grade academy, a middle school, one high school and one grades 3-5 elementary magnet school, Marietta Center for Advanced Academics. Last year the award winning, Graduate Marietta Student Success Center was added to the MCS family. In his first 90 days, Grant has met with Marietta principals, teachers and students to learn more about his new district. He has also reached out to community and faith based leaders to create two-way partnerships that will increase student achievement and support teachers. “ As a whole, I think schools often knock on the front doors of businesses and churches with hands open. I’d rather knock on their front doors and say we have a hand to give.”

Beating Cancer In August of last year, Jenn and Grant were confronted with the most devastating news that any parent can receive. Their 10-month old daughter, Reese, was diagnosed with Stage IV sacrococcygeal teratoma cancer. She immediately began chemotherapy at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to shrink this germ cell tumor. The tumor was removed in November 2016 and today Reese is a happy, healthy 16- month old girl and cancer free! The Rivera’s are so grateful to the doctors and the entire team at CHOA for their expertise and loving care. Grant said, “When Reese was first diagnosed, I immediately began researching the best treatments and physicians that could help us. We quickly learned that the world’s leading treatment and protocols were being performed at CHOA”. At the same time, Grant was preparing for his interview with MCS. “Reese was beating cancer. I was simply completing a job application and preparing for an interview,” he said. “Through all of this we learned the power of hope and optimism. All of us have the opportunity to see the positive in each moment — rather than focus on that which may be negative or inconvenient. What you put out in the world is what comes back to you, and Reese taught us there is a lot of good in the world. Everyone is a hero in his or her own way whether they are a cancer survivor, a doctor, an educator or a student. Our opportunity is to see the hero in each of us.” To honor her courageous fight, Jenn and Grant have set up Reese’s MaGIC Fund ( that will support the work of Dr. Thomas Olson


and Dr. Megan Durham, the leaders of her medical team. Their goal is simple: Support the team of doctors from around the world who can share their experience, expertise, and research to prevent and cure germ cell tumors.


It’s very clear that the Rivera’s make a fantastic team! Grant could not be more proud of Jenn and takes genuine pride in the synergy and the good that she pours back into the community. Jenn has been one of the significant voices in Atlanta radio since 2002. When the opportunity arose to work with one of her best friends and former co-workers, Jeff Dauler, she jumped at the chance. “The Jeff and Jenn Show” takes a positive spin on the morning drive show and is a breath of fresh air for commuters and listeners alike. Jenn told Our Town, “ Everyday our intent is to create a show to make our listeners laugh, start their day in a better mood and put more good vibes into the world. We recognize that our listeners hear enough negative messages in their day ...we want them to feel happier and smile more!” Family always comes first for Jenn and Grant. Daughters, Lauren and Reese, are the highlights of their lives. “ They are so funny and bright and silly. Being with them as they grow and explore means everything to Grant and me.” Because Jeff and Jenn share their lives on the show, listeners provided an outpouring of support and prayers while Reese was undergoing cancer treatments. Jenn explained, “There was never any doubt that our listeners would go on this journey with us. It was unbelievable to experience the love, encouragement and power of prayer this community gave to our family. I actually tear up just thinking about how blessed we were with everyone’s love during such a tough time.”

A Bright Future As principal of Fulton County’s Westlake High School, Rivera developed an innovative SAT/ACT program designed to give college-bound students a competitive advantage. The program was unprecedented anywhere in the Southeast students who participated at Westlake had an average gain of 130 points on the SAT from the first time they took the test to the last. Rivera also plans to roll out this program at MCS. As he stated, “You show me a Marietta graduate who does well on the SAT/ACT, I’ll show you someone who is getting into their dream college and receiving more scholarship money.” Beginning in the 8th grade, students and families will have access to free online SAT/ACT resources. Every MCS student in grades 8th through 10th will have the opportunity take 3 simulated practice exams each year. Then, when students enter their junior year, MCS will provide students with an elective class taught by a private SAT/ACT prep company during the school day (at no charge to the family). Experienced parents can tell you this same SAT/ACT prep course can cost as much as $1500 per child. The support has been amazing thus far. Grant stated, “Johnny Sinclair, a local realtor with Harry Norman, has volunteered to cover the costs for an entire grade level of students to take the practice SAT/ACT next year. He is a great example of how the Marietta business community has rallied around this initiative. By executing this program at MCS, we all win- the students and our community. Our students will be prepared and armed for success opening up opportunities for scholarships and financial aid. This practice becomes who we are and how we do business.” As the future unfolds for Marietta City Schools under the leadership of their new superintendent, the prospects appear abundant. As for the Rivera family, they look forward to many firsts: Getting to know new neighbors and friends, family outings in the Square, Lauren and Reese beginning their first day of kindergarten in MCS, and of course, cheering on the Marietta Blue Devils! And in the distant future, Grant can already see himself awarding his daughters their high school diplomas at Northcutt Stadium. Life is good and we couldn’t agree more. Please join us in welcoming the Rivera family to Marietta!

For more information on Mariettta City Schools please visit

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 •

Our Town

feature photographer

Jody Williams Traylor of Jody Lynn Photography has been photographing newborns, children and families in the local area for over ten years. Coming from a technical background in information technology, Jody decided to go the complete opposite route and get creative with photography. They say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life and she believes that 100%. Even though you’ll often find Jody tickling or acting silly to get the cutest reactions from her little subjects, she believes the real moments are the in-between moments. Like that moment right before a child laughs when their face lights up or right after when they are filled with joy. Jody and her husband Ben Traylor have joined forces to create CLICK Photography Studio located at 955 Roswell Street in Marietta. At CLICK Photography Studio, we will offer not only photography and video production, but also photography workshops. While our storefront is new, CLICK is not new to us. Jody has been teaching CLICK workshops for the last 6 years in the Atlanta area. Would you like to learn how to use your camera better? Is the camera manual a little hard to follow? A CLICK workshop might just be the thing for you. We teach you the most important basics in an easy to follow hands-on format. When not photographing other families, Jody and Ben enjoy spending time with their son, Carter (7, or 7 ¾ as he would say!) and watching him play second base on his baseball team. They are very active spending time at their son’s school and volunteering in the community as much as they can. If you would like more information on Click Photography Studio visit or call 404-981-6853. Ben Traylor Productions Jody Lynn Photography


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Our Town

The Superpower of R esiliency

Let your

by Leisa A. Bailey, Ph.D.

Beauty Blossom

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” George S. Patton, Jr. Just to state the obvious….life has challenges, and sometimes the challenges can be extreme. Having the skills to manage and navigate times of difficulty is critically important. Because there is a powerful drive to stay with the known and familiar, change can be experienced as threatening and heightens a sense of insecurity. Psychologists label the psychological strength to cope with change, stress and hardship - resiliency. This important reservoir of strength that one can call on in times of need, assists with the shock, sadness and grief when confronting tough times.


Martin Seligman, Ph.D. is a University of Pennsylvania psychologist who has been called “the father of positive psychology”; and has pioneered much of the field of positive psychology. However, he began his research life investigating failure and helplessness. In the late 1960’s he was part of the team that discovered “learned helplessness”, which discovered that lab animals (and humans) can experience resignation and passivity (which can lead to anxiety and depression) when confronted with negative events which are inescapable, unavoidable, or out of personal control. However, some who can access optimism and resiliency do not develop the paralyzing effects of learned helplessness. This ability is critically important in life. Resiliency is about more than being optimistic or positive - although both are valuable. Resiliency also involves attitudes and behaviors to not only survive, but make changes to improve circumstances. Instead of falling into despair or hiding from problems with unhealthy coping strategies, resilient people confront life’s difficulties with specific skills and attitudes. This does not mean that there is less of an experience of distress, grief, or anxiety; but there are differences in the ways the difficulties are viewed and experienced. There are specific views of the self (“I am strong and will be able to endure this.”), the view of life (“This difficulty is only one part of my life.” “I can change this.”), and an optimism in the ability to handle difficulties (“I am a survivor.”). These messages and affirmations foster strength and growth. Studies show that when there is an ability to maintain positive emotions when facing adversity, flexibility in thinking and problems solving is enhanced. Positive emotions serve an important function in the ability to help recover from stressful experiences and encounters. A combination of factors contributes to resilience. Many studies show that an important factor is the existence of good social support - relationships that provide love and safety, provide role models, and offer encouragement and reassurance. Other factors associated with resilience include: the capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out; a positive view of the self and confidence in strengths and abilities; a view of self as a “fighter” rather than a “victim”; having an internal focus of control; skills in communication and problem solving; and the capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses effectively. Research has shown that resilience is not rare or extraordinary. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that anyone can be learn and develop. New research into resilience has confirmed that the human brain is wired to develop what has been called “psychological Teflon”; to assist in coping with life’s hurdles and hardships, and help bounce back better from setbacks, adapt better to change, and manage stress more effectively. Resilience and flexibility are important life skills which enable a person to be in the world with an improved sense of confidence, be more psychologically successful, and less prone to depression. The best news is that if you feel resiliency is not your “super power” - - you can change that!!

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Our Town


by Tara Hill

Spring has finally sprung! Let’s hope this “flip- flop” weather we’ve had during the past few months is finally over and we can move on to ACTUAL flip-flops. Who’s with me? It’s time to paint your toenails, shave your legs and swap out long sleeves for short. And if you’re feeling really inspired by this new about a new style? If we are going to talk trends, I’ll go straight to THE BEST....Spring Hair Trends inspired by New York Fashion week by Elle, Glamour and Refinery29! Super Straight 2017 is about giving curls a break! Think “CHER HAIR”. Pull out the flat iron and give this come back trend a try. Beachy Waves If super straight is not your thing, forget the curls and go for the waves. They are more natural looking, casual and less organized. The best part is you can shampoo at night, air dry and pop in a few loose waves to pull this look together. Remember it’s all about the “organized chaos”. The Ponytail If you are like me, this trend has never left...but great news, it’s back and the higher the better. This is an easy way to tidy long hair, but don’t forget to complete the look (and keep it from looking rushed) by wrapping a piece of hair around the rubber band. This creates a purposeful and polished look to a quick and easy style. The Topknot My all time favorite! I get more complements on my hair when I wear this style and it couldn’t be easier! Pull a ponytail up as high as possible on the top of your head... here is the trick, do not pull it all the way through. It is basically an incomplete ponytail with the ends pinned down. Just like the beachy waves, this DON’T TRY TO BE PERFECT-organized chaos is the key to this look, as well. *Believe it or not, this is a look we are seeing from carpool to the office to the red carpet! How’s that for versatile?

And when it comes to color... Balayage/Sombre (the “soft ombre”) With a more natural look, this technique goes back to basics by focusing on a darker root and working lighter to the ends. This color trend is much less bold than last year’s ombre trend. This season is all about a natural, sun kissed, less maintained look. Honey Blonde This warm blonde tone is definitely more natural, requires less maintenance, but still beautiful. “Blorange” & “Aubrown” It’s the blonde orange and the auburn brown (get it) or sun kissed redhead and brunette. Think of a natural red head or beautiful rich brunette that has spent the summer at the beach. Corny... yes? But a trend none the less. Have you noticed a theme in these spring trends? I think the designers have finally realized WE ARE TIRED! All of the high maintenance trends of the past are wearing us out and are definitely hard to keep up with. This season try something new, but keep it natural and go back to the basics!

“SIMPLICITY is the ultimate sophistication”- Leonardo da Vinci One last great tip: Revisit your old photos. Look at your hair when you were young before you picked up the “Sun-in” or a hair color bottle...what color was your hair then? I bet you will notice whatever color your hair was at that time, the roots were naturally a bit darker and the ends a bit lighter. Maybe God did know what he was doing?


Remember no matter what life throws your way.

Get up, dress up, show up and NEVER give up!


545 Kenneth E Marcus Way Marietta, GA 30060 • 770-794-5630

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Christian Schools

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We built this hospital for you.

Georgia’s newest hospital opens in May – Northside Hospital Cherokee. We built it with the latest medical advancements. We designed it so you feel at home. And we made it easy to find – wherever you may be. See it now at

Five Ways to Become a Runner by Jen Bonner I hear people all the time who say, “I wish I was a runner.” This is usually followed by all the reasons why they could never do it. I wish more people realized that being a runner was within their grasp and how beneficial it could be for them. Running will lower your resting pulse, improve your blood pressure, calm your tension, provide social connections and help with weight loss and muscle tone. Running can be a major step towards a more joyful life. Here is what you have to do to get there.

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Go to your local running store and have your stride and running style tested. Someone can recommend the best shoe for you. Shoes are really the only real equipment that you need to run so I would recommend that you pay for a good pair. Good shoes can prevent injuries.


Everyone knows someone who runs. Ask them what advice they would give to a beginning runner. This will help you stay a runner and gradually improve.

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Your body is not used to running and if you run too far or too fast the first week, you will be miserable. If it bothers you that certain people can beat you, just tell yourself that you will continue to improve and you will be running circles around everyone soon. The best way to start is to run a little, walk a little.


When runners first start running, they scrunch up their shoulders and hold their breath. Focus on breathing with an easy rhythm and relaxing your shoulders and arms. Find a mantra that you can repeat while running to use as self-encouragement. It could be something like strong/fast/unstoppable.


The key to running success is to make it a habit and a priority. If you run at least three times a week, you should start to see results in about a month. If you are not consistent with your running, it will be harder to achieve your goals. Jen Bonn writes a regular column with Georgia Runner called “On the Run”. Her work is often featured on and in the Marietta Daily Journal. Jen teaches at Mount Paran Christian School and has written a teaching guide, called “Stay Away From the Bathroom”. The book is available at .

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Letters from Abroad

Tiny Bubbles

by Kelly Dean

green tea lemonade with fruity popping pearls that burst in your mouth !

I have now lived in England for 2 ½ years and have had some time to reflect on my experiences. I’m pretty sure these are 24 things every American expat in England will experience. 1. You will discover there is much more to the UK than London. 2. You will realize not everyone lives in a manor home; in fact, most people live in row houses or semi-detached terraces. 3. You will see that England is really green- must be all the rain. 4. You will find only foreigners use umbrellas. (I guess they are just used to it.) 5. You will go for a walk and get stuck in the mud wishing you had invested in a good pair of “wellies”. 6. You will be sitting on the train surrounded by Scots and not understand a word they are saying. 7. You will be amazed how old everything is-like centuries before our country even existed! 8. You will visit too many castles and cathedrals to count. 9. You will still be perplexed how the Romans made it this far north in their day.




10. You will start writing ‘s’ for ‘z’ and forget in which country it’s spelled which way. Examples: Realise, prioritise, organise. 11. You will look at words like “neighbor” and “flavor” and think they are missing something: the ‘u’. 12. You will eventually stop being bothered when people say they are “going to the toilets” instead of “going to the bathroom”. 13. You will learn how all your colleagues take their tea: strong, medium, weak. 14. You will watch every episode of “The Great British Bakeoff ” and maybe feel inspired to make your own bread. Maybe.


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15. You will get excited about the annual Eurovision song competition. 16. You will begin to worry about your lack of Vitamin D. 17. You will try Marmite (yeast paste) on toast, and hate it. 18. You will order Haggis on your third trip to Scotland and actually not dislike it.

Good through April 30, 2017

19. You will know lots of people with the name Richard, James, and Henry. 20. You will tell your mom thanks for the Christmas “jumper”. 21. You will start thinking of the weather in Celsius. 22. You will spend hours reading up on the relationship of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. (Why is it so complicated?)

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23. You will stop being afraid of oncoming traffic coming from the other side of the road. 24. You will go back home to the States and find yourself handwashing all your dishes (no dishwashers here).

Kelly Dean is a Marietta native and former Miss MHS. Kelly lives in northern England with her Spanish husband. Her travels through Europe have taken her as far as Turkey and Morocco, with many mishaps and laughs along the way. Currently, she is working in the International Student Recruitment Office at Lancaster University.

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Parental Track Meet I used to jog every day. But between the knees and an actual desire, I no longer pound

the pavement to generate a heart rate that my doctor deems necessary to keep my insurance costs down. However, even though I have extricated a daily run from my regimen of physical activity, I still get the occasional workout thanks to the combined efforts of my family. And whereas a pleasant jog in the early morning can get your day started off in a mentally positive direction, nothing can get your heart rate pounding and your brain more intensely focused than a few short phrases from your wife or children that forces your body into intense action. I don’t know if these motivational phrases will work in your particular exercise plan, but I can assure you, they get my behind moving when I hear them. The first phrase-inducing exercise is the Obstacle Course, which begins at any point in the house and ends at one of the five bathrooms we have strategically placed around our home. The exercise begins when the starter exclaims, “LOOK, I am peeing like Daddy!” Given the age, sex and height of our children, I know that if this phrase is uttered I must IMMEDIATELY grab a roll of towels and a bottle of Windex and bolt to whichever restroom is the source of the exclamation. Jumping over chairs, beds, toys and yes, curious onlookers, in an effort to reach the child evacuating their bladder in every direction but south, always leaves me breathless and gasping for precious air. You will typically burn about 200 calories during this exercise by the time the walls and floors have been properly disinfected.


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The next exercise is the Round-the-Yard mini-marathon, which, unlike a normal race that might begin with the sound of a starter pistol, simply begins when your wife asks, “Why is the front door wide open?” I particularly like this one because in addition to the sprinting, you get to include yelling and the fear of tragedy into the mix to really jump-start that heart and get it throbbing in your chest. I assume 1,000 calories and 2-years of your life is taken off during this race. The next event in this Parental Track Meet is the Anger-Sprint. This is typically a much shorter race and your actual times may vary depending on the location of the catastrophe, but it always commences following this one phrase spoken breathlessly by an offending child, “It was an accident Daddy!” The Who, What and How Bad are all determined during your sprint to the origin of the “accident” and you get the added benefit of a running partner following behind your heals cheering you on with the repeated chant, “It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault!” The added benefit to this particular exercise is that in addition to the cardio workout, you get some upper body activity as well, usually in the form of a repeated “spanking” motion. Actually, now that I have enumerated all these exercises, that lonely, quiet jog in the wee hours isn’t sounding so bad after all! I mean, I can always replace my knees, right?

Mark Orler is a full-time husband, father and part-time observationist. Mark can be reached at PAGE 17

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Our Town

WHAT’S COOKI N ’? Fun Easter treats for the whole family! Easter Nests!

• 3 tablespoons butter or margarine • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) JET-PUFFED Marshmallows • 4 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows • 6 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal • 1/2 cup flaked coconut • JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows • Jelly beans • Chocolate eggs • 1/4 teaspoon water • 2 to 4 drops green food coloring

1. In small bowl stir together water and green food coloring. Add coconut. Stir until coconut is tinted. Spread on baking sheet to dry.

2. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

3. Add Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. 4. Divide warm mixture into sixteen 2 1/2-inch muffin-pan cups coated with cooking spray. Shape ®


mixture into individual cups. Cool. Remove from pans.

5. Fill cooled nests with coconut, marshmallows, jelly beans or chocolate eggs. Best if served the same day. MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:

Follow step 1 above. In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 3 thru 5 above. Microwave cooking times may vary. Note: For best results, use fresh marshmallows. 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows. Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended. Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze unfilled cups, place in single layer on wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before filling.

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• 1 pound pasta, your choice • 2-3 cups vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and tomatoes - chopped • ½ - 1 cup sliced olives, I used black olives, but sliced kalamatas are good in this too! • ½ bottle Zesty Italian dressing • 1-2 tablespoons dry Zesty Italian dressing seasoning mix




2. 3.

Boil the pasta according to package directions. Rinse in cold water when cooked. Add the vegetables to the salad. For extra flavor, marinate the veggies in the dressing for 3-4 hours prior to putting the salad together. This is totally optional though! Mix in half of the Zesty Italian Dressing. Reserve the other half of the dry seasoning mix and add immediately before serving the salad.

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- C.S. Lewis



Dr. Mike Laur Extended Hours Now Available on Wednesdays: 11:30am - 7:00pm 4450 Calibre Crossing • Suite 1130 Acworth, GA. 30101


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Sallie Bentley: West Cobb Candidate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year Born and raised in West Cobb, Sallie Bentley has been staying busy in her hometown. A graduate of Harrison High School and Kennesaw State University with a bachelor of science in public relations, she is hoping her community will help her give back in a big way. Sallie is a single mother of two children, Lindsey, 7 and Brandon, 5. She balances her busy life quite well and was thrilled to be nominated by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Atlanta as a 2017 Woman of the Year candidate. The Man & Woman of the Year is an annual fundraising competition held by each LLS chapter. In addition to the Atlanta chapter, Georgia also has chapters in Savannah and Augusta. This is the 9th year for the Atlanta chapter’s campaign. Candidates have 10 short weeks to raise as much as possible in honor of cancer fighters, survivors, and the Boy & Girl of the Year. Each dollar raised counts as one vote. LLS held the kick off celebration on March 30th at The Buckhead Theatre and the competition will conclude with a grand finale gala at the InterContinental Buckhead on June 10th. Tickets and sponsorships are available for the event. The 2017 Man & Woman of the Year will then go on to compete for the national title. Oth-

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er awards will also be given at the gala. Sallie first became involved with LLS last spring when she reconnected with an old college friend who was a candidate. The experience of working closely on that campaign led to her nomination. Sallie’s campaign will honor her namesake, her grandmother, who lost her battle to cancer in 1998 at age 69, as well as her uncle who was treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2014. Both family members are on her mother’s side. The last promise she made to her grandmother was that she would work to improve the medical field. A huge promise she had no idea how to achieve at 15 years old. She hopes to raise over $75,000 in order to secure a research grant in her family members’ names. Last year, LLS invested $49.3 million into research. No matter who wins the title, the promise she made 19 years ago will be fulfilled through her mission.

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Sallie also hopes her children will also gain some great memories and knowledge due to her efforts. Nothing seems to be slowing her down. Aside from the campaign, she works full-time in her family’s two-way communications business and resides in Kennesaw. You can contribute to the cause by dining at Hudson Grille’s Kennesaw location on April 5th as they will donate a percentage of the entire day’s profits to Sallie’s Angels. If you’re up for a bar crawl, register a team online at to participate in Crawl for Cancer Atlanta which takes place on April 8th in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood. All proceeds from the crawl will be donated to the campaign. Visit Sallie’s website for more event information, to purchase campaign items, and make your donation today. All donations are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.


Contact Us Today!

678.626.0019 | 790 Church Street Suite • 400 • Marietta 6002 Professional Parkway Suite 260 • Douglasville

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Advancements in Esthetics

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by Dr. John Kayal Call For a Tour y! TodaWhat’s

New In Cosmetic Dermatology

During the last few years, great expansions have been made in the field of nonsurgical facial restoration. Observing what happens to fat, muscle, and bone as the face ages over time allows cosmetic dermatologists to treat the face globally, and this concept has spurred breakthroughs in the way we address the signs of aging. From NeuroToxins like Botox® Dysport and Xeomin to non-ablative treatments delivered with Lasers, Radio Frequency (VIORA), and Microwaves, patients are requiring practices to be up on the latest technology. When people age, there are two major factors that contribute to their aged look….a loss of fat, which results in a loss of volume; and a loss of collagen and elastin, which cause lines at rest, thinning or skin atrophy. This loss is knows as lipoatrophy, and can result in a loss of facial volume, contour and shape. At Kayal Dermatology, we attack the signs of aging with Neuro-toxins, soft tissue fillers, chemical peels, Laser Genesis, IPL and Radio Frequency. We attend seminars and trainings to keep up our level of expertise as well as obtain the newest and most innovative procedures on the market. To enhance a patient’s appearance, Dr. Kayal treats the face in its entirety. Rather than approach each injection with the goal of filling a small wrinkle or fold, injecting the face anatomically allows us to restore volume in a more natural way while improving the silorthe face. More specifically, biological structural rejuvenation is now the new houette Call Fof approach a Tourwhere we inject long acting fillers into the temples, jaw line and in front of the ay! a naturally refreshed appearance. ears Totodcreate Another new modality, the miraDry® System, is indicated for use for treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis in adults 18 and older. Microwave energy is delivered to the sweat glands which are then destroyed and do not regenerate. A great side effect is also a reduction in 70% of hair growth, no matter the color of the hair. miraSmooth® has been touted as the only hair removal treatment for fine, white and grey hairs. No other laser on the market can claim that. The PicoSure laser devise is new and has shown great efficacy in removing unwanted tattoos of all colors. Interestingly, one in seven people say they wish they had never gotten a tattoo, and they are seeking to get rid of it. The exciting potential of this new laser is fewer treatments, better results, and it may be used on all skin types. This laser uses shorter laser bursts and fragments the pigmented particles into tiny particles, allowing our body lymphatics to remove them quicker. Striving to reach the expectations of our patients is our number one goal at Kayal Dermatology. We want our patients to experience the best we have to offer them with the latest and most innovative procedures and treatments.

Please call 770-426-7177 to schedule an office visit at Kayal Dermatology or visit

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Big Shanty Festival

Features Arts & Crafts, Live Performances The 41st annual Superior Plumbing/Big Shanty Festival returns to downtown Kennesaw April 22-23. The family-friendly festival, co-sponsored by the City of Kennesaw and the Kennesaw Business Association (KBA), is one of the largest arts and crafts shows in northern Georgia, offering more than 200 booths of crafters and artisans as well as live entertainment on several stages, children’s activities and more than 40 food options. A parade down Main Street opens the festival on Saturday at 9:30 am featuring local high school bands, colorful floats and over 2,000 young marchers. Among the other attractions will be a Civil War encampment in Depot Park; a Kids’ Zone with inflatables; Kristen Johnson, aka Lady Houdini, an escape artist who has successfully performed thousands of public feats and broken Harry Houdini’s record for the most water escapes ever; K-9s in Flight, a non-stop, action-packed performance showcasing K-9 dock diving, high jump and Frisbee; Walking TreeMan, over 12-feet tall and barely distinguishable from the real trees, strolling through the festival; and performances by local dance and demonstration teams and school choruses.

Saturday; April 22, 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Sunday; April 23, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. or 770-423-1330 Saturday; April 22, 10:00 a.m.6:00 p.m.

Sunday; April 23, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. or 770-423-1330

Awesomeness baked fresh daily.

During the festival, roads in downtown Kennesaw will be closed beginning at 6 pm on Friday, April 21 and will reopen at 8 pm Sunday. A list of the closures can be found at kennesaw-ga. gov. The festival hours are Saturday, April 22 from 10 am - 6 pm and Sunday, April 23 from 12 - 5 pm. Admission to the festival is free. Parking downtown will be limited by the road construction in progress around City Hall. Parking is available at Adams Park; shuttle busses will run from Swift-Cantrell Park and from Kennesaw Crossing Shopping Center (Cobb Parkway at North Roberts Road) to the event. For more information, call Peter Jezerinac or Bill Watson at 770-423-1330 or visit



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39 __-a-sketch (child’s toy)

5 Back talk5 Back talk 41 Golf club carrier 9 H.S. dance 9 H.S. dance 13 Wander 13 Wander 43 Day time tv show 14 Fitly 14 Fitly

15 Hick 15 Hick

44 Coyness 46 Accepts

48 Corn bread 16 Hint 16 Hint Clever plans 49 Stuck up person 17 Clever17 plans Leave out 18 50 Curved numbers 18 Leave out 19 Hair holder 53 Return (2 wds.) 19 Hair holder 21 Wig 57 Solitary 21 Wig 23 Chimney dirt 58 Speak 23 Chimney dirt 24 Family fight 60 Flatten 24 Family fight 25 In bloom 61 Cob 25 In bloom 28 Quasi 62 Indian currency 28 Quasi31 Part of speech 63 Egyptian river 31 Part of32speech Cooks 32 Cooks34 365 days 64 Food 65 Origination 36 Neither's partner 34 365 days 66 Fence opening Container 37 36 Neither’s partner 38 Compass point 37 Container 38 Compass point







20 Murmur

22 French “yes”


24 Monster 251 Green Gables Bend dweller 2 Coke 26 Footwear

Tropic Ralph Cleft A spin Shifty Metho Snooti Behind Off-Bro Allot (w Equan Murmu French Monste Green Footwe Pitch f Slides Fable Nation Humbl Repres Dashe Critics Union Crying Negati Buck's Overfe Otherw Hawke Annoy Sticky Opera Horse Leg joi Fear

52 Annoying insect 53 Sticky fastener 54 Opera solo 55 Horse 56 Leg joint 59 Fear

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1 Peak

3 4 15 5 18 6 21 22 7 8 24 9 29 30 10 34 35 11 12 38 14 42 43 20 46 47 22 24 49 25 54 55 56 26 60 27 28 63 29 66 30 33 35 39 __-a-sketch (child's toy) 40 41 Golf club carrier 41 1 Bend Day time tv show27 Pitch forward 42 43 28 Slides 2 Coke Coyness 44 43 29 Fable writer 45 3 Tropical island Accepts 46 Corn bread 30 National capital47 48 4 Ralph Waldo ___ Stuck up person 49 33 Humble 5 Cleft 49 Curvedtoynumbers35 Representatives 50 50 6 A spinning 53 Return (2 wds.) (2 wds.) 40 Dashes 51 Solitary 57 52 7 Shifty 41 Critics Speak 58 8 Methods 42 Union member53 Flatten 60 54 9 Snootily 43 Crying 61 Cob 55 10 Behind 45 Negative 62 Indian currency 56 11 Off-Broadway river 47 Buck’s mate 59 63 Egyptian award 49 Overfed 64 Food 12 Allot (with “out”) 50 Otherwise 65 Origination 14 Equanimity 66 Fence opening 51 Hawkeye State


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! u o Y or f y l l Neely D. Thornton, DMD a i c e p s E We love to see d e t a re C . our patients smile! . . s e l i H e a l t h y. C o n f i d e n t . S m Our gift to you... 707 Whitlock Ave. • Suite C-25 • Marietta, GA 30064

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COLOR! COLOR! Get started with top-quality home painting NOW!

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Spring Planting Guide


Spring is here and many of us are heading outdoors to plan yard projects. As you’re planning this spring, make sure your landscaping leaves enough distance between your plants and our power lines and equipment and street lights. WHY DOES DISTANCE FROM OVERHEAD LINES MATTER? This important factor is often overlooked, but it can make a huge impact on your family’s safety for two reasons… If you are a parent of a child who likes to climb trees, you don’t want those tree limbs growing anywhere near power lines. Additionally, during storms, tree branches can touch or fall on power lines, causing outages. In fact, properly spacing and placing large landscaping, like trees, can help reduce your odds of a power outage. Cobb EMC crews will routinely trim tree branches near power lines to improve service reliability. Picking the correct tree for your space can mean less time pruning in your future – and we can all agree on that goal! Before you plant trees, ask yourself these questions:

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Trees near power lines should never exceed 15 feet in height, so it is best to avoid tall or fast-growing trees such as pine, poplar, oak, maple, sweet gum, Leyland cypress and Bradford pears. Remember, Georgia law requires that homeowners have underground lines located before any digging project. Simply dial 811 to have your underground utility lines marked for free. Avoid planting anything near these lines, in case they need to be dug up for maintenance or repair. ABOUT COBB EMC

Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (Cobb EMC), a not-for-profit electric cooperative, safely delivers reliable electricity to more than 180,000 residential and commercial members in Cobb, Bartow, Cherokee, Fulton, and Paulding counties. Cobb EMC’s distribution system consists of 9,064 miles of line over 432 square miles. With more than 202,084 meters served, Cobb EMC is one of the largest of Georgia’s 41 EMCs and among the largest of the nation’s 900 EMCs. For more information, visit, or follow Cobb EMC on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

Contracts (And How To Read Them)


Tax Bill vs Tax Assessment vs FMV

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by Gillen Joachim - GANEK WRIGHT MINSK PC

In Georgia, the vast majority of residential real estate transactions are bound by one of two form contracts. The first is created by and for members of the Georgia Association of Realtors (GAR for short.) The other is one created by real estate agents who are not Realtors. Without arguing the merits of these two forms, suffice it to say that each do a sufficient job of including the main requirements related to the purchase and sale of real property in Georgia. These forms outline the details of the parties, the property, the purchase price, closing date, earnest money deposit and a number of items specific to an individual transaction. The forms also include boilerplate language included that pertains to many transactions. Some of the language is included to protect the parties, some to protect the agents, and some to protect even the holder of the earnest money. The large majority of language is used to create the framework of what the Buyer and Seller promise and are expected to do to fulfil the contract. That being said, if there are disagreements between the parties as to who is supposed to do what, it is most likely determined by reading the contract. Often I am asked by a buyer, seller, agent or other party in a real estate transaction, “Who is supposed to pay for…?” or “Who is supposed to do…? By when?” Or, even more pressing, when a buyer or seller says, “I didn’t agree to do…! And there is no way I am going to do…!” When those situations come up, we go to the contract and read over the applicable section. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the contract has the answer. Sometimes the language of the contract is clear, but sometimes it needs interpretation. Should you find yourself in the situation where the language requires some interpretation, you can contact me or another of the knowledgeable attorneys at Ganek, PC.

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Bernard Nolan • Call or text 770-427-6553 PAGE 26

678-247-1157 MARIETTA OFFICE

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2950 King Street Smyrna, GA 30080 770-435-4467 www.carmi c hael funeral homes .c om

april calendar

(Continued from page 6)

holding their annual Plant Sale & Garden Fair on Friday, April 21st, and Saturday, April 22nd, from 9 am to 5 pm in the Equestrian Center at Jim Miller Park (2245 Callaway Rd SW, Marietta, GA 30008). The Plant Sale & Garden Fair features a wide selection of plants in every price range. Perennials, herbs, ferns, native plants, ornamental trees, shrubs and more will be for sale from knowledgeable vendors and the gardens of the Master Gardeners. There is something for everyone – including unusual and unique plants, gardening accessories, yard art and jewelry from specialty vendors from around the southeast. Admission is free! For more information, please visit SMITH-GILBERT GARDENS SPRING PLANT SALE: Smith-Gilbert Gardens will hold its Spring Plant Sale on Saturday, April 29, 9 am – noon. Featured plants include plants propagated from their collection of native azaleas, camellias, plants to attract butterflies and bees, plus more than 30 varieties of peppers. The Spring Plant Sale will be staffed with knowledgeable horticulturists to answer questions and give garden advice. The Spring Plant Sale is a rain or shine event. Parking is limited and carpooling is encouraged. Visit or call 770-919-0248 for complete details. Smith-Gilbert Gardens is located at 2382 Pine Mountain Road in Kennesaw. FAMILY FUN SAFETY DAYS: Family friendly, fun and educational activities for kids of all ages. Tour Sparky’s house, see a puppet show and emergency vehicles. Saturday, April 29th, from 9am-1pm at Cobb Safety Village, 1220 Al Bishop Drive, Marietta, GA 30008. $5 per person, or $20 per family max. Additional dates are Thursday, June 15th, and Thursday, June 22nd. ANNUAL TASTE OF MARIETTA: Taste of Marietta, one of the largest and tastiest events in Georgia, returns to the Historic Marietta Square on Sunday, April 30 from 11am-7pm. With an impressive variety of restaurants – this year’s festival is sure to be better than ever. Admission to the event is free and “tastes” – ranging from Italian to seafood, steak to BBQ, and all the sweets imaginable – are available for $1 to $5. The food truck lineup, always a crowd favorite, returns with over 10 different trucks. The family festival will feature the Kids Alley complete with moonwalks and sand art. Musical entertainment can be heard throughout the festival. The day will conclude with the Sunset Concert on the main stage in Glover Park at 5pm. Evening concert tables may be reserved, but concertgoers can also bring their blankets for a picnic in the park! For additional information or to reserve your concert table, visit or call the Marietta Visitors Bureau at 770-429-1115.


1130 Whitlock Avenue Marietta, GA 30064 770-424-4924 Our family serving your family for over 37 years GLOVER PARK CONCERT SERIES: The Glover Park Concert Series features local and national acts on the last Friday night, April through September on the Marietta Square. The concerts are free but if you are looking for a “front-row seat,” a limited number of tables can be reserved for a fee. Table reservations are taken on a first come basis (and will sell out quickly) on the first working day of each month beginning at 8:00 a.m. Blankets are welcome in the park but no personal tables are permitted. Bring your picnic dinner (beer & wine are permitted) or dine in one of the many restaurants in the downtown area. Free parking. April 28th kicks off with The Headliners (Beach music/oldies). MARIETTA SQUARE ART WALK: The Marietta Square Art Walk is held the Friday of every month through November. Art Walk celebrates the vitality of Marietta’s diverse cultural Arts scene with artists, businesses, and organizations representing a variety of artistic disciplines. The evening comes alive as performance, dance, culinary and visual Art permeates every corner of the charming Historic Marietta Square. During this free, self-guided walking tour guests will enjoy gallery openings, live music, original photography, painting, sculpture and more on display along the sidewalks throughout town. Art lovers will also enjoy late night shopping at the many one-of-a-kind boutiques. MARIETTA FOOD TOURS: The Marietta Square Food Tour takes you on a 3 hour guided tour of 7 locally owned and operated eateries. The walking tour allows you the unique ability to explore Marietta, all while gaining knowledge about its history, culture and architecture, at the same time savoring the appetizing culinary selections available on the bustling square. Every Saturday from 11am – 2pm. For more information, please visit POP-IN FOR POP CULTURE: Every 2nd Tuesday at The Marietta Museum of History, Depot Street, Marietta, GA 30060. Pop-in from 5-8pm and explore different topics of pop culture from the 1950’s and 60’s. All activities are FREE with regulare admission. For more information, please visit

MARIETTA FARMERS MARKET: Our Town’s #1 Farmers Market every Saturday and Sunday from 9am. The market has an average of 60 vendors on Saturday and 25+ on Sunday. Market customers have lots of variety to choose from including heirloom tomatoes, fruits and vegetables that are rarely, if ever, available from the grocery store. Customers can also take home many live garden, yard and culinary herb plants, not to mention fresh squeezed lemonade. The Marietta Square Farmers Market will again be located on the Historic Marietta Square, taking up residence on North Park Square, between Shillings Restaurant and The Strand Theater. For more details or updates contact Johnny Fulmer at 770.499.9393.

EMAIL US WITH YOUR EVENTS! INFO@OURTOWNMONTHLY.COM. Deadline is the 15th of the month for the following month’s issue.

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Austell AustellOffice Office 3672Circle Marathon Circle 200 • Suite 72 Marathon • Suite • 200 Austell, GA 30106 Austell Office 770-944-3303 • 3672 Marathon Circle • Suite 200 • Austell, GA 30106 Austell, GA 30106

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Our Town

Tech Dad

by James Floyd Kelly

My boys recently finished up No-iPad-February -- 28 days of no iPads and it was GLORIOUS. To be honest, the first week was painful with lots of whining and pleading, but my wife and I stood our ground. By the second week, it seemed the boys had mostly forgotten about the iPads and accepted the situation. They played outside more, we did special projects after school, and I think they actually read a little more than usual. The decision to go without iPads was made for a number of reasons. For one, they had gotten quite addicted to the never ending rewards and achievements and leveling up. They would get so involved in these games that they wouldn’t even hear us telling them it was time for dinner or bed. Homework also became a threat (“Do your homework or no iPad”) instead of something that they should simply understand is a requirement, electronics or no electronics. The never-ending requests for this $0.99 app or in-game purchase. And finally, I’d been wanting to wean them off the iPads completely before instituting a new device into our home that would limit iPad time when the devices were finally returned. And it’s this last item that I want to share with you because I have a strong feeling there are many parents out there who are feeling our pain and/or displeasure.

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It’s called Circle with Disney, and it’s very likely you’ve seen it advertised on Facebook or heard about it from a friend. It’s a small white cube that joins your home WiFi and keeps track of online time, websites visited, and much more. It’s $99 and I can tell you right now that I would have paid 3x or 4x that amount if I’d known how much peace it was going to bring to our house. Let me explain how it works. Circle With Disney is super easy to install. Out of the box, you plug in its power and connect to it with your phone or tablet just like you would if you were joining a WiFi network. There’s a free Circle app you also need to download to your phone or tablet. There’s a 100+ page instruction manual you can view at, but the online instructions provided on your phone or tablet’s screen is really all you need. During this setup process, you’ll create a profile for your child(ren) and anyone else who will be accessing the Internet. During the profile setup of your child, you can choose a filter setting based on age and even turn off/on specific apps, websites and service (such as or the Instagram app). You can set maximum time for individuals (such as 1 hour) that will automatically disconnect them from the Internet when the timer runs out; you can also set time limits for specific apps (such as games). There’s even an option to set a bed time that pauses the Internet for a specific user and a wake up time when it turns back on.) You do this all from the app on your phone or tablet! Even better, there’s a big PAUSE button when you open the app that automatically pauses all Internet activity for everyone – DINNERTIME! Here’s why I love this thing: after installing the device, I explained the basic concept to my two boys. I told them that the Internet automatically disables (for them, not me and my wife) at 8pm. If they want to try and start a new game against some unseen opponent at 7:58pm, they run the risk of losing the game when their connection is turned off. They were also shown how they each get 1 hour per day and the counter that displays on my phone (and is password protected, of course, so they can’t fiddle with the settings). When that counter its zero, they’re done. Here’s the thing – they haven’t griped about it at all! They actually seem to accept the app-imposed limits better than parent-imposed. (There’s also a Reward button I can click for them to award bonus time in 15-minute increments – great for encouraging them to go brush their teeth for a few bonus minutes.) Circle with Disney has changed things for the better. I can go into the app and see what websites they are viewing, how long they’ve spent on each game or service, and much more.

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(Continued on page 30)


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1600 Kennesaw Due West Rd., NW #507 • Kennesaw, GA 30152

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One of the most common problems that all dog owners face are fleas and ticks. As the weather improves and we spend more time outdoors, these pesky bugs can be an annoying part of being a pet and a pet owner. In addition to skin irritation and other external issues, pets are also at risk for flea and tick born diseases and internal complications including tapeworms, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and others. Because winter was so mild, we will see higher than normal rates of these parasites this summer and veterinarians are asking pet owners to be diligent in their prevention efforts. The following tips and strategies are designed to help you and your pet this season. 1. Start your FLEA AND TICK PREVENTATIVE now. Many people stop these products during the

winter months and, if you did as well, now is the time to discuss these with your vet and get started. 2. Use a pre-packaged aerosol product that contains an insecticide and a growth regulator. These are the ones most commonly used by licensed professionals and they prevent fleas

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can be lightly rubbed onto your pet’s fur to help ward off these invaders. Make sure to AVOID citrus oil ‘extracts’ as they are not safe for cats and dogs at all.

these little free-loaders, a good Spring cleaning can help control the population of fleas. Always dump the bag or canister of the vacuum, since fleas can continue to live inside the container. 5. In the yard, you might consider adding natural predators. These can include “beneficial”

nematodes, lady bugs and even fire ants. Nematodes are small worms that are easy to find at garden stores or pet shops. They feed off flea larva and are highly effective with a noticeable improvement in flea population within two days. Keep in mind that the type of nematode that is being recommended here is termed a “beneficial” nematode. Lady bugs can also be found at your local gardening shop and can eat an average of 50 insects a day. Finally, fire ants, which most of us avoid and try to get rid of, can be a friendly ally for flea and tick control. They are known to eat flea larvae, so if you have them in your yard, you may want to practice some controlled fire ant management that limits them to some areas of the yard rather than complete eradication of them.

(Continued from page 29)

You’ll need to visit to see all the other features, but it’s incredible and worth investigating if you need to get control of mobile devices in your house. James Floyd Kelly is a technology writer from Smyrna, Georgia who also teaches a variety of technology summer camps for kids. He and his wife have two young boys. James’ latest two books are Digital Engineering with Minecraft and The Ultimate iPad, published by Pearson. More information on his books and camps can be found at



3. Fleas are known to be repelled by citrus. The juice from a freshly squeezed orange or lemon

4. Launder pet beds and furniture covers, vacuum and disinfect floors not just around your pet’s living spaces, but all over. If you find that your pup has brought home some of

Tech Dad

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from molting to their final stage and becoming sexually mature. This combination is designed and tested to have enough residual life to outlast the flea life cycle, thus ending its reproduction cycle. Some commonly used products are Precore 2625 premise spray and PT Alpine Flea and Bedbug Treatment, just to name a few, but there are many others. As with all pesticides, follow the label and safety instructions very carefully.



6. Ticks hang out in the tall grass and use the opportunity to grab on to passersby when they feel body warmth — which they are very good at doing. If you are going to be

spending time in wooded or grassy areas with your dog, you might want to fashion some cover-up clothing for your dog to avoid ticks. An old t-shirt can be altered to fit your dog’s body, and old socks can be cut to make “leg warmers.” This may not entirely prevent ticks from making their way onto your dog, but it may work to keep most of them off since they have nothing to latch onto, and will slow the rest down so they do not spend as much time on your dog’s skin (the longer ticks stay on the skin, the more likely they are to transmit disease). 7. Because ticks carry dangerous bacteria, repelling them is a priority. One of the natural













repellents that a lot of people have success with is rose geranium oil, which can be applied to your dog’s collar. Do NOT use rose geranium oil on your cat, though. Cats can have a bad reaction to essential oils, primarily because they spend a lot of time grooming, which means that anything on their skin goes into their mouth. 8. Check your pet every few days at the least and even multiple times a day when your pet has

been in wooded, high-grass areas. If you find fleas or tick, remove them immediately. Proper technique is important for removing ticks, so make sure that you consult a veterinarian before doing it yourself. 9. Regular grooming and a warm bath can work wonders. Since fleas do not grasp and

hold onto the hair shafts, they fall off in the water. A good dip in a tub of water will wash away most, if not all, of the fleas on your pet. Using a gentle pet shampoo along with a thorough brushing will go a long way toward ridding your pet’s body of fleas. Professional groomers are well adept at these skills and can even apply preventative and advise as to the overall health of your pup’s skin and coat.

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PICK YOUR DAY TO BE GREEN Friday, April 21 Cherokee County Chamber Saturday, April 22 Acworth Saturday, April 22 Marietta Saturday, April 29 Kennesaw


Our Town West Cobb April 2017  

West Cobb's Family Lifestyle Magazine

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