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The Gwinnett Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine

Our Town November 2011

Lilburn l Lawrenceville l Snellville l Grayson




Our Town

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You’re Invited to Dr. Lorraine Gravante’s Holiday Open House Please join us for this Week-Long Celebration with over $3,000 in Give-aways, Holiday Drinks and Hors D’oeuvres OPEN HOUSE DATES: Monday, Dec. 5th 9am-5:30pm Tuesday, Dec. 6th 2pm-5:30pm Wednesday, Dec. 7th 9am-5:30pm Friday, Dec. 9th 9am-5:30pm Season’s Greetings! I am thrilled to be hosting my annual Holiday Open House; however, I have switched it up this year! Instead of a One Night Only Celebration, the Open House will last for a week! This is a great opportunity for you to stop by to see my office and meet me when it best fits into your busy schedule! All Nutrition Products will be 20% OFF and you will have a chance to enter for some wonderful prizes!! The Raffle Drawing will be held on Friday, December 10th at 5:30pm – we will contact you that night if you win! I look forward to meeting you during the Week-Long Holiday Open House! -Dr. Gravante

The Office of Dr. Lorraine Gravante 1790 Presidential Circle Suite A Snellville, GA 30078

We’re looking forward to meeting you at our Holiday Open House!



at Dr. Gravante’s office 7:00 PM Tuesday, November 15th Tuesday, December 13th Please call to reserve your seat!

Lorraine Gravante, D.C. The Center for Natural Healing and Weight Loss 1790 Presidential Circle Suite A Snellville, GA 30078


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The Gwinnett Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine

Our Town




Publisher/Editor D. Flores Norma Flores



Our Town Jules Williams






Contributing Writers: Glenton Ashby Chef Jennifer Hill Booker Cathy Bruce Susan Cadley, LPC Sagdrina Jalal, BS Ed, CPT Sheila Ortiz Alicia Philipp Carol Chandler-Wood

NovemBER 2011 IN THIS ISSUE… About the Cover........................................................................5 Calendar of Events.................................................................7, 15 Fitness: Fall in Love with Running............................................8 Finance:A Little at a Time...........................................................9 Career:Remodeling inToday’s Economy...................................10 Education Corner: Executive Dysfunction................................11 Wellness:SweetTreats.................................................................12 November Crossword...............................................................12 Seasonal: Fall Foliage.................................................................13

O ur T own M agazine , I nc .

P.O. Box 644 l Snellville, Georgia 30078 Telephone: 404-824-5396 For reader comments or questions, please E-mail us at

Crossword Key...........................................................................14 Counselor’s Corner: Distraction Junction...............................16 Pet Page: LetYour Dog Think.....................................................17 Recipes: ......................................................................................18

Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes in the Gwinnett 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 2011 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

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Thanksgiving By Shayla Ortiz

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


hanksgiving is a day to reflect and to take inventory of the blessings in our lives. What are you thankful for, your job, your life, your family? This year with the stagnant economy there are countless families facing unemployment and foreclosure in our community. Families that at one point volunteered their time and donated to non-profit organizations are now finding themselves no longer being the donors but on the receiving end. You might be thinking, “What can I do to make a difference”? You can start by supporting local non-profit organizations which are assisting families to survive these trying times. This Thanksgiving be thankful with a proactive attitude and give back.

Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry Their mission: to help and restore their clients with dignity and encourage self responsibility. The Lawrenceville co-op serves as a bridge between local agencies and churches to assist effectively. Services: provide food, limited emergency financial assistance for utilities and prescription drugs. They also offer assistance by connecting those in need with various helping sources in the community. How you can help: Donate food (food is always needed), donate money or volunteer. Currently in need of: Shampoo and soap Lilburn Cooperative Ministry A local non-profit organization that assists families and individuals to access basic needs in and around the Gwinnett county area. The Lilburn co-op is funded through tax deductible donations and off sales

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from donated goods at their thrift store, Lily’s Cloak. Services: food, emergency funds, clothing, employment assistance and referrals. How can you help: Donate used clothes to Lily’s Cloak, donate money, office supplies and food. Currently in need of: Shampoo, canned vegetables, soups, laundry detergent and razors. The Quinn House The Quinn House is a multi-task, non-profit Outreach Operation that assists hundreds of people in Gwinnett County and in other areas of the State. Their Residential Program not only provides housing for the homeless, but also offers a 40-day Drug and Alcohol Program to help individuals get back on their feet and re-enter society in a stable and productive way. Services: Food pantry, senior food box program, family holiday meal box, clothes, furniture and their annual Children’s Christmas gift program. How can you help: Donate food, money, clothing, appliances and furniture. Currently in need of: 15 passenger van or small bus in good condition, frozen turkeys, whole and half hams, sugar, milk and much more. Family Promise of Gwinnett County Their mission: to mobilize communities of congregations that partner with social service agencies to end homelessness - one family at a time. Services: provide shelter, meal and support services. How can you help: Donate money, volunteer as a

family mentor or office volunteer, prepare meals at the shelter, volunteer truck driver and many other opportunities. Currently in need of: Family mentors and office volunteers. The Salvation Army An international movement and their ministry is motivated by God’s love; their mission is to meet human needs in His name. Services: Shelter and housing services, financial emergency services and holiday assistance. How you can help: Volunteer, donate money, food, clothes, furniture and household goods. Currently in need of: Seasonal volunteers and food. Project Open Hand Their mission: Open Hand helps people prevent or better manage chronic disease through Comprehensive Nutrition Care which combines home-delivered meals and nutrition education as a means to reinforce the connection between informed food choices and improved quality of life. Services: provides one, two or three freshly cooked meals, combined with snacks or supplements, to meet the daily nutrition needs of homebound seniors and low-income men, women and children who are dealing with a critical, chronic, or terminal disease. How can you help: Donate money, Volunteer in their kitchen, Office volunteer or delivery service. Currently in need of: Volunteers

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NOVEMBER Calendar Corn Dawgs Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch October – November 6, 2011 Corn Dawgs Address: 995 Leone Avenue, Loganville, Georgia 30052 We’ve added even more fun and exciting attractions, so bring your friends and show them what the craze about the Maze is all about!!! Corn Maze, moonwalks, pumpkin patch, slides, petting zoo and more! 12th Annual Stone Mountain Park Indian Festival & Pow-Wow November 03 – 06, 2011 Antebellum Plantation / Stone Mountain Park Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Native American from across the United States gather to compete in dance and drum competitions. Primitive skill educators demonstrate fire making, basket weaving, hide tanning, cooking and more.

Norcross, GA 30093 NETHERWORLD Haunted House, Atlanta’s Ultimate Haunted House Buford Corn Maze November 04 – 13, 2011 Buford Corn Maze 4470 Bennett Rd, Buford, GA 30519 You and your family will have fun at Buford Corn Maze! Seven acres of twists and turns will challenge you and make you second guess your sense of direction! And hey, it’s great exercise too:) Santabration November 5, 2011 Mall of Georgia, The Village 3333 Buford Drive, Buford, GA 30519 Come celebrate Santa’s arrival at the Mall of Georgia!

Happy Thanksgiving Swing Night November 5, 2011 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 Flashback to the 70’s and 80’s! The metro Jazz Club gives you some of your favorite pop, rock and funk tunes in this fun summer concert . For anyone who wants to honor a loved one taken much too soon. A “dawg” is someone near and dear to you. A six mile walk to raise awareness for mentoring in Gwinnett County! Chili Cook-Off November 5, 2011 Grayson City Park & Pavillion Park Drive, Grayson, GA 30017 Attention chili cooks and connoisseurs, challenge other local chili fans for ribbons and prizes! Children activities, vendors and live entertainment.

Wild Bill’s Fight Night November 5, 2011 Wild Bill’s Country Music Dance Hall 2075 Market St., Duluth, GA 30096 No less then 10 action packed mixed martial arts fights LIVE in the ring at Wild Bill’s!!! Bikini contest, motorcycle jump- Georgia Family History Expo ing, sounds off and more! November 11, 2011 Gwinnett Center Date Night Pottery 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, November 05 – 26, 2011 Duluth, GA 30097 ART Station 5384 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain, GA 30083 Veteran’s Day Celebration November 11, 2011 Date Night Pottery is an excellent way to Grayson United Methodist Church spend an evening with your favorite per- 555 Grayson Pkwy, son or a group of friends. Grayson, Georgia 30017 Walking for my “Dawg” Celebrating the lives of our Veterans November 5, 2011 Bethesda Church Park Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30044 Continued on pg. 15

Netherworld Haunted House November 04 – 05, 2011 Nether World 6624 Dawson Blvd.,

Sensory Friendly Films November 5, 2011 AMC Colonial 18 Movie Theatre 825 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 The program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment.

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FITNESS Fall in Love with Running

By Sagdrina Jalal


s a personal trainer I have worked with runners quite a bit. However, my personal experience with running was limited until recently. So for all of those who are considering running, consider the following:

Be clear why you are Running Running is great exercise. You burn on average about 100 calories per mile you run. Got high blood pressure or high cholesterol? You’ll be amazed how quickly your numbers will come down. You Gotta Walk before you Run Start slowly. I can’t emphasize this enough. I think most people throw on their sneakers, head out the door...and make it about three mailboxes up before giving up. I started with the Couch to 5k program. If you stick with the program, you will be able to run a 5k when it’s over. Set a Specific Goal Participating in a race is a good goal for the new runner. Many people hesitate to race because they are concerned about being too slow. It might be a while before you are breaking any records but you will not finish last. Don’t be afraid to set a goal pertaining to the race. My first goal was simply to finish a 5k. It wasn’t until my third race that I even paid any attention to time. I also suggest picking a race that supports a cause you believe in. Last Spring I ran in the Komen Race for the Cure. Supporting women in their fight against breast cancer was a worth the experience regardless of my finishing time. Plan, Plan PLAN! There are several training programs available. They are based on many factors: distance, level of experience, time available to train etc... The important thing is to let the experts walk you through it. Currently I am using the Cool Running beginner’s half marathon training plan to prepare for the Rock n Roll Marathon in Savannah. Here are a few other’s I’ve considered: Hal Higdon 10k program Jeff Galloway’s 5k/10k program Half Marathon Rookie Make Friends with Runners  If you know an experienced runner, get to know them better! Find out where they run, what they wear, what they eat.  Also consider finding a running buddy who is running at your same pace.  Another idea is to join a running group. They usually offer guidance and structure practice runs with levels in mind. Trust the Training Chances are you will reach a point in which you enjoy running. This is when it becomes tempting to push yourself beyond the outlined schedule of your training plan.  Remember that these plans are very well thought out and allow for steady progression.  Deviating can lead to soreness or worse yet, an injury. The most important thing to keep in mind about running is to enjoy the experience. While challenging, it can transform your body, stimulate your mind, and open up a whole new world! As the Brooks running shoe company slogan goes, “Run Happy!” By Sagdrina Jalal, BS Ed, CPT, Fitness Consultant, Inner Strength Fitness, 404-271-0071

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Halcyon Times– Helping you enjoy smooth financial sailing. By Glenton Ashby

A Little at a Time


e’d all love to have lots of disposable income – income not tied to meeting some obligation. We could save it, invest it, spend it, give it, even lend it.

But... most of us don’t have lots of disposable income. Despite that, we should still make an effort to set something aside on a regular basis. Or, maybe you have some level of disposable income and an objective or goal for some of your money. Whatever amount you are able to save, a primary objective should be to have some funds set aside that are untouchable except in a true emergency – your emergency fund. After that, if you are setting funds aside for a specific use, those funds should be untouchable except for the defined purpose or a true emergency.


Many of us are doing well if we put a little bit into savings each month and don’t touch it the next month. If that is the best you can do, then do that. Something is better than nothing. As Solomon advocated, “whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.” One easy way to get started is with an automatic monthly withdrawal to a savings account. It is a great savings tool because it makes setting money aside automatic and (almost) invisible. For those of you that have disposable income each month you want to invest, an automatic investment plan with a mutual fund company is a good way to begin. Plus, automatic investment plans often allow a minimum investment that is less than the fund’s normal minimum investment. Similar advice can be applied to saving for a child’s college education. If you are interested in beginning to save for your child’s college expenses, get started. Even if you are not able to set aside college money on a regular basis, even a little bit set aside every now and then is better than nothing. A 529 plan brings with it a potential state tax benefit for Georgia taxpayers. Other states may also have some tax benefits for their state taxpayers. If you have relatives or friends that would like to contribute to your child’s college funds they can open and fund a Georgia 529 account for your child. This can be a great vehicle for moving money out of an estate. Speaking of children, teaching children about saving a little at a time is a good way to get them in the habit of saving some of their own money. Encourage your child to open a savings account with a portion of his or her birthday or Christmas money. Even if the interest rate is miniscule it can get them in the habit of saving. And, you’ll find that, in some cases, they get excited about having a savings account statement they can look at to see how much money they have. Many bank savings accounts pay a very small interest rate but you may be able to find a child’s savings account that pays a higher rate than for adult savings accounts. I found a child’s savings account at a local credit union paying 5% on the first $500 deposited. I moved my children’s money out of lower paying accounts. I also had an opportunity to teach my kids a little about interest and compounding.


Christmas is Here Pre-Lighted Trees Wreaths & Garlands Dept. 56 Villages Byer’s Choice Carolers Annalee Elves & Dolls Fontanini Nativities Harvest & Halloween

Yes, setting aside even a little bit can be hard. Having the saving done automatically makes things easier. Decide what will work best for you and get started setting aside a little bit at a time!

M.C. Twinklin’s

Feedback and topic suggestions are welcome – email HalcyonTimes@HalcyonFP. com, or comment at Tweet @halcyonplanning.

“Atlanta’s Unique Christmas Store”

Glenton Ashby is the founder and owner of Halcyon Financial Planning, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and Registered Investment Advisor firm. Visit

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2178 McDaniels Bridge Ct. l Lilburn, GA 30047 770-972-7237 l

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CaREER Remodeling Your Career in Today’s Economy

By Alicia Philipp


ost people realize it is a difficult time to be job searching. Even if you’ve been fortunate enough to stay in the same job over the past few years, more than likely you know someone who has lost their job. Knowing people who are unemployed or underemployed for six months or longer has many people feeling stuck in their current job, even when they don’t think it is a good fit for them. It is possible to change jobs, even careers, during a down economy, but it is a challenge that you need to be prepared for. While it might not be the easiest time to change jobs, it is a GREAT time to plan for the next step in your career, whether you want to move up in a career you love, change employers, or change careers altogether. As the economy improves, you want to be the person who is ready for the opportunities that become available. So what should people be doing with their career in today’s economy? Think about the housing mar-

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ket. Most everyone agrees – it is not a good time to be selling. And though there are some great deals available if you are buying, most people with an existing house are leery of having to sell. But if you are not in a hurry, and think you want to move as the economy improves, a good thing to do now is fix-up or remodel your current house. For the time you remain there, you will enjoy your updates, and the improvements will go a long way to increase the value of your home, and allow for a quicker sale when the market picks up. Maybe it’s time to remodel your career as well. Have you kept in touch with your networking contacts? Make some calls, schedule time to meet and keep them updated on your current situation. Have you created a LinkedIn profile and become involved in LinkedIn groups? Networking is still the best way to find a new job. Do you know which employers are the best to work for? Are you active in a professional association

where you can make contacts in other companies and stay updated on developments in your profession? Are there certifications to work on, or classes to keep your skills up-to-date? What will make you the best candidate when a promotional opportunity becomes available, or when an employer you are interested in working with has an opening? These are things we should all be doing on a regular basis, but especially now while the job market is in a slump. And what if you don’t like your current career and want to make a complete change? Now is the time to explore your options. Making plans to change a career can take time, often times longer than a year. Even if you don’t need to return to school, the process of researching and weighing your options, building your network, and retooling your resume should take place before the job even becomes available. Yes, these things take time, but there is no better time than right now. Your long-term happiness is worth it! By Alicia Philipp, MS, LPC, NCC, Career Counselor 2563-2563-2563 Email your comments or article suggestions to:

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EDUCATION Corner Organizational Unwillingness or Executive Dysfunction? By Carol Wood, Founder & CEO, Total Learning Concepts


o any of these characteristics describe a student in your family; lazy, forgetful, un-motivated, often late, unorganized, distracted, messy, and/or trouble communicating logically? If so, the student is exhibiting a lack of employing organizational strategies. Some students know how to and are capable of organizing themselves and their school materials and matters, but choose not to. However, other students are not intentionally being unorganized, rather they have been diagnosed with a disorder called “Executive Dysfunction” and require appropriate organizational support. Executive Dysfunction is a neurobiological problem believed to originate in the frontal lobe of the brain and affects a person’s planning, flexibility, organization, and self-monitoring (LDOnline, 2007). There are ways to assist the student with executive dysfunction to overcome their lack of organization and overcome the challenges presented. Listed below are organizational strategies as listed on the website Managing time nUse time management techniques such as checklists, prioritized “To Do” lists. nEstimate how long a task will take and then check on the accuracy of your estimate. nPlan for more time to do a project than you think needed. nBreak long assignments into several ones, with time frames for completing each. nEstablish intermediate deadlines for bigger projects. nUse a word processor and time management software. nWrite the due date on the top of each assignment in a brightly colored marker. Managing space

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nHave separate work areas with complete sets of supplies for different activities. nSchedule a weekly time to clean out your desk and book bag Managing materials nHave lots of pencils and pens in the classroom and at home. nFor young students, have one notebook where all assignments are recorded. Ask the teacher to check the assignments at the end of each day to insure that the assignments are recorded properly and that the necessary materials to complete the assignments are packed in the book bag. Also ask to make sure the due date for each assignment is written at the top of each page. nFor older students, use a three-ring binder with organized sections enclosed by a zipper. Make headings such as “Assignments Due Date,” “To Do Today,” “Ongoing Work.” Use dividers in the notebook that are color-coded; e.g., red for assignments that must be done right away, yellow for those due at the end of the week, etc. nColor code materials by covering the textbook for one course in the same color as the notebook for that same course. Use the same color coding to prioritize assignments for that same course. nEstablish a daily routine for school organization and include a written version of it in the notebook, e.g., turn in homework at the beginning of classes, get out paper/text/pen and check blackboard for assignment, prepare to leave class three minutes before it ends—pack books, papers, etc., turn in assignment book for checking and initialing at the end of each day, etc. Use this same approach at home, e.g., do homework at a certain time, have parent initial homework, clean out book bag, check for necessary supplies for school, re-pack book bag to take to school the next day. nObtain two copies of each school textbook; one to be left at school and the other to be left at home. nBe sure to praise the student’s progress rather than focusing on areas of continued disorganization. In addition, it is important that the student’s family be included so that they can help him or her continue the strategies at home. LD Online, (2007). Retrieved on July 14, 2007 from, Carol Wood is the founder and owner of Total Learning Concepts, Inc., a private, professional tutorial service located in Gwinnett County. Please email questions to or fax to 770-381-1626. OTM

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s t a e r T Sweet

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Last week, I began searching for healthy dessert options for our holiday meals (as well as to satisfy my own sweet tooth), and turned to long-time girlfriend, Tamara Eckles, baker and founder of a popular food website, As a dessert blogger and food radio talk show host, Tamara constantly receives requests to provide sweet-treat recipes using natural ingredients and healthy preparation for some of our favorite after-meal yummies. As I think of what I love most about my favorite Publix glazed doughnuts, I envision the soft doughy center with a sweet, crusty glaze hardened on the outside of the fried exterior. Mmm. So, you can imagine the look of doubt on my face when Tamara suggested a healthy baked doughnut to me. Healthy, baked and doughnut do not belong in the same sentence. But after one bite of her Baked Sweet Potato Doughnut, I was a believer. It was ridiculously moist and just sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. I loved it so much, I asked Tamara for the recipe and she agreed to let me share it with you!

Tamara’s Fresh Baked Sweet Potatoes Adapted from Wilton Baked Cake Doughnuts Recipe 2 cups cake flour, sifted (I used King Arthur Cake Flour) 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used fresh nutmeg) 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup buttermilk 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons of butter, melted 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes (I baked 3 small sweet potatoes and mashed them) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray Doughnut Pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs and butter. Beat until just combined. Fill each doughnut cup approximately 2/3 full. *I hand mixed the ingredients vs. beating with a mixer. It took a little more elbow grease, but I think it was worth it. *I filled a large zip-lock bag with the batter and cut off one edge to pipe the filling in the doughnut pan. This made filling the pan super easy! Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the top of the doughnuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 4-5 minutes before removing. I topped my doughnuts with cinnamon sugar (dip doughnuts in the melted butter so the cinnamon sugar sticks) & brown sugar. This holiday season, do some research and find out what options you can use to make your holiday meal or dessert a healthy and tasty treat for the whole family. Enjoy! Althea is the owner of Aerobics, Yoga & More Studios in Lilburn and producer of the Altheatized video series. Email your fitness or wellness comment or question to her at

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ell friends, the holidays are soon approaching and so are the many parties and family gatherings filled with feasts of delicious dishes and divine desserts. As my regular readers know, I have a couple of sweet weaknesses – Black Forest Gummy Bears and Publix’s glazed doughnuts. Over the last few years, I’ve been managing my indulgence in these two items, but the holidays add a bit of challenge.



1. Beseech 5. 18-wheeler 9. The “N” of U.S.N.A. 14. Vermin 15. Not “fer” 16. Chilled 17. Human 19. 60’s protest 20. A pint, maybe 21. Without difficulty 23. Soils 24. Starchy tuber 25. Consume 27. Occult doctrine 32. Most judicious 35. Accommodate 36. ___ pole 38. ___ v. Wade 39. Kipling’s “Gunga ___” 40. Fall festival activity 42. Emphatic exclamation 43. Shriek or squeal 44. Construction girder 45. Binding material 47. Thanksgiving bird 49. Legal language 51. Propelled a boat 53. Decide to leave, with “out” 54. Onion, for one

56. Masters 59. Appear 62. Untwist 64. Foreign Dung Beetle 66. Commemorative marker 67. Mineral made of silica 68. Dissipated man 69. Bubbly drinks 70. ___ function 71. “Absolutely!”


Down 1. “Guilty,” e.g. 2. 100 dinars 3. “God’s Little ___” 4. “Are we there ___?” 5. Deli offering 6. Auspices 7. Peewee 8. Fireplace 9. Discouraging words 10. Bad blood 11. To rebuke harshly 12. Battery contents 13. Contact, e.g. 18. Possessing better health

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22. To swerve off course 24. Big, fat mouth 26. Cinematography technique 27. Citadel student 28. Parting a remark or action 29. Roll of paper money 30. Eye affliction 31. Fable finale 33. Undersides 34. Bait 37. Lost track of ___ 41. Pay penalty of 46. Final: Abbr. 48. Occultism 50. Turkey talk 52. Carpentry grooves 54. Kiss 55. “Do ___ others as...” 57. Arizona Indian 58. Persia, now 59. Bit 60. Game name 61. Freshman, probably 63. “Absolutely!” 65. Victorian, for one

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ne of the best things about living in Georgia is autumn. Nature’s spectacle of colors has commenced; blazing red and yellow hues dominate the panorama. Foliage season begins in early September and ends late October to early November, making it an event for an awe-inspiring drive. Georgia has various locations to view fall foliage and they are only a car ride away.

1. Helen, Georgia Nuzzled in the Blue Ridge Mountains this simulated Alpine Village is the perfect location for leaf watching. The winding roads and the extensive views make the travel there unforgettable. While you relax and soak up the vista enjoy Helen’s popular Oktoberfest. Delight in the sounds of authentic German bands, genuine German beer and delectable German food. The party runs through the month of October. Prost! 706-878-2181 or visit 2. Panola Mountain State Park This refreshing nature spot is located near Atlanta, away from the hustle and bustle of the city perfectly situated on Snapfinger Road/ Hwy 155. The tree outlined trails offers breathe taking views all throughout the park; 1635 acres of harmonic orange hues welcome the fall breeze. If taking a stroll is simply not enough for you to be one with nature, Panola offers tree top excursions for the whole family. Enchant yourself with a bona-fide birds-eye view exploring the tree tops and basking in the season from a different perspective.

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Fall Foliage

Reservations required. (800) 864-7275 or visit www. 3. Sweetwater Creek State Park This peaceful oasis is only minutes away from downtown Atlanta; the towering trees furnish a buffer which muffles the city chaos. Sweetwater Creek provides 9 miles of trails, the most popular being the red trail. The trail follows a free flowing river which enhances the view with its tranquil accent. Leave the mundane and indulge in the fall spectacular with hikes and boating adventures. Sweetwater entertains visitors with tours, twilight canoeing and fly fishing classes. 4. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Known for it’s labyrinth of trails, this mountain will take leaf watching to a whole new level. During the weekend a tour bus slowly ascends to the mountain summit, where visitors can admire the fall scenery from a higher elevation. Take your family back in time while visiting this historic woodland, revisit the place where union and confederate soldiers fought and died. History buffs will be charmed with the museums rich historical facts and memorabilia. Guided tours and interpretive programs are available throughout the year. 5. Stone Mountain Park Want to stay close to home? Stone Mountain has a vast variety of broad leaf trees that exhibit outstanding

fall foliage. Walk the trails, hike the mountain or relax on the skyride and take-in the breath taking autumn scene. During the month of October, Stone Mountain will celebrate its 9th Annual Pumpkin Festival, a commemoration of the season. The family parades and scavenger hunts highlight the activities of this month long party. (or hours of operation go to 6. Red Top Mountain State Park This refuge is located on Lake Allatoona in Cartersville, Georgia. Canopied by trees the park boasts of six trails, the lakeside trail is the most popular; perfect for a peaceful stroll. The park is nationally recognized as one of the best sites for fall foliage, breathtaking views are everywhere you gaze. A privately owned full service marina accommodates guests with party barges, boats and wave runners. Involve the whole family in a fascinating geocaching challenge and explore the entire park in search of a hidden treasure.

Writer, Shayla Ortiz

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Custom Framing Pottery Shadowbox Framing Needlework Framing Mirrors Jewelry Prints/Posters

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1319 Scenic Highway n Lawrenceville, GA 30045 n 770-979-9490 At the intersection of Hwy 124 & Webb Gin House Road Page 14

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Our Town Magazine

CALENDAR - Continued Continued from pg. 7

Run for Shelter November 12, 2011 Tribble Mill Regional Park 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 To obtain funding to provide transitional to permanent shelter for our homeless in Gwinnett Scout Appreciation Day at Medieval Times! November 12, 2011 Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043 ALL SCOUTS IN ATTENDANCE RECEIVE THE MEDIEVAL TIMES PARTICIPATION PATCH FREE! Doors open at 9:30am Stone Mountain Christmas November 12, 2011 – January 2, 2012 Stone Mountain Park, Cross Roads U.S. Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Christmas comes to life during a Stone Mountain Christmas as Crossroads®, at the base of Stone Mountain

Funny Fridays November 18, 2011 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30045

Brantley Gilbert November 25, 2011 Wild Bill’s Country Music Dance Hall 2075 Market St., Duluth, GA 30096 Country Concert

18th Annual Magical Nights of Lights November 18 – December 31, 2011 Lake Lanier 7000 Holiday Rd., Lake Lanier, GA 30518

The Lighting of the Chateau November 25, 2011 Chateau Elan Winery & Resort 100 Rue Charlemagne, Braselton, GA 30517

Chris Cagle Concert November 19, 2011 Wild Bill’s Country Music Dance Hall 2075 Market St., Duluth, GA 30096 24th Annual Lighting of the Tree November 24, 2011 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse 185 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 Bring your family to enjoy this wonderful Gwinnett tradition as we await Santa’s arrival on the grounds of the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse!

M.C. Twinklin’s Tree Decorating Seminars We have seminars in November on the 3rd, Basic Tree Decorating November 10, Fabulous Tree Toppers. Both are $10 per person and require reservations. For more info call 770-972-7237

Blackberry Smoke November 26, 2011 Wild Bill’s Country Music Dance Hall 2075 Market St., Duluth, GA 30096 Country Rock Concert The Nutcracker November 25 – 27, 2011 Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097 Ring in the holidays with the Northeast Atlanta Ballet’s classic rendition of E.T.A. Hoffman’s tale, The Nutcracker.

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Page 15

Counselor’s Corner Distraction Junction What’s Your Function? By Susan Cadley

r e m Sum

“Happiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions.” ~Saul Bellow


hink of all the things you could be doing right now instead of reading this article. You could; check email, see what the kids are doing, get something to eat/drink, channel surf, text on the phone, surf the web, call someone, the options are endless. What is the reason you stopped to read this? Is this distraction or are you curious? If you are easily distracted, you are not alone. In today’s living and working environment, we are continually bombarded with information and communication. The Webster’s Dictionary definition of distraction is; ” a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.” Consider what distractions you gravitate to. You may be aware of what distraction you choose and you may not. You may have a distraction that you believe you have to do, it’s a must, and yet it’s not really a priority. Work can be an example of this; working late because you don’t want to go home and be alone or enter into a conflict ridden situation. This would be using work as a distraction from something else.

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CHRISTMAS TREE DELIVERY & LIGHTING Fresh cut Frasier firs 6’-10’ l We deliver, install and wrap with lights l Fresh garland and wreaths also available l


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Distractions become a concern when they take you away from living your life. For example, if you’ve lost hours doing something, such as surfing the Internet or if you cannot remember what you did today or last week, a distraction is at play. Distractions take you away from yourself, they cost you lost time, and they create a habit of avoidance. What to do if you find yourself at distraction junction? Noticing. Become aware of when you’d choose a distraction over something else. Ask family and friends what and when they notice you getting distracted. Take time to contemplate what the “something else” is that you are avoiding. This is where the gold is and your soul knows the answer. Stop and listen here. This is your growing edge and it’s full to the brim with information about you and your personal growth. Create a plan, written works best, to address the “something” you are avoiding. Or gain the help of a trusted friend or guide to help you move beyond the distraction. Being conscious in your life takes energy. The reward is that you get to live on purpose instead of being reactionary or in hiding. I tell my clients that they are the most interesting person they’ll ever know, meaning there’s so much to you that perhaps you haven’t even discovered yet. Distractions keep you from yourself; they keep you from growing, prospering, loving, and living. Remove them, and you’ll find yourself living from your soul.

Susan Cadley, LPC, CSC, Licensed Professional Counselor & Certified Soul Coach is available for couples/ adult individual counseling and workshops in Suwanee, GA. She may be reached directly and confidentially at 678-296-1278; www.

Page 16

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Let Your Dog Think By Cathy Bruce, CPDT-KA/ Canine Country Academy LLC


’m baffled sometimes by the fact that we don’t let our dogs “think.” If it rings true that whatever our dogs are allowed to practice that that is what they will get good at, why don’t we let them practice “thinking!” It is a concept that I always try and instill in my students, but I was prompted to write about this topic last month when an incident happened with one of my clients where someone else took away her dog’s right to “think.”

The situation happened during a testing evaluation where the dog was being tested on 10 different skills. My student was taking this test for fun, to see what behaviors her 8 month old dog still needed work on. During the test, which took place outside at a park, some squirrels ran by chasing each other right in front of the adolescent dog. The dog naturally thought “oh, what fun, I want to chase too!” and she got out to the end of her leash trying to go after them. She pulled her owner a couple steps off her balance, but once the owner realized what was happening she grounded herself with her feet planted firmly into the ground and waited. What was she waiting for? She was waiting for her dog to think to “check in” with her, as she has taught her to do. Unfortunately, in that very brief moment of waiting, the evaluator’s assistant came running over and interrupted the dog’s “think time” by grabbing the leash from the owner and yanking the dog back so hard by the leash and collar that the dog fell to the ground. There are a lot of other learning points we could discuss about the story above, but I want to focus on the “think” part. When this owner came to me for training with her dog, she had very little connection with her at first. Meaning, she had taught the puppy a lot of obedience behaviors, but the relationship was not as strong as it could have been and the puppy hardly had to think at all because she was prompted to do everything the owner asked of her and she never had a choice. What the evaluator’s assistant mentioned above did NOT know was that in six months of rebuilding the connection the dog had with the owner and allowing the dog to “think” about her choices and reinforcing the ones that the owner wanted to build on, she had helped transform the relationship with her dog and gave her dog the ability to use her well honed brain to think through her choices in life. Deciding to chase squirrels? For an 8 month old adolescent dog, absolutely a viable choice…..but in this situation the dog knew her options were limited by the six foot leash and had she been given a moment to “think” about the situation, we are confident that the choice the dog would have made would have been to check back in with her owner, as her owner had taught her to do. What I would have asked the assistant had I been there was what would have been wrong with giving the dog more than 3 seconds to think about her options given that no one here was in danger….these were squirrels after all, who at this point were already halfway up a tree!

PETS OF THE MONTH Available for Adoption: RASCAL (DOB ~06/01/2011) is a spunky male Black & White Tuxedo who we rescue from

a local animal control facility when the cats we originally showed up to pull had already been rescued by another group. RASCAL is a playful, curious, and loving young fellow who will provide his new owners with years of loyalty, love, and companionship. Right now, he’s a bit lonesome because his siblings have already been adopted. RASCAL is neutered, up-to-date with vaccines, negative for FIV/FeLV/FHW, microchipped, dewormed, has received flea and ear mite preventative, if necessary, and is eligible to receive at least 30 days of prepaid health insurance at the time of adoption. RASCAL’s adoption fee is $125.00. To see all our cats available for adoption, please visit, then email us,, or call, 678-522-2152, to schedule an appointment to meet your new family member! Fancy Feline Rescue of the South is a non-profit, no-kill rescue organization dedicated to individual attention and excellent care to homeless cats, working hard to find them good homes.

Rascal SEND IN YOUR PET FOR “PET OF THE MONTH! Send to: PO BOX 644 Snellville, GA 30078 or

Another personal example I can give with one of my own dogs right now is in the context of the new K9 Fun Nose Work activity I am doing. As he searches through boxes looking for a food scent, sometimes he gets frustrated and stares at me as if to say “come on Mom, help me out here!” In that moment, I am so tempted to help him out in some way, to show him what he needs to do. However, it is clearly instructed in this sport to let your dog “think!” In this context it is all about letting your dog think to use his nose constructively, but the principle is still the same….let them work it out and do not be quick to jump in and intervene. How often do we take away our dog’s right to think when we don’t need to? How is it that we don’t trust the scientific evidence and research that has been done citing the intelligence of a dog’s brain and cognitive function? We do not have to look very far to see that it is true. At the Association of Pet Dog Trainer’s conference in Atlanta this year, there was a whole day devoted to canine cognition study by some of the experts in our field. Dr. Patricia McConnell has a great blog summary about some of the research that I would encourage anyone interested in the subject to check out on her website.

Nancy Churchill, DVM n Pam Zaidspiner, DVM n Bill Connolly, DVM Brad Harris, DVM n Kathryn Padgett, DVM n Pat Zook, DVM

Bottom line…..let your dogs think! And to help them, let’s be patient and get rid of our incessant need to micro manage or make every decision for them. Let them use that well honed organ called the brain!

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Page 17


Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

yields 12 muffins

2. Add milk and beat until well blended. Ingredients

3. Stir in pumpkin puree, ginger, allspice cinnamon, and ground cloves until mixture is well combined

1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter 4 eggs 2/3 cup milk 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree 2 teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cloves 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup walnuts or pecans *optional

4. In a seperate bowl, sift flour, soda, salt, and baking powder together. 5. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are incorporated. Add nuts. 6. Divide batter between greased muffin pan cups or into cupcake papers. 7. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool. 8. Sift with powdered sugar or ice with cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!

Directions Preheat oven to 350*F. 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, oil, butter, and eggs. Beat until smooth.

Recipe provided by: Chef Jennifer Hill Booker Please free to contact Chef Jennifer at:

n Tow r u O

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OurTown Magazine November 2011 issue  

November 2011 issue of OurTown Magazine Gwinnett

OurTown Magazine November 2011 issue  

November 2011 issue of OurTown Magazine Gwinnett