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The Gwinnett Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine

Our Town October 2011

Lilburn l Lawrenceville l Snellville l Grayson

Fall is here!

See cover story on page 5

Happy Halloween STONE MOUNTAIN GA PERMIT #1037

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I am 41 years old, married and the mother of 3 busy children. “No” is not a word I use often when it comes to helping my family. So between my Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, church, sports and school commitments there was very little time for me. My best friend started seeing Dr. Gravante for her shoulder pain and while she was there she saw information about Dr. Gravante’s nutritional seminar. The next thing I knew she signed us both up to go and I included a friend so that we could have strength in numbers. Now I have tried many diets over the years and I was beginning to see a pattern. Lose some weight, cheat on the plan but not gain any weight, so cheat some more and then start gaining weight and then spiral out of control. My weight has been bouncing around ultimately climbing up over the years. Two months ago I met with Dr. Gravante and started my journey. In 2 months time I have lost 26 pounds - almost all of it was FAT Loss! But most importantly I feel better and am taking time to make my health a priority. The three of us are on a path to stay healthy and fit for life thanks to Dr. Gravante. ~ Lyn

After 2 months

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The Gwinnett Area’s Family Lifestyle News Magazine

Our Town







Glenton Ashby Chef Jennifer Hill Booker Cathy Bruce Susan Cadley, LPC Sagdrina Jalal, BS Ed, CPT Sheila Ortiz Cami Nail Carol Chandler-Wood

Norma Flores and


Contributing Writers:

D. Flores




Our Town Jules Williams

Cover Photography Cover photo by D. Flores Photo shot at: The Family Tree Garden Center.

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

OCTOBER 2011 IN THIS ISSUE… About the Cover........................................................................5 Calendar of Events............................................................7, 10, 15 Fitness: Childhood Obesity.....................................................8 Finance: The Sky is Falling - Not!................................................9 Education Corner: College Admissions Process....................11 Wellness: That Little Voice.........................................................12 October Crossword...................................................................12 Education Extra: Early Literacy................................................13 Crossword Key...........................................................................14 Counselor’s Corner: Are You Worried?...................................16 Pet Page: Dogs - Successful Learning.........................................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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Our Town Magazine



Ghost Tours Around Town

his Halloween are you looking for a frightening adventure or hair-raising experience? Do you have what it takes to enter some of the most horrifying haunted houses in the state of Georgia? Stroll through dark mysterious places where strange and supernatural events have occurred. Scream for your life as you attempt to walk through an obscure trail that leads to nowhere. Beware of the following list and follow at your own risk. You have been warned!

1. Lawrenceville Ghost Tours

Lawrenceville is the second oldest city in metro Atlanta and has had its fair share of paranormal activity. Visit a cemetery considered a hot spot, which has sparked the interest of nationally known paranormal investigators. Revisit an unsolved murder scene and learn about the night the dead walked down the main street in Lawrenceville. Take a 90 minute stroll or ride the ghost trolley and perhaps experience paranormal activity for yourself. Tours begin at the Aurora Theater on Pike Street, nightly tours through the month of October.

2. Ghost of Atlanta Walking Tours

Experience the dark side of Atlanta where lonely spirits roam the streets. Visit haunted schools and theaters or the scene of a deadly hotel fire where doomed souls still linger. Presence war, murder, suicide and encounter all the spirits who were left behind.

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Tours begin at 8:30pm nightly in Downtown Atlanta at the corner of Ellis and Peachtree Street outside the Ellis Hotel.

located in Norcross off of Dawson Blvd, open nightly throughout the month of October.

3. Scream on the Trail

Legend has it that there is a 13 story haunted house so horrifying that you have to sign a waiver to get in. They say you get your money back if you make it all the way to the top or to the end. They say they have rats, spiders, snakes, roaches and even clowns. They say the monsters touch you and have been known to throw you out of windows. They say it is an experience so terrifying many people do not make it all the way through... Some of these are only myths, simple urban legends. Some are NOT! We bring many of the myths and legends to life at 13 Stories Haunted House in Kennesaw, Georgia! One secret we are willing to tell you? You will get in one of our decades old elevators for the ride of your life down 13 floors! The elevators have recently been repaired after falling 13 levels from our main level. No one survived. We are sure you will make it…Really. Take a terrifying tour through two attractions; 13 Stories Haunted House and the all new Big Top Secret in 3D haunt; located at the Town Center Mall in Kennesaw, GA.

At scream on the trail you’ll find yourself trekking just under a ¼ mile of the most startling and scary property anywhere and that’s not even counting the ghouls, goblins, spirits and monsters that creep around the dark, stalking and tormenting you all along the way. There are two levels of scare available, the kiddies and full terror. (Kiddies level suitable for families) Scream journey begins at 7:30pm nightly depending on weather. (Located off of Parkwood Road in Snellville)

4. Netherworld Haunted House

NETHERWORLD Haunted House, Atlanta’s Ultimate Haunted House, is not only one of the scariest haunted houses in Georgia and the Southeast, but one of the Top Haunted Houses in the Nation. For 14 years this intense, cutting edge, multi story, multi attraction haunted event has thrilled and terrified visitors…regularly garnering national attention from the likes of CNN, AOL, the Wall Street Journal, and Hauntworld Magazine. Created by film and television professionals, NETHERWORLD is also notable for its custom movie quality special effects, amazing actors, unique themes, and extremely detailed sets. Don’t miss one of America’s best haunted houses…visit Netherworld this Halloween season! Netherworld is

5. 13 Stories Haunted House

(Open nightly now through Halloween)

Writer, Shayla Ortiz

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OCTOBER Calendar Oktoberfest 2011 October 1, 2011 Trinity Lutheran Church 1826 Killian Hill Rd., Lilburn, GA 30047 Celebrating German Lutheran heritage. 9th Annual Oktoberfest celebration. 14th Annual Petit Le Mans September 28 – October 1, 2011 Road Atlanta 5300 Winder Highway, Braselton, GA 30517 The 2011 American Le Mans Series Georgia Race for Autism October 1, 2011 Gwinnett County Fairgrounds 2405 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 USTAF certified 10k and 5k with chip timing 1 Mile Fun Run, Tot Trot Family Fun Day 9:00-2:00 Great Day of Service Volunteer Day October 1, 2011 Rhodes Jordan Park 100 East Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 Join the fun and volunteer. Bring your painting skills, work gloves and dress for the weather! Mural painting, picnic table painting, landscaping and more. All ages! Pre-register to ensure t-shirt sizing.

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Joyce Meyer Ministries September 29 – October 1, 2011 Arena at Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097 Ministry event for women. Rock N’ Rib Fest October 1, 2011 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse 185 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 Barbecue ribs galore, live music and family fun! Sensory Friendly Films October 1, 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. Lawrenceville Ghost Tours Thru– October 29, 2011 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 Lawrenceville Ghost Tours (Walking Tours) is a town that is home to some of the most bizarre and spooky tales ever told. Stone Mountain Park’s Lasershow Spectacular™ October 01 – 29, 2011 Stone Mountain Park U.S. Highway 78 East,

Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Stone Mountain Park’s 9th Annual Pumpkin Festival September 30 – October 30, 2011 Stone Mountain Park, Cross Roads U.S. Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Fall comes to life at Stone Mountain Park’s Pumpkin Festival. Netherworld Haunted House October 01 – 31, 2011 Nether World 6624 Dawson Blvd., Norcross, GA 30093 NETHERWORLD Haunted House, Atlanta’s Ultimate Haunted House, one of the Top Haunted Houses in the Nation. Norcross Ghost Tours Thru – October 31, 2011 New Norcross Welcome Center 65 Lawrenceville St., Norcross, GA 30071 Storytellers Wil Aymerich & Sally Toole will give guess a private preview of the Norcross Ghost Tours’ newest stories of spine-chilling and thrilling tales! Corn Dawgs Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch September 23 – November 6, 2011 Corn Dawgs 995 Leone Avenue, Loganville, Georgia 30052 More fun and exciting attractions. Bring your friends & show them what the craze about the Maze is all about!!!

Buford Corn Maze September 09 – November 12, 2011 Buford Corn Maze 4470 Bennett Rd, Buford, GA 30519 Enjoy Family fun at Buford Corn Maze! Seven acres of twists and turns. Gwinnett Cheer Off October 2, 2011 Arena at Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097 Gwinnett cheerleading competition with receation squads from 1st grade to 8th grade competition. Gray Area October 06 – 30, 2011 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike St, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 This comic collision of worlds is a full out blackwhite, blue-gray, blue-red raging debate. Stereotypes are the biggest casualty in this delightfully uncivil comedy. Fall Into the Arts, Gwinnett Reads October 6, 2011 Gwinnett Center, Tommy P. Hughes Grand Ballroom 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth, GA 30097 html Gwinnett County Public Library Siddharta Mukherjee, the New York Times Bestselling Author

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Continued on pg. 10

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Weighing in on Childhood Obesity By Sagdrina Jalal


hildhood obesity has reached epidemic levels. It is now among the most widespread problems affecting children and adolescents in the United States. It is said that if the obesity trend continues, one-third of the children who are now under the age of 11 will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime.

Georgia has a the second highest childhood obesity rate in the nation according to a report from the Trust for America’s Health and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Twenty-four precent of third grade students in our state is considered obese. Obesity increases a child’s risk of developing serious health issues and can create social and emotional problems. Researchers say that some obese children are showing signs of heart disease typically seen in middle aged adults. Studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult. A few extra pounds do not suggest obesity. Generally, a child is not considered obese until the weight is at least 10 percent higher than what is recommended for the height and body type.  Obesity most commonly begins in childhood between the ages of 5 and 6, and during adolescence.  Here are some ways parents can address concerns about obesity: change eating habits (eat slowly, develop a routine)

l Plan meals and make better food selections (eat less fatty foods, avoid junk and fast foods) l Control portions and consume less calories l Increase physical activity; incorporate family outings that get kids moving l Know what your child eats at school l Eat meals as a family instead of while watching television or at the computer l Do not use food as a reward l Control snacking For more tips on how to reduce childhood obesity in your community go to By Sagdrina Jalal, BS Ed, CPT, Fitness Consultant, Inner Strength Fitness, 404-271-0071

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

The Sky Is Falling … NOT!


he sky is falling! The sky is falling! No, wait… that’s just the value of my investments falling.

The markets are going up and down; sometimes by a lot, sometimes by a little. What’s an individual investor to do? Should you ride out the “storm?” Should you sell? Should you buy? Also for consideration: Interest rates are low. Actually interest rates are almost non-existent if you have money in a bank, a money market fund or some CDs. The good news: Mortgage rates are at record lows. Can you buy a house? Now is a great time. Can you re-finance your existing mortgage to a lower interest rate? Not if you’re underwater because foreclosures around your house have driven down home values. What to do? What to do? Individual investors should act cautiously. As volatile as the markets are currently, selling low, or buying low, seems like a much greater possibility than selling high. For the long-term investor who does not need to live off of his or her holdings any time soon, now is a good time to stay the course or buy low. If you have a regular investment schedule for your retirement plan at work or a regular investment schedule for personal investments, keep doing what you are doing. History says the markets will come back… eventually, if not sooner. In a sense younger investors are in a better situation than older investors. They can stay the course because they have a longer window in which to allow investments to recover. It is not necessary to react to every wild swing in the markets. For the individual investor who is close to needing retirement funds, or who is already using retirement funds, hopefully your holdings are already appropriately conservative. You won’t necessarily escape the market gyrations but the impact may not be as severe. Now is as good a time as any to assess the appropriateness of your investments. Perhaps you need to rebalance your holdings. Perhaps you need to get more conservative. There are not many good options for cash investments with interest rates at record lows. But if keeping more of your investments in cash-type instruments gives you peace of mind, find your best cash options and use them.

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Now would also be a good time for people with mortgages to assess whether a substantially lower interest rate is available and attainable. The problem for many may not be qualifying for a mortgage re-finance, it may be in getting an appraisal that supports the mortgage amount being re-financed. Appraisals that put home values underwater are a problem in many areas. If that is the case you may just have to live with your current mortgage. Regardless of where you fit into these scenarios, be careful and be patient. The sky is not falling! Feedback and topic suggestions are welcome – email HalcyonTimes@HalcyonFP. com, or comment at Tweet @halcyonplanning. 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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M.C. Twinklin’s


“Atlanta’s Unique Christmas Store” 2178 McDaniels Bridge Ct. l Lilburn, GA 30047 770-972-7237 l

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OCTOBER Calendar


Continued from pg. 7 Princess and Me October 7, 2011 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse 185 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 Your little princess will grow up so fast, so bring her to the dance and create some memories! First Friday Thru December 2, 2011 Throughout Lawreceville 455 S. Perry St., Lawrenceville, GA 30045 Lawrenceville Female Seminary/ Gwinnett History Museum Monthly shopping and dining celebration. Feature specials. Extended hours. Dance With The Stars of Atlanta October 8, 2011 Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097 Come experience one of the area’s premier black-tie fundraising events. DayGlow October 8, 2011 Wild Bill’s Country Music Dance Hall 2075 Market St., Duluth, GA 30096 Paint Party.

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Granite Grasshopper 5k October 8, 2011 Stone Mountain Village 922 Main St., Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Run for fun! Support a good cause. Grayson Fall Festival October 8, 2011 Grayson Arts & History Center 2070 Rosebud Lane, Grayson, GA 30017 Fall Festival with a Vintage Flair Lilburn Daze October 8, 2011 Lilburn City Park 76 Main Street, Lilburn, GA 30047 Day long event includes arts and crafts of all kinds, children’s activities and food vendors. You won’t want to miss this! Rice Festival October 8, 2011 Stone Mountain Park Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Performances by Asian dance groups, martial artists, musicians and unique Asian food.

Oktoberfest In The Village October 08 – 09, 2011 Stone Mountain Village Main St., Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Come join us for a little taste of Germany as Main Street presents Oktoberfest. Girls Night Out featuring Style Stops October 13, 2011 Discover Mills 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043 Visit various merchants with a “style stop” sign in their windows for special offers and demonstrations. An Evening with Mark Twain October 14, 2011 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse 185 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 Enjoy a dinner buffet and an exciting performance of Mark Twain adventures! Family Italian Night and Bazaar October 15, 2011 All Saints Lutheran Church 722 Rockbridge Rd., Lilburn, GA. 30071 Homemade Lasagna Dinner ($10 adult’s kids 6 and older $5) Dinner includes lasagna, salad, rolls, drink and homemade dessert 15 tickets for $10 for mul-

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tiple drawings to win prizes from local business. Silent Auction and Fun for Kids. All proceeds benefit Lilburn & S.E. Gwinnett Co-ops! Reptile Show October 15 – 16, 2011 Gwinnett County Fairgrounds 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 Repticon reptile show 26th Annual A Tour of Southern Ghosts October 13 – 30, 2011 Antebellum Plantation U.S. Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain, GA 30087 This event features storytellers garbed in costumes who will fill your imagination with folk tales about rebellious ghosts of Civil War and Revolutionary War times. Dracula October 14 – 30, 2011 New London Theatre 2485 East Main Street SW, Snellville, GA 30078 \

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Our Town Magazine

EDUCATION Corner Lessen the Stress of

the College Admissions Process By Carol Wood, Founder & CEO, Total Learning Concepts


he college application and admissions process can often be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Application deadlines, unexpected requirements, and last minute decisions can cause students and parents to have high levels of anxiety. With proper planning and an effective strategy, the college admissions process requires a lot of work; however, it does not have to be so stressful. A major strategy to keep stress levels controlled is to begin the college admissions process early, ideally no later than the fall of a student’s junior year. Discussing together the cost of the various colleges the student is interested in applying to and the family budget will help to reduce stress. If an expensive school is not affordable for your family, talk with your student about other possible colleges to consider. There are many affordable and excellent colleges in the state of Georgia to explore. It is also prudent to look for a scholarship, major grant, or a student loan. Discuss in advance who will pay a loan back after earning a degree. It will not harm students to help pay college loans back upon graduation. In fact, it teaches them to be responsible if they are required to pay at least part of a college loan because they have invested into their own college experience and academic success. Deciding on financial issues in advance helps to guide students and parents to intelligent and informed college decisions and will reduce stress.


Enroll your children in our Full Time program! Ages 6 weeks to 4 years old. We implement age appropriate Creative Curriculum in all classes. We provide Before and After School transportation and care for children attending Brookwood, Craig and R.D. Head Elementary Schools. Gwin Oaks Elementary and Five Forks Middle School children are transported via school bus. See our website for details.

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Another important and helpful way to reduce the stress of the college admissions process is to select and reference several college guidebooks which rate schools and describe various degree programs, acceptance standards and procedures, campus life, and other important details. College Board’s Index and Majors and College Handbook are two such valuable resources. Websites such as that of American College Testing and College Board also provide valuable facts and insights. A student’s high school Career and College Counselor can be a great source of information, too! It is extremely helpful to use Index of Majors to cross reference the degree programs in which a student is most interested and the colleges most respected in those particular areas to shorten the list of colleges to consider. By narrowing down the list of possible colleges to consider, the task of deciding which colleges to apply to will be much less overwhelming and stressful. Next, encourage your student to compare his or her own goals, interests, likes and dislikes against the information gathered about various schools as doing this will further reduce the list of possible college choices down to a manageable number. Another stress reducer is to create a simple college application “things-to-do” list and deadlines calendar. For each college being considered, work backwards from their application deadlines and list all of the due dates for ACT and SAT scores, recommendation letters, high school transcripts, and other important information. Include time-lines for tasks that will require more effort and energy, such as writing a college application essay. Also, be sure to follow-up with the colleges the student applied to and make certain all required information was received. Reducing anxiety in the college admissions process is about getting rid of the many unknown elements.  Once a student has learned a sufficient amount of information about the colleges he or she is interested in applying to so that they can make an intelligent and informed choice, the process will become organized and controlled, thus causing stress levels to decline naturally.  If you would like to receive a college planning calendar which details of what to do each year of your student’s high school career, visit our website, www., and click the icon “College Planning Calendar”, which you can print. Also, to attend one of Total Learning Concepts’ FREE College Admissions Process Workshops, select a date below and contact me at to register. 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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That Little Voice I

was flipping channels on the television one night and happened to catch a science education program narrated by Morgan Freeman. His familiar baritone is what caused me to pause, but the topic kept me a little longer.

According to Mr. Freeman’s narrative, scientists have been studying and collecting research on the power of intuition. They feel it’s so strong in humans that it should be added to the five senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch as the “sixth sense”. You’ve probably experienced that feeling that someone is watching you, or something telling you to check the stove before you leave the house, or thinking of someone from the past just before they call you on the phone. What I’ve noticed about myself, though, is that I have an uncanny tendency to ignore that wonderful little voice (which obviously knows something I don’t). For instance, a few months ago, I was in a big hurry to get out of the house and accidentally left my cell phone on the kitchen counter. That little voice interrupted my thoughts to let me know… “Althea, you’ve forgotten your phone. Go back and get it.” I was only a few blocks away and could have quickly turned around and retrieved it, but my logical mind replied to the little voice, “No, it’s too much trouble to go back and get it. Althea won’t need it. She’s only going to teach a couple of Yoga classes and be able to come home and get it before the evening classes start.” I’m sure you’ve already guessed I did indeed need the phone and was mad with myself for not going back to get it that morning. There was so much to do after my morning Yoga classes, that I never made it back home. So, did I get the emergency text message from one of my instructors indicating they wouldn’t be able to teach a class that night? Ah, no. In fact, because I had to substitute teach her class, I missed my regularly scheduled appointment. To make matters worse, I couldn’t call my appointment to alert them to my cancellation, because the number was saved on my cell phone. (sad face and heavy sigh inserted here) Okay. Got it. Lesson learned.





1. Happy 5. Pumpkin activity 10. Emcee 14. Houston university 15. Bread spreads 16. Arabic for “commander” 17. “Terrible” czar 18. Beautiful people 20. Noble Italian family name 22. Merlin, e.g. 23. Popular fruit drink 24. Emotion icons 26. Enclose 28. Starchy tuber 30. Azerbaijan’s capital 31. “Cool” amount 32. “___ I care!” 34. Athletic supporter? 35. Present 39. Gave birth 41. Chilled 43. Disinfectant brand 44. Bill and ___ 45. Like a bug in a rug 46. “___ Baby Baby” (Linda Ronstadt hit) 48. Admits, with “up” 50. “Comprende?”

51. Pirates concern 54. Cruelty 56. Ceiling 57. “___ of Eden” 59. “More!” 62. Amp force unit 65. Like, with “to” 66. Need a bath badly 67. Directory contents 68. Advance 69. Auld lang syne 70. Mountain ridge 71. Clumsy boats


Down 1. The______ Reaper 2. In person 3. Schools 4. Casual attire 5. Ponder 6. “Is that ___?” 7. Come forth again 8. Cast a ballot 9. Favor 10. “___ Town Too” (1981 hit) 11. 1935 Triple Crown winner 12. 60’s protest

13. Or treat 19. Fine fur 21. Corn holder 25. Barely managed, with “out” 27. Voting groups 28. Jolly boat 29. Far from ruddy 33. Astound 36. One who refrains from tobacco 37. Game name 38. Halftime lead, e.g. 40. Shore bird 41. “Field of Dreams” setting 42. Make compact 44. Halloween wear 47. Laughing _________ 49. Anger, e.g. 51. À la King 52. Small part 53. Certain berth 55. La ___ 58. Antares, for one 60. Milieu for Lemieux 61. Aims 63. Barely get, with “out” 64. Abbr. after a name

After the cell phone fiasco, I decided that for one whole month I would listen to my “Spidey Sense” every time it alerted me to a situation, issue or thing to do. Let me tell you… it was a difficult month. In fact, I failed the challenge many times. But in each instance that I listened and followed my internal messages, I had amazing outcomes. Despite knowing what I know about the power of my sixth sense, I’m still a work in progress. If you’re also struggling to trust your gut instinct, pause the next time you hear that little voice whispering to you and consider following its directions… even when you don’t want to.

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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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Our Town Magazine


Early Literacy: the Foundation for Learning and Life

Primrose School of Five Forks |


esearch has shown for decades that being read to and having interactive experiences with books are key predictors of a child’s later school success. Many parents wonder at what point they should start reading with their children. Interestingly, a love of reading begins early on as infants or, some say, even before birth. When you begin to read books to your little ones, point to the pictures in the book and talk about them in an exaggerated fashion. What you say doesn’t necessarily have to match the words in the book – you can personalize the story to make it even more engaging.

Making the time to read together is a must if you are on a mission to raise an active reader. Robert Needlman, M.D., author of Dr. Spock’s Baby Basics and member of the Primrose Schools Education Advisory Board, suggests that one of the most important things about nurturing a reader is to read with a child from a very early age. “There’s no prescription for this, the only prescription is to allow some time each day that you can sit down, connect with your child, and read together. The main thing is to allow it to occur in a way that’s joyful, that conveys enjoyment to the child – from enjoyment the rest will follow.” Selecting the right books is a key factor in helping make the time you and your child spend reading a very special time. Books that really “work” have engaging, distinct illustrations and simple, rhythmic language.

Our Town Magazine

Children particularly enjoy books that are repetitive or ask them to participate and anticipate what comes next. Another important factor to remember when choosing books for your child is to select ones that you like yourself, because you’ll probably read them in a more animated, connected manner. Children love to hear the same book read over and over again which is another good reason to make sure the books you choose are ones you won’t easily get tired of. You will naturally foster an appreciation of literature when your child sees that you also take pleasure from a book. Try these tips to help your family create a fun and engaging literacy-rich environment that will help build an early foundation for a successful reader: Surround children with age-appropriate books on a variety of subjects

Read stories to children daily from infancy and encourage them to participate in the story Always keep favorite books in the car for “waiting” periods and long trips Ask your child’s teacher for a list of books that relate to what is happening at school; buy or borrow these books from the library and read them together at home Older children, preschool and above, who have been read to will proudly “read” their favorite familiar books aloud. They will usually retell the story as they turn the pages and point to the illustrations. Sometimes children will make up entirely different stories to go with the pictures. This is a significant stage in literacy development because children are demonstrating that they know books are meant to communicate stories. They are “getting” it. Children come into the world on a mission to learn how language works, and parents talk and sing with them to support their understanding and their ability to communicate. Reading books with them is another powerful language support tool that enables children to put together an idea of how stories and written language work. Cognitive development needs a surrounding supportive relationship to flourish, so go grab a book and begin reading to your child today!

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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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CALENDAR - Continued Continued from pg. 10 Music Dance Hall concert

Stone Mountain Park’s 9th Annual Pumpkin Festival September 30 – October 30, 2011 Stone Mountain Park, Cross Roads U.S. Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Fall comes to life at Stone Mountain Park’s Pumpkin Festival. Discount tickets available at Kroger.

Senior Health Fair October 28, 2011 Bethesda Park Senior Center 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30044 It’s time to get healthy! Health Screenings, demonstrations, fun activities, educational information, door prizes, goodie bags and refreshments.

7th Annual Boot Scootin’ Barn Raiser October 22, 2011 Gwinnett County Fairgrounds 2405 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 Fundraiser to benefit Dream House for Medically Fragile Children.

FrightFun Ball October 28, 2011 Gwinnett Historic Courthouse 185 West Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 Come dressed as your favorite character or come as the character you are! Family Fun Day 2011 October 29, 2011 Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center 1700 Winder Highway, Dacula, GA 30019 Bring the family for a fun-filled day.

The Runway Event October 22, 2011 Discover Mills 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043 Enjoy a fashion show featuring Discover Mills top women’s retailers. Live entertainment throughout the day. Dress for Success informational sessions and accessories drive.

Halloween Costume Ball October 29, 2011 Rhodes Jordan Park 100 East Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 Teens with disabilities catch costume fever, make new friends and enjoy light

Back N Black October 22, 2011 Wild Bill’s Country Music Dance Hall 2075 Market St., Duluth, GA 30096 Venue: Wild Bill’s Country

refreshments at this fun Halloween dance and costume contest! Halloween Magic Show October 29, 2011 Aurora Theatre 128 Pike Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 Childrens Playhouse Play It Safe Halloween October 29, 2011 Rhodes Jordan Park 100 East Crogan Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 Fun for the whole family! Admission is one bag of individually wrapped candy PugFest 2011 October 29, 2011 Gwinnett County Fairgrounds 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045 Pugfest is SEPRA’s annual fundraiser which is held the last Saturday in October of every year in the Atlanta, Georgia area. PugFest is SEPRA’s biggest fundraising event of the year. Your help is needed to make it a success in raising funds to help pugs and pug mixes in need.

Buford, GA 30519 Mall stores will have tirck or treating, so bring the kids all dressed up! Snellville Fall Fest October 22, 2011 1-9pm Snellville Town Green, opposite City Hall. 73rd Annual CFA Camphionship & Household Pet Cat Show Cotton States Club Nov. 5th - 6th 10am-4pm Gwinnett Civic Center Duluth, GA More than 300 kittens and cats of all breeds will compete for honors and prizes at one of the USA’s top cat shows (770) 674-4952 or (678) 577-0180 “Arichtectural, Perspective & Nature” Opening Night October 8 6-9pm Cobble Creek Studios 2257 Scenic Hwy, Snellville Nutrition Workshop with Dr. Gravante Sept 20th/ Oct 18th 1790 Presidential Circle Suite A, Snellville Reserve your seat by calling 678-990-9400

Trick-Or-Treating October 31, 2011 Mall of Georgia, Nordstrom Court 3333 Buford Drive,

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Counselor’s Corner

Are You Worried?

By Susan Cadley

“I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” ~ Mark Twain


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as prices, the weather, the stock market, unemployment, these are just a few things people are worried about lately.

And then there are things closer to home; health challenges, child care, conflicts with spouses, friends, work, relatives, bills, the list could go on and on. Of course these are all things in life to have concern about, but worrying takes concern to a different level. Worry is when a thought process goes round and round without closure. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of worry is to afflict with mental distress or agitation: make anxious. Constant worrying causes you to enter into a state of immobilization that can lead to anxiety, apathy, and depression.

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Worry left unchecked can move into the anxiety arena. It can begin to cause disruption in one’s social and work life and physical body. If you are distracted by worry, you may not concentrate as well on your work or take time for your personal relationships and both may suffer. Author and motivational speaker Mike Dooley explains what happens when a person worries; “basically, they think of 100 reasons why something might go wrong. And all of those thoughts then struggle to become things, sometimes overriding their more constructive thoughts.” By worrying incessantly, your subconscious mind can actually begin to go to work to create the negative outcome you are worried about. And with your mind being so distracted with worry, you may miss out on flashes of insight or ideas on how to handle what you are worried about.

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Worry can also take its toll on the physical body. Your body reacts to your worry thoughts, believing something terrible is going to happen. Your internal, built in security systems that are designed to help you in a survival situation, can kick into high gear. These systems are meant for emergencies, not be on alarm at all times. When this happens, physical symptoms can appear because the systems become overtaxed and over stimulated. So what can you do about worry? Take action. By taking control over what you can affect, you ease the tension worry creates. And for the things you cannot control, you must surrender and let go eventually. Action Plan for Worry Warts: n Write down all your worries. Next to each one, create an action plan with ideas and dates. Make it concrete. n Set aside “worry time”. For example; from 7pm to 8pm, you allow yourself to sit and worry. If you begin to worry during other times of the day, stop and remind yourself of worry time and save it for later. n Tell someone you trust about your worry. Brainstorm with them about possible solutions. n Ask yourself; is it really true? Check in with yourself about the validity and reality about what you are worrying about. Ponder past worries. Did your worrying help or hurt you? In uncertain times, become empowered and take action where you can. By loosening the hold worry has on you, you open yourself to a myriad of possibilities for yourself and your life. Susan Cadley, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor, is available for couples counseling and adult individual counseling, workshops and book studies in Suwanee, GA. She may be reached directly and confidentially at 678-296-1278,

Page 16

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PET PAGE Setting Dogs Up for Successful Learning By Cathy Bruce, CPDT-KA/ Canine Country Academy LLC


am always on the hunt for good life similarities to dog training. This week I stumbled upon more as my son is wrapping up his first week at kindergarten. At his orientation last week prior to the first day of school, we were walked through some simple ways to help our children develop a love of learning and there were a couple points that struck me as being parallel to the concept of how we can better help our dogs to learn.

First presented to the parents was the idea of creating an environment conductive to learning. For a child this looks like providing a quiet place to study at home. For my dog owner clients this looks like….you guessed it….providing a quiet place for their dog to learn! This especially rings true with puppies. If you are trying to train your puppy in some new behaviors at home, do not select the noisiest and busiest room in which to do so. Puppies can be very easily distracted, so finding a quiet area where you can garner their attention to work with them is essential. Once they have mastered the behaviors without distractions, then you can gradually add distractions in as you work with them. However throwing lots of distractions into the mix when they are in the first stages of learning a new behavior does not set them up for success and certainly will not create an environment that is conductive to learning. Second was helping your child develop good study habits. How do we do this with children? Practice, practice and more practice. We help them to practice the learning process. You would not say to your child that they only have to do homework or study on Mondays and then the rest of the week they don’t need to do anything. We see the same concept of dog’s developing good habits by practicing behaviors that they have learned. Probably many of us have experienced that moment when we ask our dog for a behavior, let’s say it was “roll over”, and the dog looks at us like we have two heads because the last time we asked them for that behavior was a year ago! So we must practice training and helping our dogs learn, even if for just five to ten minutes a day. This also provides wonderful mental stimulation for the dog on a daily basis.

PETS OF THE MONTH Available for Adoption: SYMPHONY (DOB ~9/3/2010) is a lovely female

Tortie Lynx Point Siamese/Manx mix who we rescued from a local animal control facility. SYMPHONY does her name well - she enjoys serenading you with her lovely voice! SYMPHONY can be described as a “dimple rumpy” Manx - she has a small indentation at the base of the spine. She loves to snuggle and purr, and will provide her new family with many years of love and companionship. SYMPHONY is spayed, up-to-date with vaccines, negative for Feline FIV/FeLV/FHW, microchipped, dewormed, has received flea and ear mite preventative, and is eligible for at least 30 days of prepaid pet health insurance at the time of adoption. SYMPHONY’s adoption fee is $125.00.

To see all our cats available for adoption, please visit www., 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, nokill rescue organization dedicated to individual attention and excellent care to homeless cats, working hard to find them good homes.

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

Lastly, and not presented by the school principal, but a parallel I drew this week from numerous conversations with my son when he got home from school, was ENJOY RECESS! I found this week that when my son has talked to me about his day, the majority of the conversation centers around recess. In this “play environment” is where he is building relationships with other kids, letting out excess energy and frankly just having a fabulous time. I think the same is true for our dogs. In the midst of “study” and learning new things, there must be time created for “recess.” This can be a time for dogs and owners to strengthen their bond, for dogs to release pent up energy and also just have fun. One of my favorite books on this topic was written by Karen B. London and Patricia B. McConnell and it is called “Play Together, Stay Together.” It is chock full of great play ideas for owners and dogs. So remember to think through some of the concepts listed above when working with your dog. There are so many wonderful similarities to child learning and dog learning and helping to set them up for success in this process is a key factor in training our wonderful dogs.

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

Last month’s pet article “Building your dog’s real life skills” was written by Cathy Bruce owner of Canine Academy LLC

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original recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill-Booker


his recipe is a great way to use those last summer garden vegetables.Grilling the vegetables for the Grilled Summer Gazpacho adds an unexpected depth of flavor and the Infused Chili Oil adds a nice little burst of heat. This soup tastes best when prepared a day in advance and the flavors are allowed to bloom while refrigerated overnight. Garnish with the Infused Chili Oil right before service.

Grilled Summer Gazpacho Soup

original recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill-Booker yields: 8 servings Ingredients:

Infused Chili Oil yields 2 cups Ingredients:

2 cups Extra Virgin Oilive Oil 3 fresh chiles of choice, such as Cayenne, Serrano, or Fresno chili pepper, stems removed 1 tablespoon dried chili flakes Directions This oil should be infused in a well ventilated area. Pour your extra virgin olive oil into a sauce pan and heat the oil until you see tiny bubbles at the bottom of the pan. Turn it off well before it gets to the smoking point. Immediately add the fresh chilies and dried chili flakes to the oil. The chilies will sizzle or “cook” and immediately diffuse their heat into the oil.

6 plum tomatoes 4 heirloom tomatoes of choice Salt and fresh ground Pepper, to taste Olive oil for brushing 2 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into1/4 inch strips 2 small yellow squash, sliced lenghwise into 1/4 inch strips 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded 2 jalapeño chilies, halved lengthwise and seeded 3 cloves fresh garlic Freshly ground pepper, to taste 2 English cucumbers, cut in half 1/2 cup tomato juice, plus more as needed 1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon

Let the mixture cool to room temperature. At this point, you can strain the oil before storing it or leave the chilies in for a hotter oil. Pour into a clean sterilized glass jar or bottle and store refrigerated up to 3 weeks. Discard if the oil looks ‘coudy’ or has evidence of bacteria growth. Drizzle on Grilled Summer Gazpacho for an added burst of heat. Also great on pizza, pasta, salads, and sandwiches! Recipe provided by: Chef Jennifer Hill Booker Please free to contact Chef Jennifer at:

Directions: Core, quarter and seed the plum and heirloom tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the juice drained from the tomatoes to a sealed container, cover and refrigerate. You can use this tomato juice for the gazpacho, being mindful of the salt. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Brush and oil the grill grate or a vegetable-grilling basket. Brush the zucchini, tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, chilies, and garlic with olive oil, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, arrange all of the vegetables on the grate or in the basket directly over medium-high heat. Grill, turning frequently, until soft and nicely charred on all sides, 2 to 4 minutes total for the zucchini and squash and 10 minutes total for the tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, chilies, and garlic. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a platter and let cool slightly. Pick over the vegetables, removing andy burned skin but leaving some charred bits. Working in batches, in a blender or food processor, combine the grilled vegetables,the cucumbers and the fresh herbs and process until pureed. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato juice or more as needed to make the puree a thick but pourable consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings; the gazpacho should be fresh and highly seasoned. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. This will allow all of the ingredients in the gazpacho to meld together and give a bright fresh taste. Serve in chilled bowl or clear shot glasse and garnish with Infused Chili Oil and a pinch of fresh herbs. Enjoy!

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OurTown Magazine Gwinnett October 2011  
OurTown Magazine Gwinnett October 2011  

October 2011 edition of OurTown Magazine